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Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact Review - Tactical Archery
The Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact is the latest and greatest "pistol crossbow" from steambow.
This ultra-lightweight, rugged and reliable modular crossbow seems more like a toy at first glance, but it's actually as far away from a toy as you can get without being classified as a hunting crossbow in the US.
Its small, compact design prevents it from being accepted as a hunting crossbow, except for rats and other small vermin that you may find around a farmyard or local dump.
With that said, the Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact certainly has its place as a close-range shooter, being both accurate and powerful enough to scrub up on your accuracy and get acquainted with an exceptional compact crossbow.
However, the lack of a safety catch on this crossbow makes it unsuitable for first-time beginners and therefore should only be used by those with experience.
Let's take a closer look at all the Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact has to offer...
When it comes to specs, it's clear to see that the Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact is well equipped for both power and accuracy, whilst also being lightweight enough to carry and use in fast-paced urban environments and even indoors.
Below are the published specifications for this crossbow:
- Manufacturer: Steambow
- Model: AR-6 Stinger II
- Draw weight: 55 pounds
- Power stroke: 8 inches
- Arrow length: 6 inches
- Arrow speed: 190 fps
- Trigger pull: 3.5 pounds; no safety mechanism
- Sights: Fiber-optic standard; laser or red-dot sights optional
- Cocking device: Integrated drop-stock cocking mechanism
- Length: 22 to 24.5 inches with adjustable butt-stock
- Axle-to-axle width: 17.5 inches uncocked; 15.5 inches ready to fire
- Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Other features: Six-shot magazine, adjustable AR-15-style butt stock; adjustable, removable foregrip; upper and lower Picatinny rails for mounting laser and red-dot sights, weapon lights, and other accessories; composite fiberglass/carbon-fiber limbs; one replacement string; six target arrows or three broadhead hunting arrows.
The Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact has a 6-shot magazine with an integrated accessory compartment.
The magazine can also be operated in a single-shot mode if preferred. The fire rate is extremely fast which makes it applicable in many applications.
The AR-6 Stinger 2 compact is three times lighter than the Adder and is much easier and more comfortable to cock than the Adder too.
This makes it more suitable for those that are a little weaker and have found it difficult to load crossbows in the past.
It's one of the many benefits of this impressive compact crossbow. Instead of having to use a seperate cocking tool and using your feet as an anchor, the mechanism is built into the device.
The steambow is cocked by pressing a thumb release lever where the stock meets the body.
It opens so that the stinger can be folded in half, which is why it's a great idea to attach the vertical foregrip for extra leverage.
It seems a little strange at first, but after a couple of times going through the motion, it's incredibly easy and much more comfortable than cocking some other crossbows.
The Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact has a lot of optional customisations that make using this crossbow a truly thrilling experience.
Customising your crossbow allows you to achieve a more personal feel, as well as optimise your bow to exactly how you like.
Below we've listed some of the best customisations for this pistol crossbow:
A vertical foregrip attachment to this crossbow increases stability and is perfect for providing that extra leverage when it comes to cocking the crossbow.
Not only that, but it allows the shooter to be more accurate at both long and short distances and gives a better overall feel when using the Stinger 2 compact.
It's incredibly easy to fit and simply requires you to tighten the screw cap on the bottom side of the foregrip, which pushes a retaining nipple up into the picatinny rail slot.
Red Dot Sight
Attaching a Stinger red dot sight to the Stinger 2 compact is an easy way to make this pistol crossbow more accurate.
The red dot sight is completely made from aluminium and is very lightweight, it also has a choice of reticle which includes "crosshairs" for precise shots, as well as a "circle" for quick target acquisition, and even a "dot" to cover little of the target.
There is the option to choose between red and green which means the shooter has the best possible contrast depending on the environment.
It also features a brightness setting which helps for shooting in low light conditions.
Fitting a red dot sight to the pistol crossbow is easy, simply slide it over the rail and tighten the bolts.
Flashlight / Laser
If you suspect you may be using the Stinger 2 compact in low light situations, it may be an idea to add a flashlight or laser to the crossbow.
The stinger tactical lamp has a luminosity of 300 lumens and is a great addition to this pistol crossbow.
The light comes with a universal bracket and can be attached to all steambow AR-6 models.
A green laser dot also offers increased visibility of the target, even when shooting in bright ambient light.
The laser can also be attached to all models of the AR-6 and is easy to fit.
Simply attach the bracket and then proceed to fit the laser to the brack, within minutes, a laser or flashlight can be added to the Steambow Stinger AR-6 Compact.
Despite the crossbow being incredibly lightweight, and weighing only 1.2kg, sometimes you may need to use both hands when navigating the environment.
This is where the stinger shoulder strap comes in. A tactical one-point sling that comes with a quick-release fastener and can be easily detached from the stinger in an instant.
The sling is made from stretchy nylon material and fastens to the attachment point on the back of the magazine.
If you're one for making your crossbow unique, then adding a colour kit customisation will allow you to change the style and colour of the Stinger 2 compact.
With a range of different colours including white, olive, blue, pink, white, and more, there is a range of options to choose from to make this crossbow truly unique.
With the Stinger 2 colour kits, you can easily change the colour of the buttstock, side panels, pistol grip, trigger, and vertical foregrip.
Pros And Cons
The Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact certainly is without doubt an incredibly impressive crossbow, but its not without its drawbacks.
Below we've listed some of the pros and cons that come along with owning this pistol crossbow:
- Ultra-lightweight - The stinger 2 compact is made from high-quality polymer, yet only weighs 1.2kg fully equipped.
- Fast reloading - The new fast charger means the crossbow can be reloaded in a matter of seconds with five new bolts.
- Fast target acquisition - Thanks to the new front sight, aiming with the stinger 2 compact is more intuitive, and staying on target is easy whilst firing.
- Highly customisable - Customising the stinger 2 compact is a breeze. With a range of different options to choose from such as red dot sights, flashlights, slings, colour kits, and more - making this crossbow unique to you is certainly a viable option.
- Surprisingly powerful - For a pistol crossbow that weighs less than a bag of apples, the stinger 2 compact is incredibly powerful, making it perfect for hunting small pests, self-protection, or backyard practice.
- Premium cost - It certainly isn't the cheapest pistol crossbow on the market, priced at £299.95. However, we strongly believe the value for money here is exceptional, and there's no doubt that it will last for many years.
- Not a compound crossbow - Despite the stinger 2 compound being powerful for a crossbow of its class, if you're looking for a big game hunting crossbow, this isn't for you.
There is no doubt that the Stinger AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact is one of the best pistol crossbows that money can buy.
With performance, power, and lots of customisations, the Stinger 2 compact is perfect for those looking for a fairly priced pistol crossbow that is ideal for indoor use and in urban environments.
This ultra-lightweight shooter has the fastest rate of fire for a repeating crossbow on the market whilst performing incredibly well close-quarters.
The Stinger 2 compact also features a new "speedloader" that can be reloaded in just a few seconds and has an incredibly high fire rate.
The materials the Stinger 2 compact is made from make this crossbow incredibly reliable and robust, and practically indestructible thanks to the impact-resistant plastic.
In closing, we believe that this is one of the best pistol crossbows money can buy. It's lightweight, strong, powerful, and looks great.
Yes, it is a little pricey, but that's to be expected for an incredibly well-built premium product.
Those looking for a pistol crossbow that is compact, durable, and has tons of features will love this product.
If you are considering the Steambow AR-6 Stinger 2 Compact as an addition to your arsenal, then look no further.
At Tactical Archery we offer unbeatable prices as well as UK next-day delivery on all orders.