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Best Tactical Crossbow – 2020 Reviews

Last Updated: February 29, 2020
Alexander Herbert
Product Review by Alexander Herbert

So, you’re in the market for a new tactical crossbow. We want to make sure you make an informed decision; after all, this isn’t a cheap item. So let’s break it down.

Starting from the top; why do you need a crossbow?

Is it for survival, defense, or hunting? A crossbow has a multitude of uses.

So depending on what your purpose is, there is a tactical crossbow that is right for you. In this article, we will outline the benefits that different crossbows have over other hunting weapons.

Here are some reasons you may consider owning a tactical crossbow. Some of those reasons are that it takes very little practice when switching to a crossbow from a rifle, as a crossbow is held much like a rifle, is quieter, you can extend your hunting season, and it is less physically demanding than other forms of hunting.

Whether you want a crossbow to protect yourself, or for hunting, they do offer advantages over a rifle. In this article, we will give you information that will provide you with confidence in choosing the best tactical crossbow that is right for your needs.

Our Reviews

1

Amas Self Cocking Pistol Tactical Crossbow

The Self Cocking Pistol crossbow consists of a lightweight fiberglass body which makes it the perfect bow for hunting small game or just getting in some target practice. At 3.55 pounds it is easy enough to transport, and with a draw weight of 80-pound and a firing speed of 165 fps, you don’t expect it to take down large animals.

With the self-cocking system, it is the perfect starter crossbow because it is safer and far less strenuous to use. Included with the crossbow are a scope, 39 arrows, and two 80-pound strings.

Pros

  • Perfect whether you’re target shooting or hunting
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Effective at 13-15 yards
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • The bolts are of a lower quality than others
  • Limited safety features
2

CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper Compound Crossbow

Like the Silencer, the Tormentor offers the user high speed and power. It also provides its user with comfortable padded grips.

Just like the Silencer, it has a draw weight of 185-pounds but can send bolts a little faster at 380 fps. Other features which make the Tormentor as popular as the Silencer is the silencing system, which includes two string stoppers and two limb dampeners.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Quiver included
  • Has a lot of power
  • Nearly silent
  • Narrow width

Cons

  • The scope has a limited range
  • Included bolts are not the highest quality
3

CenterPoint Sniper 370

Included in the box with your new CenterPoint is;

  • 20” carbon bolts x 3
  • Quiver
  • Cocking rope
  • Shoulder sling
  • 4×32 scope

 

It should be noted that if you are considering this crossbow, you should have a local tech set it up for you, unless you are already experienced in setting up and assembling crossbows. As the assembly instructions will seem quite vague if you are an inexperienced bowman.

However, I would note this as the only downside for this crossbow. Being the fastest and most powerful bow on this list the Sniper 370 certainly delivers, packing enough punch to handle even the largest legal game.

The CenterPoint boasts an anti-dry fire mechanism, as well as an automatic safety feature. A significant consideration when looking for the best youth hunting crossbow.

Integrated string-suppressors are a nice inclusion, making for a quiet shooting experience.

With a draw weight of 185lbs, you would be mistaken for thinking a younger person would have trouble cocking the Sniper 370. But with the included cocking rope even bowmen with the smallest frame can easily make ready their next bolt.

Specifications

• Speed: 370 FPS
• Draw Weight: 185 pounds
• FPKE: 110 ft-lbs
• Size: 36 x 21 inches
• Weight: 7.9 pounds
• Power Stroke: 13.5 inches
• Type: Compound Crossbow
• Safety: Automatic Safety
• Cocking: Rope Cocking

Pros

  • Extremely powerful
  • Standard package includes sling
  • Great safety features
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Assembly may be confusing for inexperienced bowmen
4

Barnett Jackal Crossbow

The Jackal features a sleek military design and makes an excellent weapon with its weight and power. It is a comfortable weapon to shoot and comes ready to use from the box.

The arrows can reach speeds of up to 315 fps with a draw weight of 150-pounds. Other features which make this bow stand out from the crowd are a quick detach quiver, bolts, and a red-dot sight.

