Archery is one of the best sports out there, whether you prefer target practice or you’d rather be hunting in the wilderness.
Unfortunately, it can be an expensive hobby, with some crossbows costing thousands of dollars. Our article will help you choose the best value crossbow, that won’t burn a huge hole in your pocket.
Keep reading for our review of five value crossbows, and a buyers guide that will help you choose the best value crossbow for you.
OUR TOP PICK
This powerful crossbow can shoot arrows at 245 feet per second, rendering it one of the most powerful crossbows in its price range.
When you purchase the Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow, you also get:
- 3 x arrow (18 inches)
- Red dot sight
Whether you’re a target shooter or you prefer going for game, this crossbow is one of the best you can use. The super-smooth trigger ensures your shots are as accurate as possible.
The lightweight design makes carrying around a heavy crossbow a thing of the past – weighing just under 8lbs, you’ll barely notice this bow in your hands.
It’s also super easy to assemble, which is brilliant and time-saving – especially if you’re a beginner to the sport.
The Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow cocks quickly and has a great feel. You’ll love this crossbow whether you’re new to archery or you’re an advanced archer – it’s easy to operate and powerful enough to shoot a 50-yard target with minimal difficulty.
Barnett is one of the leading recurve crossbow brands across the world, so you can rest easy knowing that your crossbow has been made and purchased from a reputable company.
- Smooth trigger
- Sleek and simple design
- Doesn't come with a loading string
The Killer Instinct Hero 380 is without a doubt one of the best crossbows you can purchase in this price range.
Not only does it boast a whopping 380FPS arrow shooting speed, but it has the ability to shoot out arrows super quick within a 1-inch area up to around 60 yards.
Usually, the faster a crossbow fires, the louder it is – but this certainly isn’t the case with this bow.
The custom rubber shock absorbers are specially designed to keep noise to a minimum and lower vibration sounds, which will hugely improve your stealth and overall hunting (or target practice) performance.
The 3.5-pound trigger is great, but it’s not the best trigger out there by the company. It’s smooth and comfortable and provides outstanding accuracy.
The dimensions of the product are as follows: 31.5 x 9.5 x 6 inches; 10.pounds, with the shipping weight being a slightly higher 10.9 pounds.
The crossbow when cocked measures 15.75 inches axle to axle, and when uncocked it measures 19” axle to axle, which is more than compact enough to use in small spaces.
- Can pump out arrows fast within a 1-inch area up to approximately 60 yards.
- Easy to use
- Super lightweight
- Can shoot arrows up to 380FPS
- Very compact
- Scope isn't the best for its price range
Game shooting got a lot more interesting with the Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 Crossbow.
Barnett Crossbow is one of the leading archery equipment companies in the world thanks to the constant innovation combined with pioneering patents for improving crossbows.
The measurements of the Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 are:
- Draw weight = 150 pounds
- Overall weight = 6.4 pounds
- Axle to axle = 16.125 inches
- Length = 34.25 inches
- Width = 18.25 inches
This product is made in the USA and comes pretty much already assembled – there are just a few minor things for you to do when you receive the product. Be sure to check the instructions!Included with this crossbow is:
- 4×32 scope
- Rope cocking device
- Lightweight quiver
- 2 x Headhunter arrows (20 inches)
- Lube wax (Barnett recommends that you lube the strings every 10 shots)
This crossbow boasts trigger tech technology, with the 3-pound zero-creep release, making firing shots a lot quicker and easier.
The body and all components are made of stainless steel, making it a strong and durable piece of weaponry.
For your safety, the product also has a mock sensor and an anti-dry fire to eliminate the possibility of dry firing and damaging any limbs of your crossbow.
- Can reliably shoot at 70 yards
- Easy to assemble
- Barnett have outstanding customer service
- Lighter than others of a similar size
- Narrow across the limbs
- May be too large if you're of a smaller stature
- The scope could be improved
- Can be quite noisy when fired
This is a super powerful piece of weaponry, with a super-strong 225-pound draw that is sure to take out even the largest of game.
Whether you’re target shooting or shooting deer or bears, you’re sure to hit your target thanks to the brilliant scope that this crossbow offers.
Speed definitely won’t be an issue when it comes to firing arrows from this bow. Arrows can reach speeds of up to 345FPS (feet per second), which is super fast for a crossbow in this price range.
You’ll be prepared with this crossbow, as it comes with:
- 4x 20-inch Carbon bolts
- 4×32 Multi-Reticle Scope
- Quick detach quiver
- Padded sling
- Stringer cable
- Rope Cocker
It’s a healthy sized crossbow, measuring 39.5 inches long without the stirrup, and 36.2 inches wide while cocked, with a 16.5-inch power stroke.
This is a brilliant and powerful crossbow that will help you catch even the most difficult game, or land the trickiest targets, and I’m certain you can appreciate the low price point.
