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15 Best Crossbow For the Money in 2024

Gearing up for crossbow season? You know that having the right equipment can make all the difference in your accuracy and success. Choosing the best crossbow that fits your needs, budget, and shooting style is key. In this post, we’ll explore some of the top-rated crossbows on the market for hunters and target shooters.

From high-powered, ultra-accurate flagship models designed for taking down big game to budget-friendly options perfect for newbies, we’ll cover all categories. You’ll learn key terms and features to look for depending on how you plan to use your new crossbow. Expert archers will weigh in with their favorites for serious hunting and competitors. We’ll also showcase a few niche crossbow styles like pistol crossbows and recurve models built for specialty purposes.

By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of 2023’s leading crossbows. With clear comparisons and real user reviews, we’ll distill the research so you can confidently invest in the right crossbow for your needs and budget this season. Let’s get started!

Best Crossbows For Hunting In 2024 – Our Top 15 Picks

 

Preview

Product

Specification

Price

  • Power stroke: 14"

  • Speed: 370fps

  • Weight: 6.4lbs

  • Power stroke: 17"

  • Speed: 406FPS

  • Weight: 7.9 lbs

  • Power stroke: 11"

  • Speed: 330fps

  • Weight: 6lbs

  • Power stroke: 15.5"

  • Speed: 400fps

  • Weight: 7.5lbs

  • Power stroke: 15"

  • Speed: 500fps

  • Weight: 7.2lbs

  • Power stroke: 15"

  • Speed: 370fps

  • Weight: 5.8lbs

  • Power stroke: 16.5"

  • Speed: 360fps

  • Weight: 7.75lbs

  • Power stroke: 13"

  • Speed: 430fps

  • Weight: 8.3lbs

  • Power stroke: 13.4"

  • Speed: 405fps

  • Weight: 13lbs

  • Power stroke: 17"

  • Speed: 470 fps

  • Weight: 8 lbs

  • Power stroke: 12"

  • Speed: 315 fps

  • Weight: 7.7 lbs

  • Power stroke: 14.5"

  • Speed: 410 fps

  • Weight: 7.6 lbs

  • Power stroke: 15.5"

  • Speed: 370 fps

  • Weight: 7.6 lbs

  • Power stroke: 16"

  • Speed: 375 fps

  • Weight: 14 lbs

  • Power stroke: 13.5"

  • Speed: 405 fps

  • Weight: 7.2 lbs

1. TenPoint Nitro 505 Crossbow – 505 FPS 

 

Feel the rush of owning one of the fastest and best crossbows for hunting on the market with the 505 FPS. Boasting an industry-leading 505 feet per second speed, this powerful reverse-draw crossbow delivers a hard-hitting 227-foot pounds of kinetic energy to take down big game.

Through the scope, you’ll appreciate the customized EVO-X Marksman Elite reticle and external target turrets for dialing in shots out to 100 yards. New longer Scope Struts increase durability by 80% for unmatched long-range accuracy shot after shot. Six premium carbon arrows fly fast and hit hard thanks to the optimized center of gravity.

Cocking and de-cocking the Nitro 505 is safe and simple with the included ACUslide system. Backwind to de-cock at any point without fear of losing control or damaging limbs. The silent cranking won’t spook wary game when you’re ready to take the shot.

After firing over 25,000 iterative test shots, TenPoint refined the Nitro 505 for unmatched speed and industry-leading string life, outperforming even rail-less crossbow designs. Feel confident your strings will last season over season.

When your moment of truth arrives, the Nitro 505 delivers. From whisper-quiet cocking to those lightning-fast arrows downrange, this crossbow stacks features for success. The included 6-arrow quiver, premium arrows, ACUslide system, and EVO-X scope equip you to fill tags this season.


2. TenPoint Flatline 460 Crossbow – 460 FPS 

The TenPoint Flatline 460 Crossbow catches your eye immediately. This compact powerhouse fires bolts at an incredible 460 feet per second, making it the fastest crossbow in its size class. Weighing in at just over 7 pounds, you’ll appreciate how lightweight and maneuverable it feels compared to bulky alternatives.

The narrow frame and short axle-to-axle length make the Flatline 460 perfect for hunting in tight blinds and tree stands. As you draw the string back using the smooth ACUslide cocking system, you’ll notice how silent and easy it glides into place. The S1 trigger provides a crisp, clean break when you’re ready to fire.

Included with the package is TenPoint’s EVO-X Marksman Elite scope, specially calibrated for arrow speeds up to 505 FPS. Dialing in shots out to 100 yards is easy with the variable zoom and windage/elevation adjustments. New extended scope struts and an enhanced dovetail mounting system deliver rock-solid durability shot after shot.

While not the most budget-friendly model, the TenPoint Flatline 460 offers tremendous value for serious hunters wanting the fastest, most compact power currently available. If having the time to take a second shot is critical, the extreme arrow velocity and handling characteristics give you a true advantage. Just be prepared to spend extra time at the range mastering this speed demon before heading into the field.

