The crossbow is a pre-gunpowder version of the rifle. Below, we focus on best hunting crossbow and best crossbow for the money. Every kind of hand-drawn bow requires the entire body to become part of the weapon. Therefore, the ability to be accurate is tied in the ability of the body to make the weapon the same shape at all times, and that calls for high-tech training. The best crossbows are available online and are made in two designs: The compound crossbow, and the recurve crossbow.
The 10 Best Crossbows
Here is the top selection of crossbows currently available.
Award: Best Crossbow Package for the Money
The following are included in this package: 3x 20 inch arrows with field points, Wildcat C5 crossbow (stock, limbs, cables, and string), Foot Stirrup, Four arrow quiver with mount, Barnett string wax, 3-Dot Red Dot scope, Assembly and Usage Manual, Assembly hardware including hex keys and bolts, and Warranty Card (5 years). For a compound crossbow, the C5 is easy to assemble even for a beginner.
First, the quiver mount is attached to the bottom of the stock with the help of the included key and screws. Then, the riser is slid to the stock and fastened using the largest bolt included in the pack. For a good price, it has superior quality, suitable for hunting and target practice, has an ergonomic design and durable stock, has durable solid arrows and is highly accurate over 50 yards shooting distance.
Award: Fastest Compound Crossbow (370 FPS)
Since the flagship of Horton’s first model, Storm RDX has always offered reverse draw compound with an adjustable bullpup stock and high-performance.
Its reverse draw limbs allow blistering speed and long Powerstroke in a compact package. Its handling, fit, and trigger are outstanding.
Award: Best Crossbow Package with Extras
Included in the Matrix 355 package are: the Ergo-Grip assembly stock, 4x field points, All screws and hex key, 4-arrow quiver with mount, rope cocking aid, instructional DVD, Tact-Zone five reticle scope, the Excalibur Quad-Loc riser +stirrup+ limbs, 4x Diablo 18” carbon arrows, assembly and care booklet, string lubricant, and Excalibur’s lifetime warranty (limited).
Matrix 355 has a well-balanced, ergonomic, and low maintenance recurve design, has consistent performance no matter the condition of the weather, it is very accurate at 70+ yards of shooting, has an excellent scope, suitable for target practice and hunting, and it comes with four durable arrows.
4. Arrow Precision Inferno Wildfire II Precision Recurve Crossbow
Award: Best Recurve Crossbow with Scope
The Inferno Wildfire II comes with a complete package that includes the wildfire string, foot stirrup, inferno wildfire riser assembly, 4×32 multi-reticle scope illuminated with mounting brackets, stock with Weaver-style sight base, detachable quiver, rear sight set+ front+ washer+ two mounting screws, eye protective goggles, 4×20” arrows with 4 field points, rope cocking aid, padded shoulder string, lube wax for the string and rail, assembly hardware (screws, Allen keys, rubber pads, washers), stringer, 1 year warranty card, assembly and safety manual.
Wildfire II is probably the most powerful bow and is pretty devastating. You need to have a proper backstop behind the target while shooting since the arrows go through many materials of varying thickness.
5. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package with ACU-52
Award: Best Power Per Pound
Wicked Ridge Invader HP package includes ten points 3x Multi-line scope, wicked ridge invader HP crossbow, wicked Ridge quiver, ACU-52 cocking system, 3 Wicked Ridge aluminum arrows, assembly hardware, and tools, warranty card, owner’s manual. It comes with integrated rope-assist cocking device, it is very accurate and has all the tools for assembly.
The manual is detailed in the instructions for assembling the Invader HP. The crossbow, on the other hand, is simple to put together. The cable saver is first attached to the cable, and then the pod is attached to the riser. Then, the main assembly bolt is installed, followed by the installation of the foot stirrup. Finally, the quiver and the scope are mounted. Invader HP fires its arrows at exactly 315 FPS delivering 93 ft. Lbs. Kinetic energy.
6. TenPoint Vapor Crossbow with ACU Draw
Award: Most Advanced Scope
The TenPoint Vapor features Parallel Limb Technology that forms one of the narrowest crossbows. Every package includes deluxe soft crossbow case, TenPoint Vapor Crossbow including bow assembly and stock, 3-arrow ambidextrous quick-detach quiver, owner’s manual, AcuDraw 50 rope-cocking mechanism, 6 420-gran crossbow arrows, owner’s instructional DVD, warranty card, TenPoint vehicle window sticker.
