The Best Crossbow For A Tight Budget

Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by

On a budget? The SA Sports Fever might be just what you are looking for. Here, we unpack everything that you need to know.

Most potential buyers, if he is particularly a beginner, would look for a crossbow which displays great performance and yet not very highly priced. So, if you want to buy the best crossbow under 500, you should take a close look at the crossbows we recommend for our readers.

What is a crossbow?

The crossbow is a model weapon developed in ancient China before the invention of black powder weapons. The crossbow was a portable device that allowed the user to shoot an arrow with more force than any other standard bow. In today’s market, price, more often than not, is a clear sign of quality. The archery industry has proven that price is a factor of quality.

Loading the crossbow

There are three different ways to load your crossbow.

The first method is manual clamping. When you look at your crossbow, you should see a triangular shape towards the front of the bow. This is called a stirrup. Place the bottom of the bracket on the floor and place your foot in it.

Use the weight of your leg (and body) to keep it firmly on the ground. Then grasp the rope on both sides of the crossbow tree. You want your thumbs on both sides to be as close as possible to the stock. Pull the rope back with a slow, steady movement and lock it. Be sure to pull the rope back unevenly as this will affect the accuracy and damage the rope, arrow track and even arrows over time.

This method is considered the most difficult because you have to lift more than 150 pounds of dead weight to load your bow.

The second method is the cable tension method. This is one of the easiest ways to facilitate the tension of your bow because you only need a simple string to help you. You may not even need to buy it because some crossbows with higher pulling weights come with a rope to support the package.

With the cable method, you cut the force required to re-tension the cable in two halves. Place your foot in the stand as you would with manual tension. Pull the cord back with the tension cord. Another advantage of this method is that you are less likely to lean to the right or left and therefore less likely to cause damage to your crossbow.

The third and last method is the crank handle tension method. It’s a little expensive because the equipment costs between $100 and $150, but this method is so simple that even a child can turn the bow.

Simply insert your foot into the holder and turn the crank to load your bow. In addition to the cost, the disadvantages of this method are the speed, as loading an arc can take a full minute, and the weight of the crank mechanisms, which increases the total weight of your bow.

Selection of the best crossbow

Choosing the best crossbow can be an apparently difficult task. To find what’s best for you, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind.

1) Take into account the traction weight of the crossbow.

The advantage of a higher pulling weight is a higher force when your arrow shoots forward, which increases the probability that you will kill your prey. For this reason, it is recommended to choose a bow that has a minimum movement of 150 pounds if you want to kill something. If you only use your bow for shooting practice, you can choose a lighter bow. Remember, however, that you must load the crossbow’s traction with its own weight unless you are using a support mechanism.

2) Take into account the force-stroke of the elbow.

The effort stroke is simply the length to which the rope must be pulled to be stretched. It is typically between 10 inches and 14 inches. A higher power stroke means a stronger stroke, although it doesn’t matter much if the crossbow is correctly adjusted to its specific traction weight.

3) Take into account the speed of your crossbow.

The speed of a crossbow is measured in feet per second or FPS. The speed describes the speed at which your arrow moves the first 20 to 30 meters after firing. After about 20 meters, the speed of the boom or screw decreases considerably. For best hunting results, choose a minimum speed of 200 FPS. The speed is influenced by the pulling height of the crossbow. The weight of the boom is another important factor in what you can rely on with SPF. Remember that this is influenced by the type of arrows you use and consider this in your decision.

4) Think of the material in which the branches of your crossbow are built.

High-quality crossbows require light but durable materials. The ones at the bottom of the spectrum are generally made of wood or aluminum, although they are not strong enough to ensure that the crossbow will not break if worn. The best materials are fiberglass, carbon or a combination of both. These materials are strong enough to withstand the physical strain of a heavy shot.

5) Consider the difference between a composite crossbow and a curved bow crossbow.

The difference between a curved bow and a compound bow is that the mechanism is used to pull the strings back. The compound crossbow is equipped with a cam or roller system. The bow crossbow does not use cams, but a branch on each side of the shaft. This allows the composite bow to have more potential energy than the curved bow. Composite bends are generally more expensive as they offer more strength per disadvantage. Recurve bows do not have as many mechanisms as composite bows, making them lighter and more versatile.

