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Archery Gear Bows & Arrows

10 Best Crossbows for Hunting & Target Shooting (2024 Updated)

Crossbows are often hated by seasoned bowhunters because they think this is “the easy way out” to down the game. But we stand behind these amazing weapons since they can kill an animal ethically and quickly, which is what a responsible hunter should care about, especially if they are just starting out.

Here we reviewed some of today’s best crossbows for hunting and target archery that should be in your consideration. Check to see if you find your best match that suits your skill level, body type, and budget.

A Quick View of the Best Rated Crossbows

Pick Name Thumbnail Product Name Price
Our Top Pick Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package $268
Great for Entry Level Crosman CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Crosman CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow00 $352
Budget Buy PSE Viper SS Handheld Crossbow PSE Viper SS Handheld Crossbow $80 at Walmart
4th BARNETT TS390 Crossbow BARNETT TS390 Crossbow $575
5th Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow $400
6th Barnett WHITETAIL PRO STR Crossbow Barnett WHITETAIL PRO STR Crossbow $493 at Walmart
7th PSE Fang Series Compound Crossbow PSE Fang Series Compound Crossbow $310
8th Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow $559
9th Tenpoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package Tenpoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package $1000
10th Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package $549

Top 10 Best Crossbow Reviews

1 Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Our Top Pick)

Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package

This is simply the best crossbow today’s market has to offer. It belongs to the compound type. It has a sleek design we would describe as the military. You will definitely love the touch and feel of this model. We would mark it as an ergonomically shaped and attractive model.

It comes in a package with lots of useful accessories, and you can also get some more from the market. You will get a superb, red-dot sight, three 20-inch arrows, bolts, and a quick-detach quiver. Its smooth trigger pull is enabled by a built-in ADF MIM trigger. The 150-pound draw weight ensures easy handling. It has a 315 FPS velocity. This feature, in combination with the draw weight, makes it a perfect choice for middle-sized targets.

Such excellent usability and surprisingly good performance are significantly enhanced by its high energy wheels. The compound crossbow system is completed with synthetic string and cable mechanism. It is these two features that allow its 315 FPS velocity.

One of its assets is a lightweight stock, also in military, high-camouflage style. It is 32.5 inches long and 26.5 inches wide. This model weighs 7 lbs total. Other important specifications refer to the energy and power stroke. Energy equals 95-foot-pounds. The power stroke is 12 inches.

The greatest competitive features of this product are its power, velocity, and accuracy. At the same time, these are the three most important features of a crossbow. We can say that it can easily be compared to much more expensive models. It is perfect for hunters. In general, it is an excellent value for the price.

Key Points

  • Compound type crossbow
  • A12-inch power stroke
  • Energy equals 95 – foot-pound
  • 315 FPS velocity
  • 7 lbs. total weight
  • Uses 20-inch arrows
  • ADF MIM trigger
  • 150-pound draw weight
  • 18 or 20-inch bolts
  • Red-dot sight
  • Dimensions: 32.5 x 26.5 inches.


  • The greatest asset of this model is the combination of excellent velocity and low draw weight
  • Smooth trigger pull allows easy maneuvering
  • State-of-the-art solutions, such as red-dot sight and ADF MIM trigger
  • It is suitable for both left-handed and right-handed users


  • It is necessary to wax the strings after every 10 shots which are rather often
  • Heavier than other similar models and significantly heavier than the recurve types

Final Verdict

Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package is an excellent choice for hunters. We think that the manufacturer made a very smart combination of draw weight and velocity, making it an impeccable weapon for middle-size to larger targets.

The overall design is reinforced with the superb red-dot sight system that allows accurate targeting. Lack of flaws and so many pros led us to make this package the first choice of this list. Barnett also produces some other top of the line models such as Ghost 410, 420, Quad 400, Wildcat C5, Predator and Gamecrusher.

2 Crosman CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow (Great for Entry Level)

Crosman CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow

This is a perfect choice for all beginners. It belongs to the compound crossbow category. It has a convenient, compact design. Also, its 185 lbs draw weight is not too much over the recommendations for the beginners.

Its most interesting peculiarity is the noise suppression system. It is equipped with built-in string stops that make it very quiet. This model has another competitive difference. Its limbs are fitted with help of a CNC machine. They are very precisely shaped and positioned. As a result, you can significantly improve your accuracy with this weapon.

