The philosophy of a design has a huge influence on how that design is received. Prior to the first Stinger’s arrival, the pistol crossbows on sale were generally cheaper to buy and cheaply made.
In the case of those products, components were there to do their job, but no more. This was as true of the limbs, the overly heavy strings, and the poorly made arrows. This basic truth still applies, namely where we compare the Steambow AR-6 Stinger II to its by now various competitors.
Being a genuine weapon in function and design was the primary purpose of the Stinger II.
The Stinger is made for those who demand more of their equipment than just fulfilling a basic task. It delivers more performance, more quality, more function and more satisfaction. And the sales suggest that we’ve not only hit a nerve, but that we deliver on all of those promises.
What makes a design a weapon, rather than a gadget?
In keeping with being built as a weapon, regardless of how it is later used by its owner, the Stinger II repeaters are made for quick cycling of shots, quick target acquisition, and natural aiming ergonomics. Their construction is such that they can accurately deliver a suitable projectile on target, as intended, with sufficient power to get the job done.
Steambow understands the Stinger II is a tool some might have to stake their lives on. Hopefully that’s never necessary but life comes with no guarantees: Steambow built the Stinger II to be fully reliable and consistent, both in function and performance, across a range of conditions or circumstances.
Horses for courses
Not everyone needs that level of performance. When that is the case, there’s a bunch of fun products for you to choose from.
But if you do want that level of performance, then you should trust a company run by people with intimate knowledge of weapons: of what makes them good and effective. And that is something Steambow has in abundance.
They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and there have of course been several competitor products launched in the wake of the Stinger II. Some are fairly different in function and design, some have barely tried being different at all and just fail on quality. The Vlad, by EK Archery, is the most recent. It’s also one of the more interesting interpretations of what the Stinger II offers.
Comparable products, but not comparable performance
What still sets the Stinger II apart from the Vlad, and indeed any other competitor, is its quality build, combined with an unmatched ease of operation. YouTuber Reini Rossmann achieved a firing rate of six shots in well under 10 seconds and the Compact can be emptied in under 4 seconds. Admittedly, he was using the Stinger II Tactical with 55 lbs. and the Compact with only 35 lbs. which is slightly easier to cock. Nevertheless, watch any review of the Vlad, and you can easily see how neither its build quality nor its configuration, especially its cocking ergonomics and to some degree also the automatic safety, allows for anything remotely comparable.
It certainly tries to score for being good value by adding a lot of extra stuff on top (that you might not even need) so, we can see why some would buy it. It really depends on what you want to do with your bow. A recent review by Fletched Evolution was also interesting to watch. Eric, host of that channel, also managed five shots aimed at separate dots within 14 seconds, in an aggregate group barely 10 centimetres across, using the Stinger II Tactical at draw weights of both 90 and 120 lb: a feat that wasn’t possible with the Vlad. He tried.
Steambow knows what its products can do, and now you do too. You can make a more informed decision about what is right for you.
If you decide it’s the Stinger II (and we think you should), have a look at our online shop.