Barnett Ghost 410 Crossbow, Eye Injury


December 5, 2013, 03:28 PM
On 10/28/13 I bought a new Barnett Ghost 410 Crossbow. It was delivered on 10/30/13. I was using Barnett arrows, crank cocking device and lube wax.
On 11/6/13 I was firing a field tip arrow to de-cock the bow after hunting. As I squeezed the trigger I heard a loud crack like a small caliber rifle. The string broke at the attachment point on the left cam. The string struck me in the left eye. Luckily my eye was closed since I was looking through the scope. I went to the emergency room and only had some bleeding in my eye. No permanent damage. Just a black eye for two weeks
I sent the bow back to Barnett so they could determine the cause of the string failure. The knot at the attachment point on the cam literally had exploded. I kept pictures of the knot failure.
Barnett has done nothing other than offer a new bow or my purchase price refunded plus the cost of accessories. No thanks on the bow replacement, I do not want another defective bow. Later they offered an extra $500.
I have made numerous inquiries as to the cause of the failure. Barnett has not replied. Barnett customer service is nonexistent.
Be very careful with this bow. I am very fortunate I was standing on my back porch rather than in a tree stand. There is a defect regarding the string they are using.

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December 5, 2013, 03:55 PM
Good heavens! That's scary! Very glad to hear you're ok!

Outlaw Man
December 5, 2013, 04:04 PM
And they said Red Ryder Super-Carbine action air rifles would shoot your eye out!

I'm glad you're OK. Sorry you're having no luck getting information. No way I'd CONSIDER shooting another one of those without an explanation, if I were in your shoes.

December 5, 2013, 07:22 PM
Might be wise to wear shooting glasses / eye protection when shooting a cross-bow.

Or any bow!!

Strings break, limbs shatter, & arrows do too sometimes.


December 5, 2013, 08:26 PM
Lesson learned, RC. Nonetheless, it is not unreasonable to expect that new bow strings would not break, or explode in my face. Thanks for the advice. 20/20....


December 5, 2013, 08:55 PM
Well I don't know if it's unreasonable or not??

I had a new bow string break on a brand new Fred Bear 50 pound re-curve about 35 years ago.

Slapped the snot out of my forehead going, then came on around and slapped me under the chin coming back, but missed my eyes.

Anyway, Stuff Happens, and there are flaws in everything made by man that don't show up until they are in actual use.


December 5, 2013, 09:04 PM
rc, I respect your knowledge and opinions. You are a bastion of knowledge.
In any event, what happened to me should not happen to anyone. Defective product = injury. Any consumer should have the confidence that they will not be hurt during the normal and customary use of the product purchased.


CA Raider
December 5, 2013, 10:16 PM
very sorry to hear about your accident. glad the outcome was not worse.
i always wear safety glasses when training with slingshots and archery gear.
hope you heal up fast.


December 6, 2013, 02:20 PM
Broken string might have caused damage to the bow, too. I'd have them replace everything.

The $500.00 offered was probably figured to cover for the ER visit and pain and suffering.

Assuming that covered the ER visit (or I was insured), I would personally take it with a thank you. But whether you think that's enough or not is up to you. Two weeks of having a black eye means different things to different people.

Unless you know of other people who have been maimed by similar incidents, I don't see this going much farther in terms of a negligence angle. This sounds like it might fall under act of god, or whatnot. Bow strings break, but they rarely cause any injury. Even your injury was relatively minor. With no treatment, even, you could be looking at pain and suffering and a replacement of the bow, tops. My main concern would be my eye. If you felt like you needed a second exam in a month to make sure your vision wasn't affected, then you might be able to sue for that, for your own peace of mind.

There are lots of lawyers on this forum, so maybe someone will give you better advice. This is just an opinion based on my personal experience.

December 6, 2013, 02:23 PM
Do you know what material was used to make the string? Curious if it was some kevlar or similar modern material. Some of those can be very sensitive to any defects and also don't do well when tied in knots.

Can you post the photo of the string/knot failure?

