Best Crossbows of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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There’s a crossbow speed race happening, and there are some real benefits to the new ultra-fast bows. Consider that an arrow traveling 500 fps drops only 2.5 inches from 20 to 50 yards, not to mention the energy it delivers down range. 

While those dragsters are marvels of engineering, we also focus on accuracy and ease of use when selecting the best crossbow of the year. Former OL shooting editor Townsend Whelen said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting.” The results of this year’s test show that the same is true for crossbows. Here are this year’s results. 

Crossbows Tested in 2024

Previously Tested Crossbows 

Crossbow Test Results, At a Glance

Accuracy specs are based on six, three-shot groups at 50 yards. Momentum spec is based on measured speed and the arrow weight used for testing. Weight was measured with scope attached. 

How We Tested the Best Crossbows

Accuracy testing crossbows at 50 yards.

Natalie Krebs

Crossbows Tested 

We typically focus on reviewing the newest products from top brands, but many of the best crossbows have been around for a few years. That’s why we decided to take a wider look for this year’s crossbow test and evaluated the best options available to hunters, rather than just the newest. We’ve also included reviews of crossbows from past tests that are still available and still excellent options.  

While we’ve tested many of the best crossbows there are still a few we haven’t been able to get our hands. We’ll add the following crossbows to this article as soon as we can get them. 

  • The Ravin R50X shoots 505 fps, costs $2,400, has a new cam system, and will be available early this summer. 
  • The Mission Sub-1 XR is high on our want list because the Sub-1 crossbows are a long favorite of competitive crossbow shooters due to their accuracy. 
  • Barnett crossbows provide a great value to the consumer and have done well in past tests. We’ll be looking to test their 2024 models. 

Speed

The Garmin Xero C1 provided accurate speed data.

Natalie Krebs

We measured crossbow speed using a Garmin Xero C1 chronograph. Each crossbow was shot three times, and we averaged the speeds to give you the specs listed. For context, the bolt weight and momentum are also listed for each bow. You’ll also see momentum calculated for each crossbow instead of kinetic energy because momentum provides a more accurate figure of an arrow’s lethality and ability to pass through an animal. 

Accuracy

Three testers shot two, three-shot groups at 50 yards from each crossbow. That gave us a total of six groups per crossbow. We averaged those six groups to give you the accuracy specs listed. 

Cocking and Loading

We evaluated each crossbow for how easy and intuitive it was to cock and load. We also took note of safety features, the noisiness of cocking mechanisms, and each crossbow’s manual of arms.

Handling

We tested accuracy from the bench, but that’s probably not how you’ll shoot when hunting, so we also shot crossbows offhand, kneeling, and off a tripod to see how they handled in field positions. 

Some of the crossbows received extra attention to provide additional data points. We checked arrow drop, shot groups at 100 yards, and shot broadheads at 50 yards with select bows. 

Gear We Used for Testing

Target: Big Shot Kinetic 650

We used the Big Shot Kinetic 650 because standard targets aren’t up to the task of stopping bolts from the fastest crossbows. The Kinetic 650 reliably stopped arrows throughout our accuracy testing, and pulling bolts was easy. For broadheads, we used a Rhinehart RhinoBlock, which worked great at stopping the bolts. 

Chronograph: Garmin Xero C1

The Garmin Xero C1 uses doppler radar to track a projectile and measure its speed. We chose it over a traditional chronograph because it provides consistent reading no matter the lighting conditions. 

The Test Team

Scott Einsmann: Outdoor Life’s gear editor and lifelong archery nerd. 

Natalie Krebs: OL’s executive editor and crossbow test veteran. She has also helped many people shoot their first deer with a crossbow through QDMA’s Field to Fork program. 

Derek Horner: OL’s engagement editor, who has hunted deer with everything from flintlocks to crossbows. 

Best Crossbows: Reviews & Recommendations 

Editor’s Choice: Ravin R29X

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Key Features

  • Weight: 6.75 pounds (7.98 pounds with scope)
  • Length: 29 inches
  • Uncocked Width: 13.5 inches
  • String Life: Two years or 400 shots 
  • Price: $2,050

Test Results

  • Speed: 452.5 fps (402 grain arrow)
  • Accuracy: 1.165 inches
  • Momentum: .806 lbs-sec

Pros

  • Compact
  • Accurate 
  • Easy to shoot off hand 

Cons

  • Short length of pull might be uncomfortable for tall shooters

The Ravin R29X was released in 2020, and yet it’s still a dominant crossbow. It offers good speed and incredible accuracy well beyond what most would consider ethical hunting ranges. After doing our official accuracy testing at 50 yards, all three testers shot the R29X at 100 yards and our groups averaged 3.5 inches with a light crosswind. That’s not a distance we’d recommend for hunting, but it was interesting to see the bow’s capability. 

