Crossbow advice?

Thread starter #1
So I used to be one of those, " a crossbow? If I can't kill a deer with a bow I just won't bow hunt" guys. Well long story short a back injury put a stop to my bow hunting, haven't picked one up in several years so I ended up selling my bow. This year I joined another club that has two agricultural fields, one soybeans and one corn, with a hardwood finger winding through a clear cut leading up to the fields. With the crops harvested the deer have moved on for the most part but the sign from early season has gotten my bow blood pumping again:clap:. My predicament is I've never even touched a crossbow but am considering one, what all do I need to get started and could someone suggest a good one to start with, looking for something good enough to kill a deer with a good trigger, doesn't have to be top of the line just something that will do the job, will even consider a recurve. Would appreciate any advice :yeah:
 

cmtemple

Senior Member
I too was always a die hard bow hunter who looked down his nose at a crossbow until health issues happened and not as steady and strong as used to be so I got a center point 370 sniper for Christmas last year and love it killed one of my best bucks with it this year.do not let the price scare you it is well build and fast
 

shdw633

Senior Member
You can also look at the Bruin Ambush 410. Great crossbow, great price for a lot of crossbow. I have the same crossbow in the 370 model and I really like it.
 

dwhee87

Senior Member
There are quite a few decent starter crossbows out there for under $400, and most will come with a quiver and a few arrows. I've got a Horton that ran me $299. It's a 150lb, and I don't have any touble manually cocking it. If you have back issues, consider a mechanical cocker of some kind. The arrows they come with are OK to target practice with, but I bought a half dozen graphite 20-in shafts. I've found that mechanical broadheads fly closer to target tips than anything else I've tried.

Mine came with a red dot sight (20, 30, 40) and can get me a 6-in group at 40, tighter at 20 and 30.

Get a good crossbow target, and practice from positions you'll be shooting from (i.e.: elevated). I found that inside 15 yds, my arrow is flying a little higher than (maybe 2-in) than where I'm aiming when I am shooting down from a stand.

Good luck. I've killed 6 or 7 deer with my $299 Horton. It's a little loud, but when I'm keeping my shots within 30 yds, and its shooting 360 fps, that's not much of an issue.
 

Milkman

Retired Moderator
I have had neck and shoulder problems for years. I ibought a Horton back in 2002 when the restrictions were lifted. Without looking at it I think it is a Yukon. I think it costed about $200 scope and all back then. I have shot several with it over the years including one this season.

So you don’t have to get the ultramodern top of the line to get into it. One advantage you will find is it doesn’t take as much practice as a compound to be accurate.

Be sure you get some sort of device to help cock it.
Good luck with your decision
 
Check out the Hickory Creek vertical crossbow, you will be impressed, its quite and fast and very accurate. Easier to carry in the woods because its vertical and not horizontal. You can watch videos of it on you tube also. It is probably the safest bow on the market!!
 
I can't shoot firearms anymore due to tinnitus so this year purchased a PSE Fang 350 XT. Shortly afterwards they had a recall due to certain models possibly having triggers out of spec. PSE sent a shipping label and quickly sent out a new replacement bow with all accessories. So nice response to the issue.

The scope that comes with it is not high quality but is doing the job so far. I've shot in practice 40 yds with reasonable accuracy though not what I was expecting.

If buying again would look hard at that Centerpoint 370 Sniper. My neighbor bought one that I shot.
Less expensive, little faster, aluminum rail, nice trigger.
 
One word, Excalibur.

It's the 4WD of crossbows. Balanced design, easy to maintain. No cams to get out of time and you don't need a press to change the string. You can change the string or replace a cut string in the field with the string changer, just like putting a string on a recurve bow. The Raid 335 that I have will shoot the same hole at 20 yards over and over. It will hold 2" groups at 40 yards.

With a recurve design, there is way less to go wrong, limbs are tough as nails and the bows just flat out shoot.

Do yourself a favor and go see an Excalibur dealer and let them show you all the ins and outs.
 

Joe EC

Senior Member
Barnett Raptor. Moderate cost, light weight, narrow, fast, accurate. 4 years, 3 different shooters, 24 harvested deer and thousands of fun practice shots later its still going strong.

Lots get said about crossbows and how easy they are to shoot, Just like a gun, ha, ha, ha.
But make no mistake about it, everything you had to learn to accurately shoot a vertical bow still apply: arrow selection, proper spine, spine indexing, broadhead vs. field point flight, clear flight path (no little branches), target distance and arrow drop, Pin (crosshair) assignment to correct yardage, deer jumping the string, cross wind, correction for uphill, down hill shots, cam timing/tuning on a compound, etc. So I hope you didn't forget.