Highlights
  • Shoots at blistering 460 FPS
  • Fastest compact crossbow currently available
  • Short 26.5″ axle-to-axle length
  • Narrow 7.5″ width
  • Lightweight at just over 7 lbs
  • 100-yard EVO-X Marksman Elite scope included
  • Extended scope struts for durability
  • S1 Trigger provides crisp, clean break
  • ACUslide cocking & de-cocking system

Pros:

  • 460 FPS delivers unmatched speed in a small, maneuverable frame
  • Match grade S1 trigger and 100-yard scope equate to tight groups
  • ACUslide system enables stealthy shooting
  • Comes with arrows, scope, quiver and accessories
  • Robust, dependable construction for years of hard use

Cons:

  • A lightweight frame requires careful handling when cocked
  • Proprietary strings and cables can mean higher maintenance costs


3. Ravin R18 Takedown VertiCoil Crossbow

Offering top-notch accuracy and power, the Ravin R18 crossbow lives up to its reputation for incredible precision shooting. As a takedown model, its slim, lightweight frame makes for easy transport and storage between uses. Once assembled, the bow brings together an innovative combination of high-tech features for unmatched downrange results.

The R18’s VertiCoil cam system enables the cams to rotate a full 720 degrees as the limbs compress vertically upon drawing. This allows for reduced friction and near-perfect arrow flight. An advanced trigger mechanism and Versa-Drive cocking system work together for smooth, balanced shooting. The frictionless flight system and straight-line nock travel further bolster consistency for tight arrow groupings.

In testing, I was impressed by the R18’s lightweight body and narrow width, making it easy to maneuver in tight spaces. The bow draws smoothly and fires arrows with immense striking energy. It shot very quietly too – a major bonus when hunting skittish game.

Other highlights include the pre-tuned setup out of the box, removable draw handle for carrying convenience, and 3-dot sight for quick target acquisition. The included arrows and mountable quiver add even more value.

With best-in-class accuracy, high-end components, and sleek takedown design, the R18 Crossbow hits the bullseye for hunters and target shooters wanting top-tier performance from a compact powerhouse.

Highlights
  • 330 fps speed
  • Takedown design for easy transport
  • Versa-Drive cocking eliminates over-cocking
  • Trac-Trigger for balanced firing
  • Frictionless Flight System for straight arrows
  • Pre-tuned setup out of the box

Pros:

  • Accurate thanks to the frictionless flight system and VertiCoil cam design
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver in tight spaces or tree stands
  • Smooth and nearly silent shooting with a pre-tuned setup
  • Takedown size is perfect for packing into remote hunting areas
  • Versa-Drive cocking is easy and balances draw weight nicely

Cons:

  • Additional accessories like scope and sling are sold separately
  • Draw weight may be too high for some younger hunters


4. Wicked Ridge Raider 400 De-Cock, ACUdraw De-Cock, Multi-Line Scope

 

The Wicked Ridge Raider 400 brings impressive power in a compact, maneuverable design that’s also highly affordable. Weighing just 6.5 pounds, I found this crossbow easy to handle and comfortable to shoot even during lengthy hunting sessions. The narrow 31.5 inch axle-to-axle width is ideal for shooting in blinds or treestands.

Despite its small size, the Raider 400 generates blistering arrow speeds up to 400 fps thanks to a powerful 185-pound draw assembly and performance-enhancing cams system. The ACUdraw De-Cock system is a standout feature, allowing for nearly silent cocking along with safe decocking capability. Cocking effort is reduced to just 5 pounds for smooth draws every time.

Additional highlights include the two-stage zero-creep trigger for crisp, accurate shot release and large pass-through foregrip wings for added safety. The inclusion of a multi-line scope, three arrows, and mountable quiver in the Ready to Hunt package provides even more value.

During my tests, the Raider 400 performed very well for both target practice and hunting scenarios. It shot smoothly and accurately time and time again. The tactical cutouts help balance the lightweight body while 3.5-pound trigger pull results in no unwanted movement.

For budget-friendly power in a maneuverable, safety-enhanced design, the Wicked Ridge Raider 400 De-Cock crossbow delivers the total package for hunters wanting reliable performance without breaking the bank.

Highlights
  • 400 fps speed
  • Compact 31.5″ axle-to-axle design
  • ACUdraw De-Cock system for easy, safe cocking
  • 185-lb draw weight
  • Tactical cutouts for weight reduction
  • Ready to Hunt package with scope, arrows, quiver

Pros:

  • ACUdraw De-Cock allows nearly silent and safe cocking
  • Lightweight and maneuverable for easy handling
  • Generous 400 fps speed from a compact frame
  • Smooth, crisp 2-stage zero-creep trigger
  • Great value with inclusion of scope, arrows, quiver

Cons:

  • Lower 185-lb draw weight limits penetration
  • Some assembly is required rather than being pre-assembled

5. RAVIN R500 Sniper Hexcoil Crossbow

The RAVIN R500 crossbow stands out as a top-tier precision shooter packing immense power and accuracy into a narrow-profile design. The R500’s highlight feature is the innovative HexCoil cam system which enables the cams to rotate a full 360 degrees for reduced friction and straighter arrow flight than ever before.

