I like the way it feels...i shoot an excalibur...for him..i think the stock length is short enough for a smaller hunter...plus until he can reach 35lbs on his compound...this will get him out earlier than rifle season
You might want to consider a Draw-Loc. He can use it on his compound and it will be less expensive than a crossbow. Think of it as "training wheels" for the compound. You can remove it and replace it with one thumbscrew. Very easy system to use for sure.
The jackal is a good crossbow. It's loud, but it will harvest deer. The optics are horrible, so figure that into your price.
I won a jackal last year and gave it to my dad to use this season. So far it has proved reliable. It's far from the top of the line but it is accurate and quick for a bow in its price range. I don't know what your axiom sounds like so comparatively speaking, I can't answer your question but I can say for sure it's not the quietest thing in the woods. Though, with that being said, if he's not careful, my dad could split bolts consistently when practicing at 30 yds. I don't think youll be disappointed if you choose this to get your son started.
Thinking about getting the jackal. I liked the feel of it and the price is right. Those that have this what kind of bolt and broad head do you use? Also what kind of warranty does Barnett give with this?
Have you had a chance to look at the new model called the Recruit? It looks like a very nice bow and comes at about the same price as the Jackal. The limbs are a more parallel design and they have string stoppers built in. (together these should make the bow a lot more quiet) Also, it's nearly a pound lighter. More value for you dollar in the Recruit, in my opinion.