The best group shot with the R29X at 50 yards.

Natalie Krebs

At 50 yards the R29X had the smallest group average at 1.16 inches. We shot three different brands of mechanical broadheads through the R29X (SEVR, G5, and Rage) and they all grouped with field points. Ravin crossbows are consistently the most accurate we test, and we think that’s partly due to the bolts clicking onto the string. That adds some consistency over most other arrows which have a groove that rests against the string rather than snapping onto it. Of course, clicking the arrow onto the string is an added step in the loading process. Even with that added step, the R29X scored the highest in the ease of loading category. It’s very easy to crank for most adults; Ravin says it requires 12 pounds of force. We also like that the rail is open without brushes or anything getting in the way of easily loading the bolt. The internal cocking mechanism is simple to use and the only noise comes from the clicks made while releasing the firing mechanism and clicking it onto the string. Our main complaint with the firing process is that the safety is located away from the trigger guard, making it hard to reach. It also lacks a positive click when you move it into the fire position. 

The R29X’s bullpup design makes it short and keeps the balance point close to your body, which aids in off-hand shooting stability. The short design is also great for maneuverability, but some will find the 13-inch length of pull a little too short for a comfortable cheek weld. 

The fore grip is comfortable for off-hand shooting.

Natalie Krebs

The forend has a rubberized grip for off-hand shooting, which is comfortable for balancing in your palm. The downside of the rubberized grip is that it’s not ideal for clamping into a tripod or resting on a support. A flatter and more solid foregrip would be an upgrade there. For bipod shooting, there’s a section of Picatinny rail at the forward most point of the forend and we love that it’s metal rather than plastic. 

When the R29X first came out it was among the fastest crossbows available, but in 2024 you can get a bow that’s 65 fps faster. Its now considered average in speed, but it’s still plenty fast. We found arrows fired from the R29X drop 6.8 inches from 20 to 50 yards. In other words, you won’t be penalized for misjudging range by a few yards in a hunting scenario. 

All the crossbow testers were asked: “If you had to take one of these bows hunting tomorrow, which would you choose?” The unanimous answer was the R29X. It does everything you want a hunting crossbow to do and its accuracy leaves no doubts when you settle the crosshairs behind a deer’s shoulder. 

Best Value: Tenpoint Venom X

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Key Features

  • Weight: 6.9 pounds (8.11 pounds with scope)
  • Length: 32.5 inches
  • Uncocked Width: 13 inches
  • String Life: Two years
  • Price: $1,050

Test Results

  • Speed: 388.1 fps (407 grain arrow)
  • Accuracy: 1.653
  • Momentum: .701 lbs-sec

Pros

  • Great build quality for the price
  • Accurate 
  • Quiet cranking
  • Made in USA

Cons

I don’t think anyone would call a $1,000 crossbow “cheap” or even budget friendly, but in terms of value, the Venom X offers a lot for your hard-earned cash. Especially when you consider it comes with a scope, quiver, three arrows, and one of the best cranking mechanisms.

Cocking the Tenpoint Venom X.

Natalie Krebs

Its accuracy was stellar. It was the second most accurate crossbow we tested this year, and its 1.6-inch group average at 50 yards beat out bows costing many times more. Cranking it is easy thanks to its 215-pound draw weight. Compare that to the Ravin R26, which is only 10 fps faster and has a 340-pound draw weight. The Venom X achieves that in part from a 2.25-inch longer powerstroke. 

The 400 fps mark is the new norm for modern crossbows, and the Venom X gets close to that number. The Garmin Xero C1 clocked it at 388 fps with a 407 grain arrow. While it’s great for marketing to have a bow hit an even 400, that 12 fps deficit isn’t going to make a difference inside 40 yards. This bow only drops 6.5 inches between 20 and 40, so know the range to your target within 5 yards and you’ll make a killing shot. 

