Crossbow Shotgun! Shooting the Zubin X340

In Reviews & Videos by TWANGnBANG

How Much and Where to Buy: $533 from

+ Shoots arrows and shot-filled sabots
+ Great accuracy with both projectile types
+ Safety automatically engages when cocked
+ Relatively quiet with very little vibration when shot
+ Good price for a complete, ready-to-shoot package
–  Must place fingers in precarious position when loading sabot
–  Included arrows should be longer for increased safety when loading broadheads

The Zubin X340 is sold as a ready-to-shoot package.

The Zubin X340 is sold as a ready-to-shoot package.

Zubin Outdoors claims that their X340 is the world’s most versatile crossbow, and I think that’s a valid claim.  The X340 shoots arrows just like any other modern crossbow, but it also shoots sabots filled with 16 pellets of lead shot.  Both leave the barrel at an average velocity of 340fps, hence the name.

The bow is sold as a ready-to-shoot package complete with a TruGlo 4×32 illuminated scope and rings, 6 Black Eagle arrows, a 3 arrow quiver, cocking rope, and 10 pre-loaded sabots.  This is remarkable given the street price combined with the versatility of its design.

The sabots hold 16 BB-sized lead pellets.

The sabots hold 16 BB-sized lead pellets.

The included 22″ arrows averaged around 370 grains, and the loaded sabots averaged closer to 376 grains.  This means that the X340 will experience roughly the same load when firing either an arrow or a sabot, and that’s a good thing because shooting one or the other will not likely result in greater stress to the bow.

Accuracy was very good with both.  I had no problems shooting half-inch 5-shot groups with the included arrows at 25 yards, and the point of impact of the shot patterns was very repeatable.  This bow is a blast on the range and will give you many unique ways to get out and shoot a crossbow that you can’t when shooting just arrows.

The sabots' "wings" stick out past the sides of the central barrel.

The sabots’ “wings” stick out past the sides of the central barrel.

My main complaint about the X340 is that loading a sabot requires the shooter to place fingers in the shot path.  Latch failures are extremely, extremely rare, but they do happen.  When a latch fails on a cocked crossbow, typically the string is released as if you pulled the trigger.  If this very rare event happened and your hand were in front of a projectile, you have a significant chance of injury.

I have never experienced failures of any kind whatsoever with the X340, but I always treat every crossbow like a latch failure could happen.  This is not any different than treating every firearm like it’s loaded and is not a reflection on the design specific to the X340.  However, the X340’s design means that should a sabot get stopped in the barrel by friction before fully seating, you will have to get your hands in front of the wings of the sabot to ramrod it the rest of the way.  I’m not sure how to improve the design for this, but as is, you must make your own decision about the risks you are willing to take when loading a sabot.

That said, there is no question that the Zubin X340 lets you have fun in ways typically limited to a shotgun once you tire of drilling bullseyes with its arrows.