Looking for a cost-effective weapon for your target practice? Then a pistol crossbow would be an ideal choice. A pistol crossbow can also be used for hunting small game.
If you’ve been shopping for a crossbow pistol recently, you probably noticed there are numerous options to choose from. This selection can be confusing if you are a beginner and it helps to know what makes for a good crossbow pistol. If you want the best crossbow pistol, it’s also a good idea to be familiar with the current market—in which case these reviews should help.
Our Top Pick
The Prophecy 80 Pound tops our list of the best mini crossbows you can purchase. This fully-adjustable weapon has a draw weight of 80 pounds. With this draw weight, you get sufficient power for penetrating and taking down your target effectively. If you are beginner, the Prophecy would be a perfect pistol crossbow to develop your hunting or target shooting skills.
Five Top-Rated Pistol Crossbow Reviews
Inspired by the revolutionary Barnett Commando Pistol of between the 1980s and ’90s, the Prophecy 80-pound is one of the best-selling pistol crossbows today. It packs a punch and can fire arrows at an impressive velocity over a significant distance. This pistol crossbow is also user-friendly.
- 80-pound draw weight
- 165 FPS arrow speed
- 6-4/5-inch power stroke
- Package contains a Prophecy 80-pound pistol crossbow, two end caps, a string, 13 aluminum arrows.
Touted as one of the best pistol crossbows on the market based on functionality and design, the Prophecy 80 Pound features sturdy construction. Nonetheless, it weighs a paltry 2 pounds, making it convenient to carry and use.
The pistol crossbow offers 80-pound draw weight, so you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to pull it back and cock it. When you make the shot, the arrow travels at about 165 FPS. This speed is enough to stop any prey dead in its track provided it is within a reasonable range.
Another remarkable thing about the Prophecy 80 Pound is that it’s more affordable than most other pistol crossbows in its class. It also comes with most of the accessories that you might need to get started.
The only thing I don’t like about this device is the sights, which are somewhat inaccurate. You may need to spend some time tweaking them to improve their effectiveness.
- Sturdy construction
- Competitively priced
- Supports extra accessories
- The sights are somewhat challenging to understand
It’s easy to see why the Prophecy is our top pick. It’s a value-packed offering of quality and versatility.
The Snake Eye Tactical pistol crossbow lives up to its name. It features a long and slim design, typical of a snake. It is designed to provide impressive handling and accuracy.
- 80-pound draw weight
- 175 FPS arrow speed
- Self-cocking mechanism
- Metal construction
- 15 metal arrows
With a self-cocking feature, the Snake Eye Tactical will save you the stress of having to cock your weapon often. This weapon also comes with 15 metal arrows, so you can start shooting with it right out of the box. Another remarkable thing about this pistol crossbow is that it is effortless to load.
Its design also makes it fit in your hand comfortably. This weapon offers excellent performance and durability as the body is entirely made from metal. Adding to the durability is a state-of-the-art prod made from fiberglass.
This fiberglass prod also promotes flexibility and superb string alignment. With this, you’re sure of getting exceptional precision from your pistol crossbow. Moreover, the Snake Eye Tactical is equipped with an automatic safety feature, which is activated when you cock your weapon.
- Integrated self-cocking feature promotes convenience
- Easy to load
- Ensures shooting accuracy
- Durable metal construction
- 15 metal arrows to get started
- The metal arrows are of poor quality
- Can be difficult to string up
The Snake eye Tactical lives up to its name packing a punch with deadly accuracy—but you might want to buy your own arrows.
If you are shopping for a lightweight and compact pistol crossbow that you can use for hunting large animals, you might want to try the Manticore SAS 150 lbs. Pistol Crossbow.
- 150-pound draw weight
- 210 FPS arrow speed
- Aluminum barrel construction
- High-tech fiberglass limb
- Auto-safety cocking feature
- Rope cocking device included
- 4×20 crossbow scope included
- Six aluminum arrows
The SAS 150-pound is one of the most powerful pistol crossbows you can get on the market today. With a total draw weight of 150 pounds, the crossbow packs loads of energy in its limbs. That enables you to shoot arrows at speeds of up to 210 FPS.
At that speed, the SAS Pistol Crossbow delivers impressive accuracy at a distance of up to 60 yards. To promote efficiency, the crossbow is equipped with high-tech fiberglass limbs. These limbs can bend and release swiftly to produce the thrust needed for maximum efficiency.
This pistol crossbow also features an aluminum barrel that is designed to easily resist the pressure that the string exerts on the limbs. What I don’t like about this weapon is that it can be difficult to cock due to the considerable draw weight.
Fortunately, it comes with a foot claw to give you an easier time cocking it and features an auto-safety cocking mechanism. This feature helps to lock the string in place, preventing accidental firing after cocking your bow.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Ideal for hunting large game
- Great arrow speed
- Auto-safety cocking feature
- Six aluminum arrows to get you started
- The substantial draw weight can make cocking difficult
If you need a powerful crossbow pistol for hunting, the SAS 150-pound is worth a hard look.
Fishing may be included in its name, but William Tell Archery Piranha Fishing Pistol Crossbow is a versatile device. Besides fishing, you can also use it for target practice or hunting small game. This crossbow pistol can shoot a variety of ammunition, including two-winged bolts, short arrows, fishing forks, and 6 mm steel balls.
