The SAS 80 Pound is our pick for the best pistol crossbow, which has a self-cocking design and it has a sight that is easy to adjust. The draw weight is at 80 lbs with this unit.
Our step-up pick is the Prophecy Self-cocking and this one has a power stroke of 6 4/5 inches and also has an adjustable sight. The arrow can travel up to 165 fps and it is fairly easy to set up.
The budget pick is the Ace Martial Arts and it has a fiberglass bow that is molded, and can go for up to 165 fps of speeds. It is a cobra system designed item and has a strong plastic body as well.
A Little Background
A pistol crossbow is a kind of crossbow that is mostly used by hunters, especially game hunters. This kind of bow need to be durable when it comes down to game hunting so that you will not easily let any kind of game get away with a defective kind of item. If you go for game hunting often, you might find that different bows do have different kinds of effectiveness depending on the surroundings, conditions and game being hunted.
Any kind of crossbow requires a lot of precision. Aiming towards a target using your bow takes a lot of practice. For instance, you should consider your surroundings as factors, such as the direction of the wind, the distance of the target, how fast the target is moving (if it moves) and other factors such as the kind of bow and arrow you use.
These factors can be overwhelming for the beginner, but if you practice well enough, you will get better at it sooner. It is important to keep in mind these factors, so that when the real battle comes, you will be ready enough. It takes years of practice in order to get good at archery, and in order to get a better aim for your target, whether it is a stationary one or if it is a moving one.
Archery is also a tough sport to handle because it requires a lot of accuracy. Archery is a serious sport that can be played by many people, and it has been practiced for years, as bows have been around since the old ages for combat use and long range shooting. Archery requires a lot of precision and grip strength when aiming, and it gets harder if your target is a moving target, and you need to consider your arrow count.
Game hunting is also a tough but rewarding hobby or sport. Game hunting has been around since the old ages, and the kind of bow has changed through the years, but the concept remains the same. If all the conditions are right, it can be easy to hunt, but if the conditions are not favorable, that is where precision skills and creativity plays an important part for any game hunter.
Moving targets are the hardest to capture and hit. However, it is the ultimate test of skill. Whether it is a hunted game or a machine, moving targets can help practice your accuracy as you try to fight against the odds of shooting in an unfavorable condition. Whether you are using a bow for sports or for hunting, the rules apply pretty much similarly, and it is all about how you handle your bow that counts as effort.
Bows today are unlike the old bows that have been used in the old ages. While they were only mostly made out of materials that are organic, today's bows and arrows are made with stronger parts as well as more aerodynamic materials that can fight against the wind directions. Old bows and new bows can be handled easily, but it still depends on your skills in handling, including your grip strength.
How we Picked
In choosing the best pistol crossbow, you should know about the following:
Materials used: you should consider a bow that is made out of durable materials so that it will be durable enough to withstand the test of hunting outdoors or for use in the wilderness or in any sport. The materials can vary depending on the type that you have and it should be lightweight and durable so that accuracy will not be sacrificed.
Ease of aiming: like we said, a bow that has a good weight means that it will be a lot easier to aim and to hold onto. Aiming is very crucial whenever you want to use a bow for hunting or for archery purposes, by which you need something that can stay stable no matter what kind of condition comes into play.
Durability: you should also consider a bow that is very durable in its build so that it will not compromise on any kind of sporting performance that is needed or for hunting purposes. It pays to invest in something that can be used for the many years to come so that you can get more value for your investments later on.
Intended purpose: you should consider where you want to use your kind of bow, either for game hunting or for target practice for archery. For instance, those that are for archery require precision as well as power and speed. However, those that are meant for game hunting can be faced with harsh environmental situations so you need a greatly durable one.
As our top pick, the SAS 80 Pound has a draw weight of 80 lbs, which is like most crossbows out there. It has an adjustable sight so that you can use it on the go and adapt to your target anytime. The self-cocking design makes your life so much easier, whether you are game hunting or target practicing. It also comes with a total of 27 bolts as well as a backup string in case it gets broken.
Arrows that can be shot with it go up to 160 fps, which is fairly fast. The whole unit is very easy to setup and configure for most beginners and the package also comes with 2 end caps. When it comes down to cocking, this bow does not require a lot of energy at all so it is a breeze to use, while not sacrificing the good speed it can give you.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
While not a deal breaker, the SAS 80 Pound may need to be adjusted with elevation, but it is a minor thing to consider overall.
