The Internet is full of fake review sites just trying to make a quick buck (no pun intended) off of unsuspecting hunters. most of these goobers can’t even shoot a crossbow and they’re not even hunters to boot! And what’s worse is that nearly every review you read in an Outdoor magazine is only written to promote a Crossbow company that is advertising with the magazine!
I know when I was trying to figure out which crossbow to buy for hunting, I had a difficult time deciding because every review you read was glaringly in favor of whatever Crossbow they were reviewing! Luckily I took the advice of some experienced Crossbow hunters and finally made my purchase.
I can only imagine what other future Crossbow Hunters are going through when trying to decide on which Crossbow they should buy. So that is one reason I started this website. To bring my fellow hunters down to earth, unbiased and honest reviews on as many Crossbows as I can. I’m not a crossbow expert, far from it. I’m a hunter. A hunter who likes to shoot nearly any weapon I can get my hands on! I generally shoot my crossbow, compound bow, muzzle loader and my modern rifle year round. I love to hunt and to shoot!
So now you now where I stand. I plan on trying to try as many crossbows as I can. If I like the bow, I plan on telling you, if I have problems with the crossbow, I plan on telling you! There may be areas where some technical, A personality type has a problem with my reviews because I didn’t break out the calipers and measure something down to the thousandths, but that’s too bad. I’m a Hunter, not an Engineer. My crossbow reviews will be plain English so that anyone can understand what I’m saying.
I figure you’re a lot like me. You want to know what works and what doesn’t and you could care less about minute details such as whether or not the crossbow arrow (notice I did not call it a ‘bolt’) flies at 313 fps or 313.2167 fps at an air temperature of 87.34 degrees with humidity at 67% at 1:18 in the afternoon of the Summer equinox! In short, these will be Hunting reviews. If you need the technical specs, you can probably find it on those fake review sites or the manufacturers websites!
Best Crossbow Comparison Table
|Best Crossbow||Draw Weight||Our Ratings|
Parker Bows Bushwacker
|150 pounds||5 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Excalibur Axiom SMF Crossbow
|175 pounds||4.9 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Read our detailed Excalibur Axiom Review
Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow
|260 pounds||4.9 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow
|175 pounds||4.8 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package
|175 pounds||4.7 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Barnett Penetrator Crossbow
|175 pounds||4.7 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Barnett Ghost 350 CRT Crossbow
|175 pounds||4.6 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow
|150 pounds||4.6 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Barnett Jackal Crossbow
|150 pounds||4.3 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
Excalibur Ibex SMF Crossbow
|175 pounds||4.7 out of 5 stars|
Read Customer Reviews!
These are the specific features of the Barnett Ghost 400 to compare with when looking at other Crossbows:
- The Anti-dry feature
- The whiplash cams
- The MIM trigger
- The 185 pound draw weight
- The 8.1 pound weight
- The length of 38 inches and width of 24 inches
- The illuminated 3x22mm scope included
- The carbon fiber construction
- The sling, quiver and rope cocking device included
- Well balanced
- Aluminum flight track
- Reduced noise and vibration
To be at your best, you have to have the best! The best crossbows in our opinion are the ones that provide the greatest number and balance of the above features. What it boils down when making a selection to purchase a crossbow is personal preference. You can see the comparisons/reviews of the best options available today here.
Hunting Crossbow Basics
As crossbow hunting’s popularity has increased, so have the number of hunting crossbows for sale as well as the number and complexity of available features. Choosing the right hunting crossbow to meet your individual needs can be intimidating if you don’t know what you are looking for. Hunting crossbow prices range from a couple of hundred dollars to well into the thousands, also adding to the decision’s difficulty. In this article we will demystify the key features and specifications of the hunting crossbow as well as providing some practical tips to follow when making your purchase. Here are some of the key features and specifications that the crossbow buyer needs to be familiar with when making a decision on the best hunting crossbow to purchase.
Physical Weight and Dimensions – The lighter the weight and smaller hunting cross bows are easier to handle and require less effort to carry than larger bows. On the other hand, heavier bows tend to be easier to steady and aim, typically produce a more accurate and powerful shot. Factors to consider when choosing the weight of a hunting crossbow include the hunter’s frame size and strength, and ability to carry a heavier bow on an average daily hike.
Draw Weight – Draw weight refers to the effort required to draw the string, measured in pounds. For example, a common draw weight is 180 pounds. The lower the draw weight, the easier it is to draw the crossbow’s string. Hunting crossbows with a higher draw weight typically provide more power. A hunter should consider their ability draw the bow as well as the typr of game that you will be hunting as heavier draw weights may not be necessary to bring down targeted game.
Arrow Speed – The arrow (referred to as a bolt) speed is expressed as feet per second. The arrow or bolt speed is correlated to the draw weight and physical dimensions of the bow. Larger bows with higher draw weights will typically have higher speeds than smaller bows. Many hunters prefer faster bows as it gives the target minimal time ti react to the shot.
Limb type – Common limb types are recurve, wheels or cams – If you are sold on speed, crossbows with cams are probably your best bet. On the other hand, bows with cams usually require more strength to draw. Wheels are generally slightly slower but easier to draw and still have enough power to take down the larger game. Recurve bows are a simpler more classic design but still pack enough punch to get the job done.
Cocking mechanism – A feature available on many of today’s crossbows is a built in cocking mechanism. These features make cocking the bow easier and don’t require a detachable rope device than can be lost on the trail.
Scope type – crossbows most commonly come with red dot scopes which are usually good up to certain distances, such as 40 yards. Crosshair or multiple-reticle scopes are available for the hunter that prefers something similar to a rifle scope.
A New Set of Skills Required When Using Crossbows for Hunting
One of the fastest growing hunting styles in the United States utilize crossbows for hunting wild game. Utilizing the latest technology, crossbows have become very powerful weapons that require hours of practice and a great deal of patience and skill to bring down a nice sized buck.
