best crossbow for the money

This post contains affiliate links which provides us a commission at no cost to you.
Read the full disclosure here.

Game hunting can be one of the most adventurous activities you ever engaged in. Does shooting with incredible precision drive an adrenaline rush all over your body? Then the best crossbow is a must have for, if you fit that description. A crossbow is an ancient weapon, whose design borrowed a leaf from a regular bow, but was modified with a horizontal bar to generate more torque for the projectile. Crossbows were a significant part of ancient war artillery. The crossbow prides itself in a rich history out of it extensive use in ancient war times. It is rumored to have originated from Europe and China around the late years of the fourth century BC. As innovation and improvements happen on many ancient inventions, the crossbow has not been left behind. Today there are myriad types of crossbows each designed uniquely to deliver a different performance.

Chances are that, even though you might be a big enthusiast of game hunting and precision shooting, you do not know anything about the technical aspects of modern crossbows. You might not know what the best crossbow is. The many types available may, therefore, turn out very confusing next time you want to get one for that all-exciting adventure you are planning. You might wonder how you will get the best crossbow for your upcoming archery competition. Worry less! The following is a chronology of insight into different types of modern crossbows. Going through it will help you make an informed decision when shopping for a crossbow. It would be a shame if you couldn’t hit the bull’s eye just because you don’t have the right crossbow. Let’s dive right in and make sure that does not happen.

Best Crossbow Reviews

1. Barnett Jackal – Best Crossbow

The Barnett Jackal Crossbow delivers acceptable levels of power and projectile speed. It comes with a 150-pound weight in draw capacity, translating into a projectile velocity of 315 FPS (Ft per Second). This crossbow will deliver a substantial impact on the target. If you are into hunting wild game, especially large animals, this crossbow should be one of your options. It comes in a sleek and military-look appearance. It is one of those weapons you want to be carrying around in the jungle. It features a synthetic string and cable system that makes it capable of delivering such high projectile speeds. It is also lightweight making its handling very easy.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It has an arrow velocity of 315 FPS.
  • It has 150 Pounds of draw weight.
  • It features a 3.5-pound smooth trigger- this makes it easy for you as a hunter to quickly respond.
  • It has a synthetic string and cable system.
  • The colors enable excellent camouflage capability.


  • It has high power conversion ratio.
  • The smooth trigger enables you to shoot quickly and at the right time to ensure you hit the target.
  • It is lightweight and therefore easy to handle and move around with.
  • The camouflage capabilities work incredibly well while disguising to set an ambush for your target.


  • It requires weather-sensitive storage. You have to keep waxing the frame and the cable system to prevent them from rusting.
  • The crossbow does not necessarily have the best quality materials for its frame. It can easily break if overstretched.


The Barnett Jackal Crossbow is a great option for hunters. The crossbow can drop down a deer; you got to shoot accurately though. All systems are well placed to aid you to be precise. Therefore, it is an excellent crossbow for your hunting endeavor. Regarding the storage, everything requires proper maintenance, and about the materials, you will have no problems if you don’t push it beyond its thresholds.


2. Wicked Ridge by Ten-Point Invader G3 – Best Crossbow For Hunting

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package with 3x Multi-Line Scope, 3 Carbon Arrows, and...
  • BEST OF THE BEST: Invader G3 is the safest, lightest, narrowest, and fastest Wicked Ridge Invader model to date
  • COMPLETE PACKAGE from Ten Point's Wicked Ridge pairs their revolutionary Invader G3 Crossbow with the GEAR YOU NEED FOR HUNTING SUCCESS, no extra accessories to track down, it's all in the box, READY...

The Wicked Ridge G3 crossbow is another fantastically designed hunting crossbow. It delivers more power and speed than the Barnett Jackal Crossbow discussed above. It is also lightweight. It is narrower and sleek-looking too. This award-winning crossbow provides impressive performance that will make your excitement outpour. It comes with self-retracting rope system that you can engage to reduce the draw weight by 50%. That amazing, right? It is well-engineered and features perfectly placed grip positions to enhance safety.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It comes with a draw weight of 165 pounds.
  • It gives a speed of 330 FPS to the projectile.
  • It weighs 6.6lbs.
  • It comes with the ACU draw cocking mechanism.
  • It is 37.7 inches long.


