Best Crossbow Reviews: Top Rated Picks For Hunters (2022)

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By Bryan Rucker •  13 min read

With more places easing up restrictions and opening up hunting season to crossbows, don’t you think it’s about time that you put down the rifle and took up a more manly weapon like the crossbow? Cause let’s face it, not everyone can handle one of these since they are short-range weapons.

If you think you’re man enough, then check out guide below on what to look for when shopping for a good crossbow for the money. We also share some of our picks for top rated crossbow models that we think you’ll love to use when hunting deer, or any other type of big or small game.

[su_spoiler title=”In a hurry? See our #1 Editor Pick” open=”yes” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow — Selected by our editors as the most best crossbow for the money due to good performance and affordable price. View price at Amazon[/su_spoiler]

Top 10 Best Crossbows For The Money 2017 – 2018

all references to prices below this point reference prices at Cabela’s at time of publication

Where To Buy Crossbows

Not sure where to do your shopping for that new deer killing machine? Check out our recommendations for the best places to get a good crossbow at an affordable cost.

Each of these places has a wide selection of models to meet a variety of price ranges, whether you are looking for the best crossbow under $100, $200, $300, $400, $500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1000, $1500, or $2000!

Crossbow Buyers Guide

If you have never hunted with a crossbow before, then you might not be ready to make the change. Why should you consider using one? Because they are primitive weapons that take us back to the days of our ancestors, who using them for everything from deer to buffalo to wild African game.

Modern crossbows are very accurate, easier to use than older models, effective precise shooting machines, and the perfect choice for the real outdoorsman. Why? Because this is a short-range weapon, which means that you need more skill to get that close kill. Can you handle it?

Crossbow vs Compound Bow

If you’re trying to decide between these two types of bows, then you may already know that crossbows are noisier, typically weigh more and are a bit more awkward to carry. Compound bows get off a faster second shot. So, why go with a crossbow?

Types of Crossbows

There are two types of crossbows on the market: compound crossbows and recurve crossbows. You can go deer hunting with either type, but each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

[su_note note_color=”#f2f23e”]Pro Tip: the heavier the crossbow, the easier it is get an accurate shot because weight adds stability during the microseconds that the arrow remains in the crossbow’s guide rail.[/su_note]

Power and Pull Weights

You’ll notice when you shop that crossbows have pull weights that range between 80 pounds and 200 pounds. What does this mean for you? This much stress on the string can send arrows up to 340 fps.

What’s interesting is that rope cocking aids can reduced the needed pull weight by 50% and you can get these for most models. If you’ve seen crank cocking aids, know that they are slower and cumbersome to use. However, they require only 10-15 pounds of pressure to cock a heavy-pull-weight crossbow.

[su_note note_color=”#f2f23e”]Pro Tip: For deer-size game a pull weight of 150 pounds is recommended.[/su_note]


Crossbow arrows are called bolts.

For a good kill, you definitely need to get properly splinned arrows of the correct length with an effective game-killing point. When you select a crossbow to buy, see what arrows and point weights the manufacturer recommends to get the best results.

[su_note note_color=”#f2f23e”]Pro Tip: faster arrows shoot better with mechanical broadheads compared to fixed blade broadheads. Aluminum arrows usually perform best with 125-grain fixed points while carbon shafts prefer 100 grain or lighter points.[/su_note]

Sights and Scopes

When you shop the crossbows on the market, you’ll notice that most come with either iron, optical or red-dot sights. Sights this weapon are great for precisely compensating for the rapid drop of the crossbow arrow between 20 and 40 yards. It might seem unnecessary, but it helps you make a clean kill.

Common Questions

If you’re thinking about moving from a hunting rifle to one of these crossbows, then you might have a few questions about how it will work. Below, we’ve got the most common questions we hear and give you the answers to them.

Hopefully that answers all your questions so that you can buy yourself an affordable crossbow for hunting season. If not, let us know in the comments and we’ll see if we can help you out.

Crossbow Reviews – Editor Recommendations

Need some help determining which of the best selling crossbows is the right choice for you? Let our editors help you out. Keep reading to see what our editors think about all the top selling crossbows on the market this year.

Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Review

best crossbow under $300 – $400 price range

This model is made by one of the top crossbow brands in the industry and it performs well for the cost.

