The tactical crossbow may be the perfect bow for new archery shooters. These weapons are insanely easy to master, and you do not have to put in as much practice time to learn to be proficient with them.
When you are first changing over from hunting with a rifle to hunting with a crossbow the best tactical crossbow will be the easiest one to adapt to. They are quieter than their competitors, and they are user friendly.
We tried several of these bows to find the ones that our experts would say are the best of the lot. We also had many of our experts allow a beginner to try the bows to see if the beginner could have success using them. The list of weapons here are all ones that our experts, and their beginners found to be items they would purchase for themselves or recommend to family and friends.
Best Tactical Crossbow
1. Barnett Avenger Recruit Crossbow
This is an excellent crossbow for a beginning youth or a smaller sized individual. It has enough power and speed to bring down a white tail deer while hunting. It is easy to handle and easy to master. The beginner will not have to spend as much time practicing before they can adapt to shooting this bow instead of a firearm like a rifle.
This is a versatile item that is designed to be light, yet it is heavy enough in the front to keep the vibrations and noise to a minimum. It also allows you to add a rail to the front of the weapon so you can customize and create the bow that will be best for the style of shooting you do, and the bow weight that you prefer.
2. CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package
Durability and longevity are two of the main reasons why experienced hunters like this crossbow. It is a fantastic bow for a beginner to use when transitioning from rifle hunting to bow and arrow hunting. It is designed to be easy to use but powerful enough that even experienced hunters will love it.
This bow is slightly louder than some of the other tactical crossbows, but it is not so loud that it will scare game away. It is a magnificent weapon, but the assembly instructions are not very clear.
It is larger than some crossbows in this category but the extra size does help you to have more stability.
3. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow
This bow is perfect as a learning bow. It is reasonably priced, and it has the power and speed that you need to hunt larger game like white tail deer. It has enough speed to drive the arrow quickly so there is not a great deal of drop between the time of release and contact with the target.
This bow is surprisingly quiet. The only real drawback is de-cocking the bow is super difficult and most owners tend to simply take a shooting block with them into the woods in case they miss a shot opportunity and need to unload the weapon before traveling home.
Assembly of the product is relatively simple, and can be done even by someone who has never assembled a bow before.
4. Ace Martial Arts Supply Cobra System Self Cocking Pistol Tactical Crossbow
This bow is well suited to target practicing and hunting for small game. It makes an excellent youth bow for the youth to learn the bow hunting basics and develop skills.
The weapon offers enough power and accuracy to allow a beginner to develop true archery skills. It is pretty easy to assemble, and if you have any assembly problems there are videos on Youtube that can walk you through every step of the process.
This bow would be an excellent first-time bow, or a gift. The FPS are lower than you would want for big game hunting but if you like smaller game like rabbit, or squirrel you will love having this weapon over one with an enormous FPS that would blow the arrow through the smaller game.
5. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
The Barnett Jackal is a good bow for any shooter. It can be used successfully by smaller hunters so it is great as a youth bow or for a female shooter. It can be fired using either hand as your dominant hand so everyone can fire it.
It is light enough to be carried and held for long periods of time without causing any muscle strain or aches. It is also small enough that you can take it into a tree stand or small blind and still be able to use successfully.
The weapon is durable and will provide you with service for many years with only minimal care and maintenance.
6. BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow
Powerful enough to bring down large game with only one shot. Fast enough to allow you to take a shot from a farther distance so you are capable of getting more opportunities to bring down the trophy buck you are hunting for.
This weapon is easy to assemble, beautifully designed, and balanced so that you have more control and stability when you shoot. It is a great bow for people just learning to use a bow instead of a rifle, and it is a great bow for experienced hunters who have great crossbow skills.
This weapon can be taken out of the box and fully assembled in less than 20 minutes. It has great power so be prepared when you are target practicing and use a target that the arrow will not simply sail through.
7. KingsArchery Self-Cocking Crossbow Bundle
This is a great crossbow for target practice and learning opportunities. The only real problem you may have is learning to set the safety without accidentally firing the weapon. The safety is positioned in close proximity to the trigger and you have to pay attention to make sure you set the safety and do not fire the arrow.
