Now that we’ve reached the new year, it’s time to review the best of the best crossbows for 2023! Many brands make great crossbows, but we’ve selected one model from each of the top 5 brands so you can make a more informed decision on how to decide on your next crossbow.
Crossbows are extremely effective hunting tools, and they allow those who can’t or simply don’t want to use a compound or traditional bow, but still want to take advantage of the archery season.
It’s next to impossible to rank these crossbows in order from good to best because everyone has a different budget and preferences. In no particular order, here are our top 5 best crossbows for 2023.
CenterPoint Amped 425
CenterPoint crossbows have been the trusted choice for many hunters because of their value and reliability. They simply get the job done and do so without breaking the bank.
Capable of shooting arrows up to 425 feet per second, the Amped 425 achieves exceptional power and accuracy by utilizing the full-bearing cam system for a smooth transfer of energy. Not to mention, you won’t have to question its durability with CNC-machined aluminum cams and rails.
If you want an affordable, capable, and no-nonsense crossbow for your next hunting season, it doesn’t get much better than the CenterPoint Amped 425.
The Ravin R500 uses the innovative Hexcoil Cam System, which rotates the cams a full 360 degrees to produce fast arrow speeds and an incredibly compact size. Arrow speeds of 500 feet per second (with 400-grain arrows) can be easily achieved, making this one of the fastest shooting crossbows available.
Another great feature of the R500 is the versa drive cocking system, which is an internal mechanism that allows for easy cocking and de-coking that can be stopped or started at any point of the process. This feature is also available with an electronic drive system on their “E” models.
The R500 comes standard with a 100-yard illuminated scope and 6 Ravin arrows, and a quiver. There are a total of 4 different configurations for the R500 each with unique features. These include Sniper configurations (enhanced scope and trigger), and “E” models (Electronic cocking/de-cocking).
The R500 is the fastest shooting bow on the market for its size, so if you’re willing to cough up the money for it, you’ll no longer question whether or not you can trust your crossbow to work as hard as you do.
Excalibur Micro Extreme
This recurve crossbow takes the best aspects from the old school and new school of crossbow design and puts them together to create a rugged, powerful, and accurate package.
The features that make the Micro Extreme stand out from the crowd are the Micro High Output Express Limbs, which enhance durability and performance, R.E.D.S suppressors to reduce shock and vibration, and a match-grade trigger system.
You can expect arrow speeds of up to 360 feet per second with 350-grain arrows, which is plenty of velocity for most game species, especially whitetails. The Micro Extreme comes ready to hunt with the included scope and can be purchased at a mid-level price point suitable for most budgets.
The Excalibur Micro Extreme is the ideal choice if you want a small lightweight crossbow without sacrificing performance and reliability.
TenPoint Nitro 505
The Nitro 505’s reverse draw design results in more arrow speed with less draw weight as well as a smoother shot and superior overall balance. This all leads to more accurate shooting and reliable pass-throughs on big game animals.
Along with super-fast arrow speeds, the Nitro 505 has an effortless 5-pound cocking weight that’s as quiet as a mouse and can be cocked or de-cocked at any point. In addition, features such as an integrated noise-dampening string stop system and crisp two-stage trigger add further value to this outstanding design.
The standard TenPoint Nitro 505 comes ready to hunt with a 100-yard Evo X Marksman Elite Scope, so if you have the budget for this crossbow, you’ll be ready to go for years to come.
Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR
The Whitetail Hunter STR is not small, though far from a cumbersome crossbow. It has a compact and manageable profile that’s suited to any type of hunting situation and is colored with the badass-looking Mossy Oak Bottomland camo pattern.
Some key features that make the Whitetail Hunter STR a phenomenal crossbow are the fiberglass step-through riser, which reduces weight and bulk, dual string dampeners that reduce noise and vibration, and a new and improved trigger usually found on much more expensive crossbows. In addition, it’s compatible with crank cocking devices, though only a rope cocking device is included.
The Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR is a superb ready-to-hunt entry-level or budget-friendly crossbow that can keep up with bows of much higher price tags, so keep that in mind when choosing your next crossbow.
Crossbows are a great way to get into the woods during archery seasons so you can have more time to get after your dream buck or some meat for the freezer.
Any one of these bows would be a great choice for anyone of any experience level, but make sure to try a few different ones to see which one works best for you.