Welcome to our review of the best crossbows under $500.
If you want to get into crossbow hunting or target shooting, one of the first issues you will encounter is costs. Crossbow shooting can be an expensive hobby, especially if you want the best in terms of quality and features.
The good news is that starting with crossbow hunting doesn’t have to break the bank. You also don’t have to forgo features that make activities like whitetail deer hunting possible. There are plenty of quality crossbows under $500. You just have to know what to look for. Luckily for you, we’re about to share not only a crossbow buying guide but reviews of a few affordable choices.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Pick
- Products from Amazon.com
- Best Crossbows Under $500 Product Reviews
- Buying Guide
- Final Thoughts
Our Top Pick
The Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Lite, a high-quality compound crossbow that packs enough punch for target shooting and medium-sized game hunting, is our top choice. Prominent features of this crossbow include a draw weight of 150 pounds, 13.5-inch power stroke, and arrow speeds of up to 350 feet per second.
Products from Amazon.com
- Price: $399.00Was: $459.99
- Price: $329.00Was: $399.99
- Price: $299.95
- Price: $300.00Was: $398.99
Best Crossbows Under $500 Product Reviews
Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Lite – Best Crossbow Under $500
Our top pick for this review is the Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Lite from a well-known brand called TenPoint. Even if you are not strapped for cash, you may want to consider this crossbow for target shooting and hunting.
Let’s take a look at its features:
- 11-inch WRX laminated limbs
- Heavy-duty 4S cams
- DynaFLIGHT 97 cables and string
- A draw weight of 150 pounds
- 13.5-inch power stroke
- Arrow speeds of up to 350 feet per second
- 15-inch cam-to-cam measurement
The standout features here are the 150-pound draw weight and the 350 feet per second arrow speed. If you have carbon bolts with broadheads, you can go hunting.
Another high-value feature is the Wicked Ridge Warrior light weight of only 6 pounds. Add to this the compact 15-inch wide front, and you have a comfortable and maneuverable crossbow that you can use in cramped or close-quarter settings.
See it in action in this video.
The only drawbacks with this compound bow are that it has no noise and vibration control, and you don’t get a cocking device to make the dead draw easier. Apart from that, this crossbow packs extraordinary value, especially in this price range.
- Lightweight, balanced, and comfortable crossbow
- Sufficient draw weight and arrow speed for deer hunting
- Highly accurate and easy to sight in
- High-quality cams, limbs, and string
- Made in the United States
- Limited noise and vibration control
- No rope cocker is included in the package
The Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Lite delivers deadly accuracy, durability, and reliability at an affordable price.
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury – Best Value for Money
If you want the best possible value for money, consider the Arrow Precision Inferno Fury, which is one of the most affordable crossbows on this list. Even though this crossbow has a low price, it offers a wide range of valuable features:
- A draw weight of 175 pounds
- Maximum arrow velocity of 235 feet per second
- Total weight of 4.84 pounds
- A string length of 26.5 inches
- Quick-detach quiver
- 10.5-inch power stroke
The Inferno Fury is a recurve model and suitable for beginners who need a crossbow that is easy to use, comfortable, and lightweight. The package includes everything you need to start, including arrows and a red dot scope.
This crossbow has a draw weight that is 25 pounds more than that of our top pick, but it has less power, mainly because the Wicked Ridge is a compound crossbow and the Inferno Fury is a recurve crossbow.
If you need a hunting crossbow, the Inferno Fury is not a viable option, although a skilled crossbow hunter will be able to bring a deer down at close range with this crossbow.
- Excellent value for money
- Recurve crossbow and suitable for beginners
- Relatively high draw weight and arrow speed
- Comes with a quick-detach quiver, bolts, and red dot scope
- Not suitable for hunting large game
- Not a compound crossbow
- You may have to replace the arrows
The Inferno Fury is a great target shooting crossbow, even if the price is not your only buying consideration.
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – Best Hunting Crossbow
If you need a crossbow under $500 for hunting, take a look at the Whitetail Hunter II from Barnett, one of the leading manufacturers of crossbows in the country. This crossbow’s features include:
- A draw weight of 150 pounds
- Light weight of 6.4 pounds
- Custom composite laminated limbs
- String dampeners to reduce vibration and noise
- TriggerTech trigger
- Maximum bolt velocity of 350 feet per second
With a draw weight of 150 pounds and an arrow speed of 350 feet per second, this crossbow is made for hunters. It not only has sufficient energy but is also durable, reliable, and accurate.
A standout feature of the Whitetail Hunter II is its TriggerTech Precise Trigger Control that provides a smooth and responsive touch, three-pound release for added accuracy, and a consistent zero creep.
You also get an anti-dry fire system with nock sensor to prevent injuries and indexing problems. The unit has a light weight of 6.4 pounds, and a compact cam-to-cam measurement of 13.25 inches so you can use it in small spaces.
Drawbacks include an incomplete user manual and the scope that doesn’t match the crossbow in terms of quality.
- Draw weight and arrow speed for hunting
- Short power stroke and smooth trigger system
- Compact and lightweight
- Anti-dry fire nock and trigger sensor
- The user manual is difficult to understand
- Scope quality can be improved
The Barnett Whitetail Hunter II is a budget bowhunter that is easy to sight in, fast, quiet, and accurate.
