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Best Crossbow For The Money – 2015 Crossbow Reviews

Looking for the best crossbow? Well you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find honest and unbiased crossbow reviews of only the best selling and top rated crossbows available on the market today. 

The interactive crossbow chart below will quickly help you make an informative decision about which crossbow is the best for your needs. Whether you look for a crossbow for leisure activities, hunting or sports, this guide will help you find the best for you.

These weapons come in a variety of shapes, sizes, pulling mechanisms and most importantly, they have different calibers and shooting speeds. If you are not in a hurry you can read our reviews below the following comparison chart.

Best Crossbow By Price Range

Choosing the right crossbow can be an easy task when money is not an issue. If you are willing to spend a large sum, whatever you choose to buy will most certainly have a quality standard above average; that is if you go with a well-known manufacturer, of course. The real headache begins when the budget is limited and, therefore, you need to find the crossbow that will give you the most bang for your buck. Don’t worry though, we have taken the boring part of doing an extensive research out of the equation  and we provide you with the best crossbow for the money for every possible budget:  under $200, $200-$300, $300-$400, $400-$500, $500-$600, $600-$700, $700-$800, $800-$900, $900-$1000 and finally $1000+. Enjoy our crossbow reviews.

Best under $200:

Arrow Precision Inferno Fury

Read our Review

arrow precision inferno fury crossbow is the best choice below $200

This is definitely one of the cheapest crossbows you can get with a decent quality. Its low cost makes it perfect for beginners who are looking for something affordable, lightweight and easy to use. The package comes with everything you need to start practicing on targets including a nice red dot scope.

Inferno fury isn’t famous for its great power, throwing arrows at merely 235 fps. So, please note that it is not made to hunt large game even though you can easily bring down deer from 20-30 yards. The short 10.5 inch power stroke and manageable 175 lb. limb weight makes it simple enough to draw using a cocking aid without spending a huge amount of effort. While not perfect for hunting, its power and accuracy levels are more than enough for target practice and training.

What we liked:

  • Its Price – Perfect for those on a tight budget
  • Great for beginners – Lightweight and easy to draw
  • It can be used for target shooting and hunting small game
  • It has an anti-dry firing safety mechanism

What we didn’t like:

  • Not the right crossbow for hunting big game

350+ Positive Customer Reviews on amazon.com and a rating of 4.2

Best under $300:

Barnett Jackal Package

Read our Review

the Barnett Jackal crossbow is the top choice for those on a budget

As the price gets higher so is the quality. Barnett, one of the world’s most popular crossbow manufacturers, has put together a package (it contains a quiver, some bolts and a red dot sight) that you can use right out of the box. Assembling the crossbow is an easy and short process even for beginners; it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. The only thing missing to go hunting as soon as you get it is some broadheads.

The Barnett Jackal has a relatively short 12 inch draw length and ‘light’ 150 lbs. cocking weight yet packs 315 feet per second arrow velocity on release; enough power to take down deer and elks, even from 50 yards! Once you sight it in, it’s very accurate and ready to destroy some targets. Moreover, a very quick arrow release and an easy to execute drawback makes shooting this Barnett model a very fluid process.

The Jackal comes with a military style stock and its grip is separated. This lets users grip the weapon more like a pistol which leaves your hand with more freedom. The body is lightweight enough, but also durable and its great design may be a plus for someone who cares about the looks. It also comes with a dry fire prevention safety so you don’t accidentally shoot it when not loaded.

What we liked:

  • Perfect for beginners who are looking for something affordable
  • Compact and lightweight- very comfortable to hold and use
  • Very powerful and accurate for the price
  • It can take down any legal US game
  • Good package – Everything is included

400+ Positive Customer Reviews on amazon.com and a rating of 4.3

Best under $400:

Barnett Wildcat C5 Package: The best beginner crossbow

Full review

the Barnett Wildcat c5  crossbow is the best option for less than 400 dollars

Another entrance to our list for Barnett, the industry’s leader, who seems to have no opponent in the low-mid price range. Very similar to the Jackal but with some modifications the Barnett Wildcat C5 is another entry level crossbow that’s suited for hunting. It’s no wonder why the Wildcat C5 is Barnett’s best seller. With a firing velocity of 320 feet per second and a kinetic energy of 91-foot-pounds, it is deadly from up to 50 yards. If, however, you need something more powerful at the same price range check out the Barnett Penetrator , which is shooting at 350 fps.

