The Best Crossbow

PSE Fang Crossbow Break-Up Infinity

Our Top Pick for 2016: PSE Fang Crossbow Break-Up Infinity
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $349.89*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

When purchasing a crossbow, you want to know you are getting the best possible value for your money. You want to choose one that is comfortable for you to carry, aim, and shoot as well as be powerful enough to take down your prey. The trick is to find one that does all this without breaking your budget. The following information should help you do just that. With this knowledge, you should be able to make a wise decision about which crossbow is the best for you.

Table of contents

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Arrow Velocity 370 FPS
Speed Of 345 FPS
Pass-through Fore grip
Includes 3-20 Inch Carbon Bolts
Mass Weight Of 6.8lbs
High-energy cam system
Anti-dry Fire And Auto Safety Trigger
Anti-dry Fire Trigger
ADF trigger system
4 X 32 mm Scope
Removable 4×32 mm Scope
FPS – 350
Draw Weight 185 Lbs
Draw Weight 155lbs
Draw Weight – 160 lbs.

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): PSE Fang Crossbow Break-Up Infinity

PSE Fang Crossbow Break-Up Infinity Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $349.89*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThe PSE Fang Crossbow is an updated version of a previous model with better features than ever before. Not only is it lightweight and versatile, it is available at an affordable price point. This design will reach speeds of up to 345 FPS with 6.8 pounds of mass weight. It has a draw weight of 155 pounds, and the overall length of the crossbow is 35 inches with the stirrup. You’ll be getting a 14 ¼ inch power stroke as well as an axle length of 19 ¼ inches on this model in addition to a 4 X 32 removable power scope and anti-dry fire trigger. The compact design makes this crossbow easy to handle as well as shoot.

Newly design for 2016, this bow now includes redesigned cams and high end performance among all of its features. The PSE Fang is fast, light, and most importantly, precise. The dual string stops provide a quiet shot, and the anti-dry fire trigger gives you a nice and crisp four pound pull which is a big plus for hunting. When you purchase this crossbow, you’ll also get string stops, a five bolt quiver, a 4 X 32 reticle scope, and three 20 inch carbon bolts that have half-moon nocks in addition to 100 grain bullet tips. The rail lube, cocking rope, and foot stirrup are also included at no extra cost.

As with other crossbows, you’ll use a bolt instead of an arrow. These are shorter and heavier. The PSE Fang is rated for 400 fps. Those who have already purchased this model have said that shooting a 400 grain works perfectly. It only takes about ten minutes to assemble after you get it. The scope, bow, and accessories have to be put on this crossbow, but the bow itself is prestrung. The allen wrench needed for assembly comes with it. Online reviewers also recommend using blue lock tight to make the crossbow secure. After fully assembling the piece, they go back threw and apply a dab of it to each screw. It’s one more way to ensure that what is already a solidly constructed unit remains strong. With the three bolts that come with it, you can be shooting this bow within minutes of unpacking it.

Online reviews state that this crossbow is terrific and at a price you can’t beat. They describe it as shooting fast and hitting hard. One reviewer said he uses 100 grain carbon express shafts that have grim reaper broad heads, and it hits right on target every time. Best of all, it is very quiet. There is no worry about scaring away a deer with the noise the crossbow makes as you shoot. Experienced hunters who were expecting to pay much more for a new crossbow were very impressed with the PSE Fang. Reviewers who describe themselves as sparing no expense when it comes to their hunting gear chose this design over all others.

Along with being a great buy for the experienced bow hunter, the PSE Fang Crossbow is ideal for anyone purchasing their first crossbow. Its accuracy and lack of noise make it a real self confidence booster. It is affordable enough to get anyone started on it, and you can upgrade the scope and other accessories as your hunting and shooting skills increase over time. Those who have switched from a compound bow enjoy its accuracy and quietness. Many thought they would have to give up these qualities when switching over. The dual strings are an extra perk as many of the more costly bows don’t include this feature. It comes in a compact design with green camouflage that is perfect for all sporting uses.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow

CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow

View it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow is an excellent pick at a price that is quite affordable when compared to similar models. It includes an arrow velocity of 370 feet per second along with a draw weight of 185 pounds. Three of the 20 inch carbon bolts are included in your purchase as well as a 4 X 32mm scope. This particular crossbow has an auto safety and anti-dry fire trigger mechanism integrated into its design. It comes in a sleek black and camouflage style.