Like the Inferno Fury, the PSE Fang LT offers excellent value for money. Fang LT comes with the following features:
- One-piece molded composite stock
- Semi-open skeleton design
- Lightweight of 6.5 pounds
- An integrated cheek rest and rubber pistol grip
- A draw weight of 165 pounds
- Maximum arrow speed of 330 frames per second
With this crossbow, you will receive a 4×32 MR scope, three 20-inch carbon bolts, 100-grain points, five-bolt quiver, and a cocking rope. The package includes almost everything you need for crossbow hunting.
This crossbow is designed to have a forward center of gravity so you can carry most of the weight on your shoulder. This design makes it possible to hold the crossbow in position for a long time without experiencing fatigue.
The bolts and scope included in the package are suitable for target practice, but not for hunting. If you want to hunt game like whitetail deer, you will have to find a carbon bolt with a total weight of at least 350 grains.
- A lightweight crossbow that is suitable for beginner hunters
- The crossbow is comfortable and easy to use
- Forward-center of gravity to allow for a relaxed aim
- High-quality limbs and anti-dry fire
- High-performance cams
- Integrated string stops to control vibration and noise
- Great value for money
- Not a compact crossbow
- The scope is not suitable for hunting
The PSE Fang LT is a durable, affordable and accurate crossbow that is suitable for most hunting and target shooting settings.
CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380
The Tormentor Whisper from CenterPoint is a skeletonized compound crossbow with almost everything you need for any hunting and target shooting setting. This crossbow’s features include:
- A draw weight of 185 pounds
- A maximum bolt velocity of 380 feet per second
- CNC cams and a composite open-frame stock
- A machined aluminum rail and riser
- Auto-safety and anti-dry fire
From the features alone, you will notice that this a high-quality and high-performing crossbow for this price bracket. The Tormentor Whisper 380 also lives up to its name with a silencing system that consists of dual string stoppers, dual limb dampeners, and two spider silencers. This system allows you to take a stealthy approach when you are hunting.
At 7.9 pounds, the Tormentor Whisper is not the lightest crossbow on this list. If you attach all the accessories, the crossbow’s weight can increase to 9.2 pounds. As a result, it is too heavy for freehand shooting, but according to people who hunted with this model, the weight adds to its accuracy.
- High maximum arrow speed of 380 feet per second
- Solid frame with compact uncocked width
- State-of-the-art silencing system
- Heavy crossbow with a weight of up to 9.2 pounds
Is it Worth Buying a $500 Crossbow?
If you browse through crossbows in high-price categories, you may think that you need all the benefits and features that these models have to offer and that all crossbows under $500 are entry-level products that have a life expectancy of one year.
While crossbows in this price will not have every high-end feature there is, it doesn’t mean that you are compromising on quality or performance. There are many high-quality models in this category that are great for hunting or target shooting.
Crossbow performance depends on several metrics, including draw weight, arrow velocity, and power stroke. The type of crossbow also determines its performance. If you purchase in this price category, make sure that you meet the minimum performance requirements of your intended crossbow activity.
For example, if you need a crossbow for deer hunting, don’t buy a crossbow with a draw weight of fewer than 150 pounds. Other considerations include arrow speed, crossbow type, and power stroke.
Arrow speed is measured in feet per second (FPS) and refers to the speed that the bolt travels for the first twenty yards after discharge. If you need a crossbow for hunting, select a crossbow that delivers a speed of at least 200 feet per second.
Two factors that affect the bolt speed include the draw weight of the crossbow and the weight of the arrow.
The higher your crossbow’s draw weight, the stronger the force is that shoots the arrow forward, and the bigger the likelihood that you will achieve a humane kill shot. Hunting crossbows typically have higher draw weights than crossbows for target shooting.
If you select a crossbow with high draw weight, a cocking mechanism can help, so you don’t have to dead weight the draw of the crossbow.
Compound or Recurve?
Recurve models are conventional crossbows that have a single string attached to each limb. Compound crossbows, on the other hand, feature cam systems or pullies to draw back the strings. If you see a crossbow with wheels and more than one string, chances are you are looking at a compound crossbow.
Compound crossbows generally have higher draw weights than recurve crossbows, and they are typically more expensive. However, since compound crossbows have a lot of components, they are heavier than recurve crossbows and less maneuverable.
The limbs of your crossbow should be made from flexible and durable materials. Lower-end crossbows typically have wooden or aluminum limbs, but these materials don’t offer the best longevity and strength.
When you shop around for a crossbow under $500, stick to limbs made from fiberglass, carbon, or a combination of the two, as this will reduce your chances of ending up with cracked or broken limbs.
Crossbow limbs that are made from these materials deliver more kinetic energy to the bolt, they can withstand the stress of a powerful shot, and they can last as long as the crossbow.
Settling for a crossbow under $500 doesn’t mean that you have to settle for poor quality and limited features, especially if you opt for models like the Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Lite. Our top pick meets all the requirements for a high-value crossbow under $500, including sufficient draw weight, arrow speed, and quality limb material.
Since the Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Lite is a compound crossbow, its performance features are optimized to provide you with power, accuracy, and an enhanced hunting or target shooting experience.