Crossbows have been in existence for thousands of years. There is a reason why, and this reason is that hunting with them is fun and exciting. Crossbows are an advanced bow. While the bow requires a lot of training and strength to master, the crossbow technology that is built in has some of the work simplified for you. With a few sessions of practice, you will be ready. The thrill of hunting is worth a million dollars and for this reason, you might be thinking of buying yourself a crossbow. Here we will outline not only why you would need a crossbow but also the best crossbow brands on the market.
5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Crossbow
- Skill – Archery is one of the best sports you can decide to try out. After several practice sessions with a crossbow, you will be able to assess a basic understanding of how it works. Then you can begin to perfect your craft and practice more to improve your accuracy further. Archery can also be a chance for real family bonding time. Everyone in the family can shoot an arrow with a crossbow without a lot of hassle, depending on the crossbow you are using.
- Injury Prevention – Often times if you have a shoulder injury, it can keep you from using your compound bow. The crossbow is a nice alternative to use during archery season in order to prevent extra strain on an already injured arm.
- Cost – Crossbows can be lower-priced when compared to other types of hunting weapons. Although the prices range from really affordable to extravagant prices depending on your taste and personal style, you’re likely to find one in your budget. Once you own a crossbow, the expenses will be minimal down the road.
- Ease of Use – There is an initial learning curve with crossbows, but that is quickly surpassed. Once you have shot a dozen times, you will just continue to get better. The learning curve with this bow type is fairly small.
- Maintenance – Crossbows are easier and cheaper to maintain than guns. If you keep the strings waxed and arrowheads sharp, you are done with maintenance. Crossbows are also easy to store, and you can dismantle them and store them in a lot of places without compromising anyone’s safety.
Tips to consider when buying a crossbow
When you are buying a crossbow the first thing you have to consider is the use, why are you buying a crossbow? If it’s for security, you need a different crossbow from a person who may own a crossbow for hunting reasons.
This is the primary specification that differentiates all crossbows. A hunting crossbow should have a draw weight of between 150-200 pounds. The heavier the crossbow, the faster and easier is it to kill your prey. A good crossbow should shoot a whitetail at medium ranges.
Your Size, Height and Strength
If you are strong, you should go for the crossbow with a heavy draw weight. If you are not particularly strong, go for a crossbow that is flexible and has a significant range draw weight.
Our 6 Best crossbow brands
Barnett makes mostly compound crossbows. Having sold over a million crossbows since their beginnings, Barnett products are built of high-quality and for the hunt. Barnett’s been driving innovations in crossbow technologies, starting with “self-cocking” devices and reaching fully-integrated crank cocking device attachments.
Barnett’s crossbow draw weight is typically medium ranging from the one with the smallest, which is the Panzer V which has a draw weight of 125 pounds, to the Ghost 410 which has a draw weight of 185 pounds. They are a bit heavy as most compound crossbows are, but the price range is very reasonable. In addition, the company sells accessories to make sure that you can fix your crossbows if you need a spare. The company offers carbon bolts for all the different types of crossbows they sell. They also offer scopes which are compatible with all of the crossbows from their company. Crossbows from Barnett look great and they have a style that is smooth with close attention to details when compared to most crossbows out there. Most of their crossbows have a five-year warranty.
Precision Shooting Equipment (PSE)
Precision Shooting Equipment is one of the most well know crossbow manufacturers. In business since 1970, PSE has always paid attention to the details in shooting equipment. They’ve improved bow constructions and experimented with different accessory types, growing into the impressive company that exists today. Their innovative drive pushes PSE forward.
They sell compound crossbows with a draw weight of between 150 -185 pounds with speeds between 310 FPS to 330FPs. This is a powerful crossbow and with the right range they can take down a cape buffalo. They are pretty heavy, though, and you might need string silencers and limb dampeners because they can be a tad on the loud side. PSE crossbows have a lifetime warranty though the company decides if the warranty is applicable. PSE also sells crossbow accessories for their products such as bolts with Carbon Force Lineup and TAC lineup.