With this one, you get a package that includes the following accessories:

Overall, this is great crossbow for the money if you are on a budget and need something cheap. Sure, Barnett makes much better models, but those models have higher prices. At this price point, we highly recommend the Barnett Recruit. Of course, if you can afford to spend more, then you can get a better bow.




Our editors found this model to be easy to assemble and use. In fact, you can pretty much take it out hunting as soon as you get it together. However, out in the field it was noticeable that the scope is a bit on the cheap side. So, our editors only complaint with this one is that it could use a better scope. Other than that though, it offers a good value for the price. It definitely makes a good crossbow for beginners or for hunters who aren’t sure if they want to stay with this weapon type.

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Review

good option for shoppers look for the best crossbow under $500 – $600 price range

Like the Barnett Recruit listed above, this model is made by another one of the top crossbow brands in the industry – TenPoint. With this one, you get a slightly better weapon to work with, in our opinion. And we think it is definitely worth the cost.

It also comes as part of a package. You get the following accessories with it:

You might notice that a rope cocking device isn’t included. That’s because this model has TenPoint’s ACU-52 self-retracting rope cocking system. We think that’s a really nice feature and it works well out on the hunt. But our favorite thing about it is it’s whisper quiet 3.5 lb. trigger, which makes it our top pick for the best quiet crossbow.




Overall, our editors select this as the top pick for the year. It delivers high end performance at a mid-range price tag.  It is very accurate and easy to sight. The trigger is smooth and the ACU-52 self-retracting rope cocking system that is built-in is really nice to have since it means that you don’t have to keep up with a separate rope cocking device. We highly recommend this model.

Killer Instinct KI360 HardCore Edition Crossbow Review

Another good option for shoppers in the under $500 – $600 retail price range is this model from Killer Instinct. We haven’t seen it for sale at many places, but it is a solid buy for the money.

It has a lot to offer hunters, especially with the high quality scope that comes with it. Here’s the accessories that you get:

As you can see, this Killer Instinct crossbow comes with a lot more accessories for the money. That’s one of the reasons that our editors think that it is such a great buy this year.




Honestly, this is a really awesome crossbow. It has a compact, lightweight design that makes it easy to carry and easy to handle. And the scope is very high quality that works well in all sorts of rugged conditions. With it, you get off really precise shots.

TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow Review

good option for shoppers look for the best crossbow under $1000 – $1200 price range

This is another model from TenPoint that our editors give top ratings to in our comparisons.  Like the TenPoint bow above, this is an awesome crossbow for the money.

If you’re considering this model, then note that is has some great accessories included with the bow. When you buy this package, you get:

When it comes to precision, our editors give this crossbow from TenPoint top ratings. It performs well with every shot, and it feels comfortable in your hand. It has an ultra compact design and offers a powerful performance when hunting.




This year’s model is smaller, faster and lighter than its previous version, which makes it a great buy for hunters. You can easily use it in tight situations, the trigger is smooth and easy, and  ti is lightweight for those times when you are tracking through the woods. The lighted reticle works very well. If our editors have to pick something to complain about, it is that the safety is louder than expected. Fortunately, you can overcome this by slowly moving into the fire position.

Horton Storm RDX Crossbow Review

good option for shoppers look for the best crossbow under $1200 – $1500 price range

If you’ve got a bit more money to spend, then you can get yourself a better weapon for taking out hunting. Horton Innovations is another one of the top crossbow brands in the industry and this Storm RDX model does not disappoint.

Before we tell you why we love it, let’s look at what it comes with as part of the package. Here are the accessories included:

Know that the quiver is side mounted, which our editors weren’t crazy about. But, this thing performs well, so it’s not a deal breaker. What can you expect from the Storm RDX crossbow? It is a very quiet and precise crossbow for hunters.




Overall, the Storm RDX is incredibly accurate, has an easy trigger pull, and lightweight. It is one of the most accurate crossbow models that our editors tested. Plus, it is one of the quietest crossbows for the money this year. If it fits your budget, then we think it is a good choice for hunters like you.

Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things wildlife. His concern grew astronomically during the previous tensions between the United States and other nations. He also has grown a substantial interest in survival and sustainability due to the current shape of the world over the years. He believes that preparation triumphs all things.