One of its greatest assets is the velocity. It can reach 370 FPS. Next, its power stroke equals 13.50 inches, which is suitable to take down big game animals.

Now, let’s introduce you to the package. You will love the CenterPoint sniper this model comes with. You get three 20-inch bolts, a rope cocker, and a quiver.

Its stock is fully adjustable. It also has a pass-through foregrip which enables very good accuracy. As a result, this model will truly make the entry-level users fall in love with this sport. It will boost your self-confidence and help you learn targeting and precision shooting.

As we have said that this model is very good for the entry level, you are probably worried about its safety features. CenterPoint Sniper 370 has it all covered. It is equipped with two safety mechanism. First of all, the auto-safety system prevents accidental shooting. Second, the anti-dry system additionally protects you, your environment, and the crossbow itself.

Key Points

  • 185 lbs. draw weight
  • 20-inch bolts
  • 370 FPS speed
  • 18-inch cocked axle-to-axle width
  • 4×32 mm scope sniper
  • 5-inch power stroke
  • Noise suppressing stops.


  • This crossbow can reach a mind-blowing speed of 370 FPS
  • Its 185 lbs draw weight is exactly chosen to fit both beginners and intermediate level users
  • Its noise suppression system will enable a quiet, vibration-free, and enjoyable hunting/game


  • This model doesn’t come with arrows
  • The bolts that come in the package should be better, i.e. heavier

Final Verdict

The thing we love about this entry-level crossbow is its amazing anti-noise and anti-vibration system, but Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper 380 has a silencing system that helps it shoot more silently. So, you can go for that model to get a quiet shooting experience.

However, we were amazed at the testing results regarding velocity. Pass-through foregrip increases your accuracy too. This is one of the most powerful crossbow models that will satisfy your needs when it comes to big games. It will definitely trigger your will to spend a lot of time in the mountains.

3 PSE Viper SS Handheld Crossbow (Budget Buy)

PSE Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

If you are looking for a crossbow for a young person, look no more. Similarly, if you are a senior user with a passion for this discipline that won’t go away, the PSE Viper SS Crossbow is exactly what you need.

Why are we so sure of this being the perfect choice for kids learning how to use a crossbow and for seniors? The draw weight is only 50 lbs.! This is one of the smallest crossbows on the market, being very compact and lightweight. As a matter of fact, our team and users around the world agree that this is a great compact crossbow. It measures 6 x 4 x 6 inches and weighs only 1.6 lbs.!

As expected, its speed is significantly lower than that of the models we showed you so far. Its size, mechanism, and, most importantly, draw weight, enable a speed of up to 215 FPS. However, you can be sure that this is more than enough for beginners and kids.

The manufacturer wisely thought of its safety system. It has a safety lock and a built-in cocking system. It is equipped with the popular anti-dry mechanism. Also, your child is totally safe as this model has the auto-safety feature and a finger guard. However, if you are looking for a stronger model from PSE, you can try TAC 15 that comes with 170 lbs draw weight.

What about precision? Surprisingly, our test showed that this small, lightweight crossbow enables rather precise results. The reason might be the high-tech track rail system.

In the end, we must warn you that the manufacturer emphasized that this product is safe for 18+ users and parental supervision is required for those under 18.

Key Points

  • 1,6 lbs. total weight
  • 50 lbs. draw weight
  • 6 x 4 x 6-inch dimensions
  • 215 FPS speed
  • Auto-safety mechanism
  • Finger protection system.


  • We loved the fact that it comes with a wax good for strings and the rail
  • This model is perfect for the youth, seniors, and beginners
  • It is a lightweight and compact model


  • The arrows that come in the package are not high-quality

Final Verdict

We grade this model as 7/10, based on excellent compactness and low weight. This is the best budget crossbow for young adults and children. Even though the arrows could be much better, remember that you can upgrade them. You can use those for archery target practice. Choose high-quality arrows for the real thing.

In conclusion, we highly recommend this compact, affordable crossbow.

4 BARNETT TS390 Crossbow

BARNETT TS390 Crossbow

This is one of the models that shocked us during the testing. We will not hide its strongest asset from you any longer. It is a high speed crossbow that shoots at an amazing speed of 390 feet per second! This is the fastest crossbow for the money. Interested? Let’s discover the rest of its features together.

