While traditional hunting with guns and hounds is an enjoyable pastime, it is pale in comparison to the unique experience offered by bow hunting. Some people have an undeniable knack and skill for archery.
Although it’s not necessarily your most typical weapon, you’re bound to have a more challenging and exciting hunting encounter with a crossbow.
- Our Top Best Crossbows
- 5 Main Factors to Consider While Choosing Your Ideal Crossbow
- Best Crossbow for the Money
- Best Youth Crossbows
- Best Hunting Crossbows
- Best Crossbows for Deer Hunting
- Best Beginner Crossbows
- The Best Crossbow Is
Our Top Best Crossbows
|Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package||Best for the Money||Our Review|
|Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow||Youth Crossbows||Our Review|
|Excalibur Matrix 380||Hunting Crossbow||Our Review|
|Barnett Outdoors Ghost 360 CRT||for Deer Hunting||Our Review|
|Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow||for Beginners||Our Review|
When some people think about crossbows, it may take their minds to a medieval time. It is true that it is an older form of bows, but one that has become wildly popular again in recent years. Using a crossbow is exciting and unique, however there are a ton of different styles on the market.
Before you go straight into the details of the best crossbow, first and foremost you need to ask yourself these questions:
- What exactly am I going to use it for?
- How much can I afford to spend?
That’s what we will try to answer here with these crossbow reviews.
Before considering the main factors for the best crossbows, you might want to look more in the direction of the best crossbow brands. Which, of course, may differ in each individual’s opinion. But to name a few of the best crossbow brands: Barnett Crossbows, PSE, Excalibur Crossbows, Southern Crossbow.
Now, let’s take a look at the potentially best crossbows 2017 for you.
5 Main Factors to Consider While Choosing Your Ideal Crossbow
Depending on your purpose for the crossbow, you will have an idea of what kind you may need. For hunting, you will need a faster arrow speed. For target practice, arrow speed isn’t much of a factor.
If you want the top arrow speed for hunting, a compound crossbow/a reverse crossbow is suggested. While target practice works fine with most models, hunting is an area where the speed of your arrow plays an important factor.
It’s directly related to the speed as it denotes the amount of pull required to draw the crossbow. The higher the weight – the faster the speed. Game hunting (medium to big) needs about 175 – 200 pounds draw weight to release arrows with a speed range of 250 – 350 FPS.
Obviously, a lighter model is better for beginners as well as for long hunts to avoid exhaustion. Nevertheless, a heavier model assures stability and is easier to control.
You must take into account your physique and strength, as well as purpose while deciding on this factor.
There are cheap ones and there are high priced ones. You need to choose according to your use. Beginners and youngsters are advised to stick to low-medium ranged crossbows as their first, while professionals willing to make hunting more than a hobby are welcome to pick the high-rollers.
Always invest in a crossbow that incorporates the best scope. The scope helps the most in determining accuracy when you aim at your target from a distance. With a good scope, you can avoid putting yourself in danger by going up close and personal for a clearer shot.
Now that we know some of the key qualities of the best crossbows, let’s dive into some crossbows that may suit you best.
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look as some of the best crossbow reviews.
Best Crossbow for the Money
Choosing the right crossbow is an easy task when money is not an issue. However, the whole process can be troublesome when the budget is limited and therefore, you need to find the crossbow that packs the biggest bang for your buck.
Here are some options for the top rated crossbows for the money while not altering quality.
Barnett Jackal Package
Even though a bit higher priced than the Arrow Precision Fury, its higher quality makes it the best crossbow for the money. Actually, it might just be the best crossbow under 500.
Barnett, undoubtedly is one of the world’s best, has compiled a package with a quiver, 3 20-inch bolts, and a red-dot sight, thus allowing you to use it “right out of the box”.
Energy wheels at the ends, combined with the cable system churn out high-speed arrows at 315 feet per second. Don’t get scared by the power, the bow itself is very light. It weighs just 7.7 pounds, which prevents fatigue and thus makes this a top-notch choice for children and adults alike.
The Jackal comes with a sturdy build with specially designed quad limbs, which provide extra stability and support for more accurate shots.
The stock is sleek with a military inspired design, which allows for a safe place to grip. The divided foregrip helps in maintaining safe and correct hand placement.