  • It has high power and speed delivery.
  • It is extremely lightweight, hence easier handling.
  • The ACU draw cocking mechanism enhances safety, makes it possible to reduce draw weight.
  • It has long string life expectancy.
  • It has a 3.5-pound trigger. This is a light trigger making it easier to launch a response shoot accurately.


  • Its front design is not the best for camouflaging. It is easily detectable.
  • The cock strings and handles jiggle a bit after a shot.


The Wicked Ridge G3 delivers incredible speed and power compared to its weight. That is a requisite for any game hunting expedition. It seems a lot of attention has been paid to the handling and performance of this crossbow putting it among the best for hunting. The jiggling issues could be an issue with its tree stand; this is a bit concerning. The camouflage capability is not that big of a concern if the crossbow can deliver power and precision. The Wicked Ridge G3 is, therefore, an excellent option for your next hunting adventure.


3. Excalibur Matrix 380 – Best Crossbow For The Money

The Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow is an even more powerful crossbow. This crossbow delivers next-level performance, with its power and speed. It comes with the recurve design which promises incredible reliability. Hunting can never remain the same with this fantastic crossbow. This weapon can drop down even the largest of game hunting targets. You need this crossbow if you want to be humane to the animals you are hunting. It will finish them off before they even realize they’ve been hit.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It delivers 380 FPS in draw speed.
  • It has a draw weight of 260 pounds.
  • It is fitted with the Ergo-grip stock.
  • It is 35 inches long.


  • It has high power speed delivery. This makes it effective in quickly subduing targets.
  • It is very quiet while shooting.
  • The narrow and compact design makes it easy to handle.
  • The Ergo-grip ensures a strong grip hence safety.
  • Strong and durable materials.


  • It is a bit heavy. This may make its handling a bit difficult for someone who is not strong enough.
  • It’s front design is not perfect for camouflaging.


The Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow delivers the much-needed power and speed. Its design pays a lot of attention to its performance and compactness. Taking into consideration its fantastic performance and compact design, this crossbow could be the real deal. Its weight is a bit of a concern. The weight is as a result of the robust, compact and durable materials. It could, therefore, be a good thing after all. As mentioned before, I don’t think camouflage is that much of a big deal so long as the weapon can deliver high speed and power.


4. CenterPoint Sniper 370 – Best Crossbow Under 500

Centerpoint AXCS185BK Sniper 370 Crossbow Package, Black
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE 370 FPS - 18-inch axle-to-axle at full draw and 185-pound draw weight
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE STOCK AND FOREGRIP - For a customized fit to shoulder with confidence

The CenterPoint Sniper 370 is yet another powerful and compact crossbow. This crossbow is designed for precision. It comes fitted with an impressive precision cam to make sure you don’t miss your target. If you have concerns about your precision while shooting, this weapon should be one of your top-of-the-list, options. It is not as powerful as the Excalibur Matrix 380, but it is way powerful than both the Wicked ridge and Barnett Jackal.  It Couples power and precision to offer an amazing option for any hunting adventure.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It features a projectile speed of 370 FPS.
  • It has a draw power of 185 pounds.
  • It comes with integrated string suppressors.
  • It is fitted with the CNC machined cam system.
  • It has a length of 33.6 inches.


  • It has high power speed delivery.
  • The integrated string suppressors make it quiet and vibration-free during shooting.
  • It has high precision thanks to the CNC machine cam system.
  • It is narrow and compact; this allows improved handling hence safety.
  • It’s rail made of strong and durable materials.


  • Its weight is a little bit on the higher side
  • It lacks illumination; this might hinder the effectiveness of the cam scope.
  • The limbs are a bit weak.


The CenterPoint Sniper 370 is made for precision; it, however, does not disappoint concerning power either. It translates a power draw of 185 to a speed of 37 FPS. This is very effective as far as power conversion is concerned. Less of your energy is wasted. The combination of high precision and power makes it an ideal crossbow for many hunting expeditions. It, therefore, deserves a place among the best crossbows.


5. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow

Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit (175-Pounds)
  • Package comes fully equipped with 4-16" bolts, Quick Detach Quiver, 3 Red Dot Sight, Padded Sling and Rope Cocker, Free Extra String
  • Anti-Dry Fire Trigger Mechanism, Thumb Guard for added protection

The Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow is another crossbow designed with precision in mind. It performs moderately concerning power and speed. It is incredibly lightweight making it ideal for sporting activities. It works well as a starter-kit for newbies in crossbow shooting. It features an adjustable three-red-dot scope. It works with the aid of a weaver style cam to enhance precision. The Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow comes with the recurve style on the limbs which help it maintain power despite its minimal weight.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It has 175 pounds in draw power.
  • It gives the projectile speed of 235 FPS.
  • It comes with a padded shoulder sling.
  • It features an adjustable weaver style scope-cam.
  • It weighs 4.84 pounds.
  • It is 31 inches in length.


  • It possesses quite impressive power and speed given its little weight.
  • It has high precision capabilities.
  • It is a great option for newbies.
  • The padded shoulder sling makes it comfortable to handle.
  • It is very lightweight hence easy to handle.


  • Its materials may not be the most durable.
  • It cannot stay compact. A lot of vibration forces you to keep tightening the nuts.


As mentioned earlier, each of these crossbows is designed with a specific situation in mind. The Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow is of high precision. It is also designed to sit well with trainees and intermediate hunters. The vibration while shooting is a big concern as it also touches on safety. On the other hand, its lightweight enables easier handling hence improved safety. It is still a fantastic crossbow. If you are starting out in game hunting, this is probably one of the crossbows you should consider acquiring.


6. Barnett BCX Buck Commander

Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme CRT Crossbow Package
  • Speeds of 365 FPS
  • Finger guard and pass-through fore grip

The Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme CRT Crossbow features among powerful crossbows. Its design is very compact, with probably the shortest axle to axle distance. This crossbow is surprisingly lightweight compared to the power it delivers. From our previous reviews, crossbows that are lightweight are lacking when it comes to compactness. The Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme CRT Crossbow has, however, defied the odds. Its design has considered every aspect of crossbows, making it an amazing weapon.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It features a draw power of 185 pounds.
  • It averages a projectile speed of 365 FPS.
  • It has the rope cocking mechanism.
  • It has a distance of 19.875 inches from one axle to the other.
  • It measures 34.2 inches in length.
  • It weighs 7.1 pounds.


  • It has high speed and power delivery.
  • The rope cocking mechanism enhances safety.
  • It is lightweight hence easy to handle.
  • It is made of strong and durable materials.
  • It has a compact design.


  • The strings are not the best, should be changed every year.
  • It requires consistent waxing to ensure the strings remain in good condition.


The Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme CRT Crossbow strikes a good balance between the weight of the crossbow and its compactness. It does not disappoint on power and speed delivery either. This crossbow is designed to satisfy every little detail affecting crossbow’s performance. It might not reach the optimum levels in all these aspects, but it is an amazing crossbow to have.


7. Ten-Point Turbo GT Crossbow

TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package with 3x Pro-View 2 Scope, 3 Pro-Elite Carbon Arrows, 3-Arrow...
  • WINNER of the 2016 Game & Fish Reader's Choice Award, the adjustable Fusion S stock and ultra-compact, powerful 13.5-inch XLT bow assembly form a deadly combination
  • Ultra compact assembly with a high performance Fusion S stock and ACRA-ANGLE barrel to DELIVER DEADLY PERFORMANCE with a power stroke of just 12.6", launching arrows up to 360 fps with a HARD-HITTING...

The Ten-Point Turbo GT Crossbow seeks to combine power, compactness, and precision. It does not have as much power as the Barnett Buck Commander. However, it beats the Barnett Buck in precision and compactness. This crossbow just like the Barnett Buck is an attempt to create a balance between all aspects of crossbow shooting. It is also very lightweight, which makes it impressive if you take into consideration its power related capabilities. The Ten-Point Turbo GT Crossbow is an award-winning crossbow that promises much regarding compactness.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It comes with a draw weight of 175 pounds.
  • It averages a speed of 360FPS on the projectiles.
  • It features a 3x pro-view two scopes.
  • It also has the draw cocking mechanism.


