Crossbows don’t just look cool, they are also extremely lethal!
The best crossbow that you can probably own, if you want one, should be deadly accurate, even more so than the traditional bow and arrow variety.
Well, we have done LOTS of research about Crossbows.
Here are the BEST 6 crossbows you can buy in 2018 (so far).
But, let’s take a quick look at what I recommend before we go into details:
Mike's Top Choice
(The one we like the best)
Lightweight and Compact
Includes complete accessories
Adjustable tactical stock and forearm
(Check current price down below)
Auto safety features
Do you want to learn more about crossbows?
Here you can learn:
Or, you can just go straight to the reviews:
The BEST 6 Crossbows
Barnett Outdoors LLC started in the UK and has expanded in the US after several years since its first crossbow in 1958. It pioneered modern-day crossbows in the country and claims to be the first to break speeds over 300 FPS. It’s safe to say it knows a lot about making quality crossbows, and the 78128 Whitetail Hunter II is no exception.
Here are the pros and cons of the product:
|Comes with complete accessories||Can’t be de-cocked unless it’s fired with a bolt in|
- 350 feet per second
- Draw weight: 150 lbs.
- Kinetic energy: 103 ft lbs. Realtree Extra Camo
- Overall weight 64 lbs. | axle to axle 16.125” dimensions 34.25″L to 18.25″W
- Made in the USA and shipped mostly assembled
- Trigger Tech Technology with 3lb zero-creep release. All stainless steel components. Nock sensor and ADF eliminate dry fires
- Includes: 4×32 scope, rope cocking deice, light weight quiver, two 20-inch Headhunter arrows, lube wax (we suggest you lube strings every 10 shots)
This impressive compound crossbow is probably the best crossbow for the money on this list. It is not the least expensive item, but it does its job superbly. You are truly buying a quality item here. It is equipped with safety features to avoid possibly fatal mistakes, such as its Anti-Dry Fire trigger system and finger safety reminders. It is also lightweight at 6.4 lbs., making it ideal even for smaller people to carry. Its cocking assist makes it easier to pull back the 150-lb. draw weight.
As many crossbow reviews can attest, this is an accurate shot at 350 FPS. It doesn’t take a lot to aim smaller games at 30 yards. It is worth noting, though, that you cannot de-cock this. The only way to do it is to fire the bolt. Other than that, it could be the best crossbow that you will own.
If you need a complete package, the CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow is what you need. It includes a scope, quiver, cocking rope and more. And at $250, quality crossbow with complete accessories could be considered the best crossbow for the money.
Here are the pros and cons:
|Includes complete accessories|
|Adjustable tactical stock and forearm|
- 370-feet per second firing velocity, 185-pound draw weight
- Fully adjustable, tactical stock and forearm
- Lightweight and durable CNC machined aluminum rail with shoot through riser
- Integrated string suppressors for a quiet, vibration-free shot
- Quad limbs with precision CNC Machined Cam System
The CenterPoint Sniper 370 delivers accurate shooting at 370 FPS with no problem. Some users even reported that it can shoot a 4-inch group at 70 yards. Because of its speed and accuracy plus range, could be the best crossbow for deer hunting.
It is front-heavy, though, which is typical with most crossbows. And with all the accessories included, what it doesn’t have is a silencer, which it probably doesn’t need as much, given that it is a compound crossbow.
It will be delivered to you unassembled, so it’s up to you to put it all together. As users wrote in their crossbow reviews, the instruction included is a little vague. But again, it’s also not too complicated to assemble.
From SA Sports, which is fairly new in the archery market, the Fever Crossbow Package has all the features and some accessories you need to use a recurve crossbow.
Here are the pros and cons:
|Lightweight||Only suitable for small to medium games|
|Auto-safety features||Scope not accurate|
- Ambidextrous auto safety
- Large boot style foot stirrup
- Adjustable weaver style scope mount
- Lightweight composite track/barrel
- Quick detach quiver
- Full dipped camo pattern
- Includes 4-16” 2219 aluminum arrows
- 4×32 multi-range scope
- Padded shoulder sling
- Rope-cocking device
- Hex keys
One of the least expensive crossbows available online, the SA Sports Fever Crossbow is best for use by beginners. This is the best crossbow that a novice could own.
