We rarely find a tool that looks completely natural in the hand without modifications, but after testing the Ax AX405 crossbow this is exactly what it worked. Here is the 411 on the 405.
Ax Crossbows may not have the long-standing track record of some brands (they’ve only been in business a fraction of the time), however, as a subsidiary of FeraDyne Outdoors, Ax Crossbows has a great team of ‘skilled engineers, and their out-of-the-box solutions to problem solving are evident in the manufactured product. The AX405 is built on an ingenious design that is durable, reliable and precise. Designed to be compact and sturdy, I equate this model with the Abrams crossbow tank – it’s built like a bull and hits like one too.
Although it is slightly heavier than some competitors (9.7 pounds without scope), this bow is well balanced thanks to its compact butt and riser design. The 405’s balance point is centered around the trigger and grip, unlike other crossbows with a balance point pushed well forward, which ultimately amplifies the movement. It is much easier to stabilize the 405 for shooting. Ax says the same design helps create a quieter system, too.
With its short overall length of 27.75 inches and its unarmed width of 14.5 inches from axle to axle (less than 10 inches wide when cocked), the AX405 is very manoeuvrable. It offers plenty of space to move around in a tree or from inside a floor awning. The 405 even carries comfortably with a sling attached, a surprisingly rare feature for many crossbows.
Another big bonus is the 405’s built-in crank cocking device. Not all hunters need a crank cocker spaniel, but beyond being a benefit for those without the physical strength. To shoot a traditional rope cocker spaniel, hunters looking for optimum safety and consistency in shooting may choose a crossbow with a hand cranked cocker spaniel. Inherent in their operation, a crank system makes it easy to ensure correct and uniform alignment of the strings each time the bow is cocked. And most crank systems, including the AX405 system, allow you to disarm the crossbow without pulling a single bolt. This is a huge plus.
Ax says that this model also has other built-in security mechanisms. To prevent rope slippage resulting in a dry shot when cocking, the cocking system will emit two audible “clicks” when properly engaging the sled and rope. If you don’t hear those two clicks, you’re not properly locked out. If you are not sure, try cranking the crank. Without proper and locked-in engagement, the system will not launch. The system also allows the user to start and stop the arming process at any time during the slowdown cycle by using an integrated clutch to stop the crank at any point of travel.
An additional safety feature that helps prevent dry firing and incorrect launching of the arrow can be found in the design of the arrow funnel itself. When striking an arrow, the system produces another audible “click” to indicate to the user that the arrow stroke and string are properly engaged.
When it comes to shooting, the AX405’s two-stage trigger assembly features crisp, crisp trigger. Set at 3.7 pounds with no creep, it’s almost perfect for most crossbow hunters, and since it resets after each shot, it’s also one of the safest.
Built on a solid foundation, the AX405 delivers speeds of over 400 fps from a power stroke of just 13 inches thanks to 210 pound inverted split branches and 85 percent cam efficiency. While the cables on some crossbows run from the top of one cam to the bottom of the other, this exclusive cam system is connected by cables parallel to each other. This configuration eliminates cam tilt and torque, and a proprietary cable brace engages the riser to limit flex. All of these features combine to help ensure that the rope travels along the same plane from start to finish, resulting in incredibly fast and precise bolts downstream.
Unlike conventional crossbow designs, instead of using a one-piece aluminum arrow guide, Ax combines dual carbon guide rods, a riser, and a full capture roller mount at the end, to create a free-floating system that minimizes boom friction and torque while increasing precision, efficiency and speed. It even improves the longevity of the bolts.
Designed to provide a tailored fit, the AX405 features an adjustable stock and cheek comb. And beyond its ergonomic chassis, the 405 comes with an adjustable footrest, mounted three-arrow quiver, and three micro-diameter bolts 17.5-inch 383-grain axle with 100-grain drive tips grains. The bow also comes with an illuminated reticle scope with range marks from 20 to 100 yards. It offers red and green lighting for different lighting conditions and preferences.
Besides being super compact, well-designed, safe, quiet and precise, hunters should consider the increased durability that a bow like the Ax AX405 offers. This advanced system reduces the frequency of string and bolt replacement, eliminates the need for rail lubrication, and overall has resulted in a high-end hunting bow at a much lower price than some of its competitors.
• Type: reverse limb crossbow
• Draw weight: 210 lbs.
• Speed: 405 fps with 383 gr. lock
• Barrel: nothing; Double carbon guide rods with roller rest
• Elevator: machined aluminum; shooting design
• Store: shooting design through; adjustable comb; LOP adjustable 14¼ “-15¾”
• Trigger: in two stages; 3.5 pounds pulling weight
• Security: two-position rocker, automatic, ambidextrous
• Dimensions: length 27.75 “(footrest folded); axle-to-axle width 14.5” unarmed, 10 “cocked; power stroke 13”
• Weight: 9.7 lbs
• Accessories: integrated crank arming system with arming sled; Multi-range rifle scope with rings; three Ax Micro Diameter bolts with 100 grain field tips; quiver mounted in one piece; original spacers
• MSRP: $ 1,699.99; feradyne.com