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.
Our reviews and guides will quickly help you make an informed decision about which crossbow is the best for your needs. Whether you are looking 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.
- Best Crossbow Reviews for 2020 – These are the top picks
- 1. Barnett Jackal Package – One of the best beginner crossbows
- 2. CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper – Best Budget Crossbow
- 3. Barnett Recruit Terrain – The Best Youth Crossbow
- 4. CenterPoint Sniper 370 – One of the best entry-level crossbows
- 5. Wicked Ridge Invader G3 – This won’t let you down
- 6. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – Another quality product by Barnett
- 7. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR – Efficiency and speed at their best
- 8. Barnett TS390 Tactical Series – Best Value Crossbow
- 9. Excalibur Matrix Grizzly SMF – An affordable option by Excalibur
- 10. TenPoint Titan SS – Light, short, fast
- 11. TenPoint Turbo GT – A powerful combination
- 12. Excalibur Matrix Bulldog (400 fps) – Best Recurve Crossbow
- 13. Ravin R9 Package – A revolutionary crossbow
- 14. TenPoint Venom Crossbow – Compact, Light, Quality crossbow
- Best crossbow for women: Wicked Ridge Lady Ranger
- Which are the leading crossbow brands?
- Choosing the best crossbow for you
Choosing a crossbow YOU can afford
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 Crossbow Reviews for 2020 – These are the top picks
The Jackal is a little more pricier than the Arrow Precision Fury, but 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 a relatively easy and short process even for beginners; it may vary from person to person, but 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 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.
Adding together the good 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. In my opinion, this is the best crossbow for beginners and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for something to start with. Click Here For Our Thorough Review
- It is very affordable
- Its great design
- Its solid construction
- We would like a rope cocking mechanism included in the package
- It’s not the most silent crossbow
The CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper truly deserves its name since it is both silent and deadly. Any bowhunter who has ever used a crossbow knows that the vibrations of the string after each shot are enough to give away his or her location. As you might end up scaring all the prey in a particular area, it is a good thing to have some noise dampening system in place, and that’s exactly what this model offers.
The Whisper silencing system makes sure that you remain concealed while shooting so that your prey doesn’t suspect a thing. Using this model while you’re in a tree stand, or a hunting blind, is relatively straightforward, due to the compact profile. It is also narrow, as, when cocked, it has 14 inches axle to axle, so you can comfortably manipulate without straining your hands.
Since the manufacturer pays attention to the comfort offered to the users, the quad limbs on this model are made from composite, while the riser is made from aluminum. These materials are well known to be lightweight and durable at the same time.
The anti-dry fire trigger and the safety mechanisms in place contribute to making this crossbow a good value for the money. You will appreciate that a few extras are also supplied with your purchase, such as a cocking rope device, three bolts, a quiver, and a scope. More thorough review here
- This crossbow is silent, due to its Whisper silencing system that prevents the usual noise and vibrations
- It is a narrow crossbow, compared to other models, as it measures 14 inches axle to axle
- The model comes with safety features that will ensure that you won’t risk premature shots and other accidents while using it
- There are complaints about the quality of the scope that is not on par with the rest of the crossbow
At 330 fps, the Barnett Recruit Terrain might not be the fastest crossbow out there, but if you’re looking to purchase such a hunting weapon and it’s the first of its kind for you, this model from Barnett is the right choice for you. It has a decent price tag, and it is easy enough to manipulate by someone who hasn’t shot a crossbow before. As expected for its top speeds, it has a draw weight under the highest performers on the market.
The 140-pound draw weight is one of the aspects that make this particular model such a good pick for a beginner. You will not have to use a lot of strength to cock it and shoot, while the performance is more than average. Capable of developing kinetic energy of 91.9 ft-lbs, it is pretty powerful, and you can expect good things from it.
