Crossbow design and performance has come a long way in a very short time. Here’s a rundown of the latest and greatest, with a few cool new accessories to boot.
With more and more states allowing crossbows in archery seasons, manufacturers have quickly ramped up technological design advancements. Crossbows are now lighter, more compact, store incredible amounts of energy and shoot faster than ever. To make them even better, they boast smart safety features that make the use of horizontal bows a reality for the entire family.
Want more good news? The new bows are easy to cock, and most are next-to-impossible to dry fire. They are quiet and efficient and are made to last. If you’re thinking of getting into crossbow hunting, or looking to upgrade your current bow, there has never been a better time to start looking. Here’s a rundown of some of the hottest new bows and a few cool new accessories.
TENPOINT Carbon Nitro RDX
The Carbon Nitro RDX is TenPoint’s first reverse-draw crossbow, measuring a mere 10 inches between axles when cocked. It is noticeably quiet when you shoot it and ideal for hunting tight spaces, especially in blinds and treestands. The 165-pound limbs spit arrows at up to 385 fps. The 20-inch carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel and polymer stock keep the bow at a manageable 7.8 pounds, with a total length of 34¼ inches. The 3½-pound trigger has the quality and characteristics of a fine rifle. You’ll also find a dry-fire inhibitor and lots of safety features; the Carbon Nitro RDS comes ready to shoot with a cocking device, arrows, scope and quiver. (800) 548-6837; www.tenpointcrossbows.com
STRYKER Katana 385
The Stryker Katana 385 boasts a draw weight of 155 pounds with a power stroke of 13 inches, producing arrow speeds up to 385 fps. It is a fast bow for its relatively light draw weight. The first thing you notice when picking up the bow is its maneuverability and lightweight design, coming in at just 6½ pounds. It is easy to draw and feels good in hand, with soft rubber grip inserts in the fore-end and pistol grip. It is equipped with the 2½-pound trigger, anti-dry fire equipment, and has a total length of 35 inches. Available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country and BlackOps, it comes with an illuminated scope, four-arrow quiver, four Accustrike Light arrows and a rope-cocking aid. (877) 901-1934; www.strykerxbow.com
WICKED RIDGE Warrior G3
A lightweight, maneuverable, easy-to-draw design makes the Warrior G3 a feature-loaded, value-driven crossbow. The 155-pound draw weight shoots arrows up to 320 fps, while the polymer base stock is nice and light, keeping the bow at 6.6 pounds. A foregrip designed to cradle your fingers keeps them safe. This bow has all the bells and whistles of many top-end models and comes with all the accessories required to get started shooting the day you pick it up. (330) 628-9245; www.wickedridgecrossbows.com
BROWNING OneSixTwo Crossbow
Browning has entered the crossbow market in a big way for 2016 with its OneSixTwo, which clocks a blistering 370 fps. The TriggerTech trigger system provides a noticeably light, zero-creep pull that feels like you’d expect on a quality rifle, and includes anti-dry fire safety technology. The bow has a draw weight of 145 pounds, with an impressive 14 5/8-inch power stroke. There are Picatinny rails on the left, right and bottom of the flight track to customize the look and use of the bow. The crank-cocking device is mounted on the stock and the entire bow comes fully assembled. Sold as a package, it includes a hard travel case, a multi-reticle illuminated scope, and three Browning arrows. (844) 283-7250; www.BrowningCrossbows.com
CARBON EXPRESS X-Force Advantex
The X-Force Advantex by Carbon Express stands out on the shelf as a value-driven bow with a MRSP of just $399.99, and even includes all the accessories to get started. With a 165-pound draw weight it shoots 320 fps, making it more than suitable for any big game. It is sold as a ready-to-hunt kit with scope, arrows, field points, and quiver. Impressively lightweight at 6.9 pounds, the X-Force is easy to maneuver and is an ideal upgrade or first bow. Another cool feature? The stock is adjustable, allowing a variety of individuals to shoot the same bow. The crisp, clean trigger helps maintain accuracy. (800) 241-4833; www.carbonexpresscrossbows.com
EXCALIBUR Micro 355
Good things do come in small packages, and for proof there is the Micro 355, weighing in at a mere 5.2 pounds—a true lightweight in the crossbow world. The stock is made of durable material weighing next to nothing, and includes an ambidextrous cheek piece. Rubber grips make it easy to hold in any weather conditions. Cold-weather hunters will like the oversized trigger guard that easily accommodates the wearing of gloves. The bow has a total length of 33 ½ inches, has a short 10-inch power stroke, yet shoots at 355 fps. The bow is 25 inches wide uncocked making it nicely compact when hunting heavy brush, or out of a tight blind. The safety features include an anti-dry fire system; the crossbow comes ready to shoot with an illuminated scope, arrows, noise suppressor, rope-cocking aid, and quiver. (800) 463-1817; www.excaliburcrossbow.com
The Droptine is an economical crossbow offering the performance of many premium models. The magnesium riser is strong and lightweight, and is equipped with a 7/8-inch Picatinny rail. The lightweight, composite stock has a pass-through foregrip to safely keep your fingers out of the flight path of the string. The bow weighs 7 pounds, is 19½ inches axle-to-axle when cocked, and has a draw weight of 160 pounds. The 13½-inch power stroke launches arrows at speeds up to 350 fps. The crossbow comes as a package with a multi-reticle scope, three-arrow quiver and three 20-inch arrows. (727) 234-4999; www.barnettcrossbows.com
DELTA MCKENZIE Wedgie
The Wedgie, from Delta McKenzie, is a freestanding, lightweight crossbow target you can set up and shoot most anywhere. Without supports it will stop arrows out of the fastest crossbows, and to make it even more appealing, it also prevents arrows from passing through. The striking graphics stand out on the white background and make great aim points. It weighs 36 pounds and has shot-stopping fill for long target life and use. Arrows are removed with one hand and little effort, no matter what bow you’re shooting. The Wedgie is 24 inches high and 24 inches wide, with a depth of 12 inches at the base, tapering to 4 inches at the top. It is meant for field point use; it doubles as a great discharge bag at the end of any hunt. (801) 539-1400; dmtargets.com
NAP Spitfire DoubleCross
This new broadhead designed specifically for crossbow enthusiasts requires no tuning and offers four cutting blades for quick take-down of big game. The leading edge is a Trophy Tip, which performs like a chisel on impact. Two blades open from the front on impact but even more cutting power is thrown into the equation with two more stainless steel blades that deploy from the rear. The head has a total cutting diameter of 1 7/8 inches, creating four cuts going into the hide and the same going out. Available in 100 grains, the DoubleCross is sold by the three pack; no collars or elastics required. (800) 323-1279; Newarchery.com