Best Crossbows For The Money – Comparison Chart & Reviews

Ever been so curious about archery particularly the crossbow archery and you have no idea where or how to get started? Well, from the best crossbows for the money, of course! 

We all have been on that road at a point in our lives, and I’m glad to have created this guide to help you get the hang of this thrilling and exciting sport.

Bruin Ambush 370 Crossbow Package

Here's a list of Best Crossbows for the Money

As much as this manual is for people doing this for the first time, I will be touching on everything you need to know from picking out the perfect crossbow to down to shooting it and also how to sight in the scope.

So, here’s the important criteria to weigh in before choosing the right crossbow.

Selecting the Right Crossbow

The hundreds of crossbows out there make it difficult for one to be able to choose from. So how can you determine the perfect one? The first and foremost thing you should consider when selecting a crossbow is what you plan to do with it.

Do you just need it for target shooting? Do you need something for hunting? If that’s the case, exactly what size of the animals will you be planning to hunt and at what feasible ranges?

A lot of advance crossbows have been designed to taking down a deer out to ranges higher than 60 yards, but that is also going to demand a considerable amount of time and hard work on your part to become skilled enough with your crossbow to make shots at that range.

Also, the feasible ranges are generally 30 to 40 yards, so have that noted when checking out your options in hunting. So now, we’ll be looking at the major aspects you should keep in mind when picking a crossbow and how it would affect your shooting.

Recurve or Compound Crossbow – Which Do You Need?

At times, you might want to choose between a recurve crossbow and a compound crossbow. You might also be concerned what the advantage and/or disadvantage of each is and you might be stuck on which to choose from. Both are very useful in the target and even the hunting world possessed by a devoted cadre of shooters.

Recurve Crossbows

Often known and chosen for its reliability and simplicity, the recurve crossbow remains the purest of all other crossbows. Having existed for over a decade, the recurve is selected by most archers and its known to have a higher draw weight with less overall speed than its compound counterpart.

For the recurve crossbow, it is basically an easy bow and string, and there is no pulley or cable to adjust or bother about whether it would fail at a particular point. Typically, the trade-off for this simplicity is that a recurve crossbow would be quite a bit wider from axle to axle (ATA). This symbolizes the measurement across the widest part of the bow section.

Compound Crossbows

Commonly known for their lower draw weights with higher arrow speeds, the compound crossbows are the most widely used crossbows.

This is as a result of the fact that the use of the cables and pulleys for a compound crossbow means that it can enjoy a narrower ATA. Hence, making it more mobile and more straightforward to shoot even a deer, from a constrained area, blind.

The pulleys and cables also serve as extra moving parts ultimately resulting in extras possibilities of failure. This does not mean the advanced compound crossbows are likely to fail easily but the risk and probability involved are higher, and likely won’t happen at the most projected moment.

Speed

Often times, many people ask “What is the fastest crossbow?” and they are curious to know about the speed of a crossbow.

Any really fast crossbows you find would have speed abilities greater than 400fps. However, one major question to consider would be why you need so much speed. Except you’re hunting a T-Rex in Jurassic Park, you won’t be needing crossbows close to that range; but the ones for deer hunting or simple target shooting.

Too much speed can be dangerous to one’s shooting. This is a simple fact yet to be understood by a lot of shooters. A sudden arrow is excellent when it comes to hitting harder and shooting flatter (a flatter shooting projectile implies that there is a drop in the projectile over a specific distance. So, getting familiar with the exact range is not as critical as with a slower projectile).

The disadvantage is that the crossbow’s tolerance rate is decreased when the speed of the arrow is increased. An arrow that is quick is going to react more to a perfect draw as well as being less appreciating for any imperfections in the arrow or vanes.

Another crucial thing to consider is that you know what weight arrows are useful and how to calculate the stated speed of a crossbow using the total weight projectile (arrows and points).

More often than not, a heavier arrow would be a good pick for longer ranges; though it may slow your speed, it will carry more force to the target. Keep in mind that you want an arrow that is fast enough to complete the task, but not rapid enough that the overkill makes your shots more challenging.

Safety

For someone who is trying out archery for the first time, he or she should primarily be concerned about the safety precautions of a crossbow because for one who is just starting there are numerous lessons to learn and the integrated safety devices will help keep one from danger to one’s self or damage to your new crossbow. The essential safety features are discussed below:

Anti-Dry Fire

A “dry fire” for a crossbow is a point where the crossbow is fired with no arrow in position. This is one of the single most robust actions you can take to a crossbow as it puts the enormous stress of its limbs.

It is the arrow that provides an amount of resistance to the limbs when shot allowing them to release their energy in a regulated manner, the limbs. Therefore are released more quickly than they were created to do when firing without an arrow.