Regarding construction, it must be noted that the manufacturer ships it almost entirely assembled, so there will be little for you to do. The body mass of 6.4 pounds makes it a good pick for someone who is not that strong, and the width axle to axle of a little over 16 inches is an advantage when you want to use the crossbow from a tree stand or a hunting blind.
You will notice that a lot of accessories are included with your purchase. You will get two Headhunter arrows, a rope cocking mechanism, a quiver, and a 4×32 scope. Check our full review
- Due to the draw weight of 140 pounds, it is suitable for novices and small frame shooters
- The TriggerTech technology employed on the model ensures superior accuracy and silent operation
- A plethora of extras, such as a scope, a quiver, some arrows, and even lube wax is included
- The eye relief on the scope seems to be inferior, as some customers comment in their reviews
One of the first things anyone notices about the CenterPoint Sniper 370 is its smooth operation. Something essential for anyone who has ever tried to hunt using a bow, the capacity of the weapon to remain silent, but deadly, is one of the selling points of this particular model. Whether you go after big game or have something else in mind, this efficient crossbow will serve you without fail. At 185-pound draw weight, you might expect the bow to be heavy and cumbersome, but it’s the opposite.
The compact size of this crossbow is another thing that recommends it to people who want to make sure that each arrow they shoot will reach its target. The stock is fully adjustable so that the crossbow will adapt to your style, and not the other way around. We cannot overlook the extras included with the crossbow, as this is sold as a kit, and not just a stand-alone weapon. The scope provided will allow you to maximize your chances, while the three bolts included come in handy.
Other nice extras are a quiver for keeping your bolts, a rope cocker to eliminate the strain on your muscles, and a shoulder sling to carry your bow around with ease. Some safety features make this crossbow complete and reduce the risk of shooting at random, or, worse, causing an accident. Click here for a thorough review
- Its exceptional accuracy
- Its superior speed
- The fact that it provides some much-needed accessories
- The adjustable stock causes some noise, and it’s a bit clunky
Redesigned by Ten Point, the Invader G3 is a sturdy crossbow with a smooth draw that is easy to handle. It also comes at a surprisingly affordable price that will fit almost any budget. The crossbow is easy to assemble out of the box and the clearly written instructions will walk you through the simple set up steps. This crossbow package also includes three bolts so you can immediately start practicing your draw and aim.
You will appreciate the redesigned riser that is constructed from machined aluminum, and the cutouts are placed to reduce weight while adding strength. The 3.5 pound trigger is easy to pull, and the innovative ACU-52 cocking system fits securely in the stock without interfering with your aim. The Invader G3’s new design also includes several safety features that makes this a great crossbow for beginners.
This well balanced crossbow weighs a mere 6.6 pounds and its compact size makes it ideal for firing in close quarters. It is capable of firing up to 330 feet per second, and with a 165 pound draw you can easily take down small game with this crossbow. Consistently accurate up to 40 yards and able to group shots, this lightweight crossbow might be exactly what you need for your next hunting trip. Click Here For Our Thorough Review
- It is Lightweight and well balanced
- Its Acu-52 cocking mechanism
- It has a smooth draw so you can shoot it accurately
- You may need to buy a dampening system since it is a little noisy
With a body mass of 6.4 pounds, the Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II is a lightweight crossbow, especially when compared to other models on the market. Axle to axle, the crossbow measures a little over 16 inches, and it is not too large or cumbersome to prevent you from using it along with a tree stand or hunting blind.
You will get a fair share of features and advantages, such as the TriggerTech technology with a three-pound trigger and zero-creep release. The main benefit from this type of configuration is the superior accuracy you get, even if you are just a beginner. Another good thing about this model is that it comes along with some accessories that you won’t have to pay extra for, right out of the box.
