Best Crossbows Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2021
If you are here, on this page, you must be a passionate crossbow lover. You must know what it feels like to go hunting with this powerful weapon in your hands. But you are maybe uncertain about what type of a crossbow you would like to buy, and what the best pieces currently on the market are. That’s why we are here, so check out our list of best crossbows we were able to find and decide which one would suit you the most.
11 Top Rated Hunting Crossbows on the Market
Excalibur 1108709 E95857 Suppressor Crossbow - Editor’s Choice
- Great accuracyg
- Excellent maneuverability
- Suppressed sound
- Anti-Dry-Fire system
The first crossbow we want to present to you is the one made by Excalibur, a super strong and powerful piece that’s been created to provide you with a great performance. It has an outstanding speed of 355 feet per second and a power stroke of 10.2 inches.
It is built on the popular Micro platform that will deliver great accuracy and maneuverability, followed with suppressed sound and vibration, so when shooting during hunting not only you will hit the target with outstanding precision, but you also won’t scare away other animals that are close by.
This weapon combines Gen 2 CRT limbs with Quad-Loc riser, which will provide you with consistency and ability to aim with good balance. It comes with a very comfortable Bullpup Ready Rest stock that will bring in immediate target alignment when shouldered, rubber non-slip grip for great feel, and oversized finger guards.
The crossbow we are talking about is very lightweight, durable, and easy to use, even though it seems like a super complicated piece. It also features an Anti-Dry-Fire system that will prevent you from firing if the arrow is not in its place. The package includes three arrows, a quiver, a scope, rope-cocking aid, and field points.
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow - Great Repeating Crossbow
- Effective and reliable
- Made in the USA
- Stainless steel construction
- 5-year warranty
According to the manufacturer, the Whitetail Hunter II crossbow will be suitable for both beginners and experienced shooters who have certain expectations regarding its performance. It is an effective and reliable piece that can provide a maximum speed of 350 feet per second.
It is made in the USA, from high-quality stainless steel, it comes assembled, and it has 12.5 power stroke. Its overall weight is 6.4 pounds, and it has a 160-pound draw weight, so it will be an adequate weapon for all sorts of hunters. This piece also has an Anti-Dry-Fire system, as well as anti-vibration stirrup.
This particular crossbow features TriggerTech frictionless release technology with a metal injection molded trigger, which means you will be able to smoothly release the arrow, and retain a good balance while shooting.
The package includes two Headhunter arrows that are 20 inches long, a lightweight quiver, a 4x32mm multi-reticle scope, lube wax, and rope cocking device. Investing in this item will be a good decision, especially because you will get a 5-year long manufactures warranty.
Ravin R20 With Illuminated 1.5-5x32mm Scope - Best Rifle Like Crossbow
- Compact design
- Very powerful and reliable
- Anti-Dry-Fire system
This is one of the best rifle types of a crossbow you can currently find in the market. It is an awarded piece created with unique design and advanced technology. Its construction is super durable, and it will provide you with high accuracy and outstanding performance.
It comes with a Versa-Draw cocking mechanism that’s built-in and an Anti-Dry-Fire system. The crossbow’s overall length is 26 inches, and it can deliver up to 400 fps if you use 404-grain arrows. It comes with a 360-degrees rotatable level cams and safety switch design.
The fact that it is lightweight is another advantage of this piece since you will be able to carry it and use it for hours. But also, it is a super accurate weapon that will be suitable for hunting expeditions.
This crossbow comes fully assembled, with an illuminated scope, six Ravin arrows, a removable cocking handle, a quiver that can welcome three arrows, practice field points, and an accessories bracket. We are talking about an incredibly compact crossbow that will give you a sense of shooting from a rifle.
BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow - Top Pistol Crossbow
- High-performance level
- Easy to use
- Anti-Dry-Fire system
- Finger-safety reminders
If you are looking for the best crossbow for hunting, we suggest you consider this one made by Barnett. It is a high-performance piece that’s actually the newest addition to the popular Whitetail Hunter line. This crossbow is designed so it can be suitable for hunters of all skills and sizes.
It can develop a speed of 375 feet per second, and it weighs only 6.6 pounds, which means you will be able to maneuver with it easily. The Step-Through Riser technology is based on a reduction of the crossbow’s overall length by integrating the stirrup directly into the riser.
