Best Crossbow under $500

The best crossbow for under $500 is without a shadow of a doubt the CenterPoint Amped 415.

There were some other strong crossbows too, but the Amped 415 wins out for its accuracy and power to rival the very best crossbows out there. The crossbows I reviewed are the:

The reviews for the best crossbows under $500 are further on down, but first, let’s look at what to expect from a crossbow that costs less than $500.

What do you expect for a crossbow under $500?

Sadly, crossbow prices these days are getting out of control. Some of the very best crossbows on the market are going for upwards of $2000! It’s difficult to justify such a significant expense, even if it’s for a hobby that you genuinely love.

Maybe you disagree with spending so much, or perhaps you’re just getting into crossbows, and you’re looking for a reasonably priced beginner bow. Whatever your case, you’re looking for the following characteristics.

Medium-range performance

Mid Range Performance Crossbow700400 1

These days for $500 you can still get some very powerful crossbows. In terms of speed, you will easily get a 300 FPS crossbow, and there are even some knocking on the door at 400 FPS, as you’ll see in the reviews.

300 FPS is more than enough speed to shoot targets in your back yard or get out deer hunting at the weekends. 

As for power, you want a bow which provides an ethical kill. You can take state regulation as a yardstick for this. The minimum required draw weight across all the states is 75lbs, (although some states don’t require a minimum). This will help you to get enough foot-pounds of kinetic energy to deliver a lethal shot.

This is a good starting point. In any case, all of the reviewed crossbows below meet these minimum requirements.

Long-term reliability

The worst thing is a manufacturer wiping their hands of problems as soon as the bow ships to you. Sadly, I’ve noticed (and read about) lots of difference between brands. 

Read up on a brand before you purchase, or make the purchase through a reliable third party such as Amazon so that you can return a defective product or get assistance with support from the crossbow manufacturer.

Lifetime warranty

You won’t always manage to get a lifetime warranty, but if your bow has it, you can relax in the knowledge that the manufacturer believes in the quality of their product and that they’ll probably look after you. 

If you can’t get a lifetime warranty, look for a warranty which covers the next few years.

Accessories

Crossbow Accessories700400

When you start purchasing some of the best crossbows, bolts and accessories, they may begin to come separately, meaning that you buy individual parts and custom assemble the crossbow however you like. That’s something we even look forward to!

When you’re just starting, however, you don’t want the headache of buying individual parts. You want a sweet package deal that at least includes a good scope and some rail lube wax. 

Lots of starter packs will also have a quiver and a bow case too. If you’re fortunate, you might get a deal which includes a rope cocker, bolts and field-tips to get you started.

Reviews of the 10 Best Crossbows under $500

Barnett Jackal Review

The Barnett Jackal is the people’s choice for starter crossbows. On Amazon, it’s racked up an incredible number of high-quality reviews.

It’s the complete beginner crossbow package, including a quiver, bolts and a beautiful red-dot-sight scope to get you started.

The bow shoots at around 315 feet per second with a 150-pound draw weight, which is more than enough kick to go straight through any game and leave a handsome blood trail.

It has a comfortable stock, and they include wax to maintain your bow. They recommend reapplying it every ten shots or so to keep it well lubricated.

Despite all of the good, the Barnett Jackal is now a slightly older model, and I do feel that there have been upgrades in bow safety and design on newer models which would benefit all users. 

Several owners have commented on paying out for maintenance on the strings, scope and other parts over the lifetime of the crossbow, which is worth taking into account.

Also, the crossbow requires some assembly, which isn’t always ideal for beginners and first-time buyers.

Pros

  • Great package purchase

Cons

  • May require professional maintenance 
  • Requires assembly which is frustrating for beginners

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

CenterPoint Amped 415 Review

Centerpoint Amped 415700*300The CenterPoint Amped 415 – for its price – is fantastic!

Before going any further, I’d like to point out that this crossbow makes my top ten crossbows for 2019, which is an early hint that it’s going to do very well in this article too. I can’t quite believe that it comes in at under $500.

It’s quiet as a mouse and packs an incredible 153-foot pounds of energy. Crosman claim it reaches speeds of 415 FPS (yes that’s a sub-$500 at over 400 FPS – insane!).

It’s a beautiful, lightweight compact crossbow, great for getting into treestands and manoeuvring through wooded areas.

Not enough? Wait for this! CenterPoint Amped achieved the best grouping of all the new crossbows in 2019. That’s another excellent reason to go out and buy this weapon.

If I had to find a fault, I’d say that the trigger had a little bit of travel, but I’m nitpicking to hell because this is the best crossbow for the money.

It comes with a rope cocker, quiver, a decent 4×32 scope and three 400-grain arrows to complete the starter package.

Pros

  • Best Budget Crossbow
  • Best crossbow under $500 for accuracy
  • Fastest crossbow under $500

Cons

  • Poor trigger

>> Check Price on Cabela’s <<

Bear X Saga 405 Review

The Bear X Saga 405 is also one of the new bows out this year.

