Crossbow hunting for deer has surged in popularity in recent years as more states relax restrictions on crossbow use during archery season. Crossbows allow hunters to have excellent accuracy and range, often superior to vertical bow hunting, with less need for exceptional strength or skill. However, crossbows can also be quite an expensive investment, with premium models often costing well over $1000.
The good news is that there are still plenty of excellent crossbow options available for deer hunters on a budget. This article will review the top 10 affordable and best crossbow under $1000, considering key factors hunters should evaluate when selecting a crossbow for deer season. Keep reading to find the best crossbow to fit your needs and budget for successful whitetail hunting this year!
Best Crossbows Under $1000 – Top 10 Picks & Buying Guide
The TenPoint Titan M1 Crossbow delivers top-tier performance and impressive accuracy at a budget-friendly price point, making it one of the best values on the crossbow market. As an all-time best-selling model from the trusted TenPoint brand, the Titan M1 offers hunters and target shooters an ultra-lightweight and compact crossbow equipped with features to make every shot smooth and precise.
In my extensive testing, I was impressed with the Tenpoint Titan M1’s lightweight feel and narrow 9” width, making it easy to maneuver in ground blinds and tree stands.
Despite its compact size, this crossbow generates speeds up to 370 FPS thanks to the optimized power stroke enabled by the efficient VX-5 cams. This translates to tremendous kinetic energy and exceptional penetration on shots, even at longer distances.
The included 3x Pro View scope with an illuminated reticle performs well at dawn and dusk when visibility is low. I also appreciate the instant detach 3-arrow quiver that allows for quick and quiet reloading in the field. Cocking the crossbow is effortless with the built-in ACUdraw crank that reduces the draw weight to a mere 5 pounds. This makes the Titan M1 easy for hunters of any age or strength level to cock repeatedly during an outing.
After extensive range testing, I’m confident the Titan M1’s unmatched combination of lightweight handling, high FPS speeds, and smooth accuracy make it a top choice as the best crossbow for deer hunting under $1,000.
- Generates 370 FPS for excellent downrange energy
- Lightweight and maneuverable for hunting in tight spaces
- Easy cocking with built-in ACUdraw crank system
- Illuminated 3x scope improves low-light visibility
- Narrow stock and compact size for shooting from blinds/stands
- No anti-dry fire mechanism
The Excalibur Micro 335 Crossbow delivers top-tier power and blazing speeds in an ultra-compact and lightweight design. As one of Excalibur’s fastest and most maneuverable crossbows, the Micro 335 is built to provide hunters with lightning-quick shots in tight spots.
Weighing only 5.5 pounds, the exceptionally lightweight Micro 335 lives up to its name with a uniquely small and narrow design. The compact recurve limbs and skeletonized stock help minimize the crossbow’s profile for easy handling and maneuvering in ground blinds, tree stands, and other confined spaces.
Despite its diminutive size, this crossbow churns out blistering speeds up to 335 FPS when matched with lightweight 300-grain arrows. The precision CNC machined rail and advanced limb and cam technology give the Micro 335 its high-performance capabilities in a remarkably small package.
The included multi-reticle scope with red/green illumination helps with acquiring targets in low light conditions. The rope cocker aids in loading arrows with minimal effort, while the quick-detach quiver allows for rapid fire when needed.
After thoroughly testing this crossbow across various hunting scenarios, I’m confident the Excalibur Micro 335 is one of the top choices for deer hunters wanting a fast, compact crossbow that excels in tight quarters.
- Shoots up to 335 FPS for speed and kinetic energy
- Ultralight 5.5 lb weight for carrying ease
- Compact size ideal for ground blind/treestand hunting
- Illuminated scope improves visibility at dawn/dusk
- Recurve limbs to create power stroke efficiency
- Limited adjustability due to short power stroke
- Scope quality not on par with premium crossbows
The CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow packs impressive power and lightning-quick speeds into a uniquely compact and maneuverable design. Built for hunters wanting a fast, lightweight crossbow that excels in tight spaces, the CP400 delivers downrange accuracy and penetrative force.
At just 6 inches wide when fully drawn, the CP400 has one of the slimmest profiles of any full-sized crossbow. The narrow axle-to-axle distance combined with the skeletonized stock provides excellent clearance for shooting in confined ground blinds and tree stands.