Crossbows deliver their arrows on target at great speed, however to determine how far the bolt will shoot, you have to know the draw weight of the crossbow string, the weight of the bolt being used and the speed of the bolt. The range is slightly better than the typical hunting bows, but still requires one to be within 40-50 yards of their prey. Beyond this, arrow velocity and drop become increasingly greater, expotentially. This all means that you must not only be proficient utilizing crossbows for hunting, but you must also be skilled in the art of camouflage in order to get closer to your target. Do you need some help in this department? Click Here for more hunting secrets!
In some states, it is still illegal to use crossbows for hunting, so you should always check local laws in the areas where you plan to hunt. A lot of states are easing up on their restrictions, understanding that today’s technology has made these weapons more powerful and accurate resulting in greater kill ratios, rather than just wounding the prey.
Deer are not the only type of game to be hunted with crossbows. These weapons are also great for game as large as bear and caribou, or as small as rabbits and squirrels. Some people even use them for fishing in clear rivers and streams. These are very versatile weapons.
On my website, we will take a look at some of the more popular brands and models of crossbows, such as:
We will also discuss the different types of bolts used and review some of the pistol-type crossbows for hunting. Check out the reviews and great prices featured here.
Looking for a GREAT buy on a Quality crossbow?
How To Purchase The Top of The Line Bows
Do you know how to pick the right tool with you in your crossbow hunting? The task of picking the right bow to be used in your hunting activity should not be taken lightly as this tool will determine whether you will have a great and worthy outdoor experience.
If it will be your first time to enter the field of crossbow hunting, you will realize that hunting is really fun and full of adventures especially if you using the right tool. However, just like what has been stated earlier, there are some considerations and important things that you must be aware of. In order for you to enjoy and be successful in every time you would go out in the field and hunt, it is very important that you will be fully educated in this activity.
The following must be understood and followed in order for you to pick the best bow out there:
- Having the knowledge of the crossbow history will help you to choose the right tool for you to use in hunting. You will learn to appreciate the medieval crossbow if you will fully understand its origin and history.
- To make the task of crossbow selection, one thing that you can do is to gather many selections of this product that you can choose from. The more choices that will be provided to you will give you more chances to pick the product that will suit you. In this way, you will also be able to find the right configuration and type of crossbow that will be very crucial in your hunting activity.
- The weight of the crossbow must also be considered whereas you need to pick the crossbow that will be lightweight and will allow you to bring anywhere you would go. With a lighter bow with you, it will be much easier for you to move in the woods and will give you a much stable situation whenever you will aim for your shot. One perfect choice will be is the mini crossbow as it is easy to carry unlike the heavy bow that will be a burden to carry.
- Choosing the crossbow with the useful features is another way to pick the best bow to use. The market now offers varied choices where besides the traditional bows, you will now also have the chance to use modern bow that uses crossbow technology. Moreover, you must only make sure that the item that you will choose really have the features and function that you really need so you avoid spending money at the wrong equipment.
- Another important aspect to look and secure is the scopes of this hunting equipment. Picking the right scope for your crossbow will spell the big difference in your performance, as it will give you the capability to find your target and hit it accurately even if you will be miles away from it.
The above-mentioned reminders in choosing the top crossbow must be followed in order for you to have the appropriate bow. With the right crossbow, you are guaranteed to have more fun and wonderful time in your hunting activity.
Cheap Hunting Crossbow
If you want to enjoy crossbow hunting you have to choose the right equipment. Nothing can ruin a hunt like bad equipment (except maybe bad weather). Unfortunately, in my experience bow hunters choose the wrong equipment all the time.
I have written numerous articles that talk about the process of buying a hunting crossbow, what to look for in a crossbow, what questions to ask when buying a bow etc. In this article, I will respond to those readers who ask “can you recommend a cheap crossbow?” or “where can I get a cheap crossbow?”
To these individuals, I first say that I understand where you are coming from. In today’s economy people are more concerned with getting a good deal than ever before. However, I strongly caution my readers to be careful when looking for a “cheap” crossbow. When I think of cheap, I think of something that is low cost and low quality. Never buy inferior crossbow equipment in the interest of saving a few dollars. Hunters who sacrifice quality in the interest of the cheapest price inevitably regret their decision as the bow they end up with will not perform well.
It is very possible to get a high value crossbow, which is a high quality piece of equipment at the lowest possible price. High value bows won’t be the absolute cheapest on the market, but they will be high quality, for a reasonable price. Hunters that focus on buying a high value crossbow won’t come to regret their decision later.
For those who say that they simply can’t afford anything but the cheapest bow available my advice is to consider one or more of the following:
- Wait until you can afford a high value crossbow – No one likes this answer, but imagine spending $150 on a bow that is useless on a hunt, then having to spend another $300 for a high value crossbow. Doesn’t it make more sense to wait until you can afford the $300 bow?
- Upgrade the “Extras” later – Some features of a crossbow are upgradable. For example, you can get a bow that does not have a top of the line laser sight and then upgrade later when you can afford it. This way you can have quality equipment now with the option of upgrading the features in the future.
- Focus on “essential features” – Some features of a crossbow are nice to have, but are unnecessary. You can find high quality bows that have a very basic feature set for a great price. I would much rather has a high quality bow with few features than a low quality bow with all the bells and whistles.
- Re-assess the power and speed you need – Let’s be honest. You would love to have a bow that has a feet per second (“FPS”) of 400, but 315 is more than enough to meet your needs. Hunters often over value a bow’s speed because they think faster is better. Buying a lower power or lower speed bow is a great way to reduce the cost of your crossbow.
Here are some bows that I classify as “high value” bows that offer the good quality at a reasonable cost:
- Barnett Jackal Crossbow – Approximately $285 on Amazon.com
- Barnett Quad 400 Crossbow – Approximately $399 on Amazon.com
- Horton Legend HD Pro 175 – Approximately $320 on Amazon.com
Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow – Approximately $350 on Amazon.com
What is the Best Crossbow?
