Crossbows have been around since the medieval days, but they have more highly developed over the last 25 years then they have for the past 2000 years. The types of materials and designs used in the more modern crossbows make them easier and more effective to use. But with that being said they are still a short range hunting tool with a maximum range of around 40 yards. And, while being much slower to reload for a second shot then a compound bow the crossbow is very accurate at close range.
The crossbow is also an excellent choice for those with less arm strength, injuries or perhaps someone that may just have trouble drawing a regular bow. They can still experience the excitement of Archery hunting or target shooting with a crossbow.
- #1 What is a Crossbow?
- #2 Types of Crossbows
- #3 Things to Consider before Buying Crossbow
- #4 How To Select a Good Crossbow
- #5 Best Crossbows Reviews & Buying Guide 2019
- #1 Best Crossbows for Under $200
- #2 Best Crossbows in the $200 – $400 Category
- #3 Best Crossbows in the $400 – $600 Category
- #4 Best Crossbows in the $600 – $800 Categorgy
- #5 Best Crossbows in the $800 – $950 Category
- #6 Best Crossbows in the $950+ Category
- #6 History of the Crossbow
#1 What is a Crossbow?
A crossbow is a weapon primarily used in hunting and sport, though it has its roots in Medieval warfare. Consisting of a horizontal limb that is mounted across a stock, a crossbow gives the shooter a more steady and powerful way to quick-load a bolt or quarrel (i.e. a smaller arrow) for rapid fire with the same accuracy and silence as a bow. While most crossbows are made for short-distance fire, there are a some crossbows that are used for long-distance shooting.
Crossbows have seen a recent spike in popularity thanks to games like Skyrim where the crossbow is one of the most popular weapons available. It should be mentions that unlike Skyrim, taking an arrow to the knee hurts so always use caution when firing a crossbow and never use one to harm a human being!
#2 Types of Crossbows
There are both recurve and compound crossbows. The recurve crossbow is less complicated and will have longer arms or limbs with a single string, and can be a little more cumbersome to use in tight places. The Compound crossbow will have shorter and stiffer arms but will have a more complicated stringing through the arms, wheels and pulleys and may use one or more strings. This however, makes it easier to cock a stronger draw on a compound crossbow than on a recurve crossbow. Most compound crossbows will shoot the same weight arrows at a faster speed than will a recurve crossbow. This however is relevant to Draw Weight and Power Stroke.
Not long ago most crossbows arms were made from steel. Today, most crossbows arms are made from fiberglass or a variety of composites in an array of designs.
- The Recurve Crossbow : A recurve crossbow is the main and traditional style of crossbow on the market. By using two solid limb assemblies which are attached right onto the stock of the crossbow, a recurve is able to fire a bolt with great power by sweeping back the limbs and pulling the tips forward. This creates greater potential energy, giving you a ton of speed and power.
- The Compound Crossbow : The more recent crossbow is called the compound crossbow. Compound crossbows resemble a compound bow (used in sport archery and hunting) in that it can either have split limbs or single limbs. A compound crossbow is heavier than a recurve bow and uses a cam system. Aside from the split and single limbs, a compound crossbow is also different from a recurve in that its limbs are much shorter, making it ideal for hunting where space is limited due to blinds and treestands.
#3 Things to Consider before Buying Crossbow
#1 Draw Weight
Crossbows are typically ranked by pull or draw weights, usually in the range of 80 to over 200 pounds. The draw weight is the amount of force that it takes to draw a bow. The most typical or standard is a pull weight of around 150 pounds. This will propel an arrow at over 300 feet per second.
Most people can hand cock a 150 pound pull weight. However, there are a number of cocking aids available like a rope cocking aid or crank cocking aids that, although slower to reload, dramatically reduce the strength needed to cock the crossbow.
#2 Power Stroke
The Power Stroke is the distance that the bow string travels from the rest position to full draw. The longer the power stroke, the faster an arrow will travel using the same draw weight.
#3 Arrows Bolts and Points
Arrows for crossbows are usually referred to as bolts and in todays modern world they can be manufactured from a large variety of materials such as aluminum, carbon, fiberglass and composites to name a few. There are also a huge variety of points to choose from. For instance, an aluminum shaft will do well with a 125 grain point, where a carbon shaft will perform better with a 100 or less grain point. It is very important to select the correct length, spline and points for your crossbow. Most manufacturers will list a series of recommended arrows and points for your specific crossbow.
