A Crossbow is a weapon that can shoot a considerable distance and with deadly force. Unlike its predecessor, the bow – of bow and arrow fame – the crossbow requires a lesser degree of skill to operate effectively. Aside from his do – gooder lore, Robin Hood was able to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor, in part, because he was an excellent bowman. A more recent fictional example of someone who was very skilled with a bow and arrow is Katniss Everdeen, of the Hunger Games. Her ability with the bow and arrow was developed after years of practice – hunting to survive.
Because they could cause harm at a distance and required far less training and practice, crossbows – as with the introduction of any new and effective weapon – revolutionized warfare. Crossbows themselves became obsolete as a weapon of war with the introduction of the firearm.
Today, crossbows are used for target training and hunting. Their demise as a weapon of war did not diminish their lethal capacity or the enjoyment that sportsmen and sportswomen get from using them. They can kill effectively.
- What is a Modern Crossbow?
- Choosing the Right Crossbow
- How much power do you need?
- Do you need a sight?
- Speaking of Crossbow Safety
- 11 Best Crossbows 2017
- 1. Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package, Realtree Xtra, 260-Pound
- 2. Barnett Outdoors Ghost 360 CRT Crossbow Package, Large, Camo
- 3. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package with ACU-52
- 4. Killer Instinct KI350 Crossbow with KI LUMIX Scope
- 5. PSE Fang 350 Crossbow
- 6. Velocity Lionheart Compound Crossbow, Realtree APG
- 7. SA Sports Empire Beowulf 360FPS Crossbow Package, Camouflage
- 8. CenterPoint Sniper 370 – Camo Crossbow Package
- 9. Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Package
- 10. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3 – 20-Inch Arrows and Premium Red Dot Sight)
- 11. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit (175-Pounds)
What is a Modern Crossbow?
Well, for starters, the shorter projectiles that some crossbows eject are called bolts, not arrows. They are usually made of aluminum and are steel-tipped. The length of the bolts varies by the size of the crossbow.
The basic components of a crossbow are a stock, a trigger, limbs or prods, and string. Generally, prices for crossbows can range from $300 to $1,000. Crossbows at each price point will all work, but those further along the price range will include features that can improve the crossbow shooting experience. Some of those features are: adjustable stocks, scopes, red-dot scopes, cocking aids or cranks, and dampeners.
There are two basic types of crossbow prods (the curved section at the front of the bow that bends to generate the tension that propels the arrow or bolt). The recursive prod has a larger profile – so it’s bulkier to tote around – but it has the advantage of allowing for the replacement of a damaged string in the field. Compound limbs have a smaller profile, but a pro shop will need to repair it if the string breaks.
Choosing the Right Crossbow
Those who are just beginning to have an interest in crossbows and are looking to purchase their first one will do well to select an inexpensive crossbow package that will enable them to start using their crossbows as they learn. Given the many features and options that are available, having some experience before trying to put together your own package is advisable. Until you have some experience under your belt, it doesn’t make sense to try to try to select the options that that you may think that you want. It’s a better idea to practice for a while, until you know what you want, before considering the higher priced options.
Now I’m not advising that you buy the cheapest crossbow you can find. On the contrary, choose a moderately priced package from a well-known manufacturer. You want to have fun while being safe, and an important part of safety is the quality of the crossbow. So go for good, but not great, until you feel comfortable and knowledgeable enough to make a major investment. We’ll help you find the best suited crossbow for you.
How much power do you need?
The amount of power a crossbow has is generally determined by the pull weight. The pull weights have a large range, from as high as 200 pounds to as low as about 80 pounds. Depending on your needs the pull weight can make a big difference. On the high end the pull weight can shoot an arrow at almost 350 feet per second (fps). At that speed an arrow will shoot right through a deer. Most manufacturers also offer pull strings and other cocking aids that will help reduce the pull weight, sometimes by as much as 50%, so if you are concerned there is help. Some makers even have crank cocking tools to reduce the pull weight required to cock the crossbow even more.
Do you need a sight?
