15 Best Crossbow For The Money – 2019 Reviews

Preview
Best Value
Bear X Crossbows Archery Fisix FFL Crossbow Package,...
Premium Choice
Ravin R20 Crossbow Package With Illuminated 1.5-5x32mm...
Budget Option
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow | Shoots 350 FPS |...
Crossbow
Bear X Crossbows Archery Fisix FFL Crossbow Package,...
Ravin R20 Crossbow Package With Illuminated 1.5-5x32mm...
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow | Shoots 350 FPS |...
Price
from $859.00
$1,660.20
$369.99
Best Value
Preview
Bear X Crossbows Archery Fisix FFL Crossbow Package,...
Crossbow
Bear X Crossbows Archery Fisix FFL Crossbow Package,...
Price
from $859.00
Buy Here
Premium Choice
Preview
Ravin R20 Crossbow Package With Illuminated 1.5-5x32mm...
Crossbow
Ravin R20 Crossbow Package With Illuminated 1.5-5x32mm...
Price
$1,660.20
Buy Here
Budget Option
Preview
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow | Shoots 350 FPS |...
Crossbow
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow | Shoots 350 FPS |...
Price
$369.99
Buy Here

This article will help you to find the best crossbow for your needs and budget. I recently bought my third crossbow, and during my research for that purchase I put together a list of crossbows with detailed information so that you can save yourself time and energy.

A lot of review sites and YouTubers feature crossbows around the 2000$ mark, so I will try to give you some great options below the 500$ and 1000$ marks. Though these crossbows are cheaper, they work great and can easily take down a big buck.

The first crossbows on this list are some of the best crossbows under 500$, and then we will take a look at the higher end crossbows. Enjoy the reviews—I hope you find the crossbow for you.

Best Crossbow Under 500$

PreviewCrossbowRating PriceBuy Here
Ravin R20 Crossbow Package With Illuminated 1.5-5x32mm...Ravin R209.8The best crossbow on the market today$1,796.49Check Price
Tenpoint Nitro XRT Crossbow Elite Package, EVO-X...Tenpoint Turbo GT9.4A excellent crossbow
$2,475.00Check Price
Bear Archery Fisix FFL Crossbow PackageBear Archery Fisix FFL8.9My personal favorite for 1000$ Crossbow
from $859.00Check Price
BARNETT Ghost 375 Crossbow, Realtree Max 1 CamoBarnett Ghost 375 8.7Great crossbow with a lot of power
$699.99Check Price
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow | Shoots 350 FPS |...Barnett Whitetail Hunter II 8.2Best crossbow under 500$$369.99Check Price
CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow PackageCenterpoint Sniper 3708.0Best selling crossbow under 500$from $280.74Check Price

1. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – Overall Best Under 500$

Sale
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow | Shoots 350 FPS |...
  • 350 feet per second. Draw weight: 150 lbs Kinetic energy:...
  • Overall weight 6.4 lbs | axle to axle 16.125" | dimensions...
  • Made in the USA and ships mostly assembled; 12.5 Power...

Bestseller, cheap, powerful, light, and narrow. If you were to tell me that you could get the specs of this bow at this price range, I would think you were lying—but luckily for you, this offer is legit. That Barnett Whitetail Hunter II is a best seller on Amazon is no surprise.

It’s overall a great crossbow for its price, but it still can’t compete against higher-end bows such as the Tenpoint SS. However, if you are looking for a first timer crossbow that performs well and is cheap then you should take a closer look at this one.

It weighs  6.4 pounds, which is good and below average, but what separates this bow from the others on this list is the specs you get for the price. 350 fps and 103 ft. lbs kinetic energy is something you can expect from 1000$ crossbows, but here you can get it for a big discount.

Barnett is known for their high-quality crossbows throughout the years. Because they are a big brand, they are able to get cheap parts, which results in cheaper crossbows that are still at premium quality.

When you get it in the mail you can feel its pure quality, and another great thing about it is that it comes completely set up. I have had plenty of experiences with crossbows where I had to spend hours trying to figure out the plans when the only thing I really wanted was to start shooting. I think it’s a neat add-on to this package.

If you have a younger archer or you just want a crossbow that is easy to handle, this is a crossbow to consider. It has a draw weight of 150 pounds, which is easy to manage for most shooters.

It’s an overall great crossbow that comes at a remarkable price. The quality does reflect this, so don’t expect it to be a 1000-2000$ crossbow, but if you have a 500$ budget then this the crossbow I would strongly consider. Barnett makes great crossbows, and the reviews and specs speak for themselves.

