Is Hunting with a crossbow old-school today? Senior hunters will probably disagree with that. Truly that hunting with a gun is standard and high-efficient, yet hunting with a crossbow is a special pulsating experience.
Imagine yourself being a valiant soldier back in the cold weapon era, or a skillful wood elf dwelling in the Middle Earth, quietly pull the string, aim, then release and pierce, how cool could it be!
When selecting a crossbow, keep these key factors in mind: Velocity, Draw Weight, Bow Weight and Your Budget. Then you won’t miss your shot!
Crossbow Velocity Draw Weight Bow Weight Budget Excalibur Matrix 380
380FPS 260lbs 12lbs Barnett Ghost 410 CRT 410FPS 185lbs 7.3lbs Wicked Ridge by TenPoint
330FPS 165lbs 6.6lbs Barnett Quad 400 Crossbow 345FPS 150lbs 9lbs Empire Beowulf Crossbow 360FPS 175lbs 6.5lbs CenterPoint Sniper 370 370FPS 185lbs 6.7lbs Barnett Recruit
300FPS 130lbs 6lbs Barnett Jackal Crossbow 315FPS 150lbs 7.7lbs Fever Crossbow Package 543 240FPS 175lbs 4.85lbs Inferno Fury Crossbow
235FPS 175lbs 4,84lbs
1. Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package – Best Pro-Level
For crossbow lovers, the Matrix line from Excalibur is quite prominent. Being a re-curve crossbow, Excalibur Matrix 380 is very simple and easy to maintain (just loosen the lugs to change the string).
As for the performance, the Matrix 380 happens to be a quiet and fast one.
The sound of the Matrix 380 is minimal for how much energy is stored in the limbs. And we also like its compact size, blazing fast speed (deadly performance at 50-60yards) and the Anti-Dry fire feature.
Though the crossbow has a draw weight of 260 pounds this is reduced by 50% because of the rope cocker that comes with the Matrix package. Most individuals will be able to draw this bow unless you are shorter (5’6″ or less) or if you have a physical ailment (i.e. terrible back, bad elbow, etc.).
Besides its price tag, you get what you pay for and with the Matrix.
- Easy Maintenance
- Manageable Draw Weight
- High Budget
2. Barnett Ghost 410 CRT – Best Crossbow For The Money
The Barnett Ghost 410 is no doubt a game changer in velocity and accuracy. It is lighter and faster than its predecessor, the Ghost 400.
It features Barnett’s proprietary Carbonlite Riser Technology (CRT), which shifts the balance point away from the riser and back to the shoulder of the shooter, and Barnett’s ultra-light, super-strong Carbonlite riser, which provides the perfect balance of weight and speed.
Another great feature we love about Barnett Ghost 410 is its lightweight single-handed design. Weighing in at just 7.3 pounds and only 20″ axle to axle, it is very easy to hold with a single hand and still feels quiet and safe to release.
At its top velocity 410fps, you can get an accurate shot out to 100 yards.
- Ballistic Fast
- Sturdy built
- Lightweight, easy to hold
- Scope package not secure
- Better get a crank with it
3. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow – Compact and Lightweight
For anyone who would like to start hunting with an advanced crossbow, the Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 is an ideal choice.
Being a Winner of Outdoor Life Great Buy Award, this wicked ridge satisfies both your budget and shooting performance.
The self-retracting rope-cocking system reduces the draw weight by 50%, making it super convenient to cock. Also, the trigger is nice and crisp and seems like just the right amount of pull.
The crossbow works really good at its designed velocity 330FPS, which can get you safe and accurate shot at 20yards+. It is light, compact, and very easy in a tree stand.
The Invader G3 Crossbow is also pretty handy to assemble and sight. Awesome crossbow we would recommend for the money.
- Light and compact
- Easy to cock and fire
- Safe Dry-Fire Inhibitor design
- The trigger is a bit noisy
- Not recommended in long shot
4. Barnett Quad 400 Crossbow – Fastest and Affordable
The Barnett Quad 400 Crossbow has a quad limb powerhouse, which is designed to deliver the bolt to the target with devastating accuracy and speed.
It also features like the high-density gas assist composite stock (a first in the industry). Our experience with it? Plenty of power, nice balance, comfortable to shoot, tack driving accuracy.