Although not required, having a sight can be a useful tool for targeting in specific distances. There are a few different types of sights available from iron to optical to red-dot sights. Remember when you shoot an arrow it drops rapidly compared to shooting a bullet from a gun so having sights that help you compensate for the drop of the arrow over specific distances can be very helpful.
Speaking of Crossbow Safety
“Safety first” should be every crossbow users credo. Aside from the obvious prime safety directive – never point your crossbow at anyone, there are other things to keep in mind, so that you can enjoy your recreational time safely.
- Don’t wrap your rope cocker across the back of your neck. If you bend down it can get caught up in your string and cause injury.
- Keep your fingers and thumb below the barrel (below the safety flange).
- Inspect your arrows before shooting – every time.
What is the best Crossbow on the market? There are tons of Crossbows out there, we did a lot of research on Crossbows to save your precious time. Here is our best Crossbows list of 2017:
1. Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package, Realtree Xtra, 260-Pound
The next evolution in crossbow performance has arrived with the Matrix line of crossbows from Excalibur. These bows give you the reliability and functionality of a recurve crossbow in a compact package with blazing arrow speeds. The game has definitely changed when it comes to recurve crossbow performance. The Matrix 380 is more powerful, more compact and quieter than any other crossbow in the Excalibur line. You get all of the reliability that Excalibur is known for with the added benefits of the Matrix. Featuring Excalibur’s compact Tact-Zone crossbow scope which was specifically designed for these lightning fast crossbows, this is one deadly hunting package. 380 FPS velocity, 260 pound draw weight, 13.1 inch power stroke, Realtree Xtra Finish, Ergo-grip stock.
2. Barnett Outdoors Ghost 360 CRT Crossbow Package, Large, Camo
If it’s the incredible balance of speed weight and size you’re looking for then look no further than the Ghost 360. Its compact design is perfect whether you’re hunting out of a stand or a blind and it still brings the heat at 360 fps. Weight won’t be an issue either thanks to the patented Carbon Lite Riser, giving this bow perfect balance at only 7.0 pounds. As always, safety is a priority, the Ghost 360 features the same 5-1 safety system and trigger system as the other premium Barnett bows. Head to the stand with confidence this season thanks to the Ghost 360.
3. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package with ACU-52
The bow assembly consists of a newly designed, machined aluminum riser with strategically placed cutouts that reduce weight and increase strength. 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 custom configuration produces a fast and maneuverable 330 FPS, 165-pound draw weight assembly that is only 19-inches axle-to-axle when cocked.. It features a new pass-through fore-grip backed up with new, longer, glass reinforced nylon safety wings fitted on the stock above the grip. In addition to these new safety features, the stock is also fitted with TenPoint’s DFI (Dry-Fire-Inhibitor) and highly regarded 3.5-pound T2 trigger.
4. Killer Instinct KI350 Crossbow with KI LUMIX Scope
Blazing fast and super light, the KI Series offers unmatched accuracy and the best performance metrics in its class. The compact KI350 clocks in at an impressive 350 FPS, and yet weighs in a less than 6.5lbs. With a black tactical paint scheme, the KI350 looks and acts like a much more expensive crossbow. Built with a CNC ehanced flight barrel, 3.5 pound trigger pull, and topped with an illuminated KI LUMIX glass reticle scope for precision accuracy. The ambidextrous Anti Dry Fire safety, and Deadening String Suppressors create a smooth shooting, quiet platform for the included 20” Crossbolts. With a 3 Bolt quiver and side mount, rope cocker, and rail lube, the only thing missing from these Killer Instinct Crossbows are the hand carved notches in the stock that help keep track of the deer count. NEW FOLDING FOOT STIRRUP, Innovative folding design helps eliminate up to 4” of unneeded length on the front of your crossbow, and when folded, acts as a convenient stand. Silent Grip rubber coating helps dampen sound and vibration.
