Just read your post and I thought that I'd give you some words of encouragement. I don't have any other crossbows to compare the Jackal to but I bought one (b/c of the price & ratings) & put it together on 9/14/11. I ended up getting a new scope and siting it in on 9/16 (the mounting bolts on the one that came w/ it stripped out). I took it into the woods on 9/17 & ate grilled backstrap that night for dinner. It's a little louder than what I expected (compared to my Compound), but all in all, I am very pleased w/ this crossbow.