Head-to-Head Review: Top Crossbows of 2014

Head-to-Head Review: Top Crossbows of 2014

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.


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