by Eric Hall
Today, we are looking at the Carbon Express X-Force Advantex crossbow. I was looking for a new crossbow in late 2016 and picked this one up. The second time out, I took my first deer harvested with this new bow and overall it has performed very well through its first full seasons of use.
The Carbon Express X-Force Advantex is an entry level crossbow coming in under $250.00 for the complete kit which includes the crossbow, rope cocking device, multi-reticle scope, and three bolts with practice tips. It is a good turnkey solution for an upgrade from a slower, older bow (my situation) or someone wanting to enter the crossbow hunting world.
According to the manufacturer, the crossbow shoots up to 315 fps and packs 91 pounds of kinetic energy. I have not tested this with a chronograph, but I have found this crossbow to be more than enough power and speed to take down a whitetail at normal ranges. Last season, I took a large doe at 42 yards with complete penetration of the bolt. She only ran 50 yards before going down.
The skeletal stock on this crossbow allows it to be very lightweight coming in at only 6.9 pounds. This bow features a compact front end profile. When cocked the axle to axle length is only 12.5 inches allowing for easier shot opportunities in tight quarters. The forearm is adjustable to fit your shooting style and the pistol grip adds greater stability and balance to the bow. When shouldered, this crossbow doesn’t have that front end heavy feel to it. It feels almost like a rifle and that is good enough for me.
Safety devices on the Advantex include an ambidextrous safety along with an anti-dryfire system. The anti-dryfire is a first for me. It works by not allowing the string to release without the bolt fully seated. I found this out the hard way when I first got the bow. I was sighting it in and it would not shoot. The trigger would break, but the string hung up. I re-loaded the string and tried again with the same result. I then noticed the bolt was not seated all the way. I re-cocked the string, seated the bolt and it operated as expected. Lesson learned!
The rope cocking device is nice to have given the 165-pound draw weight of the compact split limbs. I can draw the bow without the device, but it is much easier when I use it. Also, the cocking device allows for a repeatable draw shot after shot. The string is in the right position every time without fail. Needless to say, I always use the rope cocking device.
The noise level is average at best. There is no sound dampening included with this crossbow. It is not overly loud, but not as quiet as some I have seen. I have added vibration dampeners to the split limbs and to the bolt retainer. These little upgrades have lowered the overall noise of the Advantex when fired. The noise of the shot has not cost me a deer, but it is one factor to consider.
The only real issue that I had with the bow was with the included scope. This is not unusual with budget crossbows no matter the manufacturer. My problem was I would sight in the crossbow and within 10 shots my zero was off. This happened multiple times and I ended up replacing the scope. Problem solved! It may be that my particular scope was defective. I did not contact Carbon Express about the issue; I just replaced the scope. Now I am shooting tight groups out to 50 yards and have not lost zero one time.
Overall this is a great crossbow for the money. Based on my experience I recommend replacing the scope and adding some sound deadening. These two changes greatly increased the performance of my Carbon Express Advantex. If you are looking for a budget-friendly hunting crossbow then take a look at the X-Force Advantex by Carbon Express.