Many crossbow hunters have had their heart sink when their bow breaks either due to a faulty part or through a bone-headed mistake. Tenpoint offers a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects, but if you broke the bow due to not reading the manual, that’s on you. Unless you buy the Tenpoint Elite warranty for $200, which is a five-year, no-questions-asked warranty for all repairs. If your bow falls out of your stand, the repairs are covered. It’s worth considering if you’re hard on your equipment.

You don’t have to spend more than $2,000 to get a great crossbow and the Venom X is proof of that. It’s made in the USA, offers a lifetime warranty, is very accurate, has a great cocking mechanism, and is a well-made bow. A final word of advice is that if you’re on the fence about spending $700 or jumping up to the $1,000 range, we’d spend the extra dough. In our experience testing crossbows, the quality and user-friendliness drops off significantly below the $1,000 price point. 

Best Recurve: Excalibur RevX

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Key Features

  • Weight: 7 pounds (8.6 pounds with scope)
  • Length: 33 inches
  • Uncocked Width: 25.5 inches
  • String Life: Replace at the first sign of wear
  • Price: $1,600

Test Results

  • Speed: 386 fps (353 grain arrow)
  • Accuracy: 1.85 inches 
  • Momentum: .604 lbs-sec

Pros

  • Easy to cock and load 
  • Accurate
  • Easy to change string
  • Fun to shoot

Cons

  • Not as much momentum or speed as compound competitors 
The Excalibur was an exceptionally fun crossbow to shoot.

Natalie Krebs

We haven’t been enthusiastic about recurve crossbows mainly because the cranking mechanisms or rope cockers they used weren’t easy to use. The cranks also typically lacked the ability to stop mid-draw and if your hand did slip off the crank handle, it would crack your knuckles as it spun forward. But, the Excalibur RevX is different. It’s incredibly smooth and easy to load. It also has modern amenities like a built-in crank you can pause. 

It averaged a sub-2-inch group at 50 yards, which put it third in our accuracy rankings. It also finished third in our handling scores. Yes, a recurve crossbow is slower than compound offerings. But, they’re much easier to maintain. You can even change a string in the field in just a few minutes. 

Cocking the Excalibur Rev X.

Natalie Krebs

The crank handle stows securely under the stock and is wonderfully executed. The cocking order of operations takes some getting used to because it’s not as automated as other crossbows. One of the key points is that you must manually engage the safety after you clip the firing mechanism on the string. This is a extra safety step that other crossbows don’t require, but it’s one you’ll used to with time.

The ergonomics and trigger were among the best we’ve tested and all the testers agreed the RevX is a fun bow to shoot. The RevX provides that overlooked aspect of crossbow ownership. If you don’t mind a bow that’s a little slower than the rest, but want something that’s accurate and joy to practice with, here’s the best option. 

Fastest: Tenpoint TRX 515 

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Key Features

  • Weight: 7.2 pounds (9.37 pounds with scope)
  • Length: 29 inches
  • Uncocked Width: 12 inches
  • String Life: Two years or at the first signs of wear
  • Price: $3,500

Test Results

  • Speed: 495.4 fps (445 grain arrow)
  • Accuracy: 2.54 inches
  • Momentum: .978 lbs-sec

Pros

  • Fastest crossbow in the world 
  • Safety is easy to actuate with firing hand

Cons

  • Very expensive 
  • Trigger is heavy 
The flat fore grip is ideal for shooting off a support.

Natalie Krebs

Like the 4-minute mile, the 500 fps crossbow seemed impossible. But, we’re now on the second generation of 500+ fps bows and they’re getting faster and better. The main issue we had with the first gen Tenpoint Nitro 505 was its inconsistent broadhead accuracy. However this year we shot SEVR and G5 mechanical broadheads from the TRX 515 and they grouped right with field points at 50 yards. That’s a huge improvement and it makes the TRX 515 an excellent option for the speed fanatics. 

What does all that speed get you? The 445-grain CenterPunch HPX arrows only drop 2.5 inches from 20 to 50 yards. It delivers nearly twice the momentum of the fastest compound bow we tested this year. The arrow will reach a target 40 yards away in about .25 seconds, which makes it nearly impossible for a deer to duck the arrow at closer ranges. See our article on The Truth About Deer Jumping the String for more on that.