As our step-up pick, the Prophecy Self-cocking is also pretty fast for its travel speed at up to 165 fps. The included sight is also adjustable so it can match your targeting needs. The power stroke is at 6 4/5 inches and the design is very easy to set up. The draw weight of the whole bow is at 80 lbs, like most out there. It also uses the cobra system for its entire mechanism.
With this bow, over a good distance, you can definitely achieve better speeds without having to draw with too much effort and force, and you can do all of that quickly. The stock of the unit is made out of wood-feel aluminum so that it will not easily deteriorate due to its good amount of durability. The ease of cocking this bow makes life simpler when hunting or practicing. It also comes with 2 end caps and an extra string.
As our budget pick, the Ace Martial Arts is a great crossbow to consider, which has a draw of 80 lbs and average speeds of up to 165 fps. It has a self-cocking design and technology and it is made with a fiberglass bow material that has been molded and compressed for added durability along with the plastic body. Using the cobra system in its build, it is made with 3 aluminum arrows to go along with the package.
Bearing a tactical sight that can be easily adjusted, you are now ready to take on any targeting challenge ahead. The metal tips of the arrows allow for better target acquisition. Reloading time is also a breeze due to the fast cocking mechanism. Whether you want to use it for target practice or for game hunting, it will work just fine. It comes with user instructions and is also very easy to use for beginners.
Best Pistol Crossbow with an All-Metal Body
The MTech USA DX-80 is a great choice for those who want something that is made from an all-metal body, most likely for durability purposes. It can fire up to 160 fps when it comes down to the speed of its bow arrows. A total of 3 aluminum bolts are included in the package for ease of setup and usage. It also has a short reload time due to the fast cocking mechanism.
It has a self-cocking ability so it is a breeze to use in the target range and in game hunting. It has a draw weight of 80 lbs and it has a total length of 20 inches. All you need to do for cocking the bow is to use the pivoting arm lever. It can be used for small game hunting as well as for when you are practicing your targets in archery.
Best Pistol Crossbow with Free Arrows
The Last Punch 80lbs comes with free arrows so you can get started right away. It is a great and challenging way to help yourself get ahead in game hunting as well as in archery or target practice. The full metal body also makes it attractive and durable at the same time, plus it adds a sense of style. There is a red dot scope that will be very useful for when you are on the field and hunting game.
Another great thing to consider is that the speed is fairly good at 160 fps for each arrow shot. It is also made with a self-cocking mechanism that makes your hunting life so much easier, along with a draw weight of 80 lbs. The 15-piece arrow set will also be a sure-fire way for you to get started on your shooting and target practice. There is also an accuracy bolt retainer for aiding your targeting needs.
Best Pistol Crossbow that is Self-Cocking
If you want a bow that is self-cocking in its design and mechanism, the Snake Eye Tactical is a good choice for you. It also comes with a pack of 15 arrows that are ready to use and are all made of metal materials. It is also very easy to load due to the simplified mechanism, and it also makes use of the renowned cobra system that makes hunting and archery easier in the long run.
This bow has a draw weight of 80 lbs as well and has a durable metal body that has gold color for the outer finish. Because of the easy to load design, you don’t need a lot of force in order to draw or use the bow for your targeting and hunting needs. There is also an accuracy bolt retainer that comes with a package.
Best Pistol Crossbow for Archery
The Wizard Archery Aluminum is great for archery and has a draw weight of 80 lbs. It also has a self-cocking design so it is easy to fire and easy to aim. The arrows are pretty fast and can travel up to 160 fps, much like our top pick. Unlike other picks we have, it has a 4-duck decal which measures 5.5 x 4.75 inches. An extra string is included in the package plus 27 bolts as well.
For aiming better, it also has an adjustable rear sight to make things easier with moving targets from time to time. You also won’t have to spend a lot of energy to cock because it is not a totally full sized bow and is a semi-automatic one at that. Two end caps are included in the package along with the other accessories. The strength of the limb is so good that stringing requires two people.
