What we’ve done to judge the fastest crossbow
The fastest crossbow currently is the Scorpyd Nemesis, although it’s on pre-order. For the quickest crossbow available now, visit the TenPoint Nitro XRT.
For each crossbow’s FPS (feet-per-second), we sourced information from manufacturers, and are confident it’s the most up-to-date at the time of the review.
Remember that any 400 fps crossbow is already electric, so these crossbows are taking it to another level.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following crossbows:
- Scorpyd Nemesis: 480 FPS
- TenPoint Nitro XRT: 470 FPS
- Scorpyd Aculeus: 460 FPS
- Excalibur Bulldog: 440 FPS
- Ravin R29: 430 FPS
Before we review the crossbows, let’s go over:
- the advantages of speed
- the disadvantages of speed
- the difference between power and speed
- one commonality between the crossbows
What are the advantages of a fast crossbow?
Longer range & better accuracy
The distinct advantage to a faster bow is that it creates a flatter trajectory. This improves aim over distance, not having to account for as much drop in the arc of the arrow.
What are the disadvantages of a fast crossbow?
It seems logical that if you wind a string up further and harder before letting it go, that this cause more vibrations, and therefore make more noise.
This is somewhat mitigated in the case of compound crossbows, as their pulley systems allow the energy to be stored in other parts instead of the string, thus reducing vibration.
On recurve bows – as mentioned later in the Excalibur Bulldog 440 review – vibration is amplified at high FPS, making purchasing a full suppression system worth considering.
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When you build so much power into a crossbow, you are asking the limbs to store more energy when cocked. This will result in the possibility of broken limbs on the one hand, as well as having to restring your crossbow more often.
Not only this, but high speeds wear down the arrows – in fact, you’ll probably have to use manufacturer-specific equipment.
Accessories made for lesser bows are often incompatible, so you may see yourself tied to the manufacturer.
Extreme speeds will magnify all of the variables in every shot. You’ll find yourself battling the wind, gravity and operator shakiness in different ways.
You’ll also find that some arrows which shoot fine at lower speeds can’t handle the added pressure of flying at 450-500 FPS – it’s fast!
Difference between kinetic energy (KE) and speed (FPS)
It appears that most hunters thirst for speed in their crossbow. This does makes sense, as more speed means more distance, better accuracy, and less chance for the animal to escape.
On the other hand, it raises questions of ethics as higher speeds at a more considerable distance may make you miss your target (or the intended part of the animal).
What’s more, when you increase speed, you often do so by reducing the mass of the arrow and therefore reducing the energy.
The following analogy may help to understand; first of all, imagine getting hit by a grain of sand at 100mph. Frustrating indeed, but nothing to write home about. Then imagine getting hit by a brick at 20mph. With the latter, you risk death.
The point is, when targeting speed, we should also target increased KE, to take down bigger animals you’re proud to take home.
One Commonality between these crossbows
Almost all of the bows have one thing in common: reverse-draw technology. Reverse-draw technology essentially means that you are drawing towards the riser – the aluminium connecting limb to bow – instead of away from it.
A lot of the crossbow companies pay royalties to Kempf – the designer – to use his patent, as there seems no better way (for now) to get more output from a crossbow.
Improved crossbow balance
The most powerful crossbows generally require longer power strokes, to generate more force.
This usually would create a more substantial weight imbalance toward the front of the crossbow.
Reverse draw technology shifts the risers from the front of the crossbow to its center, to provide excellent balance and reduce front-heavy crossbows.
The centrally positioned risers mean that the crossbow doesn’t feel as heavy, and you can both hold your aim for longer, or quickly react to unpredictable situations.
Heavily reduced noise
The fact the string pulls through these risers effectively elongates the power stroke, while reducing the draw weight. Aside from generating higher speeds, it also results in significantly less vibration, meaning shots 3x quieter.
Better trigger experience
If you don’t have as much draw weight, the trigger isn’t going to be as strained, and this results in a better, all-round shooting experience.
The Fastest Crossbow Reviews
Scorpyd Nemesis Review 480 FPS
Weight: 7 lbs Length: Unknown Width (cocked): 8.9 inches Draw Weight: Unknown Power Stroke: Unknown
Scorpyd has recently released images and data for the new Scorpyd Nemesis 480, yes that’s 480 FPS people. You can already pre-order the crossbow now via the Scorpyd website, and receive it in the next three months.