- Perfect for hunters
- Super detailed instructions
- Accurate scope
- Included padded shoulder sling
- May take some getting used to the weight and feel
- Can be difficult to cock
Centerpoint has hit the mark again with its Specialist XL 370 Camo Crossbow.
The budget-friendly crossbow certainly looks the part, with a dark camo pattern and a sleek design.
The crossbow features a CNC machined cam system with an anti dry-fire and an auto-safety trigger mechanism, making it a lot safer than some other bows available on the market.
Don’t worry about struggling to carry this weapon around with you, as CenterPoint has made it lightweight, weighing 11.9lbs.
There’s also an aluminum rail with shoot through the aluminum riser.
The foregrip is adjustable to your hand size, and there are also oversized finger guards that are included to keep your hands extra safe.
It’s not just the crossbow that you receive when you purchase this – it’s the whole package. You also get:
- Scope (4x32mm)
- 3 x Carbon bolts (20 inches)
- Rope Cocker
Unlike a lot of other crossbows on the market, this crossbow won’t be super loud and startle your game, thanks to the noise suppressing string stoppers.
- Noise suppressing string stoppers included
- Easy to assemble
- Gives you an accurate shot
- Lightweight design
- Can feel front-heavy
- Can take some time to reload
Best Value Crossbow Buying Guide
Even budget crossbows can set you back a few hundred dollars, so you want to get your money’s worth. Keep reading for our guide on how to choose the best value crossbow for you.
What Type of Crossbow Shall I Get?
There are different types of crossbow, the main types being recurve and compound. The less common crossbows include the repeating crossbow and the rifle crossbow.
The recurve crossbow is probably the most recognizable of all the crossbows. It’s the oldest ancestor of the modern crossbow, inspired by the delicate curves that mark the ends of the bow that point away from the user.
The curves ensure that the string stays in place – the last thing you need is the string to flick out!
Recurve crossbows are perfect for target shooting, but some aren’t practical to carry out in the wilderness while hunting.
They tend to be larger than compound crossbows, and noticeably more audible. Unless you get an extra high quality recurve crossbow, it probably isn’t your best bet to go for a recurve design when you’re hunting easily-alerted game.
The compound crossbow has a more complex design than the recurve bow, and can, therefore, be more difficult to assemble when you receive it.
This is something worth considering, especially if you’re a beginner or have never had to put together a crossbow before.
However, once you’ve put everything together, it’s arguably easier to use a compound crossbow thanks to the short draw length they offer.
The limbs are shorter than others, which makes the overall design super sturdy.
Compound crossbows also tend to be noticeably heavier, so if you’re not the strongest of shooters, you’re probably best off starting with a different type of bow.
The compound is designed to minimize vibration and recoil, making it a super accurate and quiet device, perfect if you’re a hunter that wants to stay incognito.
As there are so many parts to the bow, it can be complicated to keep up with the maintenance of the bow – so you may have to get it repaired and maintained by a specialist if you’re not familiar with the routine.
What Else Should I Look for In A Crossbow?
Crossbows can be sophisticated devices, and there’s a lot to look out for when purchasing the best crossbow for you.
The speed of the bolt is predominantly determined by the draw weight, so the higher the draw weight the better.
Cam dynamics, kinetic energy, bolt weight, spine and power stroke can all contribute to the overall speed, so be sure to consider this when choosing a crossbow.
Most crossbows tend to fire between 300FPS and 400FPS (feet per second), but the pricier ones can reach higher speeds.
The standard value crossbow should offer speeds of around 345FPS.
Even the quietest of noises can startle a deer, so a loud crossbow will significantly lower your chances of catching your target when hunting.
When you release the bolt or arrow from a compound crossbow, the pulley mechanism can make noise.
For hunting, recurve crossbows are definitely quieter.
As crossbows are weapons, you need to be extra careful when handling one. Be sure to put safety first, as naturally, crossbows can cause significant damage.
Most crossbows come with an anti-dry fire feature or dry fire inhibitor, which prevents you from shooting the crossbow with no arrow in place.
Dry firing can be severely damaging to your crossbow. The energy gets released and goes right back into the bow, causing damage to the limbs, axles, cams and the string.
Similar to the mechanism used on guns to prevent you from shooting by accident, a lot of modern crossbows feature an auto-engaging safety feature.
The mechanical safety works similarly to the safety on a rifle – automatically set as soon as you draw the brow string.
There can be a lot to consider when deciding which is the best crossbow for you if you’re on a budget.
Speed, safety, noise, and the type of crossbow you want are all things you should consider, and hopefully, we’ve made your decision a bit clearer for you.
At Archery Edge, we think the best value crossbow has to be the Killer Instinct Hero 380. Not only is it affordable, but it’s super compact, lightweight, and can shoot arrows up to an impressive 380FPS.
You can shoot arrows super quick within a 1-inch area up to around 60 yards, making it the perfect choice for both target practice and hunting game.
What are your thoughts on the best value crossbow? Have you tried and tested any of these? Be sure to leave a comment below, and don’t forget to give this post a share.