While the prospect of hunting game is exciting, choosing the best crossbow for the purpose from a large variety may not be so. Simply looking at features and models may confuse and overwhelm you. Look for a weapon that feels like you – don’t focus on a model or a manufacturer. It’s important to consider your level of experience, too. If you’ve never used a crossbow before, look for a simple and lightweight crossbow that’s easy to repair and maintain.
A recurve crossbow is suitable for a beginner who’s likely to make errors or dry fire, which can cause the weapon to blow up. As you gain more experience, you can use compound and reverse draw configurations. To guide your choice, we’ve selected what we believe are the ten best crossbow brands. Let’s take a look.
- Best Crossbow in 2019 – Our Review
- 1. TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow Review
- 2. Wicked Ridge Invader G3
- 3. CenterPoint Sniper 370
- 4. Intercept Carbon Express Supercoil lt
- 5. Ravin Crossbow R15 Review
- 6. Bear X Crossbows Archery Torrix FFL
- 7. Barnett Ghost 375 Crossbow Review
- 8. Barnett Ghost 420 Revanant
- 9. Carbon Express Intercept Axon
- 10. Barnett Ghost 410 CRT
- Fact and Features to Consider to Choose a Hunting Crossbow
Best Crossbow in 2019 – Our Review
- WINNER of the 2016 Game & Fish Reader's Choice Award, the adjustable Fusion S stock and ultra-compact, powerful 13.5-inch XLT bow assembly form a deadly combination
- Ultra compact assembly with a high performance Fusion S stock and ACRA-ANGLE barrel to DELIVER DEADLY PERFORMANCE with a power stroke of just 12.6", launching arrows up to 360 fps with a HARD-HITTING 107 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO START HUNTING: 3X Pro-View 2 Scope, 3-Arrow Instant Detach Quiver, 3 20" Pro Elite Carbon Arrows, Ambidextrous Side-Mount Quiver Bracket
- ALL THE SPECS: LENGTH (w/stirrup)-35", WIDTH AXLE-TO-AXLE (uncocked/cocked)-17.5"/13.5", POWER STROKE-12.6", WEIGHT IN LBS. (wo/accessories)-6.5, DRAW WEIGHT IN LBS.-175
- ACUdraw COCKING MECHANISM: Integrated self-retracting rope cocking device that REDUCES DRAW WEIGHT by 50%
No doubt one of the best crossbow for deer hunting, arrows fly at a speed that can reach 360-feet-per-second. And each arrow has a power of 107ft-lbs, enough to bring down a target as big as a deer or antelope.
The three arrows in a quiver have a combined weight of between 370 and 425 grains. If you’re looking for greater speed, use lighter arrows. However, lighter bolts mean less power. And so, you must strike a proper balance between speed and power.
Speed gives you stealth advantages, so game won’t notice you by the time the arrow lodges into its body, although faster arrows make more noise. Be sure to be within 40 yards from game to maximize the kinetic energy and penetration. At over 50 yards, the bolt has less power, and flight is poorer.
To release a projectile of three 20-inch carbon arrows, you must pull a string with a small force to12.6-inches. But when you pull the string, you’re supposed to feel a force of 175lbs. Thankfully, you’ll feel only half of this force, because the string pulls back automatically.
Turbo GT has a length of 35-inches, and axle-to-axle width when relaxed is 17.5-inch and 13.5-inch when cocked. With a weight of 6.5lbs, the device is light and portable.
A 3x scope is suitable for a beginner and professional hunting. Hence, you can aim down your sight at distances of 20, 30 and 40 yards. The grip has cut-outs to prevent you from inserting your finger or thumb in harms way.
