Hunting is a pastime that many individuals enjoy. Crossbows are becoming popular weapons to use while hunting, but unfortunately, not many people know which crossbows are the best to purchase. If you are interested in crossbow hunting, whether it is a small game or something a bit larger, the first thing you should do is become familiar with the weapon.
To start, there are two types of crossbows that may interest you. The first is a recurve bow, which features a simple design that is perfect for beginners. The other type of crossbow is a compound bow that uses a lot of pulleys and short strings to create more power when the arrow is released.
Best Crossbows 2018
There are a lot of great crossbows on the market, and in this guide, we will explore ten of the best ones that are available for you. Before we dive into the reviews, let’s take a look at some of the features you should consider before making a purchase.
1. Accuracy: Accuracy is an important feature when it comes to purchasing a crossbow, so you want to find a device that is able to help you hit your target. The main reason that you often experience inaccuracy with a crossbow is that the scope attached to the crossbow is not properly aligned.
2. Scope Type: There are four different scope styles that you can choose from; each one has its pros and cons. You can choose between a scope with crosshairs, a scope with multiple reticles to give you a better accuracy with distance, a single dot scope, or a multiple dot reticle. The scope is essential, but ultimately this decision boils down to your personal preference.
3. Draw Weight: The draw weight is the amount of force it takes to draw the string back and position it before you take aim. Typically, cocking the crossbow requires too much weight to do by hand, so there are two alternative methods used by most crossbows on the market. The first is a rope cocking device that reduces the weight requirements by 50 percent, and the second is a crank cocking device that does most of the work for you. Both options work well, but the crank device adds more weight to the crossbow.
4. Speed: The speed of your arrows will be determined by the actual crossbow that you are shooting with and the bolts that you are using. It is important to make sure that your arrows have enough momentum and force behind them to take down your target, so make sure to consider the feet per second that each bow can produce. Compound bows typically offer more power, which means they cause the arrows to fly at a higher rate of speed.
5. Weight: The actual weight of the crossbow is also important. Heavy weapons offer more stability when you are shooting, but lighter ones are easier to carry while you are hunting. Most crossbows weigh between six and eight pounds, but the most important thing is to make sure that it is comfortable to shoot with. If the front end is too heavy, it may be difficult to hit your target.
Now that you know what to look for in a crossbow, let’s dive right into the reviews.
- 10. Barnett Outdoors Ghost 360 CRT Crossbow Package
- 9. Excalibur Crossbow Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow
- 8. Carbon Express X-Force Advantex Crossbow
- 7. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package with ACU-52
- 6. Killer Instinct FURIOUS 370 FRT Crossbow with TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology
- 5. SA Sports Empire Terminator 260 FPS Crossbow
- 4. PSE Fang 350 Crossbow
- 3. SA Sports Empire Beowulf 360FPS Crossbow Package
- 2. Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow Package
- 1. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
10. Barnett Outdoors Ghost 360 CRT Crossbow Package
The Ghost is a compound device that utilizes carbon riser technology to reduce the weight of the unit by up to 43 percent, which means that the Ghost only weighs seven pounds. It has a draw weight of 165 pounds, so a cocking rope is the best way to set up your device.
In addition, the arrows fly at a speed of 360 feet per second, which makes it perfect for hunting elk, bear, or moose, but it is also a great option for the smaller game as well.
- This crossbow has an incredible level of power and accuracy that works perfectly at long ranges as well as relatively close distances.
- The bow is lightweight, which makes it easier to aim.
- This crossbow is simple to assemble.
- The speed of this crossbow seems a bit slower than advertised.
- The Ghost can be a little difficult to cock for some.
9. Excalibur Crossbow Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow
The next crossbow on our list is one that utilizes a frame that is designed with a thumbhole stock to ensure that you do not lose your grip as you aim. The device only weighs five and a half pounds, so it is a very well-balanced device. It has a draw weight of 200 pounds, but even so, it is an easy device to cock.