A novice who is interested in bowhunting and an experienced hunter who is looking to improve his or her gear may ask the same question: what is the best crossbow? Naturally, the answer will vary depending on who asks the question. The novice may want a reliable, inexpensive introductory model, and may not yet know enough about crossbows to have a feel for what they do or don’t want in a bow. An experienced hunter is likely to have a more precise idea of their ideal combination of weight, balance, size, speed, and noise-free action. There may also be physical considerations, as with an injured or handicapped user, or a youth archer. No single model of crossbow is right for everybody, but whatever a buyer is looking for, they are sure to find it among the reliable products offered by Barnett, Horton and Excalibur.
Of the three, Barnett produces the most economical product line. Their bows are also among the fastest available. Barnett achieves this through significant investment in research and testing. Composite materials are used to produce lightweight weapons, and Barnett is not afraid to use unusual designs in creating a narrow, well-balanced bow.
Horton can claim some credit as the originator of the sport, as founder Bernard Horton is the man who designed the modern crossbow, and promoted its use as a hunting weapon. Horton’s products are noted for their accuracy, and their packages that bundle crossbows together with accessories are considered to be great bargains. Horton uses composite materials in their limbs, but builds their unyielding barrels and risers out of solid aluminum.
Barnett and Horton share much in common. Both companies feature full product lines of crossbows in compound and recursive varieties, in an array of sizes. Research is emphasized at both firms, and their products benefit from a number of technological innovations. The two companies are among the oldest crossbow manufacturers, each with fifty years in the business. Both feature product lines that are built entirely in the US. Excalibur stands in contrast to these two: a Canadian company, founded in 1983, who offers crossbows only in the recurve variety. Excalibur’s approach rejects research in development in favor of what they see as the practical demands of active hunters, and they focus on simple designs done well. Their aluminum barrels and risers contribute to a solid, accurate weapon that can provide decades of trouble-free use.
The three manufacturers take different approaches, but each provides a set of weapons for users of all skill levels, from novices and youths to experienced hunters. All three provide a comprehensive lineup of accessories that include maintenance products, strings, cases, and a variety of scopes. Barnett produces light, fast weapons, and does so at a price point below that of its competitors. Horton’s products are similarly economical, and are noted for their accuracy. Excalibur’s back-to-basics approach results in some of the most accurate and dependable bows available. What is the best crossbow for one person may not be the best for another, so it makes sense to look at what the best manufacturers have to offer. That allows one to select the model with the most appropriate feature set, from a lineup of the best models available.
Bernard Horton is credited as having popularized the sport of crossbow hunting in its modern-day form. He began to create crossbows fifty years ago, as a hobby. His designs gained a reputation, and Horton Archery was founded to meet demand. Horton now features a number of different designs, including narrow Reverse Draw Technology models, traditional recurve bows, and crossbows for youth hunting and archery classes. Their products are fast and very accurate, yet maintain a price lower than that of many of their competitors. The company has been active not only in efforts to promote crossbow hunting, but also in wildlife conservation efforts. As of 2011, Horton crossbows are built entirely in the US.
Horton crossbows can be customized to fit the user through optional spacers for adjustment of the stock, and an adjustable, ambidextrous Monte Carlo cheek piece. The butt plate is replaceable, and the forearm can be adjusted to fit the user. Interchangeable recoil pads allow the bow’s length of pull to be adjusted anywhere between 13″ and 14″, in order to optimize butt stock placement. The recoil pads offer toolless replacement. Their risers, cams, and rail sight bridges are precision-made through a CNC process. Many of their products use barrels and risers machined from solid aluminum, in some cases aircraft-grade aluminum, which give a combination of lightness and solidity. They use Gordon composite limbs laminated in three layers for improved energy storage, which along with their precision cams results in greater speed. The limbs carry a lifetime warranty. Horton’s bows are designed for compact size that allow a hunter to maneuver through tight situations, and their reverse draw bows are the narrowest on the market. Limb Tunerz and Rubber SIMS NAVCOM Sound Stoppers pads are provided to reduce vibration and noise, but many hunters find that they do not need them, as Horton’s design limits vibration and results in some of the quietest bows available. Their stocks are wider than those of some manufacturers, and allow a comfortable shooting grip.
Horton invests considerably in research. Their Dial-A-Range rail design improves accuracy by compensating for the arrow drop over increased distances. The Talon Trigger is made by metal injection molding, and features an automatic, ambidextrous safety, and Horton’s anti dry-fire safety mechanism.
Bows are shipped in two pieces, and are easily assembled. Horton offers a full range of accessories, including their lightweight, quick-detach Arachnid Quiver, custom-designed Viper X strings, and rope and crank cocking devices designed for all types of shooters. Carbon Express provides Horton with light, accurate arrows. A variety of shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof 4X32 scopes take advantage of Horton’s Mult-A-Range and Vari-Range technologies. Bows are typically available in a camouflage finish, although sometimes also in olive green. Horton crossbows are available in a variety of packages, including “bow-only” packages, combinations that include a choice of scope, and “ultimate” packages that include a collection of accessories described as “everything a hunter needs”, at an attractive price.
Horton Vision Crossbow Review
Serious bow hunters have always considered Horton crossbows to be the stuff that legends are made of. There simply aren’t many crossbow manufacturers that put as much engineering effort into their products as the folks at Horton do. The Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package is a perfect testament as to just why some people won’t hunt with anything less than a Horton by their side. With its compact design, you might think that this bow couldn’t possibly hold its own against some of the bigger crossbows on the block, but you’d be wrong. The Vision 175 is simply one of those times when you find a better quality product in a smaller package.
Quiet and Accurate
One of the things that hardcore hunters like about the bow that comes with the Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package is how amazingly quiet it is when shooting. You’ll hear people calling this crossbow “whisper quiet” and that description is quite accurate. If you’ve grown accustomed to crossbows that have loud twangs, cracks or other noise distractions, you’ll hardly believe your ears when the Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow delivers 220 inch bolts with hardly a sound – except for the bolt hitting the target, or perhaps a buck hitting the ground. That whisper-quiet delivery and peerless accuracy is what sets the Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package apart from other crossbow packages on the market today.
Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package Features & Specs
- Engineered for optimal speed, balance and stealth with the reverse draw limb design.
- The CNC machined wheels and dual ball bearings make for a smooth, accurate shooting experience.
- Built with a powerful 4×32 Mult-a-Range scope for the ultimate in accuracy.
- The package comes with the crossbow, cheek rest, 3 arrow quiver, the scope and three 20 inch bolts.
- Very compact and lightweight, but extremely durable.
- Weighs in at just 8.3 pounds.
- 13 inch power stroke.
- Shoots bolts at 300 FPS.
- Draw weight is 175 pounds.
One look at the features and specs of the Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package is enough to convince even the most experienced bow hunter that this is one crossbow that means business.
Customer Reviews & Scores For Horton Vision
To make this Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package review as fair and balanced as possible, we decided to do some online research to see what every day bow hunters think of this crossbow. With about 1/2 dozen hunters posting reviews online, the Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package earned an amazingly high 4.8 out of 5 star rating.
With superior customer satisfaction scores and the Horton reputation for only making the best crossbows, we highly recommend the Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow Package to anyone who is serious about hunting with only the best crossbow in their arsenal. If you’re planning on bagging the big ones on your next hunting trip, shooting with the Horton Vision 175 Scope Crossbow is the way to do it.
Horton Scout Crossbow
Horton crossbows are well known for their speed, accuracy, and the quality of their design and manufacture. Unlike other crossbow manufacturers that specialize in a particular design, Horton offers buyers a variety of designs and options to choose from. Popular Horton designs include both recurve bows and the Company’s well known narrow Reverse draw technology crossbow models. Among Horton’s most popular crossbow models is the Horton Scout 125 crossbow, which is a compound bow designed specifically with the youth hunter in mind.
The Scout is a compact crossbow with an ease of handling design intended to help youth hunters learn to operate and fire a crossbow accurately and safely. While designed for younger hunters, the Scout includes many of the same features as Horton’s full size adult crossbows and can be used by any smaller framed hunter. To create this top of the line crossbow, Horton scaled the key features of its popular adult bows with the youth hunter in mind. The comfortable ergonomic stock can be adjusted and is is perfect for smaller framed hunters. The string and cable system is extremely resilient, easy to cock and offers fast speeds of up to 250 feet per second (“FPS”).
The basic product specs for the Scout crossbow are included in the following table:
- Speed / Velocity 250 FPS
- Draw Weight 125 LBS
- Energy 95 FT-LBS
- Power Stroke 10.5 IN
- Weight 6.5 LBS
- Length 33.5 IN
- Width 23.75 IN
The Scout comes equipped with a 25mm Single dot Sight that includes Horton’s Dial-A-Range technology. Horton continually improves and refines its Dial-A-Range technology. This technology helps arrow accuracy by compensating for the arrow’s drop over further distances. The Scout 125 also comes with the Talon custom field trigger, Realtree HD camo, an adjustable stock, Microflight arrow groove, and an ambidextrous safety.
The following is a a summary list of the key features of the Horton Scout 125 crossbow:
- an adjustable stock that is designed to be ergonomically friendly to smaller framed hunters;
- an extremely well made and strong cable system that provides the hunter with both speed and durability;
- an easy to cock energy wheel design created with smaller hunters in mind;
- a Talon custom field trigger;
- a Microflight arrow groove;
- an ambidextrous safety; and
- Horton’s Precision 25mm Single Dot Sight that includes the company’s Dial a Range Technology.
The Red Dot Crossbow Package includes the 25mm red dot Sight, the Hunter Elite Lite-3-arrow quiver, and 3 practice arrows and points. The Scout 125 also comes with a 1 year limited warranty The Horton Scout 125 Bows are shipped in two pieces, for ease of assembly.
Excalibur Crossbow was founded in 1983. Excalibur takes a basic approach to crossbow building, and bases its designs on experience in the field, rather than on high-tech research. True to their “simpler is better” approach, Excalibur exclusively produces recurve bows. They believe that the extra moving parts make compound bows heavier, noisier and more likely to break. The Excalibur recurve crossbows are designed to give reliable and accurate performance, and to avoid the bulk and potential maintenance headaches of a compound bow. Many users attest to the long service life of Excalibur crossbows. Along with its standard line, Excalibur offers youth and target crossbows, and a crossbow that is provided in kit form.
Excalibur attends to its users’ comfort with optional fittings that include ambidextrous cheekpieces, and extenders to lengthen the stock. The stock extenders can increase the length of pull by up to 1 inch. Rope cocking and crank cocking aids are available, as is a tool to assist with changing strings. The “Crank-a-Roo” crank cocking aid allows the bow to be cocked with little to no effort and with a single hand, while the rope cocking aid halves the amount of necessary effort, and can also be used to un-cock the bow. Scope and quiver mounts are provided. Anodized aluminum barrels and risers contribute to the strength of Excalibur’s crossbows, while reducing their weight. A large foregrip helps keep fingers out of the flight rail. The trigger is light and comfortable, at just over three pounds. A dissipater bar is offered that can absorb recoil energy and reduce noise, and an optional shock and sound reduction system is available that can be installed on its own, or in combination with the dissipater bar. An included instructional DVD provides information on assembly, storage, and use.
Excalibur claims that their hunting crossbows are the most accurate in the world, and they can back that claim with a strong record in tournaments over the decades. They offer a unique guarantee which states that every one of their bows will be able to shoot groups of 3 inches or less at 25 yards, using a broadhead. A dovetail mounted fiber optic sight is provided as standard equipment, although some of the higher-end models include multi-range scopes.