2. Wicked Ridge Invader G3
- BEST OF THE BEST: Invader G3 is the safest, lightest, narrowest, and fastest Wicked Ridge Invader model to date
- COMPLETE PACKAGE from Ten Point's Wicked Ridge pairs their revolutionary Invader G3 Crossbow with the GEAR YOU NEED FOR HUNTING SUCCESS, no extra accessories to track down, it's all in the box, READY TO ROCK
- PACKAGE INCLUDES: Wicked Ridge G3 Crossbow, TenPoint 3X Multi-Line Scope, ACUdraw Cocking Mechanism, Wicked Ridge Instant-Detach 3-Arrow Quiver, and (3) Wicked Ridge 400-grain Carbon Arrows with 100-grain Practice Tips
- ALL THE SPECS: LENGTH (with stirrup)-37.75 inches; AXLE-TO-AXLE WIDTH (uncocked/cocked)-22.6 inches/19 inches; POWER STROKE-13.5 inches; WEIGHT (without accessories)-6.6 lbs; DRAW WEIGHT-165 lbs; SPEED-330 FPS, 96 FP KE
- ACUdraw COCKING MECHANISM: Integrated self-retracting rope cocking device that REDUCES DRAW WEIGHT by 50%
If you’re a first-timer in game hunting, this versatile weapon is just for you. Invader G3fires a projectile of three short carbon arrows, which travel at 330-feet-per-second.
Each arrow is 20-inches long.The three arrows have a total weight of 400 grains. Depending on weight, each arrow has an estimated power of between 85- and 96-ft-lbs.
The cored stock, which resembles a semi-skeleton, ensures you load,cock and fire at difficult angles and at minimum weight. With a force, which is as little as 3.5lbs, you can pull the trigger.
The risk of firing at your finger or thumb accidentally at the front is low, because of a tight grip of forehand afforded by a pass-through fore grip. The safety wings are made of strong nylon to remove the possibility of having your finger or thumb in a path of a string. You can’t fire projectiles unless a bolt is present.
You don’t have to pull back a rope when cocking. Even if you’ve cocked to open a muzzle, ready to fire, you can’t, unless you turn off the dry fire inhibitor. Loading is significantly easy, andyou can attach bolts quickly to a sling, because of an integration of swivel studs.
While the device weighs 6.6lbs, the best hunting crossbow has a drawing weight of 165lbs. But with a draw length of 13.5-inches and ACU-52 in place, you can feel only 82lbs of draw weight when cocking.You don’t have to be a pro to use the 3x scope.
3. CenterPoint Sniper 370
- 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
The best hunting crossbow fires three carbon bolt projectiles whose speed can reach 370-feet-per-second.Each bolt carries a kinetic energy of 128ft-lbs, whose impact is enough to knock down a tough game like a grizzly bear or a cape buffalo.
The length of each bolt is 20-inches. For maximum power, use a 275-grain bolt with a field tip of 100-grain.
Sniper 370 weighs 7.9lbs, and has a drawing weight of 185lbs.If you’re a beginner, or you operate a tight budget, we recommend you to go for it. The price is reasonable, given its breathtakingly amazing features like a CNC-machined rail and cam.
You can change the AR-style stock and fore grip however you’d like them to suit your hunting style. It’s difficult to miss a target, given that a CNC-machined cam guides the arrows toward a target of your choice. The rail adds to durability, and has a shoot-through riser.
The width of the rail – a length from one axle to another – is 21-inches, but reduces to 18-inches during cocking. There’s also a rope to guide cocking. A shoulder sling ensures you can carry the best budget crossbow anywhere.
Humans are susceptible to shaking and swinging. You don’t have to worry about using a balance, because an integration of string suppressors removes vibrations and oscillations. The same mechanism quiets shots, enabling you to take shots without alerting live game.
Chances of accidental firing, misfiring or firing blanks is low, owing to the anti-dry firing and auto-safety features.The scope measures 4 by 32mm
Perhaps the most adaptable so far, and made of movable parts of premium quality, you can bet on the best value crossbow.You can adapt the Intercept Supercoil Lt to your hunting style and any situation.
With a slight pull of 3.5lbs, a trigger is activated, and a bolt is released. What’s even more amazing about this weapon is its compatibility – you can adapt the grip, forearm, quiver, stock and other parts for military purposes. The axle-to-axle width is 13.5-inches when cocked and 17-inches when relaxed.
The weight is 7.45lbs, because of a lightweight design of the shooting rail, barrel, machined riser and the stirrup. With a light front end, the weight spreads to the back, ensuring steady grip during offhand shooting.
