The 10 Best Crossbows 2018

The origin of the crossbow dates back to China where the strong device was used in military campaigns across Asia and later the world. In modern times, the crossbow is still a powerful weapon device with continuing high marks in its accuracy and power.

These reviews are generally geared toward adult users. However, we have included great beginner crossbows that would be a cinch to use for younger users as well.

What Should Look?

The Type of Crossbow:

Bows come in many different styles, so consider this before you purchase your bow:

Recurve Crossbow:

  • This bow type lacks complicated stringing
  • Designed with fiberglass limbs.
  • Recurve bows have a curve at the bottom of the bow pointing away from the shooter.
  • Recurved bows have a longer bow and longer draw length
  • Have more power plus speed than compound models.

Compound Crossbow:

Let’s consider safety and the right equipment:

  • Have shorter limbs
  • Shoot arrows faster than recurves.
  • Compounds also make drawing the bow easier.
  • Compounds have a shorter bow.
  • Compound bows are quieter than recurve models.


When considering your new crossbow, you’ll need to consider how safe the device is for you to use and do you have the correct equipment to achieve that goal. Review the following features on bows as you review models you want to consider for taking your hunting gaming to the next level:

  • String travel – Try to choose a bow that you won’t have to strain to use to protect your back, shoulders, and hands.
  • Shooting rail – Because crossbows can be heavy, it’s important to find the best potential shooting rail for your bow. The shooting rail can be used in a tree stand or shooting house making your shoot must more accurate.
  • Auto safety engages – holds the bow in place, so it won’t slip and fire the bow by mistake. It also protects fingers and thumbs from becoming caught from dry firing.
  • Anti-dry fire device – Is a mechanism that protects users from shooting the box without an arrow in place. VERY important safety feature that you must have to have complete safety when using your bow.

The auto safety engage and Anti-dry fire are very important and need to be on your bow. Without them, you risk having the limbs on the bow crack and the strings break which could cause potential injury to your face, fingers or arms.

Got to have Some Power:

Think about the type of power and speed you’ll need your crossbow to have, taking down a small rabbit will require less power than the one you’d need to take down a larger animal.

One important consideration is the feet per second (FPS) of the model which sets the distance speed to make game fall from the arrow release. So consider the pull weight of the bow:

  • Pull weights range from 80 to 200 pounds.
  • Large game such as deer requires a pull weight of 150 pounds.

Recommended Review

1. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury

The model features a strong and steady build with great performance features with a lightweight build that makes it easy to hold the bow.

Because it is made of fiberglass the inferno fury is quite durable plus its aluminum barrel provides a smooth arrow track.

The design on the bow will allow for easy camouflage in wooded areas for seamless blending into the environment. Padded shoulder straps allow ease of use to carry to your favorite hunting spots.

Both right and left-handed users will like the stock and automatic safety features of the bow that allows for great power in taking down both small and large game.

PROS

  • Excellent for beginners
  • Low investment cost
  • Simple to use and lightweight

CONS

  • Poor arrow quality
  • Hard to hunt large game such as bear

2. Barrett Outdoor Ghost 360 Crossbow

barnett Outdoors Ghost 360

Manufactured by leading crossbow brand, Barret.

The Barrett outdoor 360 crossbow provides smooth efficient hunting performance in a lightweight streamlined design.

The 360 ghost has been designed to last for years and weighs a mere seven pounds making it simple plus easy to carry.

The model is simple for even young archers to use due to Barrett’s 5 in 1 firing system. Barrett’s special patented carbon riser provides plenty of stability for target aiming and it has plenty of power to humanely bring down small and large game.

The ghost 360 comes in a camouflage print that allows for easy blending into outdoor surroundings that give a bit of an edge on scouting for prey. It appears to have been made with careful consideration of safety making it a great design for both experienced and inexperienced hunters alike.

Beginning crossbow users will enjoy that this model has the 5 in 1 firing system which stops the unit’s safety from being turned off until arrows have been securely placed in the trigger.

Plus, the ghost design allows for plenty of kinetic energy to give the riser the ability to take down animals quickly and humanely.

PROS

  • Lightweight design
  • 5 in 1 firing system
  • Adjustable scope

CONS

  • No Included cocking mechanism
  • Scope tricky after 40 yards

3. Excalibur Matrix Grizzly Crossbow

The crossbow provides a good basic platform for users seeking stability from their device, it as a solid blending moss oak pattern that merges well with its surroundings.

The Excalibur matrix frame is made out of polycarbonate with a thumbhole stock which allows a user to hold the bow securely without losing their hold.

