Long-time readers of this site will note that we tend to heap a lot of praise on CenterPoint products. Although we try to shy away from favoritism whenever possible, we also appreciate it when a company puts out consistently good products. One of the hallmarks of CenterPoint is its ability to produce high-quality crossbows at a wide variety of price points. They make numerous entry-level models that punch well above their weight, and they make some truly world-class models for those with a little more cash to burn.
People constantly ask us to point them towards the best bang-for-the-buck option in crossbows. This question isn’t as simple as it sounds, because finding the best value isn’t simply finding the cheapest workable option. Rather, determining the best value means finding the product that provides the most usability for the price without representing a compromise or sacrifice. When all factors were taken into account, CenterPoint fell into our graces once again. The CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 is a remarkable crossbow in that it can be all things to all people, and do so at a pleasantly approachable price. Here’s what we found out.
- 1 What Makes the CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 Stand Out?
- 2 Features and Benefits
- 3 What Everyone Else is Saying About the Whisper 380
- 4 Conclusion
What Makes the CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 Stand Out?
Within the world of crossbows, some of the models can become staggeringly specific. Whether you enjoy mid-range target practice, deer hunting, or small game tracking, there is likely a weapon designed specifically for that purpose. However, having to purchase, maintain, and transport different crossbows for every task is an expensive and annoying proposition. Where the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper shines is its unflappable versatility.
Its lightweight and ergonomic design, combined with its buttery smooth trigger action, make it a wonderful choice for target work. But this precision is backed by enough power to make this a wonderful hunting option as well. Within each specification of the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380, you could probably find another crossbow that beats it. Without a doubt, some models may be lighter. Some may shoot faster. But as an all-around multi-tasker for a great price, few options can come close to rivaling the Whisper 380.
- 380 FPS firing speed
- Extremely smooth firing and trigger action
- Compact design
- Great value
- Incredibly quiet
- Cocking system is slightly inelegant
- Rope-draw only
Features and Benefits
The primary reason why we recommend the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380 crossbow is that it is such a superb all-around package. In terms of doing everything well, this is a hard option to beat. However, there are certainly a few stand-out aspects of this model that really give it an edge.
The Centerpoint Tormentor Crossbow is Seriously Compact
Size is quite possibly the single most overlooked aspect when purchasing a crossbow. I understand why. Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time shot, it is easy to get caught up on other specifications when shopping for a new bow. Shooting speed, draw weight, reload speed… these are all arguable “sexier” specifications to focus on. Further, when you’re testing out a crossbow for a few moments, the size and weight do not necessarily matter. Even the heaviest models are still fairly comfortable over the span of a few minutes. Yet, when you’re in the field tracking a deer for hours on end, the extra bulk of a hefty crossbow can really make a difference. Whether you’re actively drawing a bead or simply trekking through the woods with your bow slung over your back, ounces can make a difference after a long day.
The Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper is an exceptionally light crossbow given its mid-tier frame size and impressive shooting capabilities. At just under eight pounds – seven pounds nine ounces to be exact – this is not a weapon that will make your arm ache or weigh you down. Beyond the overall light construction, it is an impressively well-balanced weapon as well. In many contexts, the balance of a crossbow is even more important than the total weight. I have noticed a troubling pattern of many newer crossbows being exceptionally nose-heavy.
This makes for an awkward shooting experience that is much more likely to fatigue your left arm. In contrast, the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper has an almost perfect 50/50 weight balance, with just a slight rearward bias. Thus, this crossbow is comfortable and confidence-inspiring to shoot, even on long sessions.
The weight is not the only noteworthy dimension. As with almost all Centerpoint models, the designers managed to pack a lot of punch into a notably compact package. This is a full-frame crossbow, so the length is roughly equivalent to most models at around thirty-five inches. However, the width is the real star of the show. Because of the unique reverse-draw design, a trademark feature of Centerpoint, this bow manages to be unbelievably narrow.
