Barnett Junior Youth Review


Bow LengthDraw WeightRecommended AgeHand
Barnett Junior

Barnett Outdoors Junior Team Realtree Youth Set

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34"15 lbs.5-10 yearsLeft & Right

Package Contents

Welcome to this review of the Barnett Outdoors Junior Team Realtree Lil Sioux Recurve Archery Set. This archery set is designed to get a young archer up and running quickly and easily. Each package delivered by Barnett includes the following items:

  • Barnett Lil Sioux Recurve Bow
  • 2 target arrows with field tips
  • Finger tab
  • Multi-color target

Assembling The Bow

Barnett’s Lil Sioux recurve bow comes preassembled, so there is no need to do anything other than open the packaging and remove everything. Then, take the archery gear to the backyard or range and get shooting. Just be careful if you cut open the package that you don’t cut the string.

How Powerful and Accurate is the Bow?

The Lil Sioux only has a 15# draw weight, so power is pretty limited. From close range, the bow is just powerful enough to get the arrow into the target, but we still saw a couple of arrows bounce off the target. That, I believe, is not because of a lack of power but because of the design of the bow itself. More on that later.

When arrows stuck in the target, the youth shooting the Lil Sioux were able to maintain 2.5” groupings from 25 yards. In my own experience, I was able to keep 1.5” groupings from 25 yards.

Attempting to shoot from further than 25 yards was more frustrating than anything else. This bow is simply not powerful enough for such long-range shooting.

Is The Bow Suitable For Hunting?

Since this is a beginner’s bow with a light 15# draw weight, it’s not acceptable for hunting purposes. The intent of this bow is to get a young archer learning the trade, and building up the skill, technique and strength necessary to shoot a heavier bow. If you were to shoot an animal with this bow, you might only wound it, perhaps seriously enough to die a long, agonizing death. Not recommended.

Is The Bow Suitable For Beginners?

In theory, this bow is suitable for beginners. In practice, however, there are a number of problems with the bow that restrict its usefulness as a starter bow. Rather than use an actual bowstring, Barnett has used what looks like a bootlace with loops tied at the end. This string is so thick that notching an arrow is a challenge for an experienced archer, much less a beginner. Furthermore, the arrows are imperfectly balanced, affecting their flight trajectory. Using third-party youth arrows gave a better experience, but Barnett should not have included such shoddy arrows in a product geared towards getting people interested in archery.

Does This Recurve Accept Accessories?

This is a beginner’s bow, so it does not accept any accessories. It does include a dovetail sight, but there is no way to attach any other sights or other accessories to the bow.

Arrows For The Barnett Lil Sioux

The Barnett Lil Sioux comes with 2 target arrows, but I would recommend buying additional arrows of a higher quality. The field tips come off easily, getting stuck in quivers or the ground. Furthermore, the fletching falls off quite too readily, requiring the arrow to be re-fletched. On the one hand, it’s good for teaching the youth how to maintain their arrows, but at the same time it prevents them from being able to enjoy the fun of archery.

Is This Bow Comfortable To Hold?

The Lil Sioux both is and is not comfortable to hold. Barnett has chosen to put a soft-touch grip on this recurve bow, which should make it more comfortable to hold. In reality, though, the rubberized grip makes the bow feel unnatural, and I would worry about young archers getting too used to that feeling and then not understanding why bigger bows feel differently in the hand.

The youth shooting the bow did not notice any heaviness or much fatigue after holding the bow for a while.

Materials And Durability (Riser, Limbs)

Barnett provides a 5-year limited warranty on the Lil Sioux, and that’s probably a good thing. I’ve seen several limbs break off under normal usage, and the soft-touch grip of one came unglued during one hot summer day.

The included arrows, as mentioned earlier, are very poor quality and tend to fall apart easily.

What String Fits The Barnett Lil Sioux?

Any regular Dacron string will fit this bow fine. Do not attempt to use a FastFlight or Flemish string on this bow. That would be a waste of a string, and the bow does not have the reinforced limb tips necessary for those types of strings.

Is The Barnett Lil Sioux a Heavy Bow?

No, this bow is quite light and easy to hold. The youth who tested out the bow said it felt almost like a part of their arm, and they enjoyed the 3 hours spent on the archery range learning the skills necessary to move up to heavier bows.

Bow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our bow review. The Barnett Outdoors Junior Team Realtree Lil Sioux Archery Set has been put together for 10- to 12-year-olds to learn the skills required for more serious archery. Unfortunately, a number of poor design choices and quality problems lead me to say find a different recurve set, as this one will likely frustrate your young archer and discourage him or her from pursuing the sport.

Take a moment to check out Today's price on the Barnett Outdoors Junior Team Realtree Lil Sioux Recurve.

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