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Crossbow Test: The 8 Best New Hunting Crossbows of 2011

Crossbow Test: The 8 Best New Hunting Crossbows of 2011

Earlier this year we tested the newest hunting crossbows on the market. Here's our scores and rankings of the top 8 bows.
http://ak.c.ooyala.com/FieXYwYzokmq6YAhgWTzHhASZ61Q528G/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

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from BullRush52 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

You all bring up great points.
I recently got my xbow permit in Mass.
to qualify here,you need a permanent disability
that disallows you the use of a longbow.
(Carpal Tunnel,shoulder injuries,para- or quadra- palegic..etc..all these are perm. Every state has different requirements,so don't rack your brains asking how some1 how they got it...)

I never thought I would own an xbow in my life.
Let alone,become an advocate for their use.
The info here on New Xbows is excellent and I will be purchasing brand new next summer for the Fall hunt. I will consider all the brands mentioned by you gentlemen...(The old schooler in me may lean towards Re-curve for many reasons previously well mentioned)
I own a Barnett Demon,and Barnett RC-150.
Of course,they are both lower end models from a quality company, and the Demon is about 10 yrs old..But they work great!!!!
The accuracy of the $150, RC-150 is unbelievable ...and very quiet firing!(less chance of string jump by deer)
Both were purchased on ebay used and needed restoration.After some tlc, they both work and look great!
My main point is I'm glad I bought both.
Both are very accurate,but I hunt in very wooded and tight qtrs.
The compact size of the Rc150 is perfect for the woods,where the Demon would be like carrying a shovel thru the brush...no fun...
So, when purchasing,
Number#1 rule is: Get the right tool for the job. Don't rush out and buy some futuristic xbow w/out considering exactly what you need it to do for you! ...Elvis said, "Fools Rush In"...You cant argue with the King(haha)
Caveat Emptor ...(buyer beware)
Good Luck, Safe Hunting!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from budwake wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I just started hunting with a crossbow last year since Texas legalized them for bow season. After comparing crossbows by reading reviews, I went to Basspro to buy the top of the line Excalibur. Just like in this comment section, those that have em, love em. My only concern was the width. When I found they were out of stock and asked the salesman what the best bow he had was, he took me to the register computer and showed me the Scorpyd website. I ended up with the RDT165 which is advertised to shoot 425. Just seemed like nothing else could compare side by side. I have to say, I really like this crossbow. I let the air out of 3 bucks the first year and my boy put 1 down with it. Here are a couple videos showing how effective it is on deer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=83JiiAv2xpk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=N23kcKatmUM

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Valkaneer wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

@masterdrom quadriplegic's shoot cross bow's? By definition all 4 of your limbs must be affected by paralysis to be considered one. Don't know how your doing it but good for you.

As to the rest of you trolls plz stop reposting teh same thing over and over. Most everyone knows of Excalibur and there great name. They don't need you brow beating them. Your making me think your some company henchmen trying to protect your jobs, and it's really turning me off to the product. I right now am considering a cross bow, and your ruining my good feelings towards Excalibur. Point out the better versions of the cross bow plz and be done with it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lscha wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Thank you Comfy Bear, 45Gun, Gerald and Sumner. Comparable Excaliburs should be figured in even if they weren't BORN in 2011. They are still, very much, a 2011 bow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gerald strine wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

interesting test F&S with some really great cross bows.
However I would like to share some insight that the test does not really bring home and that is how owner friendly the recurve Excalibur is in the long run.
Crossbows by their design nature are not string and serving friendly, the high poundage of the bows stretch strings out changing the timeing / brace height and the friction of string on the rail cause the serving to wear out and the claws cause the serving to separate.
Now at this point the compound owners bow is in the shop with a pricy and timely repair job were the recurve owner can add twist to a string to keep brace height correct,can flip a string end over end to prolong serving life. can take his own string off in less than 60 seconds to reserve or replace with a spare.
These are huge factors
I realize that the test was on new model bows and the Axiom is Excalibur's newest offering so it was tested and was found to be slower than the other models but keep in mind that Excalibur offers many higher poundage bows also that will shoot up to 350 F.P.S
If you want a Cross bow that will be up and running day in and day out get a recurve bow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Well said Comfy Bear and Sumner.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tovlogos wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I really liked the #2 Horton Ultra-lite.... However, I believe in buying two of everything. So, If I buy that, I still want another.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Comfy Bear wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

It seems you have gone to great lengths to provide very informative info and comprehensive testing results on the new crossbows of 2011, and I commend you. However it's unfortunate that you only tested the new crossbows of this year. I feel it would serve the buying public best if all currently available crossbows were tested.

