What completes a good hunter?
Skills and experience, maybe?
Nope, it’s one medieval weapon: CROSSBOW
Getting your hands on some top rated crossbows for hunting can be a hassle if you are running short of time or money.
Worry not, we have done the research for you on some of the best crossbows of 2018 below. Here’s a breakdown of some of the latest crossbow reviews:
You may also like to read the 13 Crossbow Tips That Every Deer Hunter Needs to Know
Best Overall pick!
Best Overall: Barnett Wildcat C5
Barnett Wildcat C5 is a perfect crossbow that nicely manages things like flexibility, weight and stability that prove to be key factors when choosing a crossbow. It weights good enough that gives it stability and comes for a price that won’t pitch your pocket.
Best Crossbow Reviews 2018
Barnett Ghost 410
Barnett Wildcat C5
Southern Risen XT 350
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury
Horton Storm RDX
Wicked Ridge Invader G3
Barnett Ghost 360 CRT
1. Barnett Ghost 410 Crossbow: Best Hunting Crossbow under $1000
On the top of our list is Barnett’s brand new crossbow- the Ghost 410. With some big new features, the Ghost 410 is a powerhouse that destroys its target in a breeze. It has a smaller frame that gives you the speed and power to make accurate kill shots. Although it is one of the most expensive crossbows currently, there’s no doubt it’s well worth the huge price tag.
Here’s a look at some features of this crossbow:
The Ghost 410, as the name suggests, is capable of hitting moving targets with a speed of 410 FPS (feet per second). It is currently one of the fastest crossbows out there in the market.
A solid draw weight of 81 Kg makes it ideal for hunting purposes as you can make short work of your game easily.
Lightweight construction and sleek body on the Barnett 410 makes it the best choice for crossbows for getting spot-on accurate results.
Weighing only 7.3 kgs, carrying it around won’t be a big deal for beginners.
It generates 20.46 kg-m worth of kinetic energy, thus making your shot as accurate and precise as possible.
The lightweight nature of the crossbow ensures the risk of arm fatigue is reduced amongst users. You can feel the stability and balance when you take your aim at a target. And, with a solid rope cocking aid, users can draw and release arrows to get a smooth and powerful performance in spite of a heavy draw weight of 83 kgs.
The rope cocking aid greatly reduces the pull burden on the user by half to approximately 40 kgs.
The Barnett Ghost 410 is the top rated crossbow of 2018 for both professionals and beginners. Regardless of some great features, the Ghost 410 is not really affordable. We’d suggest, if only you have a serious affection towards crossbows and want all the features a crossbow can offer, then go ahead and purchase it. There are a couple of cheaper crossbows that in spite of being limited in features, deliver the goods without any hassles.
The Wildcat is among the sleeker, more presentable options in the market. It is also slightly costlier, so it figures. Barnett surely brings some life back to their crossbow range with the Wildcat C5 and C6. Operation is easier too.
The draw weight is 68 kg, and the Kinetic Energy barely better than the Jackal. The speed is slightly better at 320 fps. The weight is comfortable too. Overall, it is hard to differentiate between the Wildcat and the Jackal, and since they come from the same brand, it is not hard to piece out that they’re not competitors but variants that are barely different for a minute price change. I’ll let you figure out the economics.
The Barnett Wildcat C5 will serve you well if you prefer a simple and sleek crossbow that delivers over one with frills and complexities.
3. Southern Crossbow Risen XT 350 – Crossbow for Beginners
The Risen XT 350 is the best crossbow for beginners that packs in a solid, sturdy body and rich features in one equipment. It is suitable for archers, and huntsmen alike and allows users to mount flashlights with ease. The Risen XT 350 comes in a black matte finish and weighs only 2.4 kgs making it apt for beginners.
Let’s take a look at some of the best features of the Risen XT 350 below-:
The first noticeable thing in the Risen XT 350 is vertical foregrip which feels quite handy. Being a modular crossbow, this crossbow comprises of a detachable quiver.
At 350 FPS, the XT350 is speedy enough to take down a target easily.
The readily adjustable scope that lets you hit the bull’s-eye with a 15-yard shot.
Assembling this crossbow is not a big deal as it comes equipped with an instruction manual.
Delivers arrows at a kinetic energy of 15 kg-m.
The non-illuminating scope can be a drag sometimes especially for inexperienced users.
All in all, the Risen XT 350 is a fine crossbow that aims to be a mix of technology and a gamut of features. Speedy and accurate for the most part, it lacks in the scope department which acts as a buzzkill for this otherwise very promising crossbow.
4. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury – Most affordable Crossbow that won’t break the bank
The Inferno Fury boasts of impressive features at a low price that just blows all the other crossbows in its price range out of the water. No matter if you are an experienced hunter or a first time user looking for a reliable crossbow, the Inferno Fury could be what you’re looking for. We march right into the Details-:
The first impressions of this crossbow showcase a lightweight built and slender design that gives it a stylish appearance.
It’s a recurve crossbow that everyone can comfortably handle. Weighing a little over 2.1 kgs, this crossbow is capable of being lugged around with ease and comfort.
The Inferno Fury has an aluminum barrel that facilitates smooth track for the arrow to pass through. Moreover, the crossbow stock is made up of a lightweight composite material.
A draw weight of 79.3 kg ensures accurate shots that can penetrate most targets.
The addition of a detachable quiver makes it a worthwhile purchase.
Unlike some of its rivals, this crossbow lacks the speed with which you could make a kill. We reckon it is not suitable for hunting down bigger targets such as grizzly bears.
What makes the Inferno Fury a great deal is its price tag that’s fairly lucrative. Besides, it has all the essential features that a newbie needs to improve their crossbow skills. It can also be used for target practice by beginners as well as professionals. However, it might not be a good draw for experienced professionals who would be turned off by the low speed of 235 FPS that this crossbow can achieve.
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5. Horton Crossbow Storm RDX: A Powerful Crossbow for hunting
Horton claims to be the best tactical crossbow in the market. Horton does claims to have designed the Storm RDX (Reverse draw crossbow) as a crossbow with two notable qualities that are essential to any premier crossbow- adjustability, and power. The Storm RDX comprises of a reverse limb that is meant to help you with the center of gravity and executing the shots more precisely.
Let’s have a look at some exciting features of this crossbow-:
With a shot speed of 370 FPS, the Storm RDX is lethal in its pursuit.
A draw weight of 74.8 kgs ably backed by a kinetic strength of 16.86 kg-m is meant for hunting down big games.
At 3.5 kgs, this crossbow has a fairly lightweight and well-balanced design.
It has a built-in 3x zoom scope that takes some time for calibration to sight far away objects quickly.
The Storm RDX features a narrow 10-inch spindle-to-spindle (side-to-side) distance whilst cocked, which ensures that the shots you fire are accurate.
The Storm RDX is one of the best crossbows right now once you get used to calibrate the scope. However, the price tag at which it comes gives its closest rivals, such as the Tenpoint Venom, an edge if you cannot get the hang of the scope.
The Barnett Jackal is another decent budget option for someone looking for an efficient crossbow. The working is rather smooth for a budget option. If you love the ritual that defines the traditional bowstring or crossbow, such as waxing the string every few shots and checking the proper fletching is down, this is the perfect traditionalist’s crossbow. Given its lower-than-most price, it might also be judged affordable.
The specs are decent. The 68 kg draw weight is lower than the Ridge Invader’s, which has its own benefits but still comes off a bit lacking. The arrow included with the package shoots with a decent 12 kg-m Kinetic energy. At 315 fps, it’s not a bad option at all.
It is a little heavier than the Ridge Invader, but you don’t feel much reduction in recoil.
7. Excalibur Crossbow: Matrix 405 Mega Crossbow
Hailed as one of the fastest crossbows at present, Excalibur’s Matrix Mega 405 is a recurve crossbow that can shoot at 405 FPS. Looking at the amazing speed and price combo, we could not resist inquiring more about its features.
Here are the details-:
With a superfast speed of 405 FPS and a kinetic energy of 17.55 kg-m, the Matrix Mega launches shots quickly.
A draw weight of 131.5 kg across a 14-inch power stroke ensures this crossbow doesn’t miss its target and pierces right through it.
The Matrix Mega 405 comes with cool new safety features such as anti-dry fire system
The pretty accurate scope that can close in on any target in the shortest possible time.
The addition of R.E.D.S suppressors helps you focus on your target by reducing the noise.
Compared with all the other arrows on our list, the Matrix Mega 405 is perhaps the crossbow that gives off the least sound.
Lightweight crossbow built for hunting in the wild and target practice rituals.
Overall impression of Excalibur Crossbow: Matrix 405 Mega Crossbow is generally positive. It fits all the criteria that makes a good crossbow- fast, cheap, accurate, lightweight and powerful. However, it lags behind in one department and that is draw weight. Cocking the crossbow will require some strength due to its long pull length and heavy draw weight. So, yeah beginners and women will feel the heat in this department.
