Compound Crossbows: The 4 Best Affordable Compact Crossbows

Whether you are a regular archery enthusiast, hunter or are looking for stock up on a way to defend your home when the sh-t hits the fan you might want to consider looking into compound crossbows. There’s three simple reasons why they are great alternatives to guns, they have a reusable (which means cheaper) ammo, they’re silent and they are very deadly.

I have always enjoyed the quality precision compound crossbows have on their targets and the smoothness on which they load and shoot with. And to be honest, I have seen people of very different skill levels using compound crossbows and have always seen great results. It seems as soon as you pick up a crossbow, its natural and light feel and minimal recoil gives a much easier feel and aim for most than that with a gun.

I decided to look into writing about crossbows because it is a fun alternative to guns, which I have spent a lot of time around, I appreciate the finesse that archery hunters and enthusiasts use a bow over a gun to shoot their targets and a crossbow ammunition can work out to be much cheaper.

Speed of the compound crossbows

Some people complain that a crossbow is not as deadly as a compound bow. That’s wrong. The speed that they shoot at is super fast and extremely deadly and they can shoot faster than a compound bow.

Speed for bows is measured in FPS or feet-per-second. An average compound crossbow shoots at between 300 – 370 fps, this is just a bit quicker than the average airsoft gun when you look at the range from airsoft guns being about 360fps, but remember, you are shooting a very sharp metal-tipped object, not just a paintball.

Barnett Jackal

A compound bow can shoot at an average speed of 330 fps, so there’s a slight improvement on the speed factor there.

The Barnett Recruit was obviously the slowest one of out of the four, it is quite apparent when shooting it. When I tried the Barnett Jackal and the Killer Instinct I was quite surprised that they shot at a similar manner given their draw weights and size differences.

Draw Weight

The draw weight is essentially the amount of weight needed to pull the bow back into the locked and ready to fire position. We are going to have to skip the airsoft gun here as this is an irrelevant matter for airsoft guns. For bows, this can vary as the draw weight depends on the user. If you are a small child the draw weight is going to be a lot less than if you were a grown strong man pulling a normal bow. In this respect, compound bows take an average draw weight (for a grown male) of about 55-75lbs).

Killer Instinct KI350 Crossbow with KI LUMIX Scope

Taking a look at the table above we can see that there is a stark difference in the draw weight for a crossbow. That is because  the power that is in a compound crossbow is . much higher and its compact size makes that quite harder to draw the arrow. It is also because the arrow and the bow string has be pulled back to a certain position before it is locked into the firing lock, so there’s always a high draw weight.

CenterPoint Sniper 370-

This is where the difference between the two Barnett crossbows against the Killer Instinct and the Centrepoint was made. I found the Barnett bows very easy to draw back even though there was a slight difference between the two. The Centrepoint Sniper however had a very smooth draw on it, so even though it was much harder, it was not as though I was shaking when making a draw as you see with some compound crossbows.

What are the good and bad sides to each of these?

First, the Barnett Jackal. I liked using this bow primarily because it looks good and feel like a solid heavy weapon, this is also a downside to it being a little bit heavy. This bow is also very easy to set up and had a great trigger pull on it.

What I liked best about this one was the red dot sight scope, if you have never used one on a crossbow before they are surprisingly effective and a great way to improve bow hunting. The downside to this one is that it is quite a heavy crossbow so might not be that great for smaller users.

The Killer Instinct is an incredible bow for its price. It is super light and compact and one of the best ones when it comes to accuracy. I used this one the most with targets as I was very happy with the way it shot easily and reloaded easily every time. If you are a precision hunter I am going to say this would be the best as it is a dead-on shot at 30 meters every time.

With this one I don’t have too many complaints except breaking one of the bow. I imagine with a lifetime warranty this bow would be great for a first-time user to pick up and keep.

Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow

The Centerpoint Sniper’s optics included were not too great but aside from that the bow was pretty good for its price. This is one of the most popular ones online and for good reason, it shoots with a dangerous accuracy for up to 50 meters and I was getting tight groupings at that range and I am not even a good bow shooter. Perhaps with a different scope this one could be a winner for me.

The Barnett Recruit is also very popular with a lot of the compound bow fans because of its pricing. It is a great compact crossbow all of its targets very well. Even though it has a slower speed I tried out some heavier bolts with this bow and found it still worked quite well.

My Pick?

Choosing out of the four for the whole package I would stick with the Killer Instinct. It was a great-to-handle bow and very light to carry around. The targeting on this crossbow was extremely precise and the fact that it comes with a Lumix scope with its red/green rheostat illumination. If I was to be using this bow I feel like I would like the warranty that it comes with just for peace of mind.

If you are looking to settle your mind on one of these crossbows, check out the Amazon reviews below the product descriptions as well as they will give you some more feedback on how great these compound crossbows are.

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