Best Crossbow Reviews
Crossbows are one of the weapons developed centuries ago that changed the face of projectile warfare. Back where live ammunition wasn’t available yet, arrows were deadly because they could hit enemies that are a distance away.
Below are our choices for the best crossbow available. But because the cost of these weapons vary significantly from those around $100 to those over $1000 and more, we’ve divided the models by price so whichever cost you’re most comfortable with you’ll be able to get the best crossbow for your needs. Included with our choices are our crossbow reviews of each of these x-bows to give you a clear idea of why they’re among the top products in their class.
Best Crossbow for the Money
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
Topping our crossbow reviews best under $300 list is the Barnett Jackal Crossbow. While there are some lower cost models under $200, the Jackal’s build and performance gives it a step up above them. This weapon is has a relatively short 12 inch draw length and ‘light’ 150 lbs. cocking weight yet packs 315 feet per second arrow velocity on release. Still be sure to use the rope cocking device to ensure you’re cocking the weapon evenly on both sided.
One of the main reasons it is very popular is because it balances both cost and quality giving you hunting crossbow that can be used for harvesting turkey, elk and deer. The Jackal comes with a military style stock and its grip is separated. This lets users grip the weapon more like a pistol which leaves your hand with more freedom.
One of the best crossbows money can buy if you’re starting out or don’t want to spend a ton of money though it works really well for experienced shooters and seasoned hunters as well. It uses a 3.5 trigger pull which is a standard Barnett uses in almost all its crossbows except for a select few. This gives users the knowledge that they can quickly get that feel when switching or upgrading to other models. It also comes with dry fire prevention safety so you don’t accidentally shoot when there isn’t a arrow seated or seated properly which saves the life of the crossbow.
PSE Copperhead TS Crossbow Package
While the Jackal was somewhat easy for us to pick, the second slot was more difficult to fill. There were a number of candidates, but they each had drawbacks that could make you sway between them depending on your preference. When choosing budget crossbows a good number, you always want quality for the price, and after a long decision process we’ve ended with one, or maybe two. We’ll explain, you’ll see.
Made by another well known brand in archery circles, our second pick, the PSE Copperhead TS Crossbow is rated at 260 feet per second with a draw weight of 150 pounds. It has a Mossy Oak camo pattern on a rifle style stock and features a trigger assembly that will automatically engages the safety when you cock the x-bow.
Built for all weather use, it will keep up with you when the weather suddenly turns from dry to wet conditions while deer hunting. One of its strong suits is almost anyone is able to easily handle Copperhead. It offers low recoil and it doesn’t take many shots to get adjusted and comfortable to it.
The reason we had trouble finalizing our second pick here is we were torn between the Copperhead and the faster Carbon Express X-Force 350. This is a problem with doing crossbow reviews sometimes there isn’t that one clear winner. In this case, both are similar in price, but the major differences are the X-Force 350 gets up to 300 FPS vs. the 260 FPS of the Copperhead. It was also lighter, shorter, included noise suppression. Together it felt like the better pick. At least until the trigger issues.
For a high powered x-bow, a heavy trigger pull may be acceptable but here we’re looking at a portion of the users going to be beginners and those just getting into crossbow hunting and shooting it isn’t. The key thing here is not everyone has that heavy trigger. And for some who have more pull weight they aren’t bothered by it. But be sure a hard trigger can affect your shooting and of course your accuracy. The only way to make sure about this is to test and squeeze it for yourself. If it feels good, then it fits you.
So ultimately the trigger issue the the X-Force 350 ‘forced’ us to go with the Copperhead. In the end we want to get smooth, accurate and consistent shots that won’t take the fun out of both target shooting and hunting.
Barnett Quad 400 Crossbow PackageAt $400, one of the best crossbows for the money is the Barnett Quad 400 x-bow. This American built camo covered compound crossbow uses a thumbhole grip on Barnett’s Gas Assist Moded (GAM) lightweight stock. We like the comfortable feel of the weapon when shooting as well as the smooth 3.5 lb. anti-dry fire trigger.
