Hunting with a crossbow is the ultimate challenge. When you hunt with the same weapons and skills humans have used for thousands of years, it adds a completely different dimension to the sport. No hunting skillset would be complete without the addition of crossbow expertise.
The X-bow offers any hunter the perfect balance of patience, tracking, and accuracy abilities. No matter what your skill level, if you don’t have time to do the necessary research, we have everything you need to make an informed decision in one convenient place.
To help you choose which crossbow in 2020 suits your hunting needs, here is our list of the 12 Best Crossbows Available Today. For those of you who are short on time, one of our top picks is the Excalibur Matrix 380. If you have a crossbow, then you should make the effort to invest in a bow sight that’ll suit your needs and improve your game.
12 Best Crossbows in 2020
(Feet per second)
(lbs + kgs)
|Barnett-Recruit||330 fps||140 lbs/|
|Barnett Jackal||315 fps||150lbs/|
|CenterPoint Sniper||370 fps||185 lbs/|
|Excalibur Matrix||380 fps||260 lbs/|
|Ravin R10||400 fps||220 lbs/|
|TenPoint Turbo GT||340 fps||175 lbs/|
|SA Sports||360 fps||175 lbs/|
|PSE Fang LT||345 fps||155 lbs/|
|TenPoint Invader G3||330 fps||165 lbs/|
|Barnett Wildcat C7||330 fps||125 lbs/|
|Bear X Crossbows||355 fps||125 lbs/|
|Killer Instinct||380 fps||185 lbs/|
1. Barnett Recruit Tactical Compound Crossbow: Best for Beginners
Barnett continued to raise the bar when they introduced the Recruit Tactical is 2017. In terms of draw weight, speed, quality, and design, it blows the competition away in its class. Not only is it the best-priced item Barnett offers, but it also gives the most bang for your buck.
The Recruit Tactical has been designed for beginner archers or those who are younger and/or smaller framed. The dimensions are compact and impressively lightweight. This makes it ideal for easy Manoeuvrability, Aiming, and Firing.
The Barnett Recruit Tactical Crossbow comes with everything the beginner archer needs to get the hang of hunting right away.
- High quality & affordable price
- Easy to cock
- Durable and compact
- Accurate for distances of up to 50 yards/46m
- Best crossbow to help develop beginner skills
- Safety features
- Premium red-dot sight for a simplified shooting experience
- Package doesn’t include a case
- Could include more bolts
- Not for large/tall beginners
2. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package: Best Crossbow for Adult Beginners
Many adults have the crossbow hunting bug bite them and when it does, they will want to look at the Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package. It’s easy to assemble at home and once the set-up is complete, you can look forward to easy accuracy at distances around 60 yards/54m.
The trigger pull is approximately 3.5 lbs/1.6 kgs. This will feel perfect for adult beginners who want to prevent accidental firing, but still enough give to pull the trigger without firing. The crossbow mechanism is fairly loud, but this is to be expected with such a powerful weapon. You can expect to hit around 1”/2.2 cm away from the bullseye, even without using the red-dot sight that comes with the package.
- Best for adult beginner
- Cost to power ratio high-value
- Package includes everything
- It provides legal levels of kinetic energy to hunt in the U.S.
- Dry firing prevented by automated safety
- Military-style stock
- Easy Assembly
- Package doesn’t include rope-cocking device
3. CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow: Best Value
First up, the CenterPoint isn’t the lightest or the smallest crossbow on the market, but at 7.9 lbs/3.5 kgs, it’s not impossible to carry it to your favorite hunting field or target practice. It comes with a convenient shoulder sling in the package. The good news that, for the money, it has no problem bringing down anything from Cape buffalo to multi-prong bucks. The accuracy the CenterPoint gives makes hitting these targets solidly in the vital organ a breeze.
- Fast 370 fps firing velocity
- Compact & lightweight
- Fully adjustable tactical stock & forearm
- Scope included
- Very vague instruction manual
- Marginally front heavy
- The stock feels slightly flimsy, though still durable
4. Excalibur Matrix 380 Package: Best All-Round Crossbow
The Excalibur Matrix 380 Xtra Bow scores very high with our testers. It is sturdy and powerful; perfect for hunting. Despite its serious hunting capabilities, the Matrix-380 is still well balanced and lightweight. This makes it extremely comfortable to handle. Extras features include the camouflage design that prevents the bow from alerting your position, a nice thing to have when using a blind.
