If you are looking for the best crossbow available or just a place to read crossbow reviews; as there are so many technical things to keep in mind when picking the right crossbow, you have come to the right place.
The BestCrossbowForTheMoney is a complete resource for those looking to get started with archery or those looking to buy a good crossbow, for whatever purpose that might be; hunting, having fun, or competing.
We also have information about the best recurve bow and the best compound bow as well as detailed reviews about various products related to archery, such as bow fishing.
Here below you will find our list of 13 great crossbows I have handpicked the best-rated and most popular crossbows in 2024 based on online reviews and ratings and personal experience so you can be sure of the quality of those crossbows.
Best Crossbow Reviews of 2024
Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow
The Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow is a complete and ideal package for hunting. Barnett specifically designed and customized this crossbow at the request of The Brotherhood organization, hence, the name Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow.
The Barnett Brotherhood is exceptionally light to carry on tedious hunting expeditions, it weighs only 7 lbs. The crossbow creates 109 ft/lbs of kinetic energy and generates the arrow velocity up to 350 fps, and this is a lot of power for a compact bow. The bow is laced with a high-energy cam system along with a cable system and crosswire string. The draw weight of the bow is 160 lbs.
Barnett Brotherhood has a smooth trigger pull of 3.5 lbs due to the ADF trigger system and this enables the shooter to have a steady clean shot at the target. The bow is also low on noise to keep the game unaware and get a perfect hit on the desired spot. Control and stability of the bow are attained with a pass-through Fore grip on the lightweight composite stock.
Barnett Brotherhood is 10″ from axle to axle and it has a high-definition camo finish.
Barnett Jackal Crossbow
The Barnett Jackal is a compact lightweight crossbow weighing 7 lbs and is 32.5″ in length with 26.5″ in width and is a good bow for fresh starters in the field of hunting.
Barnett Jackal Crossbow is a fine quality built with a military rifle look-alike sleek stock that gives the design a uniquely solid feel. The expensive look of Barnett Jackal complements the qualities of a powerhouse with accurate shooting and smooth maneuverability.
The bow is fitted with high-energy wheels, a cable system, and synthetic string. The bow draws its power from 150 lbs draw weight and kinetic energy of 105 ft/lbs.
The Barnett Jackal Crossbow shoots 315 fps and has a power stroke of 12″ to inflict a lethal blow. The bow is steady with an easy 3.5 lbs trigger pull achieved with the use of new technology of ADF and Metal Injection Molding trigger system.
SAS Jaguar 175 lbs Recurve Hunting Crossbow
The SAS Jaguar 175 lbs is a recurve crossbow for hunting and a great crossbow for beginners and amateur hunters. It is among the better crossbows on a budget. The SAS Jaguar 175 lbs Recurve Hunting Crossbow features arrow velocity up to 245 feet per second and has a 175 lbs weight draw.
SAS Jaguar with a reinforced composited stock, auto safety cocking mechanism, and a compression molded fiberglass limb.
The price of the SAS Jaguar makes it the best youth bow and an ideal choice for beginners to sharpen their hunting skills for deer hunting. Though a low-cost crossbow, it has the safety mechanism and nice accuracy of more expensive crossbows.
Excalibur Matrix 380
Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package Realtree Xtra 260-Pound has gathered a reputation among hunters as an easy-to-maintain and handle recurve crossbow. The Matrix 380 shoots arrows at blazing speeds of 380 fps with a draw weight of 260 lbs. The crossbow has a 13.1″ power stroke.
Field hunting is demanding and a long walk to hunt targets is not unusual a lightweight Excalibur Matrix 380 crossbow is a relief to the body. The hunting weapon is San pulleys and San cables and the string can be replaced easily within a minute by you if it breaks.
Hunting crossbow reviews are favorable for this deadly hunting crossbow and are available at a reasonable price. The Excalibur Matrix 380 is rated to be the best in the field as a superb powerful weapon and amazingly a lot quieter to keep the target unaware. When evaluating performance this “sonic” crossbow is a great hunting package.