This is a slightly heavier, longer and wider x-bow when compared to the Jackal but also shoots with a bit more speed and power. Overall, it does an excellent job at medium to long shots and it is built solidly; you don’t need to worry about getting it nicked up or damaged in the harsh wilderness environment or when weather becomes turbulent while hunting.

Sighting the 3 Red Dot scope that’s included in the package shouldn’t take more than five minutes and after that you can start firing arrows right away. Besides the scope, a quiver and some arrows are also included.

Adding together the superior quality, the low price, the ergonomic design and its durability, there isn’t much more a hunter or a target shooter could ask for within this budget. This is the best crossbow for beginners and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for something to start with.

What we liked:

  • It is priced really well considering its performance and quality
  • It is the perfect crossbow for beginners within a budget
  • It has enough power to take down large game
  • The stock is very durable and the design very ergonomic

What we didn’t like:

  • A rope cocking device is not included in the package

More than 80+ Customers Rated The Wildcat with 4.4


Best under $500-$600:

Excalibur Axiom SMF Kit

Excalibur Axiom SMF Crossbow Full Review
If you are willing to spend no more than 500 dollars then take a look at the excalibur axiom smf crossbow

Now we are talking. We are no longer reviewing entry-level crossbows. This is the absolute best value for money crossbow on the market today! It beats higher priced models easily, and with a price tag of around 500$ there are no competing options up to 600$.  The Axiom, along with its sibling, the Excalibur Ibex SMF, are the only available models from this brand that cost around this range, with most Excalibur productions running between $600 and $1000

The Axiom has a draw weight of 175 lbs.; it throws the arrow at a 305 fps velocity with 80 ft. lbs. kinetic energy. While an arrow speed of 305 fps may seem a little low these days, don’t be fooled; the Axiom is the best hunting crossbow for taking down small to medium game and one of the best for hunting large game if you are close enough to hit it properly. It is lightweight with a great distribution of its weight and deadly accurate. Even if you haven’t shot a crossbow before, you will hit the bulls-eye from your first shots. If you have shot similarly priced crossbows before, you will be pleasantly surprised by the difference you will experience in every aspect of your shooting process.

The Axiom is part of a complete package offer, consisting of an exceptional multi-reticle scope, a quiver, some arrows and a rope cocking device. The scope included in the package is one of the best scope providing you with a clear target even at these early morning or late afternoon low lightning conditions. Whether you are an intermediate or advanced shooter- or even a beginner- take advantage of its unreasonably low price while it holds, buy it now and ask questions later.

What we liked:

  • The great value for its cost
  • The high quality multi reticle scope that comes with the package
  • The terrific accuracy, even from long ranges
  • The solid and lightweight construction
  • The feel that you are shooting a premium crossbow

What we didn’t like:

  • I still haven’t found someone with a negative thing to say about this crossbow

!00+ Positive Customer Reviews and an Excellent Rating of 4.8!!


Best under $1000:

Excalibur Matrix 380

The Excalibur Matrix 380 is the winner in the $800-$1000 price range With the launch of the Matrix line, Excalibur has permanently changed the market’s quality standards and the 380 model couldn’t be an exception. It is a really compact, reliable and accurate recurve crossbow with tremendous arrow speed (380 fps). On top of that, this thing is as accurate as they get. I have been able to shoot groupings of 3.5″ from 80yards, it’s just incredible. As far as hunting is concerned, you can rest assured that its power is more than enough to take down every game that is legal to hunt, including Cape Buffalo and grizzly bears. The package includes  a string cocking aid, a 4 arrow quiver, 4 bolts, 4 field points, a high-quality tact zone scope, assembly instructions and tools and lifetime warranty card(limited). Excalibur Matrix 380 is hands down the most complete offer in the $800-$1000 price range. It’s an exceptional bow and if you have the budget for it, don’t event give this a second thought; just buy it. You will greatly enjoy shooting it.