Excalibur complements their bows with a range of accessories that includes slings, cases, quivers, and more. Targeting systems include a red dot sight that compensates for trajectory. Several models of illuminated, multi-range and trajectory compensated scopes are available, along with a mount that allows a range finder to be attached above the scope. Easton supplies carbon and aluminum bolts built to Excalibur specifications. A “Right Stuff” accessory package is available, and includes a variety of maintenance products, arrows, and cocking and stringing aids. It is offered in varieties with and without a multi-range scope. A “Lite Stuff” starter kit is available with some models. Most bows are offered in a Realtree AP camouflage pattern, although some are produced with a black carbon fiber finish.
ur family is very opinionated when it comes to the best hunting gear. However, one thing we agree on is that when it comes to quality and value, Excalibur crossbows are among the very the best. Every Excalibur crossbow is built with a space-age composite stock for durability and comfort and, pound for pound, Excalibur makes some of the industry’s best crossbows. Their products are known for being among the highest quality and most accurate available. Excalibur definitely puts its money where its mouth is in the accuracy arena. They guarantee that all of their bows are able to shoot groups under 3 inches or less at 25 yards. Although Excalibur crossbows favor the traditional recurve limbs, these bows do not seem to compromise much. They match the speed of more complicated crossbows while at the same time weighing much less. The Excalibur bows also taut superior noise, trigger mechanisms, and have few mechanical issues. The company also claims that its aluminum stock is “virtually indestructible.”
Priced around $800 to $1000, the Excalibur Equinox crossbow coffers a phenomenal value for crossbow hunters looking for an upper end piece of equipment that is worth every penny. This crossbow features Excalibur’s Modular Magtip recurve limb system. The Excalibur Equinox has both power and speed with a blistering “feet per second” of up to 350 and a draw weight of 225 pounds. At 38.4” the compact design and thumbhole stock of this beautifully styled crossbow make it both easy to cock and steady to hold. However, the reduced size of the crossbow in no way sacrifices the industry leading cock, aim, and fire performance of this crossbow. The trigger unit, which is based on Excalibur’s patented design, has a manual safety that requires 3 pounds of pressure to fire. This crossbow’s appearance is pleasing using Excalibur’s Realtree AP HD®” camouflage based on the Company’s “Kolorfusion” process. The Excalibur equinox includes an ambidextrous cheekpiece, fiber optic sight and comes compatible with Excalibur’s scope and quiver mounts.
Priced around $700, the vixen boasts arrow speeds of 285 feet per second. This Excalibur crossbow is designed with smaller hunters in mind at a draw weight of approximately 150 pounds. Perfect for female or smaller framed male hunters, the bow offers a reduced pull length; short draw and light draw make it easier to handle without sacrificing power, durability, or quality. The Vixen II also has an attractive look that uses Excalibur’s Realtree AP HD® camouflage which is based on the Company’s “Kolorfusion” process.
Excalibur Eclipse XT
At around $900, the Excalibur Eclipse XT crossbow is based on the Company’s 200 pound thumbhole platform. The black Eclipse XT offers a striking appearance appealing to night hunters, hunters working from a ground blind, or those who simply like its sleek “carbon fiber” look. The Eclipse XT shoots a bolt at 330 feet per second with great accuracy and enough power to take down big game. Excalibur’s Eclipse XT comes with a cheekpiece as well as the Company’s S5 sound and vibration program.
At around $700, the 175 pound (draw weight) Excalibur Phoenix crossbow packs quite a punch considering its size. Using the mounted limb system, this crossbow shoots at speeds of 305 feet per second, giving nothing away to larger models. The Excaliber Phoenix is an ideal Excalibur crossbow for smaller framed hunters. The Excaliber Phoenix also has an attractive look that uses Excalibur’s Realtree AP HD® camouflage which is based on the Company’s “Kolorfusion” process. The crossbow is compatible with Excalibur’s scope and quiver mounts, and features their fiber optic sight.
Before you buy a hunting crossbow make sure the crossbow you are considering has enough power for the type of game you plan on hunting. Fortunately, the Excalibur Axiom has enough power to hunt any animal in North America including moose, large bear and elk. As far as smaller game such as deer, hog, turkey, etc. this crossbow has more than enough to get the job done. The Axiom is perfect for smaller stature crossbow hunters as well as those that prefer a lighter, more compact crossbow without losing trajectory or power. As a general guideline, the Excalibur Axiom is best suited for individuals that are 5’ 4” or taller. Keep in mind that shorter hunters may very well be able to handle this bow; however those that are at least 5’ 4” will have the easiest time cocking this crossbow. The draw weight for this bow is 175 pounds. If you are new to crossbow hunting, the higher the draw weight, the more effort required to draw a crossbow string.
Excalibur Axiom Specs and Product Description
Here are the specs for the Axiom crossbow:
- Speed / Velocity 305 FPS
- Draw Weight 175 LBS
- Power Stroke 14.5 IN
- Weight 5.8 LBS
- Length 37.5 IN
The Excalibur brand is known for both accuracy and reliability, and the Axiom crossbow is no exception. The Axiom’s light weight makes it a perfect bow for hunters that spend a lot of time on the trail, or those who prefer the feel of a lighter crossbow. At a draw weight of 175 pounds and power stroke of 14.5 inches, this crossbow is very comfortable to handle. This bow gives away nothing in the power or speed arenas, firinging arrows at an impressive 305 FPS. The Axiom includes the Excalibur Realtree Advantage Timber decorated using Excalibur’s Kolorfusion process.
Excalibur Crossbows introduced a neat little crossbow package this year aimed at people who wanted to get into crossbow hunting and still wanted to remain on a budget. From what I’ve seen, the Excalibur Axiom is a 175 lb crossbow and it’s basically the same bow as the Excalibur Phoenix. It just doesn’t have the dissipator bars up front and it has a different camo pattern.
The Excalibur Axiom is only sold as a kit. My kit came with a crossbow quiver and mounting brackets along with an Axiom Scope. This scope is designed for the speeds that the Axiom shoots, which according to Excalibur it will shoot 305 fps with a 350 grain arrow. That’s pretty good for any crossbow! The Excalibur Axiom also came with 4 Excalibur Firebolts and 4 – 150 grain field tips.
The Axiom scope has a crosshair and chevrons for aiming at 30, 40 and 50 yards. I found these to be right on whenever I sighted in the crosshairs to be right on at 20 yards. This was one thing that really amazed me about this crossbow.