The model as all of the power needed to take down any type of deer-sized game or smaller, it comes in an ultra-lightweight design that provides quiet handling due to its lower draw weight on recurve and is easy to cock due to the model’s 200-lb. draw weight.

The matrix grizzly will need to be put together to use but comes with an instructional booklet that will make construction simple. The vari-zone scope has speed dial that allows solid steady shooting in most situations.

Also, included in the kit are four Diablo arrows, four 150-grain field points, and a rope cocking aid.

PROS

  • Easy to cock
  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • Accurate shooter
  • Surroundings merge moss design
  • Polycarbonate build

CONS

  • Weak scope
  • High investment

4. Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme

If you’re seeking a crossbow that is powerful, easy, and efficient and fast to use, you’re sure to enjoy using Barnett’s BCX buck commander extreme.

The build of the buck commander is sturdy, well balanced with a lightweight construction that highlights the model’s smooth sleek design.

The Barnett ensures stability and reduced weight through a riser that is almost 42 percent lighter than other crossbow models. Weight distribution is shifted onto the commander’s shoulder making for more precise and accurate shots.

The Buck commander’s durability is solid allowing users a trustworthy bow that can withstand a 10-foot drop without damage. Barnett’s BCX has a stylish appearance from the unit’s black limbs that perfectly suits the Anti-Vibration isolation (AVI) noise reduction technology on the bow.

The model is a mid-price range bow with powerful performance properties due to the bow’s powerful crossbar that makes for intense release speed performance. Barnett’s BCX buck can reach speeds of up to 365 feet per second with over 118 FP of kinetic energy.

The device is not only a powerful performance unit, it is also good bow for both experienced users and beginners due to the model’s safety features that promote safe use from the unit’s anti-firing switch that won’t allow it fire without an arrow locked in the unit.

PROS

  • Anti firing switch
  • Mid-price range
  • Durable
  • Accurate shooter

CONS

  • Hard to put together
  • No sling included

5. Barnett ghost 410 Crossbow Package

Barnett’s Ghost 410 crossbow is a solid small gaming hunting device and the package comes with everything needed to make your next crossbow hunt adventure a thing of beauty.

The ghost is one of the most powerful crossbows in today’s market packing an amazing 410 FP which means that it can generate up to 150 ft-lbs of kinetic energy taking your game hunting to another level.

The bow’s carbon riser allows for great speed plus accuracy in a design that is comfortable and easy to aim. Shots from the bow are smooth and consistent due to the model’s smooth glide trigger system that helps make the most of any shot.

The ghost 410 is a great hunting device that as double the energy to take down even large game such as elk.The Barnett ghost is lightweight and can be placed into tight spots such as a tree stand while still delivering a punch.

. This Barnett model comes with a handy rope cocking aid that can be shortened and lengthened so that it can be used by tall and shorter adults alike without having to draw on too much energy to prepare it. Because of its durable design, the ghost 410 is great on accuracy due to field view of the unit’s scope.

The illumination of the reticles is bright enough to allow for hunting in darkness while cutting out on any fogginess.

PROS

  • 150 ft-lbs kinetic energy
  • Rope cocking aid
  • Great speed
  • Accurate at 70 yards or more
  • Durable scope for dark places

CONS

  • Serving separation

6. CenterPoint Sniper 370

The model has great power and can be fired at 370 FP firing velocity sound, which means the Sniper deals out 128 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

While the CenterPoint sniper is not the lights crossbow on the market, it’s still light to transport cross country if necessary. Because the model comes with a shoulder sling, the sniper it 7-pound weight won’t cause strain to a user’s hands and/or shoulders.

The rope cocking device makes loading draw weights up to 185 pounds a breeze. A multi-reticle illuminated scope is included with the unit and while it isn’t a very expensive scope it still serves its purpose.

As far as safety, the CenterPoint sniper as a solid anti-firing system that ensures the best in protection for experienced and newbie crossbow users alike.

With its CNC-machined aluminum and shoot-through variant riser, the sniper 370 is more than capable of providing ease during cocking and arrow draw release.

PROS

  • 370 fps firing velocity
  • Lightweight and small
  • Multi-illuminated scope
  • CNC-machined aluminum design

CONS

  • Flimsy tactical stock

7. Wicked Ridge Invader G3

The introduction of the Wicked ridge invader G3 from TenPoint in 2016 was a turning point in crossbow use and design.

The invader provides top levels of design, safety, and comfort with a lightweight 6.6 pounds design that is simple plus easy to use.

The invader comes with a dry fire inhibitor that blocks the bow from firing without an arrow in place, this coupled with its auto safety ensures that users will always have the safety in an ‘on’ position that must be manually disengaged before firing.

