10 Best Crossbow For The Money

Best Crossbows For The Money 2017 Comparison Chart

CrossbowVelocityDraw WeightOur RatingPrice Range
Excalibur Matrix Mega 405
Tenpoint Venom
Barnett Ghost 410
Excalibur Matrix 380
Excalibur Matrix Grizzly SMF
Barnett Buck Commander Extreme
Wicked Ridge Invader G3
Barnett Ghost 360 CRT
Barnett Jackal
3151508.4Entry Level
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury
2351757.7Entry Level

1- Excalibur Matrix Mega 405 – The best Recurve Crossbow

This is a hunting machine at its finest. The best crossbow for 2017 – the best recurve at least. Its goal is simple- hit hard and crush bone. At 405 fps (advertised speed) it can take down most legal game easily, including big sized ones;that is if you know how to shoot it, of course. The very first thing I recommend, is buying an arrow puller. Due to its amazing power, when the arrow hits a target, it goes so deep into it, that it leaves very little to grip in order to pull. This is the fastest recurve crossbow in the world after all.

Everything else needed to start shooting it right away is included in the package, consisting of an excellent scope (maybe the best right now), a quiver, some bolts and a step by step assembly video that should make the setup a fairly easy task. If you are looking for the best hunting crossbow, then  look no further. The Matrix 405, should you decide to buy it, could be your hunting companion for a long time to come. The superior quality that characterises the whole Matrix line can make that possible.

The Matrix 405 is not an inexpensive crossbow though. It’s not recommended for beginners or recreational hunters- unless of course money is not an issue. But, if you are serious about bowhunting you need the best gear you can afford. And if you can afford it, don’t hesitate. This is your new crossbow. Enjoy it.


2- TenPoint Venom Crossbow with ACU50

TenPoint has created a crossbow that is incredibly compact and lightweight, without losing any speed and performance. The Venom crossbow is the perfect choice for confined spaces and it is incredibly easy to carry with the rest of your gear. You will also appreciate how simple it is to assemble right out of the box.

The sight is accurate up to 30 yards so you can zero in on a “killing” shot. It also comes with a bowjax dampening system that will effectively muffle any noise that might startle your prey. The ACU50 ensures a smooth draw and release, along with plenty of power to penetrate your target. It also makes it extremely easy to aim pull the bow’s 200 pound draw weight.

With the Venom crossbow you have the advantage of the FSB stock, which has long been a favorite of consumers. The barrel has been shortened and is constructed from a durable carbon fiber material that is also extremely lightweight. This ensures you can easily carry the crossbow to your favorite hunting spot, and also improves maneuverability.

While this TenPoint crossbow might be priced slightly higher than other models, its lightweight and powerful design make it well worth the extra cost. You have the ability to fire bolts up to 372 feet per second and plenty of power to hit moving targets.


3- Barnett Ghost 410: Let’s talk about power

You have the Ghost 410 on hand and you meet a fellow bowhunter who happens not to know about it -yes, there are still some who don’t-. When you tell him that it can fire arrows at 410 fps he will most likely say something like this: “410fps? WOW! That must have cost you a fortune!”. Well that’s not the case. Sure, the Ghost 410 isn’t the cheapest crossbow but it’s not the most expensive either. Something you would expect for the fastest compound crossbow of 2017.

The assembly of this crossbow is very easy and clearly explained in the manual. The package includes a premium illuminated scope that comes already mounted, a sling, a rope cocking device, arrows and a quiver. The scope’s screws may need a little bit of tightening. At least I did it to be sure. The scope gives a green or red dot illumination that you can turn on and off with a push of a button.

The Ghost 410 weighs 7.3 pounds and its compact design makes it perfect for those tight hunting places. The Draw weight of this crossbow is 185 pounds with a 15.4 inch power stroke and is generating the enormous amount of 149 ft./lbs. of kinetic energy. It is made to shoot 22 inch arrows which can be send on target at a 410fps speed. No need to tell you if it can take down large game.