It took me about 30 minutes or so to put together the bow and accessories. Within 45 minutes, I had the video’s watched and the bow strung and ready to shoot!
Since I had no idea where this crossbow might send the arrow, I started sighting in at 10 yards. My first arrow was high and to the left. I adjusted the scope and the next one was just a little far to the right. Another adjustment and another shot had me right on the money!
3 shots to sight this crossbow in! Amazing.
Over a period of a month or so, I continued to give the Excalibur Axiom a workout. I tried different crossbow arrows along with different weight field points and broadheads. Just like any other weapon, it had a preference for several different types of arrow/tip combinations. But what was more amazing is that this bow shot everything well enough to hunt with!
The arrow combination that it preferred the most was a Gold Tip Laser II arrow with the brass inserts with a 100 grain field point or broadhead. I could hit nocks out to 40 yards with this combination. It got expensive real quick!
Another thing that most everyone who I let shoot this crossbow stated was how light it is and how easy it was to carry. It weighs in at around 6 pounds or so. Certainly not the monster that many of the compound crossbows are. This bow will be a joy to carry and shoot when out hunting.
Shooting the Axiom
Shooting the Excalibur Axiom was a delight. For the price of the ready-to-go kit, I certainly did not expect the kind of accuracy that I received. I started shooting the Excalibur Firebolts that came with the crossbow. They shot extremely well with the included 150 grain field points.
But it wasn’t until I tried some Excalibur Aluminum Crossbow bolts in the 2216 size that the groups shrank considerably. In fact, it got to a point where I could not aim at the same dot on the target in fear of Robin Hooding an arrow! And this was at 30, 40 and 50 yards!
It goes without saying that if you do your part, the Axiom is more than capable of delivering very tight groups with the right arrow!
Here’s a few of the groups I’ve shot with the Axiom.
Things I did not like about the Axiom
There were a few things I did not care for about the Excalibur Axiom. First off, the stock itself was a little low. When you consider how accurate it was with me having to raise my head a little in order to shoot, this is probably not a concern for many people. But I did not like it.
I ordered a cheekpiece to fit the Axiom. Later I learned that you could cut a piece of black pipe insulation and slide it over the top part of the stock and get the same result!
I was not really crazy about the amount of gritty feel to the travel of the trigger. I’m very trigger sensitive. I feel nearly every millimeter of travel in a trigger. Even at a crisp 3 pound pull, I could feel quite a bit of grit in the travel of the trigger. This one was getting on my nerves! But as the days went on and I shot more, the amount of grit diminished considerably. I just think that a lot of this could be taken care of at the factory. But then again, this is suppose to be an “entry level” crossbow. I sure wish all “entry level” weapons shot as well as this one!
The Axiom is a recurve crossbow which provides certain advantages over compound crossbows. A recurve crossbow does not use pulleys or wheels and does not go out of tune like compound crossbows can do from time to time. The recurve styling contributes to the Axiom’s light weight and compact design as it requires fewer parts than a compound bow. Also, the string on an Axiom crossbow can be changed without the help of a bow press which is helpful if the string ever gets damaged on a hunt. In summary, a recurve crossbow such as the Excalibur Axiom has fewer parts and a simpler design making it more durable and reliable than many compound crossbows.
The Axiom is sold in a kit that includes a matching multiplex crossbow scope along with the mounting hardware. This crossbow kit also comes with Excalibur’s 4 arrow quiver, 4 Firebolt arrows with field points and a rope cocking aid.
The Axiom is one of Excalibur’s lower cost crossbows and is perfect for hunters on a budget or who are just getting started in crossbow hunting. This bow has many of the features available in Excalibur’s higher priced bows. In terms of performance, the Excalibur Axiom is equivalent to the Excalibur Phoenix. However, the lower cost Axiom SMF includes a synthetic mainframe and rail section compared to the Phoenix’s aluminum alloy mainframe and rail system. Although it sells at a lower price point, the Axiom gives nothing away in terms of quality or durability as compared to Excalibur’s higher priced bows.
Overall, the Excalibur Axiom and the equipment that came with it shot extremely well. I was surprised to say the least. And from what I’m reading on the Internet, others are having the same experience.
Excalibur Crossbows have had a reputation for being some of the most reliable and accurate crossbows in the Industry. They put this reputation into the Axiom and it shows! If you’re looking for a easy-to-shoot, ready-to-go-hunting out of the box crossbow, then you need to look no further than the Excalibur Axiom!
Barnett has sold more than one million crossbows over their fifty-year history. Their innovations include both the compound crossbow and the self-cocking crossbow. Recurve and compound crossbows are both featured in their product line, although they are better known for compound crossbows. They offer a full line of crossbows for users of all ages and skill levels, from beginner on up. Barnett typically offers crossbows at a lower price point than their competitors, and provides good value and quality at that price. All of their products are built in the USA.
Barnett crossbows feature a solid build quality. They are lightweight, and comfortable to shoot. Cast parts have a smooth, even finish that is free of tool marks. Their metal triggers are injection-molded and precise, and feature a light, smooth pull and an automatic safety. Barnett crossbows use a lighter draw weight than other bows, but have a longer power stroke that allows them to achieve great speed. Several of their models include a gently illuminated scope, which improves their use in low-light situations. Long scope rails allow positioning to suit the individual user. A rope or crank cocking device can be installed, which make cocking the bow much easier, and at the same time improve accuracy by balancing the load on the limbs. Some of their models feature vibration dampening technology, which makes them quieter and more accurate. Adjustable stocks and cheek pieces allow the bow to be customized to fit the user. Their equipment is designed to keep fingers out of the way of the string travel path.
Always an innovator in crossbow design, Barnett features numerous technological advances in their bows. Their Anti Dry Fire (ADF) mechanism prevents the bow from being fired while no arrow is in place. The “CarbonLite” riser reduces the weight of the weapon’s front end, which shifts its point of balance toward the shoulder and improves its steadiness and accuracy. Their Anti Vibration isolators (AVi) are molded coatings made of compressed rubber, a hard surface that resists scratches while it reduces vibration and noise. Cable slots are coated with a special material that reduces friction, and saves cable wear. Test procedures adopted from NASA helped Barnett to lengthen the power stroke in their designs. These innovations have led to light crossbows with a compact size that is an advantage when hunting in confined spaces or heavy cover. Barnett constantly strives to improve the quality of their product, and has a history of responding to customer suggestions.