The draw weight of this juggernaut among crossbows equals 187 lbs. Surprised? We were too. Not only for men and advanced users, but this is also one of best crossbows for women, youth, and seniors.

On the other hand, it is not a lightweight model. Despite being the most lightweight model in this series by Barnett, it weighs 7.6 lbs. Some users say that this can be a lot if you are planning a long hunting session. On the other hand, we liked its shape. It measures 36.25 x 18.875 inches. We guarantee that it is a comfortable model, suitable even for users with shoulder issues.

It is equipped with a trigger tech system. It also has the anti-dry system and the nock sensor.

Now that you know why we loved this advanced model so much, you must be wondering what the manufacturer prepared for you in the package. You will get an already assembled crossbow. Many users are very pleased with this fact as the assembly can be tiring. The package contains two 20-inch arrows, a quiver that holds 3 arrows, a rope cocker, a standard 4×32 scope, and a lube wax.

Key Points

  • Comes with a foot stirrup.
  • Built-in anti-vibration system.
  • Made by a trusted brand.
  • Has a light CST riser.
  • Anti-dry fire system.
  • MIM trigger.
  • Finger safety system.
  • 7.6 lbs. total weight.
  • 187 lbs. draw weight.
  • Produces 390 FPS speed.


  • We liked the fact that the device came already assembled
  • This is a very durable, strong model
  • Comfortably fits your shoulder and it is very easy to handle


  • The manufacturer recommends lubing the strings after only 10 shots
  • Despite being easy to handle, this is not the most lightweight model

Final Verdict

If there was one word to describe this superb model, we would say state-of-the-art. It is perfect for different terrain and climate conditions. It is mostly chosen by hunters and advanced users. Simply put, we would call it perfect for the big game. It is definitely among the best crossbows for hunting.

5 Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow

Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow

350 feet per second is the maximum arrow speed this crossbow can develop. The draw weight which equals to 150 lbs makes it perfect for women, youth, beginners, or seniors.

The Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II  is equipped with a Realtree Extra Camo. It is 100% made in the USA. You will love the fact that it comes already assembled. This is a very smart decision by the manufacturer as beginners often choose this model.

The package is rich with accessories. This model comes with a rope cocker, a quiver for three arrows, and two extra 20-inch arrows for practice. In addition, you will get a 4×32 scope and a lube wax.

The total weight of this crossbow equals 6,4 lbs. It is not extremely lightweight, but also not heavy. It is among the lightest Barnett models.

Key Points

  • ADF anti-dry-fire system
  • Nock sensor
  • 6,4 lbs. total weight
  • 150 lbs. draw weight
  • 350 FPS speed
  • 20-inch arrows
  • 4×32 scope
  • Comes with a lube wax
  • 122 – foot pound kinetic energy


  • This model provides a breath-taking arrow speed of 350 FPS
  • It has a nock sensor and the ADF system
  • It has the optimal 122 FP kinetic energy


  • The strings have to be lubed after only 10 shots

Final Verdict

Low draw weight which equals 150 lbs. and an amazing speed are the pros of this superb model. We love its killer performance and high-end technological features. But you have to be well-equipped to get your desired results. Perhaps the best crossbow for whitetail deer hunting, it is equally chosen by the young, seniors, women, and experienced hunters.

6 Barnett WHITETAIL PRO STR Crossbow

Barnett WHITETAIL PRO STR Crossbow

STR refers to Step Through Riser, an innovative and ergonomic design which improves the balance by shifting the weight from the bow riser to its stock to enhance accuracy and stability. This crossbow comes with a fierce speed of 400 FPS being associated with 165-lbs. draw weight, 140 Ft.-lbs. kinetic energy and a strong 16.375 inches power stroke.

This is definitely one of the best crossbows for seasoned bowhunters. This is one of Barnett’s most beautiful and high-end models that has been built on STR platform that has string dampeners functioning as a noise cancellation device. The Anti-Dry-Fire (ADF) feature keeps this tool save preventing any accidental dry fire.

