Pro Crossbow Reviews: The Ultimate Crossbow Guide!
The interactive crossbow charts and crossbow reviews below will help you make an informative decision about what crossbow is best for you. Whether you look for a crossbow for leisure activities, hunting or sports, this guide will help you find the crossbow you are looking for.
These weapons come in a variety of shapes, sizes, pulling mechanisms and most importantly, they have different calibers and shooting speeds. We also give you crossbow reviews of the top 5 crossbows on the market today.
*Click on any of the columns to sort the data to help make your decision easier
Draw Weight (lbs)
|Excalibur Ibex SMF
|Barnett Ghost 350
|Barnett Wildcat C5
|Barnett Quad 400
|Arrow Precision Blitz II
|Arrow Precision Inferno Fury
|SA Sports Fever
|Last Punch 150
Included in the charts are:
- Crossbow picture
- Crossbow brand and model (click to learn more, read crossbow reviews or to purchase)
- Overall weight – Pounds
- Overall length – Inches
- FPS – Feet Per Second
- Arrow length/Grain – The type of arrow recommended by the manufacturer to achieve the FPS speed mentioned in the chart.
- Draw weight – Pounds
- Price – These are approximate prices on Amazon.com. These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more. But generally speaking: $ = under $150, $$ = $150 to $300, $$$ = $300 to $500, $$$$ = $500+
- Rating – The average user rating on Amazon.com. This shows if people are satisfied with their purchase.
Crossbow Reviews – The Top 5 Crossbows On The Market
There are hundreds of crossbow kits available on the market, but the following ones undoubtedly stand out from the rest. Here you will find a deeper insight into the top 5 crossbows on the market, crossbow reviews from Amazon and user ratings.
Excalibur Axiom SMF Crossbow Kit
The Excalibur Axiom SMF is a beautifully crafted crossbow that couples increased functionality with an appealing design. This crossbow weighs no more than 5.8 lbs, has a power stroke of 14.5 in, a draw weight of 175 pounds and it works with arrows 20-inches in length. Moreover, the overall length of Excalibur Axiom SMF is 37.5 inches, which makes it very compact and easy to transport.
What customers appreciate the most in their crossbow reviews is its increased accuracy, its light weight and the convenient price-quality ratio – the kit can be purchased for no more than $525.88, an affordable price tag given all the features and functions of this crossbow.
In addition to this, the crossbow is also very easy to assemble, especially since the kit comes with a comprehensive instructional DVD that teaches you how to do it, step by step. Last, but not least, this exquisite crossbow can produce arrow speeds that reach no less than 305 feet per second.
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit (175-Pounds)
With a power stroke of 10.5 inch, a total length of 34.5 inches and a string length of 26.5 inches, the Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit is considered one of the most cost-effective kits of its kind available on the market. The kit involves four bolts, 3 Red Dot Sight, extra string, a rope cocker and a padded sling. This crossbow kit is very compact and lightweight, mainly because of its compression fiberglass limps.
The key features of the popular Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit manufactured by Arrow Precision include the quick detach quiver, the 175-pound recurve crossbow or the adjustable scope mount. The crossbow can launch arrows at a speed of 235 feet per second, it weighs 4.84 pounds and the body of the crossbow is made from aluminum coupled with lightweight composite material. As many customers claim in their crossbow reviews, this crossbow is powerful and accurate and it is the most suitable kit for deer hunting.
Barnett Ghost 350 CRT Crossbow Package
With a weight of no more than 7.6 pounds, the Ghost 350 CRT is one of the lightest bows manufactured by Barnett. The kit is made in the United States, and it comes with four arrows and rope cocking device along with whiplash cams and crosswire strings. Moreover, the kit also has a 5-year limited warranty from the manufacturer and it can fire bows at 350 feet per second.
With a draw weight of 175 pounds, and arrow length of 20 inches and a power stroke of 12 inches, the Ghost 350 CRT is a very popular choice amongst professional hunters who are looking for a state-of-the-art crossbow set.
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
The Barnett Jackal is a military-style crossbow that has a draw weight of 150 pounds, a 3.5 pound trigger pull and can shoot arrows at no less than 315 feet per second. This crossbow has an innovative and sleek design and it is designed exclusively for hunters. It has a power stroke of 12 inches and the arrows measure 20 inches in length.