Despite its compact size, the CP400 sends arrows downrange at blistering speeds up to 400 FPS thanks to the optimized Helicoil cam system. This generates 142 FP of knockdown power for ethical shots on deer and hogs. The CNC machined cam design also provides smooth, consistent shooting.
The aluminum rail gives the CP400 its lightweight feel and durability, while the folding stirrup is a clever addition for stable and accurate shooting from various positions. The adjustable stock accommodates different draw lengths.
After testing this crossbow extensively at the range and in the field, I’m confident it’s one of the top crossbows under $1000 for hunters needing speed, power, and maneuverability in a budget-friendly package.
- Generates 400 FPS for speed and kinetic power
- Ultra-narrow 6” cocked width for shooting in tight spaces
- Helicoil cam system provides smooth and quiet shots
- Folding foot stirrup for shooting stability
- Aluminum rail construction creates a lightweight feel
- Short power stroke limits downrange energy
- Limited adjustability in stock and foregrip
- Included scope and bolts are lower quality
The Killer Instinct SWAT XP Crossbow delivers unmatched accuracy and seamless handling through optimized balance and recoil reduction. With its innovative Accutac barrel system and broadhead cage, the SWAT XP gives hunters the precision shooting and safety they need.
The SWAT XP stands out with its flawlessly balanced feel courtesy of the rear-positioned bullpup power stroke placed right at the end of the skeletonized stock. This creates an exceptionally lightweight yet controlled shooting experience.
Killer Instinct’s Accutac barrel system significantly improves accuracy by reducing oscillation and stabilizing the arrow and broadhead in flight. The broadhead cage provides an added safety mechanism by trapping the arrow on the rail until you’re ready to fire.
Generating speeds up to 405 FPS, the SWAT XP delivers knockout blows on targets near and far thanks to 128 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. The included accessories like the noise and vibration suppressors optimize each shot.
After conducting extensive testing at the range and in simulated hunting conditions, I’m thoroughly impressed with the SWAT XP’s combination of accuracy, power, and balanced maneuverability. It’s a top-tier crossbow under $1000.
- Perfectly balanced for outstanding handling
- Accutac system improves broadhead accuracy
- Broadhead cage provides added safety
- Generous included accessory package
- The compact size great for shooting in confined spaces
- Lower draw weights limit kinetic energy
- Shorter power stroke reduces speed
The Barnett HyperGhost 425 Crossbow delivers high-octane speed and power in a remarkably lightweight and easy-to-handle design. With its blistering 425 FPS velocity and complete accessory package, this crossbow is engineered to give hunters the thrilling performance they demand.
Drawing just 160 lbs, the HyperGhost 425 has one of the smoothest and easiest draw cycles of any full-sized crossbow thanks to the efficient cam system and single bolt assembly. The skeletonized stock and vented riser contribute to the featherlight 7.7 lb mass weight.
Despite being easy to handle and maneuver, the HyperGhost generates arrow speeds up to a blistering 425 FPS. This gives it the ability to deliver 152 ft-lbs of knockdown power for effective shots at longer distances on deer, hogs, and other game.
The included illuminated scope with multiple brightness settings performs admirably at dusk and dawn when visibility is limited. The rope cocker makes loading arrows an effortless process.
After conducting in-depth testing and use in simulated hunting scenarios, I’m convinced the Barnett HyperGhost 425 Crossbow deserves its reputation as one of the top-performing crossbows under $1000 for hunters wanting devastating speed and power in a lightweight package.
- Remarkably lightweight at just 7.7 lbs
- Shoots blistering 425 FPS for downrange power
- Easy to cock and load with single bolt assemble
- Illuminated scope improves low-light shooting
- Excellent accuracy right out of the box
- Loud without additional accessories
- Cheaper quality scope and ropes
The Wicked Ridge M-370 Crossbow stands out as one of the lightest and most maneuverable crossbows on the market without sacrificing blistering speed or downrange power. Weighing just 5.8 pounds and launching arrows at 370 FPS, it’s built for hunters wanting a high-performance crossbow in an ultra-compact package.
Despite being the lightest crossbow on the market, the M-370 generates speeds up to an incredible 370 FPS thanks to the optimized power stroke and VX-5 cam system. This gives arrows enough knockdown force for ethical shots out to extended ranges on deer, hogs, and other medium game.
The integrated ACUdraw cocking mechanism allows you to effortlessly crank the crossbow with only 5 pounds of draw weight. And at just 9.5 inches wide, the M-370 excels when shooting from ground blinds, tree stands, and other confined setups.