When compared against the best crossbows in 2019 it doesn’t stand out, but when compared against value for money beginner crossbows it’s another quality entry.

For a start, it’s pushing the 400 FPS barrier, and what I also like is the adjustable forend grip and rear stock. This allows you to really customize the crossbow to you, and not the other way around.

It’s got an anti-dry fire inhibitor and a dual-string suppressor system to keep down the noise, too. 

What I would point out is that it’s got a pretty mean 20-inch power stroke to contend with, which is one of the reasons I probably prefer the Amped 415.

Like the Amped, it has a little bit of creep in the trigger, although I wouldn’t expect much better on the crossbows in this range.

Pros

  • 400+ FPS crossbow
  • Customizable grip and rear stock

Cons

  • Big power stroke
  • Poor trigger

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package Review

The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 is a pretty slick piece of kit.

The cool thing is that this is a crossbow package. So TenPoint has pulled together all the “gear you need for hunting success” and packaged it all up for you to buy it and start shooting the very same day.

The package includes the Crossbow, a 3x multi-line scope, an Acu-52 cocking mechanism, a quiver, three 400-grain carbon arrows and some practice tips. That’s pretty awesome!

The crossbow is quite long at 37.75 inches and sits wide (even when cocked) at 19 inches. It has a relatively easy-going power stroke compared to the Bear X Saga at 13.5 inches, and it has a very manageable weight of 6.6 lbs.

What’s more, the included cocking device helps to reduce the draw weight by as much as 50%, so you shouldn’t have any trouble handling the weapon even if it’s your first time.

This crossbow can hit speeds of up to 330 FPS and delivers a reasonable FPKE (foot-pounds of kinetic energy) of 96.

The package has a limited lifetime operational warranty, save the limbs and scope which are covered for five years, and the strings and cables which are (understandably) excluded as they won’t last that long.

If I had to find a fault, it could be a little quieter. The safety is prone to make a slight click when you remove it unless done very carefully. It also makes a hell of a noise when firing, so it’s worth investing in a string silencer kit if you’re going hunting.

All in all, a pretty sound piece of kit, which although it doesn’t compete with the previous two crossbows on performance, does come with everything you need to get started successfully.

Pros

  • Comes as a full package with everything you need
  • Good warranty

Cons

  • The crossbow is loud

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Light Review

The Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Light is a well-priced crossbow which comes in at just 6 lbs. It’s cocked width of 15 inches axle to axle isn’t bad for manoeuvrability as new crossbows go.

The crossbow comes with an attachable quiver along with three aluminum arrows that have practice points. The aluminum XX75 Magnum bolts aren’t as lovely as the carbon arrows that come with the Wicked Ridge, however. 

The XX75 Magnum bolts did make my top ten crossbow bolts, but this was mainly based on their value for money, which sadly you won’t be profiting from in this package deal…

The bow also shoots faster than the Wicked Ridge, reaching speeds of up to 350 FPS thanks to its newly designed 4S cams. For a well-priced bow, that isn’t bad at all.

It also comes with a fully-coated 3x-magnification multi-line sight to help shooting at a distance without reconfiguring your scope. It has three duplex crosshairs calibrated at 20-40 yards, and a fourth thinner line sitting at 50 yards.

Pros

  • Good manoeuvrability 

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a cocking rope

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Review

The Whitetail Hunter I was a massive success for Barnett, so they upgraded to the Whitetail Hunter II which has become a “#1 new release” on Amazon, already building up an enormous number of positive reviews since its release at the end of 2017.

The crossbow comes almost completely assembled. The manual is laughable – but then it is for 99% of new crossbows – but the setup is simple enough.

They include a 4×32 scope, a rope cocking device, a quiver, two 20-inch headhunter arrows and some lube wax for your strings.

The bow’s performance is pretty reliable. It reaches 350 FPS with an FPKE of around 100 lbs. The draw weight is about 150 lbs so, that packaged cocking device will come in dead handy!

What I like is the trigger technology Barnett has used – the trigger weighs 3 lbs and has zero-creep. Triggers are essential on crossbows, and you need to learn to trust them, so I think that it’s an excellent addition. 

The trigger is also anti-dry fire. A spring-loaded safety bar prevents firing until the arrow is correctly positioned. This is awesome for first-time crossbows (or any crossbows for that matter!)

If looking for negatives, the stock could be a little more comfortable and it makes a lot of noise, so like the Wicked Ridge Invader G3, I’d invest in a string silencer.

Barnett covers you for five years under warranty.

Pros

  • Excellent trigger

Cons

  • Uncomfortable stock
  • The crossbow is loud

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 Review

I think that CenterPoint has done an excellent job on the Tormentor Whisper 380.

For a start, they’ve made it a mid-performance crossbow which punches 120-foot pounds of kinetic energy and reaches speeds of up to 380 feet per second.

The axle-to-axle width is 14 inches, which is a compact design and makes it pretty mobile as crossbows go. The power stroke is near the lower end at 13.75 inches, so it’s that little bit easier to cock.

They’ve also gone the extra mile by including a silencing system so you won’t wake up the neighbours or let those deer know you’re coming.

