Best Crossbow Under 500 Dollars [Reviews + Buying Guides]
A crossbow is far more than just a simple tool or an item. It is a real weapon that is reserved for true hunters and for those who want to feel the energy of an arrow. Most people say that in the right hands, this weapon is more powerful than a gun.
At the same time, there is no sound, so you can enjoy stealth hunting. Keep reading to find out which is the best crossbow under 500 dollars which top our lists. Here is a quick summary on the best crossbow out there.
Table of Comparison (Top 4 Reviewed)
Best Crossbow Under 500 Reviewed
This model is truly special. It has all you are going to need like arrows, red dot sight etc and you can use it straightaway out from the box. The attention to details is impressive as well. The speed of the arrow can go up to 350 feet per second!
The look and design of this crossbow is impressive. It is stealth and easy to blend into any environment you wish to hunt. It also has some elements which are similar to actual, military crossbows, such as high-energy wheels and synthetic cable.
Red Dot Sight
The next best thing about this crossbow is the sight. It offers a red dot and is extremely accurate. What this means is that you will get a complete weapon available for use right out of the box.
Pros and Cons
2. CenterPoint Sniper 370 - Best Budget Crossbow
Here we have the best tactical crossbow that is a great value for money as it offers a lot.
First and foremost, this model is fully adjustable. This means that it can easily fit to the style of anyone. Then we have the velocity of 370 feet per second, which is slightly faster than similar models from this price range. This crossbow is available in camo (2 different versions) and in black color. For us, all three versions look appealing and tempting.
CNC Machined Aluminum Rail
The rail is made of a special type of aluminum. What this means is that the crossbow is lighter than similar models. This will make a huge difference in weight when you carry your it around the entire day while hunting. At the same time, it is also very durable.
These compressors are integrated into the string system and they have two advantages. The first one is a lower level of noise when the arrow is launched.
The second advantage is in the vibrations. Let’s just say that there are almost no vibrations when using this crossbow. Due to this special function, it will most certainly has a huge positive effect on your hunting results and performance.
Pros and Cons
3. Bear X Crossbows Archery Fortus - Best Crossbow under $400
This may be the best crossbow under $400 and there are a few reasons why you will also agree with us. The design of this weapon is modern and sophisticated, hence earning quite a fair amount of points in the looks department. The attention to details is impressive as well and each element is crafted with passion. Here are a few more facts you should know.
The overall design makes this crossbow one of the lightest models in the class. The overall weight is only 6.5 pounds which means that you will be able to carry it the entire day without getting sore arms.
It is also important to note that there are no quality or strength issues due to its low weight. This crossbow is indeed a durable and strong model to consider.
With this crossbow, you will get a scope which is accurate, desirable and better than most. This is possible because the tested model comes with a scope which is borrowed from other more expensive models. This is also the main reason why we liked this unit so much.
Pros and Cons
The last unit on our list is considered as a crossbow every single hunter can afford. You should know that it costs almost two times less than similar models.
Nevertheless, you will still get a professional unit which is capable of meeting most of your demands. It also looks impressive and the overall quality is above average.
Ambidextrous Auto Safety
It is rare to see systems like this one in crossbows of this price. As such, you will enjoy better safety at all times and you will be able to borrow this crossbow to your friends without having to worry about the consequences. This system also makes the crossbow more appealing to beginners.
Full Camo Design
Yes, this crossbow is painted in a camo color, but it is actually better than some other models have to offer. The pattern is almost identical to the one used in military weapons, so you get the best overall impression. When it comes to stealth hunting, this unit makes pass with flying colors.
Pros and Cons
Buying Guides of Crossbows
Here are some important points for you to consider before getting a crossbow.
1) Recurve or Compound Crossbow
The first thing to know is that you can choose between Recurve and compound crossbows. They are quite different and they are based on different principles. Recurve models are generally more affordable, lighter and simpler. They do require more power to draw and they are bigger.
Compound crossbows are simply the best. They are more sophisticated thanks to the lever and a pulley system they use. They are a bit heavier, but easier to use and the velocity is always higher. Their size is generally smaller than the first type, so you can use it in narrow spaces.
You saw that we mentioned velocity for every single model on our list. There is a perfectly good explanation for that. Velocity is simply the speed of the arrow. In most cases, you will look something as 350 feet per second. This is an average speed and it is sufficient for most of you.
We must add that there is no generalized method for the manufacturers to measure the speed of the arrow. For example, lighter arrows will achieve higher speed, but a less powerful hit. Heavier arrows will do a completely opposite thing. In this case, we will have to rely on the manufacturer’s specifications.