The CenterPoint Sniper 370 has many beneficial features such as a fully adjustable tactical forearm and stock. The quad limbs have a precision CNC machined cam system as well as a durable and lightweight CNC machined rail with a shoot through riser. A quiet and vibration free shot is provided by the integrated string suppressors. Along with the bolts and scope you will find it comes with a rope cock, quivers, and a shoulder sling. This crossbow will measure 33.5 by 11 by 5.2 inches, and it has an overall weight of 7.9 pounds. It comes from Taiwan.

The broad heads used with this model range from 110gr to 125gr according to personal preference. The 100 grain work great and provide a one shot kill while the 125 grain are closer to the recommended weight needed to reach this crossbows full speed potential. Either will do a nice job, and the difference is hard to spot with the naked eye.

The CenterPoint Sniper 370 comes with a five year warranty on the crossbow itself and a one year warranty on the scope. This scope can be used without turning it on, and is easy to sight in when you first use it. When the battery is inserted and it is turned on you will see red and green circles that light up to assist with sighting. Only high quality materials are used in the construction. Unlike other manufacturers, it is assembled with actual metal screws instead of plastic. It is built rugged enough to withstand accidental drops beautifully. Although smaller in size, this is not to be confused with a youth crossbow.

Online reviews are quite favorable for this crossbow. From the moment people unbox it they know they are getting a durable, quality piece. Features such as the tacti-cool AR handgrip and the M4-style adjustable stock combined with the fore grip and sight bridge’s Weaver rails allows this crossbow to be more adjustable than many other models. Its narrow width has pleased hunters because of how it fits so nicely in blinds or with tree stands. In addition, the short length makes it easy to cock.

Those who have owned and used the CenterPoint Sniper 370 describe it as having tons of power and being whisper quiet. The only complaint is that the assembly instructions are hard to follow. The pictures are small, and they assume you already have a pretty good knowledge of how to put these together. Overall, owners found this to be only a minor inconvenience. Once they had it assembled, they were completely satisfied with how it functioned.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow

Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow

View it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow holds a lot of power in its compact design for an affordable price. This crossbow is the result of a collaboration between Barnett and the Brotherhood which resulted in an excellent piece with several features not usually found on less expensive models. Together they produced a design that will give you speeds of up to 350 fps with 109 feet per pound with a total weight of only seven pounds. It features a high energy Barnett cam system along with the cable and crosswire string system. The ADF trigger system will give you a 3.5 pound smooth trigger pull for a perfect shot every time.

Additional features that come with the Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow include a unique pass through fore grip and finger reminders. The manufacturer recommends keeping this model in a climate controlled environment along with waxing the string after every ten shots for maximum performance and a longer life. They also have your safety in mind. Be sure to always have the odd colored arrow fletching facing down when loading this crossbow. A reader’s manual and reference safety videos are available to use before handling this piece.

This crossbow has an overall measurement of 35.75 inches by 21 inches. It is 19 inches from axle to axle. Its draw weight is 160, and it includes a power stroke of 13 and an FPKE of 10. Along with a Magnesium STR Riser this crossbow features a lightweight composite stock and a high definition camouflage finish. You’ll also be getting a 4 X 32 multi-reticle scope, three arrow quivers, and three of the 20 inch Headhunter Arrows. The string stopper and cocking rope are not included. It is manufactured in the United States.

Any 20 inch bolts can be used with this crossbow. The ones that are included in your purchase are descent, and they are capable of downing a buck. Online reviews describe this model as being easy to assemble. You need only attach one bolt to hold the limbs to the frame and four bolts to affix the scope and foot stirrup. It is then ready to use. Once assembled, owners state that it is lightweight but not flimsy. It has good balance between the crossbow’s weight and overall feel. Extra stability is provided when you grip it through the forearm. The cross hair lines are right on, and many are surprised by how quiet this particular bow shoots.