There is an Anti-Dry-Fire system, floating bristle arrow retainer, as well as finger-safety reminders, which indicates the manufacturer decided safety needs to be the number one priority. Its axle to axle width is little above 18 inches, and the piece features a fiberglass composite step-thru riser.
With this crossbow, you will be ready for a hunting expedition right away, since it comes with a practical and lightweight quiver, multi-reticle scope, two 22-inch long arrows, rope cocking device, and lube wax.
CenterPoint AXCS185CK Sniper 370 - Best Recurve Crossbow
- 5-year warranty
- Durable and firm
- Fully adjustable foregrip and stock
- Integrated spring suspensor
According to crossbow reviews, CenterPoint Sniper 370 is the best recurve crossbow you can find. It is very well designed, with fully adjustable foregrip and stock, so it can be customized to fit your arm and shoulder perfectly in order to use it with confidence. It is an extremely high-performance recurve crossbow that has the power to release the arrow with a speed of 370 feet per second.
It is a very durable piece that features quad limbs and precision-machined cam system. That implies you will be able to deliver great performance and outstanding accuracy when shooting. It also has integrated spring suspenders, so each shot will be silent and vibration-free.
This crossbow is made from aluminum, and it’s very lightweight, suitable for all-day carry, and easy usage. The hunters claim it is very maneuverable and well-designed for this purpose. The great thing is, this item can be used by both left-handed and right-handed people.
It’s 18 inches wide, axle-to-axle when being fully drawn, and it has 185-pound draw weight. The item comes with a five-year limited warranty. When it comes to safety, the manufacturer installed the Anti-Dry-Fire system. The 4x32mm scope that comes in a package can be mounted on a machined rail. This offer also includes three 20-inch long carbon arrows, a quiver that’s positioned parallel, and rope cocker.
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package - Best Compound Crossbow
- Very powerful
- Great accuracy
- Sleek military-style stock
- ade in the USA
- 5-year warranty
If you are looking for the best compound crossbow, we suggest you take a look at this one that has a unique design. It is made for real-life hunters who need their weapon to be very precise, powerful, and accurate.
It is pretty affordable, considering all the features that come with it that are typical for high-priced pieces. This crossbow has sleek military-style stock, quad limbs, and high-energy wheels. The product is made in the USA, and it comes with a five-year warranty.
It also features a cable system and synthetic string that will deliver fast arrow speed. Its velocity is 315 feet per second, and it has 150-pound draw weight. The brand’s new ADF MIM trigger will allow you to experience smooth, 3.5lb pull that will improve your accuracy.
The package includes three arrows, a quiver that can be quickly detached, premium red dot sight, and bolts. The design per se includes high-definition camouflage, Picatinny/Weaver rail, and divided foregrip that will provide you with very comfortable hand placement.
Excalibur Crossbow, Matrix GRZ 2 - Best Crossbow for Deer Hunting
- Unique design
- Reliable and accurate
- Matrix power-load limbs
- Lifetime warranty
Here is another powerful crossbow that will be perfect for your hunting sessions. It is a combination of the brand’s extraordinary design and modern technology that creates the most reliable and rugged crossbow in the market. According to crossbow reviews, it’s the best weapon for deer hunting.
It is a very lightweight and compact piece that can be easily maneuvered with, and it is made in a way that will allow you to hunt in any conditions. It features skeletonized stock that has finger guards, Matrix power-load limbs, and the synthetic mainframe.
The crossbow can reach up to the speed of 305 feet per second, it has an 11.2-inch power stroke, its draw weight is 200 pounds, and overall length 33.25 inches. It doesn’t come in the camouflaged coating, only limbs have this detail, and it has rails where you can mount an adequate scope.
The crossbow comes with a previously mentioned scope, with a quiver that can welcome four arrows, with three Diablo arrows that feature 150 gr field points, and rope-cocking aid. The best part is – you will get a lifetime warranty on this product, provided by the manufacturer.
BARNETT Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow
- Very functional
- Super durable
- Suitable for hunting
- Great speed
- High-quality made
This is quite an impressive looking crossbow. Not only is it designed to be fully functional, easy to use, and durable, but it has an outstanding design that will allow you to increase your accuracy and remain consistent when shooting. Also, it’s suitable for hunting since it’s fully covered with the camo layer.
Its velocity is 400 feet per second, it has 16 inches power stroke, and overall weight of only 6.9 pounds. That means you will be able to hold this killing machine in your hands throughout hours without feeling uncomfortable.
