The new SLS series crossbow bridges the gap between true performance and great affordability.
By: Tim Herald
For the past few years I have been shooting crossbows more and more. I have been able to enjoy the sport with my twin sons, my dad, and a number of friends. As I have tried to introduce more people to crossbows, I almost always get asked, "Well, what's a good crossbow that won't break the bank?" That has been a tough one in the past because I have been shooting the CX Covert 3.5 and Covert CX2 crossbows in that past and they were the flagship models that were top end in performance and price. I honestly feel that those models were still very good values, but I understand folks wanting something a bit more affordable. With the introduction of the new COVERT SLS, I can recommend this platform to anyone wanting best value and performance.
So what makes the SLS a "Best Buy" in my opinion? I think it is the best crossbow on the market, pound for pound for the price. It is that simple. The MSRP for the entire SLS package is $599, and you get the crossbow, a quick detach quiver, 3 CX Maxima Hunter 20" bolts, field points, a deluxe lighted scope with red/green illuminations for varying light conditions and rail lubricant. You can open the box, set up the crossbow, and go shoot or hunt immediately. You have everything you need, and the package will perform.
Speaking of performance, the SLS is rated at 355 fps and 199 ft. lbs of kinetic energy with a draw weight of 185 pounds. Believe me, 350fps is smoking, and I have a hard time at 25 yards telling where I hit a deer because of that speed. With a CX crossbow of that speed, my son Drew actually shot completely through 2 whitetails with the same shot and both went down within 60 yards (and no, we didn't know the second one was there!) That is plenty of speed and power for even the largest North American game.
I guess what I really like the most about the SLS is how versatile it is. It is very rare to find a crossbow this fast that is only 13.5 inches from axle to axle when cocked. To me this slim design means that the SLS is very easy to carry while hunting. It is also very convenient in a treestand or more importantly to me, a ground blind. There is nothing worse than being in a blind and the limbs of a crossbow spreading out so far that they take up the entire front section of the blind and you have to worry about them hitting when you shoot the bow. At 13.5 inches, all of this has been perfectly addressed.
With the compact carbon infused limbs and mini-parallel CNC machined riser, the SLS's weight is pulled more toward the middle of the crossbow, and it is balanced very well. In my opinion it is a very comfortable weight for a crossbow as many tend to be extremely heavy. All of these factors combined make the SLS a joy to shoot.
A few other nice extras of the SLS are a picatinny mounting system, complete with adjustable forearm and mounting grip that provides the ultimate combination of adjustability for any shooting style and in any hunting environment. The picatinny mounting system is great for attaching Carbon Express' Crossbow shooting Stick that telescopes from 23" all the way up to a full 62". The SLS also comes fully camoed in Mossy Oak Obsession.
Yes, you can get a faster crossbow (but not a lot faster), and you can find a cheaper crossbow, but I think you are going to have a really hard time finding a crossbow of this speed, design and quality with such a welcoming price tag. As I write this, turkey seasons are just starting up, and I can't wait to take my new SLS out in the spring woods to shoot a big strutting longbeard. Crossbows are perfect for turkey hunting, and I could write another whole article on that...come to think of it, maybe I will.