Top 9 Crossbows Under $500 in 2021

1. Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow

The CenterPoint Sniper 370 is a composite crossbow that has received the best average price class. This bow has a powerful speed of 365 FPS. Weighing 185 pounds and with an acceleration stroke of 13 inches, the bow sends arrows with immense force across the entire range. Equipped with a dry fire extinguishing mechanism, this crossbow will never release the rope without placing an arrow on the tree.


  • Endowed with immense power.
  • High-quality light optics for hunting in poorly lit areas.
  • -Made of plastic, this bow is lighter than most competitors.


  • Plastic parts can break. Do not use the crossbow if something is broken.
  • To achieve the required strength, an additional assembly is required

2. 80 lbs Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow

The 80 lbs self-cocking Pistol Crossbow has a speed of 160FPS and a weight of 80 pounds. It is, therefore, a good choice for small game hunting or archery. It’s not as powerful as some of the other options on this list, but the fact that it’s self-contained allows you to take pictures quickly. It is made of a solid aluminum alloy which is stronger than normal aluminum, but still rust-resistant.


  • The red dot oscilloscope facilitates alignment to the target.
  • Free package of 15 metal piles included


  • Not powerful enough for big game hunting
  • Speed lower than some other sheets

3. Barnett Jackal Crossbow


The Barnett Jackal received the award for the best crossbow for beginners. Weighing 150 pounds and with a 12-inch stroke, this bow shoots an arrow at 315 SPF. The jackal trigger has a pulling force of three and a half pounds to avoid misfire. It is recommended to grow the rope every ten strokes.


  • Can attack any legal game.
  • Automated safety precautions to prevent dry fires.


  • Brittle cams can break.
  • Manual arming only

4. Barnett Recruit Crossbow

Barnett Recruit was awarded the best crossbows for young archers. With an attraction of only 130 pounds, the recruit sends a flying arrow with 300 SPF. This allows the user to arm and charge the crossbow without assistance. The Barnett Recruit is specially designed for young people and weighs only six and a half pounds to facilitate transport. With a red dot scope and safety measures it is the safest bow for beginners. The front handle has a passageway design that limits finger positioning to avoid injury.


  • Adjustable stock
  • Simple and easy to tighten
  • Ideal for young people


  • The quivers only hold three arrows.
  • The red dot makes it difficult for inclined shooters to estimate their shot.

5. TenPoint Wicked Ridge Invader G3

The Invader G3 has the lowest price for a composite crossbow. With a pulling force of 165 pounds and a stroke of 13.5 inches, this bow starts an arrow at a speed of 330 FPS. This crossbow weighs less than 7 pounds and has a quick hitch that prevents your game from escaping. The tension is extremely easy with a self-retracting cable system.


  • Amazing precision
  • Lightweight
  • Extremely powerful


  • Short guarantee
  • crossbow scope not illuminated
  • Excessive safety precautions

6. Barnett Ghost 375 Crossbow

With the Barnett Ghost 375, anyone can afford a fast crossbow. For a crossbow that weighs only 7.1 pounds – less than many others on the market – the Barnett Ghost 375 is a pleasant surprise. At 165 pounds, the crossbow shoots at a speed of 385 feet per second, which is faster than most crossbows in the same price range. The name Ghost may have been inspired by the weapon’s ability to move you further away from your prey, so it cannot hear you when you take your target and shoot. The existence of an accompanying margin of manoeuvre only makes it more effective than it already is because of its construction.

If you want to buy a large bow with maximum precision, this crossbow is exactly what you need. It belongs to the Carbonlite series and is also the lightest, which says a lot about its capabilities and comfort. Equipped with anti-vibration technology to reduce noise when using your crossbow, it also comes with pretty extras that make your cost even more rewarding. Its ease of use allows it to be used in a variety of conditions, so it will never be impossible to hunt big game, whether hunting in flat terrain or dense forest areas.

The stirrup reduces the extra volume, and overall it is a lightweight crossbow that helps you defeat your prey with maximum efficiency and precision. A string cocker spanner, two screws and wax to lubricate the strings are also included


  • Its amazing speed
  • The relatively light construction
  • The extras included with the purchase


Some accessories are not of the same quality as the rest of the bow.

7. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury

The Arrow Precision Inferno Fury crossbow is one of the cheapest options available today.