This unit comes with a Deadzone scope that offers, even more, accuracy, and the arrows fire at a steady rate of 305 feet per second. Since safety is always the priority when using a weapon, it is important to note that this crossbow does not have an anti-fire mechanism, so it may not be the best option for inexperienced crossbow hunters.
- This crossbow has an excellent accuracy level that is not often seen crossbows at this price range.
- Assembling this device is quick and easy to do; in fact, it should not take longer than an hour of your time.
- You get exactly what you expect when you purchase this crossbow; nothing is hidden for you to find later.
- Since this device has such a large draw weight, it may be difficult for some to cock the device, especially if you are attempting to cock it with a cocking rope or by hand.
8. Carbon Express X-Force Advantex Crossbow
The Carbon Express X-Force is a device that is less than seven pounds because it is designed with a skeletal frame that is easier to balance, especially for those who are new to using crossbows. The compact device is merely 12.5 inches in length when it is cocked. It features a rifle-like stock that is perfect for hunting, and it shoots an arrow at 315 feet per second.
The unit has a draw weight of 165 pounds, and it features a Silentech coating to dampen the vibrations and keep your shots silent. In addition, this device is fog, water, and shock resistant, so it is perfect for hunting early in the morning or during a light rain.
- This crossbow is extremely accurate; even at long range from the target.
- Shooting arrows with this crossbow feel natural, especially with the adjustable forearm feature.
- The assembly directions are not as clear as they could be.
7. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package with ACU-52
The Wicked Ridge Invader is a compound crossbow that was designed perfectly for hunting both large and small game with ease. Weighing a little over six and a half pounds, this crossbow is easy to balance while you are taking aim as well as walking in the woods. The unit has an aluminum cutout covering that is designed to make it a lighter device that is just as powerful as the competition.
The draw weight is only 165 pounds, so using a rope cock will only require about 80 pounds of strength on your part. This process is made simple by the ACU-52 cocking mechanism featured on the crossbow. The three and a half pound trigger is capable of firing an arrow at 330 feet per second, which is enough power to easily stop a bear in its tracks.
- The trigger is perfect for hunting; it offers a crisp pull that requires just the right amount of effort.
- The multi-reticle scope that comes with the device has a great level of accuracy.
- Cocking this crossbow is extremely simple, but the handle can be a bit unsteady if you are not careful during the process.
- You have to ease off of the safety when releasing it or the device will make a loud clicking noise that can frighten your prey.
- Assembly of this device can be a bit difficult.
6. Killer Instinct FURIOUS 370 FRT Crossbow with TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology
The Killer Instinct FURIOUS is a crossbow that is perfectly attuned for big game hunting. This device is a bit heavier than some of the crossbows on our list, weighing in at 7.2 pounds, but its compact and ergonomic design is part of what makes it so perfect for hunting. This compound bow is 17.5 inches long when it is not cocked, and it has a draw weight of 185 pounds.
This powerful weapon can shoot arrows at a speed of 370 feet per second, and it comes with a multi-reticle scope to help increase the accuracy of the device. In addition, the trigger on this crossbow features TriggerTech Friction Release Technology that fires with only two pounds of pressure, which is a great soft touch trigger that is perfect for a beginner.
- The stock of this crossbow has five different positions that you can use to adjust the comfortability level while aiming.
- The bow is a highly sturdy device that is well built, and the trigger technology is perfect for hunting.
- The accuracy level of this device is great up to a distance of 60 yards.
- The scope is not illuminated, which may be a disappointment for some.
- This crossbow is a little heavy, but it should not be an issue for most.
5. SA Sports Empire Terminator 260 FPS Crossbow
The Terminator is a crossbow that is lighter than the majority of the ones that we have featured on this list thus far, which is because this is a recurve bow instead of a compound one. The unit only weighs about four and a half pounds, which makes it easy to take aim and fire quickly. This feature is great for a beginner who may not be able to balance heavier weapons quickly.
The crossbow has a draw weight of 175 pounds, which means that it will not require much effort to cock it with a cocking rope. It does not have quite as much power as some of the compound crossbow options on this list, but it still has an impressive firing speed of 260 feet per second.