All that performance comes at a steep, $3,450 price. If you want the TRX 515 with the awesome Garmin Xero scope, it’ll run you $5,000. It’s a bit of sticker shock and while the bow is fast it’s not without its faults. 

It shot a 2.54-inch average at 50 yards, which is ok accuracy for hunting, but not stellar. We found it awkward to guide the arrow down the rail and nock onto the string without the fletching getting caught between the string and rail. The brush arrow rest at the front helps keep your arrow in position, but it also contributes to the awkward loading. The trigger has minimal creep, but it is heavy and we think that contributed to the large group average. A final knock is that it utilizes plastic parts, which is common in crossbows to reduce weight. But, for a bow with the TRX 515’s price tag a carbon stock instead of plastic would be more appropriate and provide the owner with more value.  

Tenpoint TX 440

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Key Features

  • Weight: 7.2 pounds (9.26 pounds with scope)
  • Length: 28 inches 
  • Uncocked Width: 11 inches
  • String Life: Two years
  • Built-in crank 
  • Price: $2,500

Test Results

  • Speed: 415 (445 grain arrow)
  • Accuracy: 3.8 inches
  • Momentum: .819 lbs-sec

Pros

  • Made in USA
  • Ambi Safety 
  • Compact 

Cons

  • Inconsistent accuracy 
  • Awkward to load

The TX 440 had many of the same loading issues as the TRX 515. It was also the least accurate crossbow we tested this year. A 3.8-inch group average at 50 yards is still fine for hunting, but it’s not what you’d expect for a $2,500 bow. The accuracy was also inconsistent with our smallest group at 1.7 inches and our largest at 4.7 inches. We experimented with how we loaded and held the crossbow to see if that affected accuracy, but we were unable to pinpoint the culprit for the inconsistencies. 

One of the things we like about the TRX 440 is that it has a fore grip that’s ideal for clamping into a tripod. It’s also flat on the bottom so it sits nicely on a rest or bag. Like other bullpup designs it’s short and balances nicely for shooting off-hand, seated, or kneeling. 

Ravin R10X

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Key Features

  • Weight: 6.8 pounds (8.22 pounds with scope)
  • Length: 33 inches
  • Uncocked Width: 13.5 inches
  • String Life: 2 years or 400 shots
  • Built-in crank 
  • Price: $1650

Test Results

  • Speed: 391.6 fps (402 grain arrow)
  • Accuracy: 1.9 inches
  • Momentum: .697 lbs-sec

Pros

  • Simple manual of arms 
  • Accurate

Cons

  • Safety lacks a positive “click”

Like the R29X the R10X isn’t new, but this 2021 model is still a great buy in 2024. It was right behind the Excalibur in the accuracy rankings (fourth overall) and it is easy to load, much like the Ravin R29X. The only drawback in the loading process is the crank handle can hit the scope if you’re not careful. 

The safety is located behind the pistol grip.

Natalie Krebs

It’s a longer crossbow than the bullpup designs that currently dominate the market. We found the safety lacked a positive click to let you know it’s in the fire position, which led us to visually inspect it each time. 

Crossbows tend to jump from $1,000 to $2,000+, and the R10 is a nice compromise between a budget bow and the top of the line models.

Centerpoint Sinister 430 

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Key Features

  • Weight: 8.6 pounds
  • Length: 30 inches 
  • Uncocked Width: 13 inches 
  • Price: $800

Test Results

  • Speed: 431.5 fps
  • Accuracy: 2.23 inches
  • Momentum: .761 lbs-sec

Pros

  • Adjustable length of pull and cheek rest 
  • Good accuracy for the price

Cons

  • Difficult to cock
  • Poor ergonomics

The Sinister 430 has some really cool features like an adjustable length of pull and cheek rest. Both adjustments are easily made without tools. So if you’re sharing the crossbow with someone or you’re wearing thicker clothes, you can adjust it for the best fit in the field. It landed in the meaty part of the curve in terms of accuracy with a respectable, 2.23-inch average. That accuracy is pretty incredible considering the Sinister 430 had a mushy and heavy trigger. It seems like you must pull for forever before it breaks. 

The cocking mechanism’s location made the Sinister uncomfortable to shoot.

Natalie Krebs

While we appreciate the Sinister’s features, those creature comforts were negated by the obtruding cranking mechanism that’s right where your jaw needs to rest on the stock. This leaves the shooter in an uncomfortable and unnatural shooting position with hard plastic sticking into their face. It’s not fun. 