The crossbow weighs 7.7 pounds and it has a series of useful other features, such as the HD camouflage, the AVI foot stirrup and bolt retainer or the synthetic cable system for easy manipulation. This package also comes with a 5-year limited warranty from the manufacturer, and it is certainly a great addition to the kit of every passionate hunter. Also, users state in their crossbow reviews that they are particularly pleased with the fact that this crossbow is lightweight, strong and adjustable at the same time.
Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow Package
The Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow is by far the bestselling product by Barnett, and for a good reason: it is lightweight because it is made from composite material, it has a crosswire cable and string system, it is easy to install and use and it comes with three 20-inch arrows. Made in the US, the Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow has a 4X32 mm scope, a draw weight of no less than 150 pounds and a power stroke of 13 inches.
The firing velocity of the Wildcat C5 Crossbow is of 320 feet per second, and the overall crossbow weighs 8.5 pounds. Last, but not least, the package also comes with strings that measure 37 inches in length. As customers claim in their crossbow reviews that the broadheads are very accurate and the crossbow is perfect for professional hunting sessions.
Introduction to Crossbows
Crossbows are weapons similar to a bow that shoots projectiles, commonly known as quarrels or bolts. The weapon consists of bow mechanism mounted on a frame which is typically made of wood or, for modern crossbows, out of composite materials or plastics.
The crossbow has a long history, being used since the ancient times in warfare and siege operations across Europe and East Asia. The Middle Ages crossbow was known by many names derived from another similar weapon, the ballista.
What Is a Crossbow?
A crossbow consists of a bow which is mounted on a stick and a mechanism that holds the tensioned bow string. When shooting a crossbow, a vertical element is placed in the slot of the stick, to force the string mechanism into action. The rod is usually placed in a perpendicular position, creating a trigger. If the string is released, the projectile shoots. Other designs include a nut made of metal that holds the string at all times.
The main benefit of a crossbow when compared to a traditional bow is that the crossbowman can keep the weapon stringed for a longer time, thus enabling a better aim. The bow is made of composite wood, horn or sinews which are glued together in layers.
Modern materials include steel, plastics and other composite elements. The strings made of highly tensile elements, such as linen, sinew or hemp. In some areas, twisted mulberry root is used. Modern strings are made of special plastics or latex.
Some small crossbows can be drawn manually, but heavy crossbows need mechanical devices to be drawn properly. This is done with simple hooking mechanisms, together with a belt and a lever. Cord and pulley crank devices can also be employed for some crossbows.
Choosing a Crossbow and Common Types
It is important to understand and know the numerous types of modern crossbows when choosing one for leisure activities, hunting or sports. These weapons come in a variety of shapes, sizes, pulling mechanisms and most importantly, they have different calibers and shooting speeds. Here are some of the popular types of crossbows available:
Recurve crossbows are crossbows that have the ends curving away from the user and they give more speed to the projectile.
Recurved crossbows are more strenuous on the materials and usually make more noise when shooting.
Compound crossbows have limbs far stiffer than the recurve crossbows and have a different cocking mechanism. Because of the stiffness of the limbs, the crossbow has pulleys that are attached to both limbs with one or more strings.
If the string is pulled, the pulleys act as a pulling mechanism, moving the limbs back to ensure more energy and higher velocity for the projectile.
These pulleys work by using the maximum amount of energy coming from the short draw length.
For more information, read our in-depth article on Compound vs. Recurve Crossbows.
Modern Crossbow Usage
In modern times, crossbows can be used for recreation, sports, hunting or for science purposes. Also, crossbows are used as weapons in various military use is still in place in some areas.
Oceanology and marine scientists use crossbows frequently to obtain tissue samples from whales or dolphins. These are specialized crossbows that use a special projectile that can hook into flesh and take blood samples or skin samples. A string is used to recover the sample from the water.
Modern archery also involves the use of performance crossbows which are highly regulated and made of very light materials. These crossbows can produce speeds of over 400 feet per second and can be extremely precise.
Legal Aspects Of Owning and Using a Crossbow
Because crossbows are lethal and similar to bows and firearms, they have a complex legal status. In the United Kingdom there is no license or registration required when owning a crossbow. However, they cannot be used by persons under 13 years of age without adult supervision.
Laws for owning and using crossbows in the US vary greatly by state. Buying and ownership is legal in all states but there are specific laws for hunting with crossbows. For instance, in Georgia it is illegal to use crossbows to hunt waterfowl, but it is legal to hunt any other animals. Also, Oregon has a full ban on hunting with crossbows.
In Australia, all pistol crossbows are strictly controlled by severe laws because of their small size and concealable nature. Normal crossbows can be bought and owned by any adult, but some states require sport or hunting club memberships.