From axle-to-axle, the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper is only 14-inches across. This isn’t just a matter of having it fit more neatly into the backseat of your pickup truck. Rather, the width of your crossbow has serious practical implications. If you are hunting from a cramped blind or in dense brush, having an overly wide crossbow can become an awkward limitation very quickly. In contrast, the sleek design of this Centerpoint makes it a joy to shoot even in limiting circumstances.
This is One of the Quietest Crossbows on the Market
If weight is the most overlooked aspect of a crossbow, the noise is the second most forgotten factor. This is a shame because a noisy crossbow is a frustrating one. Most people intuitively believe that the amount of noise a crossbow makes isn’t a concern. After all, guns are much louder and that doesn’t pose a problem, right? Well, not exactly. The issue is that the time-frame involved with firing a gun is much shorter than with a crossbow. Even though guns are loud, the action has already happened before the noise can make a difference. This isn’t necessarily the case with a bow-style weapon.
Even the fastest bows on the market are still markedly slower than shooting a gun. Thus, an overly noisy crossbow can turn hunting into an exercise in futility. By the time the arrow gets to the animal, the noise may well have spooked it away. Beyond the factor of startling a target, a loud weapon can cause fatigue on the operator. This becomes a factor whether you’re in the field or simply practicing at the range. Simply put, the quieter a bow is the better.
Given the “whisper” namesake of the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380, you’d correctly assume that this is a crossbow specifically designed with silence in mind. As usual, CenterPoint did not disappoint. Many companies will slap a set of ceramic bearings into the axle pivots of a bow and declare it a “quiet” model. This is a half-baked approach at best. In contrast, CenterPoint uses a multi-faceted approach to make this one of the quietest crossbows ever produced. Certainly, every bearing in this crossbow is a top-quality ceramic and stainless steel unit.
Simply moving the limbs in and out with the rope-draw makes it clear how smooth this bow operates. But beyond the bearing choice, Centerpoint exhaustively designed this to be the most vibration-free crossbow possible.
The Centerpoint “Whisper Silencing System” consists of three main parts. First, this bow has two string stoppers each paired with silencers. These dampen the impact of the string once it has returned to its natural resting position. On lesser crossbows, these stoppers are simply hard metal or plastic “brakes” that result in a harsh snapping noise. On the Tormentor Whisper 380, this noise is reduced to a soft thud akin to dropping an eraser on a desk.
Further, Centerpoint dampened the strings as well. Using a “spyder” silencer, this crossbow prevents the strings from deviating from a straight trajectory and thereby eliminates the “guitar strumming” noise that is so common to lower quality crossbows.
Finally, Centerpoint uses tuned limb dampeners that remove errant vibration from the limbs as they fire. The limbs of a crossbow need to be flexible to do their job, but this flexibility means that a lot of additional vibration can be introduced. This vibration is known in the acoustics industry as a “secondary harmonic.” These vibrations not only make noise, but they make the crossbow less comfortable to hold. By installing specially-tuned dampers into the limbs, the noise is reduced to little more than the air rushing by.
While the Whisper Silencing System clearly required a significant amount of effort and development, it was worth it. The Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380 is truly silent in operation. Going from this to other bows makes the competition look rather crude in comparison.
This Bow Is Beautifully Built
Having reviewed more than my fair share of crossbows over the years, you learn to expect to be disappointed sometimes. The crossbow world is a very competitive space, and there are a lot of newcomers to the game that make a lot of big promises. Sometimes these newer companies deliver on their promised specifications, and sometimes they fall short. In either case, there is one aspect that most often falls by the wayside: quality.
Even if a crossbow performs admirably on paper, having a crossbow that is built to sub-par standards is bound to be a disappointment in the long-run. This is one of the reasons why I am always so quick to recommend someone choose a well-known and trusted brand like Centerpoint. Simply put, their quality never disappoints, and this model is no exception.
If you read other Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380 reviews, you are likely going to notice one phrase repeated over and over. “Quality.” I spent at least an hour going over this crossbow looking for a manufacturing flaw or blemish. I never found one. The casting on the stock is perfect with no visible flash-lines. The hydro dipping of the camouflage covering is superb with excellent blending. The machining is impeccable with top-notch finishing. To call the manufacturing of this crossbow flawless is not much of an exaggeration.