If you’re considering the Sinister 430, we’d suggest getting your hands on one to make sure it’s comfortable for you. If you find it’s not for you, jumping up in price to the Tenpoint Venom X would be a good move. Or look at our past best value winners the Centerpoint Wrath 430 and the Wicked Ridge Raider 400. 

Previously Tested Crossbows

Tenpoint Flatline 460

TenPoint Flatline 460

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Key Features

  • Length: 26.5 inches
  • Width Uncocked: 12 inches
  • Width Cocked: 7.5 inches
  • Weight With Scope: 9.7 pounds
  • Bolt Weight: 410 grains
  • Price: $2,650

Test Results

  • 50-Yard Group Average: 2.75 inches
  • Speed: 467 fps
  • Momentum: 0.849 slugs

Pros 

  • Compact
  • Easy to shoot offhand, kneeling, or seated
  • Easy to cock and decock 

Cons

  • Forend is not ideal for shooting off a tripod or bag

The TenPoint Nitro 505 is scorching fast, but came up short in accuracy. It shot several 9-inch groups with SEVR broadheads during testing. The TenPoint Flatline 460 retains the refined build quality of the Nitro but improved the accuracy. It shot a 2.75-inch group average with the smallest five-shot group being 2.1 inches.

I chronographed the Flatline 460 at 467 fps. I think it’s the ideal speed for a hunting crossbow because it’s fast enough to produce a lot of energy and a flat trajectory, yet not so fast that it sprays broadheads all over the target. The drop from 20 to 45 yards is only 5 inches, with a practically flat trajectory from 20 to 40. I shot the SEVR 1.5, Swhacker Levi Morgan, and Rage Hypodermic Crossbow NC broadheds into a 1.75 inch group at 50 yards. They all hit the same spot as field points. 

The speed and accuracy of the Flatline 460 are certainly noteworthy, but there are other fast and accurate crossbows on the market. The thing that makes this bow so special is its size, ergonomics, and ease of use. 

A look at the cocked width of the Tenpoint Flatline 460. Scott Einsmann

The cocking mechanism is intuitive and smooth to operate. I love the slick way the crank handle stows in the stock and how it extends to provide more leverage. The crank handle is comfortable, and while shooting in the rain, I still had a secure grip. Getting the crossbow crocked and loaded is fast, and I can get it done in about a minute. 

The length of pull measures 13.5 inches, which should be comfortable for most people. The distance from the back of the pistol grip to the trigger is 3.25 inches, and again it should be a comfortable trigger reach for most people. The two-stage trigger has a short take up followed by a defined stopping point, and with just a little pressure, it cleanly breaks. 

Shooting off hand at 45 yards, I was able to keep five-shot groups to 6 inches. The Flatline 460’s balance point is right at the trigger, which makes it easier to hold steady while shooting unsupported. The forend is very comfortable to hold and use for off-hand shooting, but I’d love to see an Arca Swiss rail integrated into it. More and more crossbow shooters are taking cues from the rifle world and are using hunting tripods as a shooting rest. For this application, an Arca Swiss mount is the standard. So the addition of the Arca rail would add a lot of utility. A flat forend—rather than radiused—would also make the crossbow more stable for shooting off a bag. Again, flat forends are a growing trend in the best rifles and it would make sense to utilize their benefits in crossbows too.

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line crossbow that’s accurate, well-built, and compact, you cannot go wrong with the Flatline 460. It’s $500 less than the R500, only 40 fps slower, and shoots broadheads without issues. To me, that makes it the best crossbow of 2023. 

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Key Features

  • Length: 31.5 inches
  • Width Uncocked: 19 inches
  • Width Cocked: 15 inches
  • Weight With Scope: 6.8 pounds
  • Bolt Weight: 409.4
  • Price: $750

Test Results

  • 50-Yard Group Average: 3.5 inches
  • Speed: 378 fps
  • Momentum: 0.686 slugs

Pros 

  • Light
  • Very adjustable length of pull
  • Easy to cock and de-cock with a rope cocker

Cons

  • Heavy trigger
  • A lot of post-shot vibration 

First impressions are worth a lot, and my first impressions of the Wicked Ridge Raider were that it’s very light, easy to cock — and I was surprised when my first shot hit right where I was aiming. I continued to be pleasantly surprised by the Raider throughout testing. 