You will get a 4×32 scope, a quiver and two Headhunter arrows, a rope cocking device, and lube wax for the string. Let’s not ignore that you will also get a nock sensor and an anti-dry fire mechanism that prevent accidental shots. With standard safety features in place, this model is an excellent option for most beginners. Click here for a more thorough review
- The TriggerTech technology offered for this model ensures high accuracy even for novices
- You will get a wide array of extras that will help you to achieve better performance
- The crossbow is super quiet and will not give away your location when you’re shooting
- As far as the provided scope is concerned, the quality could have been better, as some customers say in their reviews
You might fall in love with this bow from the first glance, as its Tru Bark camo pattern will catch your eye. If you like to stalk your prey without worrying that you might be heard, that’s an excellent choice for you. Due to the string dampeners it comes along with, the crossbow is silent and deadly, and there will be no noise to draw the attention of the deer you’re hunting.
Users will appreciate the fact that this model comes equipped with a plethora of extras, such as an illuminated scope, a cocking rope, a side mount quiver, and two arrows. The manufacturer also provides lube wax that will help you keep the string and the bow in good functioning order, and prolong its lifespan. While it is not exactly a lightweight bow, at 6.9 pounds, it is decent compared to other models on the market that can go well over 8 pounds, without accessories.
Another thing that we want to talk about is the array of safety features that are present. The anti-dry fire trigger will ensure that you won’t run the risk of launching accidental shots. Also, the finger guard will protect your hand, and you will also get a nock sensor and finger safety reminders, all contributing to the safety factor of this bow.
Especially novices and hunters who only use the crossbow occasionally will be able to take advantage of such features. Click here for a more thorough review
- At 400 fps, it is a pretty fast and accurate crossbow
- You are not only deadly but silent as well, when you shoot this bow, due to its string dampeners
- The reticle sight scope helps with increasing your accuracy
- Cocking the bow seems to be a bit of a hassle, according to some users who noticed that even with a cocking rope, the process still seems annoyingly difficult
You will get more than just a crossbow when you order this model since it comes as part of a package. With your purchase, you will also get an illuminated scope, a rope cocking mechanism, a quiver, two Headhunter arrows, and the much necessary lube wax for keeping the string in good working order, especially if you intend to use the crossbow regularly.
With a maximum speed of 390 fps, this model stands among the greatest crossbows on the market, and it ensures that you are as deadly as you need when hunting in the woods. Concerning the specs, this model has a draw weight of 187 pounds, which is pretty average, while its kinetic energy of 128 ft-lbs provides plenty of power on impact to take down larger game. The body mass is 7.6 pounds, which, again, is an average value for a crossbow in this category.
You will like that this model is built for durability. The machined aluminum flight track is one of the contributing factors to the high accuracy you can achieve when shooting this bow.
Safety should be an essential priority, and that is why you will find installed on this model an anti-dry fire trigger, as well as the necessary finger guards and safety reminders. Full review
- It is a pretty fast crossbow, at 390 fps top speeds
- The crossbow is silent, due to the string dampeners installed by the manufacturer
- Safety mechanisms are in place, to prevent dry shots and other accidents
- The quality of the string seems to be inferior to the rest of the bow as intense usage will show signs of wear and tear, as some buyers say
Manufactured by Excalibur, the Grizzly is a well balanced recurve crossbow that is quickly gaining attention from small game hunters. After all, it’s the legendary’s Axiom SMF -one of the best hunting crossbows for small and medium game in the past decade- successor. It is designed to fit comfortably against your shoulder, and it is extremely easy to draw and fire. The crossbow is also simple to assemble, simply attach the stock with the two included screws.
The company making this crossbow has a long-standing reputation for creating top quality hunting equipment. At the same time, it is well known that the crossbows it produces are pretty expensive, given the quality and the technologies employed. For this reason, the Excalibur Null Matrix SMF Grizzly comes as a pleasant surprise, as it is the economical version of its siblings, a crossbow that offers excellent value for the price. While it may still be more expensive than other crossbows in its category, it surpasses them regarding performance and overall cost, seeing that this one is sold as part of a package.