This quality is not merely aesthetic. I spent a few hours at my local range with this bow and was truly impressed by how smoothly it operates. The trigger action is predictable, light, and precise. The rail motion is crisp with no noticeable drag or irregularities. The scope is incomparably easy to dial in. It’s simply a joy to use. If this crossbow cost three times as much I’d still be impressed by it. But for its actual price? It’s shockingly good.
They Provide a Complete Kit
Lastly, one of the things I really appreciate about Centerpoint is that they sell a complete kit, not a bare-bones package. As a long-time crossbow enthusiast, it’s easy to get jaded about having the right equipment. But for a beginner, having to separately purchase numerous components before getting started can become a frustrating and expensive process – not what you want when you want someone to continue with a hobby.
The Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380 crossbow package does a fantastic job of getting a new person into the hobby quickly. It is easy to assemble and comes with a full set of three bolts. They’re 425-gram units, so a bit heavy for many purposes, but they’re a nice way to get started immediately. They even included a scope. I won’t pretend to say it is the best scope I’ve ever used, but it is perfectly usable and quite effective under 50-yards. As a gift or a way of getting into the hobby, these inclusions make for a much more enjoyable process.
What Everyone Else is Saying About the Whisper 380
Whenever I’m reviewing a crossbow, I make a point of spending a few minutes reading other reviews and comments. As a professional reviewer, I often worry that my opinion or focus may be too narrow. Also, if there are issues that people are having with their bows in use, I want to know about it. I spent a few hours scouring different sites to see what people thought about the Centerpoint Tormentor 380. As I expected, the reviews were almost universally positive.
The primary focus was on the quality, which is not surprising. One user noted,
“Very impressed with the quality of this crossbow. I primarily bought it for whitetail hunting and I have no doubts in my mind that this thing will get the job done. Assembly was very easy, and it continues to shoot true. I would put this up against other brand name competitors. With the quality you are getting for the price, this is a solid purchase.”
However, people were also impressed by the amazingly quiet shooting that the Centerpoint Tormentor 380 manages to achieve. Many people noted it was “nearly silent” and that it “really made deer hunting easier when you don’t have to worry about a deer jumping the string.” One person even expressed how impressed their instructor was, saying “my crossbow technician says it is the quietest crossbow he has ever heard.”
Finally, many users took note of the value. One Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380 review put it succinctly by saying “This crossbow is simply the best value I have seen out there – it easily competes with models costing $200-$300 more. It is nice and compact with well thought out ergonomics and features.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
The only complaint I saw with any regularity was regarding the scope. Many owners acknowledged that the scope was the weak-link of this crossbow and that it would probably be the first upgrade that they would undertake. However, it is ultimately a functional scope and it is hard to complain given the price.
To be honest, this was a difficult review to write. Writing negative reviews is frankly easier because it is simple to tear into a product once you decide you don’t like it. But every so often I have the chance to review a product that is almost frustratingly perfect. I spent many hours with the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380 and went over every millimeter of its construction. I likely fired it over a hundred times in my testing.
What I found was pretty simple: this is a truly excellent crossbow. It isn’t the fastest firing crossbow on the market, but it doesn’t claim to be. But it is more than fast enough for the vast majority of uses.
This crossbow fulfills a superb niche of being everything to everyone. It is a wonderful choice for a beginner, but it provides plenty of power and capability for an old pro. It’s quiet, smooth, and delivers an almost unbelievably good value. During my time with this crossbow, it quickly became a new favorite of mine. Now, when anyone asks me for a one-size-fits-all answer to “what’s the best crossbow?”, I have a new answer: the Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380.
- Whisper silencing System
- Narrow 14 inch Cocked axle to axle width
- Compact design. Compression fiberglass quad limbs
- Kinetic energy: 120 ft. lbs
Last update on 2021-08-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API