This bow makes a great entry-level weapon as you learn the ins and outs of hunting with a crossbow.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Almost no recoil
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Suitable for beginners and intermediates
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The scope is not ideal for hunting
  • The quiver can come loose
  • No cocking device included
5

Carbon Express X-Force Advantex Crossbow

The X-Force Advantex is a lightweight crossbow that is perfect for anyone looking for their first hunting crossbow. The design is compact, and when drawn back is only 12.5-inches.

The design gives shooters the confidence from their very first shot and can generate speeds of up to 315 fps. It is a great lightweight bow that can still do as much damage as the heavier hunting bows.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Very accurate and powerful up to 50 yards

Cons

  • Assembly instructions are lacking

Why You Should Consider Crossbow Hunting

In the past ten years, crossbow hunting has grown in popularity, so why are many hunters and gun enthusiasts turning to crossbows? First of all, government regulation.

Crossbows are now legal in 49 states, compared to only ten years ago when crossbow hunting was only legal in 6 states, they also required a special permit. As calls for stricter gun regulations are growing louder, the laws around crossbows are becoming more lenient.

Another reason that the use of crossbows for hunting is increasing is that using a crossbow requires little to no practice when switching from a rifle as they are held in a very similar way and both require the use of a trigger. This is very convenient for rifle hunters.

Crossbow and rifles are also similar in the fact they both enjoy the usage of scopes for enhanced accuracy.

Also if you use a rifle to hunt, one of the main advantages of switching to a crossbow is that there is almost no recoil when you fire it.

Next, arrows from a crossbow are much quieter than shots from a rifle, this is great as it means you are less likely to spook any potential prey. Also if you happen to miss your target, there is a chance that your target will not be aware and you will be able to have another shot.

There are also added benefits of hunting with a crossbow over a compound bow as there are less physical obstacles, such as cocking a crossbow compared to drawing a compound bow. When shooting with a traditional bow, it takes substantial strength to draw the bow, but with crossbows having a more mechanical nature and using modern self-cocking systems, it can take a lot less power to cock some crossbows.

How to Choose the Best Tactical Crossbow

With so many crossbows out there on the market, how do you know which is best for you?

  • The first thing you need to ask yourself is, what are you buying it for?
  • Is it used for only target practice, or are you going to hunt?
  • If you are hunting, what size animal will you be hunting for?

Crossbows have different types of characteristics and some crossbows may not the quarry you’re looking to take down. First, you need to choose between a recurve or a compound crossbow.

Hunters have used the recurve crossbow, the more traditional type of bow, for hundreds of years. The compound crossbow is growing in popularity due to higher tension in the limbs which means bolts/arrows can be fired at a higher velocity.

Other than the type of crossbow, you should also consider the speed of the crossbow and the weight of the arrows that the manufacturer recommends.

Another essential aspect to consider is the safety features that come with different crossbows. These are designed to keep you safe from injury or damaging your brand new crossbow.

What Sets The Different Crossbows Apart?

We have talked briefly about what sets apart different crossbows in the last section. Now we will look more closely into the types of crossbows, the safety features, and the types of arrows or bolts to use with different crossbows.

After reading this section, you will be able to see how not all crossbows are the same, with different crossbows designed for various purposes.

Recurve Crossbows

The recurve bow as you probably can guess gets its name from the curves on the end of the bow that keeps the string in place. This style of the hunting bow is by far the more traditional shape of a crossbow.

Recurve crossbows give a longer draw length and let them offer a more significant acceleration of the bolt fired. These types of bows can also be noisier because of the length of the bow.

This bow is ideal for hunting expeditions that require a lot of speed and power, such as taking down large game animals.

The main disadvantages of the recurve bow are that there is more strain on the string, and they are quite big and cumbersome to carry around.

Compound Crossbows

Compound crossbows are more complicated than recurve crossbows to set up when you first assemble them, but they are often the preferred choice of many hunters because they are can fire bolts/arrows at a higher velocity. Their stiff design makes them sturdier, and they are known to be more accurate than recursive crossbows.