What makes the Quad 400 stand out among this price group is its superb 345 FPS shooting speed. This translates to straighter trajectories compared to slower models which lets it achieve tight groups even on 50 yard targets. When held steady on a bench rests you can achieve similar results at 75 yards. Keep in mind though that the flight gets affected as you go further and at 85 yards you’ll need to start adjusting for trajectory.
The Barnett Quad 400 is also a suitable hunting crossbow, capable of delivering 112 ft-lbs energy of force that takes down your choice of large game including elk and bear. At extended hunting ranges to 30 to 50 yards, it still shoots through White-tailed deer.
When hunting with the Quad 400 you may want to carry it on a sling or your back as it weighs close to 8.5 pounds which can get you tired if you need to carry it by hand for hours. Also take a rope cocking device with you, preferably shortened to fit you since this weapon has a long 15.25 draw length.
Wicked Ridge Invader HP Crossbow Package
Wicked Ridge is a label that falls under TenPoint’s line of products. That’s why you’ll notice that some of the components many look similar. The Wicked Ridge Invader HP Crossbow makes is our other pick for best crossbow under $500 thanks to an additional accessory they’ve included that makes life so much simpler for users. This is the inclusion of TenPoint’s ACU-52 cocking mechanism.
The ACU-52 system is a crank cocking mechanism, which the Invader has built into it. Instead of having to deal with the weapon’s 180 lb. draw weight and pulling it back all 12.25 inches of its power stroke, users just pull down the claw of the ACU-52, hook it onto the string, pull out the detachable crank handle and insert into into the crank housing and start turning the crank handle. In seconds, it cocks this crossbow the entire draw length till the string latches on position. And you’re ready to seat the arrow, aim and shoot.
This takes out a lot of the manual effort needed in firing your weapon which can get cumbersome specially in the field. It also lets young adults, women and those otherwise not able to use such a heavy cocking effort to enjoy crossbow shooting and hunting.
With velocities of 315 FPS, the Wicked Ridge Invader has been pre-sighted at the factory which makes zeroing in at 20 and 30 yards fast, with some minor adjustments. Well built and lightweight (7 lbs.), it also uses TenPoint’s PowerTouch trigger and dry fire inhibitor (DFI).
Barnett Buck Commander Xtreme Crossbow (BCX)
At under $700, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better x-bow than the Buck Commander, making it the next item on our crossbow reviews. For clarity, this line has two different models, there’s the Buck Commander Xtreme (BCX) and also there’s the original Barnett Buck Commander.
Both are very similar since they’re the same line, with the BCX being the newer model that supersedes the Buck Commander. The main differences being Commander BCXteme is lighter, at 7 lbs. compared to the 8 lbs. of the Buck Commander. You also get a 10 pound increase in draw weight to 185 lbs. on the BCX, along with a slightly shorter power stroke and smaller overall body.
Both shoot at 365 FPS and offer exceptional accuracy. When sighting these in, make sure you exercise safety precaution by using thick targets or pad the area behind the targets. These will shoot the arrows right through your targets if you don’t do that. It’s important because you don’t want to lose you bolts when just starting out. And more importantly hurt people or damage property.
The Buck Commander line belongs to Barnett’s CarbonLite array of products which uses its CRT front ends which stands for Carbon Riser Technology. So instead of the heavier metal construction they use durable carbon material to lessen the weight which moves the weapon’s center of gravity towards the shooter. This improves the weapon’s balance and makes it easier to control.
Both Buck Commanders are very accurate and fast, they are also easy installs and come with good optics that allow you to adjust for windage and elevation.
Excalibur Ibex SMF Crossbow Kit
If you’re in the market for a crossbow and have a shot at acquiring an Excalibur at a reasonable price, you should take it. From one of the best brands in terms of quality and performance, our next best crossbow for the money pick at under $750 is the Excalibur Ibex SMF Crossbow (its actually just over $500).
Those looking for a light x-bow have one in the Ibex which weighs less than 6 pounds. It is also easy to cock despite its 175 lb. drawing weight. Fairly easy to maintain, string replacement is easy, in case you need to change the strings it can be done quickly. Sighting in the Ibex is also quick work as only small adjustments will be needed to get it zeroed in. These are some of the features that make it ideal as a first crossbow, for those just starting out, beginners and youth crossbow shooters.