Field point and Broadhead points are the two most common points. Target points are bullet shaped with a sharp point. Field points are similar to target points but with a tapered shoulder design to make them easier to remove. Broadheads will usually have either two or four sharp blades that come to a point and will cause massive bleeding.
Most crossbows will come with a metal or optical sight and in some cases a red dot sight. You wouldn’t think that for such short range shooting that you would even need a sight. But after around 30 or 40 yards there is such a rapid drop off rate that it is essential that you know the precise distance at which you are shooting.
We highly recommend that you purchase any needed accessories, such as sights for instance, that you may need at the time you purchase your crossbow. In as much as the rate of change and advancement of technology is so quick these days, proper fitting accessories for the crossbow you buy today may not be available five or six years from now.
#4 How To Select a Good Crossbow
In the hunting realm, it would seem that professionals and amateurs alike are getting caught up on one weapon: the crossbow. Due to this overwhelming booming demand, manufacturers of these weapons have attempted to step up their game; releasing new crossbow lines and researching developing new ideas for future products.
If you are thinking of joining the revolution, and wish to pursue wild game with a good crossbow in your artillery, you may be wondering which crossbow would be right for you and how you choose from all of the different kinds. Well, crossbows are just like any other hunting weapon you may be interested in, you must first determining and evaluation your needs and then choose a product based on those properties.
Money may be one of the biggest factors. Just like most items sold, there will be a variety of models, ranging from a crossbow that is a couple hundred dollars to thousands. Do not fret if you are unable to get the best crossbow on the market, as all manufacturers will give you a quality product no matter which model you choose. Customer service in this industry is top-notch, so you will not have to worry about not receiving repairs or consideration. With that in mind, take a minute to determine your price range.
Once you have established this important option, determine what you prefer in terms of model and style. If new to hunting altogether, it may be best to get the help of an expert when you go to the store. For example, do you want a crossbow that is already equipped with a cocking device, or will you be able to do this chore yourself? Stock and finish are also up to personal choice. Crossbows are available in
After this has been decided, let’s move on to what brand you will choose. This is also a matter of personal choice, and there is not one right brand out there that is better than another. Going to a specialty store that carries many different brands may help you discover what each company has to offer.
Finally, consider how heavy you wish your crossbow to be. If you are female, you will probably want a lighter crossbow than a man would. Again, consult a salesperson or someone who knows this arena for assistance if you are unsure. Crossbows are the new big thing in hunting, go out and get one today!
#5 Best Crossbows Reviews & Buying Guide 2019
It’s understandable that not everyone has the budget available to invest in the higher caliber crossbow models. Instead, you may prefer to assess crossbows that are still superior quality but fit better within the confines of your budget.
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#1 Best Crossbows for Under $200
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit
The bang-for-your-buck factor with respect to the Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit is pretty astounding! Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow does in no-way reflect the fact that the crossbow offers similar characteristics to models that are priced at least $XXX more. With 175lbs of draw weight, that’s plenty enough to maim a deer from a 20 to 30 yards range. Furthermore, the draw weight is low enough whereby adult novices will be capable of cocking it manually. Investing in a crank or a rope is of course the easier option when it comes to cocking a crossbow.
Although the optimum velocity of 235 feet per second perhaps does not come across as overly impressive when compared to more costly crossbows, it’s still relatively powerful and also nicely accurate. As such, this crossbow is a classy option for a beginner who either wishes to hunt or shoot at a target.
For anyone that is on a tight budget, this makes for the ideal crossbow. The kit comes together with 4 x 16 inch aluminum arrows in addition to a 3 red dot sight. The crossbow is comfortable to hold and is light-weight at 4.84lbs.
- Length 26.5"
- Proprietary 5 Stage Stretching Process
- BCY 3D End Serving (Based on Bow Requirements)
#2 Best Crossbows in the $200 – $400 Category
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
The Barnet Jackal Crossbow offers a velocity of some 315 feet per second, with a 12 inch power stroke, 150lbs of draw weight, and the package includes a red dot sight, a detachable quiver, and bolts. Barnett are arguably the most renowned of all crossbow manufacturers.
In essence, if you are on the lookout for a particularly powerful crossbow at a more-than affordable price, then you just found it! From a distance of 40 yards, it poses little problem when hunting deer or even elk. Further, shooting at a target from over 100 yards is feasible. This crossbow is powerful, so do prepare with thick, solid targets for practicing, otherwise the Barnet Jackal will shred the target relatively quickly. It should also be noted that the sight included in the package is excellent too.