Carbon Express Intercept Axon
Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow with 29″ of rail provides the leverage for maximum customization to suit your style and taste. The length-of-pull adjustment ensures repetition of great performance every time you shoot the crossbow and, that too, with precise accuracy.
The Intercept Axon is specially designed for shooting in tight areas. When cocked the crossbow is only 13.5″ axle to axle which enables the hunter to comfortably manage in a treestand or ground blind. The compact design does not compromise the accuracy of the crossbow. Both left and right-handed shooters are happy with the safety and all-metal trigger and the consistent performance.
Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow is singled out as a customizable crossbow with precision engineering and a complete package of top-class accessories. The kit includes 3 arrow quivers, 3 crossbow bolts, a rope cocker, rail lubricant, and a glass-etched lighted scope with green and red illumination and an adaptable dimmer for different outdoor light conditions.
Maximum precision is attained with tunable synthetic cables and strings on a body made up of premium alloy cam sets and assisted with crossbow bolts that provide maximum velocity. Better down-range shot placement is attained with advanced technology – “Dual Spine Weight Forward.”
Carbon Express Intercept Axon is built to shoot 360 fps with a draw weight of 175 lbs and a 13.5″ power stroke. High technology is employed in the exterior finish (SilenTech coating) to minimize vibration and muffle the sound, both features are a must to get precision accuracy with every shot.
Barnett Ghost 385 CRT Crossbow
Barnett Ghost 385 CRT Crossbow is engineered to provide a finger guard and pass-through foregrip. The stock of the bow is fixed and equipped with an anti-dry fire trigger so the bow does not fire unless the bolt is properly placed which makes it a safe and reliable weapon in all conditions.
Barnett has used Carbon Riser Technology to build a 43% lighter riser and the center of gravity of the bow is tilted towards the user to create balance and easy operation of the bow.
The Barnett 78230 Ghost 385 CRT Reverse Cam Crossbow is almost 3″ shorter than the average crossbow but owns great velocity because of reverse cam technology. The bow has a draw weight of 185 lbs and a 400-grain arrow travels at a speed of 385 fps, now, that is a lot of power.
The Ghost 385 is built as a light compact crossbow with great accuracy and immense power to bring down big game. The small size of the crossbow makes it easy to handle but the advanced technology used in designing and manufacturing the bow does not surrender power and accuracy.
Barnett Ghost 385 CRT is rated as the best hunting crossbow based on accuracy, power, performance, and reliability.
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow is a lightweight bow and is reputed as a great crossbow for beginners. At an affordable price and possessing all the salient features of an expensive bow, it is a great choice for the money.
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury crossbow is equipped with an Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) trigger system and added protection is given to the thumb (when cocking) with a thumb guard.
The Arrow Precision Inferno Fury measures 34.5 inches long and 26.5 inches in width and the efforts of precision designing have developed a lightweight (a meager 4.84 lbs) and compact bow. The bow limbs are made of compression fiberglass and the barrel and rails are aluminum material with a fully dipped camo pattern.
The Inferno Fury has a draw weight of 175 lbs with a velocity of 235 fps and is designed with ambidextrous auto safety and a lightweight composite rear stock that both left-hand and right-hand hunters can handle with equal comfort.
Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol
Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow with Cobra System Limb is one of the cheapest crossbows you can get. It can shoot arrows up to a speed of 165 fps; it has an 80 lbs draw weight and almost 6.5” power stroke. The package of Prophecy 80-pound self-cocking pistol crossbow includes 1 string, 2 end caps, an adjustable red dot scope, and a cobra limb system.
Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow is made of an aluminum frame. The body is solid and you need a lot of strength to string the crossbow. It is one of the new models and this pistol crossbow shoots an arrow at great velocity. The Prophecy pistol crossbow can conveniently shoot a rabbit or a squirrel from a distance of 40 yards.