This crossbow is created on the famous patented step-through riser platform, and it comes with string dampeners that will provide you with stealth-like shooting. Another great thing on it is an aluminum flight track that can guarantee you both smooth and accurate shoots.
Since safety is one of the brand’s biggest concerns, this product has a nock sensor and Anti-Dry-Fire system that will prevent you from shooting when the arrow is not in its place. Also, there are finger safety reminders and finger guards.
XtremepowerUS Hybrid Crossbow 80 lbs
- High-quality made
- Easy to use
- Fully adjustable stock and foregrip
Now, here is something a bit different, at least when it comes to the design of a crossbow. This piece in front of you looks like a rifle if you exclude two limbs in the front. The manufacturer claims that it is one of the most user-friendly crossbows that’s super practical to use.
It is designed in a way that will allow you to effortlessly cock the crossbow, and then to be able to achieve great accuracy when aiming and shooting. This piece comes with a fully adjustable stock and foregrip, so it will fit your hand and shoulder perfectly.
The maximum speed it can achieve is 160 fps, which is a bit less than others previously mentioned crossbows, but it doesn’t mean it will not deliver performance-wise. It actually has the power to accurately hit a large animal.
Its draw weight is 80 pounds, and it has a stroke distance of 10 inches. The effective range is 75 meters, on average. This crossbow comes with two featherless arrows, one fishing fork, one set of gloves, a crossbow bag, and an inner hexagonal spanner.
PSE Thrive 400 Crossbow Kryptek Highlander
- Great velocity
- High-quality made
- Modern design
- Reverse cam system
- Installed scope
Best crossbows need to be very well designed, easy to use, and effective. And this item here is all of that, without any doubt. It is a super-powerful weapon that has a velocity of 400 feet per second, great performance regarding the accuracy, and necessary safety features.
It is built with high precision, it is based on a CNC mechanism that will increase its speed and make sure you are consistent with your shooting. It comes with a reverse cam system, so it will provide you with a longer power stroke, and therefore with the boost of kinetic energy every time you shoot.
It will be delivered with installed scope and stops that will allow you to have great visibility and a low level of sounds and vibration. The scope reticle will illuminate red or green, as you wish, and there is also an Anti-Dry-Fire system that will keep you safe.
This item has 175-pound draw weight and 17 inches power stroke. The package includes a high-quality quiver, rail lube, and cocking rope. If you are a true hunter, you will love this crossbow because it won’t let you down at any moment.
Tenpoint Horton NH17060-5524
- Compact design
- Very well balanced
- External deed sled cocking device
- Scope included
The last item on our list is a Tenpoint Horton crossbow that has an extremely compact design and is perfectly balanced. It can deliver a speed of 340 feet per second, it has 103 foot-pounds kinetic energy, and its draw weight is 135 pounds.
It weighs only 7.6 pounds when there are no additional accessories, so it is pretty easy to maneuver with it, and carry it all day long. It’s quite affordable, according to many people, especially if you have in mind all those amazing features it comes with.
One of the best things about it is a fact this crossbow includes an external deed sled cocking device. Another is an aluminum made riser with a self-locking limb pocket and a system that will prevent them from twisting. The added cushioning will put a stop on limb stress, so your weapon will have a really long lifespan.
The package includes a Horton quiver that has a three-arrow capacity, a TenPoint 3x Pro-View scope, a rope sled, and three carbon crossbow arrows with 100-grain practice points. Also, this crossbow is based on an RDX reverse draw technology, so it will offer you great outstanding maneuverability and excellent performance.
Finding the Best Crossbows for Hunting - Buying Guide
Crossbows are pretty complex weapons, and it’s not an easy task to decide which one to purchase. So first and foremost, you need to establish what type of crossbow you are looking for, in order to narrow the selection, and then to focus on features you want it to have.
Types of Crossbows
Recurve bow is the oldest one among modern crossbows, and it got its name based on the delicate shape of its limbs. It’s usually made of carbon fiber or aluminum alloy, it’s lightweight and easy to use. Most commonly, it features longer draw lengths than other crossbow types, which leads to greater acceleration. It is suitable for hunting, especially if you are looking for great power and speed, and for long-distance shooting.
Pistol bows look like mini crossbows you can hold with your one hand, and they are perfect for target practicing or small game hunting. They have a strong and durable construction that’s usually made of plastic and fiberglass, and they feature a self-cocking mechanism that brings in safety and allow you to use it very simply. The speed is not something they are known for, but their accuracy is remarkable.
