Reviews of the Best Hunting Crossbows For The Money in 2017

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When contemplating the purchase of a crossbow, the first question people often have is why should I choose a crossbow over a compound, recurve, or long bow?

Now obviously, if you are physically impaired, then a crossbow may be your only option and some states do limit the use of crossbows for hunting to those who are handy capped. However, other states are not so restrictive and allow any hunter of legal age to use a crossbow.

But, that does not answer the original question and thus, some of the many answers to the question of why choose a crossbow are: because both hands are used to draw the bow, a crossbow can be drawn more easily than a compound bow, recurve, or long bow.

Once a crossbow is drawn and cocked, it does not have to be held in the drawn position by the shooter and crossbows can be mounted with sophisticated aiming systems which provide pin point accuracy.

So, for those of you who are considering making the move to this not so primitive weapon, below you will find a list of the top ten crossbows for 2017.

Our Comparison Guide & Ratings:

User Reviews:Youtube User Reviews:Our Rating:Price:
Barnett Jackal CrossbowBarnett Jackal Video$
Barnett Ghost 410Barnett Ghost 410$$$
Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow PackageBarnett C5 Crossbow$$
Barnett Vengeance CrossbowBarnett Vengeance Crossbow$$$
Horton Crossbow Innovations StormHorton Innovation Storm$$$$
Excalibur 405 Mega CrossbowExcalibur Mega 405$$$$
Arrow Precision InfernoArrow Precision Inferno$
Diamond Archery Stryker StrykeZoneDiamond Archery Stryker$$$$
TenPoint Venom Crossbow with ACUdrawTen Point Venom$$$$
PSE Tactical CrossbowPSE TAC Crossbow$$$$

In the table above, you will find the crossbows sorted by the following categories:

1.Crossbow brand and name/model: Click to view more details or to purchase
2.Video Reviews: Video reviews from different users around the internet on youtube
3.Rating: Our Rating of each model
4.Price: These are approximate prices on Amazon.com.  Generally Speaking: $ = under $300, $$ = $300 to $400, $$$ = $400 to $800, $$$$ = $800+

In the remainder of this article, we’ve broken down our top 10 in more detail.  Please use the quick reference guide navigation menu below for easy navigation if there’s a model that you are particularly fond of.

Buyer’s Guide & Walkthrough:

When purchasing a crossbow, what do you look for in order to get the best bow for your particular purpose? Well, the three criteria that most people consider most important are that the bow be fast, compact, and lightweight. However, cost is often a limiting factor in our pursuit of these goals and in fact, crossbows can range in price from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars.

However, that does not automatically mean that the most expensive crossbow is also the best crossbow for you.

Therefore, when choosing a crossbow, you will first need to determine whether you prefer a compound or a recurve crossbow? While it’s true that compound crossbows are faster than recurve crossbows of equal draw weights, a compound crossbow is also heavier and generates more noise. Next, you will need to determine what draw weight you prefer. For instance, bows with heavier draw weights will generate faster arrow speeds and thus, flatter trajectories but, will also be more difficult to draw.

Therefore, although most states only require a minimum draw weight of 75 to 125 lbs., most hunters prefer a draw weight of at least 150 lbs. But, for those hunters who intend to pursue truly large game such as Elk, Moose, or Brown Bear, then draw weights of 175 lbs. to 225 lbs. are in order. Another consideration is whether or not you will require a cocking device to cock your new crossbow and if so, does the model you are considering have an integral cocking device or must it be carried separately?

In addition, you should consider the physical weight of the bow since, even a few ounces can sometimes make a huge difference on a long hunting hike. Last, you need to contemplate what type of sighting system you would like to have on your crossbow? For instance, you can use a simple sight pin arrangement or mount scopes, red dots, holographic sights, lasers, or just about any other sighting system on a crossbow.

As a result, when purchasing a new crossbow, you should keep in mind all of the factors listed above and choose your new crossbow accordingly.

Our Review of the Top 10 Crossbows of 2017:

It should be noted that although most modern compound crossbows feature a conventional limb design, some manufactures now produce “reverse-draw” models which place the riser (and the balance point) much closer to the shooter’s shoulder and thus provide a much steadier aim.

Because of that, while choosing our list of the top ten crossbows for 2017, we have included both conventional and reverse-draw compound crossbows in addition to recurve crossbows.