The parallel limb technology reduces axle to axle width to 17.5” once uncocked, it has included a rope-cocking device, and it is also a very quiet crossbow. It flings arrow off the rail with 118 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy at 360 fps; that means that it is a powerful crossbow even with its small stature.
7. Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package
Award: Coolest Aiming Tech (Carbonlite Riser Technology)
The Barnett Ghost 410 has a package that includes three 22” Easton bolts with field points, quick detach quiver, the Barnett Ghost 410 compound crossbow, rope cocking device, padded crossbow sling, extra recoil pad, warranty card, 3×32 four-reticle illuminated crossbow scope, all assembly hardware, small sample of string wax, and owner’s manual.
Ghost 410 has a jaw-dropping shooting speed of 150 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy, is lightweight and short axle to axle length, has great accuracy at 70+ yards, has enough power to bring down every creature, a high quality scope is included, its CTR ultra-light carbon riser gives the bow good balance, and its foot stirrup is part of the riser. However, to prevent serving separation, it will require strong waxing.
8. TenPoint Stealth FX4 with ACU Draw
Award: Lightest Weight Crossbow (6.4 Pounds)
The Stealth FX4 package comes to you with a complete set, securing its place among the best crossbows. It includes 3 Pro Elite carbon arrows with 100-grain field points, a 3X illuminated multi-reticle scope, an ambidextrous quiver mount and a quick detach quiver, Bowjax Crossbow noise dampening kit, an ACUdraw50 rope cocking device, and owners instructional DVD.
The stealth FX4 is very fast, easy to cock, has a complete kit, and has high quality. However, TenPoint Stealth FX4 is very expensive. This crossbow has a fluted aluminum barrel and a skeletal stock that minimize weight. The way the barrel is fluted on the FX4 ensures great comfort for the shooter.
9. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3 – 20-Inch Arrows and Premium Red Dot Sight)
Award: Best Cheap Crossbow Package
Barnett Jackal is a full package containing red dot sight, the jackal compound crossbow (bow +stock), three 20” arrows, quiver attachment platform, instruction and safety manual, all the bolts, keys, and screws for assembling, and 5 years limited warranty card.
The Barnett Jackal is great for a rank beginner searching for an affordable model, it is cheap, has enough kinetic energy, the package includes everything needed, its automated safety prevents dry firing, has a military style stock, and it is very comfortable.
10. Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme CRT Crossbow Package
Award: Fastest Compound Crossbow for the Money (365 FPS)
The Bcxtreme crossbow is bundled with the illuminated 3x32mm multi-reticle scope. The optics on the scope is robust and has excellent eye relief. It also has enough illumination for low-light mornings. This crossbow fires its arrows at 365 fps with 126 ft. Lbs. Kinetic energy. With the 126 ft. Lbs. the commander extreme is powerful enough to take down the largest game with ease.
It has aggressive, compact limbs that fit snugly on the back and is light enough to carry through the bush. It includes a rope-cocking device and has arrows. The only disadvantage is that for beginners it is hard to assemble.
Recurve Crossbows vs. Compound Crossbows
There are a couple types of crossbows. The recurve crossbow is the most basic, and is also the oldest. Recurve is the tip that defines the way bow’s tips face away from the user. The major benefit of the recurve crossbow is that it requires little maintenance since it has fewer parts that can be broken as opposed to the compound bow.
Even if you are outdoors and a string breaks, fixing it is easy. Unlike the compound bow, the recurve bow is quieter. For a newbie, this is an excellent choice even if it less accurate than the compound bows.
The compound bow is new to the crossbows designs. It has shorter limbs, and the strings attached to the pulleys are also short. It is easier to draw a compound bow than a recurve model. In the compound bow, more energy is stored due to the cam system. That makes this bow very strong. The arrows travel faster to the target. This bow has a cocking mechanism that makes coking the bow easy. Due to its short limbs, the bow is ideal for tight spaces.
Modern crossbows are available in one handed and two handed models. The most common models are the two-handed and are ideal for many situations such as fishing, hunting, target shooting, scientific sample-collecting and military use. These are the most accurate and most powerful variation. Their handling is easily learned, and their aiming is familiar to many. One-handed models are not too common but are popular for small game hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. These lack the accuracy and the power of two-handed versions but are compact, lighter, less expensive, and easy to use.
