Crossbows continue to be allowed in archery season in more jurisdictions than ever before. In fact, most states and provinces now allow them alongside vertical bow hunters. The surge in popularity may be due to regulation changes in many areas, making them one of the fastest growing components of the archery community. Manufacturers are in a bit of a race to come out with new technologies to increase performance and value. The market has become extremely competitive, meaning there is no better time to be shopping for a horizontal bow.
Every year crossbows are faster, more durable and easier and safer to use. Research and development departments are so busy that it’s safe to say that if you’re using a crossbow that’s more than five years old, one of the new ones will immediately draw your attention. Increased velocity and kinetic energy mean better accuracy and clean kills.
The information provided below, in alphabetical order, is an overview of the latest and greatest in terms of performance or value for crossbows this year.
TenPoint Carbon Phantom RCX
If you are looking to upgrade your existing crossbow the Carbon Phantom RCX is TenPoint’s flagship with carbon fibre riser, anti-dry fire, molded PolyOne OnForce polypropylene stock, complete with adjustable cheek and butt plate. It has a narrow design that is useable in multiple hunting situations. It shoots 385 fps with a power stroke of 16 inches. It is 6.9 pounds and is 35.5 inches long. When cocked, the bow is just 13.375 inches wide. It is sold as a complete package that includes a cocking mechanism, scope, six arrows, string dampening rods, and quiver. MSRP $1,699 with ACUdraw 50 or $1,799 with ACUdraw
TenPoint Ultra-Light Eclipse RCX
The carbon injected polymer barrel makes this crossbow a workhorse you can depend on. It shoots 370 fps with just 140 pounds of draw weight. It is 6.9 pounds and 34.75 inches long. The limbs are just 13.5 inches wide cocked. It is sold as a ready-to-hunt package with a cocking mechanism, scope, three carbon arrows, string dampening rods, and quiver. MSRP $1,099 with ACUdraw 50 or $1,199 with ACUdraw
The Renegade is an entry-level bow, offering great value, with all the bells and whistles of any modern crossbow. The one piece polypropylene stock makes it durable and lightweight. It shoots 335 fps with a 165-pound draw weight. It weighs in at 7 pounds and is 37.875 inches long. The limbs are 18.5 inches wide cocked. It is easy to draw and comes with cocking options at different price levels, as well as a scope, three arrows, and a quiver. MSRP $599 with no cocking mechanism, $699 with ACUdraw 50, or $799 with ACUdraw
Barnett Ghost 375
The Ghost 375 features reverse cam technology, a 3-pound TriggerTech trigger, anti-dry fire, bristle brush arrow retainers, Picatinny rail, and side-mounted quiver for a complete package ready to sight in and hunt. The bow shoots 385 fps with a draw weight of 185 pounds. The bow weighs 6.9 pound, is 34 inches long and is 21.5 inches uncocked. The Ghost 375 is sold as a package that includes illuminated scope, two arrows, and rope cocking device. MSRP $699.99
Barnett Whitetail Hunter Pro
This strong and sturdy bow is focused for the whitetail enthusiast, as you can tell by the name. The Whitetail Hunter Pro includes bristle brush arrow retainer, anti-dry fire, Picatinny rail, and a TriggerTech trigger, and is powered by a composite, laminated split-limb design. It shoots a blistering 380 fps with just 165 pounds of draw weight. It weighs in at 7 pounds, is 36 inches long and is 19.75 inches wide uncocked. It is sold as a package that includes an illuminated scope, two arrows, and rope cocking device. MSRP $599.99
The ReVengeance would be considered a speed bow and is easy to shoot with a Trigger Tech trigger. It also features a bristle brush arrow retainer, anti-dry fire, Picatinny rail and pass-through foregrip, giving it a modern look with high-end performance. Arrows are flat shooting at 400 fps powered from a 155-pound draw weight. It weighs 7.9 pounds, is 33.75 inches long and is 23.25 inches wide uncocked. It is sold as a package with an illuminated scope, two arrows, and rope cocking device. MSRP $999.99
BearX Bruzer FFL
The reverse-draw limbs keep the BearX Bruzer FFL compact with ideal balance for a variety of hunting quests. It also has an adjustable trigger and Picatinny rail to customize your bow. It shoots 335 fps with 125-pound draw weight. It weighs 9 pounds and is 34.5 inches long, with limbs 15.1 inches wide when cocked. It is sold as a package with a scope, arrows, field points, Picatinny mount quiver, and cocking sled. MSRP $649
What makes this crossbow unique is the adjustable AR-style stock, and machined aluminum rail. It is fast, shooting 405 fps with 200-pound draw weight. The limbs are just 13.5 inches wide when cocked. It is sold as a package with a scope, three arrows, ambidextrous side mount quiver, rope cocking device, sling, and complete silencing system. MSRP $749
CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380
