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Four Great (And Inexpensive) Entry-Level Crossbows

Four Great (And Inexpensive) Entry-Level Crossbows

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Comments (7)

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from Stan Cherry wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

what band of bow is this

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from Welding Fabrication wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

how are these inexpensive at 500....wow really....nothing cheaper for the common people .we bought a Barnett 400 an it is awesome for under 350 new from Barnett.now that's a starter xbow for those who cant afford f&s choices....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from illinoisburt wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Starter equipment is for getting folks into the sport. With the very rapid advances in archery equipment seen over the past few years, many of the new "basic" models are on par with the top end crossbows of just a couple years ago. Barnett, Horton, and Carbon Xpress all have decent ready-to-hunt packages that are accurate and powerful around the $300 range. Maybe not quite as nice as the ones reviewed here, but definitely get the job done.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChrisUng wrote 32 weeks 2 days ago

These aren't "starter" crossbows! As usual, this F&S "review" is nothing more than an advertisement for specific manufacturers' equipment. I miss the old days when Field and Stream was written in a less hoity toity manner.

If your magazine/website was truly interested in furthering the sport (rather than padding your coffers), you'd write some articles that are ACTUALLY geared to young and starting sportsmen. Maybe explain the subtleties of buying gently used equipment. Explain the difference between necessity and luxury in outdoor equipment. Heck, I didn't buy my first truly new bow until I was in my late 20's.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Dieterle wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

Yes.. these are in fact starter crossbows. Very much so. The best 2 are the Wicked Ridge (TenPoint) and the Excalibur. At $500 the Excalibur is probably the best of these for the money. There customer service is excellent and their CB's are practically indestructable and come with a great warranty. I have the Excalibur Vortex for several years now and love it. The recurves are also good for beginners because a string can be changed without a press (in the field in the unlikely event you throw a string). There are also no, cams, cables, pulleys, etc that will eventually wear out and are regularly requiring tuning, etc. The recurves have wider limbs and are somewhat louder. Keeping shots in the 30 yard range with any crossbow will greatly reduce the chances of a bad hit if the deer (or whatever you are hunting) happens to jump the string. I would DEFINATELY stay away from the Barnnett bows. I have read review after review of these cb's blowing up in peoples faces, poor construction, poor customer service, etc. Buying a Barnett is throwing your money away in my opinion. (Not trying to offend anyone just hopefully save some first time buyers alot of headache.) Some people have had okay luck with the Barnetts, but not many. I also have owned a Horton TR175 and it was a decent bow also. (however, I changed to the Excal for simple maintenance). Horton is currently folding so there CB's currently do not come with a warranty. You can also pick up some of the other Excaliburs in good used shape for around $500 if you look around. (Excalibur's warranty applies if you are the first or tenth person owning the bow!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Dieterle wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

Yes.. these are in fact starter crossbows. Very much so. The best 2 are the Wicked Ridge (TenPoint) and the Excalibur. At $500 the Excalibur is probably the best of these for the money. There customer service is excellent and their CB's are practically indestructable and come with a great warranty. I have owned the Excalibur Vortex for several years now and taken several deer with it. With the VariZone scope and adjustable speed ring it is dead-on at the 20,30,40 yard aimpoints. The recurves are also nice for beginners because a string can be changed without using a bowpress. Aside from waxing the string & serving and occasionally cleaning & oiling the trigger assembly, there is no difficult maintenance. There are also no, cams, cables, pulleys, etc that will eventually wear out and that require adjusting & tuning. The recurves have somewhat wider limbs and a little louder. Keeping shots in the 30 yard range with any crossbow will greatly reduce the chances of a bad hit if the deer (or whatever you are hunting) happens to jump the string. I would stay away from the Barnnett crossbows. I have read to many bad reviews and heard too many horror stories of injuries due to these cb's blowing up in peoples faces, poor construction, poor customer service, etc. (Not trying to offend anyone Barnnett owner's, just save some 1st time buyers some problems.) Some people have gotten lucky with the Barnetts, but I personally would not even consider buying one. I have owned a Horton TR175 and it was a decent compound crossbow, but a little heavy. (however, I changed to the Excal for the simple maintenance). Horton is currently folding so there CB's currently do not come with a warranty. You can also pick up some of the other Excaliburs in good used shape for around $500 if you look around. (Excalibur's warranty applies if you are the first or tenth person owning the bow!)

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from TinEagle wrote 14 weeks 2 days ago

I bought a Parker Magnum Safari 7-8 years ago for $700 and love it. Super accurate year after year, although it is heavier than some of the newer models available.

