Crossbow hunting is a growing part of the bow hunting landscape and for good reason. The best crossbows are user-friendly (and user-friendly) hunting gear that has brought aging bow hunters back to the woods, while also introducing the sport to newcomers. Crossbow hunting can also be an expensive endeavor. With top of the line crossbows costing several thousand dollars, stepping into this game can break the bank. But there are real bargains out there, and finding the best crossbow for the money isn’t an impossible business. Here’s where to start looking.
The best crossbow for the money is one that offers excellent performance and accuracy while staying within your budget. It could mean looking at an xbow from a big brand that isn’t the company’s “flagship” model. This is a good strategy because you will get the same technologies and components on these more expensive crossbows, albeit in a model that is a little less feature rich. You can also earn valuable points by looking for a model that sells as a ready-to-hunt pack that includes the scope, quiver, and arrows. Many models are available as a complete kit, but some charge an additional premium for these extras. So go shopping.
One tactic to use in your search for the best crossbow for the money: Identify the type of bow you would most like to own. Some like the feel of a more traditional classic crossbow. Others are looking for an inverted draft configuration. Or maybe you are looking for something ultra-narrow and compact. Reduce your field of focus first, then dissect that field for the best value option available. Of course, we’ll help you out by listing some of the best budget options.
Best overall crossbow for the money: CenterPoint Wrath 430
Ultra-narrow, ultra-compact crossbows have dominated the crossbow world in recent years and this trend was started by Ravin’s ultra-innovative approach to crossbow cam systems. Ravin’s HeliCoil setup has dramatically changed the game. CenterPoint is owned by the same parent company as Ravin and, therefore, shares some of the same technologies and systems as the Ravin models. The Wrath 430 is a prime example.
As the best crossbow for the money, the Wrath 430 is a bullpup style bow that only measures nine inches when cocked and is less than 29 inches in length. It uses HeliCoil style cams to create 430 fps speeds and a nimble package. It’s an accurate performer and a big step up from CenterPoint models of the past. It’s already worth under $ 700, but that price includes a full set with a 4 × 32 illuminated scope, three arrows, a quiver, and a rope cocker spaniel.
Best speed crossbow for the money: Killer Instinct Ripper 425
If you absolutely must have the best speed crossbow for the money, look no further. At a blazing speed of 425 fps, the Killer Instinct Ripper 425 is your crossbow. This speedster is well balanced and features premium type components and an overall build quality that defies its low price tag.
The Ripper 425 features an illuminated scope, arrows and quiver and features an adjustable stock. It weighs 7.5 pounds and has a load-balanced 32-inch frame. The trigger is set at 3.5 pounds and the bow measures a width of just over 14 inches when cocked.
Best classic crossbow for the money: Excalibur Matrix GRZ2
These old school classic style crossbows are pretty cool. And if you want the best recurve crossbow for your money, you want an Excalibur. The company is the king of classic crossbows and the Matrix GRZ2 is the most economical model of Excalibur.
Like all classic crossbows, it is a model of endurance thanks to simple and strong limbs. It features a cool skeletonized stock and synthetic frame. It measures just over 32 inches in total length and weighs six pounds. The 100-pound bow shoots the arrows at 305 fps. And for under $ 600, you get a full set of accessories with the bow that includes a scope, arrows, and a cocking device.
Best Ravin crossbow for the money: Ravin R10
So you just must have a Ravin crossbow. Well, buying the best Ravin crossbow for the price you won’t be disappointed. You’ll spend more than with any other hunting crossbow on the list, but you can still choose a budget option. The Ravin R10 is the cheapest model in the Ravin lineup and gives you access to the premium feature set that dominates the crossbow world.
The Ravin R10 features the HeliCoil system that allows the bow to be just six inches wide when cocked, and the excellent crank system makes cocking (and disarming) a chore simple. It delivers arrows at speeds of 400 fps and unmatched precision. It’s a ton of fun to shoot and has proven to be long lasting. The R10 set includes the crank, the scope with 100 meter sighting system, three arrows and a quiver.
Best TenPoint crossbow for the money: Wicked Ridge Invader 400
The best Tenpoint crossbow for the money in the TenPoint line comes from its Wicked Ridge brand. TenPoint crossbows have long been an industry standard in hunting crossbows and their bows come at a premium. The Wicked Ridge line focuses on budget options and the Invader 400 is a great representation of that.
This xbow features TenPoint quality and, at 400 fps, is the fastest of Wicked Ridge’s famous Invader family. These bows are hard to find in stock, but sell for a song with TenPoint’s proven AccuDraw50 weapon system. If you want to upgrade to the full-fledged AccuDraw system, you’ll need to spend an additional $ 100. The package includes a 3X Pro-View illuminated scope, three arrows and a quiver. The bow is American made, which makes the Invader an even more attractive and economical option.
Q: Is the Ravin crossbow worth the money?
Yes. If you are serious about crossbow hunting and want to pack something accurate and reliable, then you can do worse than drop a large sum of money on a Ravine. Simply put, Ravin defined today’s modern crossbow technology and continues to do so. This kind of innovation and performance comes at a price and the price is quite high. But you will get exactly what you pay for.
Q: How long will a crossbow last?
Generally speaking, a crossbow will survive your desire to use it. Unless you’re the type who never wants to improve your bow, you’ll never wear out any of today’s crossbows. Member failures, with rare exceptions, are a thing of the past. Ropes, cables? Yes. You will need to replace them every two years. But the overall arc will last as long as you want it to.
Q: What should I look for when buying a Crossbo
This question is easier to answer by what you shouldn’t be looking for. Don’t fall in love with a brand just because of the social media hype or clever marketing campaigns. Don’t choose a bow just based on price or the camouflage finish in which it is offered.
Pull on each model you envision and rate it solely on how it pulls, how it feels, and whether it “fits”. Price, camouflage, brand name are all secondary considerations that should only come into play once you’ve picked out a few models that you know you would be happy with.
Whenever you start talking about the “best” of everything, you enter a conversation that is subjective in nature. My version of perfect is hardly the same as anyone else’s, and that’s perfectly fine. There are, however, a few commonalities that we need to keep in mind: we want a bow that shoots. We want an arc that will last. We want a bow that matches our style of hunting and shooting. Tackle these three with a template that comfortably fits your budget and you’ve just found your best crossbow for your money.