The 7 Best Crossbows Under $500 ( Reviews 2021)

Crossbows Under 500 Reviews

Crossbow sometimes even more effective and animal-friendly than some firearms. With the high arrow speeds, they are all very precise and therefore perfect for hunting. Crossbow is made between compound and recurve. Recurve crossbow is easy to use and very easy to care for. Compound crossbow has higher draw weights and therefore has more power.

I have been working on the crossbow test nearly for 5 years, and I am always looking for innovations and trends. Are you looking for the best quality crossbow under $500? Here you find the best crossbow models under $500 from various popular brands.

Best Crossbows Under 500 in 2021

  • 1. Barnett BAR78098 Avenger Recruit Crossbow
  • 2. CenterPoint AXCD190FCK Crossbow Package
  • 3. Killer Instinct Camo Burner Crossbow
  • 4. BearX Intense Crossbow
  • 5. Wicked Ridge WR20005 Invader 400 Crossbow
  • 6. Barnett TS380 Hunting Crossbow
  • 7. Killer Instinct Burner 415 Crossbow

1. Barnett Black (BAR78098) Avenger Recruit Crossbow

Barnett Black (BAR78098)

If you’re not at the first time buying a crossbow, you may hear about the Barnett, they are the pioneer of the modern crossbow, a history back in 1963. The Barnett BAR78098 is top of our ranking best crossbows under $500 because of its slim design, powerful precision and high performance.

This is a recruit crossbow that able to shoot up to 330 feet per second and has a 130 pounds draw weight. Although the draw weight is comparatively low, it is very fast, accurate and the noise is not bad. This can be suitable for both right and left handers because safety features work on both sides.

This recurve crossbow built Anti Dry Fire (ADF) trigger system which prevents you from shooting without arrow and also features above grip finger guards for the comfortable shoot. The metal Injected Mold trigger allows a smooth trigger pull.

The total length is 34.25 inches and the shoulder rest is extendable, which means that this model can be perfectly adapted to the different shooters. It’s also perfect for an adult woman.

We can confirm that the Barnett avenger will be effective on all big game animals at an incredible value. The included quiver and 4×32 scope are pretty good in quality. The scope comes mounted, but will still need to be sighted into your preference.

However, Barnett BAR78098 comes with a rope cocking device but does not come with a bolt puller.


Tech Specs:

Speed: 330 FPS | Power Stroke: 16″ | Axle-to-Axle: 16.125″ | Kinetic Energy: 130 FT. LBS | Draw Weight: 130 LBS | Silencing System: Yes | Length: 34.25″ | Weight: 6.4 LBS | Warranty: N/A

What we liked:

  • Fast and accurate crossbow on the market
  • Easy to maneuver for both left and right hand people
  • Quiet and powerful enough for small to big game hunting
  • It has the highest precision

What we didn’t like:

  • Does not come with arrows and bolts
  • Light but front heavy

2. CenterPoint AXCD190FCK Dagger 390 Crossbow Package

CenterPoint AXCD190FCK

The CenterPoint Archery AXCD190FCK is one of the fastest crossbows under 500 dollars on the market. With an output of 185 lbs, it reaches an arrow speed that can perform at 390 fps (approx. 430 km / h). It is therefore ideal for long-range shots. The secret of these impressive numbers lies in the construction of the elements: it made by injection molding of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, it can store a lot of energy, which it transfers completely to the boom.

The tactical stock is adjustable which provides consistent shooting and aiming experience. It is also a very high standard crossbow in terms of accuracy and efficiency.

With the adjustable shoulder rest, this compound crossbow built in an anti-dry fire. It features a whisper silencing system and integrated with string suppressors. The limb dampeners provide quiet and vibration-free shot. And the narrow axle to axle width ensures compact mobility.

This is a complete hunting package that comes with bolts w/100 grain target points, cocking rope, mountable quiver, 4×32 scope, and rail lube. Also, the Allen wrench also includes assembling it. To ensure long lasting service life, all Center-Point crossbow has a 5-year warranty.

The combined scope and bow weight will be 8.5 pounds. The bow weight is 7.8 pounds which is a bit heavy. However, the scope is a little off, if you aren’t a complete idiot it’s useable.