ProsCons
* Comes with a Nock sensor and adf that eliminates dry fires
* It is great for hunting because of its camo shade
* Comes with lube wax that you can use to lube the string
* It also comes with a 4×32 scope
* The drawstring starts getting loose after several shots

Pros

  • Comes with a Nock sensor and adf that eliminates dry fires
  • Great for hunting because of its camo shade
  • Comes with lube wax that you can use to lube the string
  • Comes with a 4×32 scope 

Cons

  • The drawstring starts getting loose after several shots

 


2. Centerpoint Sniper 370 – One of the Best Entry-Level Crossbows

Centerpoint is known to be the best entry-level crossbow out there because of its smoothness and the silent shots it can deliver. The price on the Centerpoint Sniper 370 is a steal as well.

It can shoot arrows with a speed of 370 fps, and has an adjustable stock and for-grip to accommodate any shooting style.

Some of its other handy features are: 4 bolts, quiver, 4×32 multi-reticle scope, cocking rope, anti dry-fire and auto safety, noise suppressing stops, sling, and many of the parts on the crossbows are coated with rubber to suppress vibration and sound.

For a beginner, this is everything you will need to get started. If you are going to practice before you head out to hunt, consider looking into these archery targets as well.

If someone said to me that I could get all this equipment for the price tag of this crossbow, I would think it was a lie, but luckily for you, it’s not. If you are starting out there is no reason for you to pay more than this.

Pros

  • Quite easy to set up
  • Incredible accuracy
  • Comes with an optic

Cons

  • The adjustable stock is noisy


3. Barnett Jackal – Best Beginner Crossbow

Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3 - 20-Inch...
  • Velocity: 315 FPS
  • Includes 3 arrows
  • Smooth 3. 5 lb. trigger pull

Barnett is a famous crossbow manufacturer known for its high-quality crossbows. This was my first crossbow, and I can promise you that it works great and is cheap as well, which makes it an excellent beginner crossbow.

If you decide to purchase it from Amazon, you will get it as a complete package containing a red dot sight, quiver, and some bolts. That way, you can start practicing right away. The only thing you will need to buy separately is a bow case and some crossbow broadheads. Assembling this kit is very easy as well; I spent about 20-30 minutes on mine.

If you are like me and care about the looks of your crossbows, then you shouldn’t worry, because it has a slim military look to it which I enjoy. The grip is designed after pistol grips, which makes it very comfortable to hold and easy to use.

The trigger is very smooth as well, with a 3,5 lbs trigger pull. The only thing I would improve is a lower lbs trigger weight; 2lbs would be ideal.

Overall, it’s a great crossbow that can easily give you the same feeling and power as a high-end crossbow. If you are looking for a fairly-priced crossbow that still offers high-quality parts and high power, I suggest you take a closer look at the Barnett Jackal.

Pros

  • Incredible design and solid construction
  • Available at an affordable price
  • Ideal for beginners and intermediate users
  • Backed by a 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Does not come with a rope cocking mechanism

4. Wicked Ridge by Tenpoint

Wicked rich is a low priced, lightweight, and well-balanced crossbow. It’s priced to fit most budgets, which is surprising considering how well it performs.

It’s very easy to use and silent, so with this crossbow in your arsenal you shouldn’t have any problem taking down that whitetail or hitting every target on the archery field.

The tactical-built limbs will help you through rough hunting conditions and provide you with more than enough stability for the riser.

With the limbs, you also get the tenpoint energy wheels attached, which drastically increases the smoothness of each and every shot.

The combination of the energy wheel, aluminum riser, and well-built risers results in a lightning speed of 330 fps, which is more than enough to take down your prey.

Tenpoint has clearly prioritized safety in the making of this bow as well. The handgrip doesn’t only look cool, but it keeps your fingers safe with technical and well-thought-out cuts that protect you and keeps the crossbow light.

It’s very hard to believe that it comes at such an affordable price, but it does. Both shooting and cocking the crossbow is very smooth and I have nothing bad to say about its specs or performance either. 330 feet per second and 165-pound draw weight is a steal at this price.

Additional features such as the T2 trigger and the dry fire inhibitor are some of the factors helping it to earn its placement on this list. The T2 trigger is 3.5 pounds and has a smooth and well-balanced feel to it, which makes it easy to predict where the trigger point is.

The dry fire inhibitor adds to the lifetime of the crossbow by preventing excessive damage to the bow that could result in worsened accuracy or performance. As we know, there is a lot of power behind each shot, at least with a fps of 330. That is why a dry fire inhibitor is essential to help the crossbow deal with the energy running through it.

