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Choosing among today’s crossbows

Since I wrote Crossbow Hunting there has been increased interest in

Barnett RS 150. This inexpensive crossbow killed this deer with a single arrow at 20 yards.
Barnett RS 150. This inexpensive crossbow killed this deer with a single arrow at 20 yards.

this hunting tool, particularly in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Rhode Island where they have recently been legalized for most residents  during the states’ archery seasons.

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As I took an entire book to write about the subject, I cannot provide complete knowledge  in a few paragraphs. I can say that you do get what you pay for whether you spend $239 for a Barnett RC 150 or $2,000 for a tricked out TenPoint Phantom, both of which I have used to kill  big game. The difference is basically ease of use. The more you pay, the easier the instrument will be to use, the more options will be available and generally, the more reliable the instrument will be.

Most hunters will do very well killing deer-sized game with a 150-pound pull crossbow. These will kill out to about 40 yards, with from 3-6 inches of holdover,  when they are zeroed at 20.  

A TenPoint Phantom with a nice GA hog taken at 25 yards. This crossbow was received one day, sighted in with three arrows and used to kill a hog that night.
A TenPoint Phantom with a nice GA hog taken at 25 yards. This crossbow was received one day, sighted in with three arrows and used to kill a hog that night.

The arrow will make clean pass through kills on deer hit through the lungs at 30-yards or so. A pull weight of 150-pounds is comparatively easy on strings, pulleys and limbs. Such crossbows can be expected to last for decades with minimal care requiring only  waxing the string, lubricating the deck and putting a little oil on the steel parts.  These are also less costly that the higher-poundage crossbows.

It is difficult to go wrong with crossbows by Barnett, Horton, Excalibur, Parker, Darton and TenPoint. I have used several different crossbows from each of these makers and all have performed well.

The new reverse-draw crossbows by Horton and Scorpyd have nice balance and are very pleasant to shoot. I am sure they will be very effective on game. I also like the simplicity of the new generation of recurve crossbows now sold by Horton and TenPoint. Other comparatively new makers are Eastman and Crossman. I have only shot these at the ATA and other trade shows, but they appear to be adequate.

 Crossbows provided by Barnette and Ten Point.

I would advise staying away from Chinese imports sold for under $200. I have tried a couple, but was disappointed. If you must go cheap, go with the lowest priced Barnetts and Hortons.
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4 thoughts on “Choosing among today’s crossbows

  1. This was a really great read, I am very glad I came across your site.

  2. Crossbows would always be the perfect weapon for hunting. This would make a perfect target which would be pleasant to shoot. This would be an effective weapon to use.

  3. […] Choosing among today’s crossbows (Aug 30, 2009) […]

  4. Very interesting WWW. Cool man. Keep doing it.

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