Using the rope to cock the Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow is surprisingly easy and requires very little effort. Many describe it as comfortable when shooting. The seven pound weight makes it easy to carry through the woods when hunting, but it remains well balanced for shooting. It appears to work well for both left handed and right handed shooters without compromising any of its attributes. The instruction manual that is included for assembly has been described as “almost non-existent,” but with so little effort required to put this crossbow together, it wasn’t a problem for most people.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): SA Sports Fever Crossbow

SA Sports Fever Crossbow

View it on Amazon for $136.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickThe SA Sports Fever Crossbow is an excellent piece of equipment at an affordable price. Don’t let the size or amount of money you invest in this particular crossbow fool you. It can easily take down a deer as well as larger game such as moose and bear. It has a string length of 26.5 inches and an actual physical weight of 4.85 pounds which means it is light enough for men, women, or youth to handle with ease. The length, without the foot stirrup, is 31 inches, and it has a width of 27 inches from limb tip to limb tip. Each limb is constructed of a durable compression fiberglass.

This crossbow package comes with the 175 Lb Recurve Crossbow as well as a premium multi reticle 4 X 32 scope. You’ll also be getting four arrows and a detachable quiver. The adjustable weaver style mount for the scope and the padded shoulder sling make this weapon comfortable to hunt with. It looks impressive with a full coverage dipped camo pattern, and it features an ambidextrous auto safety. The foot stirrup is designed to work with large boots which ads to this crossbows comfort and ease of use.

The SA Sport Fever Crossbow shoots at speeds of up to 240 FPS, and includes a lightweight ambidextrous compact rear stock. All of the assembly tools needed to put this crossbow together will be included in your purchase. A 2219 aluminum 16 inch arrow is recommended for this crossbow which they have included for you. You can also choose to shoot a 20 inch carbon which is sold separately. The overall measurement of this piece is 33 by 11 by 4 inches with a shipping weight of 9.3 pounds. It is manufactured in Taiwan.

Customers often ask if this crossbow has the force required to safely take out a deer. This will depend heavily upon your range, but at 20 yards it does a wonderful job. That would be the range you need from a deer stand to make a clean kill. Online reviews state that this is a reliable crossbow that is very accurate at shorter ranges. It appears to be just as fast as the top of the line models without the additional expense. It comes with a cocking cord which has handles and adds to the simplicity of this particular design.

Reviewers have found that on top of an already low price point, this crossbow costs about half what it would if all of the package’s components were purchased separately. When put together correctly, it does exactly what it says it will. That being said, it is an excellent deal when compared to other crossbows within the same price range. Of course there are high dollar models that will always outshine the less expensive options, but for the price, you are getting a top quality piece.


Pre-purchase considerations

Your Shortcomings

Every hunter has limitations. Even the most experienced of us will find there are certain things that they have difficulty with when it comes to using a crossbow. Your size, height, weight, and strength will all come into play when shopping for a crossbow. Keep in mind any limitations you may have. Crossbows do make it easy for everyone to bow hunt no matter how old they are, their size, or whether they are male or female, but they are not all made the same. Some manufacturers will offer a cocking aid. Others have adjustable fore grips that you can set for your own personal draw weight. You can also purchase a monopod to hold roughly 90% of the crossbow’s weight. This allows anyone to hold it in a shooting position without worrying about the device’s weight. Monopods are an excellent investment for beginners or youth who are not yet accustomed to holding the weight of a crossbow while trying to accurately aim and shoot.

Cost

Crossbows range in price from a basic entry level design for a small fee to high end performance models with all the bells and whistles for $2,000. These high-end crossbows come with every imaginable accessory you could ever need. The problem with that is you may be buying features you’ll never use. Just as we mentioned above, every hunter has limitations. Higher priced designs try to compensate for as many of these shortcomings as they can. On the other hand, the basic entry level models may not have enough of what you will need to help you shoot accurately. The trick is to find one somewhere in the middle that is well suited to your physical limitations and your skill level. Have a price point in mind before you begin shopping. This will help you narrow down your options and keep you from purchasing extras you may not use. When you start looking without any budget set in place, all of those little extras will start to sound like things you must have. This leaves you more confused than ever. Let your budget be the first step in narrowing down those options.

