What Are The Best Crossbows For Hunting


Best Crossbow Reviews 2020 

Whether you are planning on using it for hunting or simply for target practice, a crossbow is not a minimal investment. Crossbows are built to last, so your new crossbow will be with you for years and years. With that being the case, it is important to review your options. The two major categories of crossbow owners are: hunters and sport shooters. Although a hunter’s needs are somewhat different than a sport shooter’s, at the end of the day both require a highly functional bow that preforms as advertised.
To cut through all the sub-optimal bows on the market today, we have compiled a list of only the best. These bows vary in price-point, optimal use, and design, but they are all very high quality. If you are looking to buy a new crossbow, whether you are brand-new to the sport or looking for an upgrade, this list is for you. Below are seven of the hottest crossbows on the market for 2020.

Assassin Crossbow
Bow
Assassin 1

1

Excalibur Assassin 400TD


In the hunter vs. sport shooter divide, the Excalibur Assassin 400TD comes down firmly on the hunter’s side. This is a highly compact bow, making it fantastic option for hunting in heavily wooded areas.

At 400 feet per second (FPS), its speed is more than adequate for any type of game. It boasts Excalibur’s Quick-Loc technology, so disassembly and storage are a breeze. When it is broken down, this bow is only 25 in. x10 in. and weighs a measly 7.8 pounds., meaning it would not be out of place on an ultralight backpacking trip.

The Assassin 400TD also has a built-in silent charger crank, which allows the hunter to reload quickly and quietly without spooking any animals. This product package also comes standard with a Tact-100 illuminated scope, four Black Eagle brand Pro-Flight 16.5" arrows with 100-grain field tips, a quiver that holds four arrows, a hard case, and R.E.D.S. suppressors.

This model also contains a Pro-Shot 2-stage trigger, which has a three-pound pull like a rife trigger. This allows for greater accuracy than some of the earlier crossbow trigger designs because it does not require nearly the amount of force to activate the firing mechanism. This reduces recoil and has a huge impact on the overall accuracy of the bow. 

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Pros

  • 400 FPS speed 
  • Compact size axle to axle: 20.5 in. cocked, 25 in uncocked 
  •  Express, armour tipped, high-output limbs
  • Included R.E.D.S. Suppressors, which cut down on string vibration and excess noise
  • 325 lb. draw weight but is cocked with a crankIncluded R.E.D.S. Suppressors, which cut down on string vibration and excess noise
  • Ambidextrous check piece fitting
  • Highly integrated design makes it worth every penny

Cons

  • The standard quiver only holds four arrows


Package
TenPoint_Nitro_XRT
TenPoint_Nitro_XRT crossbow

2

TenPoint Nitro XRT Crossbow Package


The TenPoint Nitro XRT Crossbow Package is high end. It boasts a 470 FPS velocity while its ACU draw PRO cocking system all but negates the 225 pounds of force necessary to cock this machine. Its advanced T5 trigger is state-of-the-art and negates almost all trigger pull-based inaccuracies.

One of the most common reasons for a crossbow to fire inaccurately is because the arrow and the string are misaligned. Even slight misalignments as the arrow is fired can create large trajectory errors downrange. The TenPoint Nitro XRT Crossbow’s custom Alpha-Nock technology gets rid of that issue, as it keeps the string and the nock snugly aligned right up until the arrow is released. This new Alpha-Nock system increases string-to-knock engagement by 28%, leading to far fewer off-center shots.

•The is an all-inclusive system, so no pricey accessories are necessary. Included in this package are: an EVO-X Marksman Scope with dovetail mount, six EVO-X Center Punch Premium Carbon arrows, a three-arrow quiver with left-or-right-handed side-mount bracket, a STAG hard case, and a neoprene carry sling. Truly, this is everything you need. 

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Pros

  • Powerful 470 FPS velocity 
  • All-in-one system
  • T5 trigger for increased accuracy
  • This system can more accurately be considered an investment

Cons

  • The standard quiver only holds three arrows
PSE Fang

3

PSE Fang HD Pro Crossbow Package


The PSE Fang HD Pro Crossbow is ideal for a new crossbow enthusiast. That does not mean this is an underpowered “starter bow,” though, so do not be confused. This is a powerful weapon. It boasts a speed of 405 FPS, meaning this bow is formidable enough to successfully hunt any type of animal.

The crossbow does have a 205 lb. draw weight, meaning that this is not going to be a quick or quiet bow to reload, at least at first. However, with practice, a competent hunter can reload a 205 lb. draw in a manner of seconds. This kit also comes with a DV-425 1.5-5x32mm variable zoom scope, a fully adjustable butt stock, a foot stirrup, a five-arrow quiver, and limb dampeners and string suppressors to cut down on noise and vibration.