For this price, you can’t expect anything else. If your budget is 500$, stop reading and take a closer look at the Wicked Ridge, because you won’t find any crossbow out there can beat this guy in a 1 to 1 comparison—at least not at this price point.

Pros

  • Light and well balanced
  • Smooth trigger
  • Comes with a dry fore inhibitor that helps maintain accuracy
  • Offers a lot of power and speed

Cons

  • No drawbacks whatsoever

5. Killer Instinct Crossbows Hero 380 – Best Budget crossbow

The killer instinct Hero 380 is another great option for those who are looking for a crossbow under 500$. It shoots arrows at a lightning speed of 380 fps, which not many crossbows can compete with, especially in this price range.

The total weight of the crossbow is 5.8 lbs, and it’s reasonably compact as well. Its width is 15.75″ cocked and 19″ uncocked, which is slim enough to be used in most tight spaces.

When I am looking for a crossbow to use in my tree stand, I usually set a maximum width requirement of 18″ when cocked, and the Hero 380 is far within that requirement.

Just like Barnett Jackal, this bow comes with a complete kit, so you can start shooting at once. The Hero 380 can be more difficult to assemble compared to the Barnett because of the adjustable stock, but the end result is more than worth the effort.

The Hero 380 is not as famous as the Barnett crossbows, but with these specs and this price point, it really deserves a lot more attention. I know two people in my club who own it, and I can confidently say that it’s well worth the money, if not more.

Pros

  • Great accuracy 
  • Lightweight compared to most models
  • Can shoot crossbow bolts of up to 380 fps
  • Works well in blinds and tree stands

Cons

  • Comes with a 3.5 pound trigger, which is not the best

 



6. Killer Instinct Crossbows Ripper 415 – Best Crossbow for the Money

Killer Instinct Crossbows Ripper 415 FPS Crossbow...
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Killer Instinct Crossbows Ripper 415 FPS...
  • 415 FPS BOLT SHOOTING SPEED: The Killer Instinct Ripper 415...
  • PRECISION ALUMINUM BARREL: CNC-Enhanced aluminum flight rail...

If you are looking to get as much speed and as a flat a trajectory as possible for your money, the Killer Instinct Crossbow Ripper 415 is the way to go. One of my favorite hunters on Youtube uses this crossbow (Thefieldarcher).

The Killer Instinct is one of the fastest and most accurate crossbows being manufactured in the US today, at least within this price point. It’s one of the best entry-level crossbows out there.

Its high speed makes it quite hard to cock the crossbow, but since it comes with a cocking rope it’s manageable. By using the cocking rope, the draw weight is reduced from 200 lbs to 100 lbs.

This crossbow is built with a rugged aluminum shooting rail and CNC machined rise, which results in an extreme accuracy of “sub-1-inch” accuracy 80 yds out.

You would think that a crossbow with this amount of speed would be very wide, but it’s actually the opposite. It’s 14,25″ when cocked and 17,75″ when uncocked, which means it’s a very compact crossbow.

It comes in a complete package, but the scope that it comes with isn’t the best one out there so I would consider purchasing a better scope. I recommend the Hawke XB30 PRO 1-5×24 SR or Excalibur Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope if you want to maximize this crossbow’s potential.

Overall, this is a fantastic crossbow, but I don’t like the heavy draw weight and trigger. But if you want a crossbow with high speed and are willing to deal with the extra draw weight, then this is an option to consider.

Pros

  • Comes with a cocking rope 
  • High speed and a flat trajectory
  • Great accuracy
  • Durable

Cons

  • Heavy draw weight and trigger

Best Crossbow Over 500$

If you have some experience or simply want to purchase a better crossbow right off the bat, I can assure you that you won’t regret your investment.

However, I advise beginners and intermediate shooters to stick with the 500-1000$ range. If you choose to invest in a 1000$+ crossbow you will get your money’s worth, but most people will be fine with a medium-priced crossbow.

7. Barnett Ghost 375 Crossbow – Speed and Power

BARNETT Ghost 375 Crossbow, Realtree Max 1 Camo
  • 385 feet per second (this is not an error). draw weight: 165...
  • Overall weight 7.1 lbs | axle to axle 20.25" | dimensions...
  • Trigger Tech Technology with 3lb zero-creep release. All...

Barnett is known for making high-quality crossbows that last for decades. With new improvements, lower weight, and higher accuracy, the Barnett Ghost 375 came alive to help us get trophies and bull’s-eye shots.

With a 165 lb draw weight, 7.1 lb weight, and speeds of 385 fps, there is no question that this is a well-constructed bow created for professional archers and hunters.