This compact crossbow only weighs 5.5 pounds, but still packs the power you need to humanely take down small game. The included scope helps to ensure accuracy so you never have to worry about wasting a shot. With the ability to fire up to 305 feet per second, this compact crossbow has the speed and power you need for a successful hunting trip.
The package includes four bolts so you can immediately start practicing your aim. You will also appreciate the quiver and mounting bracket, which lets you keep your arrows conveniently close at hand. With a 200 pound draw weight this recurve crossbow has the power you need to shoot through targets, and with the adjustable sight you will always be able to hit exactly where you aim. If you are a recurve fan this is the best crossbow for you at this price range! Click Here For Our Thorough Review
- Lightweight and comfortable design
- The Matrix line performance at an excellent price
- The good quality accessories
- No noise dampeners or suppressors already installed
Part of a line with a solid reputation among hunters, this model is the lightest of the series, as well as the shortest and the fastest. If you want to go hunting whitetail, you will hardly find a better crossbow to do the job. Its compact design will let you handle the crossbow with ease, and you will be able to shoot it in a broad variety of situations. Since versatility matters to those looking to strike a good deal when purchasing hunting equipment, this aspect qualifies this crossbow as a must-have for budget-minded buyers.
You can shoot this crossbow from a hunting blind or when you’re perched on a hunting stand, but just as quickly you will be able to shoot it from the brush. The arrows are propelled from the bow at speeds of up to 340 feet per second, which, indeed, makes this model lightning fast. When you want to take down agile prey, you will find this Titan crossbow to be precisely what you need. The 3X multi-line scope comes in handy to spot prey, and it comes calibrated for various distances to make your job easier.
With a draw weight of 175 pounds, this crossbow is sure to make an impact, although you might not want to use it for the big game. It is not as hard-hitting as other models in its range, and it is the type of crossbow that is better suited to someone who’s taking up archery or crossbow hunting. Click here for a thorough review
- Lightweight and compact, therefore easy to handle
- Excellent optics on the pre-installed scope
- 340 fps speed capabilities
- No arrows or cocking device are included
The TenPoint Turbo GT is not your run-of-the-mill crossbow. It has won the Game and Fish Reader’s Choice award, and for all the right reasons. It is an improvement over a previous model created by the company, and in every single essential aspect, such as overall weight, top speed, and size, it fares better than its predecessor. Built with comfort in mind, it comes equipped with features that make it an excellent choice for those who want to focus on the pleasure of hunting, and not on continually trying to adjust their equipment to find a sweet spot.
Fast and accurate, it is the type of crossbow you know you can depend on, and that is what matters most. The maximum velocity it can acquire is 360 feet per second, and the kinetic energy developed is 107 ft lbs. Another thing that must be mentioned is that the manufacturer sells the crossbow as part of a package, so you will get everything to start hunting, such as a scope, a quiver, arrows, and even a quiver bracket for ambidextrous use.
For the price, you might find it more expensive than other models on the market, but the competition cannot offer the same excellent durability and efficiency as the TenPoint Turbo GT. For this reason, many people prefer it, and choose to spend a little more on hunting equipment that they know that will last them for many years. Its hard hitting power recommends it, so you might want to spend the extra bucks to enjoy the top of the line performance offered. Click here for our thorough review
- Its excellent durability
- It packs all that is needed for successful hunting
- Its maximum speed and overall efficiency
- There are no noise and vibration suppressors available with the purchase
An upgraded version of another excellent crossbow created by the same company, the Excalibur Matrix Bulldog offers a unique advantage to the hunter in you. First of all, the model comes with an illuminated scope which will give you the needed edge when you want to hunt in less than ideal light conditions. While most prey tends to come out at dawn or evening, the fact that you will be able to see farther will offer you an advantage.
You will appreciate the fact that this model comes with a quiver and four Diablo bolts so that you can start shooting right away. You will get some other nice features that will surely convince you that this crossbow is the right one for you. All customers receive a rope cocker, and the string suppressors will surely make this crossbow as silent as possible.
