Best Compound Crossbows for 2015
2015 is bringing some very interesting crossbows to the playing field. TenPoint’s acquisition of Horton shook up the compound crossbow market, and forced every other manufacturer to step their game up. This occurrence created some of the most compact, fast, and all around balanced crossbows. If I talk about Horton, then I have to talk about reverse draw compound crossbows. So far they are proving that they can keep up with the competition, but what option are out there for shooters interested in getting a new crossbow?
You may think that the technology on crossbows is reaching the pinnacle of its potential. While I understand their sentiment, I cannot disagree more. There are certain things that you can do and certain manufactured parts that you can tweak to get better overall performance. Everything is getting better out of necessity and we get to reap the rewards.
Barnett Buck Commander Raptor Reverse | 155lbs | 330 FPS
Lets start with the new Barnett BCR Reverse. Barnett designed this crossbow with reverse draw technology. The surprising thing is though, that is not the first thing that you notice. The first thing that draws your eye in, is how ridiculously small this bow is. Get this; the Raptor Recurve is only 9’’ axle-to-axle when cocked! You can casually take this crossbow wherever the hunt takes you.
The small frame really helps out with target acquisition coming in at just 6.5 pounds. You can get this bow to the ready position in just a matter of seconds. This bow starts out compact, but it also features an adjustable stock so that each and every shooter can have a tailor-made shooting experience. There are finger reminders and a pass-through foregrip to make sure you keep your digits intact, and string suppressors to ensure that you are not heard.
Carbon Express Intercept Axon | 175lbs | 360 FPS
Tactical shooters and gun hunters making the leap over to crossbows have always been huge fans of Carbon Express. One of the reasons has been the military/AR/ultra tactical design of the crossbows on their lineup. It started a few years back with the Supercoil and the Axon is not the exception. I would wager to say that it is the crossbow that promotes it the most. It features a 6-position micro-adjustable AR stock to give shooters optimal eye relief, improve stabilization, and improve shooting accuracy.
The Intercept Axon also goes after speed. It is able to achieve 360 feet per seconds of speed, as well as 122 foot pounds of kinetic energy from a frame that is only 13.5’’ axel to axel. The tactical design and the specs, make this the perfect shooter for hunters that are used to hunting from a hunting blind. You can really squeeze into those narrow spaces and have confidence that the Axon will put the arrow where it needs to go.
Darton Rebel 135 SS | 180lbs | 350 FPS
The Rebel SS is another compact crossbow on the list, but this offering does not use the reverse draw tech that other manufacturers are using to bring down overall size. Darton did tweak a lot of the components that hunters traditionally associate with a compound crossbow. The string, is literally right next to your face when it is fully cocked. This can be a little disconcerting at first, but once you get used to it, the shooting experience is great.
This coupled with the Trigger Forward” design on the 135 SS makes this quite possibly the most balanced crossbow on this list. There is no real track on this bow. The plank-style Picatinny Rail looks slightly off when you first take a look at the Rebel, but it also helps to add to the balance that this crossbow is most certainly going to be known for. Darton is reliable, and while this crossbow looks different at first, it most definitely will be a contender because of its balance.
Horton Storm RDX | 165lbs | 360 FPS
Horton came out this year like a “bat outta hell.” Once TenPoint bought the company, you knew that they were planning something big to add to their already solid lineup. When they unveiled the Storm RDX, everyone had a huge grin on their face. They knew that Horton was back, and better than ever. This bow has the specs that speak for itself, but it also has TenPoint’s build quality in its back pocket. After taking a few shots with the Storm you can tell just how quiet and well built it is.
The way that the engineers designed this bow makes it optimally balanced for a wide range of scenarios. This can be attributed to the point where the limbs sit in relation to the stock. Since it is a reverse draw crossbow, the limbs can sit closer to the back of the bow. Trigger junkies will also rejoice in the fact that this bow has a 2.7 pound trigger pull and an adjustable cheek piece so that you can achieve your desired level of eye relief.
SAS Crusher 150 | 150lbs | 325 FPS
Southland Archery Supply has always had quality players in the value priced section of the market. Shooters have come to know that SAS crossbows are durable and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The SAS Crusher 150 is no exception. Tactical minded shooters will enjoy the integrated fore grip that comes on this 150 pound crossbow. It has a width of 22’’ and length of 33’’ so the fore grip helps to ensure that you always have a comfortable center of gravity and makes for a balanced shooting experience.
It is one of the lighter poundage crossbows that is on this list, but it still manages to spit out arrows at 325 feet per second. The dual string stoppers make this crossbow noticeably quiet and the vibration is minimal. It is an exceptionally light and accurate compound crossbow for the accompanying price tag.
PSE Fang | 155lbs | 345 FPS
PSE caught everyone's attention a few years back when they introduced the PSE TAC and then the TAC Elite. Since then, there has been little-to-no movement when it came to crossbows -- until now. The Fang is another crossbow that got hunters talking. The main commotion came about because this is another crossbow that is priced extremely well. It came with its fangs out, offering specs that are usually only found on crossbows that cost double the price.
It features split limb technology that helps to bring the overall weight down to under 6.8 pounds. It sends arrows off of the rail at 345 feet per second and consistently delivers great groupings out of the box. The stock is all one piece, which gives it a strong, yet lightweight feel. Setup is quick and painless out of the box. You can hit the ground running with the PSE Fang.
Wicked Ridge Invader G3 | 165lbs | 330 FPS
On this list, we have another offering from one of TenPoint’s lines, Wicked Ridge. Wicked Ridge is TenPoint’s value-conscious line of offerings. Shooters gravitate towards the brand because they can get many of the technologies that TenPoint has on their flagship bows with this company.
The G3 comes with the ACU 52 rope cocking system. which makes getting this crossbow ready to shoot a breeze. The T2 trigger is also as crisp as entry-level triggers come. It gives the shooter 3.5lbs of trigger pull and is exceptionally smooth. The Dyna Flight strings, the great finish on the double-dipped camo, and CNC machined riser and pockets make the Invader a dependable crossbow to have for hunting season.