Barnett Ghost 420

9.5 score
(TheGearHunt) score (9.5)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 11 user ratings
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Barnett Ghost 420 Review Facts

It is rare to come across a weapon that has such good feedback all around. When you do manage to come across something that well spoken of, it is hard to pass up the opportunity to dig a little deeper and find out for yourself what makes it so great. You might go in hopeful, or as a skeptic, but it is always a good idea to educate yourself regardless of your starting viewpoint. When it comes to the Barnett Ghost 420 crossbow, rest assured that if you are not a believer when you begin your investigation, you will surely be a believer by the time you finish. The manual even offers troubleshooting guidelines in case of a problem, though virtually none were reported, and is available online if you need (or just prefer) to see your owner’s manual on a computer. With so much offered and so much available to help you succeed, it is no real wonder that the user feedback was mostly delights of expression, praise for the product, and a confirmation of quality.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Trigger Tech style with Frictionless Release Technology
  • Convenient “Soft-Lok” floating bristle arrow retainer
  • Exclusive camouflage print
  • Potentially hard to cock

Primary Use

As with most objects that are termed a “weapon” the purpose of the Barnett Ghost 420 is to hunt. If an arrow bolt can take it down, this crossbow will do the job, reportedly even larger creatures such as deer. If you can see a kill zone, this crossbow can hit it, and you will have a new trophy on your wall or a meal on your table in no time. On a lesser note, do not forget to try not to appear too smug when you out-shoot your hunting pals, or catch them throwing jealous gazes your way. If you are feeling particularly generous you can even let them shoot it once, provided they do not damage your arrows. There are so many options for crossbows, from arrow type to weapon materials choice, but for the most part they all have one common denominator: the potential to hear the phrase ‘dinner is served’.


This single-bolt assembly crossbow comes with all the bells and whistles. A carbon lite riser, machined aluminum flight track, and their Trigger Tech system all make for a lightweight and advanced hunting experience. It also features the Barnett “Soft-Lok” floating bristle arrow retainer, finger safety reminders, a pass-through fore-grip, and 7/8” Picatinny rails. There are nock sensors for an anti-dry fire assurance, as well as a three pound zero creep release. The handle grip located just behind the trigger is molded to suit multiple fingers in pre-set grooves, with a wide enough area that you can fire with gloves on without fear. The arrows that are tucked away safely in the quiver are tip-guarded to avoid accidental poking or skewering, all wrapped up into a glorious and lethal package. This crossbow is fast, accurate, and a thing of beauty.

Weight & Size

This weapon bears a shockingly light weight, for which every hunter will be thankful if they have ever had to hike uphill to either approach their hunting grounds or hike back home, presumably with a kill on their belt or shoulders. As with some rifles, this particular crossbow weighs in at under ten pounds: just over seven and a half, to be more exact. It is 37.4 inches in length and 22 inches wide. The length from axle to axle is 20.125 inches. Of course, if you add accessories the overall shape and weight will increase, but even then, it is well worth the increase if it means bringing home the bacon – or venison, if you prefer.


As was mentioned previously, the Barnett Ghost 420 sports the Trigger Tech firing system. What this means is that the metal injection molded trigger offers a smoother, lighter pull by having a roller that floats freely between both sear and latch. This should happen every time you pull the trigger. According to the manual that should come with every crossbow purchase – assuming you do not buy privately at a garage sale and approach a reputable retailer for your shopping – you should make careful note of any pull weight or binding when you actuate; this could be a decrease in quality or performance due to wear and tear. If you plan on using your crossbow frequently, be on the lookout for such problems. Additionally, pay attention to general maintenance needs, just like you would with oil changes on your car. Every good tool needs good care.


The boon or bane of every weapon owner is in the extras. Often times there are two schools of thought on any aftermarket additions to a weapon. You may either hear something like ‘why would you turn down a device that helps you do better?’ countered with ‘if it needs extras to work worth a hill of beans, then it should come with them standard.’ It is an excellent point, so it cannot be stressed enough: even with no extra accessories, your Ghost 420 will be an impressive piece of engineering and a fine addition to your hunting cabinet. Now, if you wanted to add some extra bonus features for comfort or clarity, there are options available. There is a side-mounted quiver that has a push-button release; a sling to simplify your transportation and free up your hands for whatever you might be carrying home for supper; a rope cocking device; and even a rubber butt-pad extension piece in order to make your crossbow fit more comfortably when you aim. Additionally, this crossbow is compatible with other crank-cocking devices (if you have a specific one in mind, best to double check that it will function smoothly with the Ghost 420 and can mount a 1.5-5 x 32mm Premium Illuminated Scope on top, enhancing your accuracy with reticles that are synced with speed. Just always make a point when shopping of checking compatibility with your intended device, so as not to have the rookie dilemma of a weapon and accessories that do not go together. Always do your research based on your personal wants and needs in a crossbow and crossbow accessories to ensure you can avoid something as potentially frustrating or dis heartening as opening the box and finding your accessory parts entirely incorrect for your weapon.


There would be very little issue with a plain black or wood finish crossbow, provided it did not give off a glare that would alert potential targets to your presence. It would, however, seem a bit limited or boring when compared to the multitudes of designs or patterning available in this day and age. Upon closer inspection of Barnett’s own website, it seems that the finish offered for this gorgeous tool – referred to as ‘mossy oak tree-stand monochromatic’ via the online catalog – is exclusive to this particular crossbow. While surely a weapon should not be chosen simply for its aesthetics, it certainly does not hurt to have a gorgeous camouflaging pattern with a sneaky skull detail at the butt end in your hands as you show it off to your friends and fellow hunters or raise it to strike true to your acquired target. Just bear in mind that it is not intended to remain cocked all day, so if you find yourself with a lull while hunting, give the strings a rest.