The “picatinny” rail is 8-inches long, but 7-inches inside a scope, so you’ve plenty of space to adjust the scope. The rail supports a pass-through fore grip. You can add accessories and adjust the reversible fore grip.
The scope is 4 by 32mm, and has several reticles. The scope can illuminate the field of view in red or green color. You can also open and close a scope cover.
The quiver contains three bolts whose combined weight is 390 grains. With 100-grain field points, you can add or minus 25 grains, because each collar can accommodate the weight margin.
A bolt is 20-inches long, and can achieve a maximum speed of 360-feet-per-second if you fire a lighter arrow. A power of 122ft-lbs may not take down a tough animal at 75 yards. The draw weight is 175lbs.
- Speed: 425 feet per second
- Power stroke: 13 inch
- Kinetic energy: 160 ft. Lbs
- Draw force: 12 lbs
- Width axle-axle: 6 inch Cocked, 10.5 un-cocked
If you’re looking for a rifle-like feel, as in narrow and compact body, accuracy and long range, then Crossbow R15 should be your weapon of choice. Arguably the best crossbow, It spits a projectile whose velocity can reach 425-feet-per-second.
Each bolt travels, bearing a kinetic energy of 164ft-lbs, a power that’s more than enough to bring down a tough target like a T-Rex. The distance between one axle and the next is 10.5-inches when relaxed but reduces to 6-inches when cocked, but you’ll have to pull a string to 13-inches. You’ll need to pull a trigger with a force of at least 12lbs to release a projectile.
The best hunting crossbow leverages HeliCoil technology to achieve an accuracy that matches a bullet at distances greater than 100 yards.And so, you don’t have to worry about balance, because a cable rotates away from the top and bottom of a cam in a helical fashion. Hence, the cam can rotate at an angle of 340 degrees without going above and below the draw, giving you a dead-on downrange.
The high speed and accuracy come as a result of a technology that reduces friction between rail and arrow surfaces. The thing is, the string and the bolt float above the rail, reducing contact with the rail. And cocking and de-cocking occur automatically.
The scope measures 8 by 24mm, and an adjustable jack plate ensures you can change elevation from 20 to 200 yards.The scope can illuminate up to 100 yards. The weapon weighs 6.9lbs. Pre-mounted sling and anti-dry fire prevent accidental firing or misfiring.
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No best budget crossbow is as compact and balanced as Torrix FFL.However, with a power of 115.6ft-lbs, it can be quite difficult to knock down a tough game at greater distances than 50 yards, although a speed of 355-feet-per-second makes up for this shortcoming.
The grip, fore grip and stock have AR-style design to boost efficiency and performance. The weight is 9.5lbs – heavier than average in our crossbow review. The length is 36.25-inches. But unmatched compactness and balance compensate for the drawback.
To release a bolt, you must pull a string to a length of 16.5-inches between axles. However, axle-to-axle length is 17-inches when relaxed and 13.3-inches when cocked. The rail is very small, and spans between the muzzle and the trigger, ensuring your fore grip is exactly where it belongs.
The ultra small rail mounts the reversible fore grip. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about blind spots and tight angles, because you can move easily.
The Trophy Ridge XF325 scope has many reticles, and provides devastatingly accurate aim for targets within 20-70 yard range. The AR-style buttstock is adjustable, and has setting markers and sight window. Cocking automatically switches on a safety and trigger mechanism, and a lever of anti-dry fire adds a layer of protection.
7. Barnett Ghost 375 Crossbow Review
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Each bolt travels with speeds up to 385-feet-per-second, and carries a power of 125ft-lbs. This combination of power and speed is lethal to a mule elk, a bighorn sheep, a deer or an antelope in any wide terrain like a thick bush or an open prairie.
But an integration of string stops swinging and shaking so high-speed firing is less noisy.You can feel a maximum force of 165lbs when pulling a rope to cock.The design moves the weight from the front end toward the shoulder of the shooter to increase balance.
To pull a trigger and fire a shot, a small force of 3lbs is required to pull a string up to14.125-inches without a creep.With a relatively light weight of 7.1lbs, and an axle-to-axle width of 20.25-inches when cocked, carrying and handling is easy.