- Comes with a high-quality scope
- Built for durability
- Compact and lightweight
- Costly, but worth the investment
- The 260 lbs draw weight needs a rope cocking device
- Short power stroke
5. Ravin R10 Crossbow Package: Best High-End Crossbow
If hunting in close quarters and running is what you enjoy, the Ravin-R10 is for you. Its narrow design is perfect for Manoeuvring around trees and bushes. The Helicoil technology eliminates the need to pass the wires through the rail-slot, and the design combines high-velocity with quietness and stealth.
- Lightweight & compact
- Feels the same as a rifle when aiming
- High kinetic energy
- Suitable for all game and targets
- Versa draw cocking saves you time & effort
- High quality 100 yard/91 m scope
- Cost: The Ravin-R10 is expensive
- It takes time to learn how to cock the handle
6. TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package: More Highly Recommended Crossbows
- Its 13.5”/35 cms axle to axle measurements when cocked makes it a formidable hunting weapon
- Up to 360 fps
- The scope comes with fixed dovetail mount
- Super high quality bore-sighted at the factory – good to go out of the box
- Power won’t raise your eyebrows but is still adequate for all hunting needs
- Not as quiet as we would like
- String stops needed if you hunt over the distance
- Extremely quiet & lightweight
- Decent high velocity & power
- Easy assembly
- Limited scope abilities
- Only 1-year warranty
The PSE Fang Series Compound Crossbow is one of the best deals on Amazon. If you are on a budget, but still don’t want to compromise on ShootAbility and performance, the PSE Fang is the ideal X-bow for you.
- Comes as a complete kit
- Quick and easy to cock
- Outstanding value
- Hard-hitting and powerful
- The scope could be better
- Bolts in the kit could be better
- Magnesium riser reduces weight
- Dry fire and misfire-proof
- Highly accurate
- Package scope not illuminated
- No rope cocking device in the package
- Short warranty
A solidly performing intermediate level crossbow, another winner from the reputable Barnett brand. A clean, simple design with everything an intermediate hunter would need. Comfortable grip with rubber coating for use in extreme cold weather conditions.
- Great safety features
- High quality materials
- Lightweight & durable
- Rope cocking device included
- Weak scope that doesn’t match the performance of the X-bow
- Highly recommended for all levels
- Ready to use
- 115.6 ft to lbs kinetic energy
- On the expensive side
- Heavy, not recommended to carry over long distances
The Hero 380 packs a real punch in its compact, sleek frame. It’s suitable for both the seasoned veteran and the first-timer. Tough, lightweight, and comfortable enough for an easy shoot. This X-bow’s deadly accuracy goes beyond the standard 60 yards/54 m. If you plan on filling your freezer with venison, this is the best crossbow for you.
- Shoots bolts up to 380 fps
- High quality for the price
- Manageable draw weight
- The 3.5 lbs trigger is okay, but a 2 lbs one would have been better
- Package has few extras
- Difficult to assemble
Best Crossbow Buying Guide For 2020
Are you looking for a Crossbow?
Are you confused between various options available?
If yes, we would today share with you a comprehensive buying guide. Once you go with this crossbow buyer’s guide, it will become easier than ever to choose the best crossbow.
Now, we will go into the basics of the crossbow but also the parameters that you should consider while choosing one.
How to Find the Right Crossbow?
You have to familiarize yourself with the parts and types of crossbow available to choose the right crossbow. After that, you have to compare the shortlisted options on a few parameters. Once you take these parameters into account, selecting the best crossbow will be easy.
Different Parts of a Crossbow
Let us start with the parts of the crossbow to help you understand more about it.
These are the parts of the crossbow that you need to be familiar with before buying it. We will now share with you the different types of Crossbows so that you can make an informed decision.
Types of Crossbows
Before you search for the best crossbow, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the types of crossbows available. We will highlight below.
These are the four most common types of crossbows. Once you are familiar with the type of crossbow which you want to choose, it is essential to look at a few things which will help you pick the best crossbow.
Things to Consider When Buying a Crossbow
The things to consider while buying a Crossbow are:
The weight of the crossbow refers to its draw weight. Mostly, when going for hunting crossbows, the draw weight required will be in the range of 150 lbs to 175 lbs. Similarly, for an archery crossbow or recurve crossbow, the draw weight can be a 150 lbs. Generally speaking, the higher the draw weight, the better it is.
The higher the speed at which the crossbow can launch the arrow, the better it is. A lot also depends on your technique. However, generally speaking, each crossbow has a maximum speed rating beyond which you cannot shoot the arrow. So, it is a crucial factor to take into account while buying a Crossbow.