You will be amazed at the accessories Barnett is offering with this bow. It comes fully assembled in ready to shoot condition. The 22 inches arrows, well-built side mount quiver, Soft-Lok Floating Arrow Retainer, illuminated reticle scope Picatinny rails, 4*32 mm illuminated reticle crossbow scope, lubrication wax, etc. exclusive features help this one stand out from other counterparts.

Apart from the technical aspects, this bow has a topnotch design and finish to attract avid hunters. And the manufacturer is quite successful in this regard as people are buying Barnett WHITETAIL PRO STR  like a hotcake.

Key Points

  • Draw Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Power Stroke 16.375-Inches
  • Kinetic Energy: 140 Ft.-lbs.
  • Patented Step-Through Rise
  • CNC Machined Flight Track (Aluminum)
  • ADF (Anti-Dry-Fire) Trigger System
  • 4 x 32 Illuminated Multi-Reticles Scope
  • Side-Mount Quiver
  • Lube Wax
  • 3 Picatinny Rails
  • Two 22-inches Headhunter Arrows
  • Crank & Rope Cocking Device
  • Nock Sensor
  • 400 FPS speed


  • This bow can reach a blistering speed up to 400 FPS
  • The noise-reducing system will enable you to have a quiet hunting experience
  • The trigger is easy to handle and works smoothly
  • The bow is well-assembled by the manufacturer


  • You have to wax the strings after each 10-shot

Final Verdict

This bow is the most suitable for hunters who want top speed with a moderate draw weight. It performs great with the help of high-end features and compatible accessories. You have to be capable of using this bow to get precision in target shooting. This bow requires the shooter to have a basic level of understanding on the mechanism of a crossbow. If you handle it well, you will surely have an optimum result.

7 PSE Fang Series Compound Crossbow

PSE Fang Series Compound Crossbow

The Fang Series crossbow package by PSE Archery belongs to the compound type. It comes in a package with lots of useful accessories. You will get string stops that reduce the noise produced during the shooting.

You also get three 20-inch bolts. There is a cocking tope, a rail lube, and a foot stirrup. The foot stirrup will make your progression with this crossbow faster, as it provides very good support while targeting and shooting. It protects the bow itself. Finally, the package includes a 4X32 MR Scope.

The greatest advantage of this model is affordability. At the same time, its features are good enough to satisfy a beginner, an intermediate user, or a hobby/recreational user. Most noteworthy, it develops a speed of 330 FPS.

Another thing we liked about this crossbow is the same safety system as the previous model we showed you, i.e. the CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow. It comes with an anti-dry technology and the auto-safety system.

Ergonomic design is important for passionate users. Holding, carrying, and maneuvering a poorly-shaped crossbow can be very exhausting. This is especially true if it lasts for a long time. During our testing, we liked the ergonomics of this model. Most noteworthy, it is rather lightweight and compact. The trigger has a very soft, comfortable coating. It enables a good grip.

Last but not least, we also liked the design. It is fully covered with an attractive camouflage pattern. It is a combination of oak and mud. We can say that it belongs to a military-style archery model.

Key Points

  • Up to 330 FPS speed
  • Anti-dry system
  • Auto-safety mechanism
  • Lightweight
  • 6 pounds total weight
  • 165 lbs. draw weight
  • 22-inch bolts.


  • The model is lightweight and ergonomically shaped with a soft coated trigger grip
  • It has a good draw weight to velocity balance
  • It is very affordable and provides amazing features for the price


  • Our user community that helped during the testing and evaluation stated that assembling the limbs was rather difficult

Final Verdict

No doubt this is the best beginner crossbow due to its nice draw weight – 165 lbs. and the fact that beginners opt for cheaper models. Its price is its strongest asset. However, don’t underestimate this beautiful model that should be part of your crossbow essentials. It comes with a well-equipped package. It will surely surprise you with its capabilities once you get used to using it.

8 Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow

Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow

In the end, we have decided to present you with a model with a rather high draw weight. It equals 200 lbs. However, its performance and other features are very good. It is suitable for experienced and strong users. You can try Excalibur Micro 335 or Excalibur Assassin for greater draw weight.

Arrow weight will be a minimum of 350 gr to fit this model. The manufacturer recommends using an 18-inch arrow.

