The Excalibur Vixen II is one of the best crossbows for sale, particularly if you’re looking for a model whose features you can’t refuse. “Why?”, you might ask. We’ve taken the time and effort to put together a thorough research on the topic of the best crossbows that can be bought on the market today. We have gone through the owner feedback and sales figures of thousands of units. What’s more, we’ve looked at the value offered for the price and whether or not some products are more affordable while also durable compared to others. In an attempt to estimate just how these crossbows have impacted the general public, we have even examined how they performed on social media. After all this tossing and turning, we eventually turned to the Excalibur Vixen II because it’s the best one money can buy. The crossbow has virtually anything you might ever require from such a product, as it’s easy to assemble and operate and comes with a unique camouflage color combo. Its shooting force of 285 FPS is more than adequate to raise up to par. If you find that the Excalibur isn’t available, you might want to try the second best product on the line, the Barnett Buck Commander CRT.
Searching for the best rated crossbow requires attention to details. Fortunately, the current offer on crossbows is more than impressive, covering the needs of skilled and novice hunters. Taking into account that crossbows come in different shapes and sizes, people have to take into consideration some of the following factors:
Trying to find out what is the best product begins with more information on weight. According recent reviews from experienced hunters it seems that heavy crossbows are easier to hold. The extra weight limits the occurrence of shaking that might perturb the way you release arrows. Still, there are also light crossbows, designed for people that combine hunting with hiking. It is recommended to take into account age while browsing for a new crossbow. Consider the weight of the model before deciding on a heavy or light format. Once physical limitations are taken into account, hunters will be able to invest in a product easy to maneuver on various hunting trips.
Most of the top10 crossbow models available on the market offer high firing speeds. For people who want to enjoy the comfort of powerful and rapid shots we recommend compound bows. For smooth shots but without the extra kick, recurve bows will perform quite well. In matters of firing speed, the bolt is also important. In this segment it is important to opt for the right strength and size, something which is directly linked to the bow’s design. Most manufacturers offer a clear list on the type of bolt to use on various bow models. The wrong bolt can compromise the firing power and also diminish precision.
Identifying the best product for the money takes time but in the end it’s worth it. One of the most important factors related to proper firing sessions relates to noise. In the heat of the moment, it is recommended to keep quiet and take animals by surprise. Fortunately, the market’s offer on crossbows includes models with low noise levels. This is why a growing number of hunters use bows that incorporate parallel limbs. Such components limit the noise output during various hunting applications. Recent statistics showed that compound bows let out more noise than recurve models. Hunters should know that the highest rated crossbow combines speed with noise cancellation in order to provide the best control and result for each shot.
Today’s crossbows are easy to use and capable of helping archers reach their targets easier. Still, determining who makes the best product is not that easy. It is important to have all the facts straight and know exactly what makes a crossbow perfect for light or serious hunting sessions. Specialists in the field of crossbow hunting consider weight, speed and noise level essential for positive results. You can check the comparison table below to see which is the best crossbow 2017.
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Products for specific needs
Best crossbow for big game hunting
Skilled hunters understand just how important it is to own a powerful crossbow during long hunting trips. The Barnett Penetrator crossbow package from Barnett Crossbow represents a great addition to people who want to have a high rate of success while hunting. Regarded by many experienced hunters as the best crossbow for big game hunting, this model comes with an innovative design that produces firing speeds of 350 FPS. This weapon has a 175 pound draw weight and a full energy of 116 foot pounds, more than enough to make the arrow pierce thick animal hides. Backed by an exclusive 5 year manufacturer warranty, this crossbow is fitted with Anti-Dry Fire function for preventing silly accidents.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Best crossbow for rabbit hunting
Horton CB880 Havoc 175
When it comes to fast animal hunting, hunters usually resort to crossbows with high recurve rate. For smooth firing performance we recommend the CB880 Havoc 175 from Horton, a model with a rugged foot stirrup that allows hunters to recock the crossbow faster. Regarded as the best crossbow for rabbit hunting, this model has a realtree color, making it capable of blending in any environment. The crossbow features a specially designed CNC-machined cam and durable laminated limbs that significantly improve firing speed! This model comes equipped with the exclusive ambidextrous Monte Carlo cheek rest, which enhances comfort during long or short firing sessions.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Best crossbow for deer hunting
Jaguar CR-013 Series 175LBS Spring
There are thousands of Americans searching for the best crossbow for deer hunting. For smooth firing sessions we recommend the CR-013 crossbow from Jaguar, a model equipped with a composite stock. Appreciated by intermediate and advanced hunters, this hunting bow features a 175 pound draw weight which ensures sufficient shooting force. Due to the solid fiberglass construction, this crossbow is very resistant to even long sessions of deer hunting. Taking into account that preying on deer requires patience and shooting precision, this unit from Jaguar comes equipped with 4 16-inch bolts. Furthermore, it includes a 30 millimeter red 3 dot crossbow scope which ensures more accuracy with each shot.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($140)
Top rated crossbows in 2017
Hunting is a sport that triggers high adrenaline rushes and provides good exercise, even fun times with friends out in the open and close to nature. Crossbow hunting is highly appreciated and the best crossbow reviews are the perfect source of information in case you are searching for a product you can rely on.
