Barnett Ghost 420 Review: Really Good or Just Hype?

Barnett Ghost 420 Review: What You Should Know

barnett ghost 420 review unboxing

Experienced hunters are all about performance in terms of hunting equipment. For crossbows, I’m sure you understand the value of the following words: fast, smooth, light, and small. I do. That is, after trying a lot of bows that have come and gone.

There are so many options in the market now and they all keep getting better and better as manufacturers keep battling to produce the best, time after time.

That’s great – we get to see lots of innovations in just one lifetime. However this also means there are so many choices out there that sometimes you don’t know which one to get.

Add that to the problem of some product recalls and you can’t blame people for getting more wary of buying new releases that manufacturers claim to be the next big thing.

That’s actually why I was holding back on purchasing the Barnett Ghost 420 last year. If you didn’t know yet, Barnett had a recall on some of their crossbows in 2016 (more on that later).

Long story short, I pulled the trigger to give Barnett one more try. I’ve owned the Barnett Ghost 420 since November of 2017, and this Barnett Ghost 420 review is all about sharing my thoughts about it so far.

Barnett Ghost 420 Review: Summary

Are you in a hurry and have no time to read the full review? I know that feeling, so I made a visual summary for you:

Use: Hunting

Build Quality



starstarstarstarhalf star

Shooting Ability

starstarstarstarhalf star



Ease of Use

starstarstarstarhalf star

Value for the Money



  • Extremely powerful
  • Accurate
  • Very fast
  • Lightweight (mostly due to the carbon riser)
  • Premium features
  • Premium design
  • Compact

  • Expensive
  • Comes with only two arrows
  • Unlike the Razr Ice, Ghost 420 does not come with a retractable underarm counter-balance support system

Conclusion Summary: Barnett Ghost 420 is an incredible flagship crossbow that’s highly recommended for the serious hunter.


Barnett Ghost 420 Review: Complete Write-up

If you’re not in a hurry and you’d like to know more, I wrote this in-depth review to further guide your buying decisions.

What is It?

Ghost 420 is the fastest crossbow that Barnett currently offers. It shoots at 420 fps which is how it got the “Ghost 420” name. It’s one of the three premium crossbows in Barnett’s elite Carbonlite series (the other two are Ghost 375 and Razr Ice).

What’s in the Box?

  • Barnett Ghost 420 Crossbow
  • 1.5-5x32mm Premium Illuminated Scope
  • Rope Cocking Device
  • Side Mount Quiver with Side Mount Adapter
  • Two 22″ Headhunter™ Arrows
  • Crossbow Talon Sling
  • Rubber Butt Pad
  • String Dampeners
  • Lubrication Wax

Barnett Ghost 420 Specs:

Property Value
Speed 420 FPS
Kinetic Energy 149 ft lbs
Draw Weight 185 lbs
Power Stroke 15.375″
Axle to Axle 20″
Dimensions 34″L x 22″W
Overall Weight 7.6 lbs

Barnett Ghost 420 Features:

  • TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology
  • Soft-Lok™ Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer
  • Carbonlite Riser
  • ADF (Anti-Dry Fire) Trigger System
  • MIM (Metal Injected Molded) Trigger
  • CNC Machined Aluminum Flight Track
  • CNC Machined 7/8″ Picatinny Rails
  • String Dampeners
  • Pass Through Foregrip
  • Safety Finger Guards
  • Single Bolt Assembly
  • Crank Cocking Device Compatible

Feature Breakdown:

In this section I’ll be going over each feature one by one. If you don’t want to go through with this, you can click here to skip to the Overall Performance section.

1.5-5x32mm Premium Illuminated Scope

The scope is variable-power illuminated (green or red light) which aids in accuracy and overall performance. It’s adjustable through a push button. It contains six markers that’s good from 10 to 70 yards, and it comes with a battery.

1.5-5x32mm scope Barnett Ghost 420

You have two options in adjusting the scope:

You can either (1) set the scope for the correct FPS at 1.5x magnification or you can (2) use it as an up to 5x mag scope. Out of the box, the scope that came with my bow was zeroed at 20 yards once.

My only complain with this is it comes in 25 FPS increments on the dial, so there’s a guessing game on where to set the dial of it’s not a multiple of 25.

TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology

“Once you go TriggerTech, you’ll never go back.” That’s what Barnett claims with this technology. What is it in the first place?

Photo by Barnett Crossbows

It uses a unique, free-floating roller between the trigger and sear. This is an awesome feature in my opinion, and it’s actually the feature that makes the Ghost 420 stand out (aside from its speed).

The result is a smooth and light three-pound trigger pull and zero creep. This also contributes to overall accuracy, all thanks to the added precision in trigger control.

My experience has been a satisfying and effortless trigger – just as advertised.

Carbonlite Riser

barnett ghost 420 side view

This is Barnett’s own patented riser design. It removes as much as 43% of weight from the crossbow’s front. Aside from the advantageous light weight, this also shifts the weight to the shoulders which gives you more control.

The step-through design keeps the toughest part of the draw within range. It lengthens the power stroke without putting the cocking string beyond arm’s length.

Soft-Lok™ Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer

This is another one of Barnett’s patented technology. It self-adjusts in order to create a downward pressure on the arrows. This is more of an added safety measure as it keeps the arrows secure.

Nock Sensors and Anti-Dry Fire

The Ghost 420 uses a spring-loaded safety bar in place until the arrow is seated properly. This feature is very critical no matter what kind of crossbow you have. It protects you from shooting the crossbow without a fully loaded arrow.

Ultimately, it gives us a peace of mind that we’ll never accidentally dry fire our precious crossbows.

When I was just getting started with crossbows, I thought people who accidentally dry fire their bows are dummies anyway. I mean, how could anyone accidentally dry fire? Guess what, I did that to my Barnett Ghost on November of last year.

I got too excited when it came in the mail (I mean, who wouldn’t be) so I immediately fit and tested the bow… except I forgot that I didn’t load an arrow. Fortunately, the anti-dry fire worked and it saved my bow from blowing up.

Basically, if the nock sensor couldn’t sense an arrow that’s properly loaded, you won’t be able to move the safety to the “fire” position. This saved my ass.

Metal Injection Mold Trigger

It’s quite assuring to know that the MIM triggers have the tightest quality tolerance available. I’m happy to report that thanks to this quality, the 3.5-pound trigger pull is very smooth.

CNC Machined Aluminum Flight Track

An aluminum track that’s CNC Machined simply means it was precisely formulated with a gun-metal finish. Together with the carbon step-through riser, this reduces overall weight which I appreciate when I’m hunting for long periods of time.

CNC Machined Picatinny Rail

All Barnett crossbows use the same CNC machined picatinny rail. This is a nice little feature because you can add any accessories you want to add which allows for maximum compatibility.

Rope Cocking Device

barnett ghost 420 top view

I find the rope cocking device to be sturdy and also user-friendly. I’m a skinny man but I still find it easy to cock this beast of a crossbow. It feels like slicing the draw weight in half, which is exactly how it was advertised. So in terms of being true to their word, Barnett is doing well so far. Moving on…

Sidearm™ Quiver

Barnett’s SideArm™ quiver was designed to protect the broadheads in storage and transport. This is achieved by moving the quiver to the side of the bow. This also helps in maneuverability based on my experience. Another cool feature I like is it detaches with a press of a button.

Pass Through Foregrip

The foregrip that comes with the crossbow is very conviniently placed which is right below the rail. The placement also aids in the overall stability of the bow.

Safety Finger Guards: Finger Safety Reminders

These finger safety reminders are placed on each side of the rail and it does exactly what it’s meant to do – to remind us shooters to keep our fingers off the rail.

However, it’s not 100% fool-proof. People with bigger hands can still put their finger over the finger guards if they try. I give this feature a 7/10.

Crossbow Talon Sling

I’ve had problems with slings in the past – either they’re uncomforable, they slip off the shoulders, or they start to hurt when used for long periods of time.

I’ve never had the same problems with the Ghost 420 sling so far. It’s actually very comfortable and it stays in place.

Adjustable Butt Pad

The butt pad is rubber and the best part is it’s adjustable. You can extend it to fit your personal stock length. This adds comfort to me personally, even when I’m shouldering the bow.