Dry firing is unlikely, thanks to ADF and a nock sensor. The rail is “picatinny”, because its width is 7/8-inches, and is machined with CNC. A rope is present to guide you when placing a bolt in string path.
A reminder is also present to warn you if your thumb or finger blocks the string path. String suppressors ensure your fingers don’t move above the string level.
You can integrate a device for crank cocking.The quiver houses two Head-hunter bolts, which are 20-inches long each. No need to assemble parts before use. Stainless parts are insusceptible to rust and corrosion.A 4 by 32 scope has a push button, and illuminates a field of view.
8. Barnett Ghost 420 Revanant
Barnett Ghost is not a crossbow for those on a budget,but once it arrives, you’ll be glad to spend about $1000 on it. The first feature you are bound to enjoy is the 420 feet per second arrow speed, making it one of the fastest crossbows your hands can land on.
The power delivered comes from a 185-pound draw weight which gives the bow kinetic energy equivalent to 150-pound-feet. That is enough to take out that massive game you have been eyeing for some time.
There is no trouble carrying this powerful tool to the fields and aiming since the carbon limbs in use are lightweight among other crossbow parts.
At the top, you have an illuminated scope to help you view in low light conditions,and it is not sophisticated to call for a manual.
You also get a frictionless release when it’s time to fire with the aid of a floating roller assembly, which results from a light triggering mode that is only three pounds.
In case of an accidental trigger pull, the ADF trigger system holds until you set it to fire mode. Despite the modernization, it is easy to use and quite reliable especially in short range aiming and shooting.
It comes with a carbon riser to step on when you need to cock the crossbow. Using it is so easy that you don’t need a cocking string. That is why you don’t need too many parts as part of maintenance and use. One of the flaws of Ghost crossbow is that it does not have a crank. That calls for improvising if you need to use it.
LasIn case of anything, Barnett gives you a 5-year warranty.
9. Carbon Express Intercept Axon
- Patent-pending Picatinny design platform accommodates most military and commercial spec AR parts; 29" of rail enables unlimited customization
- Highly adjustable for a customized lenth-of-pull fit for better repeat performance and overall accuracy.
- Compact design for shooting in tight spots (13.5" axle to axle cocked) for increased accuracy and overall handling in a treestand or ground blind
- Anti-Dry-Fire: All-metal trigger and safety provide consistent performance. The safety is designed for left or right handed shooters.
- Designed and assembled in the USA of domestic and imported parts.
Arrows can fly with a maximum velocity of 360-feet-per-second. Each arrow has a length of 20-inches, and can carry a power of115ft-lbs at point blank range. This power can take down a bull or a bison at ranges as close as 35 yards.
The maximum force you can feel when pulling a rope to 13.5-inches when cocking is 175lbs. The rope cocker reduces the draw force to about 90lbs, ensuring consistency in pulling the rope. The best hunting crossbow is moderately heavy, weighing8.3lbs.
And so, the device may not be suitable for a long day of hunting, since you require lots of stamina and strength to carry it all the time.
The quiver contains three arrows, which can reach a total weight of 400 grains. There is little or no error in how the cams function. The alloy infusion in cams gives a silky and smooth feel. Safety and anti-dry firing mechanism ensures you fire perfect shots.
Coming with AR-style design, Intercept Axon has parts, which are compatible with military and commercial parts. There are endless possibilities for customization for any AR-15 accessory on a 29-inch picatinny rail. like ground blinds or tree stands.
Axle-to-axle width is 13.5-inches when cocked, giving you compactness to take shots on restricted environments
A 4 by 32mm scope has a reticle with a glass etching and an illumination. You can adjust your aim and groupings for four different positions: 25, 40, 50 and 70 yards. Not only that, the scope collects lights, and brightness and contrast balance perfectly.
- 410 FPS; 185 LB. Draw Weight; Quiver, 3 Arrows, Rope Cocking Device, Talon Sling and 3x32 Scope
- 185 LB. Draw Weight
- 20" Axle to Axle
- Climate controlled storage and waxing the string every ten shots is highly recommended. When loading crossbow always make sure odd colored arrow fletching is down.