Good luck be safe and have fun!
 

transfixer

Senior Member
I'll second the Centerpoint Sniper 370, not expensive, unbelieveably fast, aluminum construction, AR 15 style buttstock and grip. Factory trigger is a little long, but doesn't keep me from shooting 2in groups out to 30-35yds with good quality bolts, and there is a trigger kit you can get for them that makes it clean ,crisp at about 4-5lbs.
 

shdw633

Senior Member
I'll second the Centerpoint Sniper 370, not expensive, unbelieveably fast, aluminum construction, AR 15 style buttstock and grip. Factory trigger is a little long, but doesn't keep me from shooting 2in groups out to 30-35yds with good quality bolts, and there is a trigger kit you can get for them that makes it clean ,crisp at about 4-5lbs.
Where do you get that trigger kit. I have the Bruin Ambush which is similar to the Centerpoint and I think the trigger kit would work with it.
 

antharper

Senior Member
I also shoot a Centerpoint and really like it , I got mine at Dunham’s sporting goods for I think 249 !
 

transfixer

Senior Member
Where do you get that trigger kit. I have the Bruin Ambush which is similar to the Centerpoint and I think the trigger kit would work with it.
There is a guy over on Archerytalk, in the crossbow section, that has come up with them, he'll sell you the kit with instructions, or you can send the xbow to him and he'll install it.
 
I built a stand this year for my 80 Yr old Dad to hunt out of with his crossbow. While I was sighting it in I had some serious problems with accuracy, it was an old PSE. So I bought him a PSE Fang LT. Price and weight were my biggest concerns. Then the recall came so I sent it back and promptly received a brand new one. He still hasn't killed a deer with it yet, but while he was in another stand with his rifle, I decided to take it out and I shot a doe out of his stand, with his crossbow. The bolt went through her so fast that I almost thought I had missed. she went 35 yards or so and bled out. Its a great crossbow for $300. My only complaint is that it seems loud to me, but I usually shoot a long bow so they all seem loud.
 

DoubleRR

Senior Member
Definitely some good crossbow advice and info here! wondering if anybody would know where a guy see and test shoot a Excalibur crossbow... southside of Atlanta here.. Thanks in Advance.
 
Definitely some good crossbow advice and info here! wondering if anybody would know where a guy see and test shoot a Excalibur crossbow... southside of Atlanta here.. Thanks in Advance.
If you are South of Atlanta, you can check one out at Army Navy Store in Stockbridge, Chucks Gun and Pawn in Warner Robbins.

Basic advise on cross bows in my opinion. Stay away from asian imports. Generally speaking you are dealing with components that just do not have the precision.

Make sure it has a lifetime warranty, it's a trend in the industry lately for cross bows to only have 5 years.

If you look at a bow, think to yourself, how many places does this bow have that could go wrong. Ravin cross bows were very popular this year but if you are honest and really consider all the possible failure points, this bow would scare me.

I know I am biased, but after being in the cross industry for a while now, knowing what I know about cross bows, there is no doubt in my mind if I were going out to buy a cross bow, Excalibur is 100% the bow I'd buy. Pretty much bullet proof. Simple with very little areas that could go wrong. You can safely let it down after hunting without having to shoot it. You can change your own string in the field. Let's face it, you won't nick your string with a broad head on a Tuesday @ 2pm where you can shoot down to the shop and have it changed. It's going to happen at 6AM saturday morning. Customer service is second to none. The only thing that someone could say is a disadvantage is because it's recurve limbs, it is not as easy to cock as a compound cross bow however this year we are introducing a new crank device that is small and totally silent. It uses bearings and doesn't sound like a boat crank as all of them do. We are also introducing a bow in Jan that will take all of the reasons to have an Excalibur and add all the tech and ease of cocking of any cross bow ever created.
 

BowanaLee

Senior Member
No worries, they come with 5 year warranties and they'll back it up. I have a Ghost 360 and just got a FX3 for back up. 299.00 Its not the pro, its the 350 FPS model. So far, I'm liking the FX3 more. Its smaller, lighter and preliminary tests show it shoots just as good out to 60 yds. Thats as far as I've shot it so far. I test with fixed broad heads. I do not use the light Headhunter arrows that come with it. Get some that weigh 450 grains or better. Those light bolts are just to show it shoots fast. They're rough on the bow. After that, put a silencer kit on it. String too. It'll slow it down a little but it'll be quiet and last longer. The most important things you can do to get good groups at long range is make sure your bow stays tuned and your arrows. If you don't have arrow building tools, buy some from Jerry's at South Shore Archery. They're not cheap but they're worth it. They must be spine indexed, spine sorted, weight sorted Black Eagle arrows. Xbows are finicky about being spine indexed to the same place on each bolt. Been there done that. If you have any questions, call Jerry and tell him which bow you have. He'll fix you up. That bow as with most xbows, are capable of 60-80 yd broad head grouping. :)
 

rutnbuk

Senior Member
I used to feel the same way about crossbows- but I have learned to support any legal means of hunting to ultimately support our passion. Plus if I talk bad about a xbow guy because I use a compound, then the TRAD guys can make fun of my wheelie bow- lol. I bought a Fang this year but hunted all season with my compound. In December just for giggles I put on a gilley suit and buried in the briars on the ground with my xbow. Shot a big nanny at 20 yards OTG and my heart like to beat out of my chest- super fun hunt. Lots of good ones out there for not a lot of money- you just may have to upgrade the scope on some of them. So- yes go get you one and just enjoy hunting!!
 
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