Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On Crossbows

Now that North Carolina has not only changed regulations to allow the use of a crossbow for hunting but gotten rid of its ridiculous requirement for a pistol permit to buy a crossbow, I am seriously thinking of buying one. Part of my rationale is that I just don't have the upper body strength anymore to adequately and humanely hunt with a compound bow. Another part is that I think they are kinda cool. Finally, I want one just because I can have one now without all the regulations that were out there in the past.

So what do I see in my e-mail yesterday but a link to a story by Outdoor Life where they tested eight of this season's newest crossbows. As shown in the video below, they were quite rigorous in their testing of things like vibration, noise, and speed. I really was surprised to find out that some of the bows exceed 100 decibels when fired. So much for believing what you see in a James Bond movie!

Their Editor's Choice Award went to the TenPoint Stealth XLT. It retails for only $1,199. I didn't realize that crossbow prices were quite that high. I've bought good rifles with good optics for half of that!

The Outdoor Life Editor's Great Buy went to a crossbow from Horton Archery - the Horton Ultra-Lite Express - which retails for $599.

I think I have my work cut out for me. I see a number of visits to different outdoor and archery shops to check out and test fire a number of crossbows before I make a purchase.

If anyone who reads this blog has a crossbow, I'd love to hear your experience on buying one. Why did you buy the one you did? What features are essential and what are just nice to have?


  1. I bought an Excalibur Axiom a few weeks ago. It's the best bang for the buck - it's a kit, and I couldn't find a good recurve crossbow for that kind of money even without the extras. I will admit I had to buy the crank cocking aid, as I couldn't cock it with the string aid. I just don't have the arm strength to pull it back. Oh, the Axiom is dead-on accurate with the included scope. I'm better with that than I am with my Plinkster, and they have similar recoil.

    Do you have a Bass Pro near you? They'll have a decent selection and some locations have an archery range behind the hunting area...and often, they'll let you test them.

  2. forgot a link:

  3. @ Laura: Thanks. I'll check them out. There is a Bass Pro and a Gander Mtn in the Knoxville area. On my side of the Smokies, there are a number of stores that specialize in archery.

  4. ah, excellent. :) good luck with whatever you end up getting!