As a long time owner of several crossbows, I've come to realize that new isn't always best. I have no doubt that Tenpoint Technologies make great crossbows, as I currently own a Tenpoint QX-4 Elite which was the top of the line before it was discontinued. At the cost of $2000.00, one would expect it to be top-notch. However, over the years I have also owned most of the Excalibur crossbows, and currently own three.

From my experience I rate my Excaliburs as highly as my Tenpoint, even though they only cost a fraction of the price.

Oddly enough, even though I believe my Tenpoint is a superb crossbow I have never taken it afield. In my opinion, I find that whether it's for 3D or in the woods, my Excaliburs serve my needs best.

There's no need to go to the pro-shop to replace a damaged string, as I can replace it in a matter of seconds in the field. Being a recurve, there's also no concern about cams or pulleys going out of sync. God forbid a "dryfire" occurred, the one with wheels would be history while the simple recurve would live to see another day, with little if any effect.

Granted it's unfair of me to compare a recurve crossbow to one with cams and pulleys.
I suppose my point is that when it comes to comparing anything, only if one compares apples to apples, whether that be price or design, can a true and valid comparison be made.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Bah1513 The Excalibur crossbows are light compared to the compound bows. Here is an other fact Crossbow strings wear out a lot faster than bow strings it is the nature of how a crossbow works as the string slides along the rail. Yes there are lubes to put on the rail to prevent fast string wear but they do wear out. Unless you have a expensive limb press to change a string on a compound crossbow it is to the shop you go to get the string changed. With a Recurve crossbow you can do it your self. A inexpensive stringer (20 to 25 dollars) that fits over the limbs and allows you to *cock* the crossbow and replace the string. This is an other plus of owning a Excalibur ease of maintenance. Now for some that do not shoot often a string will last a while an any crossbow but I prefer to practice as most archers should. That means your gonna replace that string how fast depends on how much you practice and shoot.

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from sumner4991 wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I liked your testing . . .thought you did it as well as possible to keep from being biased.

Too bad you can't include the reasons I choose the crossbow brand of Excalibur. The reliability, the customer service, the lack of returns, the quality materials and the simplicity of maintaince.

In today's competitive environment, it's the company behind the bows that is equally important when choosing a bow.

Great job on the testing, but, I want to suggest to people that are new to crossbows to do a little research on the companies themselves before making a decision.

Thanks for the data, it is a great starting point.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from bah1513 wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

My brother shoots a Excalibur Crossbow and is satisfied with it he even managed to bag a deer. The couple of times I took it in the woods it was bulky and heavy as I'm sure most crossbows are. I will have to sell a firearm but I may try the Horton Ultra-Lite Express. I may take a look at the Excalibur Axiom?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from masterdrom wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I think you guys have missed the mark on Koda bow. I personally enjoy shooting mine, I myself am quadriplegic and cannot stand much vibration. In my opinion, this bow is indeed a smooth shooting, well built, tackdriver. I have owned mine for almost a year now, and I do not see it going anywhere anytime soon.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TenPoint wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

It looks like a well rounded test of speed, noise, length, width, trigger pull, ease of use and safety features.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I think you guys better go to school when it comes to crossbows it seems that your picks have been chosen on bells and whistles. Excalibur crossbows are considered the best in the industry and one of the most accurate. Their usage in crossbow tournaments have proved that plus the use of them all over the world taking all sorts of game all the way up to Elephant.They are known for their great triggers and if your compound breaks a cable or a string out in the field what you gonna do hunting trip wrecked. String gets bad on a Excalibur or breaks you can replace it in the field with the help of a 20 dollar stringer. Not knocking some of your other choices Ten Point and Horton I know make good crossbows but I think you guys were more enamored with the built in crank than anything else. For what it is worth you can buy a crank for Excalibur crossbows I would guess some of the others you can as well.