The better part is that anyone can use this crossbow. Although its power and features are probably more suited to experienced hunters I can see no reason why even a beginner shouldn’t buy it if money is not an issue. If you decide to buy it – which I recommend- you’d be the happy owner of one of the world’s most powerful crossbows! Ah, that’s a good feeling.


4- Excalibur Matrix 380 – Powered by Excalibur

With the launch of the Matrix line, Excalibur has permanently changed the market’s quality standards and the 380 model couldn’t be an exception. It is a really compact, reliable and solid recurve crossbow with tremendous arrow speed (380 fps). On top of that, this thing is as accurate as they get. I have been able to shoot groupings of 3.5″ from more than 60 yards; it’s just incredible.

As far as hunting is concerned, you can rest assured that its power is more than enough to take down most game that is legal to hunt, including Cape Buffalo and Grizzly BearsNote though, that having success with such game is highly depenand on your level of experience and your shooting skills; a good bow is just the cherry on top. It won’t on its own transform a beginner hunter into a grizzly bear serial killer. You need experience, training and patience.

The package includes  a string cocking aid, a 4 arrow quiver, 4 bolts, 4 field points, a high-quality tact zone scope, assembly instructions and tools and lifetime warranty card(limited). The Excalibur Matrix 380 is hands down the most complete offer in this price range when it comes to recurve crossbows. It’s an exceptional bow and if you have the budget for it, don’t hesitate. You will greatly enjoy shooting it.


5- Excalibur Matrix Grizzly SMF – An affordable option by Excalibur

Manufactured by Excalibur, the Grizzly is a well balanced recurve crossbow that is quickly gaining attention from small game hunters. After all, it’s the legendary’s Axiom SMF -one of the best hunting crossbows for small and medium game in the past decade- successor. It is designed to fit comfortably against your shoulder, and it is extremely easy to draw and fire. The crossbow is also simple to assemble, simply attach the stock with the two included screws.

This compact crossbow only weighs 5.5 pounds, but still packs the power you need to humanely take down small game. The included scope helps to ensure accuracy so you never have to worry about wasting a shot. With the ability to fire up to 305 feet per second, this compact crossbow has the speed and power you need for a successful hunting trip.

The package includes four bolts so you can immediately start practicing your aim. You will also appreciate the quiver and mounting bracket, which lets you keep your arrows conveniently close at hand. With a 200 pound draw weight this recurve crossbow has the power you need to shoot through targets, and with the adjustable sight you will always be able to hit exactly where you aim. If you are a recurve fan this is the best crossbow for you at this price range!


6- Barnett Buck Commander Extreme – Light and Fast

The BCX, at 7.1 pounds, is one of the lightest compound crossbows out there and that’s mainly due to the fact that carbon and aluminum are the main materials used and because of Barnett’s patented CRT technology which is allegedly reducing the weight of the riser by 43%. Furthermore, it’s really compact when cocked, making it really easy to maneuver with it on hand or use it on a tree stand. Despite its light mass the Barnett Buck Commander feels solid and durable when you hold it. In fact, a couple of buddies that shoot it for some time now swear by its built quality.

The Barnett Buck Commander Extreme is a crossbow worth its money to the last cent. For a mid-priced crossbow you get top level performance. The BCX is shooting arrows at a speed of 365 fps and is advertised as being able to produce 118-ft of Kinetic Energy, which should be enough for most hunters out there. As with most Barnett’s offerings, the BCX didn’t disappoint me with its accuracy. After installing the illuminated 3×32 scope, my first arrow was on target. After a couple of shots I was dead on at 20 yards. I later found out that I was good to go at 50 yards, which should be enough for most of the hunters.

Overall, taking everything into consideration including performance, quality, ease of use, and price I feel that the BCX is the best value for money crossbow right now, especially for those that specifically want a compound crossbow.


7-  Wicked Ridge Invader G3 – The Best Value

Redesigned by Ten Point, the Invader G3 is a sturdy crossbow with a smooth draw that is easy to handle. It also comes at a surprisingly affordable price that will fit almost any budget. The crossbow is easy to assemble out of the box and the clearly written instructions will walk you through the simple set up steps. This crossbow package also includes three bolts so you can immediately start practicing your draw and aim.