Another advantage of these types of bows is that they are more comfortable to use in places that have limited space available. The design also minimizes the vibration and noise, making them more accurate.

The disadvantages of compound bows are that they tend to be more substantial, and because of all the parts, they are often harder to maintain and replace broken bowstrings.

Another thing that sets compound crossbows apart are the host of safety features:

  • Anti-dry fire
  • Auto-engaging system
  • The forward grip.

I will briefly outline these safety features and what I think you should look for in a crossbow.

Anti-Dry Fire

This is a spring loaded trigger which prevents you from firing your crossbow until you fully load an arrow correctly. Maybe you think this feature is not that important, but when your crossbow misfires it can cause damage to the crossbow itself.

When buying a traditional crossbow, some people like to pull back the crossbow string to test its strength. This is no problem for traditional vertical bows, but in the case of a crossbow, this may cause damage to the body of the bow itself.

The build-up of potential energy is so great, and without the presence of the arrow on the string, that energy is forced through the body of the crossbow, causing cracks to appear in some cases.

When you unintentionally dry fire your crossbow, you should examine the body for hairline cracks that could cause severe damage with any further shots.

These days most manufacturers use the anti-dry-firing mechanism, so when looking for a new crossbow, make sure to get one that does include this feature.

Auto Engaging System

The auto-engage system is a feature on most modern crossbows that will automatically engage the safety when you have cocked the crossbow. When manually cocking your crossbow, it can be difficult.

You will need to first turn the safety switch on fire, and then pull back the string to the latching and safety mechanism by hand. Or if you have one, you could use a special cocking device.

The cocking device helps you keep the tension consistent, but it is possible to complete it by hand.

Once you have cocked your crossbow, you need to engage the safety switch, unless you have one that has the auto engage system that will automatically turn it on once you have cocked it.

Forward Grip

This is part of the crossbow where you place your stabilizing hand, and with a poorly designed forward grip, you may find the bowstring will cause injury to your fingers.

A well designed forward grip will keep your fingers out of the way.

When choosing a crossbow, you should choose one that has wings that extend the length of the forward grip and stick out to the side.

What’s the Best Way to Use a Tactical Crossbow

The use of crossbows dates back to 5BC as a tool for hunting and warfare.

Crossbows are still widely used for hunting today, but there have been significant changes in terms of what they can be used for.

The crossbows military applications have changed dramatically, it is not used as a military weapon anymore due to advancements in technology but is instead used as a way of establishing ziplines.

Archery with the use of a crossbow is a growing sport with a worldwide organization based around match shooting, people also commonly use it for target practice/leisure shooting.

Besides from its sporting and leisurely uses crossbows are enjoying a surge in popularity for hunting due to its many advantages like lack of noise and fairly ease of use.

Preparations and Precautions for Using a Tactical Crossbow

As many of you may already know when hunting, maintenance of one’s weapon is essential, whether it is keeping your knife sharp or regularly cleaning your rifle barrels. It requires the same level of maintenance for a crossbow.

Crossbows have a lot of working parts, and if one is not working correctly or is poorly maintained, it could cause damage to your crossbow or worse injury to yourself or others.

You also need to be able to choose the right bolt for your particular purpose, selecting the correct bolts and accessories will ensure you can use your crossbow safely and efficiently.

Tactical Crossbow Maintenance

The first thing you need to know about any crossbow, and it doesn’t matter if it is the most expensive or the cheapest, is to keep your strings waxed or conditioned. It is also essential to check the bowstrings for any wear and tear to keep your hunting weapon safe for use.

When it comes to crossbows over traditional bows, there are a lot of parts that make up the whole system, and you need to ensure that each element doesn’t fail. To do that you should follow these steps.

First, check the manual that came with your crossbow for any preferred maintenance procedures.

Next, visually inspect your crossbow, and if anything is noticeably worn, you must replace them before the next use.

You should also get the set of cams checked for timing and proper alignment, and make sure that all the bolts are in order.