The speed and power of this crossbow means it can drop a deer from 70 yds. While shooting at a target, this crossbow buries bolts at 50 yds, so it would be no problem to collect a trophy at 70 yds either.

While considering purchasing a Barnett, you don’t have to worry about durability, speed, or quality. It’s is made with stainless steel to ensure a long-lasting crossbow that won’t rust.

This crossbow features a Nock sensor to eliminate the risk of dry firing your bow, and is light and easy to handle. This makes it a great crossbow even for beginners.

The Barnett Ghost 375 is a complex bow and would be hard to set up for most users, so it comes fully assembled and you can start shooting straight out of the box.

The crossbow scope is mounted, so the only thing you will need to do is attach the bolts and adjust the scope, which shouldn’t take too long.

If you are an experienced crossbow shooter I can assure you that you will be amazed by the precision and speed this crossbow can deliver. Don’t take my word for it though, read the reviews on Amazon to see for yourself.

Pros 

  • 385 fps, high-speed crossbow that can compete against 2000$ crossbows.
  • Super quiet because of its noise dampening technology
  • Well constructed anti-dry firing system.

Cons

  • The scope could be improved.

8. Tenpoint Titan SS

If you are a whitetail hunter, you will be very pleased with the Tenpoint Titan SS. It’s a great first-time bow that gives you the essential speed and power you will need for your hunts for the next decade.

The Tenpoint Titan SS is the result of Tenpoint upgrading their bestseller. With 340 fps and a stellar scope, no whitetail will be safe in your woods.

According to the reviews, Tenpoint made some great choices and upgrades, leaving a flock of happy customers. Many of the customers chose the Tenpoint SS as their first crossbow and no one has been disappointed yet.

Tenpoint is a US-based company that guarantees you will be satisfied with their work. With high-quality parts and a sturdy build, they give you a lifetime warranty on all their products. So, you know their products will last, and if not, you are covered!

The Tenpoint Titan SS weighs in at 6.9 lbs, making it the lightest in the Tenpoint series. The draw weight is 175 lbs, resulting in a speed of a whopping 340 fps. Just by looking at these three specs you can immediately see that it balances weight, draw weight, speed, and power well.

The Titan SS is 18.5″ when it’s cocked and 21.5″ when uncocked. The narrow width makes it easier for you to use it in tree stands, ground blinds, or in narrow areas in the field.

It is equipped with several brilliant features that make it a must-have crossbow for any beginner out there. The 3.5 lb trigger works smoothly even with gloves. The adjustable stock is also something to admire. It gives you the option to adjust the crossbow to fit you, making it more comfortable and easier to shoot precisely.

Tenpoint Titan SS is a great choice for beginner or intermediate crossbow shooters looking for an upgrade. It has features you would get in a higher-end bow and can even beat some of them. Easy to carry, control and use, this is a well-balanced bow perfect for anyone who wants to shoot with deadly accuracy.

Pros

  • Great for beginner and intermediate hunters
  • Comes with an adjustable stock
  • Very accurate
  • Well-balanced in terms of power, draw weight, and speed

Cons

  • Does not come with arrows or cocking device


9. Excalibur Matrix 380

Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package, Blackout,...
  • Excalibur crossbow
  • Crossbow kit
  • Matrix 380 3900 Blackout w/tact-zone

The Excalibur Matrix is a crossbow designed for hunters using ground blinds. To prevent sunlight reflection, they have implemented a complete blacked-out design, keeping you safe and hidden during your hunt.

The Excalibur comes with:

  • Tact-Zone Scope
  • Cheekpiece
  • 4 Diablo arrows with field points
  • Rope Cocking Device
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card
  • Suppressors
  • Detachable quiver
  • The Excalibur Matrix 380 Blackout, including Stock and Prod
  • Assembly hardware with Allen tool
  • Guardian Anti-Dry Fire Scope Mount

As you can see, you will have everything you need to hunt and practice from day one. The only thing you will need to do first is to assemble the scope and the risers. The hardest part of assembling a crossbow is usually the string, but luckily Excalibur has completed this task for you.

After doing this you are ready to sight in your sight. In this case the scope comes decently sighted, and you will only need to shoot a few arrows to get it dead on.

When you shoot with Excalibur there are two things that will surprise you, so be prepared! I had the pleasure of trying my friends Excalibur and I was hooked right away. We shot a few rounds at 30 yds and the result was a grouping the size of a dime! The Excalibur is deadly accurate and so is its speed.

For the first few shots we practiced on our homemade target. The bolts pierced through the target and two supporting hay bales before diving 6″ deep into a pile of sand we use for safety. The speed and penetration power you get with the Excalibur and the Diablo arrows is remarkable, and able to take down most big game, from elks to bears.