  • It has an effective power to speed conversion.
  • It has an improved precision with the 3x pro-view two scopes.
  • It has enhanced safety thanks to the draw cocking mechanism.
  • It is made of strong and durable materials.
  • It is very compact.


  • The scope fails to light up sometimes- this largely affects precision while shooting.


The Ten-Point Turbo GT Crossbow is also a crossbow that tries to create a balance in all aspects. Its compactness is however top-notch. It has no noise or vibration issues. It is, therefore, a recommendable crossbow. It does not fall too short concerning power. Its power conversion is also great. It has a maximum power draw of 175 pounds. A speed of 360 FPS is pretty impressive. It implies less of your energy to be wasted and more of it goes into propelling the projectile. The Ten-Point Turbo GT Crossbow qualifies to for consideration as a great weapon for any hunting expedition.


8. Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow

Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3-20-Inch Arrows and Premium Red Dot Sight)
  • Bestselling crossbow Barnett has ever produced; features lightweight composite GAM stock, thumbhole grip, and vented quad limbs with high energy Veloci-Speed wheels
  • Crosswire string and cable system; innovative crank attachment built into stock, allowing easy installation of optional crank cocking device (sold separately)

The Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow is yet another impressive crossbow in the Barnett collection. This crossbow features longer distance between axles. It is Barnett’s collection of the best-selling crossbow. It is designed with speed and handling in mind. It also does not disappoint on precision. It does have the sleek signature look of Barnett Crossbows. The thumbhole grip design allows for a firm grip which is an important aspect of handling. You do not want your target to run away just because you couldn’t maintain a firm grip on the crossbow.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It has a 150-pound draw weight.
  • The firing velocity hits 320FPS.
  • The crossbow is 34 inches in length.
  • It weighs 8.5 pounds.
  • It features a thumbhole grip design.
  • It comes with vented quad limbs.


  • It has effective power to speed conversion.
  • The thumbhole grip design makes it easy to handle.
  • The vented quad limbs are strong hence durable and able to generate more speed.
  • It is compact with very minimal vibrations on a shoot


  • Its weight is a bit on the higher side.
  • It lacks the cocking mechanism; you would have to buy it separately.


The Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow does not disappoint in many aspects. Its power and speed are acceptable. The cocking mechanism can be added separately, and it is therefore not that big of a concern. Most crossbows with the cocking mechanism will be more expensive anyway. The weight can affect handling, though the thumbhole grip design enhances it. The crossbow has therefore managed to strike a balance between all the aspects of crossbow shooting to deliver a more than average performance.


9. Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow

Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package
  • 410 FPS; 185 LB. Draw Weight; Quiver, 3 Arrows, Rope Cocking Device, Talon Sling and 3x32 Scope
  • 185 LB. Draw Weight

The Barnett Ghost 410 crossbow of the popular Barnett series comes in to deliver the most impressive speeds we have seen so far. The design itself exemplifies perfection. It is compactly designed to deliver power, precision and durability, all in one package. It has a distance of 20 inches between axels that works well to generate higher torque for projection. It is also lightweight and comes with a finger-guard and pass-through grip design.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It has a draw weight of 185 pounds.
  • It converts the draw weight to a projectile velocity of 410 FPS.
  • It comes with a finger-guard and pass-through grip design.
  • It features a crosswire and cable system.
  • It has a length of 34.2 inches.
  • It weighs 7.3 pounds.


  • It has high power speed delivery.
  • It has effective power to speed conversion.
  • It is lightweight hence easy to handle.
  • The finger-guard and pass through grip design enhances handling hence safety.


  • The Barnett Ghost 410 crossbow requires constant waxing of the strings to ensure they last.
  • The strings don’t last long you may have to replace them every year.


The Barnett Ghost 410 crossbow is on another level as compared to the other crossbows we have reviewed so far. It delivers impressive speed while still managing to remain incredibly lightweight. The crossbow is definitely among the elite crossbows regarding performance. It is likely to have a hefty price tag attached to it. The crossbow, however, will drop that huge animal you will be hunting in an instant. It has also taken into consideration safety issues and has the appropriate features. It is safe to bet that this is one of the most powerful crossbows. This is your crossbow if you do not want to compromise on power.


