They're back with another bargain. The 2017 SAS Authority is a great buy for anyone looking for a decent entry level crossbow bow that isn't under powered. This compound has split limbs, picatinny rail, a 4x32 mm scope and comes with arrows and a quiver. At 340 fps and 175 lbs you'll be hard pressed to find anything else with this much performance at this price point.
SAS have been consistently producing quality archery gear of all sorts since 2007. They tailor many of their products towards the entry level spectrum of users and manage to continually give a good level of quality for a great level of price. They've had some real successes with things like the Spyder recurve bow that we think topples the previous best in breed (the Sage). Let's see what we make of the new for 2017 SAS Authority.
- Fore-grip is not pass-thru
- Scope quality could be better but you can easily upgrade
- No sling included
SAS Authority Specifications
97 ft lbs (approx with a 380 grain arrow)
19" Wide x 34" Long
Camo or black
3 year manufacturer
Who's it designed for?
This is a full size adult crossbow that has an easily adjustable stock designed for both hunters and recreational target shooters.
What can I hunt with it?
With approximately 97 ft lbs of kinetic energy shooting a 380 grain bolt this bow is suitable for hunting all sizes of game right out of the box. You can easily increase that bolt weight to gain even more stopping power at closer ranges should you need it.
Crossbow Comparison Tables
All the bows we review (and some we haven't yet) get added to our comparison tables alongside a guide that helps you understand what features and specifications actually mean. They're a great place to get a quick overview of what's on the market, and find something that fits with your requirements.
Nearly everything you need to start shooting or go on a hunting trip is supplied out of the box with the exception of a case. There isn't a sling supplied with this bow. We're a fan of crossbow slings, they make life easier when you're hiking or walking to your destination.
The SAS Authority package normally includes:
- 4x32 mm scope
- 3x 20" aluminium bolts
- 3 bolt quiver
- Rope cocker
- Crossbow Lube / Wax
The supplied 4x32 mm optic is the perfect scope resolution for most users. Yes you could find a better scope and attach it to the picatinny rail if you want the absolute best optics on this crossbow, but for the price point the one included will serve you just fine.
You should be supplied with a rope cocker out of the box, these normally lower the weight you need to pull to load the bow down by 50% from the advertised draw weight. That means you're looking at approximately 86 lbs pull on the rope to cock this. That's not too bad however may be too much for young adults, children or some small framed women. We didn't see anything in the manual on this bow being compatible with any crank cocking devices either.
Quiver and Arrows
You're supplied with a black 3-bolt quiver that affixes easily to the underside of the bow and is optional. Some people don't like bow quivers because they add weight to the front of the bow. Personally we don't use them and prefer to carry bolts in a hip quiver to keep things as light and tangle free as we can. It also keeps the width of the bow down when cocked. Using the quiver with 20" bolts ensures the overall width of the bow is wider than even the cocked limbs!
3x 20" Aluminium arrows are thrown in. These are great for target practice and zeroing in the bow, however if you want to take down anything other than small game we'd suggest you upgrade to something a little stiffer and hard hitting. A good carbon hunting shaft would be my preference.
The trigger pull on this is measured by the manufacturers at 3.5 lbs. That's a nice light trigger, some other bows in this price bracket have heavy trigger mechanisms. If you're an experienced shooter you may find some trigger creep on this action, this is after all an entry level crossbow in a budget package. Most people however will not find this anything but a tight trigger with little slack. Creep and pull lengths are only really things that concern high level shooters who've lots of experience and time spent at the trigger.
Anti-Dry Fire and Auto Safety
This crossbow comes with an anti-dry fire safety trigger mechanism meaning your chances of dry firing this bow (without a bolt on the rail) and voiding your warranty will be greatly lowered.
Depending on your preferences this bow comes available in all black or a black and camo accented variant. The camo is only applied on the front of the limbs and the sides of the stock. It isn't totally camo dipped. Out of the box this comes affixed with a few yellow warning stickers you'll want to remove before you but it to use anywhere but the range.
Stock and Limbs
The riser on the Authority is made from die cast aluminium and the limbs are compression fiberglass. These are both methods of construction that lead to a durable long lasting bow.
The stock on this bow is rifle style and one of the nice things is that it features a decent about of adjustability allowing you to really get things in a position that's comfortable to you. Although the fore-grip isn't a pass-thru you can adjust the position along the bottom. As this is an entry level crossbow we'd have like to see a pass-thru fore grip on this crossbow so there was less chance of you being able to grip it incorrectly. As it stands there is a warning sticker about how you should hold it. Just don't put your fingers anywhere near that bolt!
You get Picatinny rail allowing you to attach whatever non supplied accessories you want to this bow.
A good all rounder at a decent price. We couldn't fault the Authority down at the range. We had it zeroed in pretty quickly and found it to be consistently accurate over various yardages. We were able to consistently group pretty tightly at 30 yards using the supplied 4x32 mm scope.
"How does it compare?"
Centerpoint Sniper 370
The SAS Authority has 10 lbs less draw weight at 175 lbs and 30 fps less than the Sniper. The optical scopes are similar 4x32 mm albeit that the one on the Sniper is illuminated but the remainters of the feature set is similar.
The Sniper comes out on top due to the inclusion of a shoulder sling and a longer warranty. Our full Sniper review.
The Recruit is a crossbow designed to target those with a smaller frame like women and youths. It also comes with a red dot scope that's handy for most hunting situations. This bow has a 175 lbs draw and 340 fps advertised arrow speeds which put it on a par with the Authority. The Authority is a slightly heavier and bigger bow than the Recruit but targeted to the same price point. The Recruit comes with a pass-thru fore grip and a anti-dry fire technology which the SAS doesn't feature. The full review is here.
SA Sports Fever
A slightly different option for your first crossbow would be to take a look at the SA Sports Fever. This one also comes with a 4x32 mm scope but it's a recurve. Being a recurve it won't reach the speeds of the compound, in fact for the same draw weight this bow only shoots at 240 fps vs the 340 fps for the Authority. The benefits of the recurve design are that they're cheaper to produce and manufacture (and buy!) and you can restring one without being anywhere near a pro shop. One of the downsides is the size, this is a wider bow. Our review.
About the Manufacturer
From an 11,000 sq foot facility in California, Southland Archery Supply focus their efforts on hunting and target archery and make both compound bows, crossbows, and recurves. They field test their bows and are fully aware of what their target market demands and understand hunters and competitors. Southland have been doing this since 2007.
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