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Head to Head Review: Top Crossbows of 2013

by PH Online Editors   |  July 10th, 2013 9

Our annual crossbow shootout is undoubtedly the project that takes the most time. We do all the testing in-house so we have complete oversight. We don’t regurgitate press releases or cater to the best advertiser—this is a true competition in which we judge the bows based on several criteria.

To the best of our knowledge, we are the only magazine that actually tests such a wide range of crossbows this extensively. We start by physically taking measurements and weights, using a certified postage scale to ensure accuracy.

After the tale of the tape is recorded, we start testing. The first is the trigger pull measurement. More difficult than dry-firing a firearm, this involves cocking the crossbow, loading a bolt, and actually firing it with a trigger pull gauge multiple times to establish an average.

The next test is to chronograph velocity. This test often shows a discrepancy between our results and the promoted velocity. Just like the vertical bow industry, there is a difference between how much velocity you can achieve using as light as possible of an arrow versus the typical velocity with a hunting-weight arrow.

So we test velocity in two ways: First, we test with the manufacturer’s supplied arrow, then we chronograph every bow with a standard arrow. This year, we used Easton FMJs with a total weight of 485 grains. To best test for accuracy, we used the supplied manufacturer’s arrow, as it should be optimized to perform with the particular crossbow.

We fired multiple three shot groups at 25 yards off a bench with several experienced shooters. We list the best group as well as the average. We strive to provide the most accurate crossbow test in the business at Petersen’s Hunting, and if you ask us, we have succeeded. So without further delay, we bring you the top crossbows of 2013.

  • Roger

    Why no Scorpyds?

    • mission 360

      because they suck

  • Dane the killer

    Umm..Why is everyone raving about the strykezone 380 speed if supply arrow and test arrow were both less than 350 fps yet the bow is marketed as a 380
    fps bow?.No mention of the plague of limb issues either…Makes me wonder…

  • The Savings

    Easy to use & very accurate. Best price I could find with this discount

  • Charles K. McGuire

    you should update the list now. I found a list of best quality crossbow in 2014. You guys should check it out:

  • WhiteRabitt

    Same one used in the Walking Dead series

  • Dan

    These are quite pricey models. I found a nice guide to best crossbows for the money on this site:

  • Choo

    Latest information is correct 2014. And the price is worth the money. I think this comes from this site

  • Ebend

    Barnetts Ghost 410 from experience is hands down, a superb crossbow!(compared to the strykezone 380) has pretty darn detailed specs of it.

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