3) Dimensions of the crossbow
Dimensions of a crossbow are important because they must be adapted for each hunter. They must be matched perfectly if you are looking for the best results. In simple words, bigger crossbows require taller people with longer arms. Smaller ones are just ideal for shorter people. You definitely don’t want a big crossbow which is almost useless for you.
You also noticed that the weight is an important factor. Keep in mind that you will have to hold your crossbow for a longer period of time, while you are waiting for the perfect shot. The overall weight will make a huge difference here and will determine how long you can stay 100% accurate. Heavier models may be more powerful, but they are not always the best choice.
An interesting factor to consider is the width of a crossbow. If you hunt on open lands, you can get the widest crossbow available on the market. On the other side, if you hunt in narrow places, you will need a narrow crossbow, which offers easy maneuverability at all times. You should do more homework in order to help you discover the most suitable crossbow at least when it comes to width.
Scope is an essential accessory for every single crossbow and something you definitely must take into account. There are a lot of possibilities here, but at the end of a day, it all comes to the red dot systems.
Here we can see two options. The first one is to get a scope with a single red dot. It is a decent choice, but keep in mind that it will be accurate for one distance only, for 20 yards. Three dot systems are more desirable because they are accurate on 20, 30 and 40 yards.
You were able to see some models that come with features which will reduce the level of noise a crossbow makes. These systems are desirable. Don’t forget that a crossbow will make a lot more noise than a bow. Of course, this is a more advanced factor and it won’t be relevant for all of you. The quietest crossbow will always provide more accurate, repetitive hits.
Vibrations, when you launch an arrow, are annoying in the lack of a better word. They also affect the accuracy and they may be the reason why you missed your shots! That’s why you will need a crossbow which doesn’t have vibrations.
Usually more expensive models will have less or none vibrations. Or you can reduce the string oscillations (which generates vibration) of your crossbow.
Triggers can be divided into light and heavy ones. Lighter ones require less pressure in order to launch an arrow, while heavier require more pressure, obviously. We prefer the lighter ones, simply because they won’t make the crossbow move from the ideal position. Heavy ones are more likely to do that. However, this is a personal preference and this matter cannot be generalized.
You will definitely want a long warranty for your crossbow. Despite the fact they are affordable nowadays, a warranty can help you feel more secure and you will know that the crossbow you got is the perfect choice for you.
Look for 3 year warranty or longer. Keep in mind that warranty won’t cover bolts and strings. They are subjects of wear, so they will have to be replaced regularly. The warranty won’t cover the looks or graphics of a crossbow either.
There are a few accessories to consider. Always look for a case. Here we can see three possibilities. The first ones are soft cases which are the lightest of them all but offer the lowest level of protection. The second ones are hard cases which offer a much better protection, but they are heavier as well. The third type are hybrid cases, they are made of EVA materials, so they provide a superb protection and they are lightweight.
Look for bolts as well. This is another subject of wear so it will have to be replaced. More is merrier in this case scenario. The last but not least is the arrows. More arrows mean that you will have fewer arrows to get additionally. Most crossbows we tested come with 3-4 arrows.
12) Overall Quality
A crossbow will store a massive amount of kinetic energy. When released, it will significantly affect the integrity of a crossbow. A well-made crossbow must be able to withstand all of that, so you will need a durable and strong unit. Avoid those made of plastics. They are affordable, but they cannot withstand a longer period of use.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is velocity the main factor to be considered?
It is simply because you will be able to make more accurate and more powerful shots. Most people will pay attention to the velocity only when looking for a new crossbow.
2. Can I replace the string?
Yes, but you will have to consult a user manual. The process will depend on the type of a crossbow, the string and the system it uses.
3. How long can a single string last?
It will generally last 100 shots, but more is always possible. Keep in mind that you must lubricate and maintain the string at all times.
4. How can I prolong the lifespan of a crossbow?
With a proper maintenance, lubrication mostly of the synthetic system you can prolong the lifespan.
5. How long can an arrow stay cocked?
As long as you are in a stationary position. If or when you move, it is recommended to remove the arrow, due to personal safety.
6. How long can a crossbow last?
It depends, with proper usage and maintenance, it can last for decades.
In the end, all we can say is that all the 4 crossbows recommended above are the best crossbows under $500. However, if we were to pick a winner, it has to be the CenterPoint Sniper 370. It is the most accurate, the attention to details is impressive and really worth every buck!
Even if you are a beginner, you will appreciate the mentioned model. If you are a professional, then you will love it. Other models are also the best in their classes, so each one may be the best choice for you.