Additional technologies like the Versa-Drive cocking system and Trac-Trigger work together to create balanced and consistent shot release. Drawing the bow is smooth and quiet thanks to a silent cocking mechanism and anti-dry fire trigger. Once loaded, the frictionless flight system takes over – guiding arrows downrange with pinpoint precision shot after shot.

Testing revealed the R500 to have excellent out-of-the-box accuracy at longer ranges. The adjustable scope and included level make dialing in your magnification and orientation easy. Although the bow shoots fast (500 fps), it has a narrow width that handles nicely in tight spaces.

Other highlights include the decocking capability, pre-tuned string assembly, and premium accessories like a half-dozen .001 arrows and mountable quiver.

For serious hunters and target shooters wanting next-level accuracy and blistering speed from a narrow-profile crossbow, the feature-packed RAVIN R500 Sniper HexCoil delivers precision performance worth investing in.

Highlights
  • HexCoil cam system for reduced friction
  • 500 fps speed
  • Versa-Drive cocking system with anti dry-fire
  • Trac-Trigger for balanced firing
  • Frictionless flight system for straight shots
  • Pre-tuned setup and premium accessories

Pros:

  • Extreme long-range accuracy from HexCoil cam design
  • Powerful 500 fps velocity
  • Smooth, quiet cocking and decocking capability
  • Narrow axle-to-axle width for maneuverability
  • Quality accessories included like arrows, quiver, scope

Cons:

  • Heavy assembly weight may tire some shooters


6. Wicked Ridge RDX 400-400 FPS – Reverse-Draw Design

The innovative reverse-draw design is the first thing you’ll notice when handling the Wicked Ridge RDX 400 crossbow. By placing the riser at the front of the bow, this layout generates significant power in a smooth, stable shot without requiring as much draw weight. You’ll easily achieve speeds up to a blistering 400 fps for taking down targets at extended ranges.

Cocking the bow is a breeze thanks to the built-in ACUdraw PRO system. With just 8.5 pounds of force, you can silently cock this crossbow yourself without needing extra devices. The safety wings, enclosed trigger guard, dry-fire inhibitor and crisp 3.5-pound trigger provide complete confidence that each shot will release cleanly and securely.

When you shoulder the RDX 400 and gaze through the multi-coated 3x optics, you’ll appreciate the sighted-in accuracy. The scope provides four duplex crosshairs calibrated specifically for distances from 20 to 50 yards. Dialing in your aim is intuitive, allowing you to place tight groupings even out to 40+ yards.

The reverse-draw power, innovative cocking system, and range-ready optics make the Wicked Ridge RDX 400 a thrill to shoot. Capable of downrange accuracy and blistering speed, this crossbow empowers you to hit targets other archery setups can’t touch. For a unique hunting companion offering next-level performance, the RDX 400 delivers on all fronts.

Highlights
  • Reverse-draw design for smoother, more powerful 400 fps shots
  • ACUdraw PRO cocking system for easy, silent 8.5 lb cocking
  • 3x multi-line scope with multiple calibrated crosshairs
  • Safety wings and enclosed trigger guard for hand protection
  • Dry-fire inhibitor and 3.5 lb trigger for safety and accuracy
  • Comes with 3 arrows and quiver included

Pros:

  • Generates speeds up to a blistering 400 fps for excellent power
  • Reverse-draw layout creates a smoother, easier draw cycle
  • ACUdraw PRO system allows silent, easy cocking up to 400 lbs
  • 3x multi-line scope accurately calibrated for various ranges
  • Safety wings and trigger guard provide hand and finger protection

Cons:

  • The reverse-draw style may feel unfamiliar to some users at first
  • Only includes 3 arrows, so you’ll need to buy more for extended shooting


7. EXCALIBUR CROSSBOW TwinStrike Crossbow

When it comes to crossbows, the new Excalibur TwinStrike Crossbow sets itself apart with groundbreaking dual-shot technology that gives you an instant follow up shot. Equipped with the innovative DualFire system, the TwinStrike keeps you locked and loaded with two arrows ready to fire from independent 4-pound triggers.

This over and under rail setup not only looks sleek, but provides perfect weight distribution. Both arrows shoot straight and true through the lightweight, skeletonized riser for unmatched consistency.

In terms of features, the TwinStrike shines. The CeaseFire technology prevents firing unless an arrow is loaded, providing an extra level of safety and confidence. You’ll appreciate the easy to mount Overwatch illuminated scope and accessories like the crank charger and noise reducing suppressors.

At just 7.75 pounds, the TwinStrike is very lightweight and manages an impressive 360 FPS speed. The 14.125 inch power stroke generates plenty of kinetic energy from the compact 33.375 inch frame.

When using the Excalibur TwinStrike, you’ll be impressed with the accuracy, power and pure shooting enjoyment from the dual-shot capability. Being able to take a quick follow up shot makes a hunt less stressful and more successful. The included Rhino nocks provide a satisfying click when arrows engage. With excellent balance and reliability, the TwinStrike feels rock solid when fired.

For hunters who want a revolutionary crossbow that provides a game-changing advantage, the Excalibur TwinStrike is a must-have piece of equipment. Double your confidence and success afield with two shots at the ready. This is the future of crossbow technology.