The first thing you’ll likely notice on this crossbow is the all-weather composite stock with rubber passed grips for comfort and control in the hand. It shoots 380 fps with 185-pound draw weight. It is just 14 inches wide when cocked. It is sold as a package with a scope, arrows, quiver, rope cocking device, and complete silencing system. MSRP $399
Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 380
It is hard to miss the lightweight design and skeletonized stock that make this crossbow easy to pack and hunt on any style of hunt. Bulldog is an appropriate name for this crossbow with a 260-pound draw weight producing arrow speeds of 380 fps. It weighs a paltry 5.7 pounds and is just 35 inches long and 30-inch-wide limbs uncocked. It is sold as a package with an illuminated scope, ambidextrous cheek piece, four arrows, field points, rope cocking device, and quiver. MSRP $1,099
Excalibur Micro Suppressor
This crossbow is extremely lightweight at 5.4 pounds but it makes up for it with a draw weight of 280 pounds. A Picatinny rail allows the user to add optional attachments for maximum versatility. It shoots at 355 fps, is 31 inches long and 25 inches wide uncocked. It is sold as a package with an ambidextrous cheek patch, anti-dry fire, illuminated scope, three arrows, field points, and rope cocking device. MSRP $1,299
Horton Vortec RDX
Horton has perfected the reverse-draw limbs as seen on the Vortec RDX, making it a lightweight bow that is easy to draw. It features a Reaper cam system, ultralight polypropylene stock, 3.5-pound trigger, and anti-dry fire round out this full-feature crossbow. It shoots 340 fps with just 135 pounds of draw weight. It weighs 7.6 pounds and is 34.25 inches long, with limbs just 9.125 inches wide when cocked. It comes as a package with cocking device, scope, three arrows, string stop system, and quiver. MSRP $799 with Dedd Sled 50 or $999 with ACUdraw
The MXB-Charge is a lightweight crossbow that produces crazy speed, yet is quiet, compact, and features a split-limb design. It shoots 365 fps with 225 pounds of draw weight. It weighs 6.9 pounds and is 32 inches long, with limbs 19.5 inches wide uncocked. It is sold as a package with illuminated scope, rings, arrows and quiver. MSRP $949 for the bow only; $1,099 for Basic Kit; $1,199 for Hunter Kit; $1,299 for Pro Hunter Kit.
The Ravin R9 is an extreme crossbow with a speedster-type look. It is just 6 inches wide fully cocked, making it the narrowest crossbow available to hunters. It produces mind boggling speeds close to 400 fps. The draw is specified by Ravin as the force required to cock the bow with the unit’s built-in crank system. Therefore, per their specifications, the “Draw Force” is 10 pounds. It weighs 6.9 pounds and is 34.5 inches long. The limbs are still narrow uncocked at 10.5 inches. It is sold as a package with arrows, removable cocking handle, quiver, field points, illuminated scope, built-in cocking mechanism, anti-dry fire, and built-in sling mounts. MSRP $1,549.99
Ravin R15 Predator Camo
The Ravin R15 Predator Camo crossbow is compact with a futuristic look. The limbs are just 6-inches wide when cocked and 10.5-inches axle-to-axle uncocked. The bow is powered by HeliCoil technology that coils cables away from both the top and bottom of the cams in helical grooves keeping the cams perfectly balanced. With a total weight of 6.9 pounds and a mere 12-pound draw force on the cocking handle, it shoots a 400-grain arrow at a scorching 425 fps. The comes fully assembled and tuned. The package includes six arrows, removable cocking handle, quiver, illuminated scope, built-in cocking mechanism, anti-dry fire and auto safety, and sling mounts. This ready-to-shoot package has a MSRP of $2,049.99 and is made in Wisconsin with a launch date of March 2017.
Stocky’s Scorcher Extreme
The Scorcher Extreme is a tactical-style bow with reverse-draw limbs and aggressive cam design. The bow also takes standard 1911 (pistol) grips allowing the user to customize it. It shoots an incredible 440 fps with 175-pound draw weight. It weighs 7.5 pounds with accessories and is 34.5 inches long. The limbs are 18.5 inches wide cocked. Sold as a package with a scope, rings, six arrows, sled cocking device, string stops, limb dampeners, and quiver. MSRP $1,499 or $1,749 with premium illuminated scope package.
Stryker Katana 360
This bow is loaded with features from anti-dry fire, to lightweight and compact design that produces excellent kinetic energy for hunting. Take note of the speed to draw weight ratio, as its fast but easy to cock. The Katana is shooting 360 fps from just 150 pounds of draw weight, with a 13-inch power stroke. It weighs just 6.5 pounds and is 35 inches long with just over 20 inches of width uncocked. It is sold as a package that includes a scope with 1-inch rings, quiver, three lit arrows, field points, and rope cocking device. MSRP $949
Wicked Ridge Invader G3
The Invader G3 is economically priced with the performance that makes it popular within the market. The crossbow weighs 6.6-pounds and shoots up to 330 feet per second. It is sold as a package with a quiver and three Wicked Ridge carbon arrows. The Invader G3 will come with a gear-assisted cocking mechanism, the ACUdraw, which is fully integrated into the stock, and reduces the crossbow’s draw weight to roughly 5-pounds. MSRP $649