The Barnett crossbow roster is complemented with a line of premium accessories that includes red dot scopes, rope and crank cocking devices, soft cases, and strings. Models are offered in black, or in a camouflage finish. Their crossbows often ship with custom-made Easton bolts. Along with their standard line, Barnett offers a special youth archery line. Despite their small size and reduced firing power, they are nonetheless potentially lethal weapons that must be treated with respect. Under proper supervision, Barnett’s junior models are a great way to introduce children to the sport.
Barnett Predator Crossbow
Hunters have always known that when you want a good crossbow, you get a Barnett. This company has been making some of the most accurate, powerful, and durable crossbows around for year. And with their Barnett Predator Crossbow Package, you get a powerfully accurate Predator Crossbow, along with some of the essential basic accessories you need to put this sharp shooter into action. Whether you’re practicing on targets or going after deer, you’re sure to hit with more accuracy than ever before with the Barnett Predator Crossbow Package.
Something New Under the Sun
If you think that every crossbow is pretty much the same, in terms of design, get ready to be surprised by the crossbow that comes in the Barnett Predator Crossbow Package. The Predator employs a unique, innovative shoot-through foot stirrup. This crossbow engineering breakthrough increases power stroke up to 15 inches. And since we all want as much power as we can get from our crossbows, it’s easy to see why the Barnett Predator Crossbow Package is such a hit, and why so many hunters are raving about this innovative design of the Predator Crossbow.
Barnett Predator Crossbow Package Features & Specifications
- The innovative shoot-through foot stirrup increases the crossbow’s power stroke to 15 inches.
- Pistol grip design allows for more accurate, comfortable and intuitive shooting.
- The easy to adjust stock and cheek piece makes it easy to customize this crossbow to your liking.
- Fires at a velocity of up to 375 feet per second.
- Uses Avi anti vibration technology to provide a more stable, controlled shooting experience.
- Fires off 22 inch bolts.
- 5 pound trigger pull.
- Comes with the crossbow, quiver, 3 22 inch bolts and red dot sight.
- The Predator has 175 pound draw weight and 113 foot pounds of energy disbursement.
The crossbow included with the Barnett Predator Crossbow Package has a solid reputation with professional and amateur marksmen alike. And since this package includes the innovative Predator crossbow, along with bolts, the quiver and the red dot sight, you get virtually everything you need to put this crossbow into immediate use.
Barnett Predator Reviews
The real low down on any crossbow can be found out by hearing what real life hunters have to say about it. That’s why we couldn’t end this Barnett Predator Crossbow Package review without mentioning the online customer reviews. Amazingly enough, the Barnett Predator Crossbow Package currently has a perfect 5.0 star rating on the Internet. And since that score comes – not from the folks at Barnett – but from an actual customer, it’s a sure sign that this is one crossbow that no serious hunter should be without.
Whether you are just getting started with crossbow hunting, or simply want to upgrade to a better crossbow, the Barnett Predator Crossbow Package has everything you need. Since this crossbow has received such a high customer score, and because all Barnett products are always high quality, we recommend this model to anyone who takes target shooting or hunting seriously.
Barnett Jackal Crossbows
Barnett offers some of the highest quality highest value crossbows available on the market. As a brand, Barnett is one of the most recognized and popular brands in crossbows today, and the Barnett Jackal is one of the most popular crossbows available today for good reason. We love this crossbow for the superior value and quality it offers buyers. Also, this bow has a very striking military stock design. Barnett Jackal crossbows provide the feature set and power of a high end crossbow, while offering buyers a price tag of around $300. The Jackal crossbow includes a great feature set that set it apart from other crossbows in its price range. The Jackal crossbow package includes a quiver, three twenty inch arrows and a 28mm Barnett premium red dot scope. The Jackal’s military stock design distinguishes it from other bows, even amongst Barnett products. The Jackal provides a unique combination of compactness and power. The lightweight stock makes this a great bow for smaller framed hunters or hunters that prefer the feel of a smaller, lighter crossbow. Trail hunters that walk long distances appreciate the light weight of the Jackal.
Here are the basic product specs for the Jackal crossbow:
- Speed / Velocity 315 FPS
- Draw Weight 150 LBS
- Energy 95 FT-LBS
- Power Stroke 12 IN
- Weight 7.7 LBS
- Length 20 IN
- Width 26.75 IN
Despite its compact design, the Jackal does not compromise power; hurling arrows at a blistering 315 feet per second. The Jackal combines high energy wheels with a quad limb assembly and a synthetic string and cable system, which produce the crossbow’s impressive speed. Shooters enjoy an extremely comfortable hand placement provided by the crossbows divided foregrip.
The Jackal incorporates Barnett’s ADF MIM trigger which allows for a comfortable trigger pull of 3.5 lbs. as well as positive benefits of a picatinny rail which provides shooters with a mounting platform rail. Barnett’s Jackal hunting crossbow also provides buyers with peace of mind as each new crossbow comes with a limited 5-year warranty.
As with any crossbow that has the power of the Jackal, some users prefer a rope cocking device to draw the bow. The cocking device, which is sold separately from the bow, makes the process of cocking the bow much easier.
The Jackal has certain features designed to help ensure user safety. One such feature is an anti-dry fire (ADF) trigger which keeps the user from firing the crossbow without an arrow being loaded. The ADF trigger has a redundant safety bar which is spring loaded that stays stationary until a bolt is loaded. Upon loading, the user can remove the safety and fire the crossbow.
