Best Crossbow Under 500: In-Depth Reviews + Comparison

Good crossbows are getting cheap and cheap crossbows are getting better. That’s the current motto of the crossbow market. If it was 10 years ago, the market wouldn’t have this stiff of a competition. The $500 budget seems too low for a crossbow from a 10years ago point of view. But it’s pretty much real. $500 can get you crossbows that is ready to hunt and can easily last you for years.

But how do you find the best crossbow under 500 dollars? That’s a question that we can’t answer in a single word. To find that out, you need to read the review. Without further ado, let’s get things started.


What Is The Best Crossbow Under 500 Dollers?

Barnett Whitetail Pro STR

Barnett-Whitetail-Pro-STR-Crossbow

Barnett is a legend in the crossbow community & known to make some of the best budget crossbows on the market. Whitetail pro str is No exception here either. It’s one of the best Whitetail crossbows to be ever made. 400 FPS with 140 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Truly incredible.

Killer Instinct Ripper 415

Killer-Instinct-Ripper-415-Crossbow

Killer instinct Ripper is an incredible powerful crossbow. There is no denying the fact.

It’s capable of firing at up to 415 FPS and can generate 149 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Incredible feats.

PSE Archery Fang HD 405

PSE-ARCHERY-Fang-HD-405-Crossbow-Package

PSE Fang HD is a 405 FPS crossbow that is capable of generating 142 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

It’s the living proof that you don’t need to spend a ton to get a powerful and fast crossbow. Really loved this one, you will too.


What To Look For When Buying A Crossbow Under 500

Speed is always an important part of a crossbow. Without speed, there is no point of buying a crossbow. Depending on the crossbow model you are purchasing, the speed will vary highly.

Kinetic Energy: In a crossbow, the kinetic power of a crossbow is known as the energy of a crossbow. Depending on how much energy the crossbow has, the total power of the crossbow will vary.

Draw Weight: Most of the beginner crossbows tend to have a ton of draw weight. Even though it’s not ideal for beginners. But to make crossbows cheaper they have to cut corners somewhere. Draw weight becomes the easy scapegoat.

Safety measures vary from crossbow to crossbow. Some has anti-dry fire only. While some other might have more than 1 safety involved in the crossbow. If you require more safety protocols, go for crossbows that offers more than one safety protocol.

Noise: Crossbows aren’t as loud as a rifle. But the vibration of the string and the after sound can be audible. Crossbow manufacturers includes string dampener to counteract that noise. If yours don’t come with some, buy them from the market and attach them. Lifesaver.

Recoil: A crossbow is nowhere near as powerful as a rifle or pistol. That’s why recoil doesn’t matter at all. As long as you know how to aim a crossbow, you are good to go. The recoil won’t hit you back hard enough to fall on the ground.

Range: Crossbows aren’t known for their range. Most modern crossbow can fire up to 100 yards with good accuracy. Beyond that, the accuracy will be non-existent. But crossbows are meant to be used within the 50-70 yards distance.

Trigger: In the budget-range, not a lot of manufacturer includes their top of the line triggers. But most of them do come with injection molded trigger. That’s quite good and durable.

Durability: Crossbows aren’t made for metal only. Most crossbows have synthetic stock. The synthetic stock combined with the metal cam and rail system makes a durable crossbow.

Warranty: Depending on which brand you buy your crossbow from, the warranty period will vary highly. Some provides limited life-time warranty while some only provides 3 years.


1. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy135 FP-KE
Power Stroke16.25 Inches
Draw Weight187 LBS
Axle-To-Axle17.625 Inches
Length36.5 Inches
Weight6.9 LBS

Barnett is one of the best budget crossbow manufacturers. They are providing incredible crossbows for a cheap price tag for a while now. The Whitetail Pro STR is not an exception.

What makes the Barnett Whitetail lineup so good is the enticing price-tag. If you have read reviews of budget crossbows before, then you already know Barnett was there with at least one of their crossbows.

400 FPS. Let’s start with a bang. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR is capable of reaching the 400 FPS barrier. 400FPS is more than enough for any types of hunting or sports related. You can try to slay even the toughest of prey out there. All will depend on your skill as the crossbow is highly accurate.