Let’s talk about its appearance and physical properties. Materials used are extremely durable. This is perhaps the strongest asset of this model. It has a mossy oak design that provides very good camouflage. It also looks very attractive. This is not a very heavy model in total. It weighs 5.5 lbs. It measures 36 x 30 x 10 inches.

The only feature we expected to be slightly better is the arrow speed. This crossbow reaches 305 FPS. It is a satisfactory speed, but the draw weight was more promising.

This is the perfect model for seasoned hunters who cannot afford the pro model by Excalibur. This is especially true for the costly Matrix Series. This model is a very good substitute.

Key Points

  • 5 lbs. total weight
  • 200 lbs. draw weight
  • 305 FPS speed
  • 30x30x10-inch dimensions
  • Mossy oak design
  • 18-inch arrow.


  • This model is rather lightweight
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • It is rather affordable and therefore represents a great second choice from the Matric Series


  • The arrow speed should be better
  • It is not suitable for the young

Final Verdict

This amazing model by Excalibur is usually chosen by those who cannot afford expensive Matrix models. Even though it is not good for youth, it has an excellent performance that helped it gain a place in this list.

We love its attractive design. It is aesthetically pleasing and contemporary while its superb materials ensure durability and strength.

9 Tenpoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package

Tenpoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package

One of the best hunting crossbows, it is the winner of several awards. Namely, it won the Game & Fish Reader’s Choice Award in 2016. What are the peculiarities of this model? Let’s find out.

It has an excellent power stroke of only 12.6 inches which is, according to the critics, its strongest asset. The draw weight equals comfortable 175 lbs. Here comes the main part: the arrows will mesmerize you with a breath-taking speed of 360 FPS! 107 FP of kinetic energy proves its killer performance.

What else should we say about this model after these amazing specs? It comes in a package with 3 arrows, a quiver that holds three arrows, and a quiver bracket. These pro-elite carbon arrows measure 36 x 12 x 7 inches and weigh 6.5 lbs. It used Lithium batteries. 1 battery required for operating the crossbow comes in the package.

Its un-cocked axle-to-axle width measures 17.5 inches. The cocked state equals 13.5 inches. It is equipped with the ACUdraw technology we all love. It enables a reduction in draw weight up to 50%. One of its benefits is the fully-machined riser made from aluminum. It has 11-inch limbs and a safety trigger.

Key Points

  • 360 foot per second speed
  • 105 FP kinetic energy
  • 6-inch power stroke
  • 5 lbs. total weight
  • 175 lbs. draw weight
  • Lithium battery-operated.


  • This model is equipped with superb ACUdraw technology
  • It is durable and sturdy
  • The tests proved its accuracy and precision


  • Requires batteries for operation

Final Verdict

TenPoint Turbo GT’s amazing power stroke, optimum draw weight and ultra-modern precision-enhancing systems make it one of the best crossbows for the money.

The manufacturer also provided high-quality safety mechanisms. The only flaw is the battery-operated mechanism. However, it requires only 1 Lithium battery. Finally, the users are satisfied with the package content.

10 Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package is perfect for hunters looking for lots of advanced technology systems.

First, let’s see what comes in the package. This crossbow comes with a multi-line scope. We liked its cocking mechanism. Namely, it comes with the ACUdraw type. You will also get an easily detachable quiver that holds three high-quality arrows. You will also get those three arrows for a good start of the game!

The feature we liked the most is the 3x multi-line scope. It allows a larger view filed, up to 15%. This is why those who love exploring different terrains will adore this crossbow.

Now, let’s analyze its key features. You already know it: draw weight, speed, total weight. This model has a good balance between these three features. Its draw weight equals 165 lbs. Therefore, it is suitable for proficient users, but also for a somewhat stronger female, for intermediate-level users, and even seniors in good shape.

Next, the speed equals 330 FPS. You probably wonder how can 165 lbs. draw weight produces 330 FPS speed. The key is in the ACUdraw mechanism that’s responsible for decreasing the draw weight. In this case, it decreases it by an amazing 50%!

In the end, Wicked Ridge is a trusted brand with years of experience. Their strongest asset is the fact that they design, manufacture, and test their bows right here in the USA.