However, if you decide to use it for hunting make sure you can legally use the draw weight for hunting in your area.

After talking with my friend about his experience, reading through the reviews on forums and Amazon, and shooting a few bolts myself, I can confidently say that this is a crossbow you won’t regret buying. For this price, you get a level of accuracy, speed, and ease of use you wouldn’t expect of a crossbow under 2000$.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Superior build quality
  • Comes with a nice scope
  • Offers stellar performance
  • Noise suppressors

Cons

  • Heavy draw weight

10. Tenpoint Turbo GT

Good looking, convenient to carry, and a with great fps—this versatile bow definitely deserves to be called one of the best crossbows on the market. In 2016, the Tenpoint Turbo GT won 2016 Game & Fish Reader’s Choice Award, which doesn’t surprise me at all.

Tenpoint has delivered quality crossbows throughout the years and the Turbo GT is no exception. Even at first glance, it’s a beautiful bow that is clearly well-thought-out.

The power isn’t mind-blowing, but it definitely is enough to do the job. Just 13.5″ axle to axle, this bow is easy to carry and can be used in most narrow places, such as in a ground blind or tree stand.

Strategically placed cutouts in the foregrip and stock help to improve balance and lower the weight of the bow. I really like the placements of the foregrip cutouts as well since they help you keep your fingers safe at all times. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want this feature.

Packed with features such as 11″ Isotaper limbs, MRX cams, Tenpoints Pro scope, and the anti-dry firing system, this a crossbow that is hard to compete against. My favorite part about this bow is the trigger —it’s light and really smooth.

If you know a young person that wants to try your crossbow, I am sure they will be able to crack this bow because it literally takes no effort.

Safe, fast, accurate, and easy to use, this is a crossbow worthy of being on this list. If safety and ease of use is a priority, this is a crossbow that won’t let you down.  You can confidently hand it over to your kid without having to worry about their safety.

Pros

  • Safe and easy to use
  • Light and smooth trigger
  • Offers speed and power
  • Durable

Cons

  • A bit noisy

11. Bear Archery Fisix FFL

Sale
Bear Archery Fisix FFL Crossbow Package
  • Make sure this fits. by entering your model number.
  • Shoots 375 FPS (feet per second)
  • Draw weight 135 lbs

Bear Archery is quite popular for making traditional bows, compound bows, and crossbows. Their vast experience as well as innovation has led to the Bear Archery Fisix FFL crossbow. Once you purchase the Fisix FFL, you can expect the following in your package:

  • Trophy Ridge SpeedComp Illuminated Reticle Scope
  • Rail Lube
  • Integrated String Suppressor
  • Three Trophy Ridge Insidious Arrows & Points
  • Picatinny Mount Quiver
  • Cocking Sled
  • Crossbow, riser, and stock
  • Warranty card
  • Manual

The Fisix FFL is an absolute beast with how powerful and accurate it is. With this awesome crossbow, you will comfortably nail 1.5″ groupings. Its accuracy is great even when shooting from 100 yds.

In terms of power, the Fisix FFL can shoot arrows at a blistering speed of 375 fps. It delivers this speed despite having a draw weight of 135 lbs.

The Fisix FFL’s 11.1″ cocked width from axle to axle is great for hunting. What’s more, you can customize this crossbow to suit your needs. This is made possible by the adjustable butt stock and the fact that the foregrip can slide along the Picatinny rail, allowing you to place it where it feels comfortable.

Cocking the Fisix FFL is quite easy as it has a draw weight of 135 lbs. The cocking sled makes the process of pulling the string easier, although you can also use your bare hands. You will enjoy using this crossbow as the pullback will always be even, smooth, and silky.

As I mentioned earlier, the Bear Archery Fisix FFL comes with a Trophy Ridge SpeedComp scope. This awesome scope boasts of a nine-position reticle that allows for accurate shooting. Moreover, the illuminated reticle works perfectly in various lighting conditions. This scope is definitely up there with the best models in the market.

Pros

  • Equipped with the safest and most intuitive trigger
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
  • Easy to cock
  • Assembling this crossbow is a breeze

Cons

  • A bit heavy compared to other models


12. Tenpoint Carbon Nitro RDX

The Tenpoint Carbon Nitro RDX is currently one of the best crossbows over $1000. Unlike other products, its barrel is made from ultra-light carbon fiber while its stock is made using C3 carbon. This premium crossbow has been in the market for a long time and it still gets loads of positive feedback. 

Once you unpack the Nitro RDX, you will notice the high level of craftsmanship. From its light carbon fiber barrel to the narrowness of the bow, it is great for hunting and target shooting. This compact bow delivers a shooting speed of up to 385 fps with 125 FP of kinetic energy.