Southern Crossbow works to integrate new shooting technologies with the crossbow field. They favor shooters who are familiar with the AR platform. A wide variety of tactical accessories can be used with their products.
Southern Crossbows are usually compound crossbows with their draw weight ranging from 155 to 200 pounds. They use quick and quiet cams, and all have a mounted scope. Their buttstocks are very adjustable and come with a decent warranty that is a lifetime limited. They all have a Picatinny rail and a vertical fore grip. They are easy to customize, and the adjustable buttstock allows the shooter to customize with other type stocks. The Picatinny rail allows customization, and most AR shooters love it. These crossbows allow you to include anything you need to go hunting. There are a few accessories on the market, but the best thing about this crossbow is that most of your necessary accessories are included when you buy it. These accessories include bolts, scopes, and cocking aids.
Excalibur Crossbows are great because they consider themselves to be crossbow hunters making crossbows. The company prides itself in the incredible accuracy one can achieve with their crossbows. Their speed and reliability are also unmatched among the other best crossbow brands. Excalibur makes a lot of accessories that are reasonably priced. They have been creating quality products since 1983.
Excalibur crossbows are unique from other crossbows in that they are very light with most options weighing less than six pounds. They are typically very fast with speeds ranging from 305 to 350 FPS. All Excalibur are recurve crossbows, and if you are a beginner, this is a great place to start. Unlike compound crossbows which are more powerful but require skills to maintain because their designs are more complicated. Recurve crossbows are suitable for all beginners. They’re lightweight and easy to travel with. Hunting requires you to carry your crossbow for extended periods, and because Excaliburs are light, you’ll feel less burdened from lugging it around. The weight is never a deal breaker, but along with the weight comes added maneuverability, which can be crucial.
Their accessories include crossbow bolts which are made of carbon, crossbow cases that are made up of camouflage fabric designed to protect your crossbow from weather elements, and various other accessories including cocking aids, stringers and scopes.
Bear Archery is a company mostly known for their compound bows, but are also one of the best crossbow brands. They swear on their products’ reliability, lethality, and ethical hunting shots. Founded in the 1930s, Bear Archery has grown from crafting bows for friends into a powerhouse of impressive archery equipment.
Their crossbows are known for their power, precision, and accuracy. They are heavier as all compound crossbows are. The draw weight ranges from 125 to 200 pounds making these crossbows very flexible. The company focuses strictly on the exterior which makes their crossbows stand out from the rest. The company also sells a broad range of crossbow accessories ranging from crossbow bolts to vision scopes. If you are an experienced archer or hunter than you might be tempted to go for Bear Archery crossbows.
Southland Archery Supply
Southland Archery Supply is known for their compound as well as recurve crossbows. They have a special place in the market due to the brand loyalty they has developed over time. They’re responsible for more than just selling crossbows and listing products for archery in general.
Their compound crossbows have a draw weight that ranges between 150-200 pounds while their recurve crossbows have a draw weight that ranges between 125-175 pounds. Beginners should buy their recurve crossbows because they are very easy to use, and safety features are abundant. Experienced hunters should go for the compound crossbows because they are very powerful, fast and accurate. As with all compound bows their crossbows are a bit heavy. The company also offers a wide range of accessories ranging from visual scopes to bolts.
I myself am loyal to Bear archery. Having said that the list above includes most of the best crossbow brands around. Crossbows are a high level piece of hunting gear while less regulated and less dangerous compared to the gun. If you are considering buying a crossbow for the first time, then you should consider buying from Southland Archery Supply or Excalibur Archery because their recurve crossbows are very friendly to beginners.
When purchasing a crossbow for archery, go for one with a medium draw weight, such as the ones from the Barnett series. If you are buying a crossbow for hunting, aim for power and more draw weight, which may amplify your FPS speeds.