EK Archery Vlad Self Cocking Repeating Crossbow Review: Buy?

In the realm of archery, there's something uniquely thrilling about taking hold of a finely crafted crossbow. 

It's a blend of the old and the new, tradition and innovation. 

Today, we're going to delve into the world of crossbows with a review of a particularly impressive specimen – the EK Archery VLAD Self Cocking Repeating Pistol Crossbow.

This isn't just any crossbow, and with a price tag of $341.99, you'd expect nothing less. 

The Vlad is a high-powered, sleek piece of archery equipment that merges the age-old skill of archery with the precision of modern technology. 

It's a device that promises a lot, but does it deliver? We'll be exploring this question and more in our comprehensive review.

Throughout this piece, we'll be discussing key features such as its firing speed, which ranges from 165 to 215 feet per second, the options for draw weight limbs at both 60lb and 90lb, and the 5.5″ powerstroke. 

We'll also touch on its overall weight, coming in at 4.1lbs, and how that affects handling and usability. 

From its performance and handling to its design and durability, we'll be examining The Vlad from every angle to give you the most detailed review possible. 

Whether you're a seasoned archer or a curious newcomer, stick around to discover if this crossbow is worth the investment.


  • Firing Speed: 165-215 feet per second
  • Draw Weight Limbs: 60lb & 90lb options
  • Powerstroke: 5.5 inches
  • Bow Weight: 4.1lbs

Having examined the raw specifications, let's delve deeper into what each of these features means for The Vlad.

Firing Speed:

The Vlad's firing speed is one of its standout features. 

With a range of 165-215 feet per second, this crossbow offers both versatility and power. 

This kind of speed is ideal for target shooting, where precision is key. 

It's also strong enough for small game hunting, making The Vlad a crossbow that can fit multiple needs.

Draw Weight Limbs:

The Vlad comes with two options for draw weight limbs: 60lb and 90lb. 

This feature allows for customization based on your strength and skill level. 

The 60lb limb will be easier to manage for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed shooting experience. 

The 90lb limb, on the other hand, offers more power and speed, ideal for experienced archers seeking a challenge.


With a 5.5″ powerstroke, The Vlad provides a smooth, efficient shot. 

The powerstroke is the distance the string travels from its at rest position to its fully drawn position. 

A longer powerstroke generally means more speed and power, and at 5.5″, The Vlad's powerstroke ensures every shot has plenty of both.

Bow Weight:

Weighing in at 4.1lbs, The Vlad is a relatively lightweight crossbow. 

This makes it easier to handle, especially during longer shooting sessions. 

Its light weight also contributes to its portability, making it an ideal choice for those who want to take it on the go.

In addition to these core specifications, The Vlad also stands out with its self-cocking and repeating features. 

The self-cocking mechanism simplifies the process of preparing the bow for shooting, reducing the physical strain and making it more accessible to a wider range of users. 

The repeating feature, meanwhile, allows for quicker follow-up shots, enhancing efficiency and allowing for a smoother shooting experience.

In essence, The Vlad combines these specs and features to create a crossbow that's powerful, versatile, and user-friendly. 

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, this crossbow has a lot to offer.

My Personal Experience

One crisp autumn morning, I took The Vlad with me on a hunting trip. 

The forest was alive with the sounds of nature, a symphony of rustling leaves and distant bird calls. 

I had always been an avid bowhunter, but this was my first time venturing out with a crossbow, and I was eager to see how The Vlad would perform in a real-world scenario.

As I made my way deeper into the woods, the lightweight design of The Vlad was immediately noticeable. 

At just 4.1lbs, it was comfortable to carry, even over the rugged terrain and longer distances. 

The lightweight design didn't compromise the solidity and robustness of the crossbow, a testament to the quality of its construction.

I found a suitable spot and settled in for the wait. 

Before long, a small deer stepped into my line of sight. 

Quietly, I picked up The Vlad and prepared to take the shot. 

I was using the 90lb draw weight limb, which provided a satisfying balance of challenge and power. 

The self-cocking feature proved to be a godsend, allowing me to ready my shot without alarming my quarry or straining myself physically.

Taking a deep breath, I lined up my shot and released. 

The Vlad's power was palpable; the bolt flew with an impressive speed, landing accurately where I aimed. 

The deer hardly had a chance to react before it was hit. 

The sheer speed of the bolt at 215 feet per second was nothing short of remarkable.

As I made my way over to claim my prize, I took a moment to appreciate the efficiency of The Vlad. 

It had transformed what could have been a strenuous experience into a smooth, enjoyable hunt. 

I felt a sense of satisfaction, not just in the successful hunt, but also in the knowledge that I had a reliable, powerful tool in my hands.

The rest of the day passed in a similar fashion. 

The Vlad performed consistently well, with every shot smooth and accurate. 

