Last Updated MAY 2018
Shoot stuff? SURE!
Do you want to get your hands on the best pistol crossbow on the market? If you’re anything like me, there’s still that little, giddy kid inside of you that sets off an explosion of excitement when you get to shoot stuff. It’s almost like it’s born in us from birth. Since the time our parents deemed us old enough and responsible enough, we finally got the opportunity to trade in our plastic noisemaker guns and begin to build our own small munitions stockpile. We all remember Ralphie in the The Christmas Story, being warned by the fake Santa – “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.”
Yep, we heard it plenty of times but we soldiered on. We had siege warfare to conduct. And when the fateful day came that we got that special projectile device we had been dreaming of, it was time to set up targets made up of some empty soda cans or old cardboard boxes and show them who’s boss.
That same kid is still with me today. So off I set on my hunt to find something to have fun with, shooting some target practice in the backyard, something that wouldn’t ricochet and break a window, all the while not costing an arm and a leg of my hard earned money (ie. the shooting range these days) to entertain me for an hour or so.
The Hunt is On
During my treasure hunt, I stumbled across a crossbow pistol and it quickly piqued my interest. I searched for some pistol crossbow reviews but there wasn’t much out there with regards to information except some older buried forums slamming them for not being powerful enough for animals. I wasn’t trying to kill animals; I’m just looking for some good ol’ fashion plinking to occupy some time. However, little to my amazement, times have changed a bit since the forums had been posting. There are several videos and examples showing these aren’t a toy in the least.
This guy shows us that it goes through several soda cans and a pineapple among other stuff. That’s a decent punch from such a compact device.
I’m going to repeat that to make sure everybody caught it:
Crossbow Pistols are NOT toys. Adult supervision is highly recommended.
Best crossbow pistol
After digging through the dirt, I finally discovered a couple of them that really were the best mini crossbows overall. If you are looking to kill a large animal or something for home defense, these are probably not going to be your first weapon of choice. I would venture to guess they may be able to take out small varmint though I haven’t personally tried it yet. If however, you are looking for something to entertain you and satisfy the kid inside, here is what we think of as one of the best crossbow pistols to help you let the fun begin.
Runner Up: Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow – Click here for current price on amazon.com
What is a crossbow pistol?
It’s pretty straightforward to figure out what a crossbow pistol is. Google defines a crossbow to be “a medieval bow of a kind that is fixed across a wooden support and has a groove for the bolt and a mechanism for drawing and releasing the string.” The pistol part comes into play because:
- There is no stock built onto the main frame of the device
- The weapon is typically lighter than a full crossbow
There are 2 designs: the good old fashion draw pulley where you have to muscle back the string in order to cock the device (some have a foot stirrup to get some leverage) and the “self-cocking” version.
What is self-cocking?
When I first heard the term self-cocking, I actually thought it meant I didn’t have to do anything. I could just pull the trigger and fire again – AWESOME! Think again. Self-cocking actually refers to a lever on the back of the frame that allows you to push down and draw the string back into position. This leverages your weight balance and allows for an easier cocking of the bow to load up with your favorite bolt of choice.
Arrows, darts, bolts. People will throw the technicality card on you for not referring to them correctly as bolts, but they’re all the same thing. You’ll find there are a couple of different types and it’s a matter of preference on the type you will like. Aluminum bolts will fire with more impact to the target. Plastic darts will typically fly a bit further (due to weight) though have a bit less hit at impact. Bolts are 6.5 inches in length and self-explanatory. You are going to want to pick up a couple extra with your purchase.
To my knowledge, there are unfortunately not any special tips such as broadheads and the likes. That would be icing on the cake to have the cool razor type points included to make this look like a force to be reckoned with, but alas we can’t have it all. The types I’ve found are all steel points but definitely do the job.
You will typically find either a 50 or 80 pound draw. This number is the amount of weight you are pulling when cocking the device. This is where the advantage goes to the self-cocking units as they give you the leverage to pull the string. For those non-self-cocking units, most can be manually cocked. However if you need some extra help, a rope cocker can be used to assist in cocking the device.
The string catapults the bolts toward your target. With proper care before first use and over time using string wax will keep your string in good shape, prevent fraying, and keep shooting smooth.
We hope you enjoyed our quest to finding the best pistol crossbow available these days.