Plenty of arrows come with this device so you can practice your shots and hone your skills. It is powerful enough to hunt with but probably better suited to smaller game animals like rabbit or squirrel than large animals like deer.
Assembly is pretty straightforward and can be accomplished without too much effort. It is light enough to be used repeatedly for hours without causing strain or pain in the forearms or shoulders.
8. BearX Intense Ready to Shoot Crossbow Package
This is a high-speed weapon. The highest crossbow speed at this time is 470 feet per second and this device is capable of 405 feet per second. This bow will send an arrow at a high enough rate of speed to take down the majority of game animals. It is not a toy, and it may not be the best choice if you are giving the weapon to a youth.
This bow is slightly heavier than many crossbows. It is a little difficult to cock so you are more than likely going to need a cocking device to help you with this one.
It is very easy to assemble and from box to ready will only take about 30 minutes of your time.
9. Snake Eye Tactical Cobra System Self Cocking Pistol Tactical Crossbow
This is a powerful weapon that has a pistol style grip. It can penetrate something as large as a white tail deer and bring the animal down with one shot. This is not a toy and not really intended for use by children. It is easy enough to shoot that a child could learn to use it, but it requires an adult arm to stabilize it properly when you are shooting.
It is extremely easy to cock this device. It is relatively accurate. It is durable, low maintenance, and light enough to be carried without any restrictions.
The pistol grip on the device allows you to handle it with just one hand, but that type of handling can create less accuracy and target completion.
Use with caution, and always set the safety when the item is cocked and not being immediately fired.
10. Predator Archery Raptor Compound Hunting Bow Kit
Sturdy cables and a metal cam make this bow slightly heavier than many other bows of the same type. The heavier cam also provides you with less vibration, less noise when shooting, and more stability in the weapon.
This bow is easy to assemble and easy to use. It will make a good bow for any shooter. Beginners will have no trouble adapting to it and experienced shooters will love the balance and precision it gives them.
It is durable and will last longer than many bows due to the metal cam, and sturdy cable system that has been designed into it.
How to Choose the Best Tactical Crossbow
Choosing the best tactical crossbow can only be accomplished if you are familiar with these weapons and know what features you need for your style of shooting. There are many factors to consider about the weapons when you are shopping.
Noise Level (dB)
The noise level that a bow has is measured in decibels. (db) The number of decibels a bow is said to have will increase according to how much noise the device makes when it is shot.
To understand the decibel level, consider the following.
- 120 decibels would be the equivalent of an airplane on take-off
- 110 decibels are equivalent to a car horn
- 100 decibels are equivalent to the noise of a subway train
- 90 decibels are the equivalent to a motorcycle
- 80 decibels are the equivalent of a busy intersection
- 70 decibels are the equivalent of being near a car track
- 60 decibels would be the equivalent of city traffic heard through an open window
- 50 decibels would be equivalent to light traffic on the highway
- 30 to 40 decibels are the same as being in a quiet room
- 10 to 20 decibels are the equivalent of being in a desert
The quietness of the bow will determine whether the game animal will be alerted to your presence. If your bow is loud then the sound may cause the animal to bolt and run which might cause you to miss them when you shoot.
The power stroke assigned to a crossbow tells you how far back you will have to pull the bolt before the weapon cocks. Faster speeds are obtained by bows with longer power strokes. Anyone who plans to use their bow as a hunting weapon should make sure that the item has a power stroke of not less than 11”. An average crossbow power stroke is between 11” and about 14”.
The range is just the distance that the arrow can travel after being fired. The majority of these weapons will have a range of about 30-yards at the maximum. When shopping make sure that the bow has a range of no less than 15-yards.
The details of the bow you are considering will tell you the speed in feet per second. If the weapon says it has a 175 FPS then the arrow will be able to travel a distance of 175 feet in just one second while maintaining the trajectory it was given. Larger numbers indicate faster arrows. They also indicate arrows that will be more powerful because they will be capable of greater penetration when they come into contact with the target.
