Top 5 Best Crossbow for Beginners (Top Picks 2022)

Best Crossbow for Beginners

Beginner Should Look for following factors when Purchasing First Crossbow

Choosing the right crossbow is tricky as a beginner just entering the sport as you have no idea what features to look for nor how to decide what is best for you. Navigating the large variety of crossbows is confusing: the greater the choice, the more difficult it is to make and be satisfied with a decision. Regardless of what you desire, it will be no good if you are unaware of where and what to look for and whether to go for expensive brands promising quality or ordinary brands promising value and speed. Therefore, to ease this, we have listed below the factors that beginners should look for when purchasing the crossbow.

Selecting the Right Crossbow Type

Crossbows come in 2 types: Recurve crossbows and Compound Crossbows. As the name suggests, Recurve is a simple curve frame crossbow that has one string attached to its limbs, making it bend outwards when pulled. These crossbows rely on the traditional style bows and are often preferred for their simplicity and dependability. They have higher draw weight and low speed than compound crossbows with longer axle-to-axle widths. On the other hand, the Compound crossbow is often preferred due to its high projectile speed and low draw weight. In addition, this type offers a systematic framework with pulleys and additional cables (which can be sites for potential failure at times). Likewise, they tend to be more compact and, therefore, more user-friendly in the woods due to their low axle-to-axle width.

Choosing the Target

Choosing an appropriate training target should also be a priority purchase, and some would argue, be prioritized over buying the crossbow first. As a beginner, one should first consider the distance to be covered and the amount of penetration their crossbow can pursue, then choose a target that can sustain the blow. Low-quality targets can result in severe penetration of arrows. Therefore, your decision of target type should correspond to the sort of prey you will be hunting, as practising on your target will simulate your game performance in the field.


When choosing the crossbow, you should always determine the game you plan to hunt beforehand. Crossbows in the market vary in terms of speed due to target hunting, precision, penetration of shots, and durability. Typically, entry-level bow speeds range between 300 – 400 fps. Higher speed indicates the arrow travels a longer distance, has flatter shooting (less drop of the projectile over the distance), and is more penetrable. However, going beyond the recommended speed for crossbows and the game/target type can result in extreme deep piercing that damages the arrow and target body. Besides, with such penetration, it can get more challenging to retain the arrow shape or remove it from the target without the help of additional tools.

Safety Mechanisms

Safety should always be a concern when purchasing a crossbow as a beginner. Therefore, it is always suggested to look for crossbows with integrated safety mechanisms that will help you avoid harming yourself or ruining your new crossbow. Below are some of the most crucial safety features.

Anti-Dry Fire

A “dry fire” in a crossbow relates to firing a shot without any actual arrow placed in the rail. This can affect the limbs and strings of the crossbow and can damage both. The arrows in crossbows are positioned to allow resistance with energy flow, making crossbow manoeuvring easier. In addition, the arrows placed in the rail adopt most of the energy transferred by the strings to limbs. However, when an empty shot is fired, the bow limbs are subjected to more stress than they were designed to withstand. This can ultimately result in breakage of limbs, strings, and dislocation of cams. To avoid such mishaps from happening, modern crossbows offer an anti-dry fire mechanism or safety feature that helps lock the strings when the arrow is not in place, preventing any shot from being fired accidentally.

Automatic-Engaging Safety

Like the Anti-dry fire safety functions, the auto-engaging in crossbows works similarly. It keeps the trigger in place and prevents releasing the arrows when the crossbow is cocked. This safety feature is ideal for beginners as it is activated automatically when the bowstring is drawn. This feature doesn’t require to be set and will keep the crossbow safe until you’re ready and want to pull the trigger purposefully.

Forward Grip

In a crossbow, the forward grip is located beneath the rail, where you place your hand to stabilize the frame. Ensuring the safety of your hand placement is critical before shooting an arrow. Although the arrow is contained within the crossbow’s rail, the bowstring is free and is not trapped. Hence, the string moves fast down the rail when you fire the crossbow. In unfortunate circumstances, if a finger or thumb from the shooting hand gets in the string’s path, the hand can be severely injured. The shot alignment will also be compromised. Thus, it is recommended to seek a crossbow with a front grip with ‘wings’ extending to the side to protect against this occurrence.


