The 7 Best Crossbows to Buy in 2018 – The Only In-Depth Review You’ll Need

Crossbows are widely used for both hunting and target shooting. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hunter or just use the bow for recreational purposes, we have all the information you need right here. Our reviews cover the best models on the market for 2017 and we look at all the good and the bad factors of each.

The crossbows in our reviews are top of the range and they come in different shapes, sizes, prices, and features. Our reviews are aimed at making it easier for you to make the right buying decisions and get the best product for your needs.

#1 Excalibur Matrix Mega 405

Excalibur Crossbow Matrix 405 Mega Crossbow with...
15 Reviews
Excalibur Crossbow Matrix 405 Mega Crossbow with...
  • 290lb draw weight
  • 405 feet per second
  • Lite Stuff package
Excalibur is the best quality and most expensive brand on the market. If you are looking for a crossbow that will work hard for you and have accuracy and precision, this is the one for you. When you see how many great features the Excalibur Matrix Mega has, you won’t mind the price. This is a recurve crossbow and it is ideal for professional hunters.

Main Features

  • Recurve crossbow
  • Speed of 405 feet per second
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a Twilight DLX scope
  • Zoom in feature
  • Very accurate
  • Fastest recurve crossbow in the world
  • Great for either hunting or target shooting
  • Very powerful bow
  • Less noisy than most others

Pros

  • Twilight DLX scope
  • Accurate and very fast
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginners
  • Longer bow pulling time than other bows
  • No bow stringer included


#2 Tenpoint Venom

TenPoint Venom Crossbow with ACU50
11 Reviews
TenPoint Venom Crossbow with ACU50
  • Venom combines TenPoint's popular FSB stock and a new shortened woven carbon...
  • Super light and ultra-compact
  • Shoots up to 372 fps
The Tenpoint Venom is our second choice and it offers everything you need. It’s very easy to assemble and use. Both professionals and beginners will find the Tenpoint Venom a breeze to use. It offers a whole lot of good and very little bad. It falls in the high price ranges like the Excaliburs. If you are looking for precision and a great scope, this one is for you

Main Features

  • Easy to assemble
  • Light and compact design
  • Range Master Pro scope
  • Built-in rope cocking feature
  • ACU50 draw for smooth performance
  • Great accuracy
  • Durable and balanced
  • Focused scope that doesn’t need adjustment after attachment
  • Speed of 372 feet per second
  • Good for beginners and professionals
  • Comes with a lifelong guarantee

Pros

  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Light and compact
  • Durable and balanced design
  • Excellent scope

Cons

  • A bit expensive compared to other bows with the same or more features
  • Safety makes an audible click that may not be ideal in certain situations


#3 Barnett Ghost 410

Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package
139 Reviews
Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package
  • 410 FPS; 185 LB. Draw Weight; Quiver, 3 Arrows, Rope Cocking Device, Talon Sling...
  • 185 LB. Draw Weight
  • 20" Axle to Axle
Barnett is a very well-known and popular crossbow brand that always delivers. The Ghost is one of the newer models by Barnett and it is the most popular product so far from the Barnett brand. It is the fastest compound bow you can find and is great for hunting deer or other medium to large game. The Ghost falls in the mid to high price range and may be a bit expensive for entry-level shooters.

Main Features

  • Comes with a finger guard
  • CNC Macmed Aluminium flight track
  • CROSSWIRE string and cable system
  • Carbonlite Riser Tech to help shift the balance point back to the shooter
  • Fastest compound bow in the world
  • High accuracy
  • Speed of 410 feet per second
  • Comes with a padded crossbow sling
  • Lightweight and compact bow
  • Very powerful bow for hunting

Pros

  • High accuracy
  • Super fast
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Requires frequent string waxing
  • Does not come with a dampening system so can be loud


#4 Arrow Precision Inferno Fury

Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit...
502 Reviews
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit...
  • Package comes fully equipped with 4-16" bolts, Quick Detach Quiver, 3 Red Dot...
  • Anti-Dry Fire Trigger Mechanism, Thumb Guard for added protection
  • Extremely Lightweight and Compact with Fully Dipped Camo Pattern, Aluminum Rail...
The Arrow Precision crossbow is an entry-level bow that is affordable without comprising on quality. It’s not ideal for professional and top-level hunting, but it will be enough for any beginner hunters or archers. The Arrow Precision is one of the most popular recurve bows on the market due to its ease of use and affordability.

Main Features

  • Comes with a thumb guard
  • Anti-Dry fire trigger mechanism included
  • Light and compact
  • Very good option for beginners
  • Comes with a premium 3-dot multi-range red dot scope
  • Quick detach quiver
  • Very easy to assemble and use
  • Great value for money
  • 1-year warranty
  • Durable
  • Good quality for price
  • Speed of 235 feet per second

Pros

  • Light and compact
  • Value for money
  • Easy to assemble and operate

Cons

  • Slower bower than others
  • Comes with poor quality arrows


#5 Wicked Ridge Invader G3

Sale
Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow...
142 Reviews
Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow...
  • BEST OF THE BEST: Invader G3 is the safest, lightest, narrowest, and fastest...
  • COMPLETE PACKAGE from Ten Point's Wicked Ridge pairs their revolutionary Invader...
  • PACKAGE INCLUDES: Wicked Ridge G3 Crossbow, TenPoint 3X Multi-Line Scope,...
The Wicked Ridge Invader is a lesser known brand but still a good choice for beginners or hunters looking for a mid-range bow. The invader falls in the mid-range of prices. It’s an award-winning crossbow that is very easy to use and has few bad things to be said about. Its features offer everything that a hunter or target shooter may want from a crossbow.