Check what some buyers have to say

Extremely fast, simple, and accurate. The illuminated scope is what I really needed for those late afternoons. Arthur-Excalibur
The best feature is that you can uncock it as soon as you are done hunting. No need to drag your target with you ever again and shooting a disposable bolt not needed anymore.Minderw
With a few minor adjustments, the scope is dead on. Really nice handling. Spend the past year testing various crossbows. the Matrix was my best choice, I would only change it with the next model, the 405.MrFitz
Excalibur really nailed it with the matrix lineBuffalohunter

Which is the best crossbow?
The following 3, are the most technologically advanced and powerful crossbows money can buy, period. Without taking their price into consideration, these powerhouses should make every crossbow enthusiast drooling with anticipation of owning and shooting one. If you are a seasoned hunter or an elite target shooter, and you don’t want to compromise quality when it comes to your “shooting companion”, then read our crossbow reviews carefully!

Top Rated Crossbows Comparison and Ratings - The 3 Best

Excalibur Matrix Mega 405


5 Stars (5 / 5)

Why to choose it over the others:
If you are a recurve crossbow fan, this is the best you can get!

>>Check Price & Specs<<

That was huge upgrade from Axiom. That thing is FASTOnFire12

I gave it a lot of though to spend so much money on a crossbow but i never regretted it. I absolutely love it!!Mike

Wow..It's the most accurate crossbow I've ever shot and believe me - i have shot a lot.mbr27

Tenpoint Vapor

4.9 Stars (4.9 / 5)

Why to choose it over the others:
It's simple, actually. It is the best compound crossbow.

>>More Customer Reviews and a HUGE discount<<

Light,fast,accurate, small and easy to usehunterbill

I purchased mine one year ago and never looked back.I think it's the crossbow of the year.Lary

Excellent product. It surprised me well with its ease of use and out of the box performancetoolbox13
Barnett Ghost 410


4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)

Why to choose it over the others:
It is faster and a lot cheaper

>>More Customer Testimonials and specs - Check Current Discounts<<

The pigs drop down fast!My rifle is jealousEric

This is a nice crossbow priced lower than its rivals. Good job, Barnett!Tard5

This is my first crossbow and I am very happy with it. It's light and accurate.2shotsover

And The Best Crossbow On The Market is…

Excalibur Matrix Mega 405

The Excalibur Matrix Mega 405 is a great crossbow - The best for 2015 This is a hunting machine at its finest. The best crossbow for 2015. Its goal is simple- hit hard and crush bone. At 405 fps (advertised speed) it can take down every legal game easily, regardless of its size, if you know how to shoot it, of course. The very first thing I recommend, is buying an arrow puller. Due to its amazing power, when the arrow hits a target, it goes so deep into it, that it leaves very little to grip in order to pull. Everything else needed to start shooting it right away is included in the package, consisting of an excellent scope (maybe the best right now), a quiver, some bolts and a step by step assembly video that should make the setup a fairly easy task. If you are looking for the best hunting crossbow, then you should look no further. The Matrix 405, should you decide to buy it, will be your hunting companion for years to come. Most likely, you won’t ever need another crossbow ever again.

