There are many considerations when getting a crossbow, with budget among the top ones.
Beginners on a tight budget may need to study more before making decision on the right crossbow for them. When thinking of getting one, you should consider the main activity the crossbow will be used. If it’s for archery, then precision and accuracy is more important than draw weight.
However if you want a crossbow for hunting, the opposite is true.
What Makes the Most Accurate Crossbow?
For someone who is about to buy a crossbow, you try to test out different crossbows and check on their prices. Now, what would be the very important aspect or key to a crossbow when it comes to hitting a target? That’s right, accuracy. And the accuracy of a crossbow cannot be determined by trying to assess its features and details written on the box.
You cannot also take it out of the store and test it out because it is not allowed. If you happen to come across a crossbow in some marketing website, you’re less likely to have a chance to test it. Now how can you determine if what you chose is the most accurate crossbow or at least have a nice level of accuracy?
The path to figuring out the accuracy of the bow does not end after your purchase. There is also the commitment to have the crossbow maintained by cleaning, tuning, lining and using the scope and identifying your range.
It is important for a person wanting to engage in the art of hunting and in the field of archery to conduct minor or intermediate research before buying. Know what you want and study the features of the crossbow you aim to have. There are things that you should consider in order to have in your possession the most accurate crossbow.
Things That Can Affect Crossbow Accuracy
Correct Arrows or Bolts
Depending on the power and length of the crossbow, you should adjust the arrows or bolts you want to use accordingly. Read the manual included because manufacturers sometimes suggest the proper length and weight of the bolts ideal for the power and length of the crossbow.
The stabilizers, the draw weight and the power of the crossbow can help balance the bolts as you shoot making your shot more accurate. Otherwise, no matter how much you aim, you won’t come close to hitting your target properly.
The weight and the length of the bolts are also highly important and require common sense. Never use a large, heavy and long bolt for a short crossbow and expect it to shoot the bolt accurately.
If you are going to buy extra or spare bolts other than what was included in your crossbow set, make sure that it is in the size and length recommended by the product’s manufacturer to achieve the highest point of accuracy.
The Crossbow is Not for You
No matter how expensive, how cool it looks or how many features the crossbow has, there are just some cases that it won’t be the right one for you. Given an example, a skinny and small person won’t fare very well with a long and heavy crossbow.
Regardless of how expensive the crossbow, stable and with nice power, your arm and hands will tire fast and will most likely affect your handling and the accuracy of the crossbow. A short person will also have a hard time trying to get a good aim if the crossbow is too long for his or her arm.
A crossbow’s accuracy can also be affected by how tight or how loose the parts of the crossbow are. It can be, in some cases that the bow’s limbs and string are too tight making your shot a little stiff or were too loose, cutting the power and accuracy close to half.
A loose scope can also have an effect on your accuracy. Make sure that the scope is tuned well and is secured nicely on the top before and after your hunt.
You should take note that consistent use of the crossbow, cocking and shooting, can eventually loosen up some parts. Always do proper maintenance and try to tighten up the loose parts so that you can expect great and high performance.
Tuning and Maintenance
Strings, as we all know, stretch over time. A stretched string will affect the power, velocity and the accuracy of the crossbow. You need to do regular tuning, especially for a person who takes too long to aim.
The prolonged aiming will greatly hasten the stretching of the string because of the fact that when you aim, the crossbow is already cocked and the string is already pulled back.
When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, this is also done occasionally or when going back after a long day of hunting. Certain substances or stuff get stuck somewhere in your crossbow from crawling through mud, climbing through rocky terrain and running through tall grass. This can greatly affect the integrity of your bow which could result in a lower performance and accuracy.
Using the Right Scope
This is fairly self-explanatory or requires minimal common sense. When buying a scope for your crossbow, make sure to use various scopes according to the maximum range and use of the crossbow.
No matter how expensive and high-end your scope is, it won’t make the crossbow shoot accurately with the intended range of the manufacturer’s design. Given that the range of the crossbow is only accurate at a distance of 50 yards, buying and setting a scope that is only accurate within 30 yards would be pointless.