10. Excalibur 1108709 E95857

The Excalibur 1108709 E95857 Micro Suppressor Crossbow is a very uniquely designed crossbow regarding its aesthetic appearance. It is a powerful crossbow too. It is well balanced across all aspects of crossbow shooting. It ranks well in power, precision, and compactness. Its outward appearance is also perfect for camouflaging. It is well designed to allow easy handling and hence maneuverability. If your hunting grounds involve a lot of movements, the Excalibur 1108709 E95857 Micro Suppressor Crossbow should be among those you should consider acquiring.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It has a draw weight of 280 pounds.
  • It projects at a top speed of 355 FPS.
  • It has a length of 31 inches.
  • It weighs 5.4 pounds.
  • It has the rope cocking mechanism.


  • It has high speed and power delivery.
  • It is very compact. It has no shoot vibrations.
  • It is well-designed for camouflaging.
  • It is lightweight hence has easy handling. This works well to enhance safety.
  • The rope cocking mechanism enhances safety.


  • Its conversion of draw power to speed is not very effective.


The Excalibur 1108709 E95857 Micro Suppressor Crossbow is a mid-range crossbow. It performs well and does not disappoint in many aspects of crossbow shooting. It has been designed to ensure optimum compactness. Optimum compactness is essential in a crossbow to ensure you do not miss your target. The Excalibur 1108709 E95857 Micro Suppressor Crossbow should feature among your considerations for your next hunting adventure. It has a very combative outward appearance. You may prefer it if you like being domineering with your impressions. It perfectly fits the description of a suitable hunting crossbow.


11. Ravin Crossbow 1108861 R110

Ravin R9 Crossbow Package
  • Speed: 390 feet per second
  • Power stroke: 13 inch

Do you hate it every time you have to pull your crossbow with too much strain? Well, go and get yourself Ravin Crossbow 1108861 R110 Predator Crossbow. This crossbow delivers the biggest power to speed ratio. It makes it very easy for you to set up the projectile and has impressive speed. It comes with a very distinctive appearance. Its limbs are foldable making it easier to put in a bag and move around with. It combines speed, power, and compactness to deliver a fantastic performance. It has a sleek design and a well-designed body for easy handling. It is designed to ensure optimum safety.

Core Features and Specifications

  • It has a draw force of 12 pounds.
  • It projects with a top speed of 390 FPS.
  • It is small and narrow.
  • It has foldable limbs.
  • It has a built-in cocking mechanism.
  • It comes with a 100-yard illuminated scope.
  • It weighs 8 pounds.


  • It has amazing conversions of draw power to speed.
  • It has high power and speed.
  • It is compact and portable.
  • The cocking mechanism enhances safety.
  • The 100-yard illuminated scope is effective in enhancing precision.


  • The weight is a bit on the higher side so it might affect handling.


The Ravin Crossbow 1108861 R110 Predator Crossbow seems to be the most revolutionized and modern crossbow. It delivers acceptable speed and power. The crossbow is compact and with appropriate safety measures. It qualifies to be described as the most improved crossbow regarding performance and handling. You can bet that this crossbow also has a considerable price tag attached to it.


Comparing Crossbow Factors

The following are the main technical factors that are supposed to be taken into consideration, before settling on any particular crossbow.

This refers to the amount of energy you use to set up an arrow in the crossbow. The draw-power is equivalent to the potential energy available when the arrow is set on the crossbow. This potential energy is translated into kinetic energy upon shooting. The kinetic energy is used to propel the arrow to the tops speeds. A good crossbow should not take you a lot of power to set up only to generate some little speed. You need to consider how you will be using the crossbow since it is relative to the draw-power and arrow speeds.

Compactness and Precision

A compact crossbow is one that does not have to vibrate even after a powerful shot. A shot will generate some reaction force. A good crossbow should be able to handle this force. Compactness has a massive impact on precision and safety. You cannot remain precise if your crossbow has vibrations every time you shoot. Accuracy is primarily impacted on by the scope cam of the crossbow. These scope cams are made differently. Some are better than others. Always go for the best if you can afford it. However, it is important to mention that precision is ultimately dependent on your shooting skills. The scope cams might be of little help if you have not mastered the skill

It is important to remain cognizant that a crossbow is a weapon that can cause devastating harm if not handled carefully. Always ensure that the crossbow you get has all the appropriate safety features. Those with additional safety features are even better. Your safety and that of people close to you is paramount.