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from Welding Fabrication wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

how are these inexpensive at 500....wow really....nothing cheaper for the common people .we bought a Barnett 400 an it is awesome for under 350 new from Barnett.now that's a starter xbow for those who cant afford f&s choices....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from illinoisburt wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Starter equipment is for getting folks into the sport. With the very rapid advances in archery equipment seen over the past few years, many of the new "basic" models are on par with the top end crossbows of just a couple years ago. Barnett, Horton, and Carbon Xpress all have decent ready-to-hunt packages that are accurate and powerful around the $300 range. Maybe not quite as nice as the ones reviewed here, but definitely get the job done.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Stan Cherry wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

what band of bow is this

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Dieterle wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

Yes.. these are in fact starter crossbows. Very much so. The best 2 are the Wicked Ridge (TenPoint) and the Excalibur. At $500 the Excalibur is probably the best of these for the money. There customer service is excellent and their CB's are practically indestructable and come with a great warranty. I have the Excalibur Vortex for several years now and love it. The recurves are also good for beginners because a string can be changed without a press (in the field in the unlikely event you throw a string). There are also no, cams, cables, pulleys, etc that will eventually wear out and are regularly requiring tuning, etc. The recurves have wider limbs and are somewhat louder. Keeping shots in the 30 yard range with any crossbow will greatly reduce the chances of a bad hit if the deer (or whatever you are hunting) happens to jump the string. I would DEFINATELY stay away from the Barnnett bows. I have read review after review of these cb's blowing up in peoples faces, poor construction, poor customer service, etc. Buying a Barnett is throwing your money away in my opinion. (Not trying to offend anyone just hopefully save some first time buyers alot of headache.) Some people have had okay luck with the Barnetts, but not many. I also have owned a Horton TR175 and it was a decent bow also. (however, I changed to the Excal for simple maintenance). Horton is currently folding so there CB's currently do not come with a warranty. You can also pick up some of the other Excaliburs in good used shape for around $500 if you look around. (Excalibur's warranty applies if you are the first or tenth person owning the bow!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Dieterle wrote 25 weeks 6 days ago

Yes.. these are in fact starter crossbows. Very much so. The best 2 are the Wicked Ridge (TenPoint) and the Excalibur. At $500 the Excalibur is probably the best of these for the money. There customer service is excellent and their CB's are practically indestructable and come with a great warranty. I have owned the Excalibur Vortex for several years now and taken several deer with it. With the VariZone scope and adjustable speed ring it is dead-on at the 20,30,40 yard aimpoints. The recurves are also nice for beginners because a string can be changed without using a bowpress. Aside from waxing the string & serving and occasionally cleaning & oiling the trigger assembly, there is no difficult maintenance. There are also no, cams, cables, pulleys, etc that will eventually wear out and that require adjusting & tuning. The recurves have somewhat wider limbs and a little louder. Keeping shots in the 30 yard range with any crossbow will greatly reduce the chances of a bad hit if the deer (or whatever you are hunting) happens to jump the string. I would stay away from the Barnnett crossbows. I have read to many bad reviews and heard too many horror stories of injuries due to these cb's blowing up in peoples faces, poor construction, poor customer service, etc. (Not trying to offend anyone Barnnett owner's, just save some 1st time buyers some problems.) Some people have gotten lucky with the Barnetts, but I personally would not even consider buying one. I have owned a Horton TR175 and it was a decent compound crossbow, but a little heavy. (however, I changed to the Excal for the simple maintenance). Horton is currently folding so there CB's currently do not come with a warranty. You can also pick up some of the other Excaliburs in good used shape for around $500 if you look around. (Excalibur's warranty applies if you are the first or tenth person owning the bow!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TinEagle wrote 14 weeks 2 days ago

I bought a Parker Magnum Safari 7-8 years ago for $700 and love it. Super accurate year after year, although it is heavier than some of the newer models available.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChrisUng wrote 32 weeks 2 days ago

These aren't "starter" crossbows! As usual, this F&S "review" is nothing more than an advertisement for specific manufacturers' equipment. I miss the old days when Field and Stream was written in a less hoity toity manner.

If your magazine/website was truly interested in furthering the sport (rather than padding your coffers), you'd write some articles that are ACTUALLY geared to young and starting sportsmen. Maybe explain the subtleties of buying gently used equipment. Explain the difference between necessity and luxury in outdoor equipment. Heck, I didn't buy my first truly new bow until I was in my late 20's.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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Additional Info

The Test Panel

Kriston Jervis
Age: 36
Hunting Area: Kentucky
Days Hunter Per Year: 20

Bill Magaziner
Age: 63
Hunting Area: Colorado
Days Hunter Per Year: 25

John Ricco
Age: 72
Hunting Area: Pennsylvania
Days Hunter Per Year: 50

Charles Spiller
Age: 59
Hunting Area: California
Days Hunter Per Year: 35