You will appreciate the redesigned riser that is constructed from machined aluminum, and the cutouts are placed to reduce weight while adding strength. The 3.5 pound trigger is easy to pull, and the innovative ACU-52 cocking system fits securely in the stock without interfering with your aim. The Invader G3’s new design also includes several safety features that makes this a great crossbow for beginners.

This well balanced crossbow weighs a mere 6.6 pounds and its compact size makes it ideal for firing in close quarters. It is capable of firing up to 330 feet per second, and with a 165 pound draw you can easily take down small game with this crossbow. Consistently accurate up to 40 yards and able to group shots, this lightweight crossbow might be exactly what you need for your next hunting trip.


8- Barnett Ghost 360 CRT – Now everyone can afford a fast one

Manufactured by one of the leading names in the industry, the Barnett Ghost 360 is sturdy, lightweight and accurate. Its compact size makes this crossbow a great choice for use in cramped hunting blinds, and it includes the 5 in 1 safety system that is common in all Barnett crossbows. While the Ghost 360 is priced slightly higher than similar models, it is well worth the added cost when you consider its smooth and accurate performance.

Weighing only 7 pounds, this crossbow comes with a well balanced designed that is easy to handle. The carbon risers are constructed using patented technology that ensures durability, while also reducing the weight of the crossbow by 43 percent. The flight track is constructed from machined aluminum that helps to ensure a smooth and accurate draw up to 40 yards.

Capable of firing 20 or 22 inch bolts up to 360 feet per second, you can easily and humanely take down small and larger prey. While this crossbow doesn’t include a cocking mechanism, it only has a drawback of 160 pounds making it a great choice for teens and adults. Able to fire powerful and accurate shots in blinds or out in the open, this crossbow will ensure you are ready to take on this year’s hunting season.


9- Barnett Jackal Package: The best beginner crossbow

The Jackal is a little more pricier than the Arrow Precision Fury, but as the price gets higher so is the quality. Barnett, one of the world’s most popular crossbow manufacturers, has put together a package (it contains a quiver, some bolts and a red dot sight) that you can use right out of the box. Assembling the crossbow is a relatively easy and short process even for beginners; it may vary from person to person, but it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. The only thing missing to go hunting as soon as you get it is some broadheads.

The Jackal comes with a military style stock and its grip is separated. This lets users grip the weapon more like a pistol which leaves your hand with more freedom. The body is lightweight enough, but also durable and its great design may be a plus for someone who cares about the looks. It also comes with a dry fire prevention safety so you don’t accidentally shoot it when not loaded.

Adding together the good quality, the low price, the ergonomic design and its durability, there isn’t much more a hunter or a target shooter could ask for within this budget. In my opinion, this is the best crossbow for beginners and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for something to start with.


10- Arrow Precision Inferno Fury: A really affordable recurve crossbow

This is definitely one of the cheapest crossbows you can get with a decent quality. Its low cost makes it perfect for beginners who are looking for something affordable, lightweight and easy to use. The package comes with everything you need to start practicing on targets including a nice red dot scope.

Inferno fury isn’t famous for its great power, throwing arrows at merely 235 fps. So, please note that it is not made to hunt large game even though it can probably bring down deer from 20-30 yards. The short 10.5 inch power stroke and manageable 175 lb. limb weight makes it simple enough to draw using a cocking aid without spending a huge amount of effort. While not perfect for hunting, its power and accuracy levels are more than enough for target practice and training.


Choosing A crossbow

If you’re about to get into the crossbow game, it’s imperative to consider several aspects to make sure that the weapon you want to purchase is right for you. The first thing you should know is that modern crossbows are much easier to use and boast greater effectiveness and accuracy than older models.


