We take a look at the differences and similarities between the PSE Fang and KI-350 in this head-to-head comparison.
We had to laugh the day our PSE representative walked through the door with the prototype PSE Fang. He was so excited about this new crossbow he had to show us. It was a $299 crossbow that was unlike anything else he had ever seen. As soon as it uncased it, we erupted into laughter. There was nothing wrong with the Fang. It just looked exactly like another crossbow that we were selling for six months prior to this “big news”. The KI-350 from Killer Instinct($399) was new in 2014 and we sold a ton of them. It was an inexpensive crossbow that had a lot of the same feature as more expensive crossbows. Now PSE had a clone of the same crossbow but beat the price. So what is the difference between the PSE Fang and Killer Instinct KI-350?
Let’s take a look at the similarities first. Both crossbows have virtually identical limbs and cams. Neither manufacturer will tell me whether or not they are exactly the same but they get basically the same performance and look the same. When the Fang and Killer Instinct crossbows arrive at our store from their respective manufacturer, they come in almost identical boxes. Again, I can’t verify for sure but I would be willing to bet they are both made in the same factory in Asia. Both crossbows utilize identical quivers. Both come with three arrows, a rope cocker, and a scope.
The scope is where some of the differences begin to appear. Both scopes are unbranded(no name) scopes. The Fang scope is multireticle and has no illumination. The KI-350 is an illuminated multi-reticle scope. This means with the twist of a switch you can light up the reticles in either green or red. This is a huge advantage in low light situations often found while hunting. The illumination makes the reticles easier to see. Illumination also is a big help for youth crossbow enthusiasts and shooters with less than perfect eye sight.
Probably the biggest difference between the PSE Fang and Killer Instinct KI-350 is the rail. The rail is the path the arrow travels when the trigger is pulled. The KI-350 has a fully machined rail. The PSE Fang has a molded rail. A molded rail is cheaper and easier to manufacture, thus the lower price. A machined rail is made by taking a bar of aluminum and machining it to exact specifications using a computer powered lathe. This eliminates manufacturing defects often found in stamped or molded parts. To put it simple, a machined rail is more accurate due to higher tolerances and fewer manufacturing defects.
We put this theory to the test on the range. At thirty yards we shot three groups of thirty yards while using a bench rest. The KI-350 shot all three groups under 2 inches of arrow spread with one group at 1.4 inches. When I switched to a an aftermarket arrow, groups improved even more with one group of 1.1 inches at 30 yards. This accuracy is usually only found in high end crossbows. I put the PSE Fang through the same test. The groups were all around three inches with my best group being 2.7 inches. Switching to the better arrows slightly improved accuracy but not by much.
The only other real differences between the PSE Fang and Killer Instinct KI-350 are color and warranty. The KI-350 is black and the PSE Fang is in Mossy Oak camo. If you like the Killer Instinct but camo is important to you, you can step up to the Killer Instinct KI-365 (NOW the Ripper 415 HERE). The PSE Fang offers a five year warranty and the KI-350 has a lifetime warranty from Killer Instinct.
The bottom line is if you’re willing to give up a better scope and pinpoint accuracy to save $100, the Fang is for you. If your budget allows for a $400 crossbow and you prefer a more accurate crossbow with a better scope, pick up the KI-350.