1. Barnett Jackal:

The Barnett Jackal features a highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design with a carbon fiber riser with strings and cables for speeds of up to 315 fps!

Barnett JackalHowever, the stock does not contain an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually but, with a draw weight of just 150 lbs. doing so is within the capacity of most shooters.  In addition, it comes with a very capable red dot scope that is specifically calibrated for crossbow use.

It also has a and a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull thanks to Barnett’s new ADF MIM trigger components for superior accuracy.

Plus, it also comes equipped with a pic rail as a mounting platform and is manufactured in the USA.  This is a great crossbow for someone that’s just starting out and not looking to break the bank.

Barnett Jackal Data:Barnett Jackal Specs:
Speed:315 fps. (arrow weight unknown)
Draw Weight:150 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:12 in.
Axle to Axle Length:26.25 in. (cocked)
Overall Length:35.5 in.
Mass Weight:7.7 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceNone

2. Barnett Ghost 410 CRT:

The Barnett Ghost 410 is unique in that it features the only carbon fiber riser available on a crossbow and it is specifically to reduce the weight of the front end by as much as 43% and thus dramatically shift the balance point rearward toward the shooter’s shoulder for a significantly steadier aim.

Ghost 410Also, it features Barnett’s patented Shoot Thru Riser which increases the length of the power stroke without placing the string out of reach and also serves as an integral stirrup which strengthens the riser to deliver speeds of up to 400 fps with a 400 grain arrow.

In addition, it features a highly ergonomic pistol grip stock design that can be outfitted with an optional integrated cocking device and includes a 3 x 32 mm, illuminated, 3-dot/multi-reticule scope that has been specifically calibrated for crossbows to provide superior shot placement combined Metal Injection Molded trigger components that create a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull along with a machined aluminum barrel and an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental damage to the bow.

Plus, the Anti-Vibration Isolation Technology reduces both vibration and noise up to 30% by overmolding the limbs and other components with a layer of noise dampening material which also helps to prevent nicks and scratches.

Barnett Ghost 410 Data:Barnett Ghost 410 Specs:
Speed:410 fps. (w/400 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:185 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:15.375 in.
Axle to Axle Length:20 in.
Overall Length:37.375 in.
Mass Weight:7.2 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceOptional

3. Barnett Crossbows Wildcat C5:

The Barnett Wildcat CD features an ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip gas assist molded stock with a machined aluminum riser for increased accuracy to generate arrow speeds of up to 320 fps.

Barnett C5 WildcatIn addition, it comes with a light, crisp, trigger and a dry fire inhibitor along with a 4 x 32 mm scope for safe operation and superior accuracy.

Plus, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver bracket with a 3-arrow, quiver and three Headhunter arrows.

Barnett Wildcat C5 Data:Barnett Wildcat C5 Specs:
Speed:320 fps. (w/400 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:150 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:12.25 in.
Axle to Axle Length:26 in.
Overall Length:36 in.
Mass Weight:8 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceNone

4. Barnett Vengeance:

The Barnett Vengeance features a highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design and an adjustable pistol grip fore end with a machined aluminum barrel combined with Barnett’s Carbon Lite riser and a reverse-draw limb design with an easy-to-draw, 140 lb., peak weight to launch a 400 grain arrow at 365 fps.

Barnett VengeanceHowever, it can be outfitted with an optional, integrated, cocking device to make drawing the bow even easier. Also, it includes Metal Injection Molded trigger components that create a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull combined with an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental damage to the bow.

In addition, it includes a 3 x 32 mm, illuminated, 3-dot/multi-reticule scope that has been specifically calibrated for crossbows to provide superior shot placement and, Anti-Vibration Isolation Technology reduces both vibration and noise up to 30% by overmolding the limbs and other components with a layer of noise dampening material which also helps to prevent nicks and scratches.

Plus, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver bracket with a quick detach, Cross Carbon, 3-arrow, quiver and three, 400 grain, carbon fiber, arrows.

Barnett Vengeance Data:Barnett Vengeance Specs:
Speed:365 fps. (w/400 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:140 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:18 in.
Axle to Axle Length:23.25 in.
Overall Length:33.75 in.
Mass Weight:7.9 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceNone

5. Horton Storm RDX:

The Horton Storm RDX features a highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design with an adjustable, 7 position, cheek piece and an adjustable, 3 position, butt plate so that you can customize both eye alignment and length of pull to suite your individual needs.