Excalibur Vixen II
This is the best product on the market today, as it has an impressive shooting force and is the best possible alternative you might have on your hands if you’re targeting small and medium game. What’s more, it’s easy to clean and maintain and requires little to no effort on the part of the owner. Its ability to shoot accurately and quietly is yet another plus.
Excalibur has been building dependable crossbows for quite a while now, which is why this product raises up to the standards imposed by the brand. The Vixen II is a neat combination of high quality and durability. The draw is short and light and the reduced length of pull makes it one of the most reasonable options for people who are younger and shorter, ladies included.
The Vixen II has been designed with the environment in mind, which is why you won’t encounter any issues on this account. The weapon is camouflaged in Realtree Hardwoods colors, and this practically means that you’ll be a part of the entire decor, allowing you to target all the game you want without scaring it away.
Another advantage of choosing this unit is that it takes the cake when it comes to usability. Not only is it very easy to operate, but it’s also a piece of cake in regards to assembling it during hunting sessions.
While researching this product, we did not stumble upon any negative reviews whatsoever, which just goes to show just how highly acclaimed is this piece.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($425)
Barnett Buck Commander
This unit is among the best Barnett crossbows money can buy and it’s the second best product available on the market today. It’s lightweight enough to speak to the needs of many users, regardless of their size. In addition, it features an aluminum construction that makes sure the owner benefits from excellent flexibility. All this and the 126-ft pounds of draw energy make it worth considering.
Even though it might not be the most affordable unit on the line, this one does what it’s supposed to do and does it well. For one, it features the Barnett’s AVI technology, which means that neither you nor the game will have to hear any bothersome noise produced by this crossbow. In fact, the formerly mentioned technology makes it possible for this product to reduce noise up to 30%.
The model comes packed with a neat set of features and extras. The package includes an illuminated 3×32 multi-reticle red/green dot sight, four 22-inch arrows, as well as a quiver. The ADF trigger system is part of the deal with this one. With a 175-pound draw weight and a 14-inch power stroke, it’s safe to say that this package is worth considering if you’re still prospecting the market.
The Buck Commander has a flight trail that has been built with high-quality aluminum which, along with the cables and crosswire strings, make it possible for the model to perform the way it should.
There have been some minor complaints regarding the weight of the crossbow.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($719.99)
SA Sports Fever
For target practice and for small game hunting you must get your hands on the SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package. Among the crossbow accessories that come with the package are a Multi Reticle scope, an adjustable scope mount, and 4 arrows which fit well in the provided quiver, a padded shoulder sling for comfortable carrying options and an ambidextrous trigger. With an above average accuracy rating and an aggressive design, this model surely is one of the best crossbows in 2017.
“When I tried this crossbow in the store, I immediately knew it had to be mine because it felt so well balanced and high quality. I shot some arrows to test its accuracy and they went exactly where I wanted them to go. For me it’s a top crossbow under $150 it surely deserves the best crossbows reviews” – Bill Matthews
Buy from Amazon.com for ($129.99)
Barnett Quad 400
If you like hunting, then the best crossbows reviews recommend this package from Barnett, which has everything to ensure you will enjoy a good hunt, taking down large game. Its package comes with two different kinds of scopes, a multi reticle and a red dot model, giving you a wide range of possibilities and great accuracy for your shots. The most impressive thing about it is that it can fire an arrow at a speed of 345 feet per second.
Powerful compound crossbow with excellent camouflage design.
Delivers an impressive 345 FPS firing force during firing sessions.
Benefits from an exclusive manufacturer 5 year warranty.
Very sensitive trigger pull, great for fast hunting reactions.
A fine option to the question “what is the best compound crossbow?”.
Incorporates Barnett firing technology for great hunting results.