Lightweight bows are ideal for hunting since they are easily handled and carried in the woods or jungle while pursuing your prey. However, a crossbow that is too light will produce more significant recoil. On the other hand, if it’s excessively heavy, you could have difficulties keeping it stable enough to shoot and aim precisely. Thus, we recommend choosing medium-weighted crossbows that suit your hunting style and preferences.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is another notable feature when purchasing your first crossbow. Draw weight is the effort of pulling the bowstrings back. Higher draw weights can affect the ability to cock. Although it is vital to produce the right energy to release the arrow with power. It is also critically dependent on hunters’ physical strength, height, and ability to pull. Most modern crossbows feature built-in cranking devices, which minimizes the draw weight by cutting in half. However, when selecting crossbows with higher draw weights, always consider whether the crossbow is compatible with a cranking device and whether one is included in the package.

Arrow Selection

Arrows play a critical part in delivering the right precision shots with penetration and durability. Although the crossbows come with suggested arrows included in the package, you may need to buy them separately at times. Mostly aluminum, carbon, or mixed arrows are used, but carbon arrows are the most common. When choosing your arrows, know the required arrow size and weight. Using non-recommended arrows is likely to affect performance during target practice or hunting.

Post-Purchase Assembly

Crossbows come in a box. They are semi-assembled and have a manual of instructions to mount the other accessories. Usually, accessories such as scope, quiver, and grip are part of the package, and therefore, it requires proper assembly. These are all easy to handle and have appropriate information attached with a crossbow. However, when mounting the scope, always consider the correct placement by checking the back and front and ensuring it is placed according to appropriate adjustments.

Best Crossbow for Beginners

Wicked Ridge Rampage 360 (Ultimate Crossbow for Beginners) (Editors Pick)

Wicked Ridge’s Rampage 360 crossbow is fantastic value for money. Besides being cost-effective, it’s made in the United States and comes with TenPoint’s Limited Lifetime Warranty. Additionally, it comes in a ready-to-use format. The built-in cocking system and precision set this bow apart from the competition and make it the best crossbow for beginners. The stock on this crossbow has been redesigned and is covered in a stunning “Peak” camouflage pattern. It’s also available with two alternative crank options, one of which is the tried-and-true ACUdraw.

Editor’s Note

Compared to other models in this range, the WR Rampage 360 stands out due to its impressive specifications. The overall characteristics of this model are impressive in terms of its speed, kinetic energy, size, and weight, which makes it more easily accessible in complex locations such as forests and jungles. This crossbow is quick, accurate, long-lasting, lightweight, and well-balanced Most entry-level shooters; higher draw weight crossbows can be difficult to manage. Thus, the integrated ACUdraw CDD enables hunters to save time and effort in cocking the bow. In addition, the Gordon Glass™ limbs integrated into this model are lightweight and provide significant strength to the crossbow.

What Makes Wicked Ridge Rampage 360 Different?

Although this Wicked Ridge model features similar specs compared to the BlackHawk 360, and rampage 360, it is unique due to its integrated cocking device feature. In addition, the model offers an ACUdraw (CDD), which at under $500 is not available in any other models. The Rampage 360 is powered with a 4S elongated Cam system that triggers power stroke for producing speeds of up to 360 fps. Its lightweight is achieved through its “Air-Lite Stock” design, making it compact and manoeuvrable in complex situations. In addition, the safety mechanism comprises elongated wings that support the hands and keeps them safe during the shots. An added finger safety is achieved through its fully enclosed finger guard feature.

Unlike BlackHawk 360, the model can either be equipped with Acudraw/ Acudraw 50 or a rope cocker housed into the butt of the stock. This device reduces the draw-weight by about 50%. This little scope measures 8.5 inches long and comes with completely coated 3x lenses, three duplex crosshairs calibrated for 20-, 30-, and 40-yard shots, and a fourth half line for 50-yard shots. It includes a T4 trigger with a 3.5-pound pull.