Nevertheless, it does provide everything that expert archers need for a recurve crossbow as well, so if you are particularly skilled already, this would work, too. But keep in mind that you would most likely have success in hunting small to medium games with it. A 16” arrow will only wound larger animals.
Also, there are crossbow reviews that report inaccurate shots using the bow’s scope. You may invest in a separate scope, though.
It has a one-year limited warranty, which is considered short. However, as it’s an inexpensive crossbow, the warranty isn’t too bad at all.
The second of the three Barnett crossbows on this list, the Whitetail Hunter Pro is another hunting masterpiece. Like the first one, it also has Anti-Dry Fire, which means you cannot fire without a bolt in place, and nock sensors as added safety features.
Here are the pros and cons:
|Lightweight||Lower than stated 380 FPS|
|Low vibration and sound|
- 380 feet per second
- Draw weight: 160 lbs.
- Kinetic energy: 122ft lbs.
- Trubark HD Camo
- Overall weight: 6.4 lbs.
- Axle to axle: 16.125 inches
- Dimensions: 35.25L x 17.75W in inches
- Made in the USA and ships mostly assembled
- Power stroke 13.635 inches. Single bolt assembly. Magnesium riser
- Trigger Tech Technology with 3lb zero-creep release. All stainless steel components. Nock sensor and ADF eliminate dry fires.
- Includes: 4×32 scope, rope-cocking device, lightweight quiver, two 20-inch Headhunter arrows, lube wax (we suggest you lube strings every 10 shots)
Slightly more expensive than the Whitetail Hunter II, the Whitetail Hunter Pro is called the best crossbow for deer hunting by reviewers because of its high accuracy and range at about 30 yards.
As crossbow reviews have noted, it is not quite the 380 FPS speed that it advertises to be. The 380 FPS is calculated with a 380-grain arrow. But the Whitetail Hunter Pro uses Headhunter Arrows that are 411 grains, which means the speed is actually around 365 to 370 FPS. Still commendable, but it’s not the 380 FPS as advertised.
Nevertheless, the Whitetail Hunter Pro is lightweight and compact, perfect for as a hunting crossbow. It is also the best crossbow for large games.
The last Barnett on this list, the Ghost 420 is also one of the three premium crossbows in Barnett’s elite Carbonlite Series. Among the series, it is said to be the fastest as well, boasting a 185-pound draw weight that sends an arrow at 420 feet per second speed.
And they weren’t kidding about being premium. It is priced at $1,200, the most expensive crossbow listed here.
Here are the pros and cons:
|Very fast at 420 FPS||No case included|
|Lightweight||Only two arrows included|
- TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology™
- Single Bolt Assembly
- Carbonlite Riser
- Crank Cocking Device Compatible
- Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) Trigger System
The Ghost 420 is the latest addition to the elite line of Barnett’s Carbonlite Series. It is also the most impressive. It comes with a 1.5-5×32 mm illuminated scope and a rope cocking device that reduces the drawing weight from 185 to 92.5 pounds. At 420 FPS, it is the fastest and arguably the best crossbow in the series.
It is lightweight, but that’s a bit subjective because it weighs 7.6lbs, under the 7lb weight mark that many lightweight bows are. The most obvious drawback of this arrow is its price. It also includes only two arrows, which is unfortunate if you think of the price.
One of the best features of the Ghost 420 is the TriggerTech frictionless release technology. As the name suggests, it makes the bolt release frictionless and smooth. The speed is impressive enough, as well as the accuracy and range. But the TriggerTech makes the Ghost 420 a standout.
The littlest item on this list, the Hickory 150 lbs. In-Lini Mini Vertical Crossbow is truly a compact and lightweight hunting tool. It isn’t as small as the name implies, though. It is still nowhere near a pistol crossbow. However, it is still inches smaller and more compact than its regular counterparts.
It should be noted that the item is from a third party supplier, Southland Archery Supplies. Hickory Creek left a review on the Amazon listing, saying it will no longer sell to the supplier, and therefore the remaining In-Line Mini Vertical Crossbow on Amazon would be the last stock.
The pros and cons:
|Has safety features|
|Adjustable bow handle|
|Can easily be used with one hand|
- Draw weight: 150 lbs.
