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Thread: Advice on crossbows

  1. #1

    Default Advice on crossbows

    So, my wife recently started target shooting with a traditional bow and I've spent time learning how to shoot it with her. It's spiked a great deal of interests with me, but I'm more interested in buying a crossbow. I'm curious if anyone here has advice on which crossbow would be excellent for hunting. Thank you.
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  2. #2

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    My boyfriend has a Parker Bushwacker and Enforcer. I like my PSE vertical bow but I've shot both of his and they are both affordable and well made.

  3. #3
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    The only advice I can give you is two part:

    1.) buy a real crossbow. Don't over-pay for a glorified toy that draws 80lb and shoots like a 25lb bow.

    2.) I loved my wildcat c5. It's the only serious crossbow I've ever owned, which limits my range of experience a bit, but it's the best I've ever shot.
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    I have been shooting crossbows almost exclusively for over ten years and most crossbows from the major makers that sell in the price range of $300 up would be suitable for hunting. Style of the limbs is an important consideration, especially if you are thinking survival situation. For hunting alone, I prefer a compound style crossbow. However, for a survival situation, I would choose a conventional string set up, as compound crossbow strings are much more difficult to change and crossbow strings need changed regularly. Then there is the choice of cocking method. Conventionally, you put your foot in a styrup and pull back the string to cock the bow. This takes strength but is the fastest method. Use of a string cocker cuts the effort roughly in half and a crank cocker is nearly effortless.
    Contrary to what some claim, a crossbow is NOT a long range weapon! A conventional compound bow has greater practical range. Draw weights of 175 # mislead beginners into thinking crossbows are more powerful than they really are. True, at close range they are quite powerful but because of short, light weight bolts(arrows) the crossbow looses energy rapidly and has a rainbow trajectory.
    If you buy a crossbow, be sure to buy spare strings and a device to change strings, as you will need to change strings regularly!

  5. #5
    Member tnrick55's Avatar
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    if i was going to get one for survival i would not get a compound type i would get a single string.it would be so much easyer to change the string i the field.

    sorry for spelling.

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    Member Roel's Avatar
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    I now use this beauty for over two years and it's a great bow.

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  7. #7

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    First thing you should probably check is if it is even legal to use them for hunting in your state and county. There are restrictions in Texas in some counties for hunting deer with crossbows. There are also some crossbow specs that need to be met:
    In Texas:
    the crossbow has a minimum pull of 125 pounds;
    the crossbow has a mechanical safety; and
    the crossbow stock is not less than 25 inches in length.
    Telescopic sights are lawful.

    Here in MA, the only people that can use a crossbow to hunt anything is someone with an upper limb disability that is medically verified.
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    Here in Michigan it is now legal for anyone to use a crossbow for hunting. My preteen granddaughters do not care for the report of a rifle, even when wearing hearing muffs but love to shoot the crossbow. They have taken several deer with the crossbow over the last two deer seasons. We prefer the compound style for hunting but I still think I would buy a recurve crossbow for survival use. On the subject of crossbow bolts; I have found that carbon fiber bolts are much more durable than aluminum bolts, provided that you do not bounce them off a rock or similar hard surface. Wooden bolts are NOT RECCOMMENDED for use with a modern crossbow, so stock up on carbon bolts when ever you find them on sale.

  9. #9

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    OP is the FPS on a compound cross bow really that much greater than say a recurve @150lb draw weight.?
    i have a couple of recurves 150lb draw weight 4x32 scopes.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayshaker View Post
    OP is the FPS on a compound cross bow really that much greater than say a recurve @150lb draw weight.?
    i have a couple of recurves 150lb draw weight 4x32 scopes.
    You're pulling a recurve at 150lb? Do you mean crossbow? Heck - old English longbows were just over 100lb.
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  11. #11

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    He is talking about a 150lb recurve cross bow with a 4X32 scope. He is asking if the feet per second on a compound recurve is really all that much more than a recurve in that pull weight.

    I have long bows, recurves and compounds. And I would like to know that answer. Because the compound in a cross bow isn't giving you let off. So what is the major advantage?

    Well, I should say your not holding the string by your muscle power so who cares if you get let off?

  12. #12
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Got it. Thanks for the clarification.
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  13. #13

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    oh if any one is going to put by bolts there not cheap oh boy.mine are for the most part graphite composite and were quite
    spendy. i get the razor points 3pks when there marked down after hunting season. nuttin fancy 100-125gr, and the target points
    same gr weight. avalanche makes a good set up for about 175,00 shipped that includes a real nice 4x32 scope illuminated recticle
    in red or green depending which way you turn the knob.UGI is the brand i think.

