Cheaper Than Dirt’s 10 Hottest Selling Crossbows

In the past decade, 19 states have made crossbows legal in all or part of the state’s archery season. 2012 accounted for four of these additions and either added or extended crossbow hunting opportunities. Indiana expanded its crossbow season to coincide with the regular archery season. Kansas opened crossbow hunting to hunters over the age of 55 and under the age of 15 for the entire archery season. Crossbows are also legal in Kansas for all hunters during firearm seasons and legal for all hunters during the archery season in select counties (urban areas). Previously in Illinois, crossbows were legal only for handicap permit holders during the archery season. The regulation changed in 2012, allowing hunters to use a crossbow if they met one or more of the following conditions: the hunter was age 62 or older or a handicapped person and has been issued a permit to use a crossbow in the archery season. Illinois allowed all hunters to use a crossbow during the period starting the second Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday through the last day of the archery deer season.

There are several reasons for surge of hunters switching to horizontal bows. The population is aging and as bowhunters “see more miles in the rearview mirror” many are having a difficult time drawing a vertical bow. Crossbows offer the solution to keep them in the field and hunting.

Crossbows are also a great crossover product. Hunters used to taking a firearm afield feel comfortable with a crossbow. The stock, trigger and sight systems are familiar and make the conversion to new challenges and an expanded hunting season a breeze. Beyond that, crossbows are flat-out cool and fun to shoot regardless whether you goal is to punch holes in paper or let the air out of Bambi.

Hunting regulations change regularly, so be sure to check the local laws to where you live or plan to hunt. Here is a link to all of the states and providances in Canada.

While you may not be able to take a test drive of each of the models fear not, we have done the legwork for you. Here are the top 10 selling crossbows on Cheaper Than Dirt!

  1. SA Sports Fever
  2. RC-150 Barnett Compound Crossbow
  3. SA Sports Vendetta Crossbow
  4. Barnett Jackal Crossbow
  5. Barnett Zombie 350 Crossbow
  6. Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow
  7. Excalibur Axiom Crossbow
  8. Ten Point Wicked Ridge Raider
  9. Barnet QUAD 400 Crossbow
  10. Well, I guess we had to leave something to the imagination. Tell us about your favorite crossbow in the comment section.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (24)

  1. I have become disabled and know I can’t accomplish the pull without a cranking device. I have hunted my whole life and would like to hunt with a crossbow now so I can beat the rifel hunters in the woods. I would like your suggestion on which would be the best bow available for a man with a bad back and that is new to crossbows.

  2. Nice list. I have got the Barnett Ghost 350 CRT and I love it and I gave my son the same for christmas so not we both have the same crossbows.

  3. Did some searching on Parker Bows and found some info we fellow Americans don’t want to hear. Unfortunately, Parker ( and other American companies ) are
    allowed to say made in the USA while still using a percentage of parts produced in other countries. This loop hole needs to be changed. It really is a shame we can’t support our country 100%. Good luck with your x- bow. Thanks for responding.

  4. Should have bought a Parker proudly made in the USA and has a life time warranty plus they have great customer service.

  5. Should have bought a Parker Made in the USA and life time warranty and great customer service. Plus they are priced to sell at a very competitive price.

  6. I just bought a Barnett Ghost 385 and can’t find a ” made in the USA ” anywhere…… Nothing on the box, booklet, or on the X bow. I went to one of the two major retailers today to buy some bolts, wax, etc and was told by the pro shop that my bow is made in China. I paid $900.0 for the bow and didn’t care because I assumed it was American made. I certainly hope he’s wrong……..maybe someone can verify my thoughts here? Btw, the bow shoots dimes at 50 yds. Thanks in advance….

  7. I am new to crossbows and on a very low budget.

    What is the best crossbow for the low budget buyer?

    Where are these crossbows made? I went to a few websites that did not indicate where their products are manufactured. In this day companies are screwing up, if they are made is the USA and are not prominently displaying that fact on every page and advertisement.
    If I do not see a made in the USA sticker, I assume a product is made in China and keep looking.

  8. As the article says, this is the top 10 best sellers. True, alot of people are after price only, but I have to say that the Jackal is a great performer as well. I reviewed many crossbows, but at the end of the day, I just couldnt force myself to spend that much on a crossbow to use just a few weeks a year. I invite anyone to look at the reviews of the Jackal and actually see that this is the best bow for the money. Easily shoots over 300 fps, and has very minimal problems. Sure I could of spent a twice as much for a crossbow if I really wanted to, but honestly, I dont think the deer or even the hogs can really tell the difference. To sum it up, the Jackal is very accurate, and hasnt even attempted to show any problems in the few years I have had it, and I shoot a few hundred bolts per year gearing up for the few shots that really matter in the stand.

