10 Best Crossbows Reviews 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Fond of hunting using latest techniques and weapons? Want to enjoy hunting with accuracy in shooting the  target?, then Crossbows let you do this for real. That era has gone when we used to go in the forest or any hunting place with horses and dogs because now the technology has simplified the things in way that come and end with ease.

I am presenting here 10 best crossbows that I have found so much lightweight, accurate, durable and yet cheap in prices. I have test many among them and few of them are literally everyone’ choice who loves and understands the importance of a crossbow.

With the passage of time, the crossbows have modified in latest forms, equipped with latest technology and things have added into them to make experience of user excellent. I have compiled a list of 10 best crossbows and you can choose any among the reviewed ones with closed eyes.

1. Barnett Terrain 330 FPS – Top Rated

I personally used this crossbow and I found this one of the best ones because it has too many qualities dedicated for hunting. Most important and prominent quality of this crossbow is its range because this crossbow is pretty perfect more than 350 feet which is actually a sensible range as per to the hunting techniques.

Overall, I found this a powerful hunting weapon in my hunting journey and I honestly love this model because it so reliable, accurate and powerful with a compact frame. Even if you gave up hunting with crossbows, this model will bring you back in the hunting and you would really love hunting with Barnett Train.

On the other side, this crossbow is in economical price under $300 and it weighs less than 7 Lb. This is made with pure stainless steel which means it’s solid and powerful. It comes with Nock sensor and ADF eliminates dry fires on the behalf of Trigger Tech Technology.

It also includes a scope of 4×32, rope coking device, two 20-inches Headhunters arrows and lube wax. If you are confused about its assembling, then I must clear that it comes fully assembled and rest you will get rid of confusion after reading the comprehensive user manual inside.

Pros
  • Low Weight
  • Suitable Small Frame Shooting
  • Scop – Quiver
  • Comes With Lube Wax & Extra Arrows
Cons
  • Inferior Eye Relief On Scope

2. Wicked Ridge TenPoint Invader G3 – Latest Technology

Wicked Ridge is a crossbow made by TenPoint Crossbow Technologies and Invader 3 is one of the best crossbows they made in the line known as Wicket Ridge. It is a high-quality crossbow made with keeping in mind the unique needs of a professional hunter as well as those who take hunting as a hobby – from time to time.

While it is everything that you should expect from a high-quality crossbow, it is surprisingly lightweight. It weighs at 6.6 lbs. without accessories. It is a thing of beauty, because not only it comes with all the accessories that you’d ever need for a crossbow, it makes it easier for you to keep them with you while hunting.

It takes the things from where its predecessor Invader HP and make them more interesting with its proprietary crossbow technologies. One of them is their patented ACU-52 retractable rope cocking system that is installed in the butt of this crossbow.

Just hold the rope cocker from both sides and pull it back to easily cock the crossbow with super ease and accuracy. It is because of this highly efficient and accurate system that the Invader G3 crossbow shoots an arrow with an amazing speed of 330 feet per second. As I’ve mentioned, this crossbow is not sold as a single item – it is a complete package that includes everything that you need. It comes with a scope, a quiver and the rope cocker system that I’ve already mentioned.

The only thing that the free scope that you get with this crossbow is not as good as customers expect and the rope cocking mechanism is very noisy.

Pros
  • Complete Package
  • Composite Bow
  • Accurate Shooting
Cons
  • Cheap Scope

3. Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow – Best Selling

Since people love package deals, I hope they’d appreciate yet another amazing crossbow that comes with a full package. And now that I’ve brought it up, let us first talk about the package – with this Barnett’s bestselling crossbow, you get a free quiver, 3 arrows – 20 inches each and a high-quality red dot sight.

But accessories aren’t something that you’d buy a crossbow for – it has to be spectacular from all aspects. For example, let us start with the high-quality veloci-speed wheels which make it super swift and easy and comfortable for you to cock the crossbow.

They have a crank attachment installed in the stock that makes it easy for you to install crank cocking device. What is crank coking device? Just like Invader G3’s rock rocker, this crank cocking device helps with cocking the crossbow. However, the style is not the same – it has a fishing rod-like handle that makes things easier when compared with Invader G3’s system.