Powerful and silent. The noise reduction on this crossbow is quite good. Whitetail isn’t known for their noise suppression. Good to see exceptions were made. Whitetail Pro STR can also generate up to 140 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Quite powerful for a budget crossbow.

Anti-dry fire and nock sensor. To prevent misfires from happening, the crossbow is reinforced with a lot of safety features. Anti-dry fire and nock sensors are there to ease you into the crossbow. Don’t worry, you won’t mistakenly fire the crossbow and warn the prey.

Quick Facts:

Whitetail Pro STR is undoubtedly one of the best crossbows under $500. If you are looking for an all-rounder crossbow with almost no cut corners, this is it.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • 400 FPS.
  • 140 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • Good scope included.
  • Good customer service.
  • Anti-dry fire with nock sensor.

Cons

  • Cranking device compatible but not included. Extra purchase will set you over $130.

2. Wicked Ridge Rampage 360 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed360 FPS
Kinetic Energy112 FP-KE
Power Stroke13.5 Inches
Draw Weight175 LBS
Axle-To-Axle15 / 19 Inches
Length35.5 Inches
Weight6 LBS

Wicked Ridge is another excellent budget to mid-range crossbow manufacturer. Wicked Ridge Rampage is an entry-level crossbow offering from Wicked Ridge.

Wicked Ridge is owned by Tenpoint crossbows. Thanks to that Wicked Ridge can use Tenpoint’s ACUdraw Pro cranking device.

360 FPS. While it’s not as fast some other crossbows we have here today, 360 FPS is still quite respectable. It’s enough to land even the toughest of deer. All you have to do is, get close enough to the deer.

Multi-coated lens scope included. One of the fewer crossbows that come with a proper crossbow scope in this price-range. The crossbow scope is not bad at all. It’s probably is one of the best out there.

Excellent after sales service. Tenpoint is known for their top-notch customer service. Wicked Ridge is no exception. Tenpoint handles the customer service part of wicked ridge as well. You don’t need to worry about that part at all.

Quick Facts:

Each of the arrows fired from this crossbow will pack 112 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. That’s more than enough for hunting and sports shooting.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Affordable.
  • Multi-coated scope included.
  • Good after-sales service.
  • ACUdraw Pro or ACUdraw 50 cranking device option.
  • 360 FPS.
  • 112 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

Cons

  • The noise suppression on this crossbow needs some work.
  • The scope is not powerful enough to keep up with the crossbow.

3. Excalibur GRZ2 Recurve Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed305 FPS
Kinetic Energy72.3 FP-KE
Power Stroke11.2 Inches
Draw Weight200 LBS
Axle-To-Axle26 / 30.5 Inches
Length33.25 Inches
Weight5.5 LBS

Recurve crossbows are easy to use and setup crossbows. Fixing a recurve crossbow on your own is quite easy. That’s why, a lot of hunters prefers to use recurve crossbows instead of compound crossbow.

Budget recurve crossbow. Due to the ease of use, recurve crossbows are quite popular. But when you try to buy one, the price may make it impossible for a lot of hunters to justify. In this case, you don’t need to worry about that at all.

It’s not the fastest, but it gets the job done. 305 FPS is nothing groundbreaking. Most modern compound crossbows can reach that speed with breeze. It is more than enough for your fast kill. But it’s not nearly enough to land you a spot on most big-game hunting events.

Easy to use. Newbies wants ease of access in their crossbows. If the crossbow is too complicated for them to use, they will soon forget about it. Recurve crossbows are quite easy to fix by yourself. While you need to send the compound bow to warranty if you want to get it fixed. That’s why a lot of hunters suggests recurve crossbows to beginners.

Quick Facts:

It’s a beginner friendly recurve crossbow. The price of this crossbow is the most appealing thing to it. & surely it’s worthy to buy.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Affordable recurve crossbow.
  • Good customer service from Excalibur.
  • A decent scope included.
  • Ease of access.

Cons

  • Not super-fast, nor super-powerful.

4. Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed415 FPS
Kinetic Energy149 FP-KE
Power Stroke15 Inches
Draw Weight200 LBS
Axle-To-Axle14.25 / 17.75 Inches
Length35 – 36.5 Inches
Weight6.9 LBS

Killer Instinct is an underrated gem when it comes to crossbow. They are not the most well-known brand in the scene. That’s why most of the people tends to sleep on their crossbow. That brings us to the Ripper 415. It’s an affordable beginner crossbow that is also quite fast.