Modern technology has made crossbows have features that will not permit the string to be released except an arrow is in place. This is commonly called an “anti-dry-fire device” or a “dry fire inhibitor” and is really worth considering when picking out your own crossbow.

Auto-Engaging Safety

All the crossbows available in the market today will feature a mechanical safety that keeps the trigger from releasing the string when set. The function of this is similar to the safety on a rifle and can be of  0different designs.

An auto-engaging safety is set automatically especially during the act of drawing the bowstring. This is an excellent feature for a beginner shooter as it is something you will not have to remember to set yourself. Unfortunately, it will keep the crossbow safe until you are ready to pull the trigger.

Forward Grip Design

The forward grip is one of the features of the crossbow, and it is located below.  Typically, in rifle designs, the grip is a piece of plastic or wood which helps you to hold the rifle when shooting.

There is less concern for the safety of that hand as you can find the bullets inside the barrel. On a crossbow, while the arrow can be found somewhere within the rail, the bow string is not.

It slides rapidly down the track whenever the crossbow is fired. Once a finger or thumb from the hand shooting forward is a bit too high and moves straight into that string, that hand will also suffer from a significant injury.

To help reduce the possibility of this injury, you should get a crossbow that has the forward grip feature with wings that projects out towards the side and run through the length of the grip. These wings will help your fingers maintain the string path. This is one of the things to help you focus when learning the act of shooting.

Best Crossbow for the Money - Comparison Chart

Model

PROS

  • Dead zone scope
  • Scope mount
  • 350 fps velocity
  • 18-inch arrow length
  • Ergo grip
  • Adjustable stock
  • 175 lbs. draw weight
  • Ambidextrous
  • Reflex sight
  • 210 fps velocity
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Free rope cocking device
  • Accuracy up to 60 yards
  • Short stock
  • Powerful
  • 210 fps velocity
  • footclaw
  • Powerful 370 fps
  • Anti-Dry fire trigger
  • Adjustable AR
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Plastic bolts and draw stringer included
  • Patented ambidextrous system
  • Long rail
  • Low overall weight
  • Ideal for beginners
  • 3 red-dot sight scope
  • Aluminum arrow
  • CONS

  • Feels flimsy
  • Loud operation
  • Poor quality stringer
  • Some weak components
  • Few accessories
  • Unsuitable for beginners
  • Feels flimsy
  • Top 7 Best Crossbows for the Money in 2018


    1. Excalibur Matrix 350SE Crossbow

    Excalibur Matrix 350SE Crossbow

    Highlights:

    • Dead-zone scope
    • African double-rifle inspiration
    • High-speed
    • Included arrows

    Power

    The Excalibur Matrix 350SE Crossbow delivers a lethal combination of power and blistering speed that makes it perhaps the best crossbow for the money. Ideal for experienced archers yet lightweight enough for beginners, this bow packs all the benefits of a great recurve crossbow.

    Velocity

    Speed is another attractive characteristic of this crossbow. The weapon fires arrows at the astonishing speed of 350 feet per second and has a draw weight of 240 pounds. In other words, it can pierce through the skin of larger wildlife in a breeze.

    Overall Assessment

    This excellent bow is perfect for hunting and tournament competition but less than ideal for backyard fun with your friends. This powerful, lethal weapon is better off in the hands of an experienced archer, although beginners could use it under surveillance.

    Excalibur Matrix 350SE Crossbow Video Review


    2. SAS Honor 175lbs Recurve Crossbow

    SAS Honor 175lbs Recurve Crossbow

    Highlights:

    • Ambidextrous
    • 175 pounds draw weight
    • Adjustable stock
    • Reflex sight
    • High speed

    Entry Level

    Another recurve crossbow, but this time for beginners, the SAS Honor 175lbs Recurve Crossbow brings, without doubt, the best value for money if you’re looking for an inexpensive weapon to start learning. It is ideal for hunting enthusiasts.

    Accessories

    Thought for the novice, the SAS Honor 175lbs Recurve Crossbow comes with an array of accessories designed to enhance your hunting experience. Among them, we can note three reliable arrows, a rail lube, and rope cocker.

    Overall Assessment

    Weighing only 5 pounds and 16 ounces with all accessories on, this reliable crossbow was designed with the novice in mind. It has a width of only 28 inches and a draw weight of 175 pounds. Shooting arrows at 260 feet per second, this weapon is ideal for entry-level hunt training or for the advanced users for hunting small game.

    SAS Honor 175lbs Recurve Crossbow Video Review


    3. Manticore SAS 150lbs Crossbow

    Manticore SAS 150lbs Crossbow

    Highlights:

    • 4x20 sporting rifle scope
    • 150 pound draw weight
    • Ideal for beginners
    • 210 fps velocity
    • Broadhead tips

    Construction

    This lightweight crossbow was designed for the novice and comes in a compact, safe, and reliable construction that is easy to maneuver and safe to handle on the field or in the wilds. Made for hunting, the bow also comes with multiple accessories.