The quiver that comes with the package is a quick detach one – have it then and there to use or just detach it for packing or a different setup. Another thing to praise Barnett for is the crosswire string and cable system – it is made to sustain pressure and it complements the veloci-speed wheels of this crossbow.

While it is a lightweight crossbow, it is not as lightweight as Invader G3 is – its weight without accessories is 8.5 lbs.

While customers mostly love this crossbow there are certain problems that I must mention –just like the crossbow that I’ve reviewed above, this one also comes with a cheap sight.

Pros
  • Complete Package
  • Veloci-Speed Wheels
  • Quick Detach Quiver
Cons
  • Heavy

4. Barnett Jackal Crossbow – Complete Package

 

This is another amazing crossbow from Barnett. This one is also not just a crossbow, but a complete package. This package also includes the same items – a quiver, 3 arrows with 20 inches size each and a red dot sight. About the last item – I really think that Barnett should rethink this and either offer a good sight with the crossbow or remove the cheap red sight from the package.

Infographics

The first thing that you notice about this rainbow is the innovative design of butt – it makes it easier for the user to hold the crossbow in more than one way. And the second thing is the camouflage design of the crossbow.

Apart from these details, this crossbow has high energy wheels that coupled with the high-tension string can launch an arrow at a speed of 315 feet per second. The customers love it for its military style shape – it makes them feel better while holding this crossbow. Speaking of which, you can hold it in many different styles using thumb holes or without them.

The high-tension string and cable system work perfectly with the compact Quad Limb high energy wheels and a rope cocking device. Speaking of the rope cocking device, just like in case of the previously reviewed Barnett crossbow, this one also does not come with one so customers have to buy it separately.

The strong metal AVI foot stirrup is there to help you with cocking the crossbow with a cocking rope in case you want to have one. And just like that, it has got a very high quality (metal) AVI bolt retainer that you would never have any problem with.

Pros
  • Package Deal
  • 315 FPS Shooting Speed
  • Quad Limb High Energy Wheels
Cons
  • Cheap Red Dot Sight

5. Excalibur Matrix Grizzly – Simple & Effective

In case you are not content with the glittering technologies and options provided by the crossbows that I’ve reviewed so far and you want something simple and reliable, I will suggest you to go for Excalibur’s Matrix Grizzly.

After all, crossbow is not rocket-science – it is not even a gun. It is based on the simple and yet effective design that served the knights and warriors for centuries. Excalibur’s Matrix Grizzly brings simplicity and accuracy to how you use your crossbow to shoot an arrow.

To cock this crossbow you can use your yang power or rely on a simple and effective rope cocker – unlike other crossbows that are not very easy to decock, you can decock this one easily (won’t have to shoot an arrow in the ground).

Another plus point is that this crossbow is made for those who love military style – camouflage design crossbows. It does not only look strong – it is made of very sturdy and durable materials. The scope alignment (you get a free scope with the crossbow) makes it super simple to immediately aim at a game the moment you see it.

There should have been a downside to this bow being so durable and unbreakable – it should have been heavier than the others that I have reviewed, but with a 5.5 lb. weight (with zero accessories), it is actually lighter than many of its competitors. And since it is not a compound crossbow, you do not have to go to the shop to get a new string when you end up breaking it – with this crossbow you can replace them then and there.
Pros
  • Simple and Effective
  • Decocks Easily
  • Free Accessories
Cons
  • Not a Composite Bow

6. Barnett TS 390 – Excellent Accuracy

In case you want to up your crossbow game and you’re willing to buy an expensive crossbow that is worth the price attached to it, Barnett’s TS390 is the crossbow to get your hands on.

Also, if you love durable, high-quality, sturdy material and military-style crossbows – this one is worth the shot. It has a pleasing camouflage pattern with handle that makes it super easy to carry it and hold it in more than one styles.

Unlike, most of the compound crossbows, this one does not have a parallel quiver as you must have noticed in case of the Barnett crossbows that I’ve just reviewed. It has a side mount quiver that comes with the bow and with that you get a rope cocker, two 20-inch arrows and lube wax for the string.

It is a Step-through riser crossbow – this type of crossbows is considered ideal because they are not as heavy as other crossbows and they have a small size too. You feel easy carrying such a crossbow. The string dampeners on this thing take care of a problem that many customers of other crossbows deal with – they allow you to shoot arrow with stealth and silence.

