Back in the day, crossbows were quite accurate, but they were made from rudimentary materials, and the shooter needed to practice this skill for years before mastering it. Nowadays, things are much better as our modern crossbows are very reliable, accurate, sophisticated, and can work wonders, even in the hands of a beginner. You can use a crossbow when you go hunting, for target practicing, or just to have fun. Believe us, it is an amazing experience!
People prefer crossbows over regular hunting rifles for a variety of reasons. First of all, you can retrieve your arrows, so, in the long run, you don’t have to buy ammunition unless one of the arrows gets damaged. This does happen, but it’s very rare. Secondly, crossbows are more affordable, easier to maneuver, and very quiet. You'll eventually have to get a hiking backpack
for your crossbow accessories and perhaps compact binoculars
or night vision binoculars
, but those are optional items reserved for more experienced hunters. If you are a beginner, almost any crossbow will be suitable for you.
Continue reading this guide to find out more about crossbows and how to buy a good one for your needs. The market is filled with such weapons, and, especially if you are a novice, you need some guidance and a couple of pieces of advice.
Let's start with the price first. Keep in mind that modern crossbows are seriously advanced weapons made by professional manufacturers, and you'll be able to use them for years. Paying something between $140 and $1,000 is fair for something that will last you such a long time. In the long run, you might never have to buy ammunition or additional accessories (crossbows also come with scopes), so the running costs are low in comparison with hunting rifles.
The price of a crossbow is usually influenced by the firing power which basically translates into how fast the arrow travels through the air. The included accessories as well as the materials from which the crossbow is made will also influence the total cost. As a rule of thumb though, make sure you stay away from excessively cheap crossbows which are usually priced below 100 bucks because such weapons are not only unreliable but potentially dangerous as well.
A modern crossbow is one of the coolest weapons money can buy today, and, when buying one, you need to keep the following aspects in mind.
- Velocity - Expressed in feet per second (FPS), this can be between 200 and 400 for really tough models. At 400 FPS, that poor deer has no chance of escaping
- Accessories - This includes arrows, scope, carrying bag, and so on. These are very valuable when purchasing a crossbow
- Materials - Modern crossbows are usually made from composite materials which are not only resistant to wear and tear, but also lightweight. If the weapon is very powerful, its mainframe might be made from metal for obvious reasons
- Design/Color - You can go for crossbows painted in an attractive camouflage color or opt for simple, "ninja" ones which are colored in black or dark blue/green nuances
At this point, it is a good idea to assess your hunting skills and determine if you require a very sophisticated weapon or a simpler one to help you learn the ropes quicker. You should also set a budget right from the start, so you avoid overspending when shopping for crossbows.
Construction and Design
The beauty is that today's crossbows are specially designed to replicate the shooting experience of a regular gun. They have pretty much the same trigger design and might incorporate two or four limbs which launch the arrow. Hunters don’t have to manually pull the cord to ready the projectile for firing. Instead, they gently slide a mechanism backwards to load the arrow. This makes it easier for anyone to use a crossbow.
Once the arrow is in place and ready for launching, all that you have to do is to adjust the scope to have your target in sight. Almost all crossbows come with their own scopes which are detachable and easy to use. When you're ready to shoot, hold your breath and pull the trigger. If you miss, don’t worry, you have several more arrows to shoot.
Speaking of arrows, these are usually made from lightweight materials such as composite or aluminum. They are going to be launched at speeds up to 400 feet per second, so be very careful where you aim them. Another great advantage of modern crossbows is that they also have a built-in mini-quiver underneath the firing mechanism where you can store several more arrows, so you don’t have to reach your hand behind you and magically draw one from a bag, as Robin Hood does.
Performance and Ease of Use
If you are not an avid hunter, you can also use these weapons for target practice with your friends or family members. Look at it as a hobby when you all gather in the backyard and shoot at a dummy, enjoy fresh air, take in the sunlight, and maybe drink a glass of lemonade.
Also keep in mind that most trusted manufacturers offer warranty periods of up to five years. This is definitely something to look into before you purchase a crossbow.
By now you hopefully read our guide on how to buy a good crossbow, but, frankly, it doesn’t really matter which one you pick as all of them look rather attractive! Here are our five recommendations from reputable brands in the crossbow category.
When everyone else will be out there hunting with regular guns, you're going to attract all the attention by showing up with a fearsome crossbow and shooting arrows Robin Hood-style! Pick your favorite one from some of the best crossbows on the market and take your hunting experience to the next level!