Ravin crossbows have exploded in popularity over the last few years. Their compact, high-powered crossbows boast incredible accuracy and FPS speeds, making them a top choice for serious hunters. However, as Ravin’s fan base has grown, so have consumer complaints and questions if Ravin is a scam.
In this in-depth investigation, we’ll analyze key details, dig into specific consumer grievances, and determine if Ravin crossbows are legit or an outright scam. Let’s dive in.
Overview of Ravin Crossbows
First, let’s establish some background on the Ravin crossbow brand.
Ravin Crossbows, LLC is based out of Superior, Wisconsin. Founded in 2013 by veteran archers Brad Baker, Clay Persinger, and Paul Williams, Ravin aimed to launch high-performance, ultra-compact crossbows unlike others on the market.
They debuted their first crossbow, the Ravin R9, in 2017 at the Archery Trade Show. This initial model boasted features never before seen in a crossbow, including:
- An overall length under 30” cocked
- Draw weight of 200 lbs
- FPS speeds up to 390
- A fully adjustable stock with a built-in cheek rest
The company promotes these specs and the R9’s accuracy as equivalent to “shooting a rifle.” Ravin credits their Helicoil Technology as enabling such high FPS, power, and precision in crossbows half the size of competitors.
With the R9 receiving rave reviews, Ravin has continued expanding their crossbow lineup, offering 8 models as of 2023 with more surely to come. Prices range from $899 to $2,099 MSRP.
So in just 6 years, Ravin has made a huge splash in the hunting world with their revolutionary crossbows. However, they’ve also faced their fair share of criticism. Consumers have accused them of poor product quality, terrible customer service, outright ignoring warranty claims, and more.
Let’s analyze these complaints against Ravin and determine what’s legitimate or not.
Analysis of Online Reviews & Complaints
To start investigating if Ravin is a scam, we need to establish:
- What specific issues have arisen?
- Are these isolated incidents or widespread problems?
- Does Ravin address and resolve complaints appropriately?
To determine this, we’ll dig into both positive and negative consumer feedback across various websites. This includes:
- Review sites like TrustPilot
- Hunting forums
- Complaint aggregators like Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Retailer review sections
Let’s break down the most prominent grievances against Ravin.
Grievance #1: Deliberately Ignoring Warranty Claims
The most severe allegations assert Ravin crossbows constantly suffer catastrophic failures, yet the company ignores all attempts to file warranty claims.
For example, this BBB complaint filed on 10/20/23 states:
“Purchased a Crossbow directly from Manufacture, and within eight days of purchase the limbs began to split and separate which a very dangerous situation. When I contacted the company both by phone and e-mail and explained the situation they said even though it is under warranty they have no replacement parts, and offered no resolution. They have not offered any solution.”
And a complaint published on 10/10/23 says:
“I have been trying to get someone with their company for 4 months. No one ever answers their phone, it just keeps you on hold indefinitely. They say on the recording to contact them at their email address in which I have done multiple times but still no response.”
Indeed, browsing the BBB reveals dozens of unanswered grievances about denied warranty coverage. Analyzing reviews on TrustPilot and retail sites corroborates this pattern.
For example, Cabelas.com shows a mere 1.71/5 star average for Ravin based on 7 reviews. One 1-star tale titled “The customer service is horrible” echoes others:
“Will sale you products take money. But when it breaks can not get any answers or nothing. Emails or phone.”
So these accounts seem to confirm issues about Ravin lacking warranty support. However, when cross-referencing positive reviews, we see plenty of happy customers as well.
For instance, Amazon shows strong 4.5/5 stars for the R10 crossbow, including this shining review:
“I bought my Ravin R10 just over 5 years ago. This spring when I opened it from winter storage, the horizontal rod that guides the crank-up cord had broken… I contacted Ravin directly and they said ship it to them in Superior Wsc. A week later the repair tech asked what color replacement parts I would like, I said camo. I week later a totally brand new Ravin R10 showed up at my door for free!”
And this satisfied R26 crossbow owner reports on Cabelas:
“The staff at Ravin crossbows We’re very professional and helpful…I recently purchased a product from them and I assembled it the wrong way and needed more parts when I contacted Ravin crossbows try to order the parts with my credit card they said no will ship them to you for free I was very pleased with that and I give them a 5-star rating.”
So while problems clearly exist regarding warranty coverage, many consumers do receive satisfactory support. This suggests sporadic issues rather than outright negligence across the board.
In regards to unanswered phones and emails for weeks/months, it’s possible these result from Ravin being overwhelmed due to rapid growth yet having insufficient staff and infrastructure to handle the expansion.
As a newer company seeing quick success, growing pains like this wouldn’t be unheard of. However, it still wouldn’t excuse such poor communication and failure to deliver on warranty promises.
Grievance #2: Repeated Dangerous Failures
Consumers describe Ravin crossbows suffering alarming failures, especially string/cable snaps, dry fires, and limb breakages. As evidence, we see complaints like:
“First time I’m able to harvest a very nice buck the cable/string snapped slapping him in the face causing damage to his face barely missing his eye.”
“My bow exploded uncocked out of nowhere and damaged a gun cabinet that I have.”
