Looking for a hunting weapon that will give you more thrills and more challenge? How about target shooting without the use of a gun? If you’re in for a new experience in learning a historical weapon that is known to be fast, accurate and powerful and can cleanly take the big animals in hunting such as elk and moose, then you definitely would want to try using a crossbow.
Yes, a crossbow. Now before you start scratching your head thinking that it’s pretty old, you will be surprised at what the modern crossbows can do. Of course, they are still used for hunting but in addition, crossbows are also used for target shooting and shooting sports. The fishing industry is also known to use crossbows in tagging sea animals for them to monitor or for tissue sampling. And if we can remember, The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon has been using his ever loyal crossbow in killing off zombies.
What is a Crossbow?
A crossbow is a weapon that resembles a bow and rifle and uses a fast string in launching projectiles but has a stock and a trigger, just like a rifle. They were discovered as early as 2500 BC in Chinese graves. And the Greeks were also known to have utilized them in 5th century BC in fact, it has become their weapon of choice due to its accuracy and versatility.
Difference Between A Crossbow and a Traditional Bow
While the traditional bow requires intense physical strength and training, using a crossbow does not. You see, when you use a traditional bow, you must draw, aim and shoot fast because the longer you take the aim, the more exhausted your arm will become which will then affect your accuracy. On the other hand, with a crossbow, you can just draw the string, cock and then leave the crossbow cocked until you’re all set to fire. This means that when the crossbow is cocked, it will not require any more effort from you which in turn can make you more focus in aiming on your target. This is also the reason why disabled or new hunters may benefit more from using crossbows rather than from the traditional bows.
Another good thing about the crossbow is that if the archer is not tall, it will certainly be not easy for him to use a long bow. You also need to have a great deal of upper body strength to draw back the traditional bow. With a crossbow, you can just utilize your buttock muscles and thigh to cock it. Additionally, you can also make use of tools to increase your ability such as cranks and levers.
More Crossbow Advantages
One crossbow advantage is that it is aimed similarly like a rifle which will make it easier for you to shoot from a kneeling or sitting position. Other users also choose to shoot crossbows from a resting position which enhances precision and accuracy.
Another advantage when hunting with a crossbow is that it works well with telescospic sights. From there, rifle or shotgun hunters can easily learn how to use a crossbow.
Next, crossbows are known to shoot projectiles faster than the compound bow as they have heavy draw weights of around 100 pounds. Due to this, crossbows can shoot bolts at around 350 to 450 feet per second compared to the compound bows with just 250 to 330 feet per second. The additional velocity results to longer effective ranges, hard-hitting bolts and flatter trajectories.
The very first crossbow disadvantage that you might want to consider is it is definitely heavier and larger compared to compound bows. It typically weighs around 6-7 pounds compared to the standard bow of 3-4 pounds. It is also bulky which will make carrying it not so convenient. In addition, the extra weight can make it problematic to shoot accurately without resting.
Another crossbow disadvantage is that it takes more time to reload due to its bulky size and heavy draw weights. Lastly, crossbows make a louder noise than recurve bows when shooting.
Now that we have established the advantages and disadvantages of using a crossbow, it is now time to know which are the best crossbows available today.
Below you’ll find a chart of the best crossbows together with their ranking, pricing and features:
5 Best Crossbows (2017) - Updated 2017. The ultimate crossbow buyer guide and reviews.
Here is the Top 5 Best Crossbows:
CenterPoint Sniper 370 – Camo Crossbow Package
Price: $263. 97
Shipping Weight: 12.2 pounds
Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 10 inches
One of the 5 best crossbows hunters should check out is the CenterPoint Sniper 370. With its fully adjustable stock and its foregrip, this crossbow will surely fit your shooting style. It ensures exceptional accuracy and its quad limbs are fitted with a CNC-machine cam system which delivers speeds of up to 370 fps.
The Centerpoint Sniper 370 is easy to maneuver due to its lightweight design and durable CNC-machined rail that comes with a shoot-through riser and 18” axle-to-axle width. It also has an 185 pound draw weight.
If you’re worried that this crossbow is too loud, fret not, its anti-dry fire and auto-safety trigger will prevent ill-intentioned shots from happening while its integrated string suppressors will keep them quiet and free from vibration.
The Centerpoint Sniper 370 Camo crossbow comes with a 4×32 scope, three 20” carbon bolts, rope cocker, quiver and a shoulder sling.
- 370-Feet per second firing Velocity, 185-pound draw weight
- Fully Adjustable, tactical stock and forearm
- Lightweight & durable CNC Machined aluminum rail with shoot through riser
- Integrated String suppressors for a quiet, vibration-free shot
- Quad limbs with precision CNC Machined Cam System
- Cocking problems
- Not enough adjustments in scope
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Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
Shipping Weight: 12 pounds
Dimensions: 33 x 13 x 7 inches
Another of the best crossbows is the Barnett Jackal Crossbow. It’s known for its unique design from the Barnett’s crossbow lineup. It features a military-style stock that comes with a divided foregrip for a more comfortable hand placement.
Additionally, its quad limb assembly boasts high energy wheels and synthetic string with a cable system that can produce arrow speeds of up to 315 feet per second. With the Barnett’s ADF MIM trigger, this crossbow ensures a smooth 3.5 pound trigger pull with the benefit of a picatinny rail.
Climate controlled storage and waxing the string every ten shots is highly recommended. When loading this crossbow, make sure that the odd colored arrow fletching is down.