- 50-pound draw weight
- 110 FPS arrow speed
- Aluminum construction
- Automatic ball feeding system
- 164-feet active range
- 15 steel-ball magazine
The Piranha Fishing Pistol Crossbow is equipped with a 15-steel ball magazine. With this, you can make a non-stop round of 15 shots. This crossbow is built from hardwearing aluminum, making it one of the most durable options you can get.
Adding to the durability are steel limbs and nylon handle. You can use the crossbow in harsh environments without worrying about it breaking down. These materials also make the crossbow lightweight and easy to carry around.
The 50-pound draw weight makes it easy to handle. With the low draw weight, this pistol crossbow is still quite powerful. It features a lever system like those found in compound bows to ensure it has some let off, and so increased power.
Unfortunately, the low draw weight and speed may not be sufficient for hunting big game like deer. Nonetheless, the bow can deliver great results when it comes to fishing and small game hunting.
- Durable and lightweight
- Ideal for bow fishing
- Safe-cocking mechanism
- Easy to draw
- Not ideal for hunting dear
This bow is our top pick for small-game hunters. From rabbit to trout, this bow designed for serving up dinner.
If your focus is on hunting smaller game, you also might want to try the KingsArchery Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow. This style of weapon comes with 27 aluminum arrows, so you don’t need to purchase new bolts once you have the sights.
- 80-pound draw weight
- Durable fiberglass construction
- Self-cocking system
- 3-pound overall weight
The fiberglass material used in constructing this bow helps to minimize the weight, and the 3-pound overall weight makes it comfortable to handle while hunting. It even comes with a scope to make your work easier while hunting in the woods.
This KingsArchery Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow is capable of reaching a significant range that makes it ideal for hunting small animals like hare. What I don’t like about this pistol crossbow is that it is a bit more pricy compared to its close competitors.
You can attribute the high price to the additional accessories. Another downside is that bolts that come with the crossbow are of poor quality. The tips of these bolts usually come off after firing.
- Durable construction
- Comes with several bolts
- Comes with scope and scope mount
- Bolts are of poor quality
Unfortunately, while the KingArchery crossbow pistol is a solid small-game bow and comes with lots of arrows, they only serve to drive up the price, as they won’t survive repeated shots.
Choosing the Best Crossbow Pistol
There are several considerations to make when shopping for a new crossbow. You want to get a good-quality unit at the best price. The unit you choose should have the right specifications and capabilities for your needs. First thing to ask yourself is whether you need a crossbow pistol in the first place. If you’re looking for the power and range of a regular crossbow, take a look at our top-rated crossbows.
That said, here are some of the crucial things to consider, so you can get the best crossbow pistol to meet your goals.
With a self-cocking crossbow pistol, you don’t need to use any extra accessories like the rope cocker to cock the weapon. It is advisable to choose a pistol crossbow with a built-in self-cocking mechanism. This option will save you the stress of having to carry or install additional accessories to your weapon.
When newly purchased, pistol crossbows don’t come as a full unit. They come in three main parts – the pistol body, the limb, and various accessories. You’ll need to assemble these parts before you can use your crossbow pistol.
Stringing is the most challenging part when it comes to assembling a pistol crossbow. To make things easier, consider choosing a pistol crossbow that has a shot-stringing device like the stringer.
The draw weight is simply the amount of effort you have to put in when cocking the pistol crossbow. Most of today’s pistol crossbows come with a 50-pound or 80-pound draw weight.
A higher draw weight translates to a more powerful weapon. However, you need to have the strength to pull your chosen draw weight. Fortunately, the self-cocking mechanism can make it easy for you to pull and cock a high-draw weight.
It’s important to consider the quality of the string in the pistol crossbow that you’re considering to buy. The string will often make contact with the bolts’ rail, making it wear out fast. Therefore, be sure your string is made of tough and rugged materials.
Taking good care of your string will also increase its lifespan. It’s advisable to apply string wax on your crossbow pistol string and lubricant on the pistol rail after making about eight shots.
You should also take into consideration accessories such as the sights, crossbow scope for low light, and red-dot opticals. The accessories to have on your pistol crossbow will depend mainly on the intended purpose. If you plan to use your weapon for hunting small game, for example, you may need to invest in the red-dot sight.
With this type of sight, you can quickly aim your target and determine the distance between you and your prey. Conversely, if you plan to use your pistol crossbow for target shooting, you may need to invest in a 4 x 20 optical device. This device will allow you to zoom in and get a clearer view of your target.
These accessories are generally installed on the pistol’s mounting rail. You can choose either the Picatinny rail of Dovetail rail depending on your design preference.
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for a crossbow pistol, let’s explore some of the top-rated crossbow pistols available on the market today.
Whether you’re a bow hunter or a target shooting enthusiast, a crossbow pistol is one of the best weapons to fulfill your goals. With a crossbow pistol, you can easily develop your shooting skills.
It also gives you adequate control over the shot. However, it can be an uphill task choosing the best crossbow pistol if you are a beginner. That’s why it’s important to understand the features that make a great crossbow pistol—and that’s where these pistol crossbow reviews and buying guide comes in.
We hope that it will help you find a device that suits your hunting or target shooting needs effectively without straining your budget.
Looking for a full-sized crossbow? Check out our review of the CenterPoint Sniper 370 review.