If you are in the market for a beginner crossbow that still has the power to get the job done, consider the PSE Fang HD Pro Crossbow. It is not flashy but it is a highly efficient, well manufactured weapon.

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Pros

  • Great quality for a reasonable price 
  • Auto safety and anti-dry fire trigger
  • Light weight 7.3 lbs
  • 5-arrow quiver with 3 22" carbon arrows with bullet points included
  • This weapon can easily fit into the budget of most sportsmen

Cons

  • Larger size (35.5 in. length) means it could be difficult to use in heavily wooded areas
  • Relatively high (205 lbs.) draw weight
Bear_constrictor

4

BearX Constrictor   Hunt Crossbow  


This is another all-inclusive kit that is perfect for a new hunter or an experienced hunter looking to upgrade. The BearX Constrictor Ready-to-Hunt Crossbow Package is tailor-made for hunting in deep woods and tight spaces. It measures 10 in. axle to axle when cocked and 14 in. uncocked, so this is a very compact weapon that will go anywhere with you.

With a speed of 410 FPS, the BearX Constrictor is powerful enough to take down any size game animal. Weighing in at only 7.8 lbs., this weapon will not weigh down your hunt. With one of the sleekest designs on the market, the BearX Constrictor would not look out of place on the mantle or hanging above a fireplace. It is truly a beautiful machine.

This weapon does have a 190 lb. draw. While this is not the heaviest draw on the market (or even the heaviest draw on this list), it is something to keep in mind. For any shooter that has not used a cocking rope before, this 190 lb. draw will take some getting used to. However, once a shooter is comfortable with reloading the BearX Constrictor, it is the perfect bow to take with you on just about any trip.

This is a kit that includes almost everything necessary to outfit a crossbow hunt, including a reliable anti-dry fire device, three BearX TrueX arrows, an illuminated scope, rail lube, string wax, and an adjustable sling for ease of transport. 

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Pros

  • High speed (405 FPS) for high accuracy and lethality 
  • Low weight (7.8 lbs
  • Compact size (32 in. in length)
  • Ambidextrous draw settings
  • This is a very reasonably priced crossbow kit

Cons

  • The 190 lb. draw may be too much for some shooters
  • The kit does not contain a quiver, so that must be purchased 

    

TenPoint_Vapor_RS470 1
TenPoint Vapor image

5


The TenPoint Vapor RS470 Elite Crossbow is one of the most powerful crossbow-style weapons available on the market today. Its superior TenPoint design means it can reach a max speed of 470 FPS, meaning that this crossbow can fire an arrow faster than some 22 caliber rimfire rifles. That is an incredible engineering feat, and far from the only impressive thing about the Vapor RS470 Elite Crossbow. 

This model also includes TenPoint’s new 3.5 lb. trigger break, which offers a huge improvement in accuracy compared to older models. A rife-like trigger pull reduces the torque and shift created by heavier trigger pulls, meaning this crossbow can deliver accurate, repeatable shots time after time.

Another feature unique to this model is TenPoint’s safe de-cocking system, which contains two stainless-steel rollers within the trigger box. The rollers allow the crossbow to be safely, smoothly, and silently de-cocked with minimal effort. 

The ability to de-cock silently is something that a hunter does not truly appreciate until he has to de-cock his bow to climb over a fence or crouch under a fallen tree. A loud de-cocking mechanism can alert every animal within a 200-yard radius of your presence, so these stainless-steel rollers that TenPoint has designed should not be discounted as a gimmick. They could literally be the difference between a successful hunt and going home empty-handed.

Another point of convenience for this weapon is the new Xtend crank handle, which can be adjusted between 5 in. and 7.5 in. when employed, this handle allows this weapon to be cocked with an amazingly light five pounds of force. The Xtend crank is stored in the butt of the bow for ease of access.

This is absolutely a high-end weapon. However, for a serious crossbow hunter, the Vapor RS470 Elite is too good to pass up. Quality equipment warrants a high price, and this crossbow is unquestionably high quality. If you are ready to graduate from using a rope cocker to an elegant and feather-light crank cocking crossbow, the Vapor RS470 Elite cannot be beat.

As this is a kit, the TenPoint Vapor RS470 Elite Crossbow package contains everything a hunter will need including.

  • TenPoint STAG hard case
  • 6 EVO-X Center Punch premium arrows
  • 6 EVO-X Lighted Center Punch Premium arrows
  • 3 EVO-X Center Punch rear-deploying broad heads
  • A sling
  • A six-arrow tech quiver      

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Pros

  • Superior arrow speed (470 FPS) 
  • Three different arrow styles included in the kit
  • Hard case included for protection

Cons

  • Aside from the price, nothing
Best Crossbow

6

 Killer Instinct Swat XP 415fps Crossbow 


This is a weapon that was designed to hunt big game in close quarters. The Killer Instinct Swat XP is a compact crossbow that delivers arrows at an impressive 415 FPS. It is only 27 in. in length, meaning it has one of the tightest, most efficient designs of any hunting crossbow currently on the market. Couple that with the Killer Instinct’s “Dead Silent Crank System,” and you have a weapon that was tailor-made to creep through dense underbrush and target wary deer and elk.