- Arrow travels up to 325 FPS
- 13” power stroke
- Dual cam system draws even
- Adjustable bow handle grip so one size fits all adults
- Safety blocks trigger
- Anti-Dry Fire lever
- String loop for precise nocking point
- Unique, patent pending design
- Shoots full length arrows
- Easily converts from right hand to left hand
- Foot stirrup for easy cocking
- Easily un-cocks at end of hunt
- Tripod adapter for handicapped
- Easy takedown for storage/travel
- No press needed to change string
From a small company, the Hickory Creek 150 lbs. In-Line Mini Vertical Crossbow might be a little expensive. However, it’s because the company is a low volume manufacturer, and therefore can’t compete with the prices of bigger companies.
That said, this vertical crossbow has everything you need for a hunting crossbow. It has the efficiency and complete features of regular-sized bows and the compactness of pistol crossbows. The best thing about this is that you can easily use this with one hand and its balance will not be affected. Not many crossbows do that.
Mike’s Top Choice
Among the six items reviewed above, Mike’s Gear Reviews thinks that the CenterPoint Sniper 370 is the best crossbow for the money. You get all the basic features and then some more of a professional and pricier crossbow but in an affordable price range.
But if money is no object, the most expensive on this list, the Barnett Ghost 420 Revanant, is the best crossbow that you can find. It is simply a powerful tool with all the upgrades, including speed and accuracy, that you need for a crossbow.
Are you getting ready for your next adventure? Read our Survival Gears Reviews section and stay safe, sane and in control.
What Is a Crossbow?
Crossbows have been around for centuries, and you’re probably already familiar with them. However, they have gained media attention when they were popularized by Daryl from the zombie apocalypse TV series “The Walking Dead.” These weapons don’t just look cool, they are also extremely lethal. The best crossbow that you can probably own, if you want one, should be deadly accurate, even more so than the traditional bow and arrow variety.
A crossbow is a type of ranged mechanical weapon that shoots arrow-like projectiles called bolts or quarrels. It is illegal to use in some US states, but for others, it is considered an accurate hunting crossbow.
It is perhaps less popular than its vertical bow and arrow cousin. The vertical is what Legolas and Hawkeye use. Vertical bows weigh less. They allow faster follow-up shooting because you don’t need to go through all the motions of cocking the crossbow and loading it up.
How to Use a Crossbow
It looks more complicated than a bow and arrow variety, but it’s actually just the same. It just depends on which one you are more comfortable in using. Here is how you use it:
Cocking the Bow
Before aiming at something and shooting at it, you would need to make sure your crossbow is loaded first. And the first thing you need to do is to cock the bow. There are two ways to do it: manually or crank-operated.
To cock it manually, place your foot in the stirrup so the crossbow is planted in the ground while you pull the string back with the cocking ropes until the crossbow string is cocked. Pull the ropes at the same time because if not, your shot won’t be as accurate, and it will be difficult to pull the bowstring back. Store the rope until you need to use it again.
A crank-operated crossbow may have its crank integrated into the bow or separated. Either way, you need to engage the crank and turn it until the string is cocked. It is easier to use but could take longer to cock.
Loading the Bow
Place the bolt in the barrel of the crossbow once it is fully cocked. Align the cock vane of the arrow in the barrel channel first. If you don’t align the vane first, you might damage the bow because the bolt won’t be placed against the bowstring properly. Slide the bolt back into the barrel until it is securely seated into place.
Shooting the Crossbow
Some of the best crossbows have a safety switch, which prevents users from accidentally shooting someone. Flick that off when you are ready to actually use your crossbow.
Do You Need a Crossbow?
If you’re not adept with using a crossbow, then it wouldn’t be your first choice of weapon when it comes to hunting. It does take some studying before you can shoot with ease. But by users’ experiences, it is easier to learn than a vertical arrow. It is also an interesting tool and a practical one at that. You don’t need to wait for a zombie apocalypse to use one. Use it during hunting, and you would be surprised how efficient a tool it could be.
Also, a crossbow is, by many accounts, best for disabled people or those who are injured. How it is held and how easier it is to use make the crossbow a preferred hunting tool by physically challenged people.
There’s one caveat before browsing crossbow reviews, though. Make sure that it is legal to own and use in your state. In some states, crossbows are legal only during hunting season or other specific seasons. Some only allow them by special disabled permit, or in just a few areas. You also need permit to own and use one.
What To Look For In a Crossbow?
