The Survival Series Pt 1: What’s in it for you?
Although built around the same minimalist frame and concept, the AR-6 Stinger II Survival is a very different animal to its siblings, the Tactical and Compact. They are built for speed, and urgency. They deliver high rates of fire, making multiple hits possible.
The Survival is for a more poised and precise type of shooting: one shot, one hit.
Only shooting when the moment is right. No laser sights; no shooting from the hip: the Survival is about putting your sights on your target and timing your breathing with a measured, deliberate squeeze of the trigger.
There is adrenaline coursing when you launch all 6 shots from a Tactical in 10 seconds or so: the target barely settling from one hit before being struck by the next. Meanwhile, there comes a different type of excitement when holding a scope on target and taking the time to make a perfect bullseye. And don’t be fooled: it’s just as addictive.
Different design, same design principles
If the second scenario sounds like fun to you, then perhaps you should take a closer look at Steambow’s AR-6 Stinger II Survival. The crossbow is all self-contained. What is needed to assemble the crossbow is already part of it, with a hex spanner and an allen wrench stowed in the latch. Wherever you go, you have everything you need to take it apart and put it together again, whether for maintenance or simply breaking it down to be easier to carry.
As with its other forms, the AR-6 Stinger II Survival is designed as a weapon. What is there is there for a reason and a purpose, beyond plain fun. And as with any weapon it is better suited for some uses than others: you don’t take a biathlete’s competition rifle to hunt large game, nor a large-caliber hunting rifle to compete in a biathlon, despite both being rifles. The same is true of the Stinger II crossbows.
Features and function
The standard Survival comes with a 55 lb limb, like the Tactical. It also has the same shoulder stock cocking system. However, being a single-shot, it is not essential to use this system. You can use the included stirrup and simply pull the string into the cocked position.
Given the small frame, it is possible to also seat the shoulder stock against your chest and pull the string straight back too. Either manual cocking operation is realistic for any adult thanks to the short power stroke and this flexibility in cocking methods comes virtue of not needing a fast cocking cycle like the other two Stingers.
Another feature of the Survival is that it has an adjustable front sight, making finer aiming adjustments easier. That front sight is part of a rail which now allows you to mount a scope. Doing this truly transforms the accuracy, taking it to another level.
Steambow’s scope is designed for crossbows: compact, light and with a reticle that makes adjusting for arrow drop easier at different distances.
A bow for desperate times?
Of the 3 models currently available, the Survival is probably the one iteration most likely to be used as a means of staying fed in a survival situation. Nonetheless, the occasions this actually happens will mostly likely remain a rare event (unless you’re really living the adventurer’s life). For that reason the Survival’s standard ammunition is a set of Steambow’s blue aluminum training arrows.
If, however, you decide you actually need the Survival for its more extreme purposes, then be sure to carry some of Steambow’s red hunting arrows tipped with the 2D broadheads, whether the aluminum or premium carbon versions. And train with them. In every type of archery, hunting arrows will, to some degree, have a different trajectory to field-tipped arrows, even if they are the same weight. Being desperate for food is not the time to find out exactly how different that trajectory actually is.
Ultimately, the Survival can either be entertainment or a resource, something to pass an afternoon or weather a crisis. Whatever your reason to buy or the use it gets, it is a potent package that has impressed those who’ve tried it.