>>Buy It Now From Amazon<<



Excalibur Cheekpiece
Twilight DLX Scope and 30mm rings
4-Arrow Quiver with Bracket
4 Diablo arrows
4 150-Grain Field Points
A Rope Cocking device
All assembly tools needed along with a manual
Lifetime warranty card(Limited)
290lbs Draw weight
13.9" Power Stroke
405 FPS Velocity
6.2 lbs Weight
36.3" Length
18" Arrow Length
Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire System (for preventing a shot being made when triggered without an arrow)
Integrated, Recoil Energy Dissipation System (for reduced noise and increased speed)
Actually it was a tough fight between Excalibur and Tenpoint for the world’s top crossbow prize. What’s undeniable is that one can’t go wrong with either of them – in the end it comes down to what your personal preferences are. So, since after comparing them, we couldn’t come to a clear conclusion about the winner, the lower price of  Matrix was the decisive factor. The Ghost 410 came third, a little behind but it is still a great choice as it is a lot cheaper from the other 2.

Best crossbow for women:

Wicked Ridge Lady Ranger

wicked ridge lady ranger -a crossbow made for the ladies While crossbow hunting is widely regarded as a male sport, more and more women across the country take part in it each year. Manufacturers, understanding there is a market out there, have dedicated a lot of their resources to research, in order to provide the ladies with their dream crossbow. Wicked Ridge has managed to produce a real gem that female hunters will really appreciate. The Lady Ranger’s cocking is easier than ever with the self-retracting cocking system that comes with it. It weighs only 5.9lbs fully set-up and the speed of the arrow reaches 300fps. Most girls should love the pink details on the crossbow.

Check what some buyers have to say

Finally, we ladies have a crossbow for ussamanthapr
This baby seems nice and shoots even better. It’s lightweight and you don’t need to be the Hulk to cock it.Orange32
I bought it for my wife to go for hunting together and she loves it. When she can’t follow me I admit I use it myself occasionally but I make sure nobody sees me with it, it’s pink :Pmark_gaylor
me and my mother bought two of these and we now enjoy hunting even more. it is very smooth and compact, even for me- and I am pretty small framebarbie24

>>Buy Wicked Ridge Lady Ranger From Amazon – Discounted Price<<

Best youth Crossbow:

Barnett Recruit

Is the Barnett recruit the right crossbow for youth? This has to be the easiest crossbow to setup. You attach the riser to the stock, you then mount your scope and then you are ready to shoot. Easy? It shouldn’t take you more than five to ten minutes. With a draw weight of 130 lbs. a rope cocking device isn’t necessary, however, as always I strongly recommend that you should use one for safety reasons. This is a crossbow for kids, but not a toy. With a speed at 300fps it can kill deer. So, make sure your young ambitious wannabe hunters fully understand its power.

Check what some buyers have to say

For an xbow it is pretty quiet. It is priced accordingly to what it offers. My daughter enjoys shooting it so I am happy.DougJohn
I have mixed feelings for this, but at this price I shouldn’t expect moreBrannNY
A good buy overall at this price but I am a little disappointed with the scope. My 11yo son is excited though and that’s the reason I bought it. He can’t wait to go hunting with itdeerpeer

>>Barnett Recruit Discount on Amazon<<


Which are the leading crossbow brands?

Nowadays there are many crossbow manufacturers competing on this particular market, some of them with years of expertise and tradition behind. The most famous for their quality in archery equipment and more especially crossbows are:These are the top crossbow brands

  • Excalibur
  • Barnett
  • Tenpoint
  • Parker
  • Wicked Ridge
  • Horton
  • Arrow Precision
  • Carbon Express
  • Pse
  • SA sports
  • Diamond Archery


Choosing A crossbow


If you’re about to get into the crossbow game, it’s imperative to consider several aspects to make sure that the weapon you want to purchase is right for you. The first thing you should know is that modern crossbows are much easier to use and boast greater effectiveness and accuracy than older models.


Understanding Different Types of Crossbows

Modern crossbows are available in a variety of styles and each has its own unique characteristics. Some of the most common variations you’ll encounter include:

One- and two-handed crossbows

Crossbows are available in two-handed models and one-handed “pistol” models. Two handed crossbows are the most common by far and are appropriate for the widest variety of situations such as hunting, fishing, scientific sample-collecting, target shooting, and even military use. They are generally the most powerful and accurate variation, their aiming is familiar to most, and their handling and operation are easily learned.