Key Points

  • Safe
  • Lightweight
  • Narrow
  • 97 – foot pound kinetic energy
  • 165 lbs. draw weight
  • 330 FPS speed
  • 6 lbs. total weight
  • 5-inch power stroke
  • Comes with a dry-fire inhibitor
  • Designed, made, and tested in the USA
  • Limited lifetime warranty for the bow
  • 5-year warranty for the scope and limbs.


  • Tests and certificates show that this model is up to 60% more durable and stronger than other similar models
  • It uses premium strings which have a long-life expectancy
  • This crossbow is built for accuracy and precision
  • It comes with several, built-in


  • The cables are not covered by the warranty

Final Verdict

No doubt this is one of the best crossbows for deer hunting. Its ACUdraw mechanism, the excellent 330 foot per second speed, and safety mechanisms place this model to the top 10 crossbows in the market. If you have more budget, go for the high-end model from this company- TenPoint Stealth NXT.

In addition, users trust this brand and the fact that it is 100% manufactured in the USA. Finally, this is an award-winning model often chosen by intermediate-level hunters.

Best Crossbows Buying Guide

Modern crossbow buying guide

Crossbows are one of the hottest hunting tools right now with many recent converts to this fun and exciting sport, and many others, thinking about the possibilities for the next deer or turkey hunts.

Although this hi-tech looking tool might appear intimidating at first, once you get one in hand, you’ll find them quite the opposite. But there are many technical aspects of this tool that you must learn about before getting one.

The following factors will help you select the one that works fine for you:

1. Weight

  • Bow Weight: Bow weight is important as it can increase or decrease maneuverability. This factor is often the go/no-go feature for the youth, women, and seniors. Also, low bow weight models are especially suitable for beginners.
  • Draw Weight: Draw weight categories vary from less than 160, 160-200 and more than 200. It affects the ease of handling and arrow speed.

2. Speed

Speed is the most sought-after feature for crossbow buyers. It is essential for effective hunting and long range shooting. You must be going for one of those models that shoot higher than 300 FPS, if speed is what you need in the first place. In terms of type, choose from the compound bow category.

3. Extra Parts

Adding modular parts to a crossbow can enhance its ease of use and performance significantly. Always look for a package that comes with extra parts like foot stirrups, red dot sights and the likes. You can also buy a sight and other enhancers separately from the market. Modding a crossbow is a common practice for many.

4. Arrow Size and Track

The size and the track of the arrow directly influence the launching curve. It is fundamental to speed and accuracy. Similarly, the size dictates the overall aerodynamics. The weight of the arrow plays a key role here. Together with aerodynamics, the weight of the arrow keeps its velocity steady during travelling long distances.

5. Cocking Aids

These are very helpful for beginners. They save time and energy for cocking and loading bolts while ensuring that the bow is cooked perfectly, each time.

6. Design

Design affects both the technical performance and aesthetics. Curves heavily affect arrow speed and accuracy.

7. Price

You have to spend at least $300 for a quality crossbow. Let’s have a look at the price ranges to determine the category that suits you.

Under $300: These are good crossbows for beginners though they suit occasional hobby users as well. Don’t expect any advanced features, such as built-in safety systems or the red-dot.

$300-$500: This category often surprises us with some advanced models. You can expect a very good speed from those costing under $500. In addition, look for additional equipment within the package.

$500-$1000: Red-dot system, finger protection, and foot stirrups are among the features you must get in this price range. Also, advanced safety systems and precision-enhancing features are expected in new models under $1000.

$1000+: This is the professional crossbow category. You can expect perfect aerodynamics, superb durability and state-of-the-art solutions. Noise suppression system, automatic safety, and accuracy-improving features are a must.

8. Safety

Safety features in a crossbow include finger protection systems, anti-dry fire systems, and the anti-auto shooting mechanisms.

9. Accuracy

Accuracy is obtained through a series of systems. Scope, shape, type, and materials heavily affect accuracy.

10. Kinetic energy

Kinetic energy is used to express crossbow power. However, don’t exaggerate with KE, as it can mean that your crossbow is too complicated.

11. Noise

Noise-suppressing systems can be simple or advanced. Simple systems are basic string stops. Advanced systems can be expected only in more expensive models. In addition, these types usually have anti-vibration mechanisms as well.

Why Is It Important to Find the Right Crossbow for You?

