Horton Havoc Crossbow

By Dave Dolbee published on in Archery, General, Reviews

The decision is in! Americans are embracing the crossbow in unprecedented numbers.

Crossbow sales are booming as more and more states adopt laws legalizing its use for general or archery hunting seasons. The reasons are simple. As is true with most weapons, it takes time for the message spouted by the uneducated to be demystified. Crossbows do not offer a great “unfair” advantage, nor will crossbow-hunting cause the depopulation of any species of game—big or small.

Horton Havoc Crossbow

The Horton Havoc provides plenty of speed and power to harvest any game animal in North America.

The truth of the matter is that we have an exploding whitetail population thanks to proper habitat and herd management. We also have an aging hunting population. Many hunters, who enjoyed the pursuit with a stick and string in hand, simply cannot draw the heavier weight of a vertical bow anymore. Others have spent their time afield with a rifle and are simply looking for new adventure, another challenge. Here, the horizontal bow is the perfect solution and a great introduction to bow hunting.

For many years, I hunted exclusively with a bow and arrow. Even when I was invited on a pheasant hunt, I raised more than one eyebrow when I lined up behind a dog with a longbow in hand. The brows went even higher when they realized it was not a joke.

Recently, I received a Horton Havoc to review. I am no stranger to horizontal bows. In fact, I was the first editor of Petersen’s Crossbow Hunting Magazine when it was launched several years ago. So the opportunity to put the Havoc through its paces was a welcomed assignment.

Horton Decocking Arrow

Horton’s de-cocking arrow fills a very simple yet necessary niche. Featuring a durable fiberglass shaft and blunt tip for easy recovery from both targets and the ground, it provides a safe, convenient way to de-cock your bow after your hunt.

The Havoc

My impressions of Horton’s Havoc were varied, but all good. The Havoc is a reverse draw model, which makes the entire package much slimmer and easier to wield. The quiet, compact powerhouse handles like a dream and delivers an incredible mix of innovation and performance. The Havoc is built with a CNC-machined riser for incredible accuracy and balance from most any shooting position. Adding to the power generation are the CNC-machined cams, which result in a 325 fps speed rating.

No corners were cut on the Havoc. Horton outfits each Havoc with its handcrafted Viper X string for the fastest possible flight and increased durability. Novices, and those unfamiliar or tentative at taking their first shots, will be comforted by Horton’s anti-dry fire mechanism. This mechanism keeps the crossbow from firing without an arrow or with an arrow that is not properly seated.


Horton included a CNC Picatinny rail sight-bridge for easy mounting of your favorite optic. Eye’s—old and young—will enjoy the Havoc’s optic. My package came standard with a 4×32 Mult-A-Range Scope, with consistent 4X magnification; 4-inch constant eye relief and Mult-A-Range reticle system with integrated windage marks, and precise ½-inch MOA click adjustment at 100 yards.

Horton Mult-A-Range Crossbow Scope

Horton 4×32 Mult-A-Range Crossbow Scope features 4 inches of constant eye relief.

Two, solid, composite limbs power the Havoc, which include the CH Arm design for in-field string replacement. The ergonomic stock has an interchangeable recoil pad and ambidextrous Monte Carlo cheek rest for added comfort. Horton designed the Havoc with an optimized MIM Talon ultra light trigger, foot stirrup with boot ridges, RDT Cocking Sled, Arachnid BLK 5 Arrow Quiver and three Savage arrows.


The Horton Havoc provides plenty of speed and power to harvest any game animal in North America. The RDT Cocking Sled made loading the limbs a breeze. With a bit of coaching, I had my wife cocking the bow for me, but the Tom Sawyer thing only lasts for a couple of shots.

The trigger was smooth and broke crisply. The recoil was moderate for a 175-pound crossbow and the optic was clear. I tested the speed by shooting 10 shots through the chronograph. The test resulted in a 327 fps average with 2 fps deviation across the entire group.


Havoc 175

  • Draw Weight: 175
  • Length: 34.5 inches
  • Powerstroke: 13 inches
  • Feet Per Second: 325
  • Overall Width: 17.5 inches
  • Loaded Width (Axle to Axle): 8 3/8 inches
  • Weight: 8.3 pounds
  • Arrow Length:< 20 inches

Havoc 150

  • Draw Weight: 150
  • Length: 34.5 inches
  • Powerstroke: 13 inches
  • Feet Per Second: 300 *Savage Arrow
  • Overall Width: 17.5 inches
  • Loaded Width (Axle-to-Axle): 8 3/8 inches
  • Weight: 8.3 pounds
  • Arrow Length: 17.5 inches

What are your thoughts on crossbows? Let us know.

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