Wicked Ridge Rampage 360

Testing of Wicked Ridge Rampage 360

The Rampage 360 is relatively easy to control. It’s light, durable, and well-balanced, thanks to the ACUdraw crank-cocking technology and Gordon Glass™ Limbs., The Rampage 360 measured 356-358 fps on the chronograph.

Wicked Ridge Rampage 360 Product Specifications

Wicked Ridge Rampage 360 Package Includes



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Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360 (Best Value and Quality Crossbow)

Wicked Ridge has been operating for almost 12 years and is recognized for making high-quality crossbows for a fraction of the price of a “TenPoint” but built using all their knowledge and expertise. These crossbows offer incredible shooting capabilities, ideal for target shooting and hunting. The Blackhawk 360 is a low-cost hunting crossbow that isn’t built in China but built in the United States. Overall, this model is a new reverse draw crossbow from Wicked Ridge that shoots arrows downrange at up to 360 fps. The model is highly accurate, durable, and easy-to-handle, making it the best for value and quality crossbow for beginners to start with.

What Makes Wicked Ridge BlackHawk 360 Different?

As pointed out by TenPoint itself, the Wicked Ridge BlackHawk 360 is remarkable within the budget and is a low-priced American-made crossbow on the market. The model is powered by a heavy-duty 5S cam system that helps elongate the power stroke. It also increases the cam rotation to produce 360 fps. After the WR M370, this model stands as another lightweight crossbow, with its stock making it only 6 lbs. heavy. The BlackHawk 360 offers elongated safety wings to provide closure to fingers and keep hands safe below the bowstring path. The fully enclosed finger guards add value to its safety mechanism.

The Blackhawk 360 features an ultra-crisp trigger weighing around 3.5 lbs. in total. It is integrated with TenPoint’s Dry-Fire-Inhibitor protecting the crossbow from damage in case of dry fire shots. This model comes in a tactical black stock and peak camo pattern limbs.

Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360

Testing of Wicked Ridge BlackHawk 360

The BlackHawk 360 attained a speed of 340 fps when shot with the factory supplied XX75 Aluminum arrows. Like the M370, the factory also pre-sighted this model at 20 yards sighting. The Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360 is a precision weapon. The model produced crisp shots under 1.5-inch groups at 50 yards when tested.

Wicked Ridge BlackHawk 360 Product Specifications

Wicked Ridge BlackHawk 360 Package Includes



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Wicked Ridge M-370 (Feather-Weight Crossbow Best for Young Shooters)

Owned by the renowned crossbow manufacturing brand TenPoint, Wicked Ridge is yet another addition to the brand with affordable crossbow models. It was debuted in 2010 as a value-priced second brand in TenPoint’s family. Wicked Ridge has a long history of creating high-quality crossbows and has earned a solid reputation. The Wicked Ridge M370 is the lightest, smallest, most accurate, and most potent crossbow. In addition, the model is a highly safe crossbow to use for kids and adults, with features like the ACUdraw, Dry-Fire-Inhibitor, and T4 trigger and auto-engaging safety measures.

What Makes Wicked Ridge M-370 Different?

The Wicked Ridge M370 is the lightest model recognized for its featherweight. Additionally, the model requires less draw effort with Ten Point’s patented built-in cocking device, reducing the force to only 5 lbs. The “Air-Lite Stock” integrated with this model is light in weight, durable to withstand any minor impact, and allows easy-to-handle maneuvering. Limbs are backed with elongated safety rings for safety, allowing hunters to avoid any mishap during shooting. Additionally, the M370 also offers a fully enclosed trigger guard.

The model is famous among hunters for its peaked camo pattern. M370 can be equipped with the ACUdraw crank cocking device (CCD) or rope cocker.


While considering the safety mechanisms, the M370 offers excellent finger protection. It goes into safety mode when the arrow is cocked. The model is also best known for its “Reverse Draw cam technology” that generates more speed with less draw weight. It is also one of the narrowest crossbow designs offering easy-to-carry and handling features to hunters.

Wicked Ridge M 370

Testing of Wicked Ridge M-370

The M370 comes with pro elite carbon arrows that are lighter in weight and deliver the speed as advertised. However, when tested with XX75 aluminum arrows, the M370 delivered a speed of 336 fps. It is recommended to use the aluminum ones as they are heavier than carbon arrows. Although they deliver a bit slower speed, they give deeper penetration. Due to the sheer weight, fewer vibrations are traveling through the crossbow, reducing string or limb damage and extending the crossbow’s lifespan. The scope is pre-sighted with 20 yards.