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from Comfy Bear wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

It seems you have gone to great lengths to provide very informative info and comprehensive testing results on the new crossbows of 2011, and I commend you. However it's unfortunate that you only tested the new crossbows of this year. I feel it would serve the buying public best if all currently available crossbows were tested.

As a long time owner of several crossbows, I've come to realize that new isn't always best. I have no doubt that Tenpoint Technologies make great crossbows, as I currently own a Tenpoint QX-4 Elite which was the top of the line before it was discontinued. At the cost of $2000.00, one would expect it to be top-notch. However, over the years I have also owned most of the Excalibur crossbows, and currently own three.

From my experience I rate my Excaliburs as highly as my Tenpoint, even though they only cost a fraction of the price.

Oddly enough, even though I believe my Tenpoint is a superb crossbow I have never taken it afield. In my opinion, I find that whether it's for 3D or in the woods, my Excaliburs serve my needs best.

There's no need to go to the pro-shop to replace a damaged string, as I can replace it in a matter of seconds in the field. Being a recurve, there's also no concern about cams or pulleys going out of sync. God forbid a "dryfire" occurred, the one with wheels would be history while the simple recurve would live to see another day, with little if any effect.

Granted it's unfair of me to compare a recurve crossbow to one with cams and pulleys.
I suppose my point is that when it comes to comparing anything, only if one compares apples to apples, whether that be price or design, can a true and valid comparison be made.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from sumner4991 wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I liked your testing . . .thought you did it as well as possible to keep from being biased.

Too bad you can't include the reasons I choose the crossbow brand of Excalibur. The reliability, the customer service, the lack of returns, the quality materials and the simplicity of maintaince.

In today's competitive environment, it's the company behind the bows that is equally important when choosing a bow.

Great job on the testing, but, I want to suggest to people that are new to crossbows to do a little research on the companies themselves before making a decision.

Thanks for the data, it is a great starting point.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I think you guys better go to school when it comes to crossbows it seems that your picks have been chosen on bells and whistles. Excalibur crossbows are considered the best in the industry and one of the most accurate. Their usage in crossbow tournaments have proved that plus the use of them all over the world taking all sorts of game all the way up to Elephant.They are known for their great triggers and if your compound breaks a cable or a string out in the field what you gonna do hunting trip wrecked. String gets bad on a Excalibur or breaks you can replace it in the field with the help of a 20 dollar stringer. Not knocking some of your other choices Ten Point and Horton I know make good crossbows but I think you guys were more enamored with the built in crank than anything else. For what it is worth you can buy a crank for Excalibur crossbows I would guess some of the others you can as well.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Bah1513 The Excalibur crossbows are light compared to the compound bows. Here is an other fact Crossbow strings wear out a lot faster than bow strings it is the nature of how a crossbow works as the string slides along the rail. Yes there are lubes to put on the rail to prevent fast string wear but they do wear out. Unless you have a expensive limb press to change a string on a compound crossbow it is to the shop you go to get the string changed. With a Recurve crossbow you can do it your self. A inexpensive stringer (20 to 25 dollars) that fits over the limbs and allows you to *cock* the crossbow and replace the string. This is an other plus of owning a Excalibur ease of maintenance. Now for some that do not shoot often a string will last a while an any crossbow but I prefer to practice as most archers should. That means your gonna replace that string how fast depends on how much you practice and shoot.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TenPoint wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