- Quality crossbow for beginners.
- Very cheap for such a powerful crossbow.
- Generates enough power for even the largest game.
- Automated safety prevents dry firing.
- The package doesn’t include a rope-cocking device.
- A little noisy.
Wicked Ridge Invader G3 – The Best Valued Crossbow
We’ve included this on our list as the best crossbow for the money, because Ten-Point offers a sturdy crossbow with a lot of features, which you’d expect to find on higher priced models.
Like the above model, the G3 comes in an easy to assemble package with a 3 power Multi-Line scope, an instant release quiver, and three 20” carbon arrows.
The riser is made from machined aluminium, with cutouts, which allows for a lightweight design.
Power is no concern for this 6.6-pound crossbow, as it can launch arrows up to 330 feet/second, thanks to its 13.5-inch power stroke and 165-pound draw weight. That should be plenty to take down almost any type of game!
The 3.5 trigger is easy to pull and the ACU-52 cocking system fits securely without obstructing your aim.
The partially skeletal stock is designed with safety as a primary concern, constructed to keep your hand well below the string. The longer fore-grip with reinforced wings made from durable nylon material seals the deal for safe use.
Each pull glides impeccably without creaks and bumps, and as a result this crossbow makes minimal noise.
- Lightweight, well balanced and very accurate.
- A high-end safety system helps to prevent misfires.
- Magnesium riser bestows durability while reducing weight.
- Included scope is not illuminated.
Best Youth Crossbows
As crossbow hunting is becoming more and more popular among adults, the interest is piqued in our youth as well. The young generation searches for challenging outdoor activities and is now resting on crossbow hunting.
Let’s have a look at some of the best youth crossbows.
Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow
This crossbow from Barnett is ideal for people with a smaller frame, like children, and is also ideal for women. This is arguably the easiest crossbow to set up and takes at the most 10 minutes.
Although the draw weight is a meager 130 pounds, a rope-cocking device is recommended to be on the safe side.
Despite being smaller and more compact than most, it’s still not a toy. It boasts a 300-feet/second speed. The red-dot scope, within its visible zone, adds plenty of accuracy.
Fogging resistance is also featured due to the ice coating in the optics. String quality is nominal and replacing might come up earlier than expected.
Composite quad limbs and stock provides the required energy and the finger grip is ergonomically designed with finger reminders which make sure your fingers don’t get in the way of the string cable.
All in all, it’s the perfect crossbow to get your kid to leave all those addicting video games behind and accompany you on your next hunting trip to have a taste of real adrenaline!
- Quite affordable, easy to assemble and use.
- Ideal for youngsters and women.
- Premium red-dot scope enhances accuracy.
- Not the most powerful crossbow.
- String quality is shoddy.
Barnett Jackal Package
Barnett is undoubtedly one of the world’s best. It has compiled a package with a quiver, 3 20-inch bolts, and a red-dot sight, thus allowing your kids to use it “right out of the box”.
It’s not only the best youth crossbow, but also perfect for kids who are just starting to learn archery. With a number of simple adjustments, this crossbow adapts with your kids quickly.
Energy wheels at the ends combined with the cable system churn out high-speed arrows at 315 feet/second. Don’t get scared by the power, the bow itself is very light, just 7.7 pounds which prevent fatigue and thus makes this a first-rate choice for children and women alike.
The Jackal comes with a sturdy build with specially designed quad limbs, which provides extra stability and support for more accurate shots. The stock is sleek with a military inspired design, which grants a safe place to grip. The divided foregrip helps in maintaining safe and correct hand placement too.
- Best for beginners.
- Very cheap for such a powerful crossbow.
- Generates enough power for the most legal game.
- Automated safety prevents dry firing.
- The package doesn’t include a rope-cocking device.
- A little noisy.
Best Hunting Crossbows
Not all bows are suited for hunting. Hunting bows have to fill certain criteria in order to fit that label. It should be a light bow, accurate, and powerful without much noise so that you don’t scare off game.
These are the top suggestions, so keep on reading our hunting crossbow reviews.