Best Pistol Crossbow with a Picatinny Rail
If you want a picatinny rail style bow, the Spartan Red Back is for you. It works like one of those rifles that have a picatinny rail on them so you can mount basically almost anything on the bow mechanism, such as dot scopes and the like. The top of the bow is also secured with an ambidextrous safety system for all kinds of users. There is also anti-dry fire protection that is present on the unit.
Even if it is quite durable, the soft grip handle helps you to eliminate use fatigue all in all. While assembling, you won’t have to compromise on broken limbs due to the unique bow stringer system that also includes 3 plastic bolts. The result of this bow is super fast arrows of up to 235 feet per second, allowing a high speed over a good distance and in a very short time. It can be used well for game hunting.
Best Pistol Crossbow Made of Fiberglass
The BladesUSA DX-70 80LBS is a fiberglass made bow that has a total length of 20 inches. It does not compromise on durability due to the inclusion of the nylon fiber body. The speed is fairly good at 160 fps and its draw of 80 lbs is also pretty good. A total of 3 aluminum bolts are included in the package for easy setup, while reload time can be shortened thanks to its super fast cocking mechanism.
You can definitely make use of it whether you are going for small game hunting or practicing on your archery skills. The ease of assembly is good for beginners and it seems very fun to shoot with due to the right amount of recoil on it. The accuracy can reach about 20 feet in length and it has a solid balance and feel while penetrating into any target or tree at about 2 inches deep.
Best Pistol Crossbow with Anti-Dry Fire Trigger
For those who want something that has an anti-dry fire trigger safety mechanism, the PSE Viper SS is for you. It can be very useful for precision shooting due to the track style rail. There is also sufficient hand safety due to the finger guard. There is also a second safety mechanism lock that comes with the cocking mechanism. It shoots pretty fast at up to 215 fps or feet per second.
The draw weight is super lightweight at only 50 lbs, with 1.6 lbs of mass weight. This one is classified as a recreational bow mechanism yet it fires pretty good. A total of 3 frenzy bolts are included in the package to get you going. The materials that make up its construction include durable composite with some aluminum, so it won’t easily crack over time. You can definitely count on it for target practices involving plywood and the like.
While some were worthy for our list, some were also not ideal because they had defects in some parts, making them less likely to be effective in aiming and in shooting, even in good conditions.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are bows?
A: Bows are uniquely designed and modernized weaponry that combine a full sized bow and the mechanism of a gun. They can be used for target practice or for game hunting, as well as for some archery sporting events or mixed events. They are a useful weapon when it comes down to the wilderness, and have good precision that do not need to be cocked as much as a regular bow.
Q: What are some differences between a bow and a gun for game hunting?
A: Most people find game hunting quite tedious, but a fun sport or hobby. Some people debate on whether to use a bow or a gun for game hunting, in which we break down some of their differences below:
Hunting with a Gun
Hunting with a Bow
Hunting with a gun can be more costly due to the cost of guns, rifles and the shooting range.
Bows can be expensive too, but most target practice areas don’t really charge you as much. Bows also wear less often.
Choice of quarry
Gun and rifle hunting is ideal for close range and are thus, ideal for moving game. The range of most gun and rifle hunting gear would be around 10 to 50 yards.
Hunters who often use a bow can go for farther distances, from 50 to 300 yards, which is amazing. Bows are very flexible and they are ideal for stationary game.
Gun bullets can easily penetrate through any animal for an instantaneous kill, which can skip the suffering of the animal, which is important for animal ethics.
Hunters who consider bow hunting might be at risk if their arrows or bolts are not sharp enough and might even make the animal suffer if not dead yet.
Hunting with a gun or rifle can be hard at first, but it is actually easier than learning a bow because you don’t have to draw it.
A bow needs to be drawn before it is fired, unlike a gun or a rifle. However there are special gun bows that work to combine the two concepts.
Regulations and hunting seasons
Guns and rifles can be allowed in certain hunting seasons depending on where you live, so it’s best to ask first before you hunt.
Just like with guns and rifles, bows may also be regulated by your local government and have seasons that are set for them.
Where and when to practice
Practicing can be hard because shooting ranges are not always available in your locality.
Training for shooting with a bow can be done in most yards due to the small space requirements.
Q: What are some of the most modern uses of bows?
