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A Guide to Purchasing a Crossbow

Samuel Gilmour

How should you choose a crossbow?

Are you a hunting enthusiast, but you aren’t too fond of using guns? Consider buying a good crossbow. Perfected back in medieval times, a crossbow is a very powerful weapon that is horizontally-mounted before it is used to shoot the target. A crossbow uses bolts which serve as arrows, which are released using a trigger, with a mechanism very similar to that of a gun. If you are new to the world of weapons, choosing the right crossbow can be pretty exhausting, because there are quite a few options, and every manufacturer in the market claims that their model is the best. But, with a few useful tips compiled from experts and customer feedbacks, it is possible to get the best crossbow in the market!


What is a crossbow?

Crossbows use an elastic launching device consisting of a short-bow, also called a prod, mounted horizontally on the tiller, a sear to hold a string in cocked position, and a trigger to release it.

Types of Crossbows

What is the most popular type of crossbow?

The recurve bow is the most common traditional bow used for target shooting and bowhunting. The name "recurve" comes from the curl of the crossbow's limbs, but it is most often associated with the end that points towards the target. Curves at the end help to keep the crossbow string in place and prevent it from wandering.

Important Features

What should you consider before buying a crossbow?

After going through several crossbow reviews, we have found out that there are a few factors that users should consider before buying the device.

  • Purchase according to your physique: You should choose your crossbow depending on your physical strength and height. If hunting is a regular activity for you, then the high-powered crossbows are more suitable. Most quality crossbows will weigh within 150 and 175 pounds, while some exceed 200 pounds. The bigger the device, the better it will be for hunting, but you also have to be able to carry the device.

  • Define your purpose: The first thing to identify is your purpose for buying a crossbow. It could be for target practice or for real deer hunting. Maybe you want it just for fun with friends, or you may be serious about your shooting. For casual use, you may not really bother about the weight and size of the crossbow. If you want to use it for serious hunting, ensure that you check the weight: It should be convenient to move around with it. Make sure you get the appropriate broadheads as well.

  • Check for the noise level: For expert hunters, it is important that their bows are very silent. Crossbows with parallel limb (as opposed to split limb) compound bows offer quieter shooting.

  • Budgetary considerations: Think about your budget: if you are buying the crossbow for the first time, choose a crossbow package which includes everything, including a crossbow, arrow points, arrows, quiver, a scope sight, and a cocking device. A high-end sophisticated crossbow might cost between $300 and $1000, while a bargain model will be less expensive, but its construction will not be as strong, and it will suffer from being less accurate as well.

  • The initial velocity of the arrows: Most seasoned hunters want their crossbows to shoot with the initial velocity of 300 feet per second. This kind of velocity ensures that the arrow gets the right kinetic energy to kill any big animal. At the same time, it will have a longer range, which is essential for you to have a clean and accurate shot. The crossbows should be able to be drawn with enough tension to allow for a greater velocity. Ideally, you should choose a compound crossbow if you want a fast shot.

  • Take note of the triggering mechanism: You should test shooting with your crossbow frequently, in order to get familiar with when the trigger will send the arrow. Practice your shooting with and without gloves, to know what kind of triggering you need for your crossbow.

  • Always choose good quality bolts: The right size of the bolts can determine the speed as well, so be very particular when choosing the bolts that are perfect for your crossbow. Cheaper bolts will not last long. Both aluminum and carbon bolts work well, but the most rugged and high-tech bolts are made from carbon.

  • Accuracy: Crossbows can shoot up to 60 or even 80 yards, depending on the quality, scope, and brand of the equipment. Scopes can be classified into two types: multi-dot and multi-crosshai. Generally, experienced archers prefer multi-crosshair scopes over pinpoint shots, as they can be used to prevent incorrect angling if set up properly. As a beginner, you usually want a crossbow with a 30- to 35-yard reach, whereas crossbows with a 60- to 80-yard range are suitable for more experienced archers.

  • Bolt Speed: In general, the faster the arrow, the harder it hits the target. Increasing speed, however, decreases your crossbow's ability to tolerate even the slightest error of aim or draw and puts unnecessary strain on various parts of the bow. Hence, it is recommended to choose a crossbow that strikes the right balance between speed and accuracy, but not too much so that it makes your shots more challenging.

  • Tracks:This is the grooved area on the crossbow where the bolt rides. With a more precise groove, you can shoot more accurately. Tracks can be made of aluminum, carbon, or composite materials. The least expensive materials are composites, but they are also the least accurate and durable. Aluminium tracks tend to be more expensive than composites, but they are stronger and allow for more precise shooting. As for carbon fiber, it allows you to achieve a lightweight yet durable track.

  • Weight: The heavier the crossbow, the more stable and faster it usually is. While a lighter crossbow is easier to transport around, it requires more skills when shooting since it is less stable. To choose the right weight, consider both your body type and the type of activity you will do.

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