Accuracy
To boost the accuracy of shots, they made the flight track from CNC machined aluminum –because of the qualities of this material, you enjoy more accurate and quiet shots. The tactical adjustable butt of this crossbow can be altered to house a crank cocking device – just like one that you install in the butt of Wildcat C5.

The only problem that I can mention is that the cable needs to be waxed more than what you usually do with other crossbows.

Pros
  • Side-Mounted Quiver
  • Complete Package Deal
  • Quiet and Accurate Shooting
Cons
  • Expensive

7. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR – High Quality 

For the fans of big and durable crossbows with camouflage color scheme and side-mount quivers, here is another great crossbow from Barnett.

This one is a composite bow though. This one also comes with a package and unlike usual package deals from Barnett and other companies, this one has got a 4 x 32 illuminated scope – which is not the best one out there, but definitely not a cheap one. This has got a patented step through riser that makes it very easy for users of this crossbow to cock the bow.

Since it is a big and massive crossbow it is slightly overweight when compared with its competitors; without any accessories, its weight is 6.9 lbs. The accessories include a sight, side quiver, rope cocking device and 2 high-quality Headhunter arrows whose size is 22 inches.

Just like the previously discussed Barnett crossbow, this one also has string dampeners that allow you to be in stealth and silence mode while hunting a big game.This one also has a CNC machined aluminum flight track like the previous one – because of its fine quality, it makes the shooting process smoother and quitter.

A nock sensor makes sure that everything remains checked and to keep you from dry firing and thus causing possible damage to the cable, Barnett has included an anti-dry fire trigger system that makes dry fires impossible. However, there is this problem (the only one I could find) that needs to be fixed; even though this bow is anti-dry fire, it dry fires at times.

Pros
  • 4 x 32 Illuminated Scope
  • Side Quiver
  • Package Deal
Cons
  • Dry Fire Problem

8. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – Fast Speed

Another composite bow from Barnett. As a matter of fact, this one is yet another package deal; it includes a composite crossbow, 4 x 32 scope, rope cocking device (it can be installed in the strategically designed butt of this crossbow), quiver and two Headhunter arrows: 20 inches each.

Apart from these – there is free lube wax. There is a problem with most of the Barnett crossbows and it is with this one as well; you need to use the string lube more than what you do with others crossbows.

The overall weight (without accessories) of this cross bow is 6.4 lbs. It has 12.5 power stroke; power stroke is the entirety of crossbow between its string’s cocked position and the uncocked position. It shows the power with which a crossbow shoots an arrow and this one is good at it. Using this crossbow, you can shoot an arrow with 350 feet per second speed.

The Trigger Tech Technology, used in this crossbow, has only and only one purpose – to shoot the arrow in a free-floating and smooth movement. If you’re sick and tired of triggers that malfunction and that are hard to use – you would love how smoother and lighter this crossbow’s trigger is.

In Barnett’s terminology – this technology assures zero-creep release. The nock sensor and anti-dry firing mechanism makes it a crossbow that will not breach your trust in the hour of need.

All this being said, this is not an ideal or flawless bow – it comes with the biggest problem that you find in composite bows. You cannot decock it in any way other than shooting the arrow in the ground.

Pros
  • 4 x 32 Scope
  • Package Deal
  • Trigger Tech Technology
Cons
  • Not Easy to Decock

9. Crosman’s CenterPoint AXCS185CK – Customized

Now this is not yet another Barnett crossbow. Not only this is from a different company, but this crossbow sells like a hotcake – even better than most of Barnett’s crossbows.

This one is also unbreakable and highly durable. For those who love a crossbow to have a look and feel of a military rifle, this one is the best one. It has got camouflage color scheme on it and its machined aluminum rail ends on a shoot-through riser. Shoot-through riser is considered good because it helps you with more consistent shooting and it is considered more stable at full draw.

The machine rail is for smooth, fast and quick shooting.It is because of these small touches that this crossbow can shoot an arrow at an amazing speed of 370 feet/second.

The butt of this crossbow is customization to use with shoulder or without that. It looks exactly like folding butt of a rifle and the purpose is to satisfy those who prefer military style stock and butt in a crossbow. Just like Barnett introduced cable dampeners to reduce the noise and allow users have a quiet shooting experience, this company installed integrated string suppressors on this crossbow so you can do it in a stealth mode.

