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 what are the best crossbow under 500 dollars which top our lists.

Product

Specifications

Price

  • Velocity: 315 feet/sec
  • 35.5 x 26.5 inches
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs

4.9/5

$$$$

  • Velocity: 370 feet/sec
  • 25 x 13 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 12.2 lbs

4.7/5

$$$

  • Velocity: 350 feet/sec
  • 32 x 4.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs

4.5/5

$$$

  • Velocity: 240 feet/sec
  • 33 x 11 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 5.2 lbs

4.2/5

$$


Best Crossbow Under 500 Reviewed

1. Barnett Jackal Crossbow - Editor's Top Pick

Best crossbow under 500

This model is simply the best crossbow under $500. As a matter of fact, the price is the most interesting factor to know. Despite the low price, this crossbow offers all you are ever going to need. It comes with a full package, so it has all you are going to need to use the crossbow straightaway and the attention to details is impressive as well. The speed of the arrow is 350 feet per second!

Military-Style Look

The look of the crossbow we have here is impressive in the lack of a better word. It is stealth and can blend in with any environment you will likely use it. We must add that this advantage makes the tested model even more appealing and desirable. It feels manly and highly desirable. Of course, it 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 the tested model is the sight. It offers a red dot and it is extremely accurate. What this means is that you will get a complete weapon available to use straightaway from the box.

Specifications

  • Velocity: 315 feet per a second

  • Energy: 95-foot pounds

  • Draw weight: 150 pounds
  • Sight: Yes, red dot
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 26.5 inches
  • Weight:  7.7 pounds
  • Length of the arrow: 20 inches

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Powerful model
  • Military style design
  • Red dot sight
  • High accuracy

CONS

  • Heavy for some users
  • Come with three arrows only

2. CenterPoint Sniper 370 - Best Budget Crossbow

Here we have the best tactical crossbow that is a great value for money, but at the same time, it offers a lot.

First and foremost, this model is fully adjustable, so it will fit everyone. Then we have the velocity of 370 feet per second, which is slightly higher than similar models from the class. The draw weight is 185 pounds. The tested model 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 and it is also very durable. This will make a huge difference when you carry your new crossbow the entire day while hunting. On the other hand, there are no drawbacks regarding the material and the way how it was processed.

Integrated Sup-Compressors

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 no any vibrations when using the crossbow in question. All experts will tell you that this is a system that makes a huge difference and allows better performances.

Specifications

  • Velocity: 370 feet per second

  • Draw weight: 185 pounds

  • Power stroke: 13.50
  • Colors: 3 different ones
  • System: Compound
  • Dimensions: 25 x 13 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 12.2 pounds

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Vibration free use
  • Perfect scope
  • Available in three different colors
  • Value for money
  • Fully adjustable

CONS

  • Possible limb issues
  • Requires plenty of maintenance

3. Bear X Crossbows Archery Fortus - Best Crossbow under $400

This may be the best crossbow and it is definitely one of the best you can have now. There are a few reasons why you will like the tested model.

The design is modern and sophisticated, so this unit looks better than most competitor models. The attention to details is impressive as well and each element is crafted with passion. But, there are a few more facts you should know.

Lightweight Design

The overall design makes this crossbow one of the lightest models in the class. The overall weight is 6.5 pounds which means that you will be able to carry it the entire day and you won’t get tired. Try to remember that there are no quality or strength issues due to low weight. This is still a durable and strong model to consider.

Superb Scope

With the crossbow, you will get a scope which is accurate, desirable and better than most other units you can get. This is possible because the tested model comes with a scope which is borrowed from more expensive models. At the same time, this is another reason why we liked this unit so much.

Specifications

  • Velocity: 350 feet per second

  • Draw weight: 180 pounds

  • Trigger: 3XS trigger system
  • Colors: 3 different ones
  • Dimensions: 32 x 4.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Color: Black

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Velocity
  • Advanced trigger mechanism
  • Superb scope
  • All accessories are included in the package

CONS

  • Available in black color only
  • Complicated user manual

4. SA Sports Fever Crossbow

The last unit on our list is considered as a crossbow every single hunter can afford. This is true if you 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 the average.

Ambidextrous Auto Safety

It is rare to see systems like this one in crossbows of this price. A good thing is that the tested model comes with it. As such, you will enjoy better safety at all times and you will be able to borrow this crossbow to your friend without having to worry about the consequences. The mentioned systems also make 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 on military weapons, so you get the best overall impression. When it comes to stealth hunting, this unit makes it possible.

Specifications

  • Color: Camo

  • Scope: Yes

  • Arrows included in the package: 4
  • Dimensions: 33 x 11 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 5.2 pounds

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • More than just affordable
  • Comes with all you are going to need in order to use the crossbow
  • Safety system
  • Camo design

CONS

  • Attention to details
  • Some elements are made of cheap materials

Buying Guides of Crossbows

Regardless of the fact are you looking for the excalibur crossbow matrix 405 mega crossbow with twilight dlx, treestand, 290-pound or another model, you will have to know something about the factors which must be taken into account. These ones, which will be mentioned below are the most important of them all and they can make a difference in helping you make the right choice. The right choice refers to the most suitable crossbow for your requirements.

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.

Velocity

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.

Dimensions of 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.

Weight

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. 

Width

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

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.

Noises

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

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.

Trigger

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.

Warranty

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.

Accessories

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.

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.


FINAL VERDICT

Barnett Jackal Crossbow

In the end, all we can say is that these are the best models. For us, the Barnett Jackal is the best crossbow under 500 dollars at the moment. It is the most accurate, the attention to details is impressive and the overall design is sophisticated. 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 considered as the best in their classes, so each one may be the best choice for you.

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