Super-Fast. As the name suggests, the crossbow is capable of reaching 415 FPS. One of the fastest crossbows in this price bracket. With that speed, you can participate in any competition you would like. There is no stopping you at this point.

149 FP-KE. Ripper is insanely powerful. 149 ft-lbs of kinetic energy is no joke. You can tear through any size preys you lay your shot on. Even big bad bears.

4×32 illuminated scope. A lot of crossbows comes with similar spec scope. But all of them aren’t that good performing. Often, we recommend swapping them out for better products asap. But this time it’s different. The scope on this crossbow is quite good. Even though it’s fixed magnification, it’s enough for crossbow hunting. You don’t need more than 80-100 yards range on a crossbow scope.

Quick Facts:

One of the most powerful and fastest crossbows under 500 dollars. Without a doubt a worthy contender. Make your purchase and call it a day.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Affordable price tag.
  • Good customer service.
  • 415 FPS.
  • 149 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • 4x32mm illuminated crossbow scope included.

Cons

  • The draw weight is 200lbs. Is quite high for newbies.

5. PSE Archery Fang HD 405 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed405 FPS
Kinetic Energy134 FP-KE
Power Stroke14.5 Inches
Draw Weight205 LBS
Axle-To-Axle14 / 18 Inches
Length35.5 Inches
Weight7.3 LBS

A lot of you might have never heard of PSE Archery. Even if you did, you probably didn’t know enough to care about their crossbows. Let me change that point of view today. PSE archery is a crossbow manufacturer that can easily give more expensive crossbows a run for their money. the Fang HD is a feature-packed crossbow for a budget price-tag.

405 FPS. The crossbow is capable of firing up to 405 FPS. Fang HD comes with a feature-packed crossbow scope made for hunting.

Highly adjustable. From the reticle to the adjustments, the crossbow scope is quite good on its own. There is two string stoppers on the crossbow limbs to suppress the noise of the crossbow and reduce the overall vibration of the crossbow.

Anti-dry fire safety. To protect the crossbow from unintentional misfires, PSE added Anti-dry fire safety mechanism in the Fang HD. Every crossbow should have at least one misfire protection in my opinion. Newbies are meant to misfire.

Quite powerful. Fang HD is capable of generating 134 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. With that much of kinetic energy, you can easily hunt down any sized animals you wish. Just don’t go after something like an elephant.

Quick Facts:

Like I said, good crossbows are getting cheaper. It was impossible to find a powerful crossbow under $1000 10 years ago. Look at now! Newbies are getting some of the best beginner crossbows you can possibly buy.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Quite affordable.
  • Excellent crossbow scope included.
  • 405 FPS.
  • 134 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • Good noise suppression.

Cons

  • The draw weight might be high for beginners.

6. Centerpoint Dagger 390 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed390 FPS
Kinetic Energy135 FP-KE
Power Stroke14.5 Inches
Draw Weight185 LBS
Axle-To-Axle14 / 18 Inches
Length35.8 Inches
Weight7.8 LBS

Although they have point in their name, Centerpoint has no connection to Tenpoint crossbows. Centerpoint is a different manufacturer that makes good crossbows as well. If it wasn’t good, it wouldn’t be here.

Despite being named Dagger, the Centerpoint Dagger is not a small crossbow. It’s a pretty big crossbow ready for hunting and anything you want to do with it.

Fast and sneaky as a dagger. The Dagger is capable of reaching 390 FPS. Just 10 FPS shy from the 400 FPS breakthrough. That’s not an issue at all. 390 FPS is more than enough for any sorts of hunting you have planned in your mind.

Beginner friendly and easy to setup. Ease of access in the community is always welcomed. It comes almost installed out of the box. You just need to fine-tune some screws and the string.

Quite powerful. 135ft-lbs of kinetic energy is not something to joke about. That much kinetic energy is more than enough to land any hunt.

The build quality is like always, top-notch. You will find an adjustable buttstock on the crossbow. Making it easier to use for short people. Centerpoint used Whisper Silencing system on this crossbow. Rest assured, it’s one of the most silent crossbows under $500.