8. TenPoint Venom – Lightweight And Complete Crossbow
Tenpoint has introduced Venom as a crossbow that claims to single-handedly resolve all your problems related to arm fatigue. So, is it really that lightweight and good at the same time? We figure out-:
The venom has a remarkably fast velocity of 372 FPS.
Venom’s mega-layered scope can zoom in from 1.5X to 5X in seconds! The scope performs really well in low-lit conditions and remains constant after even odd jerks and motions.
Sturdy construction with solid limbs and a powerful draw weight of 83 kgs.
This crossbow has AcuDraw integrated rope cocking device that makes drawing strings a walk in the park.
A lightweight body weighing approximately 3.3 kgs.
Tenpoint has built the arrow keeping in mind the utilities of crossbow lovers. It is loaded with all the essential features that complete a crossbow. Albeit, the costly price tag is a big downside that can put off most users. But there’s also another product by Tenpoint, rated as the best crossbow under 500. That might be a good fit for you if you are a budget buyer!!
What works in the immense favor of Wicked Ridge Invader G3 is the easy pulling and cocking mechanism. The weight is manageable and the whole punch the crossbow carries is worth noting. The speed afforded is impressive at 330 feet per second, which is quite something when you consider its weight and rather simple build.
The 75 kg draw weight is a little less than what some of its competing bows offer, but it is enough to get some game. The bow itself is a convenient 3 kgs, which makes it easy to carry, but demands care when you’re shooting at a target since the recoil is bound to be tougher in lighter devices.
The Kinetic energy isn’t out of this world; 14 kg-m is definitely less than 20 that the Ghost 410 offers, but it is enough for a beginner.
The Barnett Ghost 360 CRT wins in terms of aesthetic appeal. It is easy to use, looks like an angel and carries quite a lot of firepower. The CRT stands for Carbon Riser Technology, which is implemented to give the crossbow a superior balance despite its low weight. The draw weight is heartening at about 75 kg-m, which is much more helpful than other low-cost alternatives.
This crossbow is certainly not a budget option. But it does give you the most bang for your buck with its high speed and the cost lower by about $200 (depends where you buy it from). The 5-1 safety system too deserves a mention.
Buying Guide For Crossbows: Everything You Need To Know
To buy the best possible crossbows that suit all your needs, there are certain questions that need to be cleared before you make your purchase. Here are some of them:
#1 What are the different types of crossbows?
There are two types of crossbows namely- Compound and Recurve crossbows.
Simply put, a compound crossbow includes a sequence of cables and pulleys which require more maintenance. Whereas, a recurve crossbow has no mechanical parts and the user has the authority to completely control its motion. However, both of these crossbows offer the same amount of accuracy and power. Thus, you need to select the best crossbow for you in accordance to your convenience.
#2 Noise Level (dB)
The noise level of a crossbow is another important factor to consider. As is the case, some crossbows tend to be loud especially when the arrow is released or drawn up. If you’re going hunting, you will have to factor in this issue to not let your target escape.
#3 Draw Weight
The draw weight of a crossbow stands for the force you need to apply to cock/latch the crossbow. Draw weight affects the speed or FPS or feet per second with which the arrow hits the target. So you’d want a device such as a crank that supports you to reach a certain speed or FPS. The draw weight is important because it can be a huge hindrance on your ability to use a crossbow. For instance, you may not be able to cock a draw weight of 90 Kgs. At the same time, don’t purchase a crossbow with a draw weight of less than 68 Kg, or else you’ll have to greatly compromise on the speed.
The range is the area or length of the field that the crossbow can cover after the arrow has been fired. Normally crossbows cover a maximum of 30 yards. Anything under the purview of 15-30 yards is more than good.
#5 Power Stroke
The power stroke is essential in determining the FPS. It gauges how far back the arrow needs to be pulled until it is cocked or latched. The longer the power stroke, faster the FPS you derive. Ideally, crossbows having power strokes between 11’ and 14″ are considered good enough for hunting action.
Feet per second or FPS determines the speed of a crossbow. The best crossbow is that which delivers a speed of at least 300 FPS which is apt for hunting. It is noteworthy that anything less than the aforesaid speed, for instance, 270 FPS can also be well provided it’s not marginally less.
Here’s the video showcasing, the world’s fastest crossbow at 496 fps.
WAIT!! That’s an old one.
The fastest speed recorded is 504.3 fps!!. TAKE A LOOK BELOW!!
The larger the size of the crossbow the more the draw weight and power you would have to apply. Especially, if you are the first-time user, a longer crossbow would perhaps not be the right fit for you.
Also check out this Guide on how to buy a right crossbow by Hunting-Bow.com
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