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Best Gear Big Game Crossbows Deer

Head-to-Head Review: Top Crossbows of 2014

by PH Online Editors   |  July 10th, 2014 7

As we began our annual x-bow test, it was clear that there would be a certain level of familiarity this year with most of the x-bows, as a large percentage of them were similar to or simply upgrades of last year’s models.

Understanding that fact, we chose the best eight bows available to us at the time of testing. This is not every single new x-bow available, of course, but those chosen are proven industry leaders with notable upgrades from their lesser competitors.

After we selected our final bows, we put them through a more rigorous evaluation than ever before. During the week-long testing and measuring process, we compiled some 11 data points for each of the contestants. We measured trigger pull, overall weight, quiver weight, overall length, axle to axle width, overall width, length of pull, speed, noise, accuracy, and quality of the supplied scope.

Next, we grouped those metrics into five scorable categories—each with a 20-point value, which equals a total possible score of 100.

Accuracy: We fired three three-shot groups with bolts provided by the manufacturer. Groups were averaged.

Weight/Size: We measured five comparable lengths and weighed the bow with the scope mounted, but without quiver.

Noise: Each bow was tested three times using the dB Meter Pro iPhone app. Results were averaged.

Speed: Each of the bows was chronographed three times using Easton FMJ bolts with a total weight of 485 grains. Speeds were averaged.

Overall Quality: The editorial team determined quality based on overall feel, ease of use, and shootabilty.

Below is the final table with the scores for each bow, and the gallery reveals our final impressions and measurements for the selections.

Consider this your ultimate buyer’s guide.


  • Dave

    The scores for some of these crossbows just don’t add up……The Barnetts group size of 2.5 inches scored 18 in the accuracy. The Excaliburs group of 2 inches scored 17 in accuracy? The Excaliburs speed of 391 fps scores 19 points and the Missions speed of 316 fps scores an 18? Come on now……
    Wicked Ridge got 16 points for 103 db of noise and the Ten point got 18 points for 103 db of noise. THIS IS NOT the Ultimate Buyers Guide!

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  • Andy

    No Parker crossbows???

  • Franklin

    Scoring here seems pretty biased to me, not much of a guide but more of a popularity contest

  • kenny

    There is no doubt a popularity test going on here. Pretty sad to think that someone like myself could be swayed into buying a lesser bow because of politics. The results should be posted that way I could make my own decision without bias.

  • mark

    if you can out shoot my excalibre crossbow with the tenpoint ill buy you a case of beer real beer canadian lol good luck

  • Ashley Jolie
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