If you’re looking to buy a crossbow, it helps to know where to start. There are numerous models, all with different features, and designed for various tasks, and it can be confusing to know what to look for.
First, consider why you want a crossbow. A model that keeps the kids happy is going to be severely lacking when it comes to taking down the zombie horde or hunting food for the winter larder. For food store stocking or protection purposes, there are two main types of crossbow to consider – the compound bow and the recurve.
Compound bows use a pulley system to create a fast, powerful bow. The pulleys store the energy and release it in the arrow. With an impressive accuracy, even for a beginner, your store cupboard will soon fill up, keeping to the suggested ethical hunting distances.
They tend to be quiet bows, are easy to cock, and comfortable to shoulder; however, if anything more than the basics need repairing, you’ll have to head to a bow shop.
The popular recurve bow looks like the more traditional crossbows and has a simple, easy-to-maintain design. Lighter than a compound bow, but with a slower arrow speed, they can be hard to cock, although a cocking device cancels any issues. Purists love this bow for its simplicity and are happy to overcome any small flaws.
We’ve tested the best bows available and have singled out three that we like and are more than happy with the performance after numerous trials.
★ Best Crossbow
1) BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow
This high performance, lightweight compound bow is rapid firing at 375 feet per second and weighs in at only 6.5 lbs. The box also includes two 22 inch headhunter arrows, lightweight quiver, and a rope cocking device, among other things.
This fiberglass crossbow is well designed with safety paramount. To avoid dry firing, there is a retainer, finger safety reminders, and innovative trigger technology – this baby ain’t firing unless you say so!
We found it fired straight and true, with incredible speed and power. My favorite crossbow for the money.
Talking of speed and power, if you’re not prepared for the sheer audacity and glaring confidence of this fine compound bow, it can come as a bit of a shock, and may amount to a few overshot targets initially.
2) SinoArt 58″ Takedown Recurve Bow Bamboo
It has to be said, this is a beautifully made recurve bow – a mix of bamboo, laminate, and fiberglass limbs highlights the ergonomic design which can be easily transferred from right to left-handed.
SinoArt’s bow possesses both sinuous beauty and strength, performing exceptionally well as a silent, deadly hunting weapon. Lightweight, comfortable to hold and draw, allowing a true, straight flight, we found this was better served with feathered arrows. But it was powerful enough to take down a deer, clean and quick.
The furry rest pad was a little tricky to fix, but no big deal. Otherwise fine crossbow.
3) PSE Thrive 400 Crossbow
PSE Archery have designed a winner here. The build quality is second to none, and there are several innovative features here that improve on an already great idea, including Anti-Dry-Fire Technology. The box comes packed with four 22″ carbon bolts with bullet points, 1 discharge bolt, a 5-bolt quiver, a cocking rope, and rail lube.
With the reversed cam system boosting the kinetic energy, and the CNC mechanism, the power, speed, and accuracy afforded by this bow is more than impressive. Offering a mahoosive 142 ft lbs of energy, arrows fly at a staggering 400 fps! Pre-installed stops make this baby the ideal hunting crossbow, especially with the illuminated scope – 5 brightness levels make it infinitely adaptable to any environment.
While the stock length is perfect for most average people, the taller individuals could find it a little short.
If you’re after an effective compound bow, this is the crossbow for you. Powerful, staggeringly fast traveling many feet per second, and lots of great ideas, PSE’s bow would suit any survivalist well