Are you still contemplating the best weapon for the next hunting season? Or maybe want something cool for target practice? Regardless of your skill, a tactical crossbow will suit the purpose. It’s not as powerful as a bow, at least not for the same poundage. However, the best tactical crossbow rewards you with more stealth and accuracy. And that’s what counts the most in any hunt.
But there’s a problem. The market is packed with a multitude of crossbows, all different shapes, and sizes. Also, speed, power, and technology tend to vary. So, choosing the ideal tactical crossbow isn’t as simple. But I’m here to fill the gap. This article gives a roundup of the best tactical crossbows for the money. Be it for target practice, small game, or large game hunts; there’s one to suit you.
10 Best Tactical Crossbows
1. Ace Martial Arts Supply Pistol Tactical Crossbow
I wouldn’t say it’s the best overall. But for target practice and small game, it’s more than sufficient. It’s pretty much affordable, alongside several other models on the list. However, for the features and performance, the Cobra crossbow is a steal.
Strong fiberglass and plastic construction
Fiberglass and plastic housing is excellent for the price. Fiberglass, in particular, offers the strength of steel. But what I like most is that it gives you a greater flex. Hence, you get a more durable and impact-resistant housing.
The plastic pretty much keeps the weight to a minimum. At around 3 pounds, Cobra tactical crossbow is among the most portable.
At 80 pounds draw, Cobra pistol crossbow can take down whitetail deer. But at 165fps, it doesn’t have as much kinetic energy. Not unless you close in more on the game. Hence, I’d recommend you stick to small games or use it for target practice.
Cobra pistol crossbow might not be your kid’s next birthday present. After all, youth hunters are comfortable with around 30 pounds draw. So, I’d recommend the Cobra tactical crossbow to adults.
New self-locking mechanism
I must say the improved self-locking mechanism is a game-changer. It’s not only safe but also far less strenuous. Also, it reloads faster for more repeated shots.
39 aluminum arrows
Cobra crossbow comes with extras, including two bonus strings and 4×20 scope. But what I find the most commendable is the number of arrows. You get 39 arrows, more than any other option on the list.
2. CenterPoint AXCM175CK Tactical Compound Crossbow
In good hands, whisper-quiet Center Point crossbow can do serious damage. It has the speed, energy, and accuracy that big-game hunts demand. Be it for whitetails or large deer, Center Point is pretty much ready for the harvest.
Ergonomic rope-draw design
Other crossbows in the CenterPoint lineup adopt a crank-draw system. As for the AXCM175CK, it uses a rope-draw system. Well, it isn’t as effortless as the crank system. However, it has an incredibly ergonomic approach. As such, it’s comfortable and provides an ergonomic grip. And that is what counts, particularly in tight quarters.
Formidable firing power
A firing speed of 375fps and a 175-pound draw is a force to reckon with. I wouldn’t say it’s the most powerful among CenterPoint crossbows. However, it packs enough punch to take down large game.
Anti-dry fire mechanism
Dry-firing your crossbow isn’t a safe practice. So, the AXCM175CK crossbow uses some dry-fire inhibitor. It only fires once you load an arrow, keeping the bow assembly from damage.
Noise-suppressing string stoppers
This tactical crossbow isn’t dead silent. But it affords a whisper-quiet performance. For the record, it’s 50% quieter than your average crossbow. And with real-tree camo, I’d say it has some element of stealth.
Complete set of accessories
The AXCM175CK is no bare-bone crossbow. It includes extras, such as 4×32 scope, three 20-inch arrows, and a quiver. Hence, it’s an excellent setup right out of the box.
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3. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow
The Hunter II crossbow packs plenty of power to pierce a majority of targets. Despite the powerful punch, it’s remarkably lightweight among full-sized bows.
All-stainless steel components
The Barnet Hunter II crossbow comes in stainless steel. But for a full-sized steel crossbow, it’s surprisingly light at 6.4 pounds. Hence, it’s a lot easier to maneuver.
Also, stainless steel makes the bow extremely weather-resistant. It doesn’t rust, requires little maintenance, and will last for years.
Hunter II has an adjustable, friction-less trigger pull weight of 3 pounds. It’s straightforward to use and helps you take that perfect shot.
