Traditions Firearms introduced the Crackshot rifle a few years ago as a single-shot rimfire alternative for those looking for a lightweight, take-anywhere truck gun, small-game rifle, or an ideal plinker for new shooters and young hunters. This year, the company takes the Crackshot’s fun and utility quotients to the next exciting level with the innovative Crackshot XBR.
The Crackshot XBR is a hybrid firearm and archery platform that has no equal in the industry. That’s because it comes with two interchangeable uppers, allowing shooters to choose between shooting .22 LR cartridges or gas-propelled crossbow-style arrows. This modularity allows one rifle platform to perform multiple functions for a broad range of hunting and target shooting applications.
Based on the standard .22LR Crackshot, the Crackshot XBR is offered in two packages—one with a black synthetic stock and the other with Kryptek Highlander Reduced Camo finish. Both packages come with the Crackshot .22LR upper and the new XBR upper for launching the included 16-inch 2216 aluminum arrows. Also included in each package is a Traditions duplex-reticle 4×32 scope, which comes mounted and bore-sighted on the XBR upper.
For conventional long gun use or for sending arrows downrange with precision and authority, the Crackshot XBR stands ready. The buttstock is ergonomically designed with a deeply checkered grip for secure hand placement and an integrated Monte Carlo-inspired comb to ensure optimal cheek weld and eye alignment. A built-in rubber buttpad delivers all-day shooting comfort. Operation is kept simple for ease of use. A spurred hammer with an ambidextrous extension allows for easy cocking for both left- and right-hand shooters while a cross-bolt trigger safety provides easy manipulation for shooters of all skill levels. Additional safety comes from an internal hammer block safety that prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin when the hammer is down. Also ambidextrous is the break-action release located in front of the trigger guard. A prominent extractor makes spent case removal a cinch.
As a single-shot platform, the Crackshot XBR offers uncomplicated barrel swapping. Unscrew the forend sling swivel stud, break the action, and lift out the barrel assembly. Alternating between the .22LR and XBR upper takes less than a minute.
Unlike the .22LR barrel, the XBR barrel is a two-piece design featuring an outer barrel shroud and an inner barrel chambered to accept the Traditions XBR Powerload cartridge. To use the XBR to launch arrows, simply insert a Traditions Firebolt arrow over the inner barrel until it is fully seated. Next, install an XBR Powerload .27-caliber cartridge in the chamber. The arrow can now be launched by igniting the cartridge with the trigger/hammer assembly—the same way as if you were shooting a .22LR.
The XBR is designed to shoot standard-size 2216 aluminum arrows with 100-grain field points or fixed-blade broadheads at up to 385 FPS. That velocity is on par with the leading hunting crossbows on the market and thus delivers ample energy for quick, ethical shots on game animals, such as whitetail deer and hogs, within normal crossbow ranges.
While the Crackshot XBR’s trajectory and terminal performance is similar to conventional top-end crossbows, it has a unique advantage when it comes to accuracy. Since expanding gas from the Powerload cartridge propels the arrow from the forward end of the shaft (versus string-launching from the back of the shaft) and the inner barrel maintains precise shaft alignment throughout the launch cycle, the XBR system is inherently more accurate than conventional crossbows and exhibits improved flight stability for consistent shot placement.
Although the Crackshot XBR launches standard crossbow arrows with lethal precision and downrange energy, it is not legal for use during traditional archery or crossbow hunting seasons. It can, however, be used as a quieter, stealthier alternative during some state rifle seasons (check your state and local game laws) and for hunting hogs and certain varmint and small-game species, where allowed. Regardless, the Crackshot XBR significantly expands shooting opportunities with its two-rifles-in-one platform and is suited not only for adults and youths, but also those with impairments that limit arm strength and movement.
For more information on this diverse shooting and hunting firearm, visit traditionsfirearms.comor see your local firearms re