Another step is to check and apply gun oil to the trigger mechanism and any part of your crossbow that is prone to rust.

If you follow a proper maintenance schedule, you will find that you can get many years of use out of your crossbow, even if it is not one of the topline crossbows.

Choosing the Right Bolts

Selecting the right bolt is a crucial element for the accuracy and dependability of your tactical crossbow. Below I have outlined criteria in which will make this choice stress free for any would be crossbow enthusiast.

First, reading the manual that comes with your crossbow and selecting the bolts that come recommended by the manufacturer is an excellent way to start if you are a beginner. Choosing bolts that are not suitable for your crossbow could result in injury.

Next look at the merits of choosing carbon or aluminum shafts and weigh up accordingly for your needs.

Be sure to practice using your selected bolts, before going out hunting as you want to know you are using a quality bolt for your sake and the animal’s welfare, shoddy equipment can result in an unnecessarily long or painful death.

Crossbow Hunting Precautions

Once you have your bow, your bolts and you have made sure it is in working order; you are ready to take it hunting. You must also be a responsible hunter; it is not a matter of point and shoot.

Here are some steps to follow. As with any weapon, you should know it well before using it, and one of the ways of understanding your crossbow well is by regular practice and honing of skills, as well as familiarising yourself with any accessories being used during the hunt.

You should pay attention to the perfecting of cocking, loading, and firing your crossbow.

Keep your fingers down and away from the trigger as you prepare your shot and point it in a safe direction.

Know that your crossbow is in working order.

You should always safely cock the crossbow before you load the bolt. When you fire the crossbow, make sure you are well balanced.

Never let the broadheads touch the strings of your crossbow. Always be cautious and keep your wits about you, taking the necessary precautions, you will ensure that your hunting will be enjoyable and safe, not just for you but for other people who may be nearby.

The Crossbow Controversy

In the US there are two main hunting seasons the archery season and rifle hunting season. So where do crossbows fit?

Some people argue that because they are bow weapons they belong in the archery season, but others say because of the gun-like nature of crossbows the regulators should ban them from the archery hunting season.

I will outline some of the issues that crossbows bring to hunting.

Argument Against Tactical Crossbows

Crossbows Will Increase Kills and Decimate the Deer Herds

The opponents say that hunting with a crossbow is like hunting with a rifle. This is another misconception because crossbows do not have a range comparable with firearms, the speed of a crossbow bolt is comparable to that of a compound bow.

People who support the use of crossbows believe since the introduction of compound bows did not decimate deer herds then neither will the introduction of crossbows.

The Case for Tactical Crossbows

We have looked at the argument people have against the use of crossbows, I will now outline the arguments used to refute those who are against using them during the archery season.

Crossbows Allow Broader Participation in Archery Hunts

Crossbows expand the pool of people that can participate in archery hunts. Since crossbows are easier to handle than traditional bows, you now open up the hunt to children, women, elderly hunters, and even those who have disabilities.

Traditional bows require hunters to have a lot of upper body strength to draw the bow, but the crossbow takes away this need.

Crossbows Produce Precise Bolt Placement

Crossbows, provide better ease of use which means you will be able to remain steady and more controlled. The use of High-quality scopes equipped with a range of features also enables you to hit your target accurately; this means that there will be more quick, clean, and humane kills.

Recap

So what is the best tactical crossbow?

We came to determine that if it is power that you are looking for, then two options come out equally great. We have the:

  • Center Point Sniper 370
  • Center Point Tormentor Whisper.

Both of these crossbows can fire at a very high fps rate with the right arrow.

If we had to choose one, it would have to be the Tormentor Whisper because it is the only one that offers the hunter a virtually silent experience.

If you are new to archery, and looking for a tactical crossbow that will help you to learn the ropes, and allow for a comfortable learning experience, the one you should look at is the Jackal.

You must keep in mind that when getting into hunting, you should always be aware of your surroundings. Also, please ensure that you make it a safe and enjoyable experience.

We hope you enjoyed our reviews of tactical crossbows. Happy hunting and stay safe!

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