And, when it came time to pack up and head home, the lightweight and compact design made it easy to carry back.

All in all, my hunting experience with The Vlad was nothing short of impressive. 

It was a day filled with excitement, success, and a newfound respect for this powerful, versatile crossbow. 

Whether you're a seasoned hunter or just starting out, I wholeheartedly believe The Vlad is a worthy addition to any hunting arsenal.

Price and Value for Money

When it comes to the value proposition of The Vlad, the price tag of $341.99 might initially seem steep, especially when compared to basic models of crossbows on the market. 

However, it's essential to consider what you're getting for that cost.

The Vlad boasts a range of features that are often found in higher-end models. 

Its firing speed of 165-215 feet per second is impressive, as is the choice between 60lb and 90lb draw weight limbs. 

These options give you the ability to tailor your shooting experience based on your strength, skill level, and the particular needs of your activity, whether it's target shooting or hunting.

Moreover, the 5.5″ powerstroke ensures smooth and efficient shots, while the relatively lightweight design of the bow, at 4.1lbs, makes it easy to handle and transport. 

It's worth noting that the self-cocking and repeating features of The Vlad are typically found in much more expensive crossbows. 

These features significantly enhance the user experience, making shooting easier and more efficient.

In terms of durability and construction quality, The Vlad doesn't disappoint. 

This isn't a crossbow that you'll have to replace after a few uses; it's built to last, providing reliability and consistent performance over time.

When you factor in all these elements, the price of The Vlad starts to look like a good investment. 

Yes, it's more expensive than some entry-level crossbows, but what you're getting is a high-quality, feature-rich crossbow that can compete with many higher-end models.

In terms of value for money, The Vlad presents a compelling case. 

It's a powerful, versatile crossbow that caters to both beginners and experienced archers, offering a smooth, efficient shooting experience that justifies its price point.

The Drawbacks

Despite the many impressive features of The Vlad, no product is without its drawbacks. 

One thing I noted during my time with this crossbow was the learning curve associated with adjusting to the self-cocking mechanism. 

While it's designed to make the shooting process easier, it does take some getting used to, especially for those accustomed to traditional crossbows.

I recall one instance early on in my experiences with The Vlad. 

I was out in my backyard, setting up for a round of target practice. 

I was still becoming familiar with the self-cocking feature, and in my eagerness, I didn't fully engage the mechanism. 

As a result, the string slipped just as I was preparing to take a shot. 

It was a startling moment, and it served as a reminder that every new feature comes with a learning curve.

Luckily, no harm was done, and after that incident, I made sure to take extra care when using the self-cocking feature. 

With a bit of practice, I was able to master it, and it has since become one of the aspects of The Vlad I appreciate most. 

However, for those new to self-cocking crossbows, it's a point worth being mindful of.

Additionally, while the choice between 60lb and 90lb draw weight limbs is a plus, the process of changing the limbs isn't as straightforward as it could be. 

If you plan to regularly switch between them, it's worth noting that it might take a bit of time and effort.

Overall, these drawbacks are relatively minor, especially when weighed against the many benefits of The Vlad. 

They do not detract significantly from the overall user experience, but they're worth keeping in mind when considering this crossbow.

Should You Buy? Concluding the Review

As we draw this review to a close, the question remains: should you buy The Vlad? In my experience, the answer is a resounding yes.

The Vlad delivers where it matters most. 

With a firing speed ranging from 165-215 feet per second, it offers power and versatility. 

The choice between 60lb and 90lb draw weight limbs allows you to customize your shooting experience, and the 5.5″ powerstroke ensures smooth, efficient shots. 

The relatively lightweight design enhances usability and portability, making it an excellent choice for both hunting trips and backyard target practice.

Its standout features, the self-cocking and repeating mechanisms, significantly elevate the user experience. 

Once you get used to the self-cocking feature, it simplifies the process of preparing the bow for shooting. 

The repeating feature allows for quicker follow-up shots, making your shooting experience more efficient.

While there are minor drawbacks, such as the initial learning curve with the self-cocking mechanism and the process of changing the limbs, they pale in comparison to the crossbow's advantages. 

With a bit of practice, these issues become less prominent and do not significantly detract from the overall experience.

Considering the quality, performance, and features of The Vlad, the price of $341.99 is justified. 

It's an investment, but it's one that pays off in terms of the enhanced shooting experience and the durability of the crossbow.

In conclusion, The Vlad is more than just a crossbow; it's a tool that can enhance your archery experience, regardless of your skill level. 

Whether you're a seasoned archer looking for a new challenge or a beginner eager to delve into the world of crossbows, The Vlad is a choice that you're unlikely to regret.

Click here to learn more about the EK Archery Vlad Self Cocking Repeating Crossbow and get the best price on Amazon.