Understanding Different Types of Crossbows

Modern crossbows are available in a variety of styles and each has its own unique characteristics. Some of the most common variations you’ll encounter include:

One- and two-handed crossbows

Crossbows are available in two-handed models and one-handed “pistol” models. Two handed crossbows are the most common by far and are appropriate for the widest variety of situations such as hunting, fishing, scientific sample-collecting, target shooting, and even military use. They are generally the most powerful and accurate variation, their aiming is familiar to most, and their handling and operation are easily learned.

Although less common, one-handed crossbows are popular for specialized purposes such as target shooting, small game hunting, and even self-defense. They generally lack the power and accuracy of two-handed versions, but are lighter, more compact, easier to use, and less expensive.


Compound vs Recurve

Compound Crossbows

The main difference between a compound crossbow and a recurve crossbow is in the way the string is attached to the limbs or prod. A compound uses cams or pulleys to draw the string up, which allows for a “let-off” and maximizes the stored energy; “Let-off” is a term used in order to describe the reduced draw weight that comes from the cams taking over. This, in fact, makes cocking a compound pretty straightforward once you reach that break-over point. However, this has nothing to do with being able to shoot accurately, as it locks into place at full draw.

Moreover, a compound requires shorter limbs than a recurve. This might be a great asset for you, depending on what your hunting area is like and whether or not you need to maneuver you crossbow through tight spots.

Because of all of the mechanisms existing in the front part, a compound crossbow may feel “front heavy”. The additional front weight may cause some slowness in bringing it up to aim and in holding it in a shooting position for an extended period of time.

Another disadvantage is that in the unfortunate case the string breaks, you are done hunting for the day, as  a trip to your local dealer or a bow press is required to replace it. That’s why you should try to keep an extra string on hand and check the pulleys and cables on a regular basis. Replacing a bad string is a lot easier if you have it in hand, instead of trying to find, or worse yet, to order one! On top of that, if you were to break a steel cable, you could get injured.

A compound is also louder at the point of release. There are a few things you can do to make them quieter, but never to the point where they would make less noise than a recurve.

Another point against compounds is that the cams can sometimes be knocked out of sync, which in turn may cause the bow to shoot inaccurately. This can also be fixed, of course, but not  while you are hunting.


Recurve Crossbows

Using a recurve crossbow instead of a compound comes with its advantages as well.

  • A recurve has tips that curve away from the person that is shooting it.
  • They are lighter, therefore easier to carry if you have a long distance to travel before getting to your hunting stand and easier to pick up quickly to aim at your target. Additionally, the reduced weight of a recurve is a major plus for both women and kids.
  • A recurve is usually of a lower price, since it has fewer parts and that in its turn hints fewer things could possibly go wrong.
  • They are quieter when they are fired, as they do not have cams and a cable in motion.
  • They need minimum maintenance. As long as you keep the trigger clean, the rail lubed, you change the string periodically, and/or put on a new serving, a recurve will be good for many years.
  •  When changing the string, you do not need a bow press, although it is always safer and even recommended to use one. If, whatever the reason may be,  you needed to change your string in the middle of a hunting trip, it is possible and you can continue your hunt.

The main disadvantage to using a recurve is that it is harder to cock. You are the one pulling the weight all the way until it is in the cocked position, which can be quite hard to do. Many hunters compensate for this by using a string cocker, which helps reducing the amount of strength needed to cock them. Even when cocked, recurve limbs are longer than a compound, which can make it a bit harder to maneuver in tight areas, to make your shot.
Numerous experienced bowhunters  suggest that beginners should use a recurve crossbow. We believe it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Take your time, look at, compare, and shoot a variety of bows and then make your decision.

Numerous experienced bowhunters  suggest that beginners should use a recurve crossbow. We believe it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Take your time, look at, compare, and shoot a variety of bows and then make your decision.