Horton with RDX AcuDrawIn addition, it also features a machined aluminum barrel and a machined aluminum riser combined with reverse-draw limb design.

It has a self-locking limb pocket and cap system that prevents limb twist and provides cushioning to reduce vibration along with a custom RDX Cam System and DynaFLIGHT 97 sting and cables to produce speeds of up to 370 fps with a 400 grain arrow!

Also it is available with an integral ACUdraw cocking mechanism which enables shooters of all ages to draw and cock the bow. In addition, with an axle-to-axle length of only 15.5 in. at brace and 10 in. cocked, it is one of the most compact crossbows on the market.

It also includes a Horton Multi-Line 4 x 32 mm scope with fully coated optics and three, duplex, crosshairs calibrated for 20, 30, and 40 yards along with a light, crisp, trigger for superior accuracy.

Plus, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver bracket with a quick detach, 3-arrow, quiver and three, 400 grain, carbon fiber, arrows.

Horton Storm RDX Data:Horton Storm RDX Specs:
Speed:370 fps. (w/400 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:165 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:15.5 in.
Axle to Axle Length:23.25 in.
Overall Length:35.25 in.
Mass Weight:7.7 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceACUdraw

6. Excalibur Matrix Mega 405:

The Excalibur Matrix Mega 405 was specifically designed for those hunters who like to pursue truly large and/or dangerous game species and thus, Excalibur suggests that you think of this crossbow as archery’s equivalent of the African Double Rifle.

Excalibur Crossbow 405Consequently, it features a highly ergonomic and very lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel combined with a machined aluminum riser and Compact Recurve Technology recurve limbs with a 290 lb. draw weight that will launch a 350 grain arrow at an amazing 405 fps!

However, it should be noted that the stock does not contain an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually and, with a draw weight of 290 lbs, the average shooter may require a separate, mechanical, cocking device. But, it does feature an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental damage to the bow and a built-in release enables easy decocking of the bow without having to fire an arrow.

Also, the integrated Recoil Energy Dissipation System reduces recoil, vibration, and noise for a more accurate shot. Plus, it includes a 3-6 x 44 mm Twilight DLX Illuminated Multiplex Scope with a dual red or green reticule and adjustable multiplex crosshair system for superior aiming accuracy in low light conditions.

Lastly, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver bracket with a quick detach, 4-arrow, quiver and four, 350 grain, Diablo, carbon fiber, arrows.

Excalibur Matrix 405 Data:Excalibur Matrix 405 Specs:
Speed:405 fps. (w/350 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:290 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:13.9 in.
Axle to Axle Length:NA
Overall Length:36.6 in.
Mass Weight:6.2 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceNone

7. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury:

The Arrow-Precision Fury features a cost effective, highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel that can generate arrow speeds of up to 235 fps.

Arrow Precision Inferno FuryHowever, the stock does not incorporate an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually but, with a draw weight of 175 lbs., even shooters with smaller statures shouldn’t have a problem cocking the crossbow manually.

In addition, it includes an adjustable Weaver style scope mount and a 3 dot multi range scope,  combined with an ambidextrous, manual, safety for safe operation.

Plus, it also includes a quick detach, 4-arrow, quiver and four arrows.  This small & lightweight crossbow makes an excellent choice for beginners and hunters looking to carry light on their next hunting trip.

Inferno Fury Data:Inferno Fury Specs:
Speed:235 fps. (arrow weight unknown)
Draw Weight:175 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:10.5 in.
Axle to Axle Length:18.5 in.
Overall Length:34.5 in.
Mass Weight:4.84 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceNone

8. Stryker Solution Luxury Series (LS):

The Stryker Solution LS features a highly ergonomic and very lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel combined with a machined aluminum riser.

Stryker Solutions LSIt also features an ultra-compact, conventional, limb design but incorporates a new, stronger, laminated, limb material for greater durability and a newly redesigned, more aggressive, cam that increases arrow speed while also making the bow easier to draw; thus generating arrow speeds of up to 390 fps with a 385 grain arrow!

However, the stock does not contain an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually but, with a draw weight of just 155 lbs., doing so is within the capacity of most shooters.