I’ve tested a lot of crossbows, and there are only a handful that are easy for anyone to cock and decock with a rope cocker while in a treestand. I think the Wicked Ridge Raider is in that rarified air. 

The Raider’s groups were often strung horizontally. Scott Einsmann

The trigger is a stiff 4.5 pounds but doesn’t have any creep, and it breaks clean. Just keep squeezing the trigger straight back, and you’ll hit the spot. In the 50-yard accuracy testing, the group sizes averaged 3.5 inches. The vertical consistency was excellent, and I saw mostly left or right inconsistency, likely due to the trigger. 

The stock has a wide range of adjustment. Scott Einsmann

The stock is adjustable for the length of pull from 13.25 inches to 16.25 inches, which is plenty of adjustment range to fit most shooters. In fact, the longest setting was even too long for my 6-foot 6-inch frame. 

The one thing I didn’t like about shooting the Raider was the post-shot vibration. It’s a louder-than-average crossbow, with a stinging vibration after the shot. But I recognize most crossbow owners use their bows for hunting tools rather than recreational shooting. The Raider certainly is a great hunting tool and meets the needs of hunters looking for the best crossbow for the money.

Ravin R500

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Key Features 

  • Bolt Weight: 403 grains
  • Weight: 8.4 pounds 
  • Uncocked Width: 7.7 inches
  • String Life: 200 shots or 2 years 
  • Price: $3,025 to $3,725

Test Results

  • 50-Yard Group Average: 2.7 inches
  • Speed: 502.5 fps
  • Momentum: 0.898 slugs

Pros

  • Fast and accurate
  • Narrow profile
  • Easy to use
  • Good trigger

Cons

  • Difficult to clip bolts onto the string 
  • Quiver and crank are poor quality for the price
  • Expensive

A crossbow that shoots 500 fps is impressive. But a crossbow that’s safe, accurate, easy to use, and shoots 500 fps is worth paying attention to.

The R500 doesn’t achieve 500 fps by utilizing a super-heavy draw weight. It uses the same 300-pound draw weight as the 450-fps R29. It gets its speed from a longer powerstroke and efficient cam design. 

We really liked the R500’s design. Its narrow profile makes it handy, and it balances over the forward grip for steady offhand shooting. It also has a smart solution to prevent mispositioned fingers from getting sliced off by the string: The R500’s string is fully enclosed with a shroud that resembles a vented tube. 

The cocking mechanism is also really well thought out. The trigger group moves on threaded rails to cock the R500. It’s a clean design that has no straps or ropes. It takes effort to crank, but it’s smooth and most adults won’t have an issue cocking this crossbow. The crank handle that comes with the R500 looks surprisingly cheap—like an Allen wrench bent into the shape of a crank. Its design and construction are almost like an afterthought on an otherwise well-designed crossbow. Another thing we didn’t like is that you have to snap the bolts onto the string rather than slide them into place like many other crossbows. This means the user must grip the bolt to snap it on, and with a broadhead, that becomes more difficult.

That said, I suspect that snapping the bolts onto the string contributes to the R500’s accuracy. The Ravin was the most accurate crossbow in the field we tested, with a 2.7-inch average group at 50 yards. The real test was how it performed with broadheads. We wanted to be sure that a 500 fps crossbow could shoot a broadhead accurately. I shot multiple groups with a 100-grain SEVR crossbow broadhead at 50 yards, and it consistently grouped with field points. The broadhead groups were comparable to our field-point-only groups at 2.75 to 3.25 inches. I swapped the broadhead onto different bolts and of the six bolts I shot with the broadhead, I produced only one flyer, which shot 4 inches outside the group.

Using the LabRadar, we clocked the R500 speed at 502 fps—just over the advertised spec. At that speed, your arrows will drop 1.5 inches between 20 and 40 yards. At 50 yards, your bolts will be going 462 fps and deliver .827 slug fps of momentum. For perspective, a compound bow shooting 300 fps with a 600-grain arrow generates .799 slug fps at point-blank range.

The elephant in the room is the R500’s price tag. It’s an absurdly expensive crossbow, and it’s comparable in price to a precision hunting rifle. But the crossbow market is a hot one, and Ravin is betting that hunters will be willing to shell out for one of the fastest, most accurate crossbows available.

