Scorpyd Orion Extreme Crossbow Review
By Matt Bastian
In 2014 Wisconsin legalized the use of crossbows during archery season. It had been years since I had been able to hunt during bow season. Being an avid rifle shooter and a contractor I was left little time to refine my archery skills. Knowing that I could leverage many of the skills that I use with the rifle to shoot a crossbow, I set out to buy a crossbow. I bought an entry level setup and began refining my technique.
Scorpyd Orion Extreme Crossbow
I was confident in that entry level rig to about forty yards. It wasn’t particularly fast, but sufficient to get me back into archery season. The trajectory was nearly interchangeable with the compound that I used to hunt with. I was unable to fill my tag during the first crossbow season, but I was all in.
In spring of 2015 I was lucky enough to happen into a deal on a PSE TAC Elite. The difference from my old setup was significant and immediately noticeable. This new high performance setup was unlike anything that I had launched arrows from in the past. The improved trajectory and higher resistance to wind factors was great but the accuracy was the real advantage. I ended the 2015 season with my first crossbow buck at 35 yards. Not a long shot or a big buck, but by my measure a successful season.
Fast forward a year and a half and Andy Backus of the Long Range Hunting Store presented me with the chance to test the Scorpyd Orion Extreme. Andy and I had met years ago when he and his father Len were homebuilders that I had done work for, and more recently when I needed some Firenock lighted nocks for my Tac Elite. I had little doubt that if Andy and Len chose to sell the Scorpyd Orion Extreme, it couldn’t be anything less than a premium product, but could the Scorpyd Orion Extreme compete with the discontinued PSE TAC Elite crossbow?
Scorpyd Orion Extreme Crossbow
The Scorpyd Orion Extreme crossbow is a 160 pound, reverse draw crossbow (also available in a 175 pound version with the AcuDraw). The tested model came from the factory with the AcuDraw cocking device. Glass on the Orion Extreme was the Hawke optics XB30 Pro. Aerobolt II arrows rounded out the shooting system and are the recommended projectiles for this setup.
I was actually able to test two separate Scorpyd Orion Extreme crossbows. The first shots out of each were within an inch of dead center. The Long Range Hunting Store mounts each scope level and true, tunes each bow and sights each crossbow in at twenty yards before shipping to its new owner. The only thing I had to do was cock it and shoot.
Cutting the fletching of your arrows is a common problem with the Scorpyd crossbows as I found out with the first three shot group at 30 yards. Two of the arrows had cut fletching because of the tight grouping. After that I shot at separate bulls eyes on the target until I got out to eighty yards. Confirming sight in I quickly worked my way out in ten yard increments until I reached 80 yards, shooting in the parking lot of my shop from corner to corner of the lot. The first three shot group at 80 was 2 1/2”, exceeding any group I’ve been able to shoot with my PSE TAC Elite at that distance.
After stretching the legs of the Scorpyd Orion Extreme at the shop, I was looking forward to taking it out to my hunting land and shooting it to the one hundred yards the scope is set up for. Not wanting to chance losing one of the Aerobolt arrows that weren’t mine, I again worked out in ten yard increments, this time starting from fifty. One arrow each distance out to one hundred yards again confirmed the setting on the Hawke XB30 Pro scope. At one hundred yards I was able to shoot a couple 3” groups before I had to shut it down for the day.
After twice confirming the trajectory of the Hawke optic and the consistency of the Scorpyd Orion Extreme, I was confident I could shoot any distance to one hundred yards. My last time out was a cold and drizzling April day. There was a light wind and no sun. Now shooting prone off of a bipod, I was looking to get some good one hundred yard groups.
2 1/2 inch group at 100 yards
The first group was 2 1/2” and slightly to the left due to the light crosswind. The next two groups were four and five inches, either because of varying winds or poor shooting, either is possible. The final group was again 2 1/2” but on target. I feel that in better weather and with a better shooter behind it, the Scorpyd would be capable of shooting even tighter groups. After satisfying myself with some nice groups, I was able to shoot the Scorpyd at varying distances and from different positions. The crossbow was consistent and accurate with every shot and any position.
The Scorpyd Orion Extreme crossbow in its case
There are many pros with this Scorpyd Orion Extreme setup. The factory trigger is light and smooth. I haven’t touched a trigger on a crossbow that pulls like the ones on the Scorpyd crossbows. The weight and balance are another plus. It is light enough to shoot offhand, which is a big difference from my TAC Elite, and compact enough to carry on a stalk or shoot from a treestand. One thing that really impressed me was how quiet these crossbows are, given that they shoot 410+ fps. I’ve shot lower performance crossbows that are louder. The AcuDraw cocking device requires very little effort to crank; it can be drawn silently by the flip of a switch.
The Hawke XB30 Pro is an ideal optic for this rig. The glass is clear and the adjustment for your particular crossbow’s velocity is basically foolproof. The Hawke is suitable for velocities from 215 to 450 fps. Once you have it sighted in at 20 yards you simply move out to a further distance and adjust the zoom until you are zeroed at that distance on the reticle. The scope zooms from 1-5x, at 215 fps 1x and at 450fps 5x. Setting it around 410 fps for the Orion extreme would put the zoom at just above 4x.
The two Hawke scopes that I tested required almost no adjustment since they were already sighted in by the Long Range Hunting Store and set to the approximate velocity setting. The XB30 comes with flip up lens covers and a battery to power the illuminated reticle. The only drawback I found with this scope was how tight the snaps were on the flip up covers, requiring more effort to open than I like.
The cons for this set up are short. The Acudraw leaves no way to let down the draw on the unit, requiring you to fire the bolt to unload it. This, however, isn’t really out of the ordinary for most crossbows. There is also no way to mount a quiver and bipod at the same time. The Long Range Hunting Store will attach a picatinny rail to the bottom to allow the mounting of one or the other, there just isn’t room for both. I would personally opt for the bipod for steady long range shots.
After writing his review, Matt ended up purchasing a Scorpyd Crossbow and killed this doe on opening weekend.
The Scorpyd Orion Extreme is a definite step up when it comes to high performance crossbows. In the right conditions and with enough trigger time, I would be confident out to one hundred yards with this setup. That was the biggest difference I found in shooting the Orion Extreme versus my PSE Tac Elite, the confidence in the shot to shot consistency of the Scorpyd Orion Extreme.
Editor's Note - After this article was written Scorpyd introduced the new Aculeus Crossbow which shoots up to 450 fps. For more information or to purchase a Scorpyd Crossbow from The Long Range Hunting Store - CLICK HERE.