It is certainly one of the cheapest crossbows you can get with decent quality. Its low cost is a great attraction for all the beginners who are looking for something affordable, lightweight and easy to use. The package contains everything you need to start training on the targets, including a beautiful red dot scope that helps much to zero in on your hunting target.

The rage of hell is not known for its great strength that shoots arrows at only 235 fps. Please note that it is not intended for big game hunting, although it can probably hunt deer at a depth of 20 to 30 meters. The 10.5-inch short effort stroke and 175 lb. practical weight make it easy to pull with a tightening aid without too much effort. Although it is not perfect for hunting, its strength and accuracy are more than sufficient for practice and shooting training.


  • Very inexpensive
  • Good for shooting training
  • Very easy to use


  • You have to buy better arrows.
  • It is not suitable for big game hunting.

8. Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow

This crossbow is designed to make your walk in the forest easier. It includes carbon fiber bolts, quick release, sighting scope and tension cord to facilitate arc retraction. The shaft is made of composite materials to ensure a lightweight construction, not to mention that they laminated to ensure the longevity of your crossbow. In addition, it has fingerprints to keep your fingers safe when you shoot.


  • Made in the USA
  • 150 lb Draw Weight and 122 FT lbs of kinetic energy
  • Fairly lightweight at 6.4 lbs
  • Custom composite laminated limbs and string dampeners that make this awesome bow super quiet
  • High-end TriggerTech trigger consists of all stainless components and sports a 3lb zero creep release
  • Requires only a 5-minute setup as it ships to you mostly assembled


  • crossbow manual doesn’t have an elaborate diagram which might confuse inexperienced buyers
  • Difficult to find a housing due to its compact size

9. Carbon Express X-Force Piledriver 390

Nowadays, time and money are scarce, but there is an opportunity for those who are willing to pursue them. The Carbon Express X-Force Piledriver 390 was built for the occasion. You can spend more time in the Whitetail forests because you know you are here to enjoy the hunting game to the hilt. The compact design of the crossbow is perfect for walk-in and drag back, and at 335 fps, success is achieved in the blink of an eye. You can enjoy more sunrises and sunsets this fall with all the Bear x technology in a fantastic package.


  • High-performance stuff, very powerful
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – The X-Force Piledriver 390 is 5% lighter than competitive bows with similar price points
  • CUSTOMIZABLE PERFORMANCE – Adjustable buttstock, multi-position foregrip, Anti-Dry-Fire technology, Durable compression molded limbs, and Aluminum rail for repeatable accuracy
  • READY TO HUNT KIT – Quiet crank cocking wrench, quick detach 3 arrow quiver, adjustable foregrip, 3 piledriver 20″ crossbolts, rail lubricant, 3 practice points, 4×32 deluxe scope


  • The scope that comes with it is a complete junk
  • The instruction manual that comes with it is faulty

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is speed the most important factor to consider?

It’s simply because it can capture more accurate and powerful images. Most people only pay attention to speed when looking for a new crossbow.

  1. Can I change the rope?

Yes, but you should consult a user manual. The process depends on the type of leaf spring, the rope and the system used.

How long can a single chain last?

Normally 100 movements are needed, but it is always possible to do more. Keep in mind that you should always lubricate and maintain the rope.

3. How can I prolong the life of a leaf spring?

With proper maintenance and lubrication, usually the synthetic system, it can prolong the lifespan.

How long can an arrow stay sharp?

As long as you stay still. If it moves or when it moves, it is recommended to remove the arrow for personal safety reasons, as recommended by arrow 2 bows.

4. How long does a crossbow last?

Depending on use and maintenance, it can take decades.

Final verdict

In the end, we can only say that the Centerpoint Sniper 370 we recommended above is the best crossbow under $500. However, if we were to select a winner, it would have to be the CenterPoint Sniper 370. It is very reliable as a performer and we love its accuracy and speed. It is very attractive look wise, the attention to detail is impressive and really worth every dollar.

Even if you are a rank beginner, you will appreciate this model. If you are a professional, you will love it. Other models are also the best in their category, so each of them may be the best choice for you.

Choosing a crossbow is an important decision as it can affect precision during shooting training and when you can drop the big game. Be sure to make the above considerations and reviews will help you select the best crossbow under$500 that suits your needs.