The crossbow has an intended range where it can shoot accurately if you and your target are within those ranges. Always check the crossbow’s specification written by the manufacturer in the manual or on the box.
Expect that when you step out of that range, you will have a great chance of missing your target. Although it is hard to determine the measurement from where you stand and where your target is, your estimation skills will improve through time, hunting and shooting.
The most accurate crossbow also depends on its user. You cannot tell just by how expensive or fancy the crossbow is. There are many things that can greatly affect the accuracy of the crossbow and price is not even close to being included.
Provided that you’re considering those things, inexpensive and affordable crossbows can hit a target accurately, the same with expensive ones.
You can look for more guidelines and reviews about different crossbows here.
5 Best Best Crossbow Under 500
1.Barnett Jackal Crossbow – Best Crossbow Under $500
The Jackal Crossbow is one of the more popular models in the market. The design is based on military camouflage color. It is 32.5” long and 26.5” wide. This package includes Jackal Crossbow Quiver and three 20-inches arrows and a single red-dot scope.
It weighs just 7.7 pounds with a draw weight of 150 pounds but is able to shoot arrows at 315 feet per second due to the combination of a Quad Limb high energy wheel with synthetic string and smooth cable system and a smooth 3.5lb trigger.
The velocity is fast enough to cause serious damage to the targets. This device also comes with single red-dot scope for higher precision and accuracy. It also comes with Picatinny/Weaver Rail Divided fore grip to give you a comfortable hand placement and an AVi foot stirrup and AVi bolt retainer for easier cocking.
- Jackal Crossbow comes with five-year limited warranty, so you can have peace of mind that parts that not functional as promised can be replaced or repaired.
- This package does not include rope cocking device, so you may need to invest additional money to purchase it separately
- The scope functionality depends on battery, so you need to prepare additional batteries for backup.
- It requires climate controlled storage area and frequent waxing every 10 shots to ensure the product works with optimum result for a long time.
Jackal Crossbow has all the essentials for hunting or archery. Though small, it stil generates serious power. It is also well reasonably priced and suitable for both beginner and advance crossbow users.
2.SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package –
Crossbow Under $500
The SA Sports Fever Crossbow is a lightweight device at just 4.85 pounds so it is suitable for beginners or smaller-built people. It is 31” long and 27” wide and equipped with 26.5” string. The limbs are made from compressed fiberglass for a nice finish and come in a Dipped Camo design.
The package also includes 4×32 multi-range scope and four 16” arrows. 20” arrows are also available for this model however but must be purchased separately. It has a scope for improved vision when aiming at prey.
In terms of performance, this crossbow has a draw weight of 175 pounds and can shoot arrows at 240 feet per second. It also comes with a cocking device and shoulder sling for easier carrying. This device is designed is also designed to be ambidextrous so left- or right-handed people can use it comfortably.
- It is very lightweight, so you can easily bring it around without getting tired.
- It comes together a cocking device and shoulder sling so you don’t have to invest additionalon additional accessories.
- The arrow velocity at 240 feet per second weaker than most and may not be suitable for shooting larger animals.
SA Sports Fever Crossbow may not be the choice for professional or avid hunters, but it is definitely a good choice for beginners. This crossbow is not a burden to carry around. The shoulder sling also adds to the convenience of carrying it.
The main drawback of this device is the lack of strength so this may may not be too suitable for hunting. However if you are not into hunting but more for archery, the velocity will not really affect you.
SA Sports Fever Crossbow
Crossbows, indeed, are weapons that cost an arm and a leg. But, it is no impossible to find a budget-friendly lightweight crossbow. So you do not have to worry not finding your crossbow even if your budget is strict.
The SA Sports Fever is a super lightweight crossbow that boasts several excellent qualities for your shooting satisfaction. The weapon weighs only 4.85 lbs. (approximately 2 kilos). Plus, this crossbow is very affordable!
The SA Sports Fever is a recurve crossbow that can shoot at a speed of 240 FPS. If you are a casual deer hunter or a regular target shooter, this crossbow will just do fine for you. However, if you are a grizzly hunter who explores the wild, I would suggest getting a more advanced, more expensive lightweight crossbow.