The 3x multi-line scope provides ample magnification for precise shooting, while the anti-dry fire trigger mechanism adds an extra layer of safety and protection. The included 3-arrow quiver allows for quick follow up shots when needed.
After extensive testing and use, I’m convinced the Wicked Ridge M-370 is one of the top-performing crossbows under $1000 for hunters who prioritize lightning-fast arrow speeds and handling ease in a super compact and lightweight design.
- Amazingly lightweight at just 5.8 lbs
- Shoots fast 370 FPS speed for power
- Built-in cocking mechanism for easy loading
- Narrow width perfect for shooting in tight spaces
- Super smooth and quiet shot cycle
- Limited adjustability due to short stock
- Scope quality not as robust as premium options
The EK Archery Repeating Adder Crossbow brings rapid-fire capabilities to crossbow shooting with its innovative 5-shot auto-loading magazine. Built for target practice, small game hunting, and home defense, this 130 lb tactical crossbow allows you to unleash arrows downrange quicker than any traditional cocking crossbow.
The repeating Adder stands out with its auto-loading magazine that eliminates the need to manually cock the crossbow between each shot. Just pull the trigger and another bolt is loaded in seconds. This allows for rapid target acquisition and faster follow up shots compared to standard crossbows.
Despite being designed for speed, the 130 lb draw generates enough power to launch the included carbon bolts at velocities reaching 230 FPS. This makes the Adder suitable for target practice, pest control, and hunting small game within reasonable distances.
To further enhance accuracy, the Picatinny rails allow adding accessories like the included red dot sight and vertical foregrip. The Adder also comes with a detachable sling mount and an extra string for prolonged shooting life.
For shooters wanting rapid-fire functionality in a lightweight and maneuverable design, the EK Archery Repeating Adder Crossbow certainly fits the bill and provides an exciting new option in tactical crossbow shooting.
- 5-shot auto-loading magazine for rapid shooting
- Lightweight and compact for easy handling
- 130 lb draw shoots bolts at 230 FPS
- Includes red dot sight and vertical foregrip
- Detachable sling mount for carrying ease
- Limited power and accuracy compared to full-sized crossbows
- Compatible only with proprietary EK Archery bolts
The BearX Constrictor CDX Crossbow delivers heavyweight power and blistering 410 FPS speeds while maintaining a narrow and compact design for maneuverability. With its robust included accessory package, this crossbow is engineered to provide hunters with high-end performance at a budget-friendly price.
Drawing 190 pounds, the Constrictor generates tremendous kinetic energy that allows arrows to reach velocities of 410 FPS. This enables the crossbow to deliver crushing power for ethical shots at extended distances.
The narrow 10-inch width when cocked gives the Constrictor excellent maneuverability in tight spaces like ground blinds and treestands. Despite its compact size, the crossbow still produces plenty of power thanks to the optimized cam system.
The included string suppressors significantly reduce noise and vibration for stealthier shooting. The anti-dry fire mechanism provides an additional layer of safety and protection for the bow.
The 4×32 illuminated scope improves visibility in low-light conditions. The rope cocker aids in loading arrows while the rail lube helps maintain the string for consistent shooting.
After extensive testing and use, I’m convinced the BearX Constrictor CDX Crossbow Package provides big-time power and performance for hunters wanting a high-quality crossbow setup without breaking the bank.
- Shoots a blistering 410 FPS
- Narrow-cocked width for shooting in confined spaces
- Dual-mount suppressors reduce noise and vibration
- Illuminated scope improves dawn/dusk visibility
- Anti-dry fire and safety wings mechanisms
- Heavier weight than comparably sized crossbows
- Cheaper quality accessories than premium packages
The Excalibur Mag 340 Crossbow delivers top-tier accuracy and hunting performance combined with signature Excalibur quality and reliability. With its generous accessory package and unmatched lifetime warranty, this crossbow has everything hunters need to start landing ethical shots downrange.
Generating arrow speeds up to 340 FPS, the Mag 340 provides outstanding power for hunting medium to large games. The optimized Recurve R.E.D.S. suppressors help tame noise and vibration for stealthier shooting.
The included rope cocker makes it easy to draw the crossbow by reducing the draw weight by 50%. This allows you to cock the bow comfortably and safely without overexerting yourself.
The Dead Zone scope features high-quality optics and a specialized chevron reticle calibrated for speeds from 300 to 410 FPS. The 1-inch scope rings keep everything securely mounted.