Highlights
  • 360 fps speed
  • Over/Under rail setup for compact size
  • CeaseFire technology anti-dry fire system
  • RhinoNock arrow retention system
  • DualFire dual 4-lb triggers
  • Lightweight at just 7.75 lbs

Pros:

  • Dual shot capability allows instant follow-up shots
  • 360 FPS delivers speed and power
  • Very lightweight and easy to handle at 7.75 lbs
  • CeaseFire technology prevents dangerous dry fires
  • Quad limb & dual string design is durable yet skeletonized

Cons:

  • Higher cost than single shot crossbows
  • Moving parts could be prone to more wear and tear
  • Complex design may require more maintenance


8. CenterPoint Archery C0006 Wrath 430 Crossbow With Silent Crank

The CenterPoint Wrath 430 crossbow lives up to its name, delivering wicked speed and power in a compact, maneuverable design. Topping out at 430 FPS, the lightweight 8.3 pound Wrath generates hard hitting kinetic energy from its aggressive limbs and cams. The narrow bullpup configuration not only looks sleek, but provides ample clearance for a full draw within the short 28 inch frame.

Drawing the Wrath is effortless and silent thanks to the included crank cocking device. It provides an 80% reduction in draw weight, allowing you to reposition for follow up shots with less fatigue. Once loaded, the safety and anti-dry fire features help prevent accidental firing. The 3 aluminum arrows make solid contact thanks to the consistent tension from the ball bearing retention spring.

When shooting the CenterPoint Wrath 430, it’s clear this crossbow is optimized for hunting. The compact size coupled with the folding bi-pod and illuminated scope equate to superior aim and accuracy at long and short distances. Speed and kinetic energy are impressive for a sub 9 inch crossbow.

Hunters looking for a high-performance crossbow that doesn’t break the bank need to check out the new CenterPoint Wrath. It achieves blazing velocity in a narrow, lightweight design perfect for ground blinds and tree stands. The included accessories get you set up for hunting right out of the box. For an affordable crossbow that delivers wicked speed and down range power, the Wrath 430 is on target.

Highlights
  • 430 fps speed
  • Compact bullpup design
  • Silent crank cocking device
  • Anti-dry fire protection
  • Folding stirrup/bipod
  • Complete accessory package

Pros:

  • 430 fps delivers deadly speed and kinetic energy
  • Lightweight and maneuverable at just 8.3 lbs
  • Silent crank reduces draw weight by 80%
  • Narrow bullpup design for easy handling
  • Anti-dry-fire and safety features

Cons:

  • Loud noise upon firing
  • Less string dampening compared to premium models

9. Barnett Archery Hyper XP 405 Crossbow

Weighing in at just 7.9 pounds, the Barnett Hyper XP 405 Crossbow achieves speeds over 400 fps in a uniquely narrow and lightweight design. The stealthy green profile looks aggressive and handles more like a high powered rifle than traditional archery gear.

Drawing and loading the Hyper XP is smooth and easy thanks to the included rope cocking device. Once engaged, the advanced trigger system provides a crisp, creep-free shot with every pull. Safety is also top priority for Barnett, with multiple reminders and mechanisms like the anti-dry-fire trigger and Soft Lok arrow retainer.

When firing the Hyper XP 405, the power and speed are immediately noticeable. Despite the narrow stock, kinetic energy is impressive and it shoots flat for increased accuracy. The Illuminated 4x32mm scope is easy to sight and provides pinpoint precision. Arrows make solid contact thanks to the string suppressors and retention system.

The Barnett Hyper XP 405 offers versatility and performance way beyond its price point. The lightweight, narrow configuration is easy to maneuver in tight spaces without compromising power. Quick to reload and safe to operate, it provides crossbow enthusiasts an affordable way to upgrade their game. Considering all the accessories included, the Hyper XP is ready to hunt right out of the box.

Highlights
  • 405 fps speed
  • Narrow lightweight design
  • Anti-Dry Fire trigger system
  • TriggerTech frictionless release
  • Rope cocking device included
  • Complete accessory package

Pros:

  • 405 fps delivers excellent speed
  • Narrow stock provides maneuverability
  • Smooth 3 lb TriggerTech release
  • Complete accessory package included
  • Safety features like anti-dry fire

Cons:

  • Moderate noise level
  • Lower precision scopes on package models


10. TenPoint Vapor RS470

When looking for a high-performance crossbow that can take down big game with ease, the TenPoint Vapor RS470 Elite Package delivers. Sporting a narrow 6.5-inch axle-to-axle width, you find ample maneuverability when tracking game through dense brush. The 31-inch length offers a compact size for tree stand hunters needing to go vertical.

Six handy features of the Vapor RS470 crossbow jump out right away. The 225-pound draw launches arrows at blistering speeds up to 470 FPS. TenPoint’s patented ACUslide cocking mechanism smoothly cocks the limbs.

The Micro-Trac barrel cuts string friction by 50% for extended string life and accuracy. The de-cocking feature safely disengages the string for unloaded transport. At 8 pounds, the lightweight carry gets you deeper into remote hunting terrain. And the EVO-X Marksman scope and integrated mounting system delivers razor sharp optics.