When you are ready to buy one, consider the following criteria for the best crossbow. You would first want to determine what type you want or need, and then you also need to determine its bolt speed, noise, power stroke, range, draw weight, and its country of manufacture.
In hunting, stealth and speed are crucial. You need to be faster than your target. When you aim your crossbow at your target, you would want your bolt to accurate hit it at the right speed.
This is how speed is calculated by FPS, or foot per second. The best crossbow that you can find is one that can deliver a speed of 300 FPS or more. This is the right speed for a hunting crossbow.
As mentioned above, stealth is imperative when it comes to hunting. For target shooters, it’s not much of an issue, if at all. But hunting is a different game. All crossbows make noise when you fire a bolt, but recurve ones tend to be noisier than compound. But it’s usually the quieter the bow, the lesser the speed. So it’s not a total winner-take-all situation. You have to gauge the balance between the two in choosing the best crossbow for the money.
Fortunately, some of the best crossbows these days use design that reduces the noise. You can also purchase a separate string suppressor to reduce the amount of vibration of the string, and thus reduce the noise level.
Power stroke is important to determine the FPS. It has the same concept as draw length for the vertical bow. The longer the power stroke is, the higher the FPS, and therefore the faster the shooting. A hunting crossbow usually has power strokes from 11” to 14″.
Range is simply how far your bolts can fly. If you are using your crossbow has at least 300 FPS, a hunting range of 50 to 60 yards, or even up to 80 yards for bigger game, is ideal and effective. But even though it seems the farther the better, it’s not always the case. Can you accurately kill your target at 80 yards? Are you certain the bolt will pierce the target’s vital organ from that far?
As an ethical hunter, you would want to kill your target immediately, and that means impaling its vital organ at first try. The shorter the range, the more precise you can hit your target. Otherwise, you might just wound the animal, which isn’t what you would want to happen.
Draw weight is not the same as the bow weight. The latter is how much the how much crossbow weighs. The former is how much force you need to pull while drawing the bow. The higher the draw weight is, the higher the shot speeds.
But as crossbow reviews have noted, draw weights for crossbows tend to be higher than for others because the draw length for a crossbow is shorter. Also, you have to pull the weight until you reach the latch. This is designed as such so you can have higher weight with shorter draw lengths.
Where It’s Made
Knowing where it is made is something to consider when buying a crossbow as well. You would of course want to get the best crossbow for the money, and therefore where your bow is manufactured plays a significant role in determining this.
Types of Crossbows
There are different types of crossbows. The two most common are recurve and compound.
a recurve crossbow is the simpler of the two. It is so called because its tips curve away from the archer. These curving tips keep the string in place so it does not flick out. With this method, the string is strained and locked in, thus ensuring the safety of the user.
Because it is quite big and has a longer draw length than all other bows, it allows for greater acceleration for the projectile. But again, according to crossbow reviews, the intense pressure exerted on the bow because of its length also makes a recurve crossbow noisy when fired. And because it causes greater strain on the string than any other type of crossbows, its strings need to be replaced often.
It has fairly accurate aim and has outstanding power and speed. It is good for taking long range shots and targeting large animals, making it the best crossbow for deer hunting.
A compound crossbow, on the other hand, is much easier to use but harder to set up for the first time. It has a more complicated design than a recurve crossbow. It has shorter limbs than the recurve’s, making it easier to use. It also is more compact, which is why it is often a favorite hunting crossbow.
It features a string connected to a pulley system linked to the second limb. The pulleys at the tip of the bow turn and the cables move to bend the limbs when the string is drawn. This system allows energy-saving and faster shooting.
Unlike recurve crossbows, which put great pressure on their bow, a compound crossbow minimizes vibration. Therefore, it doesn’t make a lot of noise. So if you need stealth in hunting, this is the best crossbow that you can use.
Recurve and compound are the most common types, but there are a few more out there. There’s the pistol crossbow, which are so named because of its relatively compact size. It is so small that you can shoot with this under your arm. The rifle crossbow is a modern-day hybrid of ordinary crossbows and rifles. It is designed to provide better aim, just like a rifle.
A repeating crossbow is perhaps the most convenient to use because you just need to make a single movement and everything will be completed. By everything, it means from the bow-stringing to the projectile-launching, as well as shooting. It can shoot three times faster than other types of crossbows. Therefore, it is the best crossbow to use when speed is of the essence.