Excalibur Matrix 380 – The Hunting Crossbow
If you aren’t anxious to splurge your entire savings and go for the elite, none can compare to the Excalibur Matrix 380. With its draw weight of 260 pounds, the Matrix has a colossal speed of 380 feet/second – a figure which lends it the title of “One of the Fastest Crossbows”.
In spite of its thunderous speed, the crossbow is silent as a fox and is thus one of the best hunting crossbow.
The pricey package is made up of the 35.6-inch crossbow weighing 5.9 pounds, a 4-arrow quiver, 4 Diablo arrows, 4 150 grain field points, a rope cocking utility and a Tact-Zone Crossbow Scope with red & green illuminations and a range scale of 60 yards.
That’s a pretty unique package!
Even though recurve bows are considered unsuitable for hunting due to their wider limbs, the Matrix 380, due to its compact design, can be used for hunting more efficiently than most crossbows.
- Very powerful and highly accurate.
- Durable and long lasting.
- Lightweight and quiet.
- The scope may fog up in damp conditions.
Barnett Ghost 410 CRT – The Fastest Crossbow
This is one of the best crossbows available and one of the top rated crossbows. It has no real competition in terms of speed, accuracy, and power. Which is why it makes itself a good choice as the best hunting crossbow.
It is one of the most compact crossbows at 7.3 pounds and 22 inches, yet it’s probably the most powerful crossbow with a draw weight of 185 pounds and 410-feet/second speed.
The exceedingly light Carbon Riser Technology makes the bow easy to handle for long spans.
The fore-grip is moisture resistant and made to keep your fingers safe. It has a large shoulder plate, which ensures you can take your time while aiming. The limbs have a split design which helps in reducing vibration.
Its 15.4-inch power stroke generates an astounding 149 feet-pounds of power. In spite of being hard on the pocket, the crossbow is very likely to last longer than most of its counterparts with its sturdy, well-built structure. Mounted scope comes with a red/green dot with a wide range.
- The fastest crossbow highly accurate.
- Lightweight and narrow design.
- Great quality scope
- May need a dampener to soften noise
TenPoint Venom could be the perfect pick for you, if you find manoeuvring a bow too tough of a task!
It comes with a sturdy build and a high-end design. The HE cam systems ensure that you have a smooth and powerful draw, and the limbs are sturdy enough to create a balanced feel.
This package also includes a quality RangeMaster Pro scope, which will assist shooters in making highly accurate shots once sighted in. The woven carbon fiber barrel is just 19.5 inch in length and is also extremely lightweight, making it ideal for tight quarters.
One of the reasons for its ever growing popularity is the ACU 50, which, in short, makes sure that you have an easy and smooth pull by removing almost 50 percent of the draw weight. As a result, you have a crossbow that should be simple to use without worry of fatigue.
This crossbow does not just promise high performance, but its eye catching yet compact design make it a perfect pick for kids and adults alike. It’s short stock should fit perfectly to any shoulder and its compact design allows you to shoot even in the most confined spaces.
- Very accurate and high quality scope.
- Compact design.
- Package will include all accessories needed to start shooting.
- Durable and sturdy construction along with ACU 50 draw for robust performance.
- Integrated rope cocking system.
- Priced a bit higher than other similar models
Best Crossbows for Deer Hunting
You need to be very cautious while deer hunting. The shot must be fast without alerting the animal, and swift enough to overcome their reaction time.
If you are looking for some of the best crossbows for deer hunting, we’ve got you covered.
Barnett Outdoors Ghost 360 CRT
Ghost 360 CRT is one of the leading models by Barnett. Its sturdy build, lightweight construction, and terrific accuracy makes it a great model for almost any hunter. Although it is a bit pricey, its’ value should prove to be worth it.
The crossbow is well balanced and easy to use. It weighs only 7 pounds at 36 inches. With both 20 and 22-inch arrows, the draw of 160 pounds provides a great shot speed of 360 feet/second – powerful enough for deer hunting.
The patented Carbon-Riser-Technology is responsible for reducing the weight so much.
Barnett provides a 5-in-1 safety, which protects the hunter from all hazards. The best and most durable materials are used to make the Ghost 360. The limbs are custom composite laminated and the flight track is of aluminium, which helps the bow to last longer.
- Fast, highly accurate and reliable.
- Lightweight, yet sturdy and durable.