Although less common, one-handed crossbows are popular for specialized purposes such as target shooting, small game hunting, and even self-defense. They generally lack the power and accuracy of two-handed versions, but are lighter, more compact, easier to use, and less expensive.

Compound vs Recurve

Compound Crossbows

The main difference between a compound crossbow and a recurve crossbow is in the way the string is attached to the limbs or prod. A compound uses cams or pulleys to draw the string up, which allows for a “let-off” and maximizes the stored energy; “Let-off” is a term used in order to describe the reduced draw weight that comes from the cams taking over. This, in fact, makes cocking a compound pretty straightforward once you reach that break-over point. However, this has nothing to do with being able to shoot accurately, as it locks into place at full draw.

Moreover, a compound requires shorter limbs than a recurve. This might be a great asset for you, depending on what your hunting area is like and whether or not you need to maneuver you crossbow through tight spots.

Because of all of the mechanisms existing in the front part, a compound crossbow may feel “front heavy”. The additional front weight may cause some slowness in bringing it up to aim and in holding it in a shooting position for an extended period of time.

Another disadvantage is that in the unfortunate case the string breaks, you are done hunting for the day, as  a trip to your local dealer or a bow press is required to replace it. That’s why you should try to keep an extra string on hand and check the pulleys and cables on a regular basis. Replacing a bad string is a lot easier if you have it in hand, instead of trying to find, or worse yet, to order one! On top of that, if you were to break a steel cable, you could get injured.

A compound is also louder at the point of release. There are a few things you can do to make them quieter, but never to the point where they would make less noise than a recurve.

Another point against compounds is that the cams can sometimes be knocked out of sync, which in turn may cause the bow to shoot inaccurately. This can also be fixed, of course, but not  while you are hunting.


Recurve Crossbows

Using a recurve crossbow instead of a compound comes with its advantages as well.

  • A recurve has tips that curve away from the person that is shooting it.
  • They are lighter, therefore easier to carry if you have a long distance to travel before getting to your hunting stand and easier to pick up quickly to aim at your target. Additionally, the reduced weight of a recurve is a major plus for both women and kids.
  • A recurve is usually of a lower price, since it has fewer parts and that in its turn hints fewer things could possibly go wrong.
  • They are quieter when they are fired, as they do not have cams and a cable in motion.
  • They need minimum maintenance. As long as you keep the trigger clean, the rail lubed, you change the string periodically, and/or put on a new serving, a recurve will be good for many years.
  •  When changing the string, you do not need a bow press, although it is always safer and even recommended to use one. If, whatever the reason may be,  you needed to change your string in the middle of a hunting trip, it is possible and you can continue your hunt.

The main disadvantage to using a recurve is that it is harder to cock. You are the one pulling the weight all the way until it is in the cocked position, which can be quite hard to do. Many hunters compensate for this by using a string cocker, which helps reducing the amount of strength needed to cock them. Even when cocked, recurve limbs are longer than a compound, which can make it a bit harder to maneuver in tight areas, to make your shot.
Numerous experienced bowhunters  suggest that beginners should use a recurve crossbow. We believe it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Take your time, look at, compare, and shoot a variety of bows and then make your decision.

Numerous experienced bowhunters  suggest that beginners should use a recurve crossbow. We believe it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Take your time, look at, compare, and shoot a variety of bows and then make your decision.

Reverse limb crossbows

Reverse draw technology (RDT) is a recent innovation which essentially reverses the limbs of a conventional compound crossbow, giving RDT crossbows an unmistakable appearance and drastically altering their performance. Due to this design’s success and efficiency, many manufacturers have added RDT models to their lineup, and some companies focus on RDT crossbows exclusively. Some of their advantages include:

  • Balance: The reversed limb orientation moves the riser and limb pocket assembly much closer to the trigger, effectively shifting the center of gravity toward the shooter, reducing front end weight and allowing a more comfortable and stable shot.
  • Increased power stroke: The string stays in contact with the arrow for the full length of the barrel, giving RDT crossbows higher speeds per pound of draw than conventional crossbows.
  • RDT crossbows generally produce the least amount of noise and vibration.
  • They can be even narrower than conventional compound crossbows.


