Re: carbon express covert sls ?
Here is a review done on this bow by Crossbow Magazine.
CARBON EXPRESS COVERT SLS
By Tom Butler
I first saw the SLS last fall when I happened to bump into a Carbon Express rep at a local sporting goods store. He asked if I wanted to shoot the crossbow and, of course, I took him up on it. The SLS represented a fresh new look and what I thought looked like a high level of quality build. As I shot the crossbow I was thinking about its price level and, before I asked the rep, I guessed it to be in the $799 to $899 range. I thought it looked that good. Matter of fact, in my opinion, it looked equal or better in finish quality than some much more expensive crossbows currently on the market. I was shocked when he told me the bow would be priced at $599.
I saw the SLS again at the ATA show in January and it was one of a few crossbows there that really caught my attention. It’s interesting that during the last 3 years, I came away from the ATA shows more excited about value priced crossbows than I did with most other more expensive ones. These crossbows in the $600 price range, that are more affordable for most hunters, have been showing up at the shows in lighter weights, smaller sizes and features not even seen in some of the more expensive models. These are exciting times for crossbow shooting and hunting fans.
The big brown truck recently delivered a Covert SLS crossbow and I’ve had a little time to familiarize myself with it. Here are the stats:
The crossbow sports a Mossy Oak Obsession camo finish and a dark green anodizing on the barrel, riser and cams that are extremely cool looking in my opinion, and finished like a jewel.
The SLS package includes:
· 4x32 scope with illuminated reticle consisting of 4 circles
· Scope rings
· 3 arrow single gripper quiver
· Parallel to barrel quiver mounting bracket
· Rope cocker
· 3 CX Maxima Hunter Duel Spine weigh forward carbon camo’d arrows with plastic moon nocks, 2” Blazer vanes and 100 grain target points
· 2 exchangeable rubber shoulder pads, 1 in 1” thickness and 1 in 2” thickness
· Rubber coated foot stirrup with 2 sling swivel studs for either right or left hand carrying
· Picatinny receptacle rail for front pistol grip and accessories
· Detachable multi angle front fore grip
· Stock cheek piece with built in receptacle for the Carbon Express specially designed portable crank cocking winch option
· Unique scope rail that’s angle adjustable
· 1 tube of barrel deck and string lube
· 3 Allen wrenches
· Comprehensive Instruction and Safety Manual which includes the warranty card to be sent to Carbon Express by the owner - Customer service telephone numbers are also included in the manual.
The following information is on a label attached to the inside of the right side limb:
· Power stroke - 13”
· String length - 34”
· Cable length - 18 ¾”
· Arrow length - 20”
· Arrow diameter - .344”
· Arrow minimum weight - 390 grains
The left limb has a label with the model number and the bow’s 185 lb draw weight plus serial number.
The SLS’s advertised speed is 355 fps.
The black strings, cables and servings appear to be premium quality.
The SLS’s total length with the 1” shoulder pad is 35.5”.
Axle to axle measures 17” uncocked and the total width is 19.5” uncocked.
Total width cocked is 16.5” and 13.5” Axle to Axle.
Total weight of the crossbow with scope and quiver with 3 arrows loaded (including the adjustable angle fore grip) is a little over 10 lbs.
There are a total of 7 warning labels attached to the SLS in various places.
I assembled the SLS with no problems but I had to push the limbs in a downward position just slightly to get the main riser attachment bolt started into the barrel stud.
The cable slide was already attached to the cables with a label wrapped around it with instructions stating that the supplied deck lube should be applied to the barrel mating surfaces before assembly, which I did.
Upon inspecting the scope I noticed, when looking through the scope, there is a warning etched into the bottom of the lens. It reads “Keep fingers Below Deck” Now that’s one cool feature that may very well prevent someone from getting their fingers injured. When you are aiming, and ready to shoot, that warning is right there for you to see.
The other thing I noticed about the package scope is that the 4 aiming circles are evenly spaced so there is no way to get a 10 yard increment sight in for all 4 circles. I sighted in circle #2 (first one down from the top circle) at 30 yards. With that done, using the top circle for 20 yards, the supplied arrows were hitting 1” high. I then moved back to 40 yards to see where the arrows would be hitting using the third circle. They were hitting 1 ½” to 2” low and then out at 50 yards, using the bottom circle for aiming, the arrows were hitting about 5 ½” low. The shooter will have to determine a sighting system that fits his hunting situation. Using the above system of having the 30 yard circle dead on would work ok for me but I’d prefer a speed adjustable scope for this crossbow like the CX 1.5-5x32 scope option that’s calibrated for crossbows up to 425 fps, or at least a fixed power scope that is calibrated for the SLS’s speed.
Congrats to Carbon Express for positioning the quiver parallel to the barrel.
The single gripper quiver is okay for fixed blade broadheads but I much prefer a double gripper for expandable broadhead use.
I weighed the 3 supplied arrows on 2 different grain scales and they weigh 382 grains average. That’s interesting because the label on the bow’s limb lists 390 grains as minimum arrow weight for this crossbow. The bow chronographs 348 fps average with the 382 grain arrows. As a comparison, my standard 410 grain arrows chronographed 340 fps. In my opinion, that places this crossbow right in the sweet spot for hunting crossbows, but this particular bow does not reach the advertised 355 fps.
The SLS groups the supplied arrows with field /practice points almost in the same hole at 30 yards, so its accuracy potential should not be a point of concern even though the package arrows had aluminum inserts which resulted in a fairly light 14% weight FOC with 100 grain points. I typically shoot for around 18 to 19% weight FOC for crossbow arrows.
The bow features an automatic safety so that manually pushing the safety on after cocking is not required and until an arrow is loaded, the safety cannot be pushed forward to the fire position. This is a combination of features that some other much more expensive crossbows don’t offer. The auto safety and ADF functioned flawlessly during my shooting sessions. There is no loud clicking when moving the safety lever from safe to fire position.
I think most shooters will find the scope/rail positioning just about perfect. When I lift the crossbow up to shooting position there is no hunting around required to achieve a clear sight picture. The scope is supplied with flip caps for lens protection.
I lubed the deck, as instructed, with the supplied deck/string lube and I saw no unusual center serving wear during several sessions of shooting.
The SLS’s 185 lb draw weight made cocking a little more difficult for these old shoulders but I managed to make it through several extended shooting sessions.
The SLS utilizes a fairly short power stroke. I suspect that is the reason it draws 185 lbs to get the speed it does. The bow is not the quietest shooting 350 fps crossbow I’ve shot but I’ve shot others that are quite a bit louder. The bow does not utilize string stops or rubber limb saver type silencers. I think they would be beneficial to quiet the bow a bit.
The Carbon Express portable crank cocking device is really nice and although the cheek piece looked strange to me at first, the way the cocking device fits into the stock is awesome, with no chance of slipping out of place during the crank cocking process, just one more reason to like this crossbow. It’s nice to know, when buying a crossbow, that there is a crank cocking device available for that model crossbow.
The trigger, although functioning flawlessly during my tests, is the one area that needs a bit of improvement. There is a little too much creep before let off for my liking and the trigger resistance spring should be lightened a bit. I know that’s easier to say than to do on 185 lb draw crossbows but with a crossbow of this otherwise overall high quality, in my opinion, it deserves to be improved. However, with that $599 price tag, I think most owners would get along just fine with the trigger.
Bottom line, I would definitely recommend to those that are shopping for a new hunting crossbow to take a serious look at the SLS, no matter the price range. In my opinion, Carbon Express has a winner with this crossbow.
I support all hunters, regardless of weapon or technique!