The Prophecy is a semi-automatic pistol crossbow and bolts can be fired in quick time because the cocking is easy. Safety is a must in all weapons and Prophecy 80 lbs pistol crossbow automatically locks when it is cocked. It is a safe and powerful crossbow for hunting small game.
Excalibur Ibex SMF Crossbow
Excalibur Ibex SMF Crossbow has the unique quality of un-cock the crossbow without firing. The bow is rich in design and requires little or no maintenance. It is rated among the best bows on the market. The state-of-the-art technology permits anyone with little know-how to maintain it in A-one condition. The body is easy to assemble and it hardly takes 10 minutes to put together.
The engineering aspect speaks loudly about the design and quality of Excalibur Ibex, simply aim, zero in on the target, and fire. The crossbow is automatically sighted in for 30, 40, and 50-yard distances. The manufacturer claims that the X-Act 100-grain mechanical broadheads possess similar characteristics as the 150-grain field tips that are part of the Excalibur Ibex package.
The total length of the Excalibur Ibex SMF crossbow is 36.4″, and it has a draw weight of 175 lbs possessing a 14.5″ power stroke. The Excalibur can shoot a 20-inch arrow at 305 fps velocity.
Excalibur Ibex SMF is surprisingly a compact hunting crossbow with a lot of power. It is smoother, quieter, and deadly accurate and the bulletproof design assures the hunter of a dependable and trouble-free bow. Performance and accuracy combinations are lethal in the big-game hunt.
The Excalibur comes is available in the market as a kit that includes a quiver and mounting bracket, matching multiplex crossbow, mounting hardware, mounting brackets, 4 arrows, target points, and rope cocking aid. The Ibex SMF is lightweight with a compact frame adorned with “Realtree AP” camouflage allowing it to blend with the surroundings. A great crossbow at a competitive price without surrendering power, accuracy, and reliability.
SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package
The SA Sports Fever recurve crossbow is featherweight and weighs close to 5 lbs. From the tip of one limb to the tip of the other limb the width is 27” and without the foot stirrup the length of the crossbow is 31″. It has a draw weight of 175 lbs and shoots an arrow with a velocity of 240 fps.
The recommended length of the 2219 aluminum arrow is 16″ which comes with the SA Sports Fever Recurve Crossbow package (a pack of 4). Other accessories include a premium 4×32 reticle scope, padded shoulder sling, adjustable scope mount (weaver style), and quick detach quiver. The kit also includes hex keys to assemble the bow.
The bow is fine quality, easily put together in 30 minutes, and easy to load and reload the arrows. It is a good buy for the price having features of an expensive bow; like shot accuracy, low vibration, and noise.
Other salient features of the SA Sports Fever Crossbow include the safety which is comfortably accessible to both left and right-hand shooters. Similarly, the rear stock is lightweight, compact, and ambidextrous.
Jaguar CR-013 Series Crossbow
Jaguar CR-013 Series is the best cheap crossbow made with fiberglass material. As the name suggests the bow has a 175 lbs draw weight and shoots a projectile with speeds of 245 fps which is more than enough to bring down a deer at a distance of 40 yards.
The length of Jaguar CR 013 is 34.5″ and comes with a shoulder strap and a decent 30 mm red 3 dot sight with brightness adjustment. The kit also includes 6 bolt detachable quiver, safety glasses, stringing cable, and 4 bolts.
Jaguar CR-013 Series is the best beginner crossbow it is easy to cock and is considered to shoot well. The cocking rope does not come in the package, however, the addition of cocking rope dramatically improves the accuracy of the bow, and so, it becomes a deadly accurate bow. Jaguar CR-013 is a rifle style that fits a low budget but is easy to handle, not loud, and dependably accurate.
Barnett Penetrator Crossbow
The 37 inches long, 24 inches wide Barnett Penetrator Crossbow is rated as one of the better crossbows in the low to medium price range. The Penetrator crossbow is recognized with a 175 lbs draw weight and a 12” power stroke that fires an arrow at speeds of 350 feet per second.