Wicked Ridge M-370 Product Specifications

Wicked Ridge M-370 Package Includes



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Barnett Explorer XP370 (Reliable Crossbow for beginner)

Barnett is not just a brand but a name that has been prominent worldwide with its exceptionally manufactured crossbows. The company has been around since 1952 and holds great dominance with its quality, durability, and affordable models that are both easy to handle and economical to purchase.

The Barnett’s Explorer series started with this XP370 model around 2020. The series features high-energy cams with laminated limbs that generate great power and are durable to manoeuvre. This dependable compound XP370 crossbow is powerful and precise and perfectly fits beginners due to its easy-to-use features.

What Makes Barnett Explorer XP370 Different?

Barnett Explorer XP370 is one of the lightest crossbows in the market, with a feather-like weight of 6 lbs. The model is easier to handle due to its weight which most beginners find concerning while adjusting. It offers a single-bolt assembly with a Soft Lok floating bristle arrow retainer to keep the arrow in place when moving around the ground. This adds value to its safety mechanism. The model is a crank device that is compatible and integrated with TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology, allowing hunters to control their shots with smooth transitions. This compound crossbow has an anti-vibration foot stirrup, adjustable stock, and compression-moulded limbs to attain speeds of up to 370 fps. The model includes a good premium red/green dot sight scope already mounted on the crossbow.

Clearly, for a better shooting experience, the model offers multiple position adjustable stock that comes in handy when you try to hunt from different locations and positions. The model comes with a rope cocker that reduces the draw weight by half. It has a CNC machined aluminium flight track and the Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) system, providing smooth arrow projection and avoiding dry shooting. The XP370 is an all-blacked-out model.

Barnett Explorer XP 370

Testing of Barnett Explorer XP370

While using the 400-grain carbon arrows included in the package, the Barnett Explorer XP370 attained a range of 354 fps. It produces a bit of noise at 85.4 decibels. The pass-through foregrip designs offer a comfortable and stabilized shooting experience. The scope illumination allows a good 50-60 yards sighting.

Barnett Explorer XP370 Product Specifications

Barnett Explorer XP370 Package Includes



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CenterPoint Sniper 370 (Dynamic Entry-Level Crossbow)

CenterPoint is most well-known for its crossbow manufacturing heritage. However, their products stand out due to extraordinary progressive advancements resulting from generation-to-generation handed-down archery experience. CenterPoint Sniper 370 is a product of Crosman, a pioneer in the airgun and crossbow industry with multiple successful designs. This product’s name is suitable since it possesses incredible accuracy and quickness, just like a sniper. In addition, the CNC-machined rail, aluminium riser, and stock enhance the crossbow’s elegance and lightness.

What Makes Sniper 370 Different?

The Sniper 370 is equipped with a fully adjustable foregrip and stock best for beginner-level hunters. With speeds of up to 370 fps, the model delivers high precision with less noise. The package comes with a 4×32 multi-reticle illuminated scope that offers five brightness settings in red and green. The quiver is detachable with a 4-bolt holding capacity offering a smooth hunting experience with light weightiness.

For a smooth, uniform pull, the Sniper 370 is equipped with quad limbs coupled with precision CNC-machined cams. The limbs are made of compressed fibreglass, and the stock is composite. Likewise, crossbow safety stands paramount for any entry-level hunters, so CenterPoint emphasizes the safety mechanism with its models. The CP Sniper 370 includes an anti-dry fire system and automatic and ambidextrous safety. Additionally, the model comes with a Camouflage colour pattern giving it a subtle look.

CenterPoint Sniper 370

Testing of Sniper 370

The model delivered speeds up to 360-366 fps when tested under the chronograph meter. The noise is lessened with the suppressing stops and rubberized stirrup making it around 72.8 decibels when shot. This model delivers precise shots even at a distance of 50 yards.

Sniper 370 Product Specifications

Sniper 370 Package Includes



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