The 480 FPS rating was taken with a 400-grain arrow. There are reports of a massive 505 FPS achieved with the 375-grain bolt; which would be the first time a crossbow has broken the 500-FPS barrier. Could this be a 500-FPS crossbow?
At 480 FPS, this crossbow generates a whopping 189.2 FPKE.
Scorpyd knows how to make fast crossbows, and seem to prioritise it over anything else.
That’s not to say though that the bow doesn’t have balance, precision and versatility, thanks to its reverse-draw technology and patented SearLoc Trigger System.
They have a new crank coming out which will allow you to de-cock the bow safely too.
- The fastest crossbow in the world
- The fastest compound crossbow
- The most powerful crossbow
TenPoint Nitro XRT Review 470 FPS
Weight: 7.4 lbs Length: 30.7 inches Width (cocked): 7 inches Draw Weight: 225 lbs Power Stroke: 16.5 inches
It’s an all-round monster weapon, which hits a crazy 470 FPS, generating more than 185 FPKE.
It has a silent draw system, and an improved trigger with a string-latch design (although we still felt there was room for improvement). It is also comfortable to shoulder for those long days hunting.
It’s excellent weight-distribution with the reverse-draw technology make it a piece of cake to handle and aim. Perhaps the only thing stopping this crossbow being our favourite ever is the expensive price tag.
Scorpyd Aculeus Review 460 FPS
Weight: 7.5 lbs Length: 34.5 inches Width (cocked): 12.875 inches Draw Weight: 180 lbs Power Stroke: 18.5 inches
The Aculeus was built for one thing: speed. Its bolts fly at an incredible 460 FPS with the 400-gr arrow and were understood to already reach a massive 480 with the 375 grain.
The Aculeus remains in the top three for speed, and will undoubtedly be available at a discount rate from the new Scorpyd Nemesis. This could work in its favor, given that these crossbow prices range into the thousands.
Excalibur Bulldog Review 440 FPS
Weight: 6.2s lbs Length: 35.75 inches Width (cocked): 23 inches Draw Weight: 300 lbs Power Stroke: 14.5 inches
The Excalibur Bulldog is the only recurve crossbow on my list.
How a recurve crossbow is competing with the compounds at a massive 440 FPS, we can’t quite fathom.
What’s more, you can enjoy all the typical advantages of a recurve bow, in maintenance and crossbow weight.
We wonder, however, just how long those limbs are going to last on a cocked crossbow 23 inches wide and with a 14.5-inch power stroke.
Another issue is noise. Perhaps you want to try heavier bolts or purchase a full suppression system? This, of course, will take away a little from the 440 FPS – your call!
Can a deer get out of the way anyway if a bolt is travelling 440 FPS? Maybe not, but ethical hunting is important. If you hit the wrong part of the animal, it could end up hurt, or taking longer to die than is necessary.
The Fastest Recurve Crossbow
Ravin R29 Review 430 FPS
Weight: 6.75 lbs Length: 29 inches Width (cocked): 5.75 inches Draw Weight: 240 lbs Power Stroke: 12.5 inches
The Ravin R29 has the same 430 FPS as the R20 and several other crossbows from other brands. So why did we choose to mention the R29?
That’s because they didn’t achieve 430 FPS by compromising other aspects needed for crossbow hunting.
The Ravin R29 sits in at an incredible 5.5 inches shorter than the R20, at 29 inches in length, with a more than reasonable 12.5-inch power stroke to deliver a punishing 164 lbs of kinetic energy.
It has incredible six-inch cocked full width and weighs only 6.75 lbs. This makes it our favourite fast gun for a long day hunting. You can shoulder this crossbow all day, and instantly react to surprises. Wow!
If you’re happy to compromise down to 400 FPS (I mean, come on, it’s not exactly slow…), check out the Ravin R26. This won our best crossbow; with sleeker dimensions and all-round perfection.
The Fastest All-Round Crossbow
Conclusion – the fastest crossbow
The fastest crossbow is sure to be the Scorpyd Nemesis, which may be the first crossbow to break the 500-FPS barrier!
Until it comes out in a few weeks, the champion remains the 470 FPS TenPoint Nitro XRT, not only of note for its speed but for its all-round excellence as a weapon.
All of the above crossbows are excellent over distance, without compromising power.
If you prefer the traditional recurve bow, then look no further than the Excalibur Bulldog 440. We’d be interested in your feedback down below on its durability and how often it needs taking care of.