Five of the Best Crossbows You Can Buy

Own the latest in speed, compact-size and quiet-shooting technology

   04.28.20

The evolution of crossbow technology has taken huge leaps in recent years, with bows becoming faster, more compact and quieter every year. The latest bows unveiled at ATA 2020 did not disappoint and have taken things to some sweet new levels. Whether you’re new to crossbows or a seasoned crossbow shooter, now is a great time to get into some of the best crossbows available.

Some of the common questions associated with crossbows are open to some interpretation. The most common asked is, who makes the fastest crossbow on the market? There are a couple of crossbows pushing the 450-470 feet per second mark. Speed is relative, though. Crossbow bolt weight, wind speed, temperature and more all play into it. Another question is who makes the most accurate crossbow. The same elements of speed play into accuracy, along with the shooter and the trigger. Practice makes perfect when it comes to accuracy, and good triggers, which are one of the latest developments in crossbow technology, are key to being consistently accurate with a crossbow.

1. TenPoint Vapor RS470 - Editor’s Pick

Year in and year out, Ten Point is the top brand in crossbow development, dependability and design for the past 27 years. The RS470 sends a bolt screaming along at 470fps with a stunning 191 foot/lbs. Of kinetic energy. It operates with Ten Point’s S1 trigger system that has a consistent 3.5lb. Pull and zero creep, making it easier to focus on your target and improve your accuracy. Reverse draw design and the Accu-Slide cocking aid give you a 6.5-inch width when cocked and 5lbs. Of force needed to cock the bow. Plus the Accu-Slide system allows for easy decocking, too, making it easier to come out of the woods after the hunt.

Pros/Extreme speed and accuracy, along with the ability to easily cock and de-cock the bow.
Cons/The price makes this for serious shooters only.
Bottom Line/Currently the best crossbow on the market in our opinion.

2. Ravin R29X

If there is one company that pushed the envelope of crossbow technology, it is Ravin. The company broke barriers for speed with bows that were long and lean, and now they do the same with one of the most compact crossbows ever to hit the market. The 29X has a tight 6-inch axle-to-axle width when cocked and a speed of 450fps. The bullpup design makes this one of the shortest full-size crossbows ever. Their Helicoil technology makes the bolt float, with little contact with the rail, for optimal flight and reduced friction, making the bow last longer. The built-in cocking mechanism is silent, making this a great bow for ground hunting, as well as in the stand.

Pros/Extremely compact and silent cocking.
Cons/Again, that price is a little tough to swallow.
Bottom Line/If you need compact size and speed combined, this is it!

3. Barnett HyperGhost 425 - Best Buy

The Barnett HyperGhost is, in our opinion, the best Barnett crossbow to date. The company has been in the speed business for years and the HyperGhost 425 is a smoker. We hunted with one last season and found it to be excellent, with great, consistent speed and a great trigger. Three pounds of pull and zero creep, make this a trigger system worthy of a high-end rifle. The bow itself pushes Barnett’s Hyperflite bolts out with 152 ft/lbs. of kinetic energy for some serious thump down range. The best part is the price! You can score this bow for under $800!

Pros/Great trigger, plenty of speed and great price.
Cons/At 7.7 pounds, it’s a little heavy.
Bottom Line/A great bow at a great price!

4. Wicked Ridge RDX400

Wicked Ridge started off as a less-expensive alternative brand for Ten Point, but has taken on a life of its own as a premier brand of crossbow that brings value along with technology. The RDX400 has a reverse-draw for a compact design mixed with speed and versatility. It has Ten Point’s Pro View scope, string stops, a 400fps speed and the Accu-Draw Pro Cocking system for swift, effortless cocking. The RDX400 has what Wicked Ridge was known best for too – a great price. At under $900 for the Accu-Draw Pro model, this is the best performing reverse draw crossbow you’ll find for under $1,000.

Pros/A lot of crossbow for the price.
Cons/The speed is a little slow for the cost of the bow compared to other models.
Bottom Line/A great bow for the money, as you’d expect from Wicked Ridge.

5. PSE Thrive 400

PSE has always been a player in the speed game in vertical bows, and in the crossbow world, they have carved out a niche as a maker of extremely affordable crossbows that crank out good speed. The big thing with PSE is the price. For less than $400, you get a great bow that produces 400fps and 142 ft/lbs of kinetic energy. Is it loaded with the latest technologies? No, but it is a solid performer. It comes with a cocking rope, illuminated scope and several bolts, including a decocking bolt. It makes this list by being an exceptional value for the shooter looking for a fast, quality crossbow that doesn’t require spending a lot of money.

Pros/Great bow for the money.
Cons/Nothing fancy, but that's kind of the point.
Bottom Line/If you’re looking for an inexpensive bow with some speed, here you go.