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Specifications are: Draw Weight of 150 lbs. Lbs of Energy: 105 ft. Power Stroke: 12″ FPS: 315 Physical Weight: 7 lbs. Length: 32.5 ” Width: 26.5 ” Recommended Bolt: 18 or 20 ”
The Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package includes a Jackal Crossbow, Quiver, Three (3) 20″ arrows, and a 28mm Single Red Dot Scope.
- Sleek, military-style stock; high energy wheels; synthetic string and cable system
- Shoots at 315 feet per second with 150-pound draw weight
- AVI foot stirrup
- AVI bolt retainer
- ADF MIM trigger mechanism
- High-definition camouflage
- Quad limbs
- 5-pound trigger pull
- Picatinny/Weaver rail
- Dangerous – string and wheels blow up
- Instruction manual is difficult to follow
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80lbs Self Cocking Crossbow with 15 Arrows and Scope
Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
The next best crossbow is the 80lbs Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow which comes with a free pack of metal arrows (15 arrows) and a red dot scope. Great for small hunting games, a self-cocking crossbow allows you to shoot faster than the standard crossbow. You can easily load it again with your hands and you don’t even need to use a lot of force.
It is simple and safe while it ensures precise string alignment and an aluminum alloy construction with high-tech fiberglass production. It also has an auto safety feature that engages when cocking, thus provides greater accuracy and control. You can also see your target a whole lot better with its laser dot scope.
- 80lbs Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow with 160 FPS
- Comes with Free Pack of Metal Arrows
- Comes with Red Dot Scope
- Full Metal Body Gold Color Crossbow
- Great for Small Hunting Games
- Shoot faster than the standard crossbow
- Auto-safety feature
- Trigger jamming issues
- No instructions in assembling the crossbow
- String breaks easily
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Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Package
Shipping Weight: 10 pounds
Dimensions: 10.5 x 32.5 x 7 inches
Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow is another of the best crossbows worth checking out. It is compact and is the right size for small-framed hunters. It is easy to handle and maneuver while still having the perfect speed for hunting.
This crossbow has a 130-pound draw weight with 300 FPS and an 80-foot pound of energy ensuring that it can take down any target the hunter would like to pursue. It also features an adjustable butt stock which gives you enough reason to keep it and make adjustments when needed.
When operating the Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow, always inspect the crossbow and arrows before firing. Bent or damaged arrows/nocks are not safe to fire and should either be discarded or repaired. Never dry-fire the crossbow (shoot without an arrow) as this will void the warranty and can result in damage to the string, cables, and limbs, possibly causing personal injury.
Always use the perfect fit crossbow arrows, such as Barnett 20″” carbon arrows with half moon nocks. Arrows of improper stiffness or mass weight may damage the string, cables, and limbs thus voiding the warranty and possibly causing personal injury. Prior to cocking this crossbow, be sure to apply lubewax to your string, cables, and flight track.
Additionally, climate controlled storage and waxing the string every ten shots is highly recommended. When loading the crossbow, always make sure odd colored arrow fletching is down.
The Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow package includes a Quiver, 3 – 20″ Arrows, Premium Red Dot Sight and Rope Cocking Device.
- Allows for the integration of a crank cocking device
- Finger reminders pass through fore grip
- Perfect for women and small-framed hunters
- Adjustable butt stock
- Complete with Quiver, 3 – 20″ Arrows, Premium Red Dot Sight and Rope Cocking Device
- Easily cracks
- String easily breaks
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Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package with ACU-52
Weight: 13.8 pounds
Dimensions: 37.8 x 12 x 7 inches
The best crossbows list would not be complete without the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow by TenPoint. It is considered to be the crossbow package value on the market today. It is also the fastest Wicked Ridge model to date with its lightweight and narrow design.
It features a sleek, integrated, self-retracting rope-cocking system that reduces the draw weight by 50% while drawing the bow accurately. Its lightweight cocking unit’s design features mini-magnets that firmly hold the handles securely and quietly in place.
The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow also boasts safety engineered pass-through fore-grip and a glass-reinforced nylon safety wings designed to help keep the shooter’s fore-grip hand safely below the bowstring release path. It also comes with a Dry-Fire Inhibitor or DFI which prevents firing the crossbow without an arrow.
Lastly, it is fitted with new, tactical-black 12.3-inch WL12 limbs powered by a new Energy Wheel equipped with DynaFLIGHT 97 string and cables with tunable yokes. This in turn produces a fast and maneuverable 330 FPS, 165-pound draw weight assembly which is only 19-inches axle-to-axle when cocked.
The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow package by TenPoint includes a TenPoint 3x Multi-Line Scope and ACU52 rope-cocking system. Additional accessories are a 3-arrow quiver and 3-carbon arrows.
- 330 FPS/97 KE
- ACU-52 integrated, self-retracting rope-cocking system
- Winner of Outdoor Life Great Buy Award
- Safety engineered fore-grip and wings
- Dry-Fire Inhibitor (DFI)
- Limb stress
5 Best Crossbows (2017) - Updated 2017. The ultimate crossbow buyer guide and reviews.
All of the products included in our list are definitely of high quality, and each one received 4-5 star ratings and reviews.
However, out of the 5 best crossbows reviewed, the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow package by TenPoint is highly recommended. Aside from its lightweight design which is essentially significant when going out to long hunts, it will be less tiresome to carry. It is also known for its Dry-Fire Inhibitor feature which prevents firing without an arrow, thus making it safer to use compared to the rest.
While there may be reports of limb stress, it is still not as grave as opposed to other crossbows having issues with safety, which is a far more important thing to consider especially that you don’t want to get hurt with your equipment.
In addition, the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow package is a winner of the Outdoor Life Great Buy Award which is pretty indicative that this crossbow is indeed durable and is given a thumbs up sign by experts.
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