Crossbow Rejuvenation: The TS 390 Confirms Barnett’s Leadership in Crossbows

By Todd Burgreen

Crossbows originated as military weapons in China and then Europe. While slower to load and fire, crossbows offered the advantage of easier-to-obtain effectiveness with less training compared to more traditional bows. This aspect remains the same even today. Crossbows maintained the status of premier projectile weapons until the advent of firearms. Crossbows are undergoing rejuvenation thanks to multiple states amending their game laws allowing for crossbows to be used during archery seasons. The expansion of crossbow popularity has driven the industry to bring forth technology and performance increases at a rapid clip.

My first crossbow was the Barnett Commando inspired by a James Bond flick. Needless to say, crossbows have come a long way since my last experience over 30 years ago. Bolt speed, which equates to terminal effect and engagement range, has expanded beyond what I considered possible. In short, crossbows have borrowed archery advancements in cams/cables and turned them sideways. The Barnett TS 390 is the perfect vehicle to explore the current crossbow craze.

Barnett has been a leader in crossbows for more than 50 years; pre-dating many of the other crossbow manufacturers who have emerged in the last 10 to 15 years. The Barnett TS 390 features an adjustable ventilated stock, CNC-machined aluminum flight track and a fiberglass composite Step-Through Riser to produce a light and fast-handling package. The Step-Through Riser design moves the foot stirrup into the riser assembly, eliminating extra bulk and length, while also making the bow more comfortable to shoulder and easier to steady with its balance point shifted slightly to the rear. The Step-Through Riser design allows for two additional inches of draw length, which results in increased power and speed without the need to lengthen or widen the TS 390’s limbs. An adjustable buttstock further assists with tailoring TS 390’s fit to individual shooters. At 19 inches wide, the TS 390 is one of Barnett’s narrowest bows. Weight is 7.6 pounds. Employing a 185-pound draw weight and 14.25-inch power stroke the Barnett accelerates arrows up to a flat-shooting 390 feet per second.


This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N4 (April 2019)
and was posted online on February 22, 2019


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