Barnett Penetrator weighs nearly 8.5 lbs it is 37 inches long and 24 inches wide and is designed to shoot a 20-inch arrow. The crossbow is a powerhouse yet it is safe, quietly releases the arrows, and can be easily operated. Barnett has manufactured the crossbow using a Metal Injection Molding (MIM) trigger system which gives the bow a comfortable 3.5 lbs trigger pull. The bow is also equipped with high-tech Anti-Dry Fire (ADF).
Barnett Penetrator Crossbow is easy to manage; it is smooth, fast, accurate, and a lot quieter. The rope cocker ensures accuracy because it aids in pulling the spring to the exact same spot with every attempt.
The authority of Barnett is stamped on the crossbow by offering a 5-year limited warranty period against poor workmanship manufacturing faults or the use of defective materials. Barnett Penetrator Crossbow is a fine budget crossbow and is a lightweight, safe, adjustable but powerful crossbow to enjoy the game.
Excalibur Axiom SMF
Excalibur Axiom SMF is a well-crafted crossbow and is among the most popular crossbows available today. It is designed to look and work like any expensive crossbow but is in fact in the middle price range and is one of the best crossbows available in its price range. Fiber-reinforced plastic is used in the making of the front arm instead of aluminum which makes it lightweight; it is deadly accurate and easy to assemble and is rated among the best recurve crossbows.
Excalibur Axiom SMF is a reliable hunting crossbow that will not disappoint you in big hunting games. Heavy crossbows add to the long strenuous fatigues during hunting sprees but Excalibur Axiom SMF is light and barely weighs over 6 lbs. The recurve crossbow can be bought as a kit that includes a scope that matches the crossbow.
The crossbow is a state-of-the-art product that is designed to generate arrow velocity over 300 feet per sec and hit the target with great accuracy. The draw weight of Excalibur Axiom SMF is 175 lbs and the power stroke is 14.5″ and the crossbow can be easily cocked. The matching scope is adjustable at a click per half an inch at 20 yards and it zeroes in accurately for 10 through 50 yards for the bow shooting 300 fps.
Why Is It Important to Find the Perfect Crossbow For You?
Before the purchase of a crossbow, it is paramount to ascertain the purpose of buying a crossbow because that will determine your decision in selecting the right crossbow.
If you are a professional archer and competing in national and international sports competitions then the selection of the crossbow has to be in accordance with the rules and regulations set by the Olympic Committee. Then there are crossbows for recreational purposes. The bottom line is that the purpose determines the kind and type of crossbow to be purchased.
There is a list of crossbows of different shapes and sizes which are available in the market. The crossbows vary from using them to hunt animals or shoot birds, having them for fun sake, or needing them for sports competitions. The strength or energy of the crossbow is related to the shape and size of the crossbow which directly affects the speed of the bolt. The following are the main features to be considered when making a choice of crossbows.
- Acceleration System
- Size and energy
- Degree of Automation or Projectile
In the United States, more and more hunters are being drawn to hunting with crossbows and becoming professional crossbow hunters. The ever-increasing popularity of crossbow hunting is defined by the ease and comfort of aiming and using it as compared to shooting with a rifle or using a bow and arrow. Today, both target shooters and big-game hunters consider the crossbow as a viable choice that quenches their desire and meets their requirements.
It is vital to know a weapon before using it, so you need to take a few hours to read research, and understand the basics of handling and using a crossbow. Crossbows are an expensive buy and you must be certain that the purchase is correct and fulfills your needs and demands. There are several types of crossbows available in the market with varied qualities and different price ranges. Thorough research and pertinent information sharing with experienced and professional users of the best hunting crossbow can save you from disappointment from buying the wrong crossbow.
What Types of Crossbows Are There?