    Accessories

    Finding the right attachments when you first start shooting with a crossbow is far from easy. Luckily, the Manticore SAS Crossbow comes with valuable accessories like a rifle scope for better aiming, arrow, and bolts, and other useful items included in the starter pack.

    Overall Assessment

    Not the most powerful crossbows but certainly one of the most reliable, this weapon comes with all needed to shoot right out of the box. It makes an ideal gift for someone attracted by archery and makes a great hunting weapon for beginners, providing great accuracy up to 60 yards. 


    4. Wizard Archery Hunting Crossbow

    Wizard Archery Hunting Crossbow

    Highlights:

    • 210 fps initial speed
    • Short stock
    • 150 pounds draw weight
    • Fiberglass limbs

    Materials

    Similar in many ways to the crossbow above, the Wizard Archery Hunting Crossbow comes with components made from high quality materials that withstand intensive use in the hands of the novice. Components include fiberglass limbs and aluminum barrel.

    Safety

    Designed with the novice in mind, this crossbow comes with an auto safety cocking mechanism intended to keep users safe.

    Overall Assessment

    No doubt one of the best crossbows for the money, the Wizard Archery Hunting Crossbow comes with all accessories needed to make the first steps into archery. The 150 pounds draw weight makes the bow perfect for beginners but powerful enough to pierce through animal skin, thanks to the 210 fps velocity.


    5. Bruin Ambush 370 Crossbow

    Bruin Ambush 370 Crossbow Package

    Highlights:

    • 370 fps velocity
    • Perfect for hunting
    • Anti-Dry fire trigger
    • Detachable quiver

    Lightweight

    The Bruin Ambush 370 Crossbow is a high-end bow designed with the hunter in mind. powerful enough to make an arrow travel with up to 370 feet per second, the weapon can easily be used to kill even the larger wildlife.

    Construction

    Sturdy and reliable, the Bruin Ambush 370 Crossbow boasts high quality materials that include reliable limbs and a composite/aluminum barrel that promises to last for a lifetime. Indeed, the weapon comes with a lifetime guarantee.

    Overall Assessment

    Extreme power, astonishing speed, and lifetime warranty are just some of the things that define this excellent weapon for hunting. With a draw weight of only 175 pounds, this crossbow is perfect for beginners and advanced archers alike.

    Bruin Ambush 370 Crossbow Video Review


    6. Spartan Products Red Back Pistol Crossbow

    Spartan Products Red Back Pistol Crossbow

    Highlights:

    • Pistol crossbow
    • 80 pounds draw weight
    • 235 fps bolt speed
    • Telescopic sight

    Design

    This pistol crossbow has a simple design that appeals to the novice but also to the more experienced archer. Inspired by the innovative design of the Barnett commando pistol, this weapon is designed to withstand the harshest conditions and heavier duty demands.

    Easy to Use

    This is perhaps one of the easiest to use crossbows. It requires little energy to cock and comes complete with bow stringer and other accessories. Manufactured with the novice in mind, this bow can draw strings at up to 235 fps velocity.

    Overall Assessment

    With its 80-lbs draw weight, the Spartan Products Red Back Pistol Crossbow is more ideal for the novice than for the experienced archer and more ideal for tournament shooting than hunting. Nonetheless, it’s very easy to use and perhaps one of the best options when it comes to learning the secrets of crossbow shooting.


    7. XGear Crossbow

    XGear Crossbow

    Highlights:

    • Lightweight
    • Sleek design
    • 210 fps max velocity
    • 125 grain arrow tips
    • Accessories

    Style

    The XGear Crossbow has a fresh appearance appealing to the youngsters and comes with a sleek frame enhanced by an inspired choice of colors. Coming with a safety anti-dry fire mechanism and a power stroke of 10.5 inches, this crossbow is perfect for beginners.

    Accessories

    This is one of the many crossbows in this list that comes with accessories. What makes the difference is the 3-red-dot sight scope and the reliable 16-inch aluminum arrows, together with the padded sling and cocking rope.

    Overall Assessment

    Undoubtedly one of the best crossbows for the money, this weapon comes with valuable accessories and is perfect for beginners. Nonetheless, it boasts a draw weight of 160 pounds and can easily withstand hunting sessions.


    Conclusion 

    Finding the best crossbow for the money is often a daunting task. If you’re an experienced archer, walking your way through models is easier, but still exhausting. If you’re a novice, perhaps you don’t even know what to look for. Regardless of your level of expertise, you at least now know which are some of your best options. Happy crossbow hunting or target shooting.


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