Crossbow hunting is booming in North America right now. It has become widely popular by hunters looking for a challenge and also due to TV shows glorifying the weapon itself. Whether you are looking to go hunting or want to protect yourself from a zombie apocalypse, now is the time to buy a crossbow.
Crossbows are essentially a bow and arrow that is cocked and held back until you are ready to fire. It is much like a rifle in that you can be prepared to fire at any time, but requires that you get much closer to your target. You must get within 75 yards in order for the arrow to still have enough force to provide a kill shot.
This requires hunters to work on their tracking and stalking skills so they can get close. You can’t sit in a tree stand for hours, waiting for the target to cross 200 yards away and make the shot. The increased challenge of crossbow hunting has caused a huge spike in popularity.
What to look for in a crossbow
If you are looking to for one of the best cheap crossbows on the market, you will need to know what to look for. While premium crossbows cost upward of $1000 and will all do the job well, some cheap crossbows are far better quality than others. You don’t want to spend money on something that is only going to work for 10 shots and then fall apart.
The most important thing to consider is the safety of the crossbow. You want to make sure that you or anyone else that is firing the crossbow is going to be safe while doing so. At the same time, you want the crossbow to be able to take down what you are hunting.
The biggest thing to look for in crossbow safety is the actual safety mechanism. This is a latch that prevents the trigger from accidently being squeezed. You will want to find a crossbow that features an automatic safety, so that it will latch on as soon as you cock the crossbow.
The other safety consideration you need to consider is the quality of the trigger mechanism. Keep in mind that a single hook will be bearing all the pressure of the crossbow when it is fully cocked. The best crossbow will include an all-metal trigger mechanism to ensure maximum safety. You don’t want a flimsy plastic hook that is likely to give out and fire without warning.
Crossbow power is measured in how many feet per second (FPS) the arrow is moving at the bow’s optimal target range. If you are just looking to use the crossbow for target practice, then you don’t need to worry too much about the power; even the least powerful crossbows can be used for targets and small animals.
If you are looking to take down medium-sized game, such as white-tailed deer, then you will want to find a crossbow that reaches at least 350 FPS. At that speed, you will be able to take down just about anything you will find in North America.
The last performance factor that I will mention is the weight of the crossbow. Premium crossbows are made with lightweight materials to ensure that the shooter can carry and fire the crossbow with maximum effectiveness. You won’t find an ultralight crossbow in the lower price range, but you do want to ensure that it is not too heavy, either.
A crossbow that weighs less than 10 pounds should really be your limit. If you can find a low-priced option that weighs less than 8 pounds that would be optimal.