- Velocity: 315 FPS
- Includes 3 arrows
- Smooth 3.5 lb trigger pull
#3 Best Crossbows in the $400 – $600 Category
Excalibur Axiom SMF Crossbow Kit
The Excalibur Axiom comes with a thoroughly respectable 175lb draw weight fitted on recurve limbs. Bolt velocity is 305 feet per second, while the power stroke is 14.5 inch. The crossbow has an ergonomic low-coil design. This product is suited to the hunter, and literally is capable of dropping any type of game within the US or Canada – moose, elk, and even bear.
The Excalibur Axiom weighs in at a mere 6lbs, which makes it excellent for the longer hunting trips. The package includes a multiplex crossbow scope which is excellent even when the lighting is poor. Further, there are four arrows and a quiver, in addition to a rope cocking aid. The Excalibur Axiom is priced at only $XXX, when looking for the best crossbows a price like this can only mean high-quality.
- Excalibur crossbow
- Crossbow kit
- Matrix grizzly 6850 country w/dead zone
#4 Best Crossbows in the $600 – $800 Categorgy
Barnett Buck Commander Package
Without a doubt, the Barnett Buck Commander is by far the best crossbows in this price category. Draw weight is 175lbs, along with a 14 inch power stroke, and the tiller is designed to utilize 22 inch arrows. It offers an extremely pacey 365 FPS velocity, so basically, you could potentially shoot a buffalo from a range of around 40 yards and witness the arrow re-emerge from the other side!
The illuminated optical scope – red/ green dot, is very accurate, so much so that comparisons can be made to the quality of rifle scopes. Plus, there’s a 5 year limited warranty that comes with the crossbow.
There are a number of safety features included which include an Anti-Dry Fire triggering system, making an impossibility to release a cocked string when there is no arrow in the track.
No doubting that all crossbow hunters will love the Buck Commander, and it’s possible that even target shooters will relish the power to the extent that they too would wish to go hunting.
#5 Best Crossbows in the $800 – $950 Category
Excalibur Matrix 355 Crossbow
The Excalibur Matrix 355 represents something of a monster crossbow! It’s capable of shooting at a velocity of 355 FPS. Draw weight is a massive 240lbs. Something to note, often with crossbows that have a draw weight over 220lbs, the tip of the weapon moves when fired. With the Excalibur Matrix 355 that is not a problem, since the recoil is channeled in a straight line, in-part due to the grip – the grip holds and feels like a rifle grip, and features Excalibur’s own ‘Ergo-grip’ technology.
This crossbow possesses a highly durable Dyna-Flight 97 string, which is commonly used in a number of the highest quality compound bows.
The crossbow was designed with accuracy, power, and stability in mind, which makes it an ideal choice for both professional and keen amateur hunters.
- Excalibur crossbow
- Crossbow kit
- Matrix 355 3500 Realtree camo w/tact-zone
#6 Best Crossbows in the $950+ Category
Barnett Ghost 410 Package
Arguably, but in my humble opinion, this crossbow represents the very best that money can buy! The Barnett Ghost 410 can produce over 145 ft-lbs of kinetic energy, making it plenty powerful to take down any animal, given that this is more than twice the energy which is needed to harvest a grizzly bear or a cape buffalo. It can shoot at up to 410 FPS. It’s particularly comfortable to use and thoroughly well-balanced due to the overall design, in addition to the Carbonlite riser. This helps it to be suited even to a beginner, simply because it’s not difficult to place accurate shots at 70+ yards distance.
The Ghost comes equipped with an RTH (Ready to Hunt) package. In other words, everything’s included to begin hunting immediately. Assembly is easy, and the foot stirrup is nicely integrated with the riser. No doubting it – the finest crossbow on the market today!
- TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology
- Single Bolt Assembly
- Carbonlite Riser
#6 History of the Crossbow
The crossbow played a huge role in warfare in East Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean. Before the invention of the crossbow, archers had to be specially trained and were looked upon with great revere. Archers had status and were costly to put forth on the battle field. An untrained archer was useless in war and soon cut down by a charging knight.
But with the invention of the crossbow, the battlefield was leveled. It didn’t take very much training to be proficient with a crossbow because of the close aiming system. Plus, it didn’t take much strength to use a crossbow because of the horizontal assembly and use of ballistics technology. Add to that the fact that crossbows were cheap to make and obtain, and you can see why the addition to the crossbow on the battlefield is credited with the death of the traditional, armored knight—they simply were no match. While the handgun gets the billing as “the Great Equalizer,” the crossbow before it did the same in terms of giving the common man the upper hand against the landed gentry and wealthy rulers.