Quick Facts:

It’s a silent and deadly crossbow (which is too important for any sorts of hunting) that is also fairly powerful. What more could you ask for in this budget?

Pros

  • Adjustable buttstock.
  • Good build quality.
  • Deadly silent.
  • Highly accurate.
  • 390 FPS.
  • 135 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • Good crossbow scope included.
  • Cranking device compatible.

Cons

  • 185 draw weight.
  • Cranking device is quite expensive.

7. Barnett TS380 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed380 FPS
Kinetic Energy122 FP-KE
Power Stroke12.625 Inches
Draw Weight201 LBS
Axle-To-Axle13.25 / 16.75 Inches
Length32.375 Inches
Weight6.9 LBS

If you read from the beginning, you already know how good Barnett is as a crossbow manufacturer. Their TS series is a compact lineup of crossbow that is also compact on the budget sector.

It’s one of the few crossbows that you can buy within $500 that has a cranking device pre-installed. How cool is that?

CNC machined aluminum rail and CAM system. It’s one of the most used material in crossbow manufacturing. Why is that? Because the material is that good. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a crossbow with that much

A good 4×32 scope included with the crossbow. Good scopes are hard to come by in budget crossbows. But thankfully, that’s not the case here. The included 4×32 scope is quite good. But beware some people complained they got the wrong scope with the crossbow. If you got the wrong one, then send the scope back to Barnett for replacement.

Their customer service is quite good, you don’t need to worry about that.

Quick Facts:

The build quality of this crossbow is quite good. For the price, it’s fairly powerful and fast. You can do any sorts of hunting and tactical archery with this.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Good customer service.
  • Pretty good scope included.
  • Attractive price tag.
  • Cranking device included.
  • 380 FPS.
  • 122 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

Cons

  • Some people complained they received the wrong scope with the bow.

8. Xpedition Archery Viking X-375 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed375 FPS
ColorCamo
Power Stroke13.75 Inches
Draw Weight185 LBS
Axle-To-Axle14 / 18 Inches
Length34.5 – 37 Inches
Weight6.75 LBS

Now, this is a brand that most of us never heard of. When you look for cheap products, you will find brands that you never knew existed before. Viking X-375 is a medium-range crossbow for hunters and archers.

Synthetic material and CNC machined aluminum. Viking X-375 is constructed from two different materials. One is CNC machined aluminum rail and came system. The rest of the body is constructed from synthetic material. The stock of the crossbow is also constructed from synthetic durable material.

375 FPS. As the name suggests, the Viking X-375 is capable of reaching up to 375 FPS. 375 FPS might seem low compared to other crossbows on the list. If you know about crossbows, then you already know 375 FPS is not low. It’s on the higher end of the scale. You can participate in any sorts of hunting with that much of speed.

Quite lengthy. This can be a con for a lot of users. Tall crossbows are not suitable for a lot of people. Female and teenager hunters will benefit a lot from a short crossbow with adjustable stock. While taller hunters will have the time of their lifetime with a tall crossbow. The AR style buttstock is completely adjustable. That’s why you don’t need to worry about the height.

Quick Facts:

Don’t let the less fame fool you. Finding good crossbows like this is quite rare. The affordable price tag with the performance it’s offering is quite interesting.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag.
  • Good build quality.
  • Complete hunting kit.
  • Good crossbow scope included.
  • Highly accurate.
  • 375 FPS.

Cons

  • The stock and the riser could have been heftier.
  • The weight distribution is not the best either.

9. BearX Intense 400 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Sport TypeTactical & Military
Power Stroke12.7 Inches
Draw Weight175 LBS
Axle-To-Axle10 / 14 Inches
Length36 Inches
Weight7.8 LBS

BearX Intense is the most compact crossbow under $500 without any doubt. The axle-to-axle width of this crossbow is only 14”. Once you load the crossbow, the width reduces to 10”. That’s crazy good on a crossbow at this price-range. Just that alone can be the reason for buying this crossbow.

Extremely-fast. Besides being the most compact crossbow on the list, the Intense is also extremely fast. To keep up with the aggression of the competition, BearX upgraded this crossbow with 400 FPS speed. Quite impressive.