As far as the design is concerned – it is an ambidextrous design. This means that irrespective of whether you’re a righty or lefty, you can use this crossbow with equal efficiency and control. There are a few small issues that a few customers of CenterPoint bow have mentioned – one of them is about the scope. It is not an illuminated one.

Pros
  • Highly Durable
  • Customizable Butt
  • Quiet Shooting with String Suppressers
Cons
  • Scope is not Illuminated

10. Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 – Impressive Aim

This is second crossbow from Excalibur in this list and just like the previous one, this one is also not a composite bow, This is a big, bulky and impressive crossbow – made for durability and colored camouflage. As far as its butt is considered, it is good to support different hand and shoulder positions.

The most amazing feature of this crossbow is the FPS (foot per second) limit – its range is bigger than any other crossbow on this list; it can shoot 400 feet pe second. With a rope cocker you can easily cock your Excalibur crossbow anytime and in case you end up breaking the cable, you do not have to run to city to get it fixed – you can install the extra cable anytime you end up breaking the old one.

The best thing about this bow is that you decock it with ease and comfort. The Matrix compact limbs that they added to the Bulldog 400 make your shooting experience better. This crossbow also has a guardian anti-dry fire system that you can control with ease (located right behind the scope).

The camouflage on this thing is with a purpose – it is not like the other crossbows that you’d find on this list. They used a real tree camouflage which is ideal for hunters. The Tact-Zone illuminated scope on this crossbow is not like cheap-quality red dot sights that you mostly get with the package. The side-mounted quiver with 3 arrows make it a perfect combo.

Pros
  • Impressive FPS (400)
  • Comes with Accessories
  • Decocks Easily
Cons
  • Not Made for Fans of Composite Bows

What I Like Most?

I Like Most
Well this is a tough question. To answer this question, we have to divide it into two parts: what I like the most about crossbows and which of these crossbows is my personal favorite?

Let us first discuss the first part about what I like the most about crossbows or the qualities a good crossbow must possess.

The crossbows that we use today are the modern form of medieval crossbows and they were actually an advanced form of the bows that were being used by contemporary armies in different parts of the world. The best crossbow would be one that is small in size and big in its fps range.

What I like about modern crossbows is how they managed to reduce the size and increase the range with modern technologies e.g. composite bow.

Apart from the decocking problem, I do not think there is any other problem that would keep a crossbow lover from buying a composite crossbow. My personal favorite is Barnett TS390. What I love about this crossbow is the attention to detail that it exudes from every angle.

Take the 4 x 32 illuminated scope for example; unlike the cheap red dot sight that comes with most of these crossbows, an illuminated scope boosts your chances to hunting a big game at night.

Buyer’s Guide

In this guide I’ve reviewed 9 best crossbows on Amazon – but it is perfectly possible for you to not find any of them useful for your unique hunting needs.

In such a case you’d always like to know what to look for when buying a crossbow, this brief buyer’s guide answers all those questions.

  • Composite Crossbow – There is nothing wrong with composite crossbows. Yes, advanced and complex technologies and designs make them a little tricky. There is that decocking problem – but you cannot ignore how easier they are to handle and how effective those technologies make them.
  • Simple Crossbow – A simple crossbow like Excalibur’s Matrix Grizzly can make things interesting for those who dislike composite crossbows for their complexity and decoking issue. Not only it is very easy to decock these crossbows, but they offer a mix of simple and fast shooting with fps as much as 400 feet per second.
  • Step Through Riser – Riser is the last part of a crossbow at the shooting end – it is a metal frame that you can see while shooting an arrow. The step through riser can be a good combination with a crossbow that needs a rope cocker.
  • Shoot Through Riser – A shoot through riser has a bend or ring through which the arrow makes its way at the time of shooting. It is preferred because it gives shooter better control and it improves the shooting experience.

Conclusion

In the end your crossbow is the most important equipment that you take to hunting. As they suggest for martial art and just like a Samurai makes his katana a part of his body, the best crossbow is one that can be juxtaposed with your personality and person.

You can pick a big and badass crossbow, but in case you’re a short person or you do not know how to handle it, a small crossbow with decent fps is all that you need.

Choosing a crossbow should be conditioned more with what you need, what you can easily deal with and what you’re a master of – instead of material, style and camouflage color etc.

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