There’s a special trick to get an accurate shot with it: use a ruler to find the center of the bowstring, then mark it with permanent marker, This way you can make sure string is centered for every shot.
Once sighted-in, it shoots very accurately at 30 yards.
A high-performance choice with a tight budget!
- Sturdy quality
- Noisy Trigger
5. 306119 SA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow – Best Price-Performance
The Empire Beowulf crossbow features a lightweight synthetic stock and barrel, combined with an ultra-compact riser assembly.
This crossbow shoots at speeds up to a blazing 360 FPS, powerful and fast enough to pierce the target at 50yards.
For less than $400, the crossbow arrives with impressive quality, material, and workmanship.
- High price-performance
- Quiet trigger
- Easy assembly
- Decent scope
- Tough cocking if you are not 6ft+
- No dry fire inhibitor
6. CenterPoint Sniper 370 – Best Under $300
At less than $300, the CenterPoint Sniper 370 is a winner in performance. It comes with a precision CNC-machined cam system which delivers mind-blowing speeds up to 370 FPS.
The Sniper is easily maneuverable thanks to the lightweight and durable CNC material.
We also recommend the quiet anti-dry fire and auto-safety trigger, which prevents ill-intentioned shots.
Besides the CenterPoint Sniper 370 features a great illuminated scope, with blistering speed and dead on reproducible accuracy. This can be used as a youth bow and transitioned to adult in one quick release motion.
We made several comfortable shots at 50-60 yards, this choice worth every penny.
- Blistering speed
- Quiet anti-dry fire trigger
- Nice scope
- Easily maneuverable
- Only 5-year warranty
- Rattling butt stock
7. Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Package – Best Crossbow for Women and Youth
If you are looking for a professional crossbow for women and small-framed hunters, the Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow won’t be a disappointment.
It is lightweight with an adjustable buttstock, pretty easy to handle and gives the shooter the option to keep the bow as they grow and easily make any adjustments needed.
Complete with Quiver, the Recruit Compound Crossbow shoots at 300FPS steadily to take down your target at 30-50yards.
It is also super easy to assemble, you can hunt with it out of the box as long as you got broadheads.
- Adjustable Buttstock
- Easy to draw for women and kids
- Potentially fragile string
- Needs a better scope
8. Barnett Jackal Crossbow – Best Entry-Level
As a first or entry-level crossbow, The Barnett Jackal Crossbow is great. It is easy to use, safe and reliable.
And the weight and power of this bow still make a devastating weapon for any hunter, all you need to have a good target and backstop.
The crossbow is also easy to sight in and assemble (easier than many compound bows).
Topping the list of entry-level, the Barnett Jackal Crossbow is a good purchase although some would criticize its red dot scope.
Well, the red dot scope is fine for backyard target practice, but yes not effective for hunting. We would recommend you to replace it as the first upgrade to pro-level.
- Good price
- Easy to assemble
- Safe and Reliable
- May need rope cocking device
- Needs a better scope
9. Fever Crossbow Package 543 – Crazy Price
The Fever Crossbow Package 543 by SA Sports is a simple good choice for a starter. It is well balanced, with an attached quiver you feel no vibration at firing.
The bow draws smoothly, and locks into the trigger assembly with a nice strong “click”, engaging the safety immediately, a feature that we really like.
Some may question the 240FPS crossbow about the effective distance. We can tell you that it is not a toy.
When assembled properly, it does exactly what it’s designed to do: it would take down a deer, with the right heads, with no effort at 20-30 yards.
For 50-60 yards, a $500 crossbow would be a better choice. The Fever Crossbow Package 543 is a good starter crossbow for the money.
- Crazy price
- Smooth draw
- Safe trigger
- The trigger is a bit noisy
- Cheap aluminum bolts
10. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit – Best Under $200
The Inferno Fury Crossbow is designed for crossbow veterans seeking a lightweight alternative to larger outfits, and also for first-time crossbow hunters seeking an affordable fully equipped package.
The ultra-light recurve crossbow is built of sturdy material which you can expect to last for years.
It provides 175 pounds of draw weight for 235FTP velocity, yet easier to cock than more expensive and powerful recurve bows. You can carry it around, hold in an aim, and repeatedly shoot without tiring out very fast.
- Sturdy made
- Limited range
- Safety features
- Easy to use
- Cheap quiver release
- Limited range