Crossbows advantages include: high effective range, high penetration power, a rapid rate of fire, ease of use, and inspired high sense of loyalty and motivation in the archer.
History of Crossbow Design
Crossbows are more of modified bow and arrow. They were invented by the Chinese in the early 6 B.C for military use. A crossbow has a bow that is usually attached to a stock thereby allowing it to stay loaded when not in use. In it is a lever attached to the stock. The lever aids in the loading of the crossbow. Once the lever is released the bolt fires.
Crossbows are accurate and have a firing range that is longer than a traditional longbow. They are a perfect choice for people that have no strength to effectively pull the classic bow since they are easy to operate. Over centuries, the crossbow appeared in varied forms replacing the standard arrow and bow in many parts of the globe.
It’s assumed that the entry of the term referred to the traditional medieval weapon. However, its origins place it as an ancient design used by the revolutionary Chinese. The crossbow utilized a drawn bowstring that was held in place by a locking mechanism. The trigger was released through a trigger-style installation. The tension sent the bolt towards the target utilizing piercing damage to allow bone, leather, armor, and flesh penetration. The system would then appear in many forms, small handheld variations through large siege-type variations.
The best hunting crossbow overtook the highly held bow and arrow in the battlefield role of personal artillery. The system proved to produce effective piercing properties, was accurate, and one could be trained on how to use it in just a week. Accuracy was the strength of the medieval crossbow. The system could be used for sighting the target as opposed to the arch firing action of archers.
Archery was an important hunting and military skill before widespread use of firearms throughout the medieval period.
Best Crossbow Brands
Here are the best crossbow brands and models when taking into account unit sales volume and popularity.
- Barnett Wildcat C5
- Excalibur Matrix 355
- Arrow Precision Inferno Wildfire II
- Wicked Ridge Invader HP
- TenPoint Vapor
- Barnett Ghost 410
- TenPoint Stealth FX4
- Barnett Jackal
- Barnett Buck Commander Extreme
- Horton Storm RDX
Top Features of Crossbows and what People should look for before buying one
Separating the best crossbow for money from a mediocre product may seem complicated. However, with ideas of what to look out for the process can be simpler.
- Speed of the bolt: For powerful and fast shots, consider a compound bow. These deliver high energy and speed expected. For better results, focus on the strength and the size of the bolts. You need to match the bolt size to the crossbow being used. Using the wrong bolt can lead to accidents.
- Noise: The recurve models with parallel limbs are the quietest crossbows you find. For the best hunting crossbow, get this bow even if it is a little slower at making shots than the recurve bow.
- Arrow Track: Also referred to as the barrel or a fight track, it defines the physical structure that allows the user to launch an arrow. The more precise the structure is, the more accurate the arrow downrange delivery.
- Who makes the crossbow? Crossbows vary with manufacturers. Check out on the best crossbows reviews on certain brands and find out what other consumers that have purchased the models are saying. This is a great way to get details that communicate the things campaigns are not telling.
- Draw weight: Focuses on the amount of pull required flexing the limbs of a bow into the fire position, the higher the value of the draw weight; the faster speed of the arrow.
- Weight: This is essential when selecting the right crossbow. Light crossbows are easy to carry while heavy crossbows are easy to keep steady when shooting. Consider your physical limitations when buying.
- Parts: Watch out for the parts of the crossbow before purchasing. For a high-quality weapon, buy one made of metal instead of plastic.
Despite the fact that most crossbows have a common design, there are weapons that are equipped with certain features for greater accuracy, dependability, and safety. The other extra features include scopes that improve the accuracy of each shot, cocking aids that allow you to cock the bow correctly, and noise dampening that reduces noise and vibration after firing a shot.
When shopping for the best crossbow, there are a few more details you should consider. Understand the guidelines and regulations of your locality and state.
How will it be used? Understanding the primary use of the crossbow is crucial. This will help determine the right tool for you. Given that crossbows can be used for game hunting, target practice, and fun, factoring in the use will help in your purchase. If it is meant for fun, its weight and size may not be relevant. If it will be used for serious activities like hunting, a high-quality bow that is compact will be necessary. If it will be stationary, the weight may not be important since it won’t be lagged into the woods.