To make shooting more accurate, the crossbow has a 4×32 reticle scope. It also has a quick detach quiver. The padded shoulder sling lets you carry the crossbow with ease. The stock of the crossbow has a camouflage pattern that makes it look robust in every angle.
Excalibur Matrix 355
Professionals no doubt know what it feels like to hold a lightweight yet forceful crossbow that can slay the target in just seconds. They also know that crossbows with such features are no bargain.
A compact, lightweight, and ergonomic recurve crossbow; the Excalibur Matrix 355 is an excellent crossbow that can shoot an apple at a velocity of 355 FPS. The stock and the crossbow as a whole is firm, stable, and very easy to maneuver. Though according to the opinion of the many, compound crossbows are way much better than a recurve crossbow, the Excalibur Matrix 355 breaks the juju and proves to be great in every aspect – from structure to performance.
The crossbow is designed so well; the stock has an ergonomic design that makes gripping comfortable. It is lightweight – so light it only weighs 5.4 lbs., approximately 2 kilos but not heavier than 3 kilos. The crossbow also shoots powerfully with 240 lbs. draw weight.
One of the minor drawbacks of this crossbow is having a price that is much higher than other competing brands with almost the same features. But if that does concern you, this crossbow will just do fine for you.
Barnett Jackal Crossbow
The Barnett Jackal Crossbow is a great crossbow that will be perfect for both amateurs or novice alike. It compels great features that can wallop the subject in a single swoosh. It fires at the velocity of 315 FPS with a draw weight of 150 lbs.
The crossbow is also lightweight; it weighs only 7.7 lbs., equivalent to 3 kilos. The weapon is also sleek and compact; you will feel comfortable carrying the crossbow in the field.
The Barnett Jackal Crossbow features an Aluminum Riser, Anti-vibration Foot stirrup, and Finger Reminder for better gripping. The crossbow also has a Realtree Hardwoods finish to make a camouflage effect when used in the arena.
Mounted on top of the crossbow is a red dot reticle that can help you magnify and lock the target with ease. When purchased, the package comes with three 20-inch Headhunter arrows and three quick detach quiver. And oh, have I mentioned that the crossbow is affordable?
Does Weight Really Matter For Crossbow?
In a nutshell, yes. The weight contributes to the steadiness of the weapon when in used. There are several considerations you need to think through before choosing a lightweight crossbow.
First, why buy a crossbow? Is it for sports and fun shooting only? If so, are lightweight and extra features really necessary? Is the crossbow for prey hunting? What prey will you hunt? A small fox? A deer? Or a wild grizzly bear?
Second, evaluate your body. Petite people are recommended to use a compact, lightweight crossbow. If the weapon is not proportioned to your body, chances will be: you will be having difficulty cocking the weapon.
Jackal Crossbow is the clear winner for the best crossbow under $500. Although it is more expensive than SA Sports Fever Crossbow, but it can deliver higher performance and improve your shooting experience.
The Jackal Crossbow has wider use because it can be used for hunting. It may be slightly heavier than SA crossbow but it should be manageable to carry with a sling strap.
On the other hand, the SA Sports Fever Crossbow is only suitable for archery hence you may need to get another higher performing crossbow should you want to try out hunting. This may not be financially feasible especially when you have budget constraints.
I have been hunting for last 5 years. (24 yrs. and that makes me feel old!) I have been very successful at hunting deer, turkey, exotics, and just about any varmint that moves.
I have hunted all over the great State of Texas, also into New Mexico, Colorado and a few other places. Hunting has been the prevailing passion in my life only trumped by my two great Sons.
I hope some of the bow hunting advice I have provided helps you be the best bowhunter around. Remember, everyone is different. You can tweek one little thing you are doing and solve a host of accuracy problems. Every day, new products come on the market designed to aid your success, but there is no substitute for desire and practice. Tip: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Most importantly: A bad day hunting beats the hell out of a day at work!
Robin, Bangs Texas