Reverse Crossbow – Reverse Draw Crossbow

Reverse Draw Crossbow for Crossbow Hunting

Reverse Crossbow History:

The Reverse Crossbow or Reverse Draw Crossbow is said to be invented by James “Jim” Kempf of Scorpyd Crossbows in 2003. His design has the cable going off the front of the cam and going behind the riser, thus providing a longer power stroke. The longer the power stroke,

the faster the bolt speed will be. The result of a faster bolt is a flatter trajectory. So Jim was able to increase the power stroke and make an incredibly fast crossbow. Not only fast but at a lighter draw weight.

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In 2005 Jim’s first Reverse Draw Crossbow hit the market and has since been an enormous success. Such a success that there are now many manufacturers using some kind of reverse draw system.

Reverse Crossbow - Barnett Vicious

Pros & Cons of the Reverse Crossbow

We have already discussed the Pros and Cons of the Recurve Crossbow and Compound Crossbow, so let us dive right into the Pros and Cons of the Reverse Draw Crossbow.


  • Fast - As described above, the longer power stroke makes for the fastest bolt speed resulting in a flatter trajectory. Some of these reverse draw crossbow models have speeds of over 400FPS!
  • Balanced - The reversed design moves the weight of the compound bow back towards the rear of the crossbow, thus making it more balanced. This is a HUGE improvement over the front heavy compound crossbow. It makes the sight acquisition and ability to hold on target much easier without getting as tired.
  • Compact - The distance between the cams is much shorter than a recurve and even the compound crossbows. Some models are as short as 10” when cocked! This makes the Reverse Draw Crossbow more suitable for tree stand hunting and anywhere you normally would be tight on shoulder space.
  • Quiet - The limb location and configuration not only help reduce vibration, it also reduces the overall noise from the crossbow.


  • Expense - These models from several different manufacturers all have hefty MSRPs. The average price is around $1,000 as of this writing. With more and more manufacturers producing reverse draw models, the prices will become more competitive and eventually there will be lower entry level models.
  • Special Tools - This is one of the big drawbacks, after all, it is still a compound crossbow. There are many moving parts and if is something is to go wrong in the field, you will likely be stuck hauling your crossbow back to the nearest pro shop for repair.

So what do the pros think about Reverse Draw Technology? Watch Patrick Hogan of North American Whitetail’s discuss some the benefits of the technology:

So what are our favorites?

HuntingCrossbow’s top 4 Reverse Crossbows

Have you tried a reverse crossbow yet? What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it? Have any other questions for us? Comment below or as always feel free to reach out to us by clicking HERE.

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