“The whole trigger assembly/carriage needs a redesign. My first R10 cut loose while uncocking halfway through the cycle…The string then crashed the assembly into the forward portion of the rail destroying everything. The ravins will implode.”
And one particularly disturbing account states:
“I shot the bow and the main string broke nearly missed my face. At the time I was advised to send it back directly to Ravin, they supposedly “fixed” it and sent it back…the bow exploded again out of nowhere damaging a great deal of the bow itself.”
Indeed, browsing forums and review sites reveals many cases of limbs cracking, strings snapping, and other critical failures. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean Ravin crossbows are inherently flawed or falsely advertised. Every brand of crossbow can suffer occasional issues, even top models from leading companies.
What’s NOT normal is for multiple units from the same company to self-destruct constantly and without warning. While some complaints against Ravin likely come from user error, the frequency of dangerous structural failures seems disproportionately high.
This suggests potential underlying quality control problems in material sourcing, manufacturing methods, assembly procedures, or testing before shipping products.
Whatever the root cause, Ravin MUST improve quality to prevent unreliable and unsafe crossbows from reaching consumers. No Hunter should endure their weapon unexpectedly exploding mid-****.
Until changes occur, skepticism about Ravin’s build quality appears warranted.
Grievance #3: Inferior Components & Construction
Various complaints criticize individual components on Ravin crossbows as flimsy or prone to malfunction. For example:
“The bolt extends past the front of the bow and can sang and break bolts. The quiver design is poor…You have to push a sloppy button one direction while pulling another. It’s the most difficult and complicated I’ve seen. The quiver only holds 3 bolts.”
“My arrow rest is broken again pins keep falling out second time this has happened had my second rest about four days broken again.”
And one hunter details major frustrations with his R10 scope:
“Factory scope sucks !! Accuracy is 5 star now with my new Nikon cross bow scope. Factory scope is way to busy an horrible in low light.”
After combing through feedback, the most maligned out-of-box parts seem to be:
- Non-illuminated scopes
- Underpowered quivers
- Cheap rests
This corroborates assessments that Ravin has prioritized power/speed/accuracy in their designs yet overlooked refining supplemental components.
It makes sense for a young company hyper-focused on showcasing their signature technology to overlook peripheral details initially. However, Ravin must now direct energy towards improving stock accessories and construction to match the capabilities of their crossbow frames.
The good news? Consumers praise how Ravin does offer superior aftermarket accessories:
“Only thing I wish was included was noise dampeners.”
“Kinda like the smokeless muzzle loader thread going now on here. Lots of people still unaware just how far these things have come. Those Ravins are super impressive!”
This shows Ravin has exceptional foundations in place. They simply need quality control tweaks and design upgrades in supporting elements.
What Does Ravin Say About Complaints?
A fair investigation requires asking Ravin to address criticisms in their own words. Searching press releases and public statements, we find comments like:
“Here at Ravin we stand behind our products 100% and have since day one…As with any new product, there is trial and error until perfection is achieved.”
This echoes our analysis that many issues stem from unavoidable learning curves as an emerging brand.
Ravin also addressed common complaints directly last year, with a company rep stating:
“We have absolutely zero problems with our limbs. We’ve looked into complaints about strings breaking or peep sights loosening, and have made adjustments in our manufacturing process so these are no longer problems.”
This shows Ravin is actively working to combat consumer issues instead of ignoring them. They admit past problems but claim having improved already.
Considering their reliable warranty support and fine-tuning of components, Ravin deserves benefit of the doubt here. However, ONLY if future reviews demonstrate these changes have genuinely minimized critical gear failures and customer service obstacles.
Verdict: Legit Innovator With Correctable Flaws
In conclusion, I would NOT characterize Ravin as an outright scam. The evidence shows:
- Their main product delivers phenomenal accuracy and power that lives up to hype. Even critics concede “This thing is fast and accurate.”
- Many happy customers confirm receiving good warranty assistance.
- The owners have archery industry experience. They aren’t random scammers exploiting hunting markets.
- Ravin directly addresses problems then implements solutions. Though sometimes reactive slower than ideal.
However, our investigation also exposes unacceptable shortcomings requiring urgent action, including:
- Sporadic denial of warranted repairs/replacements.
- Repeated critical gear failures that should NEVER occur.
- Inferior stock accessories that diminish overall product experience.
- Customer communication inconsistencies.
Considering these gaps, buyers proceed with slight caution. Carefully inspect gear upon arrival and thoroughly test before relying as a **** weapon. Only hunt with Ravin crossbows if confident yours operates reliably after verifying construction quality firsthand.
For established hunters seeking high-powered, ultra-compact crossbows, Ravin still offers advantages over competitors. Just temper expectations slightly and ensure securing warranty protections upfront in case of lemon units.
And for Ravin themselves, capitalize on hard-earned consumer trust and address weak links in quality control. Smoothing out these rough edges will perfect already exceptional foundations.
Eliminating hazards of unexpected failures alone will secure Ravin as the undisputed leader in high-performance crossbows. If achieved swiftly, the company will ascend from not just legitimate to premier status.