It looks like a well rounded test of speed, noise, length, width, trigger pull, ease of use and safety features.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from masterdrom wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I think you guys have missed the mark on Koda bow. I personally enjoy shooting mine, I myself am quadriplegic and cannot stand much vibration. In my opinion, this bow is indeed a smooth shooting, well built, tackdriver. I have owned mine for almost a year now, and I do not see it going anywhere anytime soon.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gerald strine wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

interesting test F&S with some really great cross bows.
However I would like to share some insight that the test does not really bring home and that is how owner friendly the recurve Excalibur is in the long run.
Crossbows by their design nature are not string and serving friendly, the high poundage of the bows stretch strings out changing the timeing / brace height and the friction of string on the rail cause the serving to wear out and the claws cause the serving to separate.
Now at this point the compound owners bow is in the shop with a pricy and timely repair job were the recurve owner can add twist to a string to keep brace height correct,can flip a string end over end to prolong serving life. can take his own string off in less than 60 seconds to reserve or replace with a spare.
These are huge factors
I realize that the test was on new model bows and the Axiom is Excalibur's newest offering so it was tested and was found to be slower than the other models but keep in mind that Excalibur offers many higher poundage bows also that will shoot up to 350 F.P.S
If you want a Cross bow that will be up and running day in and day out get a recurve bow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bah1513 wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

My brother shoots a Excalibur Crossbow and is satisfied with it he even managed to bag a deer. The couple of times I took it in the woods it was bulky and heavy as I'm sure most crossbows are. I will have to sell a firearm but I may try the Horton Ultra-Lite Express. I may take a look at the Excalibur Axiom?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Well said Comfy Bear and Sumner.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lscha wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Thank you Comfy Bear, 45Gun, Gerald and Sumner. Comparable Excaliburs should be figured in even if they weren't BORN in 2011. They are still, very much, a 2011 bow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Valkaneer wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

@masterdrom quadriplegic's shoot cross bow's? By definition all 4 of your limbs must be affected by paralysis to be considered one. Don't know how your doing it but good for you.

As to the rest of you trolls plz stop reposting teh same thing over and over. Most everyone knows of Excalibur and there great name. They don't need you brow beating them. Your making me think your some company henchmen trying to protect your jobs, and it's really turning me off to the product. I right now am considering a cross bow, and your ruining my good feelings towards Excalibur. Point out the better versions of the cross bow plz and be done with it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from budwake wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I just started hunting with a crossbow last year since Texas legalized them for bow season. After comparing crossbows by reading reviews, I went to Basspro to buy the top of the line Excalibur. Just like in this comment section, those that have em, love em. My only concern was the width. When I found they were out of stock and asked the salesman what the best bow he had was, he took me to the register computer and showed me the Scorpyd website. I ended up with the RDT165 which is advertised to shoot 425. Just seemed like nothing else could compare side by side. I have to say, I really like this crossbow. I let the air out of 3 bucks the first year and my boy put 1 down with it. Here are a couple videos showing how effective it is on deer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=83JiiAv2xpk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=N23kcKatmUM

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tovlogos wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I really liked the #2 Horton Ultra-lite.... However, I believe in buying two of everything. So, If I buy that, I still want another.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BullRush52 wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

You all bring up great points.
I recently got my xbow permit in Mass.
to qualify here,you need a permanent disability
that disallows you the use of a longbow.
(Carpal Tunnel,shoulder injuries,para- or quadra- palegic..etc..all these are perm. Every state has different requirements,so don't rack your brains asking how some1 how they got it...)

I never thought I would own an xbow in my life.
Let alone,become an advocate for their use.
The info here on New Xbows is excellent and I will be purchasing brand new next summer for the Fall hunt. I will consider all the brands mentioned by you gentlemen...(The old schooler in me may lean towards Re-curve for many reasons previously well mentioned)
I own a Barnett Demon,and Barnett RC-150.
Of course,they are both lower end models from a quality company, and the Demon is about 10 yrs old..But they work great!!!!
The accuracy of the $150, RC-150 is unbelievable ...and very quiet firing!(less chance of string jump by deer)
Both were purchased on ebay used and needed restoration.After some tlc, they both work and look great!
My main point is I'm glad I bought both.
Both are very accurate,but I hunt in very wooded and tight qtrs.
The compact size of the Rc150 is perfect for the woods,where the Demon would be like carrying a shovel thru the brush...no fun...
So, when purchasing,
Number#1 rule is: Get the right tool for the job. Don't rush out and buy some futuristic xbow w/out considering exactly what you need it to do for you! ...Elvis said, "Fools Rush In"...You cant argue with the King(haha)
Caveat Emptor ...(buyer beware)
Good Luck, Safe Hunting!

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