The XBow Buddy Crossbow Sling by H&M Archery Products
A while back, John MacPherson field tested The String Sling from H&M Archery Products, Inc. and it proved to be a great product. This time we will be testing The X-Bow Buddy Crossbow Sling from H&M Archery.
The crossbow is becoming more and more popular in the hunting industry with all types of hunters. Crossbows are great weapons with many pros and a few cons. The major cons about crossbows are their size, weight and awkwardness about them at times. This will happen when horizontally mounting a compound bow onto a rifle stock. Fortunately the pros of using a crossbow completely outweigh the cons.
Most modern crossbows come with sling studs in the forend and stock that a standard rifle sling can be used with. This method is great while carrying the weapon through the field or woods, without the intent on needing it quickly. While this method is great for transporting from location to location, it is not ideal for use while hunting. If one were to be using a regular sling while heading to the stand and have the opportunity to take a shot on an animal, the intended quarry would have a lot of time to vacate the area prior to unmounting the bow, cocking it, loading a bolt, taking aim and firing. If a hunter has their crossbow at the ready while moving through their hunting location, they must carry it the entire time. With this method, you are at the ready, but your sling is hanging under the bow, not being used. This causes muscle fatigue to the upper extremities and the spine. This in turn, could impact your accuracy, because now your arms maybe tired prior to aiming. All of these problems have now been solved.
The people at H&M Archery have created a sling that carries the weight of the crossbow while in the ready position and that does not need to be removed from the user prior to shooting, The X-Bow Buddy. The X-Bow Buddy crossbow sling has proved to be a great new product. The sling has a very different look to it. I have to admit that I was very skeptical at first with the design and concept of this sling. It wasn’t until I mounted it to my crossbow and used it, that I saw it’s potential and usefulness.
The X-Bow Buddy is quite simple in it’s design, but I can only assume that the thought and design preparations behind it were meticulously thought out. The X-Bow Buddy can attach to many crossbows and there are two models to choose from as well. The original fits most models with the standard stirrup and the second model fits most bows with a “shoot-through” type stirrup, like the Barnett Predator. I mounted the original version on a Horton Max Hunter 150. There is a small clamp that mounts to the stirrup with U-bolts. This clamp is where the upright, removable post mounts into. The clamp is small and can stay in place even when not using the sling. The upright rod secures into this clamp with a large threaded knob. There is a fiberglass rod that is sheathed in a nylon webbing that attaches to the upright post via a simple hinge. This allows for a vast amount of movement and positioning for the wearer. At the end of the fiberglass rod there is a simple 1” plastic strap adjuster. This connects to an all purpose camouflage strap that can be attached to a 1” sling ring in the stock of the crossbow or through the stock, if skeletonized. The other end can be undone and attached to a 1” sling ring in the foregrip to utilize the sling as a standard over the shoulder sling. Now that it is mounted onto your crossbow, a few adjustments and you are ready to go afield with a very comfortable and versatile sling.
The X-Bow Buddy carries the crossbow like a tactical sling does an assault rifle, hands free if needed, but always at the ready. The strap crosses the torso vertically, allowing the weight of the crossbow to be distributed throughout the shoulders and the spine evenly. The crossbow can ride in many positions while carrying. It can ride in front or by your side while moving or slide it further back and it is out of the way if you would need to climb into your stand. It is still recommended that you climb into your stand first and then pull your gear up, although I did find it very easy to climb a ladder stand and tree steps while carrying my crossbow. I also had it on while using a climber, although not as smooth as I would have liked, but I needed to try it. This sling works well while carrying through the woods to my stand. This allows me to comfortably walk to my stand and hunt at the same time. Since The X-Bow Buddy is hands free you are able to rattle and call while on stand, and then quickly able to shoulder your crossbow and take aim. This also will cut down on a lot of unnecessary movement while on stand. This sling is very simple to attach, use and take off if needed. It is also very quiet when wearing it and shooting it. I did add two SIMS vibration dampeners to the upright post for added assurance, but it is not needed. All in all I think that this is a very simple and needed accessory to a crossbow. If I were to change anything I might exchange the camouflage strap for a padded rifle sling, but this again is not needed. The X-Bow Buddy can be purchased from H&M Archery Products directly for $37.95 at www.xbowbuddy.com. Unlike The String Sling’s Full Lifetime Warranty, the X-Bow Buddy only carries a one year parts replacement warranty. This is a good buy and I believe that you will be happy with your new X-Bow Buddy Sling.
This is what 704 Pro Staffer Bunk Guy, had to say: The only way to truly describe the Xbow Buddy Crossbow Sling is “Awesome”! Everything from the mounts to the functionality of the Xbow Buddy is simply perfect. The mounts are super easy to install. Very little brain power needed to attach it to your crossbow. Looks a little interesting before you install it and had us thinking “why is this sling stiff in one particular section?” Once attached you can really appreciate it the design. Works well in a treestand to take the pressure of holding your crossbow the whole time. We like that it eliminates the need for a bowhanger and reduces the amount of movement needed to prepare for the shot since it is in a more convenient ready position. It also enables you to make a steady, moderate to long distance shot off hand. The military style sling adapts to most cocked & carry conditions for stalking situations. Innovative design enables you to shoot while having the sling attached to your crossbow while other slings seem to get in the way or lay across the bolt when you get ready to take a shot. After reviewing the String Sling, we were excited to give the Xbow Buddy a try and we were not disappointed! The workmanship is astounding. We have had to pleasure to test the Xbow Buddy Hog Hunting, Alligator Hunting, Deer Hunting and Turkey Hunting. It is a perfect addition to the gear we use everytime we embark on any hunting adventure!
Review by Brian Barham and 704 Pro Staffer Bunk Guy