Switching Over to XBow? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Question Switching Over to XBow?

Ok Ladies & Gents
Looking to switch over to a crossbow. Do I just go with an, "entry-level," model or go wallet busting on the $1,000.00 models straight away? What I would like is something lightweight and accurate. Anything in the <$500.00 range?
As always any and all info greatly appreciated.

keepin' it reel...
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 01:16 PM
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Welcome. I'm a crossbow hunter. Have been for a long time. I'm not injured...I just like it. I'm just going to spout on about a lot of things to think about and then I'll just give you a few actual bows to consider.

The things people usually compare with xbows are:

1. Speed
2. Weight
3. Length
4. Width (axle to axle / cocked and un-cocked)

My opinion is speed isn't really all that important. I mean, it is, but almost all crossbows shoot well above 300 FPS so the differences aren't really very impact-full (especially if your shooting 40 yards and in).

The thing about a crossbow is that, for all of its advantages, it is pretty unwieldy...especially in a tree-stand. Not all of your shots are going to be nice sitting shots with a gun rest in front of you. The bigger (and wider) and heavier your bow is, the harder it's going to be to take those shots on from the other side of the tree, kneeling and off-hand, etc.

So, for me (again this is just MY OPINION), I primarily look for the shortest width first. I am most concerned about the UNCOCKED width. The reason? Even though the crossbow will be cocked the whole time you are in the stand, you'll need to make sure when you're taking that shot, that the limbs can fully release w/o hitting anything (this is important, you can be thrown from the tree if the limbs hit something). For this reason I stay away from re-curve type crossbows. They are too wide in my opinion. However, some like them (easier maintenance and longevity are some areas they excel at).

Second is weight. I like them as light as they can reasonably be. Even a pound can make a big difference sitting all day in a stand when you don't have a rest.

Length isn't a big concern for me because that doesn't really impact maneuverability. And all else being equal, I like a fast bow...but like I said, speed is secondary to width and weight.

Another thing to think about is reverse draw vs. standard. The reverse draw crossbows can be pretty thin...but I still prefer standard because (all else being equal) they are a little lighter. Another advantage of reverse draw is they are much better balanced. It's easier to shoot off hand with them. But one of the things I don't like is it's a little harder to shoot around a tree. I sometimes set up purposely facing the tree. With a standard, I can just lean the frame against the tree and the limbs will be on the side I'm shooting towards. They can clear the tree easily and I don't have to worry about the release. With the reverse draw you have to make sure you have a few more inches and I just hate thinking about stuff while I"m taking the shot..I like to stay solely focused. Note: A LOT OF GUYS WILL DISAGREE WITH WHAT I JUST SAID ABOUT REVERSE DRAW. They are getting more and more popular. Decide for yourself.

Another thing to think about is cocking. I always have a crank cocker installed. I can cock by hand or using a pull type rope cocker, but the installed crank cocker keeps the sting positioned exactly right so it should be more accurate a shot....so in my opinion it's worth the extra money.

Some bows can not uncock w/o shooting a bolt. This isn't a big deal to me. I just keep a crappy bolt in my truck with a field point and shoot it into the ground to uncock it. Some guys really think the ability to un-cock is important so think about that too.

In terms of actual bows. Barnett has a whole range of good cheaper bows. I owned a Ghost 350 and I liked it. I later sold it for a 10 point. 10 Point is a great brand with tons of customer loyalty. I own a 10 point shadow ultra light and love it. The 10 point is more accurate than the Barnett but a heck of a lot more money.

Speed guys and reverse draw guys seem to love the Scorpyd.

Hope this helps. Whatever bow you buy, practice from a tree stand before season. It's a lot different than shooting for a chair in your backyard. And keep your shots close. The xbow is not a gun even though it may look like one!

Shoot Straight and enjoy!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 01:27 PM
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Weight and width are most important to me. I switched about 2 years ago. I hike into some back areas about 2.5 miles and I can tell you the weight is a massive consideration. I found a compound bow easier to carry these distances to be honest. Slinging a crossbow over your back with a treestand is fairly uncomfortable. The width matters when you are up in a narrow stand for those off hand shots. You do not want the limbs banging off the tree that you are in.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 07:11 PM
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Depends if you are a utilitarian or do you like the finer things in life. A $500 crossbow will serve you well and kill just as many deer as a $1500 crossbow. The $500 crossbow will be a little rough around the edges but will get the job done. The $1500 crossbow will be smoother and have tighter tolerances with a more solid feel.

A the $500 price point, I would look at the Wicked Ridge Invader G3. If your budget and desires move up to the $800 and above price point, many more options open up.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 07:24 PM
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Parker or Wicked Ridge, no need to break the bank.

lots of mid range crossbows on the market that will kill anything just as dead as the $1,000 plus bows will.

use the extra money for arrows, broadheads and taking the wife to dinner or save towards a hunting trip
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 07:35 PM
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Lots of good suggestions. My suggestion is to try as many as you can. What ever shop you are in will
push what ever they sell. All the best.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 07:42 PM
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I got an Excalibur and used it the last 2 seasons. I bought a compound bow this spring after lugging the Excal around for 2 years. I hike in and climb and can say that these things can be a pain to haul around. I shot 2 buck with mine. Both ran less than 25 yards before dropping but that has as much to do with shot placement as anything else.

Mine weighs less than my buddy's barnett and does not need to be serviced by a shop like his. If I go back to crossbows I'll most likely go back to an Excalibur. I bought mine used for less than $400 and got a handful of extras with it.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 08:17 PM
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I have an Excalibur. Not one problem ever if you own one of these with customer service. You can work on it yourself in the field. If there is a problem Excalibur will fix it.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2017, 01:40 PM
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Barnetts reputation and cust.service is so bad I wouldn,t own one at any price.Just to many other good options in the same price point like Wicked Ridge and Parker.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 03:13 PM
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If you have a Dunham's by you they have the Tenpoint Turbo XLT II with Accudraw for $699 this week which is $300 off. I bought one from Cabela's last year for same price and really like it.
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