A: While the technology and idea of bows have been a thing since the 1930s, here are the different modern uses of this kind of weaponry:
1. They are used for game hunting.
2. They can be used for archery.
3. If you’re fond of target practice, that works, too.
4. Some cases permit you to use them for self-defense.
5. Rarely, some disciplinary governing bodies use them to control crime.
Q: What are the different kinds of bows out there?
A: The bow is not just one type: there can be many types, such as the following:
The gun bow has a draw weight of 80 lbs but some can go for up to 150 lbs of draw weight. They can be very small and compact so they may be easy for most beginners in archery and in game hunting, plus they have a good grip.
The compound ones have more pulleys and the mechanism allows a natural string draw back method. The shot energy comes from the bended limbs of the weapon.
This is a kind of bow that is great for adding acceleration to your every shooting. The only downside to this kind of bow is that it can be a bit too noisy, but you can remedy it with a silencer for the bowstring. Because of its difficulty of usage, it can be ideal for expert archers.
This one is great for aiming and has better targeting and drawing power at up to 150 lbs. It is usually made out of fiber that is of heavy duty so that it can withstand impact and recoil. It may also come with sights for ease of aiming.
If you want to shoot projectiles instead of regular arrows or bolts, this is a great kind of bow for you. It can be made with various projectiles like clay, lead or stone. The design of the string is double and it has a barrel and a slot for the string in most models.
This kind of bow is great for faster rate of shooting so it is great for those who need more acceleration and a better projectile launch.
Q: What are the aspects of your health and skills that can be practiced and/or enhanced by doing archery?
A: Archery is a very noble sport which has been practiced since ancient times. Here are some great reasons to get into it:
The cool thing about archery is that it can enhance your coordination because you are using both your hands and your eyes and they should go together to produce an accurate shot.
Better upper body strength
Because you are mostly using your arms and other parts of your upper body, you can definitely exercise them because you are using some force in order to draw your arrow and bow properly.
A sense of balance
You will also get a better sense of balance if you practice archery because it will help you to balance your hands and your for as you make your way into shooting your target, whether it is a moving target or a stationary one.
Cardiovascular endurance through walking
Because you also need to walk around the target areas often, you get some cardiovascular benefits when you keep walking, especially out in the sun.
Leg power through constant walking
You also enhance your leg power because you use them to walk or run around the course to hit your next target.
Better mental focus
You also improve your brain’s ability to focus and stay accurate to a certain target or element so that you can be able to do things better with any task or sport.
Q: Why do people get into game hunting?
A: Game hunting has been a sport and a hobby from the ages of the old Assyrian empire (way back 4,000 years ago) so you can tell that the sport is very old. People have always been hunting game since the world began, and here are some possible reasons why:
1. Most people use trophy animals as a symbol of power (and manliness). Think of Gaston in the classic Beauty and the Beast – his collection of trophy animals seem to display and add to his overwhelming masculinity.
2. Many rich and wealthy people also use them as a display of personal wealth. If you’re a big game hunter then that means you have a lot of cash at hand, you’re well-off and you’re just using trophy animals to display wealth.
3. In rare cases, some hunters can actually preserve wildlife through their rich hobby. This works by paying the organizations privilege for certain wildlife areas to be accessed, and the funds go to wildlife preservation efforts. In fact, many hunters today are more responsible than before when it comes down to animal preservation.
Q: Why do moralists believe trophy hunting is bad?
A: Trophy hunting or game hunting has always been a problem for many moralists due to ethical concerns and other problems, such as the following:
It’s never really nice to kill animals.
Let’s face it – when animals get killed, there’s always vegans and PETA at your back. Many argue that animals are also living beings, and they deserve to be respected.
Some trophy hunters deplete wildlife populations and make species endangered.
Trophy hunting can definitely be a way to endanger certain species, as has been proven in the past. This is why many game hunting areas have strict rules such as seasons for hunting.
Some trophy hunters also disturb the ecosystem other than the wildlife.
While not all of them, there are still some that are just irresponsible with the environment and don’t really care about the ecosystem of the wildlife after they have hunted the trophy.
Q: Do all trophy hunters or game hunters deplete species?
