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Bolts of Fury: Reviewing the Top Crossbows of 2012

by David Faubion   |  June 18th, 2012 2

Sure, politics and religion will always be earthquakes of argument, but unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave (or the modern equivalent: a luxurious, walled compound near a Pakistani military training facility), you’re aware the hunting world has a rumble of its own. Yep, crossbow hunting has been a 9.0 on sportsmen’s Richter scales for years. Some hunters love them. And some hate them. Very passionately.

It’s not all gloomy, though, and the aftershocks of anger are growing quieter by the year as more states allow their use and naysayers realize they don’t fire broadhead-tipped bullets at supersonic velocities. Crossbows are just plain fun and are an exciting and challenging way to extend your hunting season. So grab your seismograph, because we’ve assembled nine of the newest and baddest venison-skewering crossbows on the market and compared them head to head. Now you can decide which crossbow is perfect for your hunting endeavors.

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Barnett Buck Commander

Like most crossbows on the market, at a shade over 9 pounds, the Barnett Buck Commander hefts more like Rosie O’Donnell than a runway model. But that’s not a deal-breaker. Due to the limb-incorporated stirup design, it was one of the easier crossbows to cock. And once you roll the cams on the 175-pound limbs over, the Buck Commander continues to impress. It spit out our test arrow at an impressive 346 fps. What about accuracy? Thanks to the nice trigger pull, average group size tied for the best of the test at a measly inch and a quarter.
Price: $749

  • PA crossbowhunter

    It's no surprise to me that the Excalibur was the most accurate in the tests and if I want more speed I can always use the Equinox (Excal's top of the line model which was not in the test). Love my Vortex!!

  • Bountyhunter

    After reading a lot of post and shooting a couple of the top rated crossbows as well as handling most ,I set my mind on the Horton fury. My wife and our three chrilden gave me a Horton Fury for Christmas, what a surprise!! Now here comes the second best part, after sighting it in at 30 yds, I proceeded to test it's accuracy. I shot the same bolt after retrieving it from the target on each of the following yardage.__ First cross hair 30 yd ,center X , 40 yds same hole! thats right same hole, second cross hair 50 yds center 1 inch high, 60 yds 1/4 inch left of center next to 30 & 40 yd shots , 3d cross hair 70 yds 1/5 in low center, 4th cross hair 80 yds 3in high center, 5th cross hair 92 yds dead center . There was a very slight cross wind . You can't get much better then that .
    I have no affiliation with Horton or any of it's partners, I just love to get out in the woods and hunt . This season 2012 after setting for hrs on stand I could not pull my compound back on a nice 8 point i am sure it is because of my age . Thanks to my wife three children and Horton things are looking up for next year.

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