Excellent build quality. It was tough to make a crossbow this compact and make it durable as well. BearX did it. But they did cut corner on some parts. The weight of this crossbow is quite heavy. It’s not lightweight. With the added accessories, the weight of this crossbow will be quite high to carry on.

Accuracy is quite high. Budget crossbows sometimes have a bad weight distribution. If that happens, the crossbow becomes hard to control and the accuracy becomes non-existent. That’s not the case here. The accuracy of Intense is quite impressive. Of course, the accuracy will still depend largely on your skill. But the accuracy of the crossbow in a controlled unit, the crossbow is highly accurate.

Quick Facts:

The only downside of this crossbow is the noise reduction. Besides that, everything about this crossbow is quite good. Definitely one of the best crossbows under $500.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Compact.
  • Highly accurate.
  • Extremely fast at 400 FPS.
  • Only 175 lbs of drawing weight. You can cut that down by 50%.

Cons

  • Not lightweight at all.
  • The crossbow has 0 sound dampeners installed.

10. PSE Thrive 400 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy142 FP-KE
Power Stroke17 Inches
Draw Weight175 LBS
Axle-To-Axle18.25 Inches
Length32 Inches
Weight6.7 LBS

The final crossbow on our list today is Thrive 400 from PSE Archery. Previously we stated that PSE Archery is quite a good company. That remains true.

Incredibly narrow crossbow. If you are active on the crossbow scene, then you know compact crossbows are the new norm. The more compact the crossbow is, the more love it gets. PSE Archery based their Thrive on that. It’s an incredibly narrow crossbows with almost no cut corners.

Incredibly fast. Reaching 400 FPS will always be a great achievement for crossbow manufacturers. Thrive is capable of doing that. Props to PSE Archery for that.

CNC machined aluminum CAM. The CAM system on Thrive is not forward style. It uses reverse CAM style. That’s why they had to make it CNC machined aluminum to make it out good. PSE did that and it turned out to be incredible.

Silent and deadly. Noise reduction on this crossbow is insane. Besides string dampener, there is also noise dampening kit installed on the CAM system.

Legal for any hunting games in NA. Now, that’s something amazing. It’s not everyday where you find a weapon that is legal throughout entire north America. I am glad we have one in the budget segment. That can be the potential deal-maker for a lot of people.

Quick Facts:

The price to performance value on this crossbow is quite insane. You are not paying much for a feature packed crossbow. That’s a great indication about how far we have prospered in the crossbow scene.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Good scope quality.
  • 400 FPS for a small amount of money.
  • You are allowed to participate on any legal games in North America.

Cons

  • The include rope cocking device is too short.

Frequently ASK Questions

How To Assemble A Crossbow?

The manual is always included in the package of the crossbow. Some crossbow only requires to tighten one bolt and it’s ready to go. While other crossbows may need to be setup from complete zero.

For that, you need to follow the guide included on the manual itself. It might not be as simple as a set of Legos, but the guide will make it as simple as possible.

What Is A Good Inexpensive Crossbow?

A crossbow that doesn’t cost too much money while still performs quite decent. That’s called a good inexpensive crossbow.

Fun fact, all of the mentioned crossbows in this best crossbow under $500 reviews are good inexpensive crossbows. You don’t need to pay a ton to receive a ton.

How To Shoot A Crossbow?

To shoot a crossbow, you need to load the crossbow first. After loading the crossbow, turn off the safety feature and put your finger on the trigger. Don’t pull it yet. Make sure to aim the right away. When the wind favors you, pull the trigger and wait for the arrow to hit the target.

How To Sight In A Crossbow?

Most of the modern-day crossbows comes pre-sighted from the factory. If you want to sight it in yourself, the recommended range is 20yards. Make sure to bring some extra arrows as you are going to need them. Keep firing and adjusting the scope till the scope hits the bullseye. It’s a lengthy process, but a worthwhile one.


Best Crossbow Under 500: Conclusion

To conclude the review, we need to appreciate the advancement of crossbows. We have come a long way. It’s clearly showing just how good the crossbow industry right now is. It was nearly impossible to find crossbows for $500. While now, we get crossbows that are not only good, they are quite well performing as well.

No matter which crossbow you go from the list here, all of them are the best $500 and some of the best sub $500 crossbows on the market. Wait for the next crossbow reviews. We will meet soon.