Intermediate and experienced hunters will appreciate its power. It easily takes down an 8 pointer and is primed for hunting large game. With a 305 FPS velocity rating, it shoots very consistent and holds very well. The overall size also makes it easy to maneuver when your stalking prey and are holed up in tight places.
This recurve crossbow has a lifetime warranty so when issues arise you can expect Excalibur to provide you with replacement parts.
While looking at the Ibex, we’ll quickly include its sibling, the popular Excalibur Axiom SMF Crossbow, in our crossbow reviews because the two are practically the same, but not totally. Most of their features and specifications are the same like the draw weights and speed. Where they differ is in feel because they’re physically different which gives you a very different shooting feel.
The Axiom SMF has a stock with the hand grip separated from it, while the Ibex SMF uses a thumbhole. The Axiom’s length is also longer and it comes with less travel on its trigger compared to the Ibex. In the end, if you’re choosing between two, it will be all about preference and feel, as both pack similar power and are very accurate.
Barnett Ghost 410 Crossbow Package
If you’ve got the cash to spend and want to get a top quality x-bow the Barnett Ghost 410 Crossbow should be on your shortlist. This is another Barnett production on our crossbow reviews. Falling under the company’s array of CarbonLite Crossbow models, it has a high energy cam, string and cable setup installed on a lightweight carbon riser. What this means it gives users more power without the burden of a heavier front end. As a result, this x-bow weighs just a shade over 7 pounds, yet fires an impressive 149 foot pounds of energy of arrow speeds of 410 feet per second.
When you’re spending this much for an x-bow, you expect something that you can take out to the woods and hunt just about anything, and the Ghost 410 delivers just that. Bears, moose and other large game are all within the weapons choice of prey. It is very similar in design to its predecessors the Ghost 400 and Ghost 350, using a step through foot stirrup which appears to be built into the frame of the x-bow instead of it being a protruding attachment like you see in most similar products.
Power is useless if you can’t hit the target, and on that front, the Ghost 410 is able to deliver. Thirty yard shots hit center with groups expanding to between 1.5 to 2.5 inches at 50 yards depending on your aim, experience and control. At 70-80 yards, you can expect between 2 to 3 inch distances. The lighter front riser really helps you keep the nose up while shooting as your off hand carries less of the weight due to the shift in balance of the weapon. It uses a 3x scope with illuminated green and red dots if you need to aim during darker conditions.
TenPoint Titan Xtreme Crossbow with ACUdraw
When you get to more powerful crossbows, which is what those at higher prices often are, you can expect a few things. These are most will be compound x-bows, they will have high draw weights, and you’ll probably have a good number of them with longer power strokes. These are given, since they, together with the design of the bow contribute to the ability to extend speed, range and precision.
The heavier draw weights and longer power strokes are often an issue since not everyone is built to keep pulling large amounts of forces. If this is an issue for you, the TenPoint Titan Extreme Crossbow comes with an ACUdraw system that eliminates the work. This feature helps it make our best crossbow list. The ACUdraw is one of those crossbow accessories that all of its owners say is well worth it. ACUdraw is TenPoint’s crank cocking mechanism that lets your turn the crank’s handle to draw your x-bow, reducing the amount of work needed. It is installed on the stock and doesn’t get in the way when its time to aim and shoot. As a result you don’t have to worry about dealing with the Titan Extreme’s 180 pound, 12.6 inch draw weight and length.
Built with the ability for big game hunting, the Titan Extemes features a 315 FPS arrow firing velocity on a 7.3 lb. weapon. It shoots steady and provides very minimal pull back on fire. Target shooting, deer and turkey hunting at 30 to 45 yards are some of the things you expect to get excellent results using it.
The best crossbow reviews presented here gives you not only which products to focus on once you’ve decided on how much you’re willing to spend for a crossbow, it also gives you a glimpse of the features you will want your final choice to have. Our crossbow reviews include detailed looks at each of the products so you get a clear picture of what to expect during the decision process.