When it comes to the world of hunting, crossbows are great and easy to shoot for beginners and are also a favorite. Generally, they are easier to draw back compared to compound bows, making them the best choice for women, youth, and older people who are unable to use compound bows. A crossbow is also a good choice for hunters who often use rifles because of the similarity of its general design to a rifle – aiming and firing is also the same. In that regard, here is how to pick a crossbow for you.
1. Limb Style – Recurve Crossbows vs. Compound Crossbows
In the modern crossbow models, there are two main categories – the recurve crossbow and compound crossbow. So, when trying to find the best crossbow for the money, you must first decide whether you prefer a recurve crossbow or a compound one. The main difference between these two types of crossbows is that a recurve crossbows feature strings connected to the bow limbs. On the other hand, compound bows are a bit more complex with a cable running through a set of wheels or cams in the limb. If you will be sitting in a tight spot, you may find the compound crossbows quite convenient and easier to use. Usually, this type of crossbows has shorter limbs that help when maneuvering in small spaces. They also tend to have more power compared to recurve crossbows in terms of draw weight. The only disadvantage is that most compound crossbows have complicated stringing, which may prove challenging to some users. On the other hand, recurve crossbows are less powerful, but they are best for children, women and beginners because they are user friendly.
2. Draw Weight
The right draw weight of a crossbow for you will largely depend on how much you can draw back and what you are planning on hunting. Most draw weights of crossbows range from 75 to 200 pounds. If you are looking for a crossbow for hunting large animals, you will need to look for a bow with preferably draw weight of a 150-pound. If you are not able to cock your crossbow, consider buying a rope cocking aid (that will cut the draw weight in half), or a crank cocking aid (that is more difficult to use but requires between a 10 to 15-pound of force to draw back). Though, the arrow speed doesn’t necessarily depend on the draw weight.
3. Actual Weight
Having a lightweight crossbow that is easier to carry around while hunting can be a good choice for some hunters. However, the disadvantage of having a lightweight crossbow is you are lacking the much-needed weight to keep your equipment steady while you are shooting. If you are planning on hunting game that require you to travel/walk long distance, then a lightweight crossbow is the best option for you. Heavier crossbows works best for those hunters who would not be walking long distances because they are more stable, making them quite helpful with beginners.
4. Arrow Speed
It’s also important to note that different crossbows fire arrows at varying speeds. A crossbow speed is stated in FPS (feet per second). Larger and more powerful crossbows come with higher FPS. Speed is very important to every hunter as a faster bow gives the animal no time to react to the crossbow’s sound.
5. Limb Material
Initially, crossbows were specifically designed with heavyweight steel limbs. These days, bow limbs are designed with fiberglass. If weight is your concern, there are so many limbs out there that have laminated wood or plastic material. In addition, skeletal stock is widely available for people who want to buy lightweight equipment for hunting. Also, keep in mind that because heaviness improves stability, heavy weight crossbows make the shot more accurate. It therefore depends on whether you prefer buying lightweight equipment or a bow that will help you target precisely.
6. Points & Arrows
Appropriate arrow length and effective point is very important to consider while looking for a new crossbow. All manufacturers of this kind of equipment describe best arrows and point weight. Aluminum, composite and carbon arrows are easier to buy along with fixed or mechanical points. In this case, mechanical broad-head points help arrows to shoot much better. It’s therefore a good thing to consider arrows and points when picking a bow.
Conclusively, keeping all these pointers in mind will help you pick the right crossbow for your needs.