Crossbows have been in use for many years now. Within the past two decades, however, these tools have gone through upgrading courtesy of technology resulting in archery efficiency. These tools are usable in both target shooting and hunting. Thus, selecting the best device based on its features and reviews is crucial to attaining the best results as a hunter. If you want the best crossbow, then this buying guide is ideal for you.
What are the types of crossbows and how to select the type that suits you
If you are a hunter or do target shooting, then a crossbow is among the tools you need in your stock. Crossbows come in two major types namely: the recurve crossbow and the compound crossbow. These two types of bows embrace a design that originates from the traditional bows. However, the recurve crossbow is more inclined to this model, unlike the compound model.
Compound crossbow: This newer and modernized model embraces the state of art technology featuring a series of cables and pulleys in its make. Its limbs are shorter, and its strings attach to pulleys, unlike the recurve crossbows. To enable the user draw the bows easily, this device employs a cam system in its make. The cam system allows for energy storage that makes the bow powerful while hastening its performance speed. They also feature a cocking mechanism and short but stiff limbs compared to the recurve crossbows, making them easier to operate through tighter spaces. The stiff limbs also contribute to the energy efficiency of these bows.
Recurve crossbow: This is the oldest type of crossbows on the market. This crossbow features a simple design, with no mechanical parts. It has delicate curves on its limbs and tips that point away from the user hence its name. The curves aid in holding the string in place. This gives the crossbow tension and hence power. The bows also feature bent limbs that accelerate its performance. Unlike the compound bow, this crossbow is larger and heavier. Also, this crossbow offers quieter operation.
When deciding to purchase one of the above crossbow types, you need first of all to understand your primary needs that necessitate buying the crossbow. If you want a bow specifically for sporting or professional hunting, you will realize the difference in terms of the product specifications. For instance, if you want a bow for fun, then the size and weight are not significant factors in your purchase decision. You may even opt for a heavier bow with good accuracy and power standards. However, if your crossbow is for professional hunting, then high-quality crossbows with high accuracy, impact and velocity come in handy. For this reason, you will need to take note of the speed, size, and weight among other technical issues that are likely to affect the performance of your bow.
Additionally, when it comes to your primary needs, an important aspect to factor in your purchase includes your age, gender and whether or not you possess any disability. These factors will aid in considering the technical specs that will ensure the best performance of the crossbow even when the user has limited performance.
Special Features that we need to consider
As a smart buyer, you need to do a proper review of the crossbow you want to purchase as per your needs and resources. This review will entail analyzing the crossbows in terms of the following unique features:
Draw weight: This refers to the force you need to apply to cock your crossbow. This weight affects the speed that the arrow travels before hitting the target. Thus to ensure no compromise on the speed of your crossbow, consider draw weights of at least 68kgs and above.
Size of the crossbow: The larger the crossbow, the more the power and draw weight you will need to apply in operation. Thus if you are a beginner, short crossbows are ideal. However, if you are an experienced archer, you can use the longer and bigger crossbows, provided you maintain your body strain at a minimum.
Crossbow weight: Heavy crossbows are easy to handle as their weight makes them stay put during hunting. However, if you are a hunter who likes maneuvering before making your hunts, heavy crossbows will be toil for you. Alternatively, if you choose a lighter crossbow but with too much recoil, your hunting session will also be hard as such crossbows move around so much that controlling them becomes very difficult. Thus, when selecting the best-weighted crossbow, you need to conduct a test on the varieties at hand until you arrive at the ideal option for yourself based on the recoil, noise and weight.
Manufacturer: Just like other commodities, the brand manufacturer greatly influences the quality. Thus, before making your crossbow purchase, conduct reasonable research on the product before going to the dealer to make your purchase. With prior knowledge, you will be able to examine the brands much better upon arrival at the shop in terms of its parts, the quality of material used in their make and performance upon trial. Also of importance, concerning the manufacturer is the product warranty and guarantees. Products with longer warranty periods tend to last longer and break down less often hence saving up the user on costs in the end. Where you are in doubts, consider asking your dealer for further advice to ensure you walk out of the shop satisfied.