Basically, there are two types of modern crossbows to choose from the Recurve crossbow and compound crossbow. The main difference between the two crossbows is that the compound crossbow is equipped with a cable and pulley system to facilitate the rigid prod to deliver greater power and to make cocking of the crossbow a bit easier. The recurve crossbow relies on the strength of the prod to see the amount of power generated.
The recurve crossbow is preferred by professional hunters because it generates more energy and is highly effective in killing big game. The recurve crossbow has two limbs that are connected to the stock of the crossbow and greater potential energy is created by the back and forward movement of the limbs. The recurve crossbow tips point away from the user to give a longer draw length than a bow with straight limbs.
The compound crossbow is an evolved version of the crossbow with stiff short limbs and a heavier body than the recurve crossbow. The bow has an easy cocking mechanism with the use of pulleys. The bow is more accurate than the recurve bow and shorter limbs are useful for hunters because with shorter limbs the hunters can be comfortable in the treestands or blinds where you are cramped for space.
The pistol crossbow has a draw weight of 80 lbs and is an effective weapon for small game like rabbits or raccoons. The pistol crossbow has a high accuracy rate but energy and power are required to use it.
The repeating crossbow has an automatic system that enables the hunter to repeatedly use the crossbow because of rapid launching and shooting.
Choice of crossbows makes it easier for you to pick the right crossbow that suits your height strength and purpose.
How to Choose the Right Crossbow?
Regardless, of whether you are a beginner or a seasoned user of crossbow it is recommended that always buy reliable equipment. Particularly when the purpose is hunting because an unreliable bow could be risky. Plastic crossbows are light and cheap but they are of cheap quality and poor workmanship and disappoint at crucial times that are not only a risky business but also take the fun out of the sport.
Crossbow is lethal so safety is a must and the manufacturer’s safety steps should be followed. If you are a novice then seek professional help, read manuals, and watch videos on buying and using a crossbow. You ought to know the type of bow that you can handle comfortably and the right type of projectile you need. The power, velocity, and weight of the crossbow cannot be ignored because animal hunts can be long and tiring walks, and a heavy crossbow may take toil and exhaust you.
It is critical to have your hunting gear in top condition and the sharpness of the point of the broadhead ensures effective harvesting of the big animal. The massive loss of blood (1/3 of blood volume) caused by the penetration of the crossbow broadhead or crossbow bolt will get fast of the big game animal fast. Choose a reliable broadhead and professionals in the field recommend using a broadhead that is similar to your practicing broadhead or field point
A good hunter will target the lungs, heart, and vital organs and will only take shots from either broadside or quartering away. The broadside exposes the most desired parts of the target, the rib cage, and the bolt will achieve an effective kill. Similarly, the quartering away shot also exposes the vulnerable parts of the body like the liver, and gets a clean harvest of the animal.
Do not attempt a shot with the animal directly underneath the stand. Forty yards range is the advised distance to get a neat harvest.
How to Achieve Accuracy?
Practice makes perfect. This adage cannot be truer with crossbow hunting. Every experienced and professional hunter recommends practicing with the same arrow that you plan to use for the game. Accuracy cannot be achieved on a trial and error basis; the bottom line is that accuracy starts with the shooter and failure to accuracy end with the shooter.
To ensure accuracy begins with a good crossbow that is well-maintained and you are comfortable handling and using. The achieve accuracy other elements that cannot be ignored are the selection of correct arrows, the quality of cable and string, cam or wheel timing, and cocking of the string.
Remember to keep the bow limbs leveled before releasing/shooting the arrow because if the limbs are not level then the arrow/bolt will hang to the right if the right limb is lower. Similarly, if the left limb is lower the arrow will fly in the left direction.
Practice by shooting from 10 yards distance and if your results are close to the target center, move out to 20 yards away. If they’re not even close, your scope might be incorrectly installed or way out of adjustment. 20 yards is a good yardstick and at 20 yards, you should be able to achieve a tight grouping of three shots within a 3-inch circle.