5. PSE Fang 350 Crossbow
Delivering high-end crossbow features and performance at an unbelievable price, the Fang™ 350 comes stock with an anti-dry fire trigger and has a mass weight of only 6.8 lbs., making it precise, fast and light. The Fang crossbow is the rig that is versatile and powerful, but still affordable. With a removable 4×32 scope, dual string stops for a quiet shot, and an anti-dry fire trigger with a crisp 4 lb. pull, the Fang has got all the performance you need in a versatile, lightweight, and affordable package. Power stroke 14 1/4″, axle to axle 19 1/4″, Overall length with Stirrup 35″ Mass Weight 6.8lbs, speed; 350-340 w/400gr bolt, Kinetic Energy 106 ft. lbs. Draw weight 155 lbs.
6. Velocity Lionheart Compound Crossbow, Realtree APG
The Velocity Lionheart crossbow features 175# fiberglass limbs. This advanced compound crossbow has a machined aluminum rail for accuracy and a composite stock for weight reduction allowing the crossbow to reach speeds of up to 310FPS. This unit packs plenty of punch for first time hunters and veterans of the field. Each package contains a 6 bolt quiver with 4 bolts included, the cocking rope with roller assist, a padded sling, a 3 dot sight, a textured power grips and a patented dry fire inhibitor. Realtree APG.
7. SA Sports Empire Beowulf 360FPS Crossbow Package, Camouflage
The Empire Beowulf packs all the professional grade features and specifications that avid hunters demand from a top quality hunting machine. This crossbow features a lightweight synthetic stock and barrel, combined with an ultra compact riser assembly. Game doesn’t stand a chance against this beast of a crossbow. The Empire Beowulf shoots at speeds up to a blazing 360 FPS and is one of the quietest crossbows available on the market. The only missing component is a high price tag.
8. CenterPoint Sniper 370 – Camo Crossbow Package
Big game performance in a package that begs to hit the Mountain. A fully adjustable stock and pass-through foregrip accomodate your shooting style to ensure exceptional accuracy and quad limbs fitted with a precision CNC-machined cam system delivers mind-blowing speeds up to 370 FPS. The Sniper is easily maneuverable thanks to the lightweight and durable CNC-machined rail with shoot-through riser and the narrow 18″ axle-to-axle width (when cocked; 21.5″ when relaxed). features a 185 pound draw weight. Included with the CenterPoint Sniper is a 4×32 mm scope, three 20″ carbon bolts, quiver, rope cocker and shoulder sling. Anti-dry fire and auto-safety trigger Mechanisms prevent ill-intentioned shots while integrated string suppressors keep your shots quiet and vibration-free.
9. Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Package
The compact Recruit Compound is the perfect size for small-framed hunters, making it easy to handle while still having enough speed for the hunt. At 300 FPS, 130 lbs. draw weight and 80 foot pounds of energy, this bow can take down any game the hunter would like to pursue. Adjustable butt stock gives the shooter the option to keep the bow as they grow and easily make any adjustments needed.
Offering an innovative design, the Barnett Jackal crossbow features a sleek, military-style stock with a divided foregrip for comfortable hand placement. Ready to shoot right out of the box, this package includes a quick-detach quiver, bolts, and a premium red dot sight. The quad limb assembly is combined with high energy wheels and a synthetic string and cable system producing arrow speeds of 315 feet per second. The combination of the lightweight stock and the power this bow delivers makes it a devastating weapon for any hunter. It also features Barnett’s New ADF MIM trigger providing for a smooth 3.5-pound trigger pull and the added benefits of a picatinny rail (which provides a mounting platform). Backed by a 5-year limited warranty. Made in the USA.
11. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit (175-Pounds)
The popular Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit from Arrow Precision provides everything a seasoned crossbow hunter needs in a lightweight package–and is also a great starter kit for beginners who are looking for a fully equipped package at affordable price. The Fury Kit comes complete with the Recurve Crossbow that provides 175 pounds of draw weight for an impressive velocity of 235 feet per second. The premium 3-dot multi range red dot scope, meanwhile, allows you to aim at your target precisely while the Weaver-style mount is easy to adjust. The kit also includes a quick detach quiver with four arrows and a shoulder sling that is padded for comfort. Designed for both right and left-handed operation, the crossbow has an ambidextrous auto safety and an ambidextrous rear stock. The Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit carries a one-year limited warranty from Arrow Precision and comes with all assembly hardware included.