The prices range from hundreds of dollars to thousands. You can only buy that which is within your budget. Therefore, the price is the ultimate determinant of the crossbow you are going to get. You need to carefully examine the price tags of the different crossbows in comparison to what they offer regarding their performance so that you can get the best crossbow for the money you have.

This chronology might belong to memorize just so that you could get the best crossbow. Therefore, I have compiled details about the crossbows discussed and summarized them in a comparison table that you can quickly go through next time you are shopping for a crossbow. The table contains the name of the crossbow, the specifications, and the price.

NameCore FeaturesPrice
Barnett Jackal Crossbow
  • The aesthetics of the crossbow are amazing.
  • The arrow is projected at a speed of 315 FPS
  • The crossbow requires 150 pounds in draw weight to set it up.
  • It has a 3.5 pounds trigger.
  • The cable system is made of synthetic strings.
Check Price
Wicked Ridge by Ten-Point Invader G3 Crossbow
  • The crossbow requires 165 pounds of set up weight.
  • The arrow is projected at a speed of 330FPS.
  • It features the Ac draw locking mechanism.
Check Price
Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow
  • The crossbow measures 35 inches in length.
  • It has a draw weight of 380 FPS
  • The overall weight of the crossbow is 260 pounds.
  • It features a well-designed ergo grip
Check Price
CenterPoint Sniper 370
  • The precision of the crossbow is enhanced by its CNC Machine cam.
  • It has an arrow speed of 370 FPS.
  • The overall weight is 18.3 pounds.
  • It measures 33.6 inches in length.
Check Price
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow
  • The crossbow has an adjustable weaver style scope-cam.
  • It features a padded shoulder sling.
  • It measures 31 inches in length.
Check Price
Barnett BCX Buck Commander
  • The crossbow features a rope cocking mechanism
  • It has a weight of 7.1 pounds
  • The axle to axle distance is 19.875
Check Price
Ten-Point Turbo GT Crossbow
  • The crossbow comes with a 3x pro-view 2 scope cam.
  • It features the drawing cocking mechanism.
  • The draw weight of the crossbow is 175 pounds.
Check Price
Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow
  • The crossbow features a convenient thumbhole grip design.
  • It comes with vented quad limbs.
  • It measures 34 inches in length.
  • The overall weight of the crossbow is 8.5 pounds.
Check Price
Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow
  • The crossbow handling is made easy by the finger guard pass-through grip design.
  • It features an arrow speed of 410FPS.
  • The crossbow has a draw weight of 185pounds.
Check Price
Excalibur 1108709 E95857
  • The crossbow features the rope-cocking mechanism
  • The length of the crossbow is 31 inches
  • The arrow is projected at a speed of 355 FPS
  • The crossbow weighs 5.4 pounds.
Check Price
Ravin Crossbow 1108861 R110
  • The crossbow is small and narrow
  • The bow features the rope cocking mechanism
  • It comes with a 100-yard illuminated scope
  • The Overall weight is 8 pounds.
Check Price

Best Crossbow – Buyer’s Guide

Here is a comprehensive buying guide for best crossbows to have a deep insight for a better decision.

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.

Types of Crossbows and How to Select the One for 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.

Features to Consider About Crossbows

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 Crossbow 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.

Tech Specs

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 Crossbow

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.


Having gone through a number of the crossbows available for purchase, you now have a vague idea of the technicalities involved in crossbows. Getting the best crossbow on the market is central to having the most exciting hunting adventure. The best crossbow is, however, relative to your specific situation.

The activity you are involved, the location and the nature of that location are factors that are influential on the performance of your crossbow. For instance, if you will be shooting targets in mountainous locations, you will need a crossbow that can generate high speed. This speed will be relative to the steepness of the mountain in question.  Each of the crossbows discussed above is ideal for a specific situation. You do not need to have a crossbow that takes you a lot of energy to set up if you are not shooting from a far distance or a big animal.

Similar Posts