Takes a couple of minutes to assemble (usually from 10 to 20 minutes).
It is not equipped with crank cocking device (this is an accessory sold separately).
“Shooting well while target practicing doesn’t guarantee that a crossbow is reliable, you need to take it out for a hunt in the wilderness and then you can draw conclusions. That’s what I did with this crossbow from Barnett and it has performed admirably. My luck was that I got it for a Black Friday deal, otherwise I couldn’t afford it.” – Eddy Roberts
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Barnett Wildcat C5
For professional hunters here is a crossbow intended for small game hunting, the Barnett Wildcat C5. Just by looking at the features that come with this crossbow you can see it is ideal for this type of hunting. The camouflage design is also stunning, adding to a complete package. Here are some of the things you should know when thinking about buying the Wildcat C5: lightweight composite GAM stock, vented quad limbs, Veloci-Speed wheels plus a whole lot more. The fact that it is made entirely in the US can only prove the durability and the quality of this crossbow. Strapped to it you will also have a quiver for its 3 20-inch arrows with which it comes with. For a high level of precision, you will also get a 4×32 mm scope. This way you will have the best shooting capabilities to get that gaming trophy you are after.
Manufactured in the United States of America by experienced Barnett Crossbows technicians.
Benefits from an exclusive 5-year warranty.
Includes a special quick-detach quiver and 4 x 32 millimetre scope.
Designed with lightweight composite GAM stock for hard and active hunting trips.
Not for sale in some states (according to the current federal laws on gun control).
No crank cocking device comes in the package (this accessory is sold separately).
“Hunting magazines were so positive in describing the Barnett Wildcat C5 that I just had to have a try at it myself. I went and held it in my hands before I purchased it and it just felt so right, light but at the same time sturdy. With it my shooting has really improved and I have to recommend it for its superior capabilities. Furthermore, this new crossbow has an affordable price range.” – George Vaughn
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Barnett Ghost 350
An impressive crossbow model that is found in the top best crossbow lists this year is the Ghost 350 CRT. It is the lightest of the Barnett family with only 7.5 pounds of weight. It owes its lightweight to its Carbon Riser features. If you are a supporter of safe hunting and super steady shooting, then the Ghost 350 crossbow will deliver exactly that, thanks to its ability to redirect the gravity center towards the stock-end, thus eliminating the font-end weight. However, if a hunting enthusiast feels like purchasing a product that offers utmost levels of precision, then the Barnett Ghost model is certainly a strong candidate. Other features you should know about are the whiplash cams, crosswire strings and sturdy metal injection that resists dryness well.
Light construction, weighing only 7.5 pounds.
Manufactured in the United States of America by Barnett Crossbows.
Incorporates Carbon Riser Technology (CRT) for faster firing force.
The crossbow can fire with amazing 350 FPS velocity.
Amazing firing flexibility due to the location of the center of gravity.
Easily manages firing force due to the high quality draw force.
It can’t be sold in different states.
Does not come with a carrying case (this is an accessory sold separately in different stores).
“The Barnett Ghost 350 CRT Crossbow Package was my choice for target practicing. I feel very comfortable while I’m shooting with it. While it looks sturdy, it feels light in my hand. I don’t feel tired after carrying around and all in all i believe it is one of the most reliable crossbows in 2017.” Paul Campbell
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury
A crossbow model that is as high-rated and well-appreciated as the Arrow Precision Inferno Fury is definitely worthy of one of the best crossbow reviews. Its excellent characteristics provide a quiet, absolutely precise and efficient shooting pattern regardless of the surrounding environment. Moreover, its speed, stealth and balance are improved thanks to the Reverse Draw feature that is built-in. In addition, the range 4×32 scope, the machine riser and the effective rope cocking device are more than enough to please even the most demanding enthusiast.
Great crossbow for beginners and even experienced hunters.
Delivers an amazing 175 pounds of draw weight.
The crossbow benefits from an exclusive 1 year manufacturer warranty.
Efficient auto safety device.
Fires arrows at impressive 235 FPS speeds.
Incorporates a customizable weaver style scope mount.
Some assembly is required (the whole installation process takes from 10 to 20 minutes).
Doesn’t include a detailed instruction manual (additional information can be found on the official website).