- Assembling the Terminator is an easy task that will not require much of your time.
- The stock of this crossbow is extremely easy to adjust, which makes it perfect for a hunter of any height.
- The accuracy of the crossbow seems to decrease when your target if further than 35 yards away.
- Shooting arrows are not quite silent; in fact, you can hear it fire from a few feet away.
4. PSE Fang 350 Crossbow
The Fang 350 Crossbow is a compound device that weighs in at just less than seven pounds. The trigger requires a solid four pounds of pressure to engage, which means that it is easy to use, even for beginners.
This device has a draw weight of 155 pounds, which is easy to handle, even with the cocking rope included in the packaging. Besides, this crossbow is a powerful weapon; in fact, it shoots at an incredible 350 feet per second. The Fang 350 is available in soft camouflage, or if you prefer, plain black is available as well.
- The arrows fly through the air at extremely fast speeds without making a sound.
- Everything that you need to shoot is included in the box, even if they are not the optimal choices.
- Cocking this crossbow is relatively simple to do, and a cocking rope is included in the packaging.
- The scope that comes with this crossbow is not the highest quality option on the market, but it will do in a pinch.
- The arrows that come in the packaging only a temporary option because they are not that durable.
3. SA Sports Empire Beowulf 360FPS Crossbow Package
The Beowulf is a lightweight compound bow that is only six and a half pounds, which makes it the perfect weight for beginners or smaller statured individuals to hunt with. It features a camouflage design and an ergonomic design that is comfortable to shoot and simple to aim.
This device has a draw weight of 175 pounds, so it is not too difficult to cock. In addition, the Beowolf is able to shoot arrows at a speed of 360 feet per second without making excessive noise that will scare away your prey.
- Shooting an arrow with this crossbow is extremely silent, which is perfect for any hunter.
- The power behind each shot is incredible, especially considering it has such a low price point.
- This crossbow is very easy to assemble; if you follow the included instructions, it should be assembled in no time.
- The scope that comes with the device does not perform on the level that it should.
- The included bolts are not as durable as they could be.
2. Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow Package
This device, which is the Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow, comes in a package that is designed to be ready to shoot without much assembly and preparation time involved. Taking down a bear from a distance of 40 yards should not be an issue. The seven-pound weapon has a draw weight of 160 pounds, and this compound bow is capable of shooting an arrow at a speed of 350 feet per second, so aiming for the chest of a bear is likely to be deadly.
This device also utilizes an ADF trigger system that is designed to give you a shot without recoil by way of the 3.5-pound trigger.
- It is extremely easy to assemble this crossbow.
- There is a lot of power behind the Brotherhood, which means that if your aim is accurate, your target is finished.
- The ergonomics of this weapon are excellent; it is easy to hold, and there is barely any kickback when you shoot.
- The cocking rope does not come included with the purchase of this crossbow.
- The arrow retention string is made out of a plastic material that may not last as long as a metal material may have.
- The scope that comes with the crossbow is not the best.
1. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
The first crossbow on our list is the Barnett Jackal Crossbow; a compound bow that has a draw weight of 150 pounds that is easy for a beginner to cock. It is a powerful weapon that is capable of shooting at speeds of up to 315 feet per second.
The device comes with a premium red dot scope as well as three 20-inch arrows. The crossbow itself only weighs 7.7 pounds, so it is lightweight and comfortable to use. In addition, a five-year warranty is included with the purchase.
- There is nearly no recoil with the crossbow, which is perfect for a beginner.
- There is a lot of power behind this model, especially for the price point it is sold at.
- Cocking the crossbow is effortless.
- The crossbow is a little loud when compared to other models on the market.
- Assembling this crossbow can prove to be difficult.
- The scope is more of a sight because it offers a really low level of magnification.
Finding the perfect crossbow to fit your needs and hunting style can be a process. Don’t take this decision lightly because it could mean the difference in hitting your target or watching it walk away. The crossbows on our list are great options, but there are plenty more on the market that we have not discussed. If you have not found the perfect crossbow within this guide, continue your research until you find it. Happy hunting!