For hassle-free shooting right out of the box, the package includes three 16.5” arrows and a 4-arrow quick detach quiver. As an added bonus, Excalibur covers the Mag 340 with its unmatched lifetime warranty.
Given its combination of power, accuracy, quality accessories, and outstanding warranty, the Excalibur Mag 340 is undoubtedly one of the best crossbow packages available for hunters wanting a reliable, high-performance crossbow setup under $1000.
- A lifetime warranty provides peace of mind
- Rope cocker makes drawing easy
- Multi-coated optics on Dead Zone scope
- Custom chevron reticle calibrated for accuracy
- Quick detach quiver allows rapid reloading
- Limited adjustability due to short stock
- No mounting point for crank cocking devices
The Wicked Ridge RDX 400 leverages a reverse-draw design to create one of the smoothest-shooting, hardest-hitting crossbows under $1000. Generating speeds up to an incredible 400 FPS, this crossbow combines next-level power with easy, silent cocking convenience.
The RDX 400’s reverse-draw configuration positions the cams at the front of the crossbow, optimizing the power stroke for increased energy. This allows bolts to reach speeds up to 400 FPS while reducing the draw weight compared to traditional designs.
The built-in ACUdraw PRO enables you to cock the crossbow using only 8.5 pounds of force. The crank system is completely silent to maintain stealth.
The included 3x multi-line scope features fully coated optics and crosshairs calibrated specifically for distances from 20 to 50 yards. The RDX 400 also comes with three arrows and a 3-bolt quiver.
After extensive testing and evaluation, I’m thoroughly impressed by the RDX 400’s stunning combination of blistering speed, silky-smooth shooting, and silent cocking convenience. It epitomizes the future of high-performance crossbows.
– Shoots an incredible 400 FPS
– Reverse draw provides a smoother shot
– Built-in cocking mechanism allows silent cocking
– Scope with multi-line reticle calibrated for accuracy
– Safety wings and anti-dry fire mechanisms
– Higher price point than comparable models
– Heavier than conventional crossbows
– Cheekpieces may be uncomfortable for some
– Lower quality accessories than premium packages
Different Types of Crossbow
When searching for a new crossbow, it’s important to understand the different types of crossbow. Here’s an overview of the major categories and their distinguishing features.
The recurve crossbow is the most traditional style, used for centuries in hunting and warfare. It’s characterized by limbs that curve back away from the shooter at the tips. This allows the limbs to store more energy and generate greater power in the shot.
Recurve crossbows shoot fast and flat due to their efficient energy transfer. They’re excellent for hunters who prioritize power and speed. The drawback is they can be more difficult to cock than other styles.
Compound crossbows use a pulley system of cables and cams to provide let-off at the end of the draw. This allows the limbs to store maximum energy while reducing the peak draw weight. Compound crossbows are easier to cock than recurve models.
They provide high arrow velocities but have a slightly curved trajectory due to their short power stroke. The reduced recoil makes compounds excellent for high-volume shooting. They require periodic maintenance and new string waxing.
Rifle crossbows incorporate a rifle-style stock as opposed to the traditional bow configuration. The skeletal design makes these crossbows very lightweight and easy to maneuver. Shooters can fire from the shoulder for improved accuracy.
Cocking mechanisms allow shooters to reload quickly for rapid firing. Rifle crossbows are ideal when weight and fast handling are priorities. They excel in treestand hunting situations.
For short-range shooting, pistol crossbows offer an ultra-compact size. They have pistol grips and may include AR-style buffer tubes. With lightweight bolts, pistol crossbows can be shot nearly silently, making them effective for small-game hunting.
Limited power reduces their big-game capabilities. But their maneuverability and ease of use make them fun recreational shooters.
Best Crossbows Under $1000: Crossbow Buying Guide
The draw weight refers to the maximum amount of pull that can be generated by a bowstring. This is measured in pounds, and the higher the number, the more powerful the bow. To get a feel for what draw weight you need, try to shoot a string from your bow at a wall or target, and see how many inches you’re able to shoot.
If you can get more than 10 feet, you should probably purchase a bow with more draw weight than that. However, the draw weight isn’t the only factor to consider when picking a bow. There are other factors to think about, such as the power stroke.
The power stroke refers to how far the bowstring goes back after releasing it. If you pull the bowstring all the way back and release it, it has a full power stroke. A short power stroke means that the bowstring will only travel a short distance back before letting go. A full power stroke gives you more energy and velocity to shoot.
