The 12 Best Compound Crossbows Available Today

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

ItemImageMax Speed
(Feet per second)
Draw WeightWeight
(lbs + kgs)
Price
Barnett-RecruitBarnett Recruit Tactical Compound Crossbow330 fps140 lbs/
63.5 kgs
6.4 lbs/
3 kgs
Check Price
Barnett JackalBarnett Jackal Crossbow Package315 fps150lbs/
68 kgs
7.7 lbs/
3.5 kgs
Check Price
CenterPoint SniperCenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow370 fps185 lbs/
83.5 kgs
7.9 lbs/
3.5 kgs
Check Price
Excalibur MatrixExcalibur Matrix 380 Package380 fps260 lbs/
117 kgs
5.9 lbs/
2.65 kgs
Check Price
Ravin R10Ravin R10 Crossbow Package400 fps220 lbs/
99.79 kgs
6.8 lbs/
3 kgs
Check Price
TenPoint Turbo GTTenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package340 fps175 lbs/
79.3 kgs
6.5lbs/
3 kgs
Check Price
SA SportsSA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow360 fps175 lbs/
79.3 kgs
6.15 lbs/
2.95 kgs
Check Price
PSE Fang LTPSE Fang LT Compound Crossbow345 fps155 lbs/
70.3 kgs
6.7 lbs/
2.9 kgs
Check Price
TenPoint Invader G3TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package330 fps165 lbs/
75 kgs
6.9 lbs/
3.15 kgs
Check Price
Barnett Wildcat C7Barnett Wildcat C7 Crossbow330 fps125 lbs/
56.6 kgs
7 lbs/
3.17 kgs
Check Price
Bear X CrossbowsBear X Crossbows Archery Torrix FFL Crossbow355 fps125 lbs/
56.6 kgs
9.5 lbs/
4.3 kgs
Check Price
Killer InstinctKiller Instinct Hero 380 Crossbow380 fps185 lbs/
84 kgs
5.8 lbs/
2.6 kgs
Check Price

1. Barnett Recruit Tactical Compound Crossbow: Best for Beginners

Barnett Recruit Tactical Compound CrossbowBarnett 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.

Key Features:

  • Premium red-dot sight
  • Rope cocking device abilities
  • Lightweight quiver
  • 2 x Head-hunter Arrows
  • Lubrication wax
  • Manual
  • A hex key, bolts, nuts
Pros
  • High quality & affordable price
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to cock
  • Durable and compact
  • Accurate for distances of up to 50 yards/46m
  • Fast
  • Best crossbow to help develop beginner skills
  • Safety features
  • Premium red-dot sight for a simplified shooting experience
Cons
  • Package doesn’t include a case
  • Could include more bolts
  • Not for large/tall beginners

Conclusion

New to the sport of hunting with a crossbow? You can’t do better than buying a Barnett-Recruit Tactical crossbow to assist your learning curve.


2. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package: Best Crossbow for Adult Beginners

Barnett Jackal Crossbow PackageMany 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.

Key Features:

  • Using 400-grain arrows translates to approx. 82 lbs/37 kgs stopping power per 30 yards/74 m
  • Red-dot sight
  • Detachable quiver
  • Hex keys, bolts, screws
  • Manual
  • Quiver platform
Pros
  • Best for adult beginner
  • Affordable
  • 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
  • Comfortable
  • Easy Assembly
Cons
  • Package doesn’t include rope-cocking device

Conclusion

If you want a crossbow that will have you up and hunting with the experts in the shortest time, you should try the Barnett-Jackal. Suitable for all types of game and targets.


3. CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow: Best Value

CenterPoint Sniper 370 CrossbowCrosman, are the CenterPoint’s makers, and better known for their BB guns. They’ve been able to enter the crossbow market successfully, in our opinion.

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.

Key Features:

  • 4 x 32 scope
  • 4 x arrow quiver
  • Cocking rope
  • Shoulder sling
  • 20” carbon bolts
  • Manual
Pros
  • Fast 370 fps firing velocity
  • Compact & lightweight
  • Fully adjustable tactical stock & forearm
  • Scope included
Cons
  • Very vague instruction manual
  • Marginally front heavy
  • The stock feels slightly flimsy, though still durable

Conclusion

We don’t recommend you buy the CenterPoint if you are new to crossbow assembly and have no access to a local bow tech to help you assemble this package. If you are familiar with the Xtra Crossbow assembly, you should have no problem setting up. On the field, the CenterPoint delivers a hefty 128 lbs/58 kgs of kinetic energy, enough to take down the biggest legal game.