Manufacturer’s Track Record

Just as not every crossbow is the same, neither are the manufacturers. Some will have an excellent reputation with hard to beat products. Others could be known for selling lesser quality weapons. It is always important to know who you are buying from. If you are new to the crossbow experience, talk to friends and family who know what to look for. You can also find local hunting groups or online information sites that can further advise you. Some aspects, such as quality, you can see by simply looking at the crossbow. If any of the parts are made cheaply, look flimsy, or don’t fit together properly, you can expect a certain amount of frustration from the device. Check online for failure rates of any manufacturer you’re considering. Also look at reviews to find out more about their warranties and customer service departments. People who post online reviews are your best way of finding out exactly which claims from the manufacturer are exactly as stated. These people have used the crossbow and can tell you their unbiased opinion.

Specs

Know a crossbow’s noise level, speed, recoil, and weight before buying it. You want a crossbow that will have a powerful enough shot for the distance at which you’ll be using it. Consider whether you’ll be on the ground or in a tree stand. The average crossbow shoots between 250 fps and 350 fps. Some manufacturers will add heavier limbs and cams along with increasing the power stroke to increase the speed. This works, but the trade-off is more noise and a hard to cock crossbow. Noise levels are a major concern with hunting as it can scare the prey away. Silence is key when it comes to getting your shot in before your prey sees you there. Any crossbow that is too heavy, or to light, for the user will be hard to control. It’s hard to make an accurate shot with a crossbow you can’t hold steady. Familiarize yourself with the weights of different crossbows. Hold them in place and see if they still feel comfortable and remain steady after a set amount of time.

The Trigger

Don’t assume that the trigger on every crossbow is the same. The creep and poundage of a trigger will affect your shooting accuracy. Triggers that don’t have any creep are dangerous. This means that they release without any warning or travel. On the other hand, a trigger with too much creep can be extremely hard to squeeze steadily. Likewise, a hair trigger, or one which is too light, is also dangerous, and a trigger that is heavy will be hard to steadily squeeze. If you get a crossbow that has a premium trigger, you’ll be able to shoot more accurately. This is because these triggers have the optimum in poundage and travel.

The Perfect Fit

Simply put, don’t purchase a crossbow without trying it out. You need to shoot it several times before you can decide whether it suits you or not. Don’t think that you can’t buy one online. Online retailers offer excellent prices on many of the top designs. Just because you’ll make an online purchase, it doesn’t mean you can’t do your research and get familiar with what’s available. Check out your local hunting shops, and try as many different types of crossbows as you can. Even if there are two similar crossbows from two different manufacturers, don’t assume they will feel the same to you. You want to make sure you can operate the device without any problems, that it fits right, and that it feels balanced before purchasing it. You’ll know when you’ve found your crossbow. It will feel just right as you cock it, load it, aim, and shoot.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Finding the right crossbow for yourself is not an impossible task. If you want something reliable with plenty of features that will make your next hunting trip enjoyable and successful, try the PSE Fang Crossbow. This high quality piece is lightweight and versatile with a removable power scope and an anti-dry fire trigger that gives you the most bang for your buck. The CenterPoint Sniper 370 and the Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow both have several attractive features, a well-made design, and reliable accuracy. At a middle of the road price range, these crossbows will help you get your prey with a comfortable, user friendly design. If you simply want a nicely made basic crossbow that won’t disappoint, try the SA Sports Fever Crossbow. Its smaller size and low cost may make you doubt its abilities, but you’ll find it works wonderfully when hunting deer as well as larger game like moose and bear.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Factors All Crossbow Buyers Should Know, http://beckettcrossbows.wordpress.com, May 12, 2011
  2. David Figura, Looking to buy a crossbow? Here are the commonly asked questions, Syracuse.com, October 31 2014
  3. Crossbow Tips, Tricks, & Getting Started Guide, Hunter’s Friend, 2016

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