Customization: Crossbows are unique in their make in that they allow for customization. Thus, if you like customized products, consider crossbows options with this capability, ensuring that the design, color and functionality of the crossbow you select perfectly suits your preference.
Purchase cost: Crossbows prices vary greatly depending on their quality, size and performance. Despite this, do not limit yourself to the price only and end up compromising on the quality. Thus, where you get stuck due to a low budget, consider asking your dealer for advice to ensure you settle for a good crossbow. On the other hand, if money is not the problem, then go for the best crossbows, these may range from as much as $2500. Expensive crossbows are a performance guarantee in some instances. Despite this, always ensure you gain value for your money both in the short and long term.
Safety features: When dealing with crossbows, your safety should top the priorities. As a smart buyer, therefore, check for safety features such as the auto-engaging safety and safety wings. Where you find a crossbow without safety features, withdraw your purchase plan if you are to remain safe as a user. At this stage also, consider your state limitations on the use of the crossbows to ensure no violation of the land regulations. As a rule, the crossbow users should at least be above 14 years and should own a license in order to own and use the crossbows. In addition, hunting within the country in question should be a legal activity.
Cocking aids: As a fun hunter, you will realize that cocking your crossbows is quite difficult and demands a lot of energy. In this case, therefore, consider purchasing crossbows with cocking aids. Some of these aids include:
Rope cocking device: This is an inexpensive and easier way of cocking the crossbows hence ideal for beginners. The device cuts down the workload of pulling the bow by up to 50% hence an ideal selection for a target shooter.
Crank cocking device: This device offers an easy but expensive way to cock the crossbows. Moreover, you need to exercise patience with this device as it takes more time to cock the bow. The device is suitable for hunters especially the old and handicapped.
Crossbow scopes: Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hunter, you will discover that to attain maximum potential in your shots, the crossbow scope is a crucial element. Most crossbows feature built-in scopes. Thus, their quality is what matters in attaining the best shot. Crossbow scopes come in four variations. Namely:
- Optical scopes that feature a cross hatch when looking through the scope.
- Multi-Reticle scope, featuring a fine-lined cross hatch that promotes a good range of perception.
- The single red dot that aids in aiming.
- Multi-Red Dot featuring multiple red dots for that promotes better aiming.
Noise dampening devices: Successful hunters consider noise to be a serious threat to their hunting success. For this reason, purchasing a noise-dampening device along with the crossbows will be ideal for controlling the noise. These devices usually mount on the crossbow limbs and reduce the vibrations and noise that come from firing a shot.
Choosing the Right crossbows for Your Lifestyle
As a smart buyer, you need to do a prior review of the top products before actualizing your purchase. Some of the top crossbows and features you may consider include the following:
The best crossbow for the money: If you have a limited budget for your crossbow, then the Barnet Jackal is an ideal choice. This bow is efficient with a smooth operation. The bow embraces a traditional make that necessitates string waxing after some shots. To cut down on costs, this crossbow features a complete package comprising the bolts, premium red dot sight and the quick detach quiver that eliminates the need for more accessory purchases. Despite paying less, this crossbow has a lighter weight compared to the traditional models and its shooting speed of up to 315 fps makes it an ideal selection for your money. In addition to its economic efficiency, Barnet Jackal is also an ideal choice for beginners. Unlike the Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package that also features a complete package, this best crossbow features simple elements that are easy to assemble.
Speed: If you are a hunter then a high-speed crossbow is crucial to attain your hunting goals. The Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package, Realtree Xtra, 260-Pound, should, therefore, be your ultimate purchase. This crossbow features a speed of 380 FPS coupled with a 260 pound draw weight and 13.1 inch power stroke that ensures the bow hits the target and pierces through, bringing it down on the spot.