The draw weight of 185 lbs is not such a backbreaker to cock when you use the rope cocking device that comes with the package. The scope is not a red-dot, nor is it top of the line tech; but the multi-reticle is solid enough, holds zero nearly forever, and sights in easily. Even seasoned hunters haven’t felt the need to replace the CenterPoint scope with something more high-tech.


4. Excalibur Matrix 380 Package: Best All-Round Crossbow

Excalibur Matrix 380 PackageThe 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.

Key Features:

  • Simple and easy to maintain in the field
  • Perfect for any skill level
  • Sturdy build
  • Riser attaches quickly to the limbs
  • Fits comfortably and securely against the shoulder
Pros
  • Comes with a high-quality scope
  • Built for durability
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Powerful
Cons
  • Costly, but worth the investment
  • The 260 lbs draw weight needs a rope cocking device
  • Short power stroke

Conclusion

The Matrix 380 by Excalibur delivers the speed and power you want to make humane kills and accurate shots.


5. Ravin R10 Crossbow Package: Best High-End Crossbow

Ravin R10 Crossbow PackageIf 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.

Key Features:

  • Helicoil technology makes it compact, accurate, and powerful
  • Fires bolts up to 400 fps
  • Arrives fully assembled & pre-tuned
  • Systems include Frictionless Flight, Trac-Trigger, and Versa draw-cocking
  • Unbeatable Manoeuvrability
  • 12 lbs draw weight
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Cost: The Ravin-R10 is expensive
  • It takes time to learn how to cock the handle

Conclusion

The Ravin R10 is designed to be handled even when wearing gloves. Even though the Ravin-R10 dimensions are compact, it would still be nice to have it come with a shoulder sling. It would come in handy when propping up the crossbow as well, as it falls over when propped against something, and is too expensive to lay on the ground; a shoulder sling would make it easier to hang.

With that small complaint aside, you will struggle to find a better X-bow on the market than this one.


6. TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package: More Highly Recommended Crossbows

TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow PackageThe clear winner of the Game & Fish Reader’s Choice Award 2016, and has held up well against newcomers. It might have a name like a car, but it handles like a precision instrument.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable Fusion-S stock
  • Ultra-compact
  • 3 x Proview scope
  • 3 x carbon arrows
  • Detach quiver w/ ambidextrous side-mount quiver bracket
  • Acu-draw cocking mechanism
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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

Conclusion

The TenPoint Turbo GT is built for the experienced X-bow hunter who demands quality and performance.


7. SA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow Package

SA Sports Empire Beowulf CrossbowA close contender for the best for price and value category, the SA Sports is extremely lightweight with high velocity and power. It is easy to assemble with clear instructions.

Key Features:

  • Includes standard anti-dry fire mechanism
  • Automatic safety switch
  • 4 x 32 multi-reticle sight model
  • Easy assembly
  • 3.5 lbs/1.5 kgs trigger mechanism
  • 3 x carbon arrow; rope cocking device; hex keys
Pros
  • Extremely quiet & lightweight
  • Decent high velocity & power
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • Limited scope abilities
  • Only 1-year warranty

Conclusion

The SA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow package comes equipped with a full-barrel Picatinny rail and adjustable mount foregrips as well. The scope is only suitable for daytime hunting.


8. PSE Fang Series Compound Crossbow

PSE Fang LT Compound CrossbowThe 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.

Key Features:

  • Anti-dry fire & auto-safety trigger
  • Perfect for all ages and experience levels
  • 4 x 32 multi-reticle scope
  • 5 x bolt detachable quiver
  • Cocking rope
  • Tube of rail lubricant
Pros
  • Comes as a complete kit
  • Quick and easy to cock
  • Outstanding value
  • Hard-hitting and powerful
Cons
  • The scope could be better
  • Bolts in the kit could be better

Conclusion

The PSE is perfect for hunting legal animals of all sizes, and target shooting as well. It’s accurate, good value for money, and adaptable.


9. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package

TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow PackageBased on the Invader HP, but with some new, great features, the G3 is lightweight with a good grip. The stock is semi-skeletal which gives it a lighter weight.

Key Features:

  • TenPoint 3 x MultiLine Scope
  • Acu-draw cocking mechanism
  • Instant Detach-3 Arrow quiver
  • 3 x carbon arrows w/ practice tips
Pros
  • Magnesium riser reduces weight
  • Durable
  • Dry fire and misfire-proof
  • Highly accurate
Cons
  • Package scope not illuminated
  • No rope cocking device in the package
  • Short warranty

Conclusion

The Invader G3 is well priced, high quality with ultra-accuracy and we have no hesitation in recommending it, but the package could do with a little improvement.