Tech Specs:

Speed: 390 FPS | Power Stroke: 16.0″ | Axle-to-Axle: 18″ | Kinetic Energy: 130 FT. LBS | Draw Weight: 185 LBS | Silencing System: Yes | Length: 34.25″ | Weight: 7.8 LBS | Warranty: 5-Year

What we liked:

  • Very quiet operation
  • Sights in easily
  • Easy assemble

What we didn’t like:

  • Scope quality average

3. Killer Instinct Gray Camo Burner Crossbow Package

Killer Instinct Gray Camo

High power speed is never found easy for hunters at a cheap price. And Killer Instinct takes this advantage smartly, lunched their latest high-velocity crossbow, called BURNER, which generates up to 415 FPS of wicked speed while offering both high accuracy and simple control. The Finishing of this model is completely noise-free, reducing integrated Dead.

It is the most powerful crossbow proposed by Killer Instinct for under $500. Weighing just less than 7lbs. It is equipped with advanced shooting technology. I think it could be a great advantage for the professional hunter or someone who knows about killer Instinct.

This model also built-in 6-position style buttstock which greatly reduces the overall length of the crossbow for smaller frame hunters. At the same time, it can be extended comfortably to fit a variety of medium to taller shooters as well.

The Micro-Lite aluminum barrel eliminates excess weight while still producing dead-on accuracy and provides deadly results. The new X-Lok adjustable foregrip and easy-to-handle narrow frame ensure a balanced and compact shooting experience.

It also built-in 3.5-pound Killer-Tech trigger which delivers consistently accurate shots. The package includes everything you need: IR-W Scope, Rope Cocker, String Suppressors, 3-Bolt Quiver, HYPR Lite Bolts and Stick of Rail Lube. This model also accepts all Killer Instinct DSC Dead Silent Crank.


Tech Specs:

Speed: 415 FPS | Power Stroke: 14.5” | Axle-to-Axle: 18.75″ | Kinetic Energy: 141 FT. LBS | Draw Weight: 220 LBS | Silencing System: Yes | Length: 34.5″ | Weight: 6.7 LBS | Warranty: 5-Year

What we liked:

  • 6-position style buttstock
  • Precision shooting
  • Crank compatibility
  • Accurate and high speed

What we didn’t like:

  • Not designed for women
  • New on the market

4. BearX Intense Ready to Shoot Crossbow Package

BearX Crossbow Under $500

First, the BearX Intense crossbow is very powerful at this price range and very accurate to shoot in long distances. It is fairly easy to assemble. Also, the instruction book has a very basic Guideline for the novice shooters. To ensure quality, it has a limited lifetime warranty.

The cams and barrel are aluminum and the rail is composite. The two rubber parts that are on the stirrup are dampeners to help keep the vibration and sound quieter. The length of the shaft is adjustable for better shooting comfort.

The BearX crossbow also equipped with a stirrup, it is very easy to arm the missile crossbow with the ammunition belt. The safety device engages automatically as soon as you tension the rope. There is a lot of torque and vibration that goes through the bow when shot.

The included scope is rather amazing. The arrow is 260 grains and comes with a 100 grain point for a total of 360 grains. This model comes with 20″ bolts with half-moon nocks and the total bolt weight is 365gr with the point. It is definitely able to take down a big game in a single shot.

This bow is also easy to cock. You’ll definitely need the included cocking rope, do not try with your hands. However, the size is pretty big but not heavy. If you’re under 6′ and not particularly strong I’d definitely say to look at other options, but otherwise I’d highly recommend.


Tech Specs:

Speed: 330 FPS | Power Stroke: 12.7″ | Axle-to-Axle: 14″ | Kinetic Energy: 145 FT. LBS | Draw Weight: 130 LBS | Silencing System: Yes | Length: 34.5″ | Weight: 6.4 LBS | Warranty: Lifetime

What we liked:

  • Very high quality crossbow
  • Easy to put together
  • Easy to sight in
  • It’s deadly accurate
  • Excellent design

What we didn’t like:

  • The scope is not illuminated
  • A little bit big, users need bow compatible backpack

5. Wicked Ridge WR20005 Invader 400 Crossbow

Wicked Ridge WR20005

The new Wicked Ridge WR20005 combines advanced technologies and legendary design to produce the toughest, most reliable crossbow in its class. This hunting weapon consists of a lightweight riser and machined aluminum limb pockets fitted with 11” WRX double-laminated limbs.

It features an easy 1-bolt assembly and is pre-sighted at the factory and ready for the woods. This ensures a greater momentum when firing, and less effort when cocking the crossbow. The maintenance effort of this weapon is limited, which is why we recommended it, especially to beginners.