  9. I have owned a cheap Barnett for 4 years. It is a Barnett Wildcat. I can’t say it doesn’t have issues. It is heavy and not balanced well but very accurate and very adequate for deer hunting. I killed 3 deer with it my first season, all pass throughs. I will probably upgrade soon to a Barnett Deer Commander extreme. I have held one, it’s light at about 7lbs, fast at 365 FPS, well built, a great trigger and fairly quiet. It can be had for under 600 if you shop around. Horton has been bought out by 10 point so the fate of parts for older Horton’s is in some doubt from what I read. I like it too that Barnett’s are made in the US, at least that’s what I’m told and prices for us average folks. But like everything else, bows are evolving as is Barnett and other manufactures, all good. Good hunting all….

  10. Barnett Predator Shoots Great 3 shots Into Less Than 2 inches At 60 Yds At 375 Fps You Can Have your Slow excal An Over Priced 10 point

  11. I understand Dave that this is a business and should be treated as such but just because some of these are best selling because of price does not mean they are good crossbows by any means. I bought for my first new crossbow a cheap Barnett recurve 150 pound crossbow. I killed a couple of deer with it but it was no way even close to my old Excalibur Wolverine 150 pound some one gave me that I upgraded the limbs to the newer style and even with the old limbs there was no comparison in performance the Barnett was like a toy compared to the Excalibur.

    I liked what I seen in the new Parkers but I have to agree Horton makes a good crossbow and they have reasonable packages. Much better pick than a cheap Barnett. I got to add an old friend bought a cheaper compound Barnett and that too killed deer he never killed one but he loaned it to a friend who used it for one year and that hunter the next year bought a Horton.

  12. It seems there is one fantastic make & model that has been overlooked in this top ten article . I have been Hunting with a HORTON Hawk SL , Harvesting 5 Whitetail deer in the first week of October last season . In my opinion HORTON is and will always be in the top 5 Crossbows , Considering Speed Accuracy & Price ! Its a Rugged and Devastating Weapon ! I choose Horton over Barnett Hands down . I do own Several Crossbows none of which have Earned the Pleasure of hunting with me , But The HORTON ! As the song goes ( I could not ask for more ! )

    1. Thanks for the Horton Shoutout. It is a great bow, I have myself. However, it was not left out. This is just a list of the best selling not personal favorites. ~ Dave Dolbee

  13. I disagree Dave the cheap Barnett crossbows are JUNK and so are more of their more expensive models. I hunt with crossbows. The only reason they are the top best sellers is the price factor. Yea maybe some folks might not know the difference but most folks that hunt do. I had two Barnetts one I bought my first crossbow one of the recurve ones and an other recurve some one gave me the old break open cocking type. I gave both to a friend to play with figured either one was not a serious crossbow. Why spend good money for a cheap made crossbow when for a 100 to 200 dollars more you can get a middle of the line crossbow that are good if you cannot afford the top of the line. I got an Excalibur from a friend which is a serious hunting crossbow but I did not like the size of it so now I bought a Parker Bushwacker. A lot of xbow for the money.

  14. I understand you’re showing the top sellers. That’s probably why 5 out of the 9 are listed as no longer available at CTD.

  15. It’s interesting that the crossbow you used in the picture wasn’t on your list. Bowtech’s Strykzone 350 is an excellent crossbow, combining a narrow width and short length for treestand hunting, 350 fps knock-down power and speed, impressive accuracy, and a price tag that doesn’t drain your wallet. Outdoor Life put it on the top of their list, and I’d definitely put it at the top of mine.

    1. I would agree with you that the Strikezone is indeed an excellent bow. However, this was not my personal Top 10 list, but instead the 10 Best sellers at CTD. Thanks for the Bowtech shout out though… ~ Dave Dolbee

  16. All you top ten are sub par crossbows! Cheap , make the most profit crossbows. Anyone that knows crossbows knows Barnett is low budget! If you were serious you would put the PSE Reaper at the top pretty much the best crossbow for $399 not a toy like a barnett

    1. This was not a performance article – it you take the time read it over, it is the top selling crossbows — nothing more nothing less — pure numbers. Thanks for the recommendation on the PSE though. ~ Dave Dolbee

  17. Parker crossbows are the most consistently under-rated crossbows out there. Barnett are by far the most publicized and bought, but not great quality IMO. The main thing I look for in a crossbow is size and balance. Balance is key, and Parker understands that pretty than any other company. Ten Point makes a great product, but they are very pricey and front heavy.

    1. Great points and two great bows choices as well. Price dictates sales for most products. I have several in expensive guns as beaters, truck guns etc, and for the introductory shooter – a Barnett is great. It will get the job done without breaking the bank. After the shooter has some experience with a crossbow, they can make an informed decision as to which High-end model they would prefer. Thanks for the reply! ~ Dave Dolbee

  18. The cheap Barnett crossbows leave a lot to be desired I know I started out with one. I know nothing of the SA crossbows but my opinion only the Excalibur is the only recurve worth owning. Out of the 9 listed Excalibur and the Ten point would be good choices. I wish they would have picked a Parker crossbow they are good crossbows and is what I use now though I also own an Excalibur.

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