Undeniable camo appeal
Well, there are other beauties out there. But Hunter II crossbow is among those that stand out. It has a custom HD real-tree camo pattern for aesthetics and stealth.
Remarkable accuracy and firing speed
Hunter II crossbow isn’t the most powerful, but remarkable nonetheless. It has a shooting speed of 350fps and a 150-pound draw. Overall, it generates 103 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. Such power and speed can take down a whitetail easily.
Aside from the lighter construction, Hunter II is pretty much balanced. Also, the center of balance is a lot closer to the shooter. For that, it’s deadly accurate.
Hunter II crossbow has a full list of accessories. You get a lube wax, quiver, 4×32 scope, and two 20-inch arrows. Also, it comes with a rope cocking device.
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4. Snake Eye Tactical 80lbs Self-Cocking Cobra Crossbow
Snake Eye is for the budget-conscious, entry-level hunter. It’s lighter for easy handling. Also, it packs just enough power for target shooting and small game hunting.
Speedy self-cocking mechanism
Thanks to the self-cocking system, Snake Eye is faster than the conventional bow. It cuts down reload time dramatically. Hence, you can take more shots at a moment’s notice. For that, it improves your chances of nailing down a moving target.
Lightweight but sturdy construction
At 2 pounds, Snake Eye is exceptionally light. As such, it’s super easy to carry and maneuver.
Though light, it boasts sturdy fiberglass and aluminum construction. It holds up well to weather elements. Also, it’s a lot more resistant to impact.
Excellent power to size ratio
Snake Eye might come cheap and small. However, it’s no kid’s toy, as it can cause some serious damage.
It has a draw weight of 80 pounds and a firing speed of 165fps. Well, it isn’t as deadly on large animals, such as deer and elk. But for nailing small game, Snake Eye is up for the task.
An arsenal of arrows
Snake Eye is among the few crossbows that come with more arrows. The package includes a bonus of 15 arrows.
5. CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package
CenterPoint Sniper 370 is for big-game performance. Even then, it remains highly maneuverable and easy for any skill level.
Durable and lightweight aluminum construction
Sniper 370 boasts a durable aluminum construction. Despite the rugged built, it’s light enough to shoulder. Also, it can fit any shooting style, even at the beginner level.
Fully adjustable fore-grip and stock
This crossbow gives you room to adjust the stock accordingly. Hence, it offers a customizable fit for any shoulder. Again, you can adjust the fore-grip for more confidence and comfort.
Precision-machined quad limbs
Sniper 370 comes equipped with precision-machined limbs. It works in tandem with a shoot-through riser to provide accuracy and power.
This crossbow packs quite a punch. It has a 185-pound draw and a firing speed of 370fps. Hence, it has what it take to nail down big game, including whitetails and large deer.
Integrated string suppressors
String suppressors reward you with quiet, vibration-free shots. Hence, it has an element of stealth. It works in tandem with a real-tree camo pattern to make you undetectable.
An extensive set of accessories
Sniper 370 is no bare-bone crossbow. It includes three 20-inch arrows, a quiver, 4×32 scope, and a rope cocker.
Well, I can’t help saying something about the warranty. It’s a generous 5-year warranty. Hence, it speaks of the high-quality construction and craftsmanship.
6. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
Barnett has so many good options. Among the pack, Jackal crossbow is the most affordable. But dollar-for-dollar, Jackal offers an easy and practical way to get started.
Sleek military-style stock
Barnett Jackal crossbow has an undeniable appeal. It’s sleek and with HD real-tree camo pattern. Hence, besides aesthetics, it helps you maintain a low profile.
Above-average draw weight
This crossbow has one of the best-in-class draw weight. At 150 pounds and with a speed of 315fps, it can take down animals of all sizes.
Smooth and silent operation
The camo pattern is among the few things that make this bow a stealth hunter. Apparently, it has silencers that provide smooth and silent operation. And that’s what counts the most in keeping a low profile.
High-energy wheels reward the bow with more holding strength. The best part, it doesn’t sacrifice performance.
Premium red dot sight
Barnett Jackal comes with a superior red dot sight. It enhances accuracy as well as quick target acquisition. Hence, it increases your chances of success, particularly for long shots. Other extras include three 20-inch arrows and a detachable quiver.