This crossbow was absolutely designed for the average, blue-collar hunter in mind. It has a combination of style and function that will not break the bank. Specialized from broadhead arrows, if you are searching for a powerful, reliable weapon with which to hunt anything from deer to moose, you cannot go wrong with the Killer Instinct Swat XP. The trajectory of broadhead arrows is sometimes difficult to gauge, so for a crossbow to be designed with broadheads specifically in mind is a definite game-changer for big game hunters. The Killer Instinct Swat XP is not as flashy as some of the other bows available, but it has all the power a big game hunter could ever need. With a draw of 153 lbs., this bow has about the lightest draw available in 400+ FPS crossbow models that utilize cocking ropes. If you are looking for an easy draw that still packs a punch, you have found it with the Killer Instinct Swat XP 415fps crossbow.

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Pros

  • 400 FPS speed 
  • Compact size (axle to axle: 20.5 in. cocked, 25 in. uncocked)
  • Express, armour tipped, high-output limbs
  • Included R.E.D.S. Suppressors, which cut down on string vibration and excess noise
  • 325 lb. draw weight but is cocked with a crank
  • Ambidextrous check piece fitting
  • Highly integrated design makes it worth every penny

Cons

  • The standard quiver only holds four arrows
R29X-Sniper-Quarter
R29X-Sniper-Right

7

Ravin R29X  Crossbow Package


The Ravin R29X Crossbow is an elegant weapon. Its max speed of 450 FPS rivals any other crossbow design, but what really sets the Ravin R29X apart is its superior draw engineering. This crossbow has a draw weight of only 12 lbs. That is incredible! For context, a gallon of milk weighs about eight pounds, meaning if you can lift a milk jug you can pretty much load this crossbow.

Obviously, this negligible draw weight will be appreciated by hunters and sport shooters alike. However, where this lightweight draw comes into play is reloading while on a hunt. As evidenced from the rest of this list, most hunting bows have a 100-200 lb. draw, making reloading a laborious and potentially noisy process. 

If you do not hit your animal with your first arrow, a heavy draw will almost guarantee you do not get a second shot. By the time you have your weapon reloaded, there is a great chance that the animal knows exactly where you are and is charging away in the other direction. With at 12 lb. draw, reloading becomes a quick and silent maneuver, meaning the average hunter has a much higher chance of getting a second arrow off. 

As you may have guessed, this crossbow is not cheap. This is a weapon for a serious, dedicated hunter or sports shooter who is looking for the very highest quality.  

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Pros

  • Cams are available when leveled properly 
  • Has a soundless cocking mechanism
  • It's among Ravin's wear-resistant crossbows
  • Provides enhanced precision, better momentum, and no rail friction
  • Perfect for hunting from restrained spaces and blinds.

Cons

  • Although it has great accessories, it has an expensive price tag



 

Concluding Remarks

The year 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting one for crossbow enthusiasts. Serious hunters, dedicated sports shooters, and weekend warriors alike will all find sterling options when it comes to new hardware. Obviously, there is a large difference in price between crossbows that require a rope cocking device and crossbows that can be cocked with a crank. The former requires a draw somewhere between 120 and 220 pounds, while the latter can be safely cocked with as little as five pounds of force. In making that decision, your budget and personal preference will help you decide which type of bow is correct for you.
More generally, when searching for a new crossbow, there are a few factors that you should consider. Namely: what are you hoping to use the bow for, how large a draw will be appropriate for you, and what is your budget? If you can reasonably answer these three questions, you should have no problems finding your dream crossbow from the list above!

    

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers


What is the best crossbow bolt for hunting?

Archery Compound bows have a draw weight less than half of a crossbow. The 70  compound bow is much faster and has lots more energy than a 150 crossbowCrossbows also have a much larger draw weight of 150 on average that generates the speed and the energy due to the shorter powered strokes therefore 14" would be the average of a crossbow.

What crossbow should I buy?

The best quality crossbows for hunting are in the range of 150 and 175 pound, with some exceeding the 200 pound mark. And can generally be bigger and much better and in this cases, much faster.

What Are The Fastest Hunting Crossbows

  • Ravin R20 (430 fps) 9.6.
  • Killer Instinct Swat XP 415fps
  • TenPoint Nitro X (440 fps) 9.6.
  • TenPoint Vapor RS47 Elite 470 fps
  • Excalibur Matrix Bulldog (400 fps