When reviewing the pros, five fantastic attributes emerge. The narrow axle-to-axle width allows shooting through dense brush. The integrated scope system delivers reliable optics. The high arrow speeds generate tremendous kinetic energy for ethical kills. The lightweight and compact size suits mobile hunting situations.

Finally, the padded hard case safely transports your crossbow afield. With only two minor cons of a high sticker price and significant cocking weight, the TenPoint Vaport RS470 Elite Package looks clearly poised to meet the needs of serious crossbow hunters.

Highlights
  • 225-lb draw weight – Generates high arrow speeds up to 470 fps
  • Micro-Trac barrel – Reduces string friction and increases accuracy
  • ACUslide cocking – Smooth, easy cocking mechanism
  • Silent cocking – Reduced noise while cocking
  • Safe de-cocking – Allows safely disengaging the string
  • Lightweight at 8 lbs – Easy to carry in the field

Pros:

  • Narrow axle-to-axle width for shooting in dense brush
  • Integrated scope system with reliable optics
  • High arrow speeds generate kinetic energy for ethical kills
  • Lightweight and compact for mobile hunting
  • Padded hard case for safe transport

Cons:

  • High sticker price
  • Significant cocking weight requires draw assist
  • Loud noise on shot may spook game


11. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package

The Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package delivers everything you need to start landing accurate shots downrange. Right out of the box, you’ll appreciate the military-style stock providing a stable shooting platform. Load one of the three included 20-inch arrows and you’re ready to sling bolts at 315 feet per second.

Drawing 150 pounds, the Jackal generates knock-down power once the arrow is released by the smooth 3.5-pound trigger pull. The synthetic string and cable system is built to last while the high energy wheels add extra speed.

Setup takes just minutes thanks to the premium red dot sight. Dial in your yardage settings and keep both eyes open to see the illuminated dot on your target. The quick detach quiver mounts securely to keep your remaining arrows handy until you need to reload.

Maintenance is straightforward on the Jackal. Store it in a climate controlled space when not in use and apply string wax every 10 shots. With a little care, this crossbow will deliver years of service. Reference included safety guides and manuals thoroughly before getting started.

Weighing just 7.7 pounds, the Jackal Crossbow Package is ideal for youth hunters or small-framed shooters packing into the field or tree stand. The narrow stock allows for a secure hold while providing plenty of power in a more compact frame.

From the included accessories to the intuitive design, Barnett checks the boxes for an budget-friendly crossbow that doesn’t compromise performance. The Jackal has you covered whether punching paper at the range or filling tags during next hunting trip.

Highlights
  • 315 FPS Velocity – Shoots bolts at 315 feet per second for knocking down power.
  • 150 Pound Draw Weight – Generates significant energy with each shot from the 150 pound limbs.
  • Smooth 3.5 Pound Trigger – Allows for an easy, crisp trigger pull every time.
  • Complete Package – Comes with arrows, quiver, and premium red dot sight ready for shooting.
  • Military-Style Stock – Provides a stable and accurate shooting platform shot after shot.
  • Compact & Lightweight – Weighing just 7.7 pounds, easy for packing and carrying in the field.

Pros:

  • Fast 315 FPS velocity for ample power to take game
  • Complete package with needed accessories
  • Smooth and consistent 3.5 pound trigger pull
  • Quality construction from a trusted brand like Barnett
  • Compact and lightweight for easy handling and carrying
  • Jams at high temperature is an issue
  • Arrow supplied along needs a replacement

Cons:

  • Only includes 3 arrows which is quite less
  • May experience some jamming issues when temperatures are very high
  • Included red dot sight feels a bit cheap and basic

12. BearX Constrictor CDX Ready to Shoot Crossbow Package

The BearX Constrictor CDX crossbow package comes equipped with everything you need to start landing tight groups downrange. Capable of slinging arrows at a blistering 410 FPS, the 190-pound draw launches bolts with authority. The narrow axle-to-axle width along with an adjustable rear stock provides a customizable fit for accurate off-hand shooting.

The included illuminated multi-reticle scope mounts securely, delivering a clear sight picture in various lighting conditions. Dial in adjustments are intuitive, allowing you to extend your effective range once you’ve tuned the trajectory. The 4-arrow quiver features a quick detach mount, keeping additional bolts within close reach.

Cocking the Constrictor is smooth and easy thanks to the rope cocker. The dual string suppressors minimize noise and vibration upon firing, crucial for not spooking wary deer. Loading and handling is also safe, with the anti dry-fire mechanism preventing accidental shots without a bolt.

Weighing in at just 6.6 pounds, the Constrictor CDX is pleasantly lightweight for its performance capabilities. The narrow stock allows smaller shooters to gain proper leverage when drawing the limbs. Topped off with included rail lube and string wax, the package covers all the essentials to have you punching bullseyes or filling tags this season.

For an affordable, ready-to-hunt crossbow that doesn’t compromise on downrange energy, the BearX Constrictor CDX delivers speed and accuracy all hunters can appreciate.