7. Cobra Mini Self-Cocking Tactical Crossbow
Cobra is an affordable crossbow for a beginner. And for an 80-pound crossbow, it shoots faster. Hence, it’s pretty much a step ahead in its class.
Best-in-class firing speed
I wouldn’t say Cobra Mini crossbow is the fastest. But for an 80-pound draw, it’s a lot faster. It rewards you with a minimum firing speed of 220fps. That means it’s even more capable of higher firing speeds. Well, other 80-pound draw bows only average 165fps.
Sturdy and durable fiberglass construction
Fiberglass gives this crossbow more flex and strength. Hence, it’s less likely to deform or break upon impact.
The safety automatically engages once you cock the bow. Hence, it reduces the risk of contortions and pulled muscles. Also, it cuts down the reload time dramatically.
For a mini crossbow, Cobra rewards you with an ultra-compact design. Hence, it’s portable and easy to maneuver. Despite the size, it’s no kid’s toy. In the wrong hands, this bow can be lethal. Hence, I’d recommend it for ages 18 and above.
Sharp aluminum bolts
Cobra Mini crossbow doesn’t offer as much in terms of extras. It doesn’t include a scope or bonus strings. But it rewards you with sharp aluminum bolts.
8. Barnett 78134 Recruit Tactical Compound Crossbow
It has remarkable raw power, no doubt. But for Barnett Recruit crossbow, speed and precision are a top priority.
Lightweight and durable composite stock
Barnett 78134 Recruit isn’t built from one material. Instead, it uses a combination of materials. Hence, it provides a perfect balance of weight and strength. Such versatility makes it comfortable across a wide range of users.
This crossbow comes with most parts intact. Hence, it cuts down the time and effort needed for the assembly process. That makes it easier, even for the DIY setup.
Stock-integrated crank cocker
The stock-integrated crank cocker reduces the draw weight dramatically. It can reduce it to as much as 90%. Hence, it’s easier than standalone cockers. That makes it excellent for people of all ages and physical abilities.
Smooth trigger pull
Barnett 78134 rewards you with a 3-pound zero-creep trigger. It’s smooth, easy to use, and makes up for quick shots.
Excellent speed and precision
At 140 pounds, Barnett 78134 doesn’t have as much draw weight. At least not like other bows in the same class. However, it offers has an exceptional firing speed of 330fps. Again, it has anti-vibration feet for unrivaled accuracy. Such specs make it very effective at taking down medium-sized game.
Limited but thoughtful extras
Don’t expect a lot of extras in the Barnett 78134. It comes with only two arrows. Nonetheless, I’d say it’s a thoughtful addition.
9. Ravin R29X Sniper Crossbow
Ravin R29X isn’t your average crossbow, and the price tells it all. It’s a top-of-the-line bow built for speed, power, and deadly accuracy. So, wherever and whatever you hunt, Ravin R29X gives you the upper hand.
Ravin R29X isn’t one of the lightest out there. But for the amount of power it packs, 6.75 pounds is pretty impressive. It’s light enough to carry and maneuver in the field.
Advanced Helicoil technology
Helicoil technology constitutes different features, each with its advantages. Hence, I don’t want to be general.
It rewards you with a floating arrow effect, resulting in zero friction. Hence, you get better speed and accuracy.
Also, it boasts a perfectly level string. Again, it offers zero friction and longer string life.
Another feature of the Helicoil system is the coiling cable. It keeps the limbs perfectly balanced. Also, it allows for a 340-degree cam rotation. Overall, you get increased accuracy, compact performance, and efficiency.
To sum up, it provides a friction-less performance. Also, it eliminates other forms of resistance. The result is improved arrow flight and accuracy.
Effortless and silent cocking system
Ravin R29X packs some serious power behind it. Surprisingly, it doesn’t require as much draw weight. At 12 pounds, it’s pretty much effortless. And all is possible, courtesy of the innovative silent cocking system.
Aside from being easy to crank, Ravin R29X is silent. Hence, it gives you the stealth you need while on the field.
Best-in-class speed and energy
R29X doesn’t only pack the best technology. It also offers the best in raw power and speed. It can fire at 450fps and provide 180 foot-pounds kinetic energy. So, it can take down any game you have in mind.