The speed of this crossbow is something notable, as it can reach 400 fps. You will get a powerful crossbow that will make sure that you always hit your targets. Because of its superior speed, it is suitable for dropping big game, too, so you will be able to use it in various situations. As a user, you will like the comfort it offers, as well. Click here for a more thorough review
- It comes as a complete package with a quiver and bolts to be used out of the box
- Amazing speeds, of up to 400 fps, make it ideal for big game hunting
- Some extras like a rope cocker and a cheek piece are supplied with your purchase.
- It may be a little too expensive to be considered a choice for beginners, but, for seasoned hunters, it might be just priced accordingly
The following , 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 the following crossbow reviews carefully!
To say that this crossbow has no competition would be a solid truth. The crossbow to dominate the Industry Day on the Range, the Ravin R9 proves that there is no other faster and longer firing line model on the market. If this introduction didn’t yet convince you that you’re looking at a crossbow like no other, here are some hard cold facts. The maximum speed this crossbow can achieve is 390 feet per second, and its kinetic energy is 135 ft lbs, so it’s not only fast, but also a hard-hitting model that will reach any target and guarantee extraordinary precision for the shooter.
You might expect the R9 to be a monster in appearance, given this excellent performance. Here is where you will be nicely surprised, once more. The axle to axle width is 6 inches when cocked, and 10.5 inches when uncocked, which makes it, most probably, one of the narrowest options on the market right now. Without accessories, the crossbow has a total weight of 6.9 pounds, so it is heavier than other models. At the same time, its sturdy construction is a warranty for its outstanding precision. The compact size makes it easy to handle in all sorts of situations and adds to its overall appeal.
The R9 is sold as part of a package so that you will get a plethora of nice extras with your purchase. Besides the sleek crossbow, you will get six arrows and nocks, a cocking handle, a quiver, six field points, an illuminated scope, and safety mechanisms, as well as sling mounts.
The R9 is not an inexpensive crossbow though. It’s not recommended for beginners or recreational hunters- unless of course money is not an issue. But, if you are serious about bowhunting you need the best gear you can afford. And if you can afford it, don’t hesitate. This is your new crossbow. Enjoy it. Click here for a thorough review
- The revolutionary design that makes it one of the narrowest crossbows available
- Hard-hitting performance
- Excellent extras included in the package
- Its expensive price tag
TenPoint has created a crossbow that is incredibly compact and lightweight, without losing any speed and performance. The Venom crossbow is the perfect choice for confined spaces and it is incredibly easy to carry with the rest of your gear. You will also appreciate how simple it is to assemble right out of the box.
The sight is accurate up to 30 yards so you can zero in on a “killing” shot. It also comes with a bowjax dampening system that will effectively muffle any noise that might startle your prey. The acudraw ensures a smooth draw and release, along with plenty of power to penetrate your target. It also makes it extremely easy to aim pull the bow’s 200 pound draw weight.
With the Venom crossbow you have the advantage of the FSB stock, which has long been a favorite of consumers. The barrel has been shortened and is constructed from a durable carbon fiber material that is also extremely lightweight. This ensures you can easily carry the crossbow to your favorite hunting spot, and also improves maneuverability.
While this TenPoint crossbow might be priced slightly higher than other models, its lightweight and powerful design make it well worth the extra cost. You have the ability to fire bolts up to 372 feet per second and plenty of power to hit moving targets. Click Here For Our Thorough Review
- It is really compact and lightweight
- Acu-50 provides a smooth draw
- It is durable and well balanced
- Its hefty price
Best crossbow for women: Wicked Ridge Lady Ranger
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.
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:
- Wicked Ridge
- Arrow Precision
- Carbon Express
- SA sports
- Diamond Archery
Choosing the best crossbow for you
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 vs Reverse Limb
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.
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.