The speed might reduce depending on the kind of arrows you are shooting. For instance, the maximum speed it can shoot Pro Elite arrows is 365 fps behind 125 FP of kinetic energy.

The TenPoint Nitro weighs 7.8 lbs, which means most hunters can handle it perfectly. Moreover, it is very compact, measuring 10″ cocked and 15.5″ uncocked from axle to axle. This shows that you can use it to hunt in tight spaces.

Apart from its lightweight and narrow width, it has a built-in ACUdraw and pumps out insane speed. You will be able to take out deer and elk from long range. It also has noise dampeners that allow you to execute long-range shots without scaring your target.

Pros

  • Delivers 385 fps at 125FP of kinetic energy
  • Made from carbon, which is extremely light
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Has noise dampeners to avoid scaring away game

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginners

13. Horton Crossbow 

Sale
Horton Crossbow Innovations Legend Ultra-Lite Crossbow...
  • Fitted with an Adjustable cheek piece and butt plate
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Shoots 330 feet per second

The Horton Crossbow is yet another premium crossbow that lives up to Horton’s famous reputation. Assembling this crossbow is quite easy, as you just have to install the string stop block and mount the scope. Once this is done, you will be ready to start hunting. 

This unit comes with a TenPoint 3X Pro-View 2 scope, which is a dream to sight in. The scope is easy to use as it holds zero almost indefinitely. The only time you will be required to make adjustments is when you remove the scope and mount it again. 

One thing I like about the Vortec RDX is that it fits perfectly in the arms thanks to the reverse-draw technology that makes it easy to hold and aim. It is also easy to balance, as it does not have frontal heaviness. 

The Horton crossbow shoots arrows at a maximum speed of 340 fps. With this speed, the arrow will hit your target at 103 FP of kinetic energy, enough power to take down large animals.

With this model, you have the freedom of using your favorite cocking system. You can either opt for the Dedd Sled 50 rope cocking system or the ACUdraw hand-crank cocking system. Both are great but I prefer the ACUdraw cocking device as it is quieter than others.

Pros

  • Uses the anti-dry-fire mechanism for safety purposes
  • Has a quiet cocking system
  • Accurate and powerful

Cons

  • A bit heavy


14. Tenpoint Nitro XRT

Tenpoint Nitro XRT Crossbow Elite Package, EVO-X...
  • Industry-leading speed (up to 470 FPS) generates 25% flatter...
  • With less draw weight held at the trigger, a reverse-draw...
  • Effortlessly and silently draw the crossbow with only 9...

TenPoint Nitro XRT was once considered too large to carry around. In fact, a lot of people complained that it was difficult to draw back. Today, it has undergone a lot of improvements to the point that it’s almost perfect in every aspect. I honestly don’t think there are any more improvements to make. 

This awesome crossbow features a reverse draw design that makes it more compact. When this crossbow is uncocked, it measures 12.5″ from axle to axle. On the other hand, it gets down to 7″ when cocked. The Nitro XRT is not heavy, as it weighs only 7.4 lbs. Besides, it has a draw weight of 225 lbs and can shoot at a maximum speed of 470 fps. 

The new T-5 trigger also makes this crossbow great. This feature is one of the biggest upgrades made to the Nitro XRT. The trigger offers an ultra-clean break. It is also ambidextrous, meaning that both right-handed and left-handed shooters can use it smoothly. Additionally, the T-5 trigger comes with a dry-fire inhibitor as well as an auto-engaging safety. 

The other notable feature is the Evo-X Marksman scope. This multi reticle scope is a premium addition as it offers more adjustments than any other crossbow scope. You can adjust the fps on the scope depending on the arrows you intend to use, speed, and distance of your target. What’s better? You can adjust the scope magnification up to 6 times bigger.

As you would expect of any crossbow that is above 1000 dollars, the TenPoint Nitro XRT offers stellar performance. It rarely disappoints when it comes to speed; in fact, it can shoot up to 470 fps which is a solid stat. This package comes with Evo-X arrows which weigh around 445 grains and have the ability to travel at a speed of 440 fps. If this speed is not enough for you, switch to the TenPoint Pro Lite arrows as they are a bit lighter than the Evo-X arrows.

In case you are wondering why the Nitro XRT is so expensive then you need to know that it comes as a complete package. Apart from the crossbow itself, you get neoprene sling, a TenPoint’s crossbow case, the Evo-X Marksman scope, six Evo-X Center Punch arrow, ACUdraw cocking device, a 3-arrow TenPoint quiver with ambidextrous mount. 