A crossbow is a bow-type weapon dating back to the Medieval era. Nowadays, it is used for recreation, hunting, and sports. It has a trigger, a stock, and a bow. In my case, the tables have turned when I found my perfect crossbow. I could maneuver it more easily. Most importantly, I could hit the target with amazing accuracy! I finally felt completely free and safe with my crossbow.

You really need to know your weapon well to be successful in this discipline. Everyone is different. You should try several crossbows in order to find the one that suits you most. New crossbow technologies are bringing about dynamic and state-of-the-art solutions each year.

Your perfect model depends on whether you’re looking for a professional or a recreational or a homemade crossbow. Do you want to have some fun and spend time in nature? Do you want to join a professional club? Are you aiming at competitions? Is hunting your field of interest?

Answer these questions and you will narrow down the different categories. Also, take into account your age and physical condition. There are hundreds of crossbow models for sale and making the right choice will bring you a step closer to the flawless experience with this majestic weapon.

Different Parts of a Crossbow

Different parts of a crossbow

There are lots of parts, at least 15 of which are the major ones. Let’s learn more about their parts and accessories.

1. The Stock

It is part of a crossbow that supports the bow. It also ties the barrel and the trigger. This elongated frame is also known as a tiller. You place the stock against your shoulder. That’s why it is important to choose the right model.

2. The Bridge

It’s an essential component designed to hold the sight. If you aim at 100% accuracy, focus on finding a sturdy bridge.

3. Retention Spring

It’s closely related to the latch. It prevents the arrow-like projectiles, bolt, from slipping out. If you set your arrow retention spring correctly, you can handle the crossbow freely. It will remain ready for sudden shooting.

4. The Trigger

It’s responsible for releasing the string. It can be located under the latch. Otherwise, it can be found in front of it. The trigger should be equipped with a safety mechanism. Chinese vertical trigger lock and
European rolling nut lock are the two salient trigger methods used for crossbows.

5. Foregrip

It keeps your hand stable. It improves your accuracy. You feel you are in control of your crossbow. For experienced users, getting a removable foregrip is the right option.

6. Flight Groove

It’s a very important element of a crossbow that facilitates the launch principle. It enables the utmost alignment of the arrow with the bow’s string. It is found between latch and bow.

We can say that the string is a crossbow’s key part. A good string can significantly improve your performance. It can increase or decrease the firing power. Bolt launching feet per second is determined by a string. You should pick the string based on several features. Those are material, weight, breaking strength, and elasticity. Durable and lightweight strings are a great choice.

Moreover, there’re other parts, such as,

a) The latch is responsible for capturing the string. It holds it in place until you release it.

b) Sight is another important element of accuracy. It is crucial for bolt alignment with the target.

c) Serving ensures the shot consistency. Its mechanism protects the string.

d) Riser supports the limbs and holds them at a certain angle.

e) A Barrel is a rail important for bolt and string alignment.

f) A Limb is the end of a bow. It is an elastic part that can bend. It accumulates mechanical energy coming from the elastic forces.

g) A Stirrup is a foothold providing support for you. Also, it protects the bolt.

h) Quiver is basically a bolt container. Usually, they can carry three to four bolts.

Types of Crossbows

1. Recurve Crossbow

Its name comes from its curved geometry. It has three curves in total. Rigidity is its key advantage. It is 42 to 72 inches long. The arch is usually 66 inches long. It has a laminated limb structure. The riser is usually made from aluminum alloys, wood or metal. They are lighter and usually inexpensive than the compound types.

2. Compound Crossbow

The key difference is the existence of the wheels. It is placed at the ends of the limbs. Also, the tendon and cable system allows better accuracy, easier crossbow handling, and higher tension. As a result, this arrow is much faster. It requires less draw weight than the recurve crossbows and is one of the quietest crossbows. As a result, compound crossbows are more expensive.

3. Pistol Crossbows

The strongest asset of this type is the effectiveness and high accuracy rate. On the other hand, you must be strong and have the energy to effectively use it. Draw weight usually equals 80Ibs. It is suitable for small targets.

4. Repeating Crossbow

The greatest advantage of this type is its automatic system. It saves your precious time in case of a sudden shoot and allows for continuous shooting.

Apart from the mentioned types, semi automatic, pump action, bowfishing, reverse, toothpick toy, folding and air crossbow are a few notable types of crossbows.