Highlights
  • 410 FPS Velocity – Delivers speed for taking down big game.
  • 190 Pound Draw – Generates knockdown power from the high draw weight.
  • Dual String Suppressors – Reduces noise and vibration for stealthy shooting.
  • Anti Dry-Fire – Safety mechanism prevents accidentally firing without bolt loaded.
  • Complete Package – Includes scope, bolts, quiver, rope cocker, and accessories.
  • Adjustable Rear Stock – Customizable fit for consistent accuracy while shooting.

Pros:

  • Fast 410 FPS for excellent power
  • Heavier 190-pound draw weight
  • Dual string suppressors minimize noise
  • Anti dry-fire prevents accidents
  • Good value for a complete package
  • Lightweight at just 6.6 pounds
  • Adjustable rear stock for custom fit

Cons:

  • Scope quality could be better
  • Only includes 3 arrows


13. Centerpoint AXCS185BK Sniper 370 Crossbow Package

When you open the box and assemble this powerful crossbow, you’ll be impressed by its sleek design and sturdy feel. With an 18-inch axle-to-axle length at full draw and 185-pound draw weight, the Sniper 370 generates speeds up to 370 fps to take down targets at long range.

The quad limbs, precision-machined cams system, and anti-dry fire trigger mechanism give you consistent power, accuracy, and safety. Adjusting the fully customizable stock and foregrip is easy, allowing you to fit the crossbow comfortably to your shoulder for confident aiming. The ergonomic design makes the safety, decocking lever, and Anti-Dry Fire trigger easy to access and operate.

As you peer down the integrated red/green illuminated scope mounted securely to the picatinny rail, you’ll appreciate the clear optics with multiple brightness settings. This allows you to acquire and track targets in various lighting conditions. The package includes three 20-inch carbon fiber arrows specially designed for the Sniper 370, further improving downrange precision. With 80-grain brass inserts and sturdy aluminum nock collars, these carbon arrows provide excellent penetration on contact.

Offering high speeds, pinpoint accuracy, and customizability, the CenterPoint Sniper 370 empowers you to hit targets other archery setups can’t. If you want an aggressive, hard-hitting crossbow that looks and feels like a premium flagship bow, this package hits the bullseye.

Highlights
  • 370 FPS speed from 185-pound draw weight and 18-inch power stroke
  • Fully adjustable stock and foregrip for customized fit
  • Quad limbs and precision-machined cams for power and accuracy
  • Red/green multi-brightness illuminated scope
  • Includes 3 carbon fiber arrows (20-inch)
  • Arrows have 80-grain brass inserts and aluminum nock collars

Pros:

  • Generates high speeds up to 370 fps for excellent power and range
  • Fully adjustable stock and foregrip allows you to customize the fit
  • Illuminated scope with multiple brightness settings performs well in various lighting
  • Includes 3 high-quality carbon arrows specifically made for this crossbow
  • Precision-machined cams and anti-dry fire trigger provide consistency and safety

Cons:

  • The 185-pound draw weight makes it harder for some users to cock
  • Doesn’t include a rope cocker which would make cocking easier
  • Some users may want to upgrade to a higher-end scope for improved accuracy at long ranges.


14. BARNETT CROSSBOWS Whitetail Hunter STR with Crank Cocking Device

The first thing you’ll notice when handling Barnett’s Whitetail Hunter STR is how lightweight and compact it feels at just 6.6 pounds. The innovative step-through riser technology significantly reduces the length for easy maneuverability in tree stands and blinds. Despite its small size, the Whitetail Hunter generates speeds up to 375 fps from its highly efficient cam system and alloy quad limbs.

Cocking the crossbow is smooth and easy thanks to the included crank cocking device that neatly integrates into the stock. With a mere turn of the handle, you can draw and lock the string into place without taxing effort or straining muscles. This allows you to keep a steady aim as you peer through the multi-reticle scope with optional red/green illumination for clear sight acquisition.

The Whitetail Hunter STR comes well-appointed for the complete hunting experience right out of the box. It includes a lightweight quiver, two durable 22-inch Headhunter arrows, lubrication wax, and Barnett’s standard safety features like the anti-dry fire trigger and Soft Lok arrow retainer. Weighing just over 6 pounds while delivering speed, accuracy and smooth cocking, the Whitetail Hunter STR is an ideal hunting companion for archers of all skill levels.

Highlights
  • Ultra-compact size with step-through riser technology
  • Shoots at 375 fps speed powered by an efficient cam system
  • Integrated crank cocking device for easy and smooth drawing
  • Multi-reticle scope with red/green illumination
  • Safety features like anti-dry fire trigger and arrow retainer
  • Complete package includes arrows, quiver, lube wax, etc.

Pros:

  • Ultra-compact and lightweight making it highly maneuverable
  • Integrated crank cocking device allows easy cocking without strain
  • Generates speeds up to an impressive 375 fps
  • Illuminated multi-reticle scope for clear target acquisition
  • Includes key accessories like arrows, quiver, and lube wax

Cons:

  • Short power stroke limits kinetic energy compared to larger models
  • Must be cautiously cocked by hand if crank device malfunctions


15. Killer Instinct SWAT X1 Pro Package

The moment you pull back the string on the Killer Instinct SWAT X1 Pro, you’ll feel the power contained in its narrow, enclosed frame. The 360-degree barrel provides unmatched guidance to bolts, reducing oscillation for pinpoint accuracy even with broadheads. Combined with the 3-lb zero-creep trigger, you have precision control to confidently hit targets at extended ranges.