There is no doubt that the TenPoint Nitro XRT is one of the top crossbows on the market. It has all the attributes you’d want in a premium crossbow. 

Pros

  • Insane shooting speeds
  • Easy to shoot because of the Evo-X Marksman scope
  • Comes with an ambidextrous trigger
  • Comes with arrows with the Alpha Nock feature

Cons

  • Nothing to complain about

15. Ravin R20 Crossbow

Ravin R20 Crossbow Package With Illuminated 1.5-5x32mm...
  • Fully Assembled/Pre Tuned: 6 Ravin Branded Arrows and Ravin...
  • 100 Yard Illuminated Scope; Built-in Sling Mounts; 164 foot...
  • Built-In Versa-Draw Cocking Mechanism

The Ravin R20 is the other top of the class crossbow that you can use to hunt game. It is a great option if you are looking to ditch your cheap crossbow for a premium model.

Experts will tell you that the Ravin R20 sniper is one of the fastest and most reliable crossbows today. Its 430 fps flight velocity is made possible by the combination of the Frictionless Flight System and Ravin’s patented HeliCoil technology.

The Ravin’s Frictionless Flight System allows the crossbow to fire with less friction and increased speed, power, and accuracy. With this system, the bolt floats above the rail, so it only comes into contact with two spots (dual rollers and string).

The role of the HeliCoil technology is to coil the cables away from the cams. As a result, the cams are able to rotate a full 340 degrees while remaining level. This lets the crossbow produce enough power to kill the largest and toughest game you can think of. With the Ravin R20 you can take on moose, elk, and black bears.

The Ravin R20 sniper comes with a Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24 mm scope. This is a high quality scope that has multi-coated lenses with a wide sight picture and great low light performance. In addition, the crossbow has an adjustable elevation mount that allows you to dial the exact distance from point blank. Overall, this scope delivers a clear image with incredible pinpoint accuracy.

The other awesome attribute of the Ravin R20 sniper is comfort. The R20 has a skeletonized design that makes it ultra-light. Besides, its compact nature makes it great for hunting from close-quarter blinds and tree stands.

Ravin R20 is designed for safety. Its stock comes with a pistol grip that has well-placed finger grooves and rough texturing.  You can handle the R20 Sniper even with gloved hands. The grooves and texturing prevents your fingers or hand from coming into contact with dangerous moving parts.

The other safety features are located on the Trac-Trigger system. The Trac-trigger has an anti-dry fire system as well as a two-position safety which engages automatically until you pull the trigger.

Pros

  • Comes with plenty of safety features
  • Delivers repeatable pinpoint accuracy
  • Can take out large animals
  • Has a unique Helicoil design which suppresses noise

Cons

  • Other than its price tag, the Ravin R20 does not have any major drawbacks

Best Crossbow Brands

Below are the most popular and trusted crossbow brands out there:

  • Excalibur
  • Barnett
  • Tenpoint
  • Parker
  • Wicked Ridge
  • Horton
  • Arrow Precision
  • Carbon Express
  • Pse
  • SA sports
  • Diamond Archery

Choosing the Best Crossbow

Now that you are familiar with the best crossbows on the market, it is time to go through the various factors to consider when shopping.

Your budget will of course play a role, but it is always good to consider other important factors. This will help you make the right decision. 

Sound

Crossbows make sounds when they are fired. For hunting, you need one designed to suppress noise, or you will startle your prey. If you have been hunting for a long time, you know that a flinch is enough to mess up your shot.

In most cases, you will find that recurve crossbows are even quieter than recurve bows. In case you buy a noisy crossbow, you can always purchase accessories to absorb vibration. 

Size & Weight

When purchasing a crossbow, it is good to consider whether the size and weight is right for you. There is no point in buying an expensive crossbow only to find out that it is too heavy to carry around.

It is always important to purchase a small and lightweight bow if you are planning to stalk big game. With a small crossbow, you will be able to hunt and make deadly shots from tree stands and ground blinds. Besides, a small bow will always leave enough space for the limbs to expand outwards after you shoot.

Budget

Different crossbows have varying price tags, which calls for you to decide how much you want to spend. The low priced models do not offer as much, but they are ideal for beginners and youth. If you are looking for a crossbow suited for youth make sure to check out this list of the best youth crossbows. Most of these crossbows fall under the affordable $300 to $500 category.

If you are looking for a much better kit, you can explore the $500-1000 range. You will definitely find a package that offers a lot in terms of performance. If you are a hunter who wants it all, you can break the bank and get a crossbow that costs over $1000.