The safety knob on this model can be moved to the left side of the trigger box, to better accommodate for left and right handed shooters. It is fairly easy to put together. After a few adjustments, you will get it to sight in. This ultra-narrow crossbow Built to perform in the tightest of shooting situations.

The low weight is just as impressive as the compactness to offer the shooter an optimal feeling in every situation. This unit also built-in ACUdraw which reduces the draw weight to a mere half of the total weight and provides easy cocking for all ages.

The WR20005 is equipped with finger guards, plastic barrel and the proven Matrix Power-Load limbs, which enable arrow speeds of up to 400 fps. The extensive package also includes a 3-arrow attachment quiver, carbon bolts and a multi-range scope.


Tech Specs:

Speed: 400 FPS | Power Stroke: 16.0” | Axle-to-Axle: 15″ | | Kinetic Energy: 140 FT. LBS | Draw Weight: 185 LBS | Silencing System: Yes | Length: 35.5″ | Weight: 11 LBS | Warranty: N/A

What we liked:

  • Solid construction
  • Ultra-Narrow design
  • Very powerful crossbow at this price
  • Easy to load

What we didn’t like:

  • Doesn’t come with an uncocking bolt
  • Requires minimal assembly

6. Barnett TS380 Hunting Crossbow

Barnett TS380

The Barnett TS380 is certainly a more inexpensive crossbow than its direct competitors, but the quality is unbeatable. This hunting crossbow comes in the box with a quiver, a couple of arrows and a scope that can be used immediately after packing.

It is characterized by the typical compound system, which is also used in the corresponding hunting bow. In addition, its assembly is particularly easy, even for beginners (shouldn’t take more than a few minutes). So to go hunting straight out of the box, all you have to do is equip yourself.

This model built-in metal injection molded trigger, CNC machined aluminum flight track, magnesium riser which ensures high performance in the toughest situation. It also features a Soft Lok floating bristle arrow retainer to keep from dry-firing.

It can be set up on either side or crossways. This crossbow made from lightweight materials to present itself as the most powerful crossbow. The durable frame is completely weatherproof.

The Burnett TS380 is a complete hunting accessory package for under $500. It requires some strength but very accurate. This could be a great crossbow for women. Because it is light, well balanced and the crank cocker makes cocking it much easier. If you’re a beginner woman in this field, then I recommend starting with the best women’s crossbow one.

However, the crank is not dead silent. It makes a clicking noise during loading. Since its safety won’t allow it to fire without a bolt installed.


Tech Specs:

Speed: 380 FPS | Power Stroke: 12.625″” | Axle-to-Axle: 16.75″ | | Kinetic Energy: 135 FT. LBS | Draw Weight:  201 LBS | Silencing System: Yes | Length: 32.375″ | Weight: 6.9 LBS | Warranty: N/A

What we liked:

  • Features finger Safety reminders
  • Trusted and expert brands
  • Very accurate for long distance shooting

What we didn’t like:

  • The scope quality very cheap

7. Killer Instinct Burner 415 Crossbow Bow Pro Package

Killer Instinct Under $500

The CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper is one of the most affordable crossbows currently available on the market. Indeed, it is equipped with effective noise reduction technology. As a result, the gun is quieter but still deadly. These features make it ideal for hunting.

It is not too heavy, easy to assemble and dead-on. Very little kick back and easy to handle. The 6-position AR-style buttstock can be adjusted in 6 different position and adjustable X-Lok provide a customized fit.

Once armed, it is only 14.5 inches long from axis to axis, making it very easy to use. And to emphasize this “comfortable” side, the four spokes of this model are made of composite material and the shoulder strap is made of aluminum. These materials are famous for their lightness and durability.

In addition, you can camouflage yourself relatively easily with this ultra-compact model. You will be able to knock down the biggest & strongest game with a heart-pounding 415 feet per second. The 3.5-pound KillerTech trigger provides consistent accuracy shot-after-shot.

In addition, the purchase of this item offers its beneficiaries some accessories such as a gun rope, three arrows, a quiver and a scope. However, the included bolts are too light and of poor quality. So we recommend getting heavier bolts to not damage limbs.