- Read user’s manual thoroughly and reference safety videos before using
No crossbow offers you projectile power whose impactis enough to bring down any game, no matter how big and tough.You can kill a grizzly bear or a cape buffalo all with a single shot of a weapon, which leverages the Carbonlite Riser Technology (CRT).
Ghost 410 fires three carbon bolts. A single bolt carries kinetic energy that can reach 150ft-lbs. Each boltis 22-inches long, and a quiver contains three bolts with a total weight of 400 grains.
Because of a bigger-than-average power, the bolt doesn’t lose its effectiveness until beyond 70 yards.With a weight of 7.2lbs, the weapon is lighter and more manoeuvrable than the Barnet Ghost 400.
The short arrow can retain 98 per cent of kinetic energy at intervals of 10 yards after the point blank range. Rest assured, within 80 yards, you can’t miss your target. It comes as no surprise why one of the best crossbow for the money scores highly in our crossbow review.
It won’t take you long to set up the crossbow for use, because the scope is already sighted and mounted, and you don’t have to integrate the riser and the foot stirrup.
The scope measures 3 by 32mm, and has four reticles. The scope manufacturer gives you a lifetime warranty unlike Barnet Ghost who gives you only five years for the device.
You can adjust the factory settings of the scope to increase 100 per cent accuracy beyond 20 yards. The scope’s view is wide, and its illumination is unmatched. The scope can also trap light.
Fact and Features to Consider to Choose a Hunting Crossbow
Crossbows come in many shapes, sizes and models, and have many features. Choosing the best crossbow from a large variety can feel overwhelming. You don’t have to worry. Consider the following factors:
Draw force: Consider what force you’re comfortable to pull back when cocking. Look for a device that has a rope cocker, as it can reduce draw force by half.
Higher draw weights increase chances of errors, and can accelerate wear and tear of limbs, servings and strings. In addition, if you have to cock and re-cock frequently for a long time, go for a lower draw force.
Configuration: All crossbows have a bow and a stock but they differ in how the bow attaches itself on the stock. Hence, a crossbow can fall into any of the following groups:
- Reverse draw
If you lack enough strength and stamina, and you need more stealth and simplicity, then go for a quiet and lightweight crossbow: recurve. But you’ll find it difficult to fire shots in tight spots, as in dense covers, such as brush or a thicket, because the bow is wide. You can also replace the string on site, as long as you’ve a spare one.
If you’re looking for a combination of high power and speed, and you want to take shots in tight spaces, you require a long power stroke. And so, a long and narrow crossbow: compound, is suitable. You’ll have to put up with noise and weight, though.
Compound crossbows are suitable for experienced shooters, because they blow up when you dry fire or use them incorrectly, and only the manufacturer can fix them.
If you’re looking for ultra fast speeds and silence, a reverse draw crossbow is a go-to. With just 100lbs of draw force, you can achieve speeds over 300-feet-per-second but you’ll need a lot of stamina and strength to carry the weapon.
Projectile speed: Usually, flight speeds range between 265- and 400-feet-per-second. But kinetic energy reduces significantly beyond 40 yards, making it increasingly unlikely to bring down moving game successfully. Approach the live game closer, as in 20 yards, and risks of alerting it increase with a noisy arrow.
If you intend to knock down tough game like a T-Rex, a moose or a grizzly bear in a tight spot like a thicket, brush or a tree stand,you require a crossbow that provides you with a mix of great power, maneuverability and speed. Barnet Ghost 410 and Ravin Crossbow R15arethe winners.
For a first-timer, a simpler and lighter weapon with a recurve configuration is more suitable, as it’s easier to repair and maintain. Although you’ve to fire projectiles on open fields like a prairie, crossbows like Intercept Supercoil Lt, Turbo GT, Crossbow R15 and Invader G3 can be suitable. InvaderG3 and Sniper 370 are more pocket-friendly than Crossbow R15 and Storm RDXal though others come in-between.
Related links > The best compound bow for hunting > The best .308 rifle
Last update on 2021-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API