In addition, it comes with a multi-reticle scope (the manufacturer’s web site states neither the magnification nor the size of the Objective Lens) and a light, crisp, trigger along with a dry fire inhibitor for superior accuracy and safe operation.

Lastly, it also includes an ambidextrous, side-mount, quiver bracket with a quick detach, 5-arrow, quiver and five, 385 grain, carbon fiber, arrows.

Stryker Solution LS Data:Stryker Solution LS Specs:
Speed:390 fps. (w/385 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:155 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:15.5 in.
Axle to Axle Length:19.36 in.
Overall Length:35 in.
Mass Weight:6.9 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceNone

9. TenPoint Venom:

The TenPoint Venom crossbow features a highly ergonomic pistol grip stock design combined with a 19.9 inch barrel made from woven carbon fiber and a high speed version of their XLT bow (which has a parallel limb design) to create an extremely light, ultra-compact, crossbow that delivers an amazing 372 FPS with a 370 grain arrow!
Ten Point Venom
Also, the stock contains an integral cocking device which is available in two different models that will enable shooters of all ages to effortlessly cock the bow.

In addition, it has a a Rangemaster Pro 1.5-5 x 30 mm, multi-reticule, scope that is specifically calibrated for crossbow use and a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull thanks to its Metal Injection Molded trigger components combined with an automatic safety and a dry fire inhibitor for superior accuracy and safe operation.

Furthermore, the limbs are fully isolated from the riser for superior vibration dampening by the Over-the-Top Limb Pocket/Zytel limb suspension system and the Vibra-Crush bow-to-barrel mounting system and the Bowjax crossbow noise dampening kit also helps to eliminate vibration for ultra-smooth shots.

Last, it includes an ambidextrous Side-Mount Quiver Bracket with an Instant Detach 3-Arrow Quiver and six, TenPoint Pro Elite, 370 grain carbon fiber arrows.

TenPoint Venom Data:TenPoint Venom Specs:
Speed:372 fps. (w/370 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:185 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:13.5 in.
Axle to Axle Length:17.6 in.
Overall Length:34.6 in.
Mass Weight:6.5 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceACUdraw or ACUdraw 50

10. PSE TAC Elite:

Based on the highly popular AR-15 platform, the PSE TAC Elite features a highly ergonomic, matte black, pistol grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel combined with a machined aluminum riser and conventional limb design with X-Tech limbs and ultra-high performance twin cams for arrow speeds of up to 400 fps!

PSE Tac OpsAlso, the stock contains an integral, quick-cocking, high-leverage, crank mechanism and an integrated loading system that loads the crossbow in less than 30 seconds.

In addition, in has an integrated, patent-pending, D-loop, anti-dry-fire mechanism for safety and it can also be let down from the cocked position without firing it.

Plus, a rail-less barrel design improves accuracy and reduces friction for increased arrow speed and a dry fire inhibitor ensures safe operation. Plus, it combines a 2-7 x 32 multi-reticule scope and a light, crisp, trigger for superior accuracy.

Last, the cantilevered, mil-spec, Picatinny, fore grip accepts a variety of accessories it also includes an adjustable, folding, bipod, three PSE TAC carbon fiber arrows, and a soft PSE TAC crossbow case.

PSE TAC Elite Data:PSE TAC Elite Specs:
Speed:405 fps. (w/425 gr. arrow)
Draw Weight:150 lbs.
Power Stroke Length:17.25 in.
Axle to Axle Length:22 in.
Overall Length:41.5 in.
Mass Weight:9 lbs.
Integral Cocking DeviceWinch

Wrapping Up & Final Thoughts:

At the end of the day when it comes down to choosing a crossbow, the most important factor to keep in mind is that you are looking for the best crossbow for your particular needs.  Not only you should consider the price, you should also consider what type of crossbow is best for you, the arrrow speed, the draw weight, the physical weight, the overall length, and whether or not it incorporates an integral cocking device.

Our top 10 breakout guide serves as one of the most comprehensive guides on the web to help you choose the brands and models that are most aesthetically & ergonomically pleasing to you in order to help narrow those choices by providing you the right information.

We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you in order to help you find the best possible crossbow for you & your hunting needs.  If you feel like there’s a model that needs to be added onto this list, please feel free to drop us a line on our contact page as we plan to update this guide frequently in order to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

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