How Much Draw Weight is Required for Your Purposes?

Never think that the most powerful crossbow is always the best crossbow out there. Rather, this could become a burden. Also, don’t underestimate the power of your crossbow. Remember that a draw weight of 150 lbs combined with good velocity is more than enough to hunt down a medium-sized target.

Always choose the model based on your body constitution, age group, and needs. We recommend the following guidelines when it comes to the draw weight.

Youth should pick a model with a draw weight less than 160. Beginners and females can handle anything from 160 to 200. The experienced users should always choose more than 160. Seniors should stick to the models with a draw weight less than 160.

How to Use a Crossbow to Achieve Accuracy?

Even though there are several different crossbow types in the market, the working principle is almost the same. Operation mode requires some skills. Once you learn them, you can apply them to different types of devices. Those general guidelines include the following::

  • Use the foot stirrup if your crossbow has one
  • Apply pressure to the stirrup to ensure a firm position and better accuracy
  • Always make sure that there is contact between the arrow end and the string
  • Make sure you hear a “click” sound when cocking the bow.

And, don’t forget, only practice can lead you to perfection whether you are using a crossbow or a compound bow. Crossbow type and quality heavily affect your performance. However, choosing a device suitable for your needs is the most important step toward achieving accuracy.

Care & Maintenance

Keeping your crossbow in good condition is essential for achieving the desired results. More importantly, it is crucial for your safety. Here are some crossbow care and maintenance tips:

  • Always keep your crossbow in a case, away from children and people who don’t know how to use it
  • Re-tighten the bolts after fifty to one hundred shots
  • Check for damages before each use
  • Always replace damaged and worn strings without postponing it
  • Lubricate the barrel, trigger box, flight groove, and bolts according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Wax the cables and strings periodically.

Final Words

Using a crossbow for both professional and recreational purposes is an enjoyable experience. We tried to provide a comprehensive and analytical insight into types of modern crossbows. Our final goal was to compose a helpful, detailed guide to choosing the right crossbow.

During our testing procedure, we evaluated more than 25 different models. Those were made by different manufacturers and belonged to all four types of crossbows.

Overall, we concluded that the Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package is the very best crossbow model out there. We based our decision on the key features described in this crossbow review.

The most affordable model is the PSE Fang Series package. It offers a very good value for the price.

Another very interesting model is the lightweight, compact PSE Viper SS. We are sure that this is an excellent choice for youth and seniors.

We looked for crossbows from some other prominent brands like Silent Strike, Stryker, Mission, Horton, Killer Instinct, Carbon Express, Jaguar, Bear, Rural King, Camx, Man Kung, Bruin, Scorpyd, and Parker. No model from these manufacturers could make it to this top crossbow list as per our benchmark.

There are definitely lots of other high-quality models in the market. Always remember to focus on your preferences and needs when buying a crossbow.


1. Are crossbows really that powerful?

Ans. Yes, the high-end models are way more powerful than the modern compound bows. Crossbow bolts usually weigh 400 grains and even more that you can shoot at 350 fps.

2. Is a crossbow deadly?

Ans. Of course they are. This is not a toy to play with but a weapon that could kill or badly injure someone.

3. How far will my crossbow kill?


– For a skilled arbalist, the range is 80 yards at most

– For the intermediate, it’s 60 yards maximum

– For the novice, 30 yards

4. Could a pistol crossbow kill?

Ans. It could if it hits the vital organs but we don’t recommend that because this will rarely be humane.

5. Should I try dry firing my crossbow?

Ans. No because you would end up damaging the weapon when the bowstring will violently bounce back on the crossbow.

6. What is the effective range of a crossbow?

Ans. Modern crossbows have effective ranges between 30 to 60 yards although this depends on various factors like the type of the crossbow, the power and speed of the bolt, and the skill of the archer.

About the author

Catherine Weeks

Cathy believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature.

She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

Though Cathy has hunted most of her life, it was not until her partner gave her a bow that she realized she had finally found her passion.

She is always determined to share her missed opportunities, dedication, emotions, and small details that people often forget to mention when they talk about their hunting experiences.

Cathy also works to promote wildlife preservation and protect natural resources. She thinks “patience” is the most important thing that can make a big difference.

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