Crank Cocking Device Compatible

This is great if you prefer to use a crank cocking device instead of the given rope cocking device that comes with this bow. If this is your case, all you have to do is remove the check piece and install your crank cocking device.

Headhunter™ Arrows

These are Barnett’s top-selling bolts. I’ve had excellent results with these bolts – they’re consistently accurate and quite durable. I have nothing but good things to say about these arrows so far.

Mostly Assembled: Single Bolt Assembly

The Ghost 420 comes as a mostly-assembled bow, which means all you have to do when it arrives at your doorstep is to install a single bolt, and you’re ready to hunt.

I find this very user-friendly as it eliminates assembly time on our part. The less time spent on going through the manual, the more time for shooting.

I do suggest you to go through the whole manual, still. It contains instructions on how to take care of the bow, which are very important to know and follow if you want your bow to last for decades.


420 fps is crazy fast. However you should know that the speed test was performed using a 380 grain arrow instead of the usual 400 grain arrow (that some Barnett crossbows use). Regardless of which arrow you’ll use (380 or 400 grain), you’ll definitely kill large game.

Overall Performance

barnett ghost 420 review

The Barnett Ghost 420 performs well as a flagship crossbow. It’s fast, powerful, and accurate. Everything else is premium, from the design to the materials. I’m loving this crossbow so far. It’s not the lightest crossbow at 7.6 lbs. However it does excell in stability and maneuverability thanks to its carbonlite riser and shorter axle to axle.

The features scream “innovation” and owning one of these feels so good as a hunter.

Another thing I’d like to add is the built-in string stops – they’re doing well in reducing string oscillation and vibration, which gives me a quiet shot every time.

Barnett Ghost Problems: The Ghost 415 Recall

Back in 8th of December 2016, Barnett issued a recall on some of their crossbow models due to issues of its anti-dry fire mechanism. Two of those models are the Ghost 415 Monochrome and the Ghost 415 Mossy Oak.

There were three reported incidents of the defect, and one of those resulted to a hand laceration.

An estimate of 3,300 units were recalled and Barnett’s solution was to instruct owners to immediately get in contact for a free replacement of the trigger and nock sensor.

After that disaster, Barnett has solved the issue. They also upgraded the 415 fps to 420, making it one of the fastest crossbows on the market.

Another improvement of the Ghost 420 over the 415 model is a more compact design thanks to the shorter axle to axle length (20.125″). It does weigh 0.6 lbs more than the 415 model. However, the Ghost 420 uses Carbonlite technology which aids in stability and durability.

Barnett Ghost 420 Review: 2nd Opinion

As I complete this review I noticed that I haven’t said much bad things about the crossbow. I personally find a review that only praises the product hard to believe. Is the Ghost 420 by Barnett really that good?

Of course it’s even harder to believe if it was just coming from me. That’s why I’m bringing in another review from someone else so you can get another opinion on the crossbow.

Without wasting much time, here what others have to say about the Barnett Ghost 420:

Barnett Ghost 420 Pros and Cons:

  • Extremely powerful
  • Accurate
  • Very fast
  • Lightweight (mostly due to the carbon riser)
  • Premium features
  • Premium design
  • Compact
  • Expensive
  • Comes with only two arrows
  • Unlike the Razr Ice, Ghost 420 does not come with a retractable underarm counter-balance support system

Barnett Ghost 420 Price

I bought mine at 995 USD from Amazon (that was on Novermber 2017). You can click here to check the current price.

Is it Worth the Price?

Just looking at the features, I already knew that it was worth the price. Then I felt it was worth more than the price when I finally took it out for shooting. The first time I shot it (at 30 yards), I didn’t expect it to hit the target that fast. There was almost no flight time. I shot it again at 50 yards and I kept hitting 2 inches apart.

Anyway, in my opinion, yes – the Barnett Ghost 420 is worth the price. The quality is evident when you handle the bow.

Barnnet Ghost 420 Warranty

The warranty is five years for the original owner of the bow that’s why I bought mine for brand new. Just make sure to register it within ten days of purchase.


All-in-all the Barnett Ghost 420 is a very fine flagship crossbow. Thanks to its premium design and premium build, it’s a bow that combines extreme power and accuracy. The overall performance surpassed my expectations, and I highly recommend it to the serious hunter.


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