Boasting even more speed than the Ghost 375, this edition of the Barnett Ghost will fire at a speed of 420 feet per second – that number might sound familiar from its name. Just bear in mind that this speed was measured on a 380 grain arrow, so if you are firing something different that number might vary slightly. How does it achieve such speeds? A one-hundred eighty-five pound draw is the answer. If numeric stats are important to you, you may also note that it has 153 ft lbs of kinetic energy, as well a s a 15.375 inch power stroke. It also has string dampeners to modify or customize your strings to your liking, if need be. It was noted among feedback from users that the weapon was rough for some people while trying to cock it, but the crank helped alleviate this hardship and reported no issues with firing speed one applied. Just imagine yourself in a blind, watching a deer come into view. You think about your buddy a dozen or so feet away and how his mouth will be watering at the sight of that deer. You are too far away to call ‘dibs’ silently, so instead you opt to simply shoot. By the time your brain has registered that the arrow has been launched, you are calling dibs by way of embedding an arrow into the chest of your deer. With almost no firing effort, your arrow has observed its purpose grandly.


There are plenty of warnings and precautions and measures in place to ensure the safety of every hunter in the presence of a crossbow. There is also a generous amount of warning blurbs throughout the owner’s manual from Barnett, should your purchase include one (which it should, assuming you seek out a reputable retailer, but even if you do not it is available online in PDF format). It is recommended that you read through them all, as well as the instruction manual for this particular model of crossbow. You may be scoffing right now, thinking that you have used a crossbow before and therefore this one cannot be so different or difficult to figure out, but rest assured among its simplicity are intricate features that you need to be wary of, and might not be entirely familiar with. Take into consideration the nock sensors, and finger safety reminders, and do not be cocky. There are designed and engineered features on this crossbow to keep you safe, but if you do not read the manual you may not know how they function. Not knowing how a safety features works could lead to misusing it, damaging it or the crossbow, or injuring yourself or a fellow hunter. With all of that mentioned, you should also remember to bring lube wax with you and apply it after every five to ten shots of your crossbow whether they hit the target or not. This will ensure that your crossbow does not wear out on you when you need it most. To avoid other wear and tear, remember not to leave your weapon loaded and cocked for hours at a time. Above all else, though, you must be aware of and hopefully memorize the rules for crossbows in your area. There are links and registry information available online, but there is also a section of your manual dedicated to the North American Crossbow Federation, and if you are the type of person to seek like minds for discussion, comparison, contrast, or simply conversation, there is always bound to be a forum online. Just remember to take what you read with a potential grain of salt, for good or ill. Gather as much information as you can and decide for yourself.


As with most weaponry, the Ghost 420 is available at a variety of different retailers for a variety of different prices. Try to consider what you want out of your purchase: do you want some accessories included in a package sale? Do you already own accessories and just need the crossbow itself? These are questions whose answers will alter your expectations of price. With nothing else included, bare minimum, this crossbow can run as low as $999 new, possibly slightly less if used. If you attempt to add more accessories to a package deal, such as a cranking cock device, a scope, or even a carrying case or lube wax, your price will increase. The highest package deals that could be easily found online pushed the price tag as high as $1300 or more, depending upon the accessories included and their additional value. When there are competing sales or deals on, always weigh your options carefully and decide what accessories, if any, are more important to you than others. Do you already have a sling, even if it is not brand new? Avoid a deal that focuses on carrying cases or slings. If you already own a scope, avoid that particular package deal if possible. These are all fairly obvious ways of keeping the Ghost 420 in your price range. Be forewarned, however, of shopping used or private sellers of this item. One customer noted items missing when the box arrived, and it was something of a hassle to try and get things rectified. Verify your seller, verify your purchase, and if at all possible, it is recommended to shop with a company that offers a warranty and shipping guarantee of some kind. If you purchase your crossbow at a garage sale, its integrity cannot be properly verified. As they say, “sometimes you get what you pay for” and the Barnett Ghost 420 is well worth the investment of shopping safely, even if it means paying a bit more than originally anticipated.

Key Features

-Smooth, light trigger with FRT
-Single bolt assembly with floating bristle arrow retainer
-Molded trigger
-Anti-dry fire nock sensors

Bottom Line

As with most weaponry, good care and keeping will ensure a long life and many functional uses of the product. The same is certainly applicable when you look at the Barnett Ghost 420 crossbow. It is both camouflaged and stands out in all the right ways. It has an attached quiver, a scope mount capability, the ability to apply accessories to make your life easier while in use, as well as carrying case options for keeping it safely stored between hunting trips or just trips to the range for practice. With just enough accessory options in order to keep things interesting, as well as a single offered finish, the Barnett Ghost 420 offers flexibility to customize while still keeping folks reigned in from going overboard. It is suggested that if you find input from other users online for accessories that might not quite be compatible, do not believe something you have picked out will fit just because you want to trick out your crossbow. Always try to verify your purchase and glean as much information as you can from accessory sites or retailers when you walk in, so that you only have to walk in once. As is always pertinent to mention, be safe when handling your weapon and never point it at another person, even if it is not loaded. Granted, this manner of weapon should never be cocked back when unloaded at all, but even so, take heed: crossbows are not to be trifled with. They are, and always have been, just as deadly of weapons. Treat your crossbow with the respect it is due, and always maintain safety as your primary objective when out hunting, be it with friends or alone. With all that in mind, it is with confidence that the Barnett Ghost 420 is considered one of the best in the business.