A: Not all of them – certain conservative game hunters actually contribute to wildlife organizations in order to address the problems of poaching and species depletion. For instance:
1. Most of them pay these wildlife conservation organizations to gain access to certain areas for hunting, in which the organization uses the funds to prevent unregulated hunting and poaching.
2. Many of the game hunters nowadays are more responsible with the sport or the hobby. There is a common saying among them that “if it pays, it stays”, referring to the fund contribution in the same way, they know how to limit their hunting spree.
3. A lot of countries around the world today have stricter rules and regulations with game hunting, tagging, seasons and the like. In fact, there are also certain parts of the world that do have specific bow seasons.
Q: What are some problems faced by game hunting and deer hunting?
A: In the United States, deer hunting and game hunting are being faced with many challenges, such as the following:
1. It is often given misconceptions by political bodies.
2. Because of this, many wildlife managements are forced with unfriendly rules for game hunters.
3. The youngsters nowadays can be difficult to scout and train for deer hunting.
4. Many hunters nowadays invest more in gadgets than in training for their skills.
5. Mass media gives us an unrealistic stereotype of game hunting that makes it look easy.
6. Many predators can also take your game away.
7. Deer and game might also catch certain diseases that can decrease their population.
8. Some people are super addicted to food plots.
Q: What are some misconceptions about game hunting?
A: Many people always think badly of game hunting, not really knowing about the facts. Here are some things about game hunting that people often get wrong:
“Game hunters are bad to animals.”
Not all the time, and not all hunters think of the same way or do the same way. Most of them hunt down species that are overpopulated and are not endangered, so they are actually helping to preserve wildlife. Also, when they kill the animals, they do it in a way that does not prolong the suffering (one-shot kill) to avoid the animal or hunted game to feel uncomfortable before dying.
“Game hunters often use the money paid by taxpayers.”
Not true, as they use their own money to actually pay the conservation organizations and the government for tags, licenses and the right to go hunting in an area.
“Game hunters are trigger happy.”
Not all game hunters will violently shoot anything other than game. Most of them are actually well trained with safety, security and staying gentle and sane. Not all game hunters are irresponsible with their firearms.
“Game hunting can decrease wildlife population.”
This depends on where you live, and the rules that apply. In the United States, many states actually have stricter laws when it comes down to game hunting, which can actually help with the conservation of wildlife in the long run. Seasons that are designated per year and per area can help preserve deer and other hunted game.
“Game hunters are selfish.”
Not all of them are selfish and only care about their trophies. Some also share whatever they’ve killed and use the food (meat) to give to the less fortunate people, especially in the African countries where most game hunters go.
“Game hunting can disrupt owned lands.”
This is not always true, because many properties and game hunting sanctuaries are given clear and concise rules and regulations, to which most hunters really do follow.
“Game hunters do it as a sport.”
Not all game hunters regard it as a sport – some of them actually try to conserve the wildlife population and do not care about game count.
Q: Do you need a license to use bows?
A: Licensing for bows depends on where you live. You should ask around for licensing needs depending on whether bows are classified as offensive weapons in your area or locality. Most countries and areas, however, permit them as long as they are made only for game hunting or archery practices.
Q: What are the materials used for bow making?
A: Different bow materials can be any of the following:
Carbon is very well known for its durability and it is preferred if you want some aerodynamics in your weapon. This means that it will resist wind easily so that you can handle it with great ease.
Plastic is ultra lightweight but it can also be less durable. The problem with plastic is that not all of the plastic materials out there can be sturdy, and this can lead to some performance problems.
Alloy can be a great alternative to carbon and plastic if you want something that is durable and does not easily rust or get corrosion at the same time. It is also a little more durable than aluminum. Alloy bows are made with various metals to make it stronger.
Aluminum takes on a different twist from alloy because of its lightweight feel. Aluminum is a great choice if you want a fair amount of aerodynamics and durability as well.
Wood has been used in the old ages and rarely used today. However, it can still be durable, and it can be a great challenge for those who want to use an archery bow that is made from organic material, so they will feel like a real Robin Hood.
Q: What are some misconceptions about archery?
A: Archery can be given misconceptions by people who are not into the sport, by which we are going to clear out with the following myths and facts:
“You need to have good vision in order to be good in archery.”