The product features for the Jackal crossbow include:
- AVI foot stirrup
- AVI bolt retainer
- ADF MIM trigger mechanism
- High-definition camouflage
- Quad limbs
- 5-pound trigger pull
- High energy wheels
- Synthetic cable system
- Picatinny/Weaver rail
Parker Tornado Crossbow Review
The Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow has been one of the most talked about and highly rated crossbows for some time now. So when we heard that the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package was now available, we couldn’t help but get just a bit excited. After all, many people consider this crossbow to be the premier crossbow on the market today. And since the folks at Parker are now packaging this popular crossbow with some essential hunting and shooting accessories, that’s reason enough for any bow hunter to sit up and take notice. As you read through this Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package review, you’ll get an in depth look at all the features of this new crossbow package from Parker.
A Modern Approach to the Crossbow
If you’ve always assumed that most crossbows are pretty much the same, you’d be right. But the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package includes the famous Tornado HP 165 crossbow, which is quite a bit different than most run-of-the mill crossbows on the market today. With its ultra-modern design, this crossbow is custom made to offer a powerful, accurate and ultimately quiet shooting experience. The G2 trigger allows you to easily squeeze of bolt after bolt with deadly accuracy and true stopping power. And since the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow shoots bolts at a deadly 330 FPS, you’ll have no doubts about this crossbow’s ability to take down even the biggest bucks with ease.
Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package Details & Features
- The design of the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow is modern, streamlined and very compact.
- Built with a G2 trigger for seamlessly shooting bolt after bolt with ease.
- Built with auto-engage ambidextrous safety for right or left handed hunters.
- Cutting edge inverted cam technology.
- Fires off bolts at up to 330 feet per second.
The Set Includes:
- The Tornado HP 165
- Illuminated Multi-reticle Scope
- Quick-detach quiver
- 6 Red Hot high-velocity arrows
- 6 100-gr. match-weight field points
- 6 Red Hot Crosspro 100 broadheads
- 1 Red Hot roller rope cocker
- 6 Red Hot Crosspro 100 broadheads
- 1 Red Hot crossbow sling
- 1 Red Hot wax and lube kit
- Red Hot soft crossbow case
As you can see, the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package includes all the essential gear and accessories you’ll need to head out for your most successful bow hunting trip ever. It would have been enough to have just the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow, at this price, but the manufacturer has made sure to include all these essentials, so you’ll have everything you need to get the most out of hunting with this high performance crossbow.
Parker Tornado Customer Reviews
Just talking about the features and details of the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package isn’t enough to do justice to this package. To really find out more, we decided to see what actual hunters had to say about this crossbow. And we weren’t too surprised to find that real life hunters have given the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package a perfect 5.0 star rating.
With perfect scores from customer and an impeccable reputation, we have no qualms in recommending the Parker Tornado HP 165 Crossbow Perfect Storm Package to any bow hunter who wants to make every hunting trip as successful as possible.
Crossbow Hunting – How to be Successful
There has been a large increase of crossbow hunters recently due to an increase in availability of affordable crossbows and also the number of states that allow hunters to use a crossbow. Many of these people are experienced hunters but unfortunately skills acquired from bow hunting and hunting with a rifle do not transfer over easily to hunting with a crossbow. Follow the tips below and you can increase your chances of a successful hunt.
Buy a crossbow that works for you. This is pretty obvious but you will be surprised at the amount of people that go out and buy the first crossbow that they find. Just like guns you will want to try out as many crossbows as you can before you buy your first crossbow. It’s actually even more important to do this with crossbows than rifles as crossbow designs vary significantly more between the various brands than rifles.
Learn the range of your crossbow and follow it. Many crossover hunters are used to taking shots with their rifle at 100 or more yards and being successful. This is not possible with a crossbow. The max for a modern crossbow is 40 yards and that is for very experienced crossbow shooters. A beginner crossbow hunter will want to hunt at a max of 20 to 25 yards. This range will ensure the shot will have a greater chance of being successful. Also test your crossbow for accuracy, you might want to take shots even closer than that range.
Practice with your crossbow. Again this seems like an obvious tip but many people are led to believe that they can take a few shots with a crossbow and then they are ready to go hunt. A crossbow requires more skills than a rifle. Rifles are very predictable. You aim a rifle at a target and pull the trigger and you will probably hit it. This is not the case with a crossbow. Individual crossbows have their own peculiarities that will cause the arrow to go in flight paths that are not expected. You need to find out these variances before you go hunting. So definitely take the time to learn your crossbow and sight it in as accurately as possible before you first go hunting.
Following these tips will maximize your chances of hunting successfully with your crossbow. There are many things that can impact a successful crossbow hunt but the most important tip is to practice as much as possible.
Tips for Buying a Hunting Crossbow
Before you will be able to choose the right hunting crossbow, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer.
What will I be hunting with my crossbow? If you are hunting bigger game such as elk you will need to make sure you have enough draw weight to penetrate the animal’s hide and fat density. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Rabbit – 150 pounds of draw weight and feet per second of 220 or greater
- Deer, antelope – 150 to 175 pounds of draw weight and feet per second of 220 or greater
- Elk, caribou – greater than 175 pounds of draw weight and feet per second of 220 or greater
Remember that the quicker the animal, the more important the speed or feet per second of the hunting crossbow. For larger animals the power or draw weight of the hunting crossbow is the more important.
What size hunting crossbow cam I handle? You need to be able to carry your hunting crossbow as well as be able to handle it when the time comes. Make sure not to purchase more crossbow than you can manage on the hunt.
What hunting crossbow features are important to me? If you are not sure what features are important to you, or this is one of your first crossbows it is important that you take the time to test fire a variety of crossbows. Even if you think you can get a better deal on the internet you can visit your local retailer and get a feel for the hunting crossbows you are considering. Many of the available features are best chosen based on preference. You will be firing the crossbow and should choose what feels most comfortable as well as what fits in your budget.
Remember that while you may be able to save on certain extras such as scope type or cocking mechanism, it is important to invest in quality equipment if you want to have a positive hunting experience. We have included articles on this site about some high quality, high value hunting crossbows for your reference. Our aim is to identify products that offer the buyer the best bang for your buck.