Adjustable scope elevation mount
The adjustable elevation mount allows for easy fine-tuning. Plus, it’s effective from 20-200 yards. Hence, it improves accuracy, even for long shots.
Fully-assembled and pre-tuned
Well, no more fumbling with ropes and other components. Ravin R29X comes fully assembled and pre-tuned out of the box.
Ravin R29X rewards you with six notorious 400-grain arrows. And with field point technology, they provide improved flight and accuracy. Also, the package includes a tactical scope and quiver.
10. Tactical Crusader Hand-Held Pistol Crossbow Gun
Tactical Crusader is among the sweetest deals for target practice. It’s super-affordable but quite effective at its job.
Tactical Crusader is pretty much feather-light. At 2 pounds, it’s easy to carry and maneuver, even for kids.
But don’t take it for a cheap toy. It comes in cast aluminum, providing much-needed durability.
50-pound light draw
Tactical Crusader rewards you with a light draw weight of 50 pounds. It’s by far the lowest on the list. But at a close range, it can do some real damage. However, I’d still recommend it for small game hunting.
For the price, you’d be forgiven to think this bow doesn’t include extras. Surprisingly, you get more than you pay for. The package includes four arrows and a string.
Best Tactical Crossbow: Complete Guide
Which type of crossbow has the desirable features you seek? Well, the crossbow is pretty much a general term. They come in two types: compound and recurve crossbow.
A compound crossbow packs some of the best archery technologies. Also, short arms characterize compound crossbows. Overall, it’s the best for speed and tight quarters.
A recurve crossbow doesn’t pack as many components. Hence, it’s ideal for simplicity and lightweight construction.
Speed, measured in feet per second, depends mostly on the type of game. 150fps is a good minimum for target practice and small game hunting. For whitetails, I’d recommend a minimum of 250fps. Large game, such as elk, will require a minimum of 300fps.
Remember, speed is more effective at close ranges. At 50 yards, you’ll get more kinetic energy as you would at 100 yards.
Most tactical crossbows max out at 400fps. But others go the extra mile. Ravin R29X, for instance, has a remarkable firing speed of 450fps. So, it’s pretty much an all-rounder for small as well as big animals.
Draw weight pretty much dictates the speed and the kinetic energy. The larger the draw weight, the higher the speed and kinetic energy.
Pistol crossbows reward you with 50-100 pounds of draw weight. You don’t get as much speed and kinetic energy. However, it’ sufficient for hunting small animals and for target practice.
Full-draw bows, on the other hand, have more than 100 pounds of draw weight. Hence, they provide remarkable speed and energy to take down large game.
Lightweight crossbows are comfortable to carry, particularly over long distances. However, they’re not as accurate and powerful.
Full-sized bows are a bit cumbersome and take more time to aim. However, they’re more stable, making them highly accurate. Also, they generate more power.
The power stroke also determines the speed. It’s not as crucial in target practice. But for hunting, it deserves closer attention. For serious hunts, I’d recommend a power stroke of 11-14 inches.
A crossbow can do some severe damage. As such, safety is paramount. Well, several features guarantee your safety. Among them are the forward grip and automatic engaging system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What’s the best tactical crossbow for 2020?
Answer: Well, Ravin R29X is easily the best. It packs more cutting-edge technology. Also, it’s a step ahead in terms of power, speed, and accuracy.
Question: What’s the best crossbow for whitetails?
Answer: Well, there are lots of contenders on the list. Generally, I’d recommend a minimum of 130 pounds draw weight and 250fps.
Question: What’s the range of a crossbow?
Answer: Most powerful modern crossbows can shoot as far as 500 yards. But for accuracy, I’d recommend shooting from 60 yards. Well, beginners might need to close in more, say 30-35 yards.
Question: How durable is a crossbow?
Answer: In terms of longevity, the average crossbow lasts around two years. High-end models will last as much as five years before changing the string.
A lot of things characterize the best tactical crossbow. It should be well-balanced, accurate, and have sufficient shooting strength. Such is what defines our top ten best tactical crossbows. But I still have a question for you. Which do you find the best companion for your next hunting trip?