Ravin released a new 500 fps for 2024 that will be available this summer.

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Key Features

  • Bolt Weight: 350 grains
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Uncocked Width: 25.5 inches
  • Price: $1,600

Test Results

  • 50-Yard Group Average: 3.19 inches
  • Speed: 346.6 fps
  • Momentum: 0.538 slugs

Pros

  • Fast follow-up shots
  • User serviceable 

Cons

  • Front trigger can be difficult to reach
  • Complex cocking process

The TwinStrike TAC 2 is the second generation Twinsitrike, which shares the same signature feature as its predecessor: A quick follow-up shot. It accomplishes that by using two recurves stacked on top of each other. Each bow is cocked independently using a detachable crank. There are two triggers on the Twinstrike. The front trigger fires the top bow, and the rear fires the bottom bow. The new TAC 2 is .3 pounds lighter than the original, has a shorter overall length, and is about 20 fps slower.

We used both the top and bottom bow during accuracy testing and can confirm that both shoot bolts in the same spot. For the sake of science, I also shot both bolts simultaneously. The spread was about 1.5 feet, but that’s simply because it’s difficult to fire both bolts at the exact same time and the recoil from the first shot spoils the second. So, yes you can shoot two bolts at once, and even though that feature doesn’t have a practical purpose, it is fun.

We averaged a 3.19-inch group at 50 yards and clocked the TAC2 at 346.6 fps. The bolts are shorter and lighter than the other crossbows we tested at 350 grains, and they generate .538 slug fps at point-blank. 

Twinstrike triggers
The Twinstrike’s front trigger can be difficult to reach. Scott Einsmann

There are some cons to this crossbow. The front trigger will be difficult to reach for shooters with smaller hands. The loading process is complicated (you definitely have to read the instructions before using), and testers had safety concerns around loading. You must cock the bottom crossbow with the safety off — the latch will not engage with the safety on. The dryfire mechanism is your safety while cocking the bottom bow, and we confirmed it does work. Also after loading both bolts you must put the safety on manually.

This crossbow has a cool factor and a feature that others can’t touch. Like all recurve crossbows, it’s field serviceable, and no bow press is required to replace a string.

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Key Features

  • Bolt Weight: 400 grains
  • Weight: 8.3 pounds
  • Uncocked Width: 13 inches
  • Price: $800

Test Results

  • 50-Yard Group Average: 3.27 inches
  • Speed: 408 fps
  • Momentum: 0.725 slugs

Pros

  • Compact
  • Balances well for offhand shooting
  • Fast

Cons

  • Cocking mechanism gets stuck on stock

Centerpoint and Ravin are sister companies, and you’ll see a lot of Ravin technology in Centerpoints. The Wrath 430 is at the upper end of what I’d call a budget bow at an $800 MSRP — retail prices are lower. 

This bullpup-style crossbow is the most compact in the Centerpoint lineup. The stock is polymer, and it gives the crossbow a cheap feel, but it doesn’t affect performance. The trigger pull felt heavy, but it was still the fourth-most accurate crossbow we tested. We shot a 3.27-inch group average, and it produced speeds of 408 fps with a 400-grain bolt. The Wrath 430 has an advertised speed of up to 430 fps, but Centerpoint doesn’t provide a bolt weight to achieve that speed. So we won’t say it can’t hit its spec because a lighter bolt could reach that 430 fps mark, but we weren’t able to achieve those speeds in our test.

We liked that the forward grip keeps your support hand low and safely away from the string. The crank is quiet, but the crank handle inserts into a hole in the back of the stock and can get wedged in place. For hunting, we would prefer to use a cocking rope but found that because of the long powerstroke, it was difficult to use with the rope cocker. 

Final Thoughts

We wouldn’t have guessed that a four-year-old crossbow would take the editor’s choice win with a dominating accuracy performance. But, that’s why we do the testing. It seems that while crossbows have gotten faster, they haven’t gotten more accurate. On a positive note, bows in the $1,000 range have improved greatly. The two least expensive bows we tested this year had integrated cranking mechanisms and good accuracy, that’s great news for the end user. 

We think 500 fps is going to be the new norm in crossbows in the coming years and our hope is that manufacturers will crack the code on improving accuracy, string life, and arrow technology to keep pace with the impressive speeds. 

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