The Speedring scope included in this pro package features an illuminated, multi-reticle aiming system for fast target acquisition in various conditions. Dialing in shots out to 40+ yards is intuitive through the 1.5-5x adjustable magnification. The scope securely mounts to the integrated picatinny rail, holding zero shot after shot.

After you’ve sent a bolt downrange, the SWAT X1 Pro reloads fast thanks to the smooth-operating crank cocking device. With minimal effort, you can have another projectile ready in seconds for rapid follow up shots. The package also includes three 20-inch HYPR bolts to have you hunting-ready right out of the box.

Weighing only 6.6 lbs and measuring a compact 30 inches axle-to-axle cocked, the SWAT X1 Pro is easy to maneuver in tight spaces without compromising on blistering arrow speeds. For a crossbow that delivers on all fronts, this professional-grade package is on target.

Highlights
  • Comfortable-to-shoulder compact frame design
  • Includes silent crank cocking device for faster reloading
  • Illuminated Speedring scope with 1.5-5x magnification
  • Package includes bolts, quiver, rope cocker, and rail lube

Pros:

  • Enclosed barrel improves accuracy and bolt flight
  • 3-lb zero-creep trigger provides precision shooting
  • Speedring scope with illuminated multi-reticles for quick targeting
  • Smooth-operating crank cocking device for rapid reloading
  • Lightweight and compact maneuverable size at 6.6 lbs

Cons:

  • Higher price point than most entry-level crossbows
  • May be heavier draw weight than some beginners prefer

 

Factors Should be Considered Before Buying a Crossbow

Limb Materials

Recurve and compound crossbow limb materials consist of either composite, compressed fiberglass, or laminated wood. Composite limbs made of carbon and fiberglass blends are the lightest while managing stress well.

But they can crack more easily than compressed fiberglass. Wood laminate offers great vibration dampening at the expense of some weight. Consider your climate as well since composites handle temperature fluctuations better.

Important Specs & Features

With an idea of your general crossbow type preference, dive deeper into understanding key specifications and features to identify options likely to best meet your expectations.

Draw Weights

Draw weight measures the amount of force needed to adequately pull the string/cables into the locked firing position. Heavier draw weights translate into higher arrow speeds and kinetic energy.

While most states have minimum draw weights for hunting big game like deer, also consider your physical ability to safely and accurately cock the crossbow repeatedly, especially in a pressured hunting situation.

Power Stroke

Power stroke refers to the distance the string can travel during the firing sequence. Longer power strokes allow the limbs to accelerate the arrow over more inches, resulting in more speed.

This also means a longer overall crossbow size since the limbs have to bend and recoil over a longer span.

Arrow Speeds & Kinetic Energy

These two metrics are what ultimately matter for hunting effectiveness and target shooting consistency. Hunting crossbows should ideally have minimum arrow speeds of 300+ FPS with over 75+ FP of kinetic energy for sufficient penetration.

Compare foot pounds of kinetic energy rather than just speed since heavier arrows retain more energy downrange than lighter ones at the same speeds.

Noise Levels

For stealthy hunting, seek out crossbows with built-in noise-dampening technology like string stops and integrated string silencers to reduce vibrations and sound.

Also, check decibel ratings if provided. Anything around 100 dB or less at full draw is considered quiet.

Scope & Sights

The best crossbow accuracy requires quality scopes and sights. Look for stocks with pre-drilled scope mounting slots, anti-reflective coatings, adjustable objectives and multiple reticles calibrated for 20,30,40+ yard distances.

Red dot sights offer fast target acquisition while multi-dot scopes can compensate some for arrow drop at longer ranges.

Safety Features

Nearly all modern crossbows have basic safeties that hold the string in place and anti-dry fire triggers to prevent shooting without bolts.

Additional safety features like pass-through foregrips, finger guards, automatic stirrup catch and loading indicators help reduce hand injuries and accidental discharges while cocking and loading.

Cocking Aids

Given most hunting crossbows require over 100+ lbs of draw weight, integrated or supplemental cocking devices are essential. Rope cocker attachments offer mechanical advantage for easier loading by reducing draw weight by up to 50%.

Some rifle stock models feature built-in crank or lever cocking mechanisms for most convenient loading minus extra devices.

Weight & Balance

When trekking through the woods on longer hunting excursions, total crossbow package weight matters. Heavier mass weight can make it uncomfortable and tiring to carry for extended periods.

But some heft is also helpful for steady shooting form. The key is finding a balanced setup not too heavy yet still steady enough to shoot accurately from various positions.

Brands

With so many crossbow brands available from top manufacturers, it helps to have a frame of reference around the major players and what sets them apart from one another. Some top options to consider include:

1. Excalibur– Known for exceptional accuracy and power, Excalibur recurve crossbows feature durable composite limbs and Rifle-like thumbhole stocks. They are on the heavier side but have some of the tightest downrange groupings thanks to superior components and assembly quality.