December 6, 2013, 02:42 PM
I didn't really have any pain and suffering. Just got the heck scared out of me when the string hit my eyelid. I think my wife liked the black eye. Gave me a tough guy look:D
I am not pursuing a negligence claim. I missed two days of work due to the ER visit and a follow up visit to an Opthalmologist. I get paid whether I am there or not. My health insurance paid all my costs. I told Barnett both of these facts. I turned down the extra $500 and told them just refund my purchase price of the bow and accessories.
I am a lawyer. Haven't practiced for years but still understand negligence law.
An "act of God"? Don't think so. That is a bit of a stretch

The pictures are on my phone. Any idea how to get them to a post here? I think there is a thread around here on posting pictures.
I don't know the string material.


December 6, 2013, 02:47 PM
Here's my SOB story. I was living in an apartment and the water backed up and caused over a thousand dollars of damages to my personal belongings.

This was because some jerk in another unit was flushing baby wipes down their toilet, which backed up the septic tank. My unit just happened to be the lowest one, so I was the one affected.

According to my state law, backed up sewage is an act of god. So no one could be held liable. I had renter's insurance, but didn't have the optional sewage coverage. Didn't even know it existed.

On top of that, not only did the management not compensate me for the 3 days it took them to dry out the carpet with 24/7 blowers while I stayed at a friend's place, they charged me for 100% cost of replacing the hardwood flooring when I moved out, due to "pet damages." Worst of all, they treated me like I was the one that did it, and I haven't seen or handled a baby wipe in decades before moving in, nor have I since. I sincerely hope the problem recurred (or was resoved) before a new tenant moved in.

Glad you're ok.

December 6, 2013, 05:19 PM
That is one ugly story.


December 7, 2013, 07:55 AM
If I did this right, here are some pictures of the string. The last picture is pieces of the string on the cable between the cams.

December 7, 2013, 08:02 AM
This is the cam. The attachment point at the center of the cam is where the knot failed. The knot was around the tear drop shaped connecting point

December 7, 2013, 08:12 AM

Glad you didn't lose an eye.
After seeing the burns on Byron's face from an out-of-time revolver, I don't shoot anything without wearing eye pro.


December 7, 2013, 12:00 PM
It is very unusual for me to shoot anything without glasses. Guess I learned to respect a crossbow as I do my firearms.


Odd Job
December 7, 2013, 12:17 PM
Thanks for posting, Jim. I am also guilty of not always wearing eye protection when using my crossbow. Seeing the string arrangement on the Barnett doesn't feel me with much confidence, there is a single point of failure.

If you have a look at my Crisbow you'll see the arrangement is better: only the cables come in contact with the cams, and there is less chance of an end loop failure causing injury because the loops are doubled on the string: ( (

December 7, 2013, 12:23 PM
Odd Job,
Looks like a superior design concept. From what I have learned the string breaking on Barnett crossbows happens more than it should. Seems like they could figure that out. Go figure....


December 7, 2013, 12:28 PM
Incidents like these are going to happen as long as long as we keep pushing the envelope. Pushing for a few extra fps can cause equipment failure. Your bow achieves 400+ fps and my Excalibur does 300. The deer are just as dead and I have far fewer equipment problems. The is why I am not shooting a faster Excalibur. I hear of limb breakage, string/cable problems and arrow/bolt problems with the "hotrod" bows. No thanks. I am very glad you got off easy. Could have been a tragedy.

December 7, 2013, 01:16 PM
High Expert,
Agree completely. This was my first crossbow. I picked the 410 based on reviews and articles I read. I didn't have enough experience to understand the speed or the kinetic energy relative to other models or to crossbows in general. I do now and I agree with your post. If I get another bow it won't be pushing the envelope on safety for speed.
As you said, 300 fps kills just like 410 fps, so why take the risk of equipment failure? I didn't have the knowledge to understand the issue of safety relative to the fastest bows. Lesson learned and I was lucky......

Yo Mama
December 10, 2013, 11:18 AM
Might be wise to wear shooting glasses / eye protection when shooting a cross-bow.

Or any bow!!

Strings break, limbs shatter, & arrows do too sometimes.


Good point rc, I never use eye protection with my bow, and I will now.

December 10, 2013, 12:02 PM
Me too!!


December 12, 2013, 09:43 PM
Thank the Good Lord your alright.

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