But, this isn’t the only safety feature that makes the invader a great device for experienced and novice crossbow shooters alike. The unit comes with reinforced nylon safety wings that provide solid protection from fingers or thumbs becoming caught in the invader’s string path.

The model’s 400-grain projectiles provide all the power need to take down game the size of a deer with a launch speed of up to 330 FPS. The trigger release for the ridge invader G3 is 3.5 lbs with a T2 trigger that is usually only found on more expensive crossbows, this allows for accurate shots each time it is used.

PROS

  • Dry fire inhibitor
  • Ultra lightweight
  • T2 trigger
  • Smooth draw for shots

CONS

  • Can be loud on firing

8. Excalibur Matrix 380

As an ultimate crossbow package, the Excalibur Matrix 380 is an effective recurve with the shortest and quickest tip to tip crossbow on the market today.

The Matrix 380 reaches a speed of up to 380 feet per second and it’s lightweight design weighing in at a mere less than six pounds means that the matrix 380 can travel long distances without the user becoming tired.

The limbs on the bow are sturdy providing plenty of balance when shooting and set up for the bow can happen within minutes.

The Excalibur’s rear stock area has been created to rest securely against the shoulders without pressure making it easy to use in a tree stand or other tight area.

The matrix 380 blends well with its surroundings due to its wooden moss coloring, suppressors reduce noise production from Excalibur allowing for a quiet kill. The model has the standard anti-firing technology and the trigger has a delay that provides an additional layer of safety protection before firing to ensure the accuracy of the aim.

The 380 also gives over 111 lb of kinetic energy that can provide enough penetration to take down large game like elk without worry.

PROS

  • Anti-fire technology
  • Speed of 380 FPS
  • Compact resurvey design
  • Rope cocking device

CONS

  • Dark illumination in scope

9. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package

The Barnett jackal crossbow’s triggering system is set at 3.5 which is good for preventing accidental firing while allowing the unit to be fired with struggling.

The jackal is a good lower ranged crossbow for beginning crossbow users that allows a user to take out large game such as elk without a problem.

However, be aware that the crossbow is loud on release due to its power. The crossbow’s power allows users to hit a target at 315 FPS which comes out to roughly 90 lbs of kinetic power.

The Barnett’s scope is provided with a red dot shooter that can be changed from red to green depending on the hunting situation. The scope sight can be adjusted to different brightness settings and users need minimal effort to zero it.

The construction durability of the model from the grooves makes this model a clinch to hold with all the comfort needed to maneuver in tight spaces such as a tree stand. Because of its excellent construction, the Jackal is about as durable as a crossbow can get.

Beginner and intermediate crossbow users will find the Barnett Jackal a great crossbow to use due to the model’s accuracy, power, safety and affordable pricing.

PROS

  • Great bow for beginners
  • Good mid-priced bow
  • Good overall design

CONS

  • No rope-cocking device
  • Can become damaged easily

10. Carbon Express Intercept Axon

The intercept axon crossbow comes with everything you need to enjoy big game hunting at a great mid-range price.

The Axon is a dream to use with a scope that is a dream to sight in making even distance viewing a breeze.

The scope works in several different types of lighting and is even fog-resistant. The viewing scope keeps clear viewing at over 70 yards supremely accurate and delivering an arrow punch of 310 feet per second that can handle even the biggest game.

The weight of the bow is in the mid-range and weighs in at 8.3 pounds which would make it a bit of a challenge to carry all day. Even if the unit is slightly heavy, it makes up for any inconvenience with its accuracy, speed, and power.

The unit as a compact design with a smooth blackout design that allows it to be used well in a tree stands or ground blind. Because the axon needs 175-pound weight to draw smoothly, the model includes a rope-cocking device to give users an even pull for the string.

The axon also is very durable and made of carbon-infused limbs with a premium alloy that is smooth and simple to move. The intercept axon is a quality crossbow with a trigger that will hold in place until you need to use it.

PROS

  • Excellent scope with powerful dead-on accuracy
  • Sleek blackout design that blend with surroundings
  • 29″ pica tinny rail
  • Two-way shooting options: Traditional and with a trigger.

CONS

  • Noticeable color out in the field
  • Slightly heavy for a long day hunting

Final Verdict

We believe in offering the best cross-sectioning of crossbows available on the market. Whether you are a seasoned crossbow enthusiast or a newbie beginner, you won’t go wrong when you review our handy tips and guide on how to purchase a great crossbow for you.

So get started today and more than most of the hunting season to come.

Top Editor in TheDearLab. Traveler, Reader.

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