3. Arrow Size and Track
Not all crossbows are compatible with all arrow sizes. While choosing one, you have to not only look at the size of the arrow but also the arrow track available on the crossbow. It will determine how, conveniently, you can hold the bolt before shooting it. Both these have a detrimental impact on the arrows that you can use. That is why; you cannot ignore these factors.
4. Extra Parts
Did you know that many crossbows come with accessories?
That is why; you cannot choose one without looking at the accessories included. Accessories can be things like:
- Carrying case
- And so on
While you might not need all of these accessories but it is better to choose one which comes with at least a few of these accessories. It can make your life easy. Also, when it includes accessories, you will not have to worry about buying them separately.
5. Cocking Aids
Cocking is the process of maintaining the string at the center. It aims to ensure that the fingers do not get pinched. It requires a considerable amount of pressure and accuracy. That is why most of the Crossbow manufacturers provide you with the aiding device for the same. If you, too, want to reduce the effort put into centering the string, it is advisable to go with the crossbows that come with cocking aids.
The design of the crossbow refers to a few factors. The first factor is the type. We have detailed the types above. The design of the crossbow would change depending on the type which you choose.
Additionally, it also refers to the aesthetics of the crossbow. The aesthetics can vary from one Crossbow to another, even if it is of the same type. Hence, you have to consider both of these factors while choosing the crossbow.
Do you have a budget in mind?
If not, you should first set the budget. It is essential to filter the crossbows according to the amount that you are willing to spend. Once you do so, it will become easier for you to choose the right crossbow.
Safety once again has two aspects when it comes to crossbows. We would go into both of these below.
These two factors contribute significantly to the safety of the crossbow. That is why; you have to consider both of them and choose the best crossbow accordingly.
Most of the compound crossbows come with the built-in scope. As a result, you get higher accuracy. However, irrespective of the type of crossbow, each one has a range depending on the draw weight. While considering the accuracy of the crossbow, it is essential to look at this range.
The range refers to the distance at which you can shoot the bolt accurately if you use the right technique. Modern crossbows can go as far as 500 yards as well. However, for hunting, it is a big no, it is better to go with Crossbows that are accurate up to 35 yards. If you’re a skilled archer, you can choose one which is accurate up to 80 yards. The accuracy also depends on the quality of the bolts and bolt heads that you use.
Thus, when you take all of these factors into account, then only you can determine the accuracy of the crossbow and choose the best crossbow.
10. Kinetic energy
Generally speaking, the higher the kinetic energy that the crossbow can generate, the better it is. It ensures that the speed imparted to the bolt will also be high. So, while choosing the crossbow, it is crucial to choose one that can generate higher kinetic energy.
Noise is an essential factor while choosing a Crossbow. If you go with something like a recurve Crossbow, the noise is on the higher side. In that case, you will have to use a silencer. The other types produce comparatively less noise. The noise also varies from one crossbow to another. That is why you have to look at the noise aspect and then take a call.
These are the few parameters that will help you choose the best crossbow. We will also help you understand how you can achieve higher accuracy while using a crossbow.
How to Use a crossbow to Achieve accuracy?
There are a few tips to keep in mind to improve your accuracy while using a crossbow. These include:
- You have to make sure that it is cocked correctly.
- You have to use the scope to your advantage.
- And you have to use compatible bolts.
These three tips can help you with the same.
Care & Maintenance
In the absence of proper care and maintenance, its accuracy will decrease. There are a few simple tips which you can follow to maintain it properly. These include:
- You have to keep it in a carrying case when not in use. It will protect it appropriately.
- You have to also clean it from time to time.
- And you have to wax the string and lubricate the reel periodically to ensure that it functions smoothly.
These three simple tips can help you maintain your crossbow.
Thus, when looking for the best crossbow on offer, our buying guide above can come to your rescue. Using this buying guide, comparing and choosing the right crossbow will be easy than ever. It is time to select a precise crossbow to improve your accuracy and enjoy the entire experience.
When you shop online for your hunting sports gear, make a list of some of the features you need in your crossbow. You should also gauge what level of expertise you are now, and where you hope to be eventually. Finally, sketch out your top-most budget limits.
With these facts at your fingertips, you will have a better X-bow shopping experience in 2020.
If you use your crossbow for hunting, or you like to shot outside in the wild you may be interested in gaiters to protect your legs. Experienced crossbowmen use them to focus on the shot, not on the dirt in your shoes or soaked socks annoying you. Here we have some info about gaiters for young hunters. I hope this is useful to you!