It’s no secret that crossbows are a certifiable Big Deal now. Established makers are getting better at what they do. New companies are popping up. Even gun companies are jumping into the crossbow market. All this has combined to make the 2016 crop of crossbows one of the best ever. Here’s a rundown.
**Barnett Ghost 415 Revenant ** $1,199; barnettcrossbows.com Specs: Draw weight: 185 lb., Power stroke: 15.37″, Weight: 7 lb., Speed: 415 fps. The Skinny: It’ll probably be the only crossbow to share a name with a Leonardo DiCaprio movie, but the Revenant is definitely a star in the Barnett lineup. It’s smoking fast at 415 fps., and the Carbonlite riser makes the Revenant impressively lightweight for such a flamethrower. Field & Stream
Bear FisixFFL $999; beararchery.com Specs: Draw weight: 135 lb., Power stroke: 17.5″, Weight: 9.9 lb., Speed: 375 fps The Skinny: Bear’s debut into the crossbow market should be a hit. The reverse-draw limbs (Bear calls them “forward-facing”) make for a narrow profile when the bow is cocked, which makes it easier to handle in the field. Thanks to an adjustable stock, the FisixFFL should fit a wide range of hunters. Field & Stream
**Browning OneSixTwo ** $1,400; browningcrossbows.com Specs: Draw weight: 145 lb., Power stroke: 14.62″, Weight: 7.2 lb., Speed: 370 fps.
The Skinny: There’s a lot to like about this venerable gunmaker’s debut crossbow. The TriggerTech trigger is crisp and light at 3 pounds, the Crank Cocking device fits neatly into the stock, and the bow comes sighted in from the factory (though you’ll want to fine-tune it before hunting). Field & Stream
Carbon Express Intercept Axon LT $999; carbonexpresscrossbows.com Specs: Draw weight: 175 lb., Power stroke: 13.5″, Weight: 8.1 lb., Speed: 360 fps. The Skinny: This compact bow throws a plenty-zippy bolt, but the cool thing about the Intercept is the AR-style platform, which allows the same customization options you see on black rifles. Bottom line: If you shoot an AR and you like it, you’ll like this crossbow, too. Field & Stream
**Darton Toxin 180 ** $1,091; dartonarchery.com Specs: Draw weight: 185 lb., Power stroke: 17-3/4″, Weight: 7.8 lb., Speed: 400 fps.
The Skinny: Darton makes very fast vertical bows; the Toxin proves they can put gas behind a crossbow, too, as the Toxin flings a 400-grain bolt at 400 fps. We were impressed with the quality construction of the company’s flagship crossbow last year, and this model seems much the same—just faster. Field & Stream
**Excalibur Micro 355 ** $1,199, excaliburcrossbow.com Specs: Draw weight: 185 lb., Power stroke: 12″, Weight: 5.2 lb., Speed: 355 fps.
The Skinny: You have to admire a recurve that continues to thrive in a world of sexy compounds. The Micro is an incredibly lightweight, compact, and rugged bow with a great trigger. Perfect for woods whitetails. Field & Stream
Killer Instinct Furious $749; killercrossbows.com Specs: Draw weight: 185 lb., Power stroke: 13.5″, Weight: 7.2 lb., Speed: 370 fps.
The Skinny: This bow is a tad slower than the Killer Instinct model that won our big crossbow test last year, but the overall fit and finish is great, the adjustability of the stock is much improved, and the trigger remains one of the best in the business. At $700, it’s probably the best bargain out there, too. Field & Stream
PSE RDX $1,099; pse-archery.com Specs: Draw weight: 165 lb., Power Stroke: 17″, Weight: 7.9 lb., Speed: 400 fps.
The Skinny: PSE has redesigned their reverse-draw cams and X-Tech limbs to wring out even more speed, and the 3-lb. trigger is nice and crisp. Another smoking-fast bow for 2016. Field & Stream
**Stryker Katana 385 ** $1,149; strykerxbow.com Specs: Draw weight: 155 lb., Power stroke: 13″, Weight: 6.5 lb., Speed: 385 fps.
The Skinny: Another solid bow from Stryker, the Katana is one of the lightest compounds available this year, and it’s very easy to draw. The trigger is great, and the manual safety allows you to decock the bow. Field & Stream
**Ten Point Nitro RDX ** Starts at $1,599, tenpointcrossbows.com Specs: Draw weight: 165 lb., Power stroke: 16.5″, Weight: 7.8 lb., Speed: 365 fps.
The Skinny: The first reverse-draw bow in the Ten Point lineup, the Nitro exhibits their typical quality and attention to detail in a short, light, and compact package that hunters will love. It’s isn’t cheap, but it’s a heck of a bow. Field & Stream