2. Barnett – For speed and affordability, Barnett’s compound crossbows like the Whitetail Hunter II offer lots of value. Barnett uses lightweight aluminum flight tracks and compression molded fiberglass limbs allowing arrow speeds over 350 FPS. The adjustable Tactical Stock II improves comfort and accuracy.

3. TenPoint -TenPoint strives to balance power, precision, safety features and ease of use in cutting edge compound crossbows built for hunting. The new TenPoint Wicked Ridge Crossbow Line focuses on beginner-friendly designs perfect for first-time buyers.

4. Wicked Ridge – A TenPoint brand, Wicked Ridge crossbows provide a great entry point to high-end crossbow performance but at lower price points and less weight than other premium brands. Many models have pass-through fore-grips and de-cocking technology added for extra safety.

Budget

Your budget helps determine which crossbow tier – entry-level, mid-range or high-end premium – contains suitable options. As you move up price tiers, you gain accessories like scopes, noise-dampening and cocking devices while also getting improved materials, accuracy and kinetic energy.

Yet even budget-friendly crossbows today offer surprising advancement over past entry-level designs.

1. Entry-Level ($150 – $300)

Decent starter options exist ranging from 150 to 300 bucks. You sacrifice some range accuracy and FPS speed but gain affordability. Cocking aids are likely needed but otherwise useful for short range practice.

2. Mid-Range ($400 -$700)

Mid-range models balance useful accessory bundles like 3 dot scopes, rope cocker attachments, quivers and bolts alongside improved power and precision capabilities. Hunters find suitable options in this range but may want aftermarket scope or sight upgrades later.

3. High-End ($1,000 – $2,000+)

Costs quickly scale upwards of 1,000+ for premium crossbow packages with top-tier speed, accuracy and included accessories ready for long range shots. But improved materials and patents around noise dampening, recoil and vibration reduction make them great investments for serious hunters and competitors.

Laws & Regulations

Before purchase, familiarize yourself with crossbow laws and regulations at both state and federal levels regarding general use, hunting, transportation and storage to remain compliant.

Safety certification courses are mandatory in some states before using crossbows while others have restrictions around minimum draw weights for big game hunting. The crossbow model you desire may be considered illegal in your area so research first before buying to avoid hassles down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best draw weight for a crossbow?

Most hunters should look for a 150-175 lb draw-weight crossbow for deer hunting. Higher draw weights over 175 lbs maximize speed and power but can be harder to load and shoot accurately.

What power stroke length do I need?

Look for power stroke lengths of at least 12-15 inches. The longer the power stroke the faster the arrow speed, but it also increases the crossbow’s overall length.

What arrow speed is best?

Most crossbow hunters should look for minimum speeds of 300-350 FPS. Faster speeds over 350 FPS maximize kinetic energy but some states have limits on maximum FPS for hunting.

How important is noise dampening?

Choose crossbows with built-in string stops or rubber limb silencers to reduce vibration and noise. This keeps your shooting stealthy when hunting skittish games.

Do all crossbows come with a scope?

Many packages include basic 3-dot or multi-reticle scopes. But upgrading to higher-end illuminated scopes with adjustable objectives and range-finding hash marks can improve long-range accuracy.

What safety features should I look for?

Anti-dry fire triggers, automatic safety engagers, pass-through fore-grips, finger guards, and loading indicators help prevent misfires and hand injuries when cocking and shooting.

What is the best cocking method?

Rope cocking devices reduce draw weight by up to 50% making loading safer and easier. Some rifle-stock models also have built-in crank or lever cocking mechanisms.

How much does arrow accuracy matter?

Consider bolt/arrow minimum tolerances under .003 straightness and 100 grain weight consistency for reliable field point and broadhead grouping downrange.

What crossbow brand is the most reliable?

Excalibur, Barnett, TenPoint and Parker are among the top crossbow manufacturers regarded for craftsmanship, accuracy and reliability.

What is the best crossbow for the money?

The RAVIN R500 Sniper Hexcoil Crossbow offers an impressive combination of adjustable tactical stock, pass-through foregrip, rope cocker and multi-reticle scope for under $300.

Conclusion

After reviewing some of the top crossbow options on the market, the TenPoint Nitro 505 Crossbow, the TenPoint Flatline 460 Crossbow, and Ravin R18 Takedown clearly stand out as three of the best crossbows currently available. When weighing factors like affordability, power, accuracy, safety and ease of use, these three models consistently rise to the top.

The Barnett Whitetail Hunter II provides a lightweight and maneuverable option that is deadly accurate at close ranges – perfect for deer hunting. TheTenPoint Nitro 505 Crossbow packs unbelievable speed and kinetic energy due to its 505 FPS rating, delivering hard-hitting and lethal shots for the price.

For those looking for premium features and craftsmanship, the TenPoint Nitro 505 Crossbow offers uncompromising quality, precision and reliability that is hard to beat.

At the end of the day, assessing your specific needs and budget will determine which of these high-performing crossbows is the best fit for you. Any of these three crossbows will give you an advantage and up your hunting game tremendously compared to lower-tier models.

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