10. Barnett Wildcat C7 Crossbow Package

Barnett Wildcat C7 CrossbowA 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.

Key Features:

  • Trigger Tech
  • Anti-dry fire
  • Comes semi-assembled
  • Finger protection
Pros
  • Great safety features
  • High quality materials
  • Lightweight & durable
  • Rope cocking device included
Cons
  • Weak scope that doesn’t match the performance of the X-bow

Conclusion

The Wildcat is best suited to an intermediate hunter who wants an x-bow they can upgrade eventually.


11. Bear X Crossbows Archery Torrix FFL Crossbow Package

Bear X Crossbows Archery Torrix FFL CrossbowThe Bear X Torrix FFL comes complete with everything you need to head out to the woods or bush and start picking off-targets.

Key Features:

  • Forward-facing limbs that move the riser and bow weight for optimal balance
  • Even stress distribution and efficiency
  • Picatinny rail runs
  • Extended finger guards
  • Adjustable 3 x S trigger
  • Anti-fire safety
  • 3 x arrows
  • Rail lube
  • 3 x multi-reticle scope
Pros
  • Highly recommended for all levels
  • Ready to use
  • 115.6 ft to lbs kinetic energy
Cons
  • On the expensive side
  • Heavy, not recommended to carry over long distances

Conclusion

This is specialist equipment for hunters who have decided they will be using their kit regularly and want the best.


12. Killer Instinct Hero 380 Crossbow

Killer Instinct Hero 380 CrossbowThe 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.

Key Features:

  • Lumix 4 x 32 IRW scope
  • 3 x bolts
  • String suppressor
  • 5 x bolt-quiver
  • Rope cocker device
  • Rail lube
  • Multiple additional add-ons available
Pros
  • Shoots bolts up to 380 fps
  • High quality for the price
  • Lightweight
  • Manageable draw weight
  • Accurate
Cons
  • The 3.5 lbs trigger is okay, but a 2 lbs one would have been better
  • Package has few extras
  • Difficult to assemble

Conclusion

One of the best crossbows on the market for its quality and price. The compact Hero 380 can’t be beaten for accuracy at this level.


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.

  • The Stock – The stock of the crossbow is the part where you grip while shooting. It also helps the crossbow keep the barrel, trigger and, the sight bridge together.
  • The Bridge – The bridge is the part of the crossbow on the upper side, which holds the sight.
  • Retention Spring – The retention spring is responsible for holding the arrow in place. The job of the retention spring ends once the trigger releases it.
  • The Trigger – The trigger off course is responsible for releasing the bolt.
  • Foregrip – The foregrip is the vertical handle in front of the trigger of the crossbow. It is to provide you with additional holding space while shooting the arrow.
  • Flight Groove – The flight groove is the path on the crossbow where the arrow lies. It is responsible for keeping the bow straight until the bolt is shot.

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.

  • Recurve Crossbow – The recurve crossbows have extended draw length. As a result, the hand shock is on the lower side, and the acceleration is better. The strain on the bow structure is also lower. Advanced archers and hunters use these crossbows.
  • Compound Crossbow – The limbs of the crossbow are stiffer than usual to store the energy needed to fire the bolt. The construction of these Crossbows is such that they are much more energy-efficient than others. When you take a shot, the pulleys will bend the limbs with the cables to store the energy needed. The pulleys, in turn, are directly attached to the strings. That is how a compound crossbow works.
  • Pistol Crossbows – Pistol crossbows are characterized by their compact size. There are many variants available depending on the pressure which they can generate.
  • Repeating Crossbow – Repeating crossbows require you to initiate a single movement. Once you do so, the stringing of the bow, the launching as well as the shooting will happen automatically. As a result, the shooting rate is much faster. If you want to reduce the effort to put into shooting, this is the one which you should go with.

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:

1. Weight

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.

2. Speed

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
  • Scopes
  • Bolts
  • Tripods
  • 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.

6. Design

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.

7. Price

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.

8. Safety

Safety once again has two aspects when it comes to crossbows. We would go into both of these below.

  • Safety mechanisms in the crossbow – If it comes with safety mechanisms like auto-locking or a safety trigger, that is a definite advantage. You should prefer crossbows with such safety mechanisms.
  • Familiarity – The second safety aspect depends on you. You should always think about choosing a Crossbow with which you are familiar. Once you do so, you can be sure that using it safely will not be a problem.

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.

9. Accuracy

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.

11. Noise

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.

Summary

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!

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