  14. #14
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    I think the argument between compound and recurve crossbows is mostly marketing hype. Crossbows are very short range weapons and I have not found there to be any practical difference out to 35-40 yards. Quieting the crossbow with string and limb silencers does more than speed does to stop an animal from jumping the string sound at the shot. In my experience I have never seen a deer react until AFTER the crossbow bolt passed through their body. Limb Saver makes string and limb silencers for crossbows and that is what I use on my crossbows.

  15. #15
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Have an old Barnett, re-curve, with a original "red dot"....dating to early 80's
    Two bows, 90# and 150 #
    This was given to DW after FIL passed.....but has only been legal to use unless you had a Dr. signed State Handicap permit.
    Now anyone can use them.

    Back when we did a lot of shooting with FIL as he was a paraplegic vet.....and even he was disappointed on how fast the bolts lost velocity.....
    So he still preferred and used his long bow....and later a compound for hunting.
    I thought this was interesting as my belief at the time was a crossbow was a "super bow"....More accurate, longer range, and deadlier.

    Now being a paraplegic was tough to pull a compound or long bow back for him...(tough for me to pull and hold for a sitting position)..but for him the wheel chair (and just about any activity) use really built up his upper body strength......

    I had to agree that the only advantage was the ability leave the string pulled at all times......so as to not have to do the 'Wait till he looks away to pull back a compound bow".

    So for me, I will continue to use the simple compound with out a lot of do dads on it.
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  16. #16

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    The advantage of the modern cross bow over a compound is that you get all of the stability points of a rifle. You can even use a shooting rest on your stand. The bow is already charged and you have an easy to use optic sight.

    We used to shoot our compounds every weekday when my brother worked for an architectural accents business. We had people stop by the shop and they would watch and always want to shoot. Hell, half of the men couldn't draw a 70lb bow to the let off. And they would miss the block target at even 20 yards.

    Another brother of mine uses a cross bow. He hands it to first time hunters he puts over his feeder and they have no problem taking out their first deer with it.

  17. #17
    Woodsman Wiggy's Avatar
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    For the past three years I've used a Barnett Quad 400. Although I had one before that broke and I had to return it, the quality control has improved over the years and my current one has been fine. It was the fastest crossbow I could afford. With that being said, the Parker crossbows are in the same price range and have a better reputation for quality.

  18. #18
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    I'll throw in my 2 cents. Just a bit of background first since I don't post here much. I've been shooting crossbows for about ten years and competing in 3D with them for about that last eight. My wife and I have run crossbow clinics for woman at woman's outdoors events for the last four years. I've had the opportunity to own and shoot both compound and recurve limb system crossbows so I'll try to sum up my experiences.
    First, compounds. Typically the biggest advantage to a compound limb system has been size. They're usually overall narrower than recurve systems and this can be an advantage when hunting in tight quarters such as a ground blind. Compound systems also tend to be quieter than recurve systems of that's important to you. On the downside compounds are considerably heavier than recurves. There's just a lot more stuff upfront and that adds weight. It's also a lot more difficult to change a strings as most models will require a bow press. There's also the issue of maintenance. I know with our old Tenpoint it was recommended that the cables be changed every four to five years and that can get costly. I also found that compound systems tended to pick up more debris (twigs, leaves etc.) so you have to be careful to check for that kind of stuff every time you get to your treestand.
    Recurves are typically much lighter and easier to carry (a big consideration for old farts like me). They are also much more reliable and easier to maintain. I have an Excalibur Phoenix with several thousand shots on it with nothing but some string maintenance on it. Typically I get 200-300 shots on a serving and I've had strings with 1000+ shots on them that still had lots of life left. I can change a string in the field with no tools in about 30 seconds. On the downside they can be a fair bit wider though the newer Excalibur Matrix and Micro bows are quite compact. Recurves are louder but I've never found it to be a problem.
    Whatever you buy don't cheap out. All crossbows, regardless of limb type, have a lot of energy packed into a small package. I once heard someone say that crossbows try to destroy themselves every time you pull the trigger and there's a lot of truth to that. Cheap bows just don't hold up over time.

  19. #19
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Nice summery......especially the try to destroy them selves...part....I hear ya.

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