Tips for making the most of our crossbow reviews

Although differentiating the best crossbows from a mediocre product may seem complicated, you can easily do this after checking the next points.

Speed: If you’re looking for fast and powerful shots, you should go for a compound bow, which can deliver the energy and speed you expect. For the best results, don’t forget to check the size and strength of the bolts.

Arrow Track: Also called flight track or barrel, the arrow track defines the physical structure that makes it possible for you to launch an arrow. The more precise the structure, the more accurate is the delivery of the arrow downrange.

Noise: The quietest crossbows you can find are the recurve models with parallel limbs. If you need a bow for hunting, specialists advise you to get a this type of bow, even though it doesn’t shoot as fast as a recurve bow.

Weight: Weight is very essential when choosing a hunting crossbow. While light crossbows are easy to carry around woods, heavy crossbows are easier to keep steady when shooting. Since these two aspects give rise to a major contradiction, the best thing to do when buying a bow is to consider your own physical limitations.

Draw Weight: Referring to the amount of pull necessary to flex the limbs of a bow into the fire position, the draw weight varies quite greatly among different types of crossbows. Typically, the higher the draw weight value, the faster the arrow speed.

Parts: To make sure that you buy a good crossbow, it’s critical to check all of its parts. Opting for a bow made of metal is the best purchase decision if you want to get a high-quality weapon. The crossbows that come with plastic parts can break down after only several uses.

Additional Features: Although most crossbows follow the same basic design, some weapons are equipped with particular features that ensure greater dependability, accuracy, and safety. Additional features include cocking aids, which help you to cock the bow correctly; scopes, which improve the accuracy of your shots; and noise-dampening devices, which reduce the noise and vibration after a shot is fired.

Manufacturer: Crossbows vary not only by type, but also by company. One thing you can do to choose the best crossbow is to visit a dealer and test the products of different manufacturers. Furthermore, you can read various crossbow reviews to discover the best brands in the market.

How Much Draw Weight is Required for Your Purposes?

Crossbows are available to address a wide variety of needs but the most popular, of course, is hunting. Today’s manufacturers realize most hunters target medium- to large-sized game, such as whitetail deer, black bears, moose, and similar animals, and their crossbows are designed with these animals in mind (and even much larger ones!). For medium-sized game like whitetail deer, a crossbow with a draw weight of at least 150 lbs and velocity near 300 fps is recommended and generally more than enough for a humane kill – some reverse draw crossbows can get by with a lower draw weight, but this is the general rule of thumb and consensus among hunters. As the size of your target game increases, your draw weight and total arrow weight should as well.

Besides draw weight, kinetic energy (KE) output is a metric commonly used to represent a crossbow’s power, but scrutinizing it can make choosing a crossbow more complicated than necessary. KE is dependent on arrow weight and velocity and it decreases as the arrow travels, so the KE delivered to a specific target in a hunting situation will be an estimate at best. If you keep the general rule for draw weight and velocity mentioned above as a guideline, and buy from a reputable manufacturer, you will find yourself with a perfectly capable crossbow without much hassle.

Time to Choose the Best Crossbow

Now that you’re familiar with what’s available and understand the basics of what to look for in a crossbow, it’s your turn assess your needs, establish your price range, and choose the best crossbow for the money.

The crossbows belonging to these categories are further divided based on their primary use. This basically means that you can find crossbows appropriate for big game hunting, target practice and fun. If you need a bow for serious hunting, make sure you get a high-quality product.
If you take the time to check all these points, along with our crossbow reviews, before investing in a bow, you have great chances to find the ideal crossbow.



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