- Extremely easy to assemble.
- A bit noisy.
- Scope range is limited to 40 yards.
CenterPoint Sniper 370
This package from Crossman includes the Center Point Sniper, a 4-arrow quiver, three 20-inch carbon bolts, an illuminated 4×32 scope and a cocking rope. It’s relatively easy to assemble and can be done easily right out of the box.
This crossbow provides 128 foot-pounds of power, with a firing velocity of 370 feet/second. Although not the smallest or the lightest, it’s still compact enough to qualify for one of the best crossbows for deer hunting.
The bow is 21.5 inches wide and just 7.9 pounds. It comes with a shoulder sling to avoid fatigue. The included rope-cocking device makes the cocking on the 185-pound draw weight a relatively easy job.
The multi-reticle illuminated scope, although not high end, is worth keeping especially for the 5 brightness levels which make hunting in low-light easier. The power along with the scope makes the Sniper 370 a highly accurate hunting weapon.
- Blazing fast firing speed.
- Lightweight, compact and sturdy.
- Fully adjustable tactical stock and forearm.
- The front is a bit heavy.
- Instruction manual provided is vague for beginners.
Best Beginner Crossbows
Beginners have no use of high-powered crossbows with tremendous velocity. The requirements for the best beginner crossbow stick to ease of assembly and use, lightweight yet durable design, and simple adjustments to cope with their novice hands.
Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow
This package from Carbon Express checks all the basic boxes – high performance, power, and accuracy – all at an outstanding value. It comes loaded with the top facilities and accessories that help to allow the user to adapt quickly.
Engineered using some of the best alloy cam sets and quality tuneable synthetic cords and wires for highest precision, it comes with a draw weight of 175 pounds. This crossbow includes a 29 inch Picatinny Rail, which makes this one of the most customizable crossbows.
The scope is of brilliant quality, by sighting in quickly and holds zero for a prolonged time. Regardless of the personalized accessories, the Intercept Axon holds true even without them in terms of power accuracy and comfort, thus being one of the most sought by beginners.
- The anti-dry-firing mechanism makes the bow last longer.
- Picatinny Rail helps in complete customization.
- Compact design makes it ideal for starters.
- A bit heavy for beginners.
SA Sports Fever Crossbow
Southland Archery presents one of the primary choices of the best beginner crossbows due to its reduced weight of 4.85 pounds, draw weight of 175 pounds and speed of 240 feet/second. Plus, amateurs are bound to find it easy to use and assemble.
The rope-cocking device is included in the package and the automatic safety mechanism prevents the bow from firing mistakenly. The 4×32 Multi-Range scope is an excellent addition, with great fog protection and moisture resistance.
Not being too heavy, it’s easy to carry around and faster to assemble.
Made of aluminum with fiberglass limbs with a proportional build of 27 inches, the Fever crossbow offers the advantage of being lightweight without losing balance. It also comes stocked with a premium scope of nominal quality and a 4-arrow quiver. The rear stock is ambidextrous which widens its use among archers.
- Lightweight yet sturdy build.
- Comes with a padded shoulder sling.
- Pretty cheap for beginners.
- Noisy and low on speed – not suited for hunting.
- Fiberglass bow bends easily if not careful.
The Best Crossbow Is
Archery is a fine hobby. Using a crossbow can be an amazing and exciting experience. Although it’s technically a bow, it differs in use from long/recurve bows. It needs lesser technique, strength, and stamina while producing more power, speed, and of course thrills.
The top rated crossbows of today often come with hefty price tags, so choosing the best one will ensure that you have a crossbow that is long lasting, accurate, powerful, and provides you with the best hunting experience.
If expense is not your concern, but you can’t pick a proper bow, the most recommended would be the BARNETT GHOST 410 CRT.
Standing tall above the others due to its herculean velocity, it’s undoubtedly the best purchase with its lightweight, yet durable, design which makes it easy to handle and the good quality scope gives high accuracy.
No crossbow can be considered to be perfect. There’ll always be faults and errors here and there. You just need to find the right one that suits you and your intended purpose the most.
Just make sure you educate yourself by thoroughly reading crossbow reviews before buying your dream crossbow. You can’t go wrong if you buy a crossbow from one of the best crossbow brands.