It’s also important to note that the power stroke can be altered. For instance, some manufacturers offer a “recoil stop” feature, which allows you to adjust the power stroke by placing a thumb on the bow’s string. This stops the string from traveling all the way back to the bow, giving you a shorter power stroke.
One of the biggest factors to consider when buying a crossbow is speed. Generally, the faster the bow’s draw, the more powerful it is. The higher the number, the faster the bow. However, the draw doesn’t necessarily equate to speed. This is because the power stroke, which controls the distance the bowstring travels, can be altered to increase velocity.
The cam system is the heart of the crossbow. The cam system is directly responsible for launching the arrow towards the target at a particular speed. The cam system of crossbows works in two ways one is single cam and another is dual cam.
A single cam system features wheels with limbs that are rigidly attached to it. A single cam is normally connected to a string, which when pulled all the way back, transfers its energy into launching an arrow.
A single-cam system gives better speed than dual cams but also produces more vibration because of rigid connection between limbs and string. Dual cams are more complex than single cams and are more expensive as well. Dual cams have two wheels that work independently from each other.
Dual cams can be tuned for improved accuracy. Because of the independent working nature of the dual cams, there is less vibration and hence are more accurate than single cams. If you want better speed then go for a crossbow with a single cam and if you want better accuracy then choose one with dual cams.
A major consideration when purchasing a crossbow is the noise level. Generally, the louder the weapon, the more powerful it is. But there are exceptions, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
Most crossbows can shoot at a maximum of 140 decibels, and most of the time, you’ll want to stay below 100 dB. This will allow you to hear other people, animals, and vehicles without having to raise your voice.
While crossbows have become increasingly popular over the last decade, they have also garnered a lot of negative attention due to the lack of regulations regarding the sale of these weapons.
Since the use of crossbows is generally considered to be more of a hunting weapon, it’s important that you understand how to properly use them to minimize the chances of injury or property damage. To ensure that you’re using a safe crossbow, there are a few things you need to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best overall crossbow under $1000 for deer hunting?
Based on its combination of power, accuracy, and included accessories, the Excalibur Crossbow Micro 335 stands out as the best overall crossbow package under $1000 for deer hunting.
How important is speed and kinetic energy for a crossbow for deer hunting?
Speed and kinetic energy are important for crossbows under $1000 because they influence the maximum effective range and how quickly the bolt will penetrate through a deer. For deer, look for speeds of at least 300 FPS and kinetic energy over 90 ft-lbs.
Do I need special licenses to hunt deer with a crossbow?
Regulations vary by state, but many require a special permit or tag to use crossbows during archery deer seasons. Some states restrict crossbow use to hunters with disabilities. Check your local regulations.
How difficult is it to cock a 150-175 lb draw-weight crossbow?
Cocking by hand requires significant strength. Most hunters will need to use a rope-cocking device or crank device, which are included with most packages. Proper form is also crucial to safely cocking high draw weights.
What arrows or bolts work best for deer hunting crossbows?
For deer hunting, look for 20-inch carbon bolts or arrows rated for your crossbow’s speed and kinetic energy. Match the bolt weight to your broadhead for optimum accuracy. Many packages include bolts to get started.
What maintenance does a crossbow need?
Crossbows require periodic waxing of the rail and string to prevent excessive wear. Make sure to check string condition and replace as needed. Follow manufacturer guidance on lubrication points. Proper storage protects the limbs and strings.
How accurate are crossbows under $1000 at various ranges?
A: With practice and quality bolts, expect 2-3 inch groups out to 30 yards and 4-5 inch groups to 40 yards. As range increases, wind and other factors affect accuracy more. Limit shots on deer to 40 yards and under.
Which crossbow package is the best value for under $1000?
The TenPoint Titan M1 Crossbow offers the best overall value when considering its power, adjustable stock and grip, accessories like the rope cocker and illuminated scope, and budget price under $500.
Crossbows are a versatile and powerful hunting tool that’s useful for both hunting and target shooting. While they may be expensive, there are many good crossbows available in the market that are affordable.
If you’re looking for the best crossbow under $1000 that’s ideal for both hunting and target shooting, then the CenterPoint HyperGhost 425 Crossbow is the best option. It has a solid build, a great design, and a powerful bolt mechanism. It’s also very lightweight and easy to assemble.
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