As long as you have vision aids, such as prescription glasses and even tactical sighting equipment, you will be fine! This is because eye aiming and precision only accounts for a few percentage for your overall archery performance.
“It can be a very dangerous sport.”
Actually, it is one of the safest sports out there, according to most statistics. Players don’t really move around much often, hence they may be less likely to have sprains and injuries as compared to moving sports.
“You need to be strong in order to draw the bow.”
Firing the bow and arrow combination isn’t always going to require a lot of brute strength. There are many bows out there that are only 28 lbs in their draw weight, which can be ideal for kids and for beginners so that they don’t have to start with a stressful bow.
“Archery can get boring due to lack of movement.”
Actually, archery can mean more than just staying still – it means that you are working your arm muscles a lot and your brain is doing some work when it comes down to the proper aim.
“Archery equipment such as bows can be expensive.”
Archery equipment can vary in price, and you can really get some really nice equipment without having to spend too much. It is just a matter of looking out on the ideal bow for you.
Q: What are the differences between arrows and bolts?
A: Arrows and bolts can be different from each other, but both of them can be used for bows. Here are the main differences between the two:
1. A bolt is something that is less than 16 inches in its length. It is usually shaped similar to a bullet that comes from a shotgun or a rifle for target shooting. Bolts are shorter and are meant for certain distances.
2. An arrow is something that is 16 inches or more, and can be from 20 to 22 inches in length as per standard. Arrows are typically longer than standard bolts, and can be great for farther distances.
Q: What are the different types of arrow points?
A: There are different types of arrow points out there, such as the following:
1. Bullet and field – these ones have the best opportunity to be used in big game during the season of hunting. It might need to have some adjustments on the sight of your bow, however.
2. Judo or grabbing – these points are made for practicing due to the claw-like structure so it is very unique in its design. The weight is just right, like most broad designed points.
3.Blunt – these ones are ideal for small game due to being made from rubber.
4. Bow fishing – these points have barbs and are meant for fishing for game, as well as other aquatic species you can find with it.
Q: How are bows different from compound bows?
A: The bow and the compound bow can have differences, such as the following:
Has an average draw weight of 80 to 150 lbs.
Compound bows have an average draw weight of 10 to 50 lbs.
Bows are inferior to compound bows in accuracy.
Compound bows are better for accuracy due to the string loops.
Bows are usually portable and easier to carry.
Compounds bows are traditional and can get bulky.
The mass weight of a bow can be greater than that of a compound bow today.
While compound bows look bulky, they are actually lighter in terms of mass weight.
Q: What are the parts of a bow?
A: The following are the important parts of the bow:
1. Sight bridge – this part holds the sight.
2. String – this helps you draw your arrow or bolts.
3. Quiver – the built-in quiver in the bow.
4. Trigger – the trigger used to fire the bow with arrows or bolts.
5. Barrel – the housing that is made with aluminum or polymer.
6. Latch – catches the string when you draw the bow.
7. Flight groove – keeps the arrow in the right alignment for the string.
8. Cocking stirrup – prevents the likelihood of slipping during cocking.
9. Stock – usually made of wood and is also a housing part.
10. Riser – this part is where you attach the limbs.
11. Safety – a mechanism that keeps accidental arrow releases at bay.
Q: What accessories can you put on a bow?
A: The following are some accessories you can put on a bow:
2. Points and broadheads
3. Bolts and arrows
Q: What is the average speed of a bow’s arrow or bolt?
A: A bow arrow can go as far as 220 to 240 fps on the average, but some can go as far as 300 to 350 fps, depending on the design of your bow and how far you can fire it. FPS refers to the feet per second that is traveled by the arrow, and determines the speed of the said arrow as it travels from your bow to the said target.
Q: What are the parts of archery arrows?
A: Before you get into archery, you should know the basics of arrows. There are different parts of archery arrows, such as:
1. Fletching – helps your arrow gain flight with the use of feathers or vanes.
2. Shaft – the main body of your arrow which is the stick itself.
3. Point – the tip of your arrow that is the sharpest.
4. Nock – the part of the arrow that is at the end of the fletching.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, we think that the SAS 80 Pound is our pick for the best pistol crossbow due to the sufficient 80-lb draw weight, the ease of adjustment for the sight and the self-cocking design that makes game hunting or target practice a breeze.