Weight of the Bow
The weight of the bow will be changed by the size of the bow and the materials the bow is made of. The lighter bows are capable of shooting faster. The heavier bows are capable of driving the arrow with greater force and penetration.
A lighter bow often has more vibration and can be noisier than a heavier bow.A lighter bow may be easier for smaller shooters to handle. The weight of the bow should not be so great that a hunter cannot hold it up in an aimed position without getting muscle cramps or strain.
The draw weight tells you how much force is required in order for you to draw the bow string back into position to fire. The heavier draw weights will increase the speed of the arrow. When two identical bows, that have different draw weights are compared the one with the heavier draw weight will have a higher speed ability than the one with the lower draw weight. The force of the acceleration causes the arrow to fly at a greater speed. Greater speed means increased power and penetration.
What’s the Best Way to Use a Tactical Crossbow
Tactical crossbows are excellent for hunting weapons. You can use an arrow more than one time but you cannot use a bullet or cartridge fired from a gun but one time, without reloading the ammunition with powder.
A tactical crossbow is silent when shot so the animal is less likely to be alarmed when you shoot. When hunting with a bow you can often get shots at more than one animal because the entire flock of creatures are not alerted when the weapon is fired.
These are the ideal weapons for survival. The arrows are easier to get than ammunition and you can even make your own, and the government does not regulate the arrows like they regulate the ammunition for guns.
Tactical Crossbow Maintenance Tips
Tactical crossbows are low maintenance but they do require some maintenance if you want them to last as long as possible.
- Waxing the string or cables of the weapon is mandatory. You should wax the length of the string excluding the right section of the string that is located above the arrow rail to prevent gumming up at the trigger.
- Lubricate your rail with 2 to 3 drops of lubricant. Use your fingers to make the lubricant cover the entire rail. Never put lubricant on a bow that has gotten wet and has not completely dried. Do not be tempted to use things like petroleum jelly as a lubricant, but the approved lubricant for bow rails.
- Lubricate any exposed bolts and the trigger box before you put the bow up for the season
- Store the bow in an enclosed bag or case to prevent dust and grime build-up on any of the working parts during storage
How Does a Tactical Crossbow Compare to a Standard Crossbow?
When it comes to crossbows each style provides some benefits. When comparing the tactical variety with the standard crossbow we see the following.
- These weapons are narrower than tactical weapons
- The strings on these bows are heavier
- Require cranks and mechanical adjustments to knock them and this results in a slower rater of fire for the weapon
- The provide mor accuracy
- They have an adjustable vertical grip
- There split-limb design is ultra-stiff so they are more powerful than standard bows and they are more durable than standard bows
- They may be quieter
- They are wider than standard bows but the width may increase the stability and balance of the weapon
Frequently Asked Questions
To Own a Crossbow, Do You Need a License?
You are not required to have a license to own or purchase a crossbow.
Which States have Banned the Use of Crossbows for Hunting?
Oregon has a ban on using crossbows for hunting. In Minnesota they are legal for handicap persons to use but require a permit. They can be used during firearm season by anyone.
What is the Warranty of the Tactical Crossbow?
Warranties are provided by the manufacturer of the weapon and the length of a warranty is different on all weapons according to their manufacturer.
Is Ravin Crossbow Worth the Money?
These crossbows are known for being quieter than other crossbows, more accurate than many crossbows and they are considered to be easier to cock and carry than other crossbows.
What is the Best Crossbow for Beginners?
The best crossbow for a beginner is one that allows them to learn quickly and be accurate at making shots. Tactical crossbows are great from people transitioning from firearm hunting because the tactical bows are often easier to shoot, easier to cock, and easier to master.
Bow and arrow shooting with a crossbow is more like shooting with a rifle because of the trigger mechanism, and the butt of the weapon. Tactical crossbows have a greater amount of accuracy and ensure that the shooter is more successful during the hunt.
Learning to use these items will allow you to know that no matter what government regulations are passed about guns and ammunition, you will always have a means of hunting, and protection for your property.