Reverse limb crossbows

Reverse draw technology (RDT) is a recent innovation which essentially reverses the limbs of a conventional compound crossbow, giving RDT crossbows an unmistakable appearance and drastically altering their performance. Due to this design’s success and efficiency, many manufacturers have added RDT models to their lineup, and some companies focus on RDT crossbows exclusively. Some of their advantages include:

  • Balance: The reversed limb orientation moves the riser and limb pocket assembly much closer to the trigger, effectively shifting the center of gravity toward the shooter, reducing front end weight and allowing a more comfortable and stable shot.
  • Increased power stroke: The string stays in contact with the arrow for the full length of the barrel, giving RDT crossbows higher speeds per pound of draw than conventional crossbows.
  • RDT crossbows generally produce the least amount of noise and vibration.
  • They can be even narrower than conventional compound crossbows.


 Tips for making the most of our crossbow reviews

Although differentiating the best crossbows from a mediocre product may seem complicated, you can easily do this after checking the next points.

Speed: If you’re looking for fast and powerful shots, you should go for a compound bow, which can deliver the energy and speed you expect. For the best results, don’t forget to check the size and strength of the bolts.

Arrow Track: Also called flight track or barrel, the arrow track defines the physical structure that makes it possible for you to launch an arrow. The more precise the structure, the more accurate is the delivery of the arrow downrange.

Noise: The quietest crossbows you can find are the recurve models with parallel limbs. If you need a bow for hunting, specialists advise you to get a this type of bow, even though it doesn’t shoot as fast as a recurve bow.

Weight: Weight is very essential when choosing a hunting crossbow. While light crossbows are easy to carry around woods, heavy crossbows are easier to keep steady when shooting. Since these two aspects give rise to a major contradiction, the best thing to do when buying a bow is to consider your own physical limitations.

Draw Weight: Referring to the amount of pull necessary to flex the limbs of a bow into the fire position, the draw weight varies quite greatly among different types of crossbows. Typically, the higher the draw weight value, the faster the arrow speed.

Parts: To make sure that you buy a good crossbow, it’s critical to check all of its parts. Opting for a bow made of metal is the best purchase decision if you want to get a high-quality weapon. The crossbows that come with plastic parts can break down after only several uses.

Additional Features: Although most crossbows follow the same basic design, some weapons are equipped with particular features that ensure greater dependability, accuracy, and safety. Additional features include cocking aids, which help you to cock the bow correctly; scopes, which improve the accuracy of your shots; and noise-dampening devices, which reduce the noise and vibration after a shot is fired.

Manufacturer: Crossbows vary not only by type, but also by company. One thing you can do to choose the best crossbow is to visit a dealer and test the products of different manufacturers. Furthermore, you can read various crossbow reviews to discover the best brands in the market.


How Much Draw Weight is Required for Your Purposes?

Crossbows are available to address a wide variety of needs but the most popular, of course, is hunting. Today’s manufacturers realize most hunters target medium- to large-sized game, such as whitetail deer, black bears, moose, and similar animals, and their crossbows are designed with these animals in mind (and even much larger ones!). For medium-sized game like whitetail deer, a crossbow with a draw weight of at least 150 lbs and velocity near 300 fps is recommended and generally more than enough for a humane kill – some reverse draw crossbows can get by with a lower draw weight, but this is the general rule of thumb and consensus among hunters. As the size of your target game increases, your draw weight and total arrow weight should as well.

Besides draw weight, kinetic energy (KE) output is a metric commonly used to represent a crossbow’s power, but scrutinizing it can make choosing a crossbow more complicated than necessary. KE is dependent on arrow weight and velocity and it decreases as the arrow travels, so the KE delivered to a specific target in a hunting situation will be an estimate at best. If you keep the general rule for draw weight and velocity mentioned above as a guideline, and buy from a reputable manufacturer, you will find yourself with a perfectly capable crossbow without much hassle.


Time to Choose the Best Crossbow

Now that you’re familiar with what’s available and understand the basics of what to look for in a crossbow, it’s your turn assess your needs, establish your price range, and choose the best crossbow for the money.

The crossbows belonging to these categories are further divided based on their primary use. This basically means that you can find crossbows appropriate for big game hunting, target practice and fun. If you need a bow for serious hunting, make sure you get a high-quality product.
If you take the time to check all these points, along with our crossbow reviews, before investing in a bow, you have great chances to find the ideal crossbow.



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