Safety features: As earlier stated, the security of the user, as well as those around them, matters when it comes to handling the crossbows. For this reason, as a hunter, consider crossbows with security features. The Barnet Jackal, for instance, comes with safety videos in its package. These videos serve as referencing resources and offer troubleshooting instructions and steps to the user to ensure their safety and proper functioning of the crossbow.
What is the best crossbow? As a smart buyer, getting the best brand is actually a solution to your archery needs. Thus, purchasing the Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package will grant you the opportunity and satisfaction from owning the best crossbow on the market. This bow unlike the two above tops in all features including safety, weight and speed hence it is top ranking. Moreover, this best crossbow comes as a complete package thus when you buy it, you need not go back to the dealer in search of extra accessories. The package comprises of wicked ridges, carbon arrows, practice tips, crossbow and multi-Line Scope. To ensure easy and efficient cocking, the Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package features an ACUdraw cocking mechanism. This type of rope cocking device performs this role by cutting down the draw weight by up to 50%.
Besides being the best in the market, the Wicked Ridge crossbow is an ideal choice for beginners courtesy of its kinetic energy. Its lightweight is just convenient for beginners, requiring them to take precaution when it comes to the recoil only.
Some of the technical specifications to factor in your crossbow purchase include:
Feet Per Second (FPS): This feature dictates the speed of the crossbow. Ideally, for an effective hunting session, consider crossbows with a speed of at least 300 FPS.
Speed: If speed is what you want in a crossbow, then the compound crossbow is the ideal selection for you. On average, crossbows have between 300 and 380 fps shooting speed. The 300fps offers an efficient operating speed while the 380fps offers a hard hit that will enable the user hit the target hard enough to lay it down despite the distance. The bolt dictates the speed to some extent. Thus, by using a compatible bolt with your crossbow, you will be able to attain the desired shot. In some instances, manufacturers consider increasing the crossbow speed by adding cams or using heavier limbs. This, despite achieving the result comes at the cost of noisy operation and difficulties in cocking the crossbow.
Level of noise: As a hunter, you probably want to have the most silent hunting session so that your target does not note your presence. In this instance, consider buying the recurve bows which are quieter. However, when it comes to this assessment, as a hunter, you will need to decide whether to go for speed or noise to ensure hunting success.
FAQs about crossbows
How far can the shot of a crossbow go?
While crossbows shots can go as long as 100 yards, the ideal distance is 50 yards, especially for hunting. This will ensure your arrow hits your target hard enough to bring it down. Where you go for longer distances, it is most likely that the noise of the arrow will go ahead of the arrow itself and alert the target hence missing it.
How safe are crossbows?
Crossbows feature safety components that make them safer to operate and carry around. For instance, with the anti-dry fire, just like guns, these crossbows will not fire if no arrow is on them.
How do we size crossbows?
As a rule, one crossbow size fits all kinds of users. The upper weight limits for bows is 200 pounds and are usable by kids provided they can crank it. Moreover, since crossbows can rest on a surface, you need not hold them hence you save up your energy to shoot the arrow.
What arrow difference exists between the compound bow and crossbows?
Crossbow arrows or bolts are shorter and thicker compared to the compound bow arrows. Despite this difference, both types of arrows have similar broadheads.
How difficult is it to load crossbows?
Loading crossbows is not a difficult task as some people put it. There are two major ways of doing this: the rope cocking system and the hand crank system. For simplicity purposes, however, consider the hand cranking option.
Finally, with the above review, it is evident that you have a vivid understanding of the crossbows types, top features, and brands to enhance an informed purchase decision. Thus, if you want to get the best crossbow, you need to take your time to read and understand the models available. With technological advancements going on by the day, more crossbows are likely to come up. In conclusion of the matter, however, even with the manufacturer’s advice, the ultimate decision lies with you. Thus, play the role of a smart buyer effectively to influence your purchase decision and avoid later regrets positively.