The stock and the grip are also reasonably comfortable with rubber padding.

Sadly, a whole bunch of people have complained about the quality of the scope that it comes with, for various reasons. If you’re going to buy this crossbow (it’s an excellent crossbow), then I recommend budgeting in a better scope.

Pros

  • Don’t lose deer thanks to excellent silencing system
  • Comfortable to handle thanks to good stock and grip, and compact dimensions

Cons

  • Extra cost to buy a better scope

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

PSE Fang LT Review

The PSE Fang LT is a lightweight, hard-hitting and accurate crossbow, shooting at up to 350 FPS.

The package includes a 4×32 MR scope, green limb dampeners, a detachable quiver, three 20-inch carbon bolts with 100-grain field-tips, cocking rope, rail lube and a rubber-coated foot stirrup.

The scope comes with yard markers at 20, 30 and 40 yards, but to get them to line up you may want to replace the default 100-grain field-tips with 125s. Otherwise, the markers seem a little out.

There’s been a lot of negative feedback about the scope, so again, it may be worth budgeting a little for a better one, along with some lube wax for the strings which sadly doesn’t come as part of the package.

As for noise, this crossbow is pretty good thanks to built-in string stops and limb dampeners.

Pros

  • Don’t lose deer thanks to excellent silencing system
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Extra cost to buy a better scope

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Barnett Recruit Terrain Review

The Barnett Recruit Terrain has a provocative mix of online reviews but overall wins out as a quality crossbow.

It comes packed with a 4×32 scope, a rope cocking device, a light-weight quiver, two 20-inch headhunter arrows, and lube wax for the strings. The crossbow comes mostly assembled with a few last adjustments you’ll need to make upon arrival.

It performs reasonably well, reaching 330 FPS with a slightly below average 91.9-foot pounds of kinetic energy. The draw weight is on the lower end at 140 pounds.

The crossbow itself is long, and although they claim it weighs a nice 6.4 lbs, according to several buyers, it’s closer to 8 pounds which makes it a little tougher to handle given its length.

It measures 16.125 inches across when cocked meaning it’s reasonably compact although not at the low-end.

The bow comes with 3-pound zero-creep trigger-tech technology. That said, unfortunately, there were several negative reviews regarding the trigger.

It does have several positives, from the nock sensor (to verify that the bolt is correctly aligned on the string) to the anti-dry fire mechanism and the anti-vibration foot stirrup to keep noise levels down when firing.

What seems to have upset most people in this package was the scope. The scope has an insane eye-relief of like five inches, and you can’t easily adjust the stock to make it any better.

Pros

  • Anti-dry fire technology
  • Don’t lose deer thanks to excellent silencing system

Cons

  • Extra cost to buy a better scope

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

CenterPoint Sniper 370 Review

The CenterPoint Sniper 370 is one of the most popular crossbows on the internet, winning Outdoor Life Magazine’s 2016 “Great Buy” Award. On Amazon.com it is one of the best-reviewed crossbows available.

It has a fresh design. On the one hand, it’s built of a lightweight and durable mixture of aluminum and composite. It has a machined aluminum rail with shoot-through aluminum risers. 

Its quad limbs and a precision-machined cam system make it extremely powerful and accurate. This crossbow reaches as much as 370 FPS, which is at the top end of the medium-performance crossbows.

The crossbow is a little wider, measuring 18-inches axle to axle at full draw, and has a 185-pound draw weight to help it reach such high speeds.

It boasts an adjustable foregrip, AR-style tactical stock and Picatinny rail allowing you to customize your crossbow nicely.

The crossbow is suitable for both left and right-handers featuring an ambidextrous safety, and it also has an anti-dry fire trigger, which is an excellent addition.

Unlike some of the other crossbows, it has standard-integrated string suppressors for a quiet, vibration-free shot.

The package includes a 4×32 scope, three 20-inch carbon bolts, a quiver and a rope cocker. It also comes with a five-year limited warranty.

Unfortunately, on Amazon, the scope appears to be illuminated in the picture, but several reviewers say that they didn’t receive an illuminated scope. Also, the default bolts appear to be a little weak, so I’d recommend you go out and get some others for the best experience.

Pros

  • Don’t lose deer thanks to excellent silencing system
  • Show off your crossbow thanks to its attractive design
  • Highly customizable: make your crossbow fit you, not the other way around

Cons

  • Poor default bolts in package
  • Scope isn’t illuminated as advertised

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

So which is the Best Crossbow under $500?

There are some excellent crossbows out there for well under $500. 

My winner for this category is, without a doubt, the CenterPoint Amped 415. You’re getting a high-performance bow at an affordable price.

Not only does it boast the best grouping of all of the crossbows out this year (better than the Ravin R26 and the TenPoint Nitro XRT!), but it’s also quiet as a mouse, which I love.

There are some close runners up mind you, the Bear X Saga 405 deserves mention for its performance, as well as the CenterPoint Sniper 370 for its customization options, although again, the CenterPoint Amped 415 customizes well, too.

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