Many people call a rifle crossbow a hybrid because it looks like a result of a fusion between rifle shape and crossbow highlights. This weapon is known for its accuracy and aiming capability. It has a heavy-duty frame, and it’s usually based on advanced technologies that can pump up its performance level. It has an ability to hit the target with great precision and strength from far away, so it is used for long-range hunting.
Now, this is a crossbow that has a bit complex design, so you probably won’t be able to set it up by yourself for the first time. But when you cross that bridge, you will see that it is super easy to use, very reliable, and extremely efficient. It has short and sturdy limbs, very durable construction, and it is resistant to weather changes. The accuracy it can provide will amaze you.
Repeating crossbow has a very simple system it’s based on, and it’s super easy to use. You will be able to release an arrow by a single movement, so it is a great option for beginners. But also, this type of crossbow is famous for the speed it can develop, many people claim it is a couple of times faster than a regular crossbow. But its greatest advantage is the fact that it can shoot one arrow after another, in continuity, unlike all the others that are single-shot pieces.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Product
The draw weight is a very important feature because it shows what force you need to apply in order to cock the crossbow. Also, that force is one of the factors that will determine how fast the arrow will fly towards the target. The experts suggest you should find a crossbow with a minimum of 68 kg of draw weight if you want to achieve certain power.
Knowing what size of a crossbow will be suitable for you can be a tricky thing. It is true that the larger the crossbow is, the more powerful it will be. But also, it will need more draw weight to be applied in order to work properly. So this is something you should consult with the experienced shooters about in order not to make a mistake.
If you are considering buying a crossbow just for the sake of practice shooting, this is not something that should bother you, but if you want to start hunting with it, then you need to find the one that will produce as little as possible noise when firing the arrow. There are crossbows with sound dampening mechanisms that won’t scare the animals when shooting.
Most of these crossbows we mentioned above come with certain accessories like a quiver that can be attached to it, a scope, a red dot light, etc. But if you buy this weapon only, you can purchase all those things separately. The scope, in particular, is a very useful thing because it will help you see your target better, especially from far away.
A crossbow is not a toy but a very dangerous weapon that can hurt you or the people around you. So it is important to look for the piece that has some kind of safety mechanism, like an Anti-Dry-Fire system that’s the most common one. It is a mechanism that will prevent the string from releasing an arrow when in a closed position and allow you to shoot when it’s in an open position.
Q: Are crossbows dangerous?
As we previously mentioned, a crossbow is a weapon, and therefore can be dangerous if it’s not handled in a proper way. It is recommendable for you to go through some sort of an introductory class that involves the matters of safety when operating a crossbow before you start using it. Also, find a crossbow that has safety mechanisms and features like the Anti-Dry-Fire system.
Q: Are crossbows suitable for children?
If we are talking about kids that are less than ten years old, then no, they should not use crossbows because they might be dangerous for them. Older children, teenagers can operate with lightweight crossbows, but they first need to complete the training. Also, they need to have the strength to cock the string.
Q: Are crossbows powerful enough for the big game hunt?
Absolutely, crossbows can be used for small and big game hunting. They can be extremely powerful and precise, they can provide you with outstanding accuracy, so you definitely can go hunting with an adequate crossbow in your hands.
Q: How can I reduce the noise of a crossbow?
Some crossbows are created with a certain noise reduction mechanism, so the string release won’t cause much noise, but if they don’t have this system installed, you can create one by adding dampeners to the limbs, bolt spring, and barrel.
Q: How far can a shot from a crossbow go?
On average, the arrow shot from a crossbow can fly as long as 100 yards, but in ideal conditions, you should use your crossbow on a target that’s only 50 yards away. That way, you will be able to control the shot better and make sure the arrow will hit the target with enough power to stop it.
Q: How difficult is it to load a crossbow?
Even though many people see this part of a hunting process as a difficult one, it really doesn’t have to be. It is just important to know your weapon well and to remember that there are two ways of doing that – hand crack system and rope cocking system. The first one is the simpler one and a better option for beginners.
We know it’s not easy to determine what crossbow will be the best option to invest in. That’s why we wanted to help you with this list of top 11 products of this kind you can find in the market at this very moment. But don’t think that you can make the right choice without knowing all the important features your crossbow needs to have in order to provide you with the best possible results. But first, you must establish what do you need it for – for hunting, or target practicing, because each crossbow is designed for specific needs and situations.