“ In the time I have used this crossbow, I have come to believe it is the best one in 2017 . I find it to be well balanced and the cocking system is easy to use for me. The precision with which I fire my arrows makes me know i have received an excellent Xmas present .” Kathleen Crown
Buy from Amazon.com for ($166.25)
When it comes to efficiency and accuracy the Barnett’s military, yet stylish designed Jackal model scores well on both accounts. It is a dream hunting tool that is highly praised for its 315 feet/second shooting ability, for the quiver that can detach in no time, the heavy-duty string and a draw weight that reaches 150 pounds. Additionally, it allows its users to benefit from its red dot sight that helps improve accuracy and the 3 arrows, which measure 20 inches, making the perfect for hunting animals from small to medium sizes, regardless of the surrounding environment. The cherry on top of the cake is the Jackal’s high energy wheels that take the model’s features and efficiency right to the tops of all the best crossbow lists.
Detailed military themed crossbow, with unique realism.
Very popular among American hunting communities.
Shoots with impressive 315 FPS velocity.
Offers impressive firing accuracy and force for each shot.
It provides a powerful 150-pound draw weight.
Benefits from a solid 5-year exclusive manufacturer warranty.
The compound crossbow incorporates ADF MIM 3.5-pound trigger.
Doesn’t come with carrying/storing case (this is an optional accessory which can be bought separately).
Do not includes a detailed instruction manual.
“The accuracy of Barnett Jackal Crossbow package still impresses me even though I have had it for quite some time. I don’t find it hard to cock it and I also choose it for its reduced weight. It’s the best crossbow for the money I paid for it.” Raymond Garcia
Buy from Amazon.com for ($197.74)
Crossbows – What to look for:
Since the dawn of men, hunting has been a central part of surviving. Throughout history weapons have evolved, so killing prey was easier for the hunters. Nowadays hunting is mainly a sport, with less and less people doing it for survival. One of the weapons still used for hunting, which was developed in Middle Ages, is the crossbow. Over the years this type of weapon has got better and better and only elite hunters can use it for to take down game. This is because crossbows require the hunter to get closer to his prey. If you are interested in buying such a weapon and you have difficulties choosing a model, then the following lines will help you reach a decision. There are some certain features which you should look for in a crossbow. These features also depend on your level of experience with such a weapon.
Primarily there are 2 main uses for a crossbow: target practice and hunting. For the first category you won’t have to reach deep into your pockets, while for the second one you have to be prepared to invest a couple of hundred dollars. You should know that there are 2 types of crossbows you can buy: one category uses cams and cables – compound crossbows, while the second one uses limbs and a bowstring. Out of the two, the best crossbows for hunting are the compound ones. They shoot farther and faster, being able to kill deer, elk, boars and other wild animals. A good thing about today’s market is that more and more crossbows are produced, so you will have a wider variety to choose from. This will guarantee that you will find what you are looking for.
Before we put together this buying guide, we read the most reliable crossbows reviews. Thus, we have gathered lots of info about the different characteristics that make a model great and worth buying.
When you will shoot the first arrows, see if the crossbow is light enough for you, because if it is heavy you will tire out quickly. Once you get tired, your accuracy will considerably decrease. We advise you to purchase a crossbow from online retailers because the price for one is cheaper compared to what you can get in a weapons shop. The cocking mechanism should be easy to use, allowing you to take more shots in a shorter amount of time. If you like the design and the feel of a certain crossbow, then think about the accessories that can go with it. Overtime you will need to improve it and you will want things like: instance scopes, a rope cocker, sling helps and many more. However, if you are an entry-level crossbow user, then you should opt for the simplest model at first. You will steadily progress to more complicated and powerful crossbows as you gain more experience.
These simple pointers will allow you to get your hands on that elusive best crossbow in 2017. A reliable model will prove to be just the thing, whether you want to hunt or just use it for target practice. Make sure it is light enough so you don’t have problems with fatigue and it doesn’t prove uncomfortable for carrying. Whether you are an experienced hunter or just use the crossbow for fun purposes, you must be very methodical when searching for a reliable model. Try to keep in mind the features that were mentioned above.
After going through this buying guide you should read our list of top crossbows. Take a few minutes to look at the best crossbow reviews and then surely you will single out 2-3 models which you think are good for you. Compare them using the info just presented and see which one is the right model for yourself.
Things to consider:
It is always a good idea to take a few minutes and have a quick look over reviews and customer reports before you purchase a crossbow.
- Choose between either a compound crossbow or one using a bowstring and limbs;
- Be sure of the reason you are buying it: hunting or target shooting;
- You should be able to work the cocking mechanism easily;
- Finding compatible accessories, like scopes, should have to be a simple task.