Crossbow Hunting for Beginners
The next step is to get a crossbow license because you cannot buy a crossbow without having a crossbow license. After obtaining a hunting license and a crossbow license next step is choosing and buying the right crossbow. A bad crossbow choice will produce bad results and take the fun and thrill out of a crossbow-hunting expedition.
Professional hunters recommend buying a crossbow of average weight. Crossbows with plastic parts may be lighter and cheaper but they are of poor quality. Buy a crossbow that is rated among the top 10 or 15 crossbows because an unreliable crossbow can create severe problems and even risk life. An injured animal can be dangerous. Avoid buying a loud crossbow.
Learn how to use a crossbow with a few training and practice sessions that are good enough to prepare you for a game. Extra practice time will instill confidence in you along with skill and the art of hunting. A planned strategy is needed to achieve desired results so plan the minute details of how and where to hunt. Good preparation is 50% of a successful hunt so be well prepared and make sure that you have all the necessary hunting equipment and it is in top condition.
Prevented measures include not using scented soap, either when taking a bath or washing hands, and not spraying perfume on your clothes because the animal has a powerful smelling faculty. Part of the planned strategy is to study and know the gaming area, types of prey in that area, and the kind of terrain. The crucial part of successful hunting is the strategy to get as near the animal as possible. Camouflage is an effective way to get near the animal so the camouflage has to be good and unnoticeable not to alert the animal.
The crossbow has distance limitations beyond 50 yards the average bow loses accuracy. The objective is to let the prey come to you, be patient either waiting on a tree stand or a blind. It can take hours for the prey to come into an effective range. Always aim the crossbow at the vital areas of the prey and do not dash toward the prey after the “hit”. It can be dangerous and it takes about an hour or 30% of blood loss for the animal to die.
Know your weapon, keep it reliable, and be a responsible hunter for your and others’ sake.
To protect the crossbow string, body, and limbs different crossbow cases are available on the market. The crossbow case keeps it safe from getting damaged or scratched during use and when stored for longer periods.
The quiver is made of plastic material and is easily detachable from the crossbow. The quiver has the capacity of holding three or four bolts which are held in a fixed position. It can also be attached below the crossbow. The quiver can be attached parallel to either side of the stock with a side mount quiver bracket.
There are different types of arrows on the market but choose the kind recommended by the crossbow manufacturers. Arrows are made of light metal of carbon or aluminum and are engineered precisely for straightness to give accuracy and control. The high-tech arrows are hand-sorted for weight tolerance.
High-powered telescopes are available to mount on the crossbows to help you zero in on the targets. The telescopes vary in range and provide almost 100% accurate shots of the target. Single red dot and multi-red dot scopes can also be purchased to mount on the crossbow.
The cocking devices are effective devices on the crossbow to gain control and stability because the cocking devices are designed to convert the heavy draw weight to the minimum effort. With a cocking device far less effort is needed to draw back the crossbow, the shooter can concentrate and focus on the target and not waver. There are two main types of cocking devices, rope cocking devices, and crank cocking devices.
Rope Cocking Device
This is a popular device used in cocking a crossbow because it is easy to use and is not expensive. It reduces the workload of pulling the strings to half.
Crank Cocking Device
The crank cocking device is expensive but designed to benefit old and physically impaired people. The crank cocking device takes longer to cock the crossbow than the rope cocking device.
Noise Cancelling Device
The noise-canceling device dampens the noise of crossbows. Stiffness in limbs creates loudness in the use of crossbows. The Noise Cancelling Device helps hunters reduce the decibel level and minimizes noise distraction.
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You should be able to make an informed decision based on our crossbow reviews including the most popular crossbows according to online reviews and ratings in the past years. Of course, there are various things to keep in mind when choosing the best crossbow for the money and you can learn more about those in this article and buying guides as well as read our reviews. Now you should be a safe hunter; know your weapon and keep it safe and in good condition.