Packages

You also need to check whether a crossbow is available with a packaged deal. A good package should include a scope, cocker, sling, case, quiver, and other accessories.

You should always evaluate whether you need the accessories included in the package. Of course they are a bit cheaper, but some people prefer to purchase individual parts for customization purposes. 

Speed

The speed that a crossbow can shoot arrows is important, especially if you are a hunter. Remember that hunting requires speed for more penetration and a flatter trajectory.

Heavier arrows are a bit slower but they will always cause a huge impact. If speed is something you really want from your crossbow, make sure to check out this list of fastest crossbows!

Safety

It goes without saying that safety is important when it comes to crossbows. Various models have quite a number of safety features.

Some bows come with grooved and textured handle stocks that provide firm grip. The trigger might also come with safety systems such as the anti-dry fire system and a two-position safety. Always purchase a crossbow that you feel safe using.

Comfort

Another thing you should look for is comfort. High-end crossbows are always designed for comfort. A comfortable bow should be small, compact, lightweight, and narrow. It should balance on your hands to an extent that you even forget you are shooting a crossbow.

Different Types of Crossbows

Man walking in the woods with the best crossbow

Crossbows are available in different styles, each with its own set of attributes. I will briefly discuss the different types so that you are able to decide which one suits your needs.

Compound Crossbows

Compound crossbows are the most popular type. They feature a more complex design than recurve crossbows. A bow in this category is quite difficult to set up for first-timers. Even so, I like the fact that they are easy to use. In fact, they are considered to be the preferred crossbow for hunters.

A compound crossbow comes with a string that is connected to a pulley system. Once you pull back the string, the pulleys turn and the cables bend the limbs, thus reserving plenty of energy. This explains why compound crossbows have a high fps. Besides, their short draw length and compact size make them easy to use.

Compound crossbows are characterized by short and sturdy limbs. In addition, they are made from synthetic material to enhance longevity. You can rely on them during most weather conditions.

The only drawback I noticed when using a compound crossbow is their inability to handle impact. They lose accuracy quite easily when dropped repeatedly. 

Recurve Crossbows

The recurve crossbow is the ancestor of the modern crossbows. It gets its name from the special curves that are located at the ends of the bow.

If you look closely, you will notice that these curves usually point away from the shooter. Although they look like mere decoration, they carry out the important function of keeping the string strained and locked in place. You can use a recurve crossbow knowing that your safety is guaranteed.

Recurve crossbows are characterized by longer draw lengths than other bows. This attribute gives them an edge over compound crossbows when it comes to acceleration. However, the long draw length makes a recurve bow noisier because of the level of pressure.

A recurve bow is ideal for pro hunters who want to fire long-range shots. Moreover, it can be used to take down large game. Unfortunately, recurve crossbows are quite bulky and you will always have to buy new strings because of the strain. 

Rifle Crossbows

Rifle crossbows can also be referred to as modern-day hybrids. As the name suggests, this is a bow that offers the convenience of a rifle.

Rifle crossbows have superior aim capabilities, which means that accuracy is their greatest strength. The fact that these are hybrid crossbows means that they come with lots of technological advancement.

Rifle crossbows are perfect for long range shots, as they can shoot accurately from as far as 250 ft. They are narrow; you can use one even in the tightest of spaces.

The only problems with rifle crossbows is that they require more power to operate and their cocking process is a bit complicated.


Crossbow Parts

The different crossbow parts

Crossbows exist in different styles, but they have parts in common. They are:

  1. Stock- This is the part that rests on your shoulder. It’s usually made from wood or composite materials.
  2. Sight bridge- The section that holds the scope
  3. Limbs- The points where the string attaches to the bow. Where the bow derives its shooting power.
  4. Cocking Stirrup- This part helps you to cock the crossbow. You can place your foot there to prevent the bow from slipping. 
  5. Riser- The section where the limbs attach.
  6. Latch- Holds the string in place when the bow is cocked.
  7. Flight groove- The part where the arrow lies in perfect alignment.
  8. Barrel- Most made of polymer or aluminum. This part lies above the stock and foregrip.

Crossbow Maintenance

Maintaining your crossbow is necessary if you want it to serve you for a long time without losing its accuracy. Below are a few ways you can keep your crossbow in perfect working condition.

  • Always wax the string and cables
  • Lubricate the rail/flight groove for smoother traction
  • Lubricate the trigger box and any other moving parts
  • Inspect and re-tighten all bolts
  • Always clean the scope lens
  • Get rid of any dirt trapped inside the flight groove
  • Always inspect your arrows and crossbow before you shoot 

Make sure to check out our newest guides on archery equipment, like this one: Best Arrow Rest.