Main Features

  • Speed of 330 feet per second
  • Comes with a multi-line scope
  • Auto-engaging safety
  • Lightweight but durable
  • Thermal stability
  • Longest string life expectancy compared to other bows
  • Easy to assemble
  • Comes with Dry-Fire inhibitor
  • Well-balanced crossbow
  • Self-retracting rope-cocking system
  • Smooth draw for great accuracy

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Well-balanced
  • Smooth draw
  • Long string life

Cons

  • No dampening system so makes some noise


#6 Excalibur Matrix Grizzly SMF

Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly...
14 Reviews
Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly...
  • Excalibur crossbow
  • Crossbow kit
  • Matrix grizzly 6850 country w/dead zone

The Excalibur Matrix range is some of the best quality recurve crossbows on the market. If you are looking for high quality but cannot afford the price the Grizzly is the option for you. It’s an Excalibur Matrix model but with a more affordable price tag. It falls within the mid-range of prices and is suitable for beginner and intermediate hunters and archers.

Main Features

  • Well-balanced recurve crossbow
  • Comfortable design
  • Easy to operate
  • Adjustable scope
  • Speed of 305 feet per second
  • Lightweight
  • Smaller bow so comfortable for small spaces
  • Perfect for women and teenagers
  • Sturdy design

Pros

  • Well-balanced
  • Easy to operate
  • Great for women and teenagers
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Rails are not made of aluminum
  • No anti-fire mechanism included


#7 Barnett Jackal

barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3-20-Inch...
802 Reviews
barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3-20-Inch...
  • Velocity: 315 FPS
  • Includes 3 arrows
  • Smooth 3.5 lb trigger pull

The Barnett Jackal is a package that is ideal for beginners who want all the important stuff but for a lower price. It’s an entry-level crossbow from Barnett that delivers as usual. It has a great design and most of the features that any beginner crossbow hunter or target shooter would want. You can use it out of the box and it’s very easy to operate.

Main Features

  • Comes with an AVI foot stirrup
  • Very good bow for beginners
  • High-definition camouflage
  • Affordable
  • Sleek and innovative design
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Performs in the same league as more expensive bows
  • Durable
  • Full package to get started with crossbow hunting
  • Quad limbs for stability

Pros

  • Affordable entry-level bow
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Can be used straight out of the box – easy to assemble
  • Great quality

Cons

  • Does not include roper-cocking mechanism
  • No dampening system included – loud when firing

#8 Barnett Buck Commander Extreme

Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme CRT Crossbow...
67 Reviews
Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme CRT Crossbow...
  • Speeds of 365 FPS
  • Finger guard and pass-through fore grip
  • Allows for the integration of a crank

It should be no surprise that yet another Barnett crossbow has made it onto our list of reviews. You can always trust that they will deliver the necessary features. The Buck Commander is a bow that falls in the mid-range for pricing and remains affordable. This is not the best bow for beginners but will be good for intermediate and professional hunters and target shooters.

Main Features

  • Speed of 365 feet per second
  • Comes with a finger guard
  • Allows for the integration of a crank
  • Very light and one of the lightest compound bows on the market
  • Carbonlite Riser included
  • Comfortable and ergonomic design
  • Durable
  • Value for money
  • Very accurate
  • Rope-cocking device included

Pros

  • Very light
  • Rope-cocking device
  • Great design
  • Value for money

Cons

  • No dampening system
  • No sling included
  • Difficult to assemble


Buyer’s Guide

When you are looking to buy a crossbow, it is important that you do some research. You have the first step down of reading our reviews. The next step is comparing certain main features to determine which bow will best suit your needs and budget. As you have seen, there are many different options and it can get really difficult to make a choice.

Things to Decide Beforehand

Before you start looking, you need to write down what exactly you want from your crossbow, what your budget is, and what your purpose for the bow will be. If you want a crossbow for hunting purposes you will look for different things than someone who simply wants to use it for target shooting. Some of the features will be necessary for both and others may not be so important. Your budget will also play a big role. Let’s have a look at the factors you should compare.

Factors to Compare

When you are looking to buy a crossbow, you need to compare the following features before making a final decision.

The crossbow’s draw weight – The crossbow’s draw weight refers to the amount of effort or power it takes to pull the arrow back before shooting. The higher weights make for faster shooting, but not everyone may be strong enough to handle the highest weights.

The speed – The speed is especially important if you are a hunter. The faster the speed of your arrow, the better your chances of a smooth shot that kills instantly. Faster speeds allow for humane hunting. Speed may not be as important for target shooters, but it still plays a role

The scope – A higher scope means that your arrow can travel further. This is important for hunters. When you combine these first three factors, you will have the profile of your ideal bow.

The price – The price is always a factor. Luckily, there are crossbows suited to different budgets. You should look at what’s available in your price range and then compare the other factors for each of those bows to find the best one for you.

How easy it is to use – Ease of use is important for beginners. You don’t want to buy a bow that takes you a day or more to assemble and figure out. If you are just starting out, go for a bow that’s easy to assemble and easy to use. As you get more experienced, you can upgrade to a more complex bow.

Conclusion

Crossbows have become a very popular weapon for hunting and target shooting. It’s an art to shoot with a crossbow and it takes a lot of skill. The different crossbows on the market cater for anyone from beginners to professional hunters and everyone in-between. If you are looking for quality, you will always find it with Excalibur and Barnett, although you might pay a bit more. We hope these reviews direct your buying choices and that you are able to make an informed decision about the best crossbow for you.

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