Tech Specs:

Speed: 415 FPS | Power Stroke: 14.5″ |Axle-to-Axle: 17.75″ | Kinetic Energy: 114 FT. LBS | Draw Weight: 220 LBS | | Silencing System: Yes | Length: 34.5-37″ | Weight: 6.7 LBS | Warranty: Lifetime

What we liked:

  • Precision shooting
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Pretty well made
  • Great speed

What we didn’t like:

  • Bolts are too light
  • The stock is a little loose
  • Very hard to pull back

Buyer’s Guide

Before I get into crossbow reviews, let me quickly explain some of the main factors that really matter in the best crossbow for the money. This makes it easier for you to get an overview and to decide on a suitable and effective device.

The speed of shooting

Speed refers to the speed at which the crossbow makes an arrow fly. The minimum speed of 300 fps (feet per second) is considered fine speed for taking on bigger games like deer, elk, bear, etc. More than 300 fps is much better. High quality crossbow strings, bolts, and triggers should also be considered before purchasing and using a crossbow.

Accuracy of distance

This helps shooters to determine the accuracy of the crossbow or how close a flying arrow is to the desired target. Here the speed of the arrow plays an important role, but the overall characteristics should be taken into account.

Notes on the draw weight

As soon as you want to buy a crossbow, you will be confronted with the draw weight again and again. This is the force that the string transfers to the arrow or other ammunition and with which you have to tighten the string. Simply put, the following applies here: the higher the pull weight, the faster the projectile. Accordingly, you should buy a crossbow that has a high drawbar weight, as faster projectiles usually travel farther.

If you want to shoot safely from a further distance and hit a small target, you should purchase a crossbow that actually has a draw weight of more than 175 lbs.

The scope quality

High quality scope is one of the main factors and most crossbow scopes I have had experience with are 4x32mm which is the best. Before buying a crossbow, make sure you have a 4 x 32mm rifle scope as it will help you a lot when targeting and hunting. There is no doubt that the best crossbow scope can help you better hit the target you want with perfect precision.

The essential accessories

The first essential accessory to accompany your crossbow: arrows! Longer this projectile, the more stable it is. Arrows come in different sizes and use different materials in their manufacture. Mini crossbows shoot arrows made of aluminum or plastic. Carbon ammunition is both light and stable.

Whether you are buying a hunting crossbow, a recreational crossbow, or a sports crossbow, you will need to purchase accessories. In addition to arrows, you will need crossbow scopes and a rope that will allow you to pull the arms of the weapon backwards. Although most of the crossbows include scope they are not reliable in quality.

You may find other accessories useful. Among them, the adjustable stock, the crank, the arrowheads, the quiver or the red dot sight.

How do I care for my crossbow?

Before you start shooting, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Check cable

Before you start shooting, you should examine all tendons very carefully. If you discover any damage, you should replace it as soon as possible. Otherwise it can quickly lead to injuries because a damaged tendon can tear very quickly.

The string should be replaced every 1-3 years, depending on how often you use your crossbow. If you have tendons made of steel, you have to change these too. Steel expands much more than synthetic tendons.

2. Wax crossbow strings

Next, wax your strings. You should avoid the middle winding. Otherwise there would be problems in the deduction system. By waxing regularly, you can significantly increase the lifespan of your string. Without care, your cable would become cracked and brittle very quickly.

Here’s how to wax:

Spread the wax evenly on all sides. Then rub the wax into the string. Use a cloth to avoid burns or blisters. Either a firm cloth or a leather cloth is very suitable for this. When rubbing, the wax becomes liquid due to the high temperature and can thus penetrate deep into the tendon cords.

Then wait a few seconds until the wax has set and check whether the wax is well absorbed. If not, you should repeat the process again.

If your steel cables are covered with plastic, there is no need to wax them.

3. Housing and guide rail

Next, you’ll lubricate the moving parts of the crossbow. This includes the trigger and the security mechanisms. This should be done several times a year. In this way, you protect your crossbow from corrosion.

You should also smear the arrow guide with a little oil. Apply it to each side of the splint, then use your finger to spread it out. The light film minimizes friction. This in turn allows your arrow to accelerate better.

4. Retighten the screws

Vibrations are always created when shooting. This way, some screws can become loose. That’s why you should retighten all screws and fasteners every now and then. Be careful not to pull them too tight, otherwise they can break off.

Sabbir is a journalist, editor, communicator, blogger, web community manager, explorer… He enjoys learning, meeting people and having the privilege of sharing his knowledge and discoveries. He is a fan of hunting, fishing, riding and exercising. Read More about him.

Leave a Comment