We have shared many budget crossbows in the past. All of them are quite good and serves different purpose. But all of them aren’t suitable for everyone’s budget. Most of us are not ready to throw thousands of dollar behind a crossbow. While, you should if you can afford that much, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t join the hunting master race if you lack a high-end budget.
For the archers out there that are looking for great budget crossbows, welcome. We will learn about some of the best crossbows under $400. Not a huge sum of money, but it will land you some nice looking and performing crossbows. What are we waiting for? Let’s get started.
Don’t have time to read through the whole thing? Don’t worry, here are the top 3 picks by us. We still encourage you to read through the whole review. But I can understand. Here are the top 3 crossbows under $400.
Ripper 415 is the combined fastest and the most powerful crossbow under $400. It isn’t a huge budget to work with. But seeing how Killer Instinct made it work, it would be a shame not to acknowledge that.
Dagger 390 is one of the most balanced crossbows in this price-segment. From weight distribution to speed, it’s glorious all around.
Best Crossbow Under 400 – Our Top List!
1. Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow Package
Speed: 415 FPS; Kinetic Energy: 149 FP-KE; Power Stroke: 15 Inches; Draw Weight: 200 LBS; Axle-To-Axle: 14.25 / 17.75 Inches; Length: 33 Inches; Weight: 6.9 Inches.
You have seen this before now witness the glory of Ripper again. Rip and tear baby. Killer Instinct Ripper was aimed towards hunters and newbies who wants to get into hunting. The crossbow doesn’t have a stiff learning curve like most and is fairly easy to use.
The crossbow looks like a lightweight one and is one. The weight of the crossbow is only 6.9lbs. That’s not too over the top. You can easily wield it with one hand. Keeping it balanced however might not be possible.
This is one of the fastest crossbows under $400. Reaching 415FPS isn’t a joke and Killer Instinct should be extremely proud of what they achieved. Speed is a drug that keeps us addicted. 415 FPS is enough to get you into any hunting competition and with proper skills, you can even try to win some of those.
(+) 149 ft-lbs of kinetic energy
Didn’t see that coming. I was telling earlier that budget crossbows aren’t that powerful. That’s the case for the most part. But the Ripper can easily give crossbows 3x more expensive a run for their money. This tiny powerhouse is capable of generating nearly 150ft-lbs of kinetic energy. More than enough to lay big animals flat. I was genuinely surprised when I first found out about this.
- 415 FPS BOLT SHOOTING SPEED: The Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow is capable of shooting arrows at the speed of 415 FPS. It has the ability to pump out arrows fast within a 1-inch area up to around 80 yards
- ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE: The proven 3.5-pound KillerTech trigger is consistent and crisp to aide in long range accuracy. Fully adjustable stock and forearm grip, along with custom rubber shock absorbers, provides the ultimate performance and comfort
- ADJUSTABLE BUTT STOCK AND FOREARM GRIP: The Ripper 415 features inch-and-a-half of shooter adjustment with forearm grip that provides ultimate performance and custom comfort for any hunter
- HIT HARDER: The Ripper can generate up to 149 foot-pounds of kinetic energy which makes the crossbow capable of knocking down the biggest and strongest game
- PRECISION ALUMINUM BARREL: CNC-Enhanced aluminum flight rail offers extremely accurate downrange accuracy
(-) Keep That In Mind
The crossbow is fairly loud at given times. You need to install proper sound suppressing system to keep the noise down.
2. Centerpoint Dagger 390 Crossbow Package
Speed: 390 FPS; Kinetic Energy: 135 FP-KE; Power Stroke: 14.5 Inches; Draw Weight: 185 LBS; Axle-To-Axle: 14 / 18 Inches; Length: 35.8 Inches; Weight: 7.8 Inches.
Centerpoint is an excellent manufacturer and there is no way of denying that fact. Centerpoint Dagger 390 is an entry level crossbow that is also under $400. A great price point to get you started.
Just a tad bit shy of the most loved 400 FPS mark. 390 FPS is still plenty fast enough for everyday hunting and related sports. You don’t need to do any tweaking to get extra performance out of the crossbow.
(+) Whisper Silencing System
One of the best noise suppression system you will ever see in any crossbows. Centerpoint pioneered this method. Another brand that has great noise suppression is Excalibur. I will say, Whisper Silencing System can give Excalibur a good run for their money.
(+) Adjustable AR style buttstock
The stock of the crossbow is adjustable at various lengths. Many of us will prefer an adjustable buttstock over a fixed one any day. It also makes the Dagger a viable option for female and young hunters. As you can easily lower the total length of the crossbow.
- Adjustable tactical stock with adjustable cheek pad provides shooting and aiming consistency
- Whisper Silencing System, integrated string suppressors, string stops, and limb dampeners for a quiet, vibration-free shot
- Narrow axle to axle width for compact mobility
- Compound; Velocity (arrow): Up to 390 fps; Draw Weight: 185 Pounds; Width (Cocked): 14, (Uncocked): 18
- Includes (3) 20" carbon bolts, CenterPoint 4x32 crossbow scope, parallel quiver, rope cocker, and rail lube
(-) Keep That In Mind
The trigger mechanism of this crossbow is a bit shaky. Would have loved to have a trigger with less creep and better grip. But can’t have them all I suppose.
3. Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow Package
Speed: 375 FPS; Kinetic Energy: 118 FP-KE; Power Stroke: 16 Inches; Draw Weight: 165 LBS; Axle-To-Axle: 13 / 18.125 Inches; Length: 34.75 Inches; Weight: 6.6 Inches.
Barnett is known for their budget crossbows. At one point their crossbows were nothing less than messiahs. I was genuinely happy to see the upgraded version of their OG Whitetail Hunter. Such a great crossbow became even better.
(+) Build quality
The build quality improved significantly on this crossbow over the previous gen. The new color coating looks awesome as well. Looks beautiful and deadly at the same time. Glad they didn’t skimp on the production quality. For this price a lot of manufacturers would have went for cheaper materials.
The maximum speed of this crossbow is 375. 5 FPS faster than Centerpoint Sniper 370. 5FPS can come in handy in the wild. But that’s not the point. 375 FPS is more than enough for tactical shooting and hunting. You can hunt from small to big size animals and take parts in active competitions as well.
(+) Kinetic Energy
To back up that massive speed, the crossbow needs a generous amount of power as well. Barnett delivered. With 118ft-lbs of kinetic energy, you can do whatever you want. Go hunt, destroy some targets, destroy your opponent in a 1v1. You can do everything.
(+) Lightweight and feature packed
The crossbow weighs only 6.6lbs. That’s pretty light for a compound crossbow. It’s also compatible with Barnett’s cranking device. That’s a huge plus for a lot of us. The draw weight of this crossbow is not that high either.
(-) Keep That In Mind
The only part where Barnett cut some corners with this one is the scope. This crossbow deserves way better scope than you get in the box. Don’t get me wrong, the scope is plenty clear and enough for at least a year or two. But the scope isn’t enough to keep up with the fast speed of this crossbow. That’s why I was hoping Barnett would step up their scope game.
4. Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package
Speed: 370 FPS; Kinetic Energy: 130 FP-KE; Power Stroke: 13.5 Inches; Draw Weight: 185 LBS; Axle-To-Axle: 18 / 21.5 Inches; Length: 36.5 Inches; Weight: 7.7 Inches.
Do you ever listen to a song in the morning and feel like your entire mood is better? You do right? That’s right, today we are starting the day with a banger. CenterPoint Sniper 370 might be the best crossbow under 400. Pretty bold claim right? Let me explain why it isn’t.
Centerpoint Sniper 370 is an allrounder crossbow that fits into many budgets. I know you guys saw this crossbow in other budget segment review as well. See, that should be more than enough to convince you on this. Don’t worry let me remind you of its glory again.
(+) Build quality
The crossbow is quite well built and the aluminum rail didn’t have any issues of anodization whatsoever. You still need to lubricant the rail to keep it slippery and frictionless. But that’s applicable for all crossbows. There isn’t much housing creaking on the crossbow. The bowstring is fairly good as well. The longevity of the bowstring however isn’t the best.
350FPS or more is the mainstream speed nowadays. Anything below that is considered “slow” by people that has no idea about crossbows. 370 FPS is fast enough to land you big deer kills and many mores. It’s not the ideal speed for grizzlies however. But the sniper isn’t aimed towards bear hunters anyway.
(+) Kinetic Energy
You didn’t expect this much energy from a crossbow this cheap, right? Well Centerpoint aims to please. 130ft-lbs kinetic energy is more than enough to earn you a slot on your local big game hunting competition and any kind of tactical shooting competition.
Speaking of aim, the accuracy of this crossbow is also praiseworthy. On a controlled environment, you will rarely miss shots. And on a running target it will still depend a lot on your skillsets, but don’t worry it won’t disappoint you when it comes to aim.
- 370-Feet per second firing Velocity, 185-pound draw weight
- Fully Adjustable, tactical stock and forearm
- Lightweight & durable CNC Machined aluminum rail with shoot through riser
- Integrated String suppressors for a quiet, vibration-free shot
- Quad limbs with precision CNC Machined Cam System
(-) Keep That In Mind
The included scope could have been better. But I guess that’s asking for too much? It’s offering a great value as it is. If you can live with a mediocre scope, then you don’t need to upgrade it. Otherwise, you should look to change it down the line.
5. Killer Instinct Boss 405 Crossbow Package
Speed: 405 FPS; Kinetic Energy: 134 FP-KE; Power Stroke: 13.25 Inches; Draw Weight: 220 LBS; Axle-To-Axle: 14.75 / 18.75 Inches; Length: 33.5-36 Inches; Weight: 6.7 Inches.
Killer Instinct Boss is one of the most well packaged crossbows for a beginner. The crossbow packs a ton of features and accessories. Some of them will cost you a pretty penny when buying separately.
The speed of this crossbow is 405 FPS. Keeping up the trend of Killer Instinct crossbows. With ease reaches 400 FPS speed with the stock arrows that it comes with. Enough speed to get you started on the excellent world of crossbow hunting.
(+) Adjustable buttstock
The buttstock of this crossbow is adjustable at up to 6 positions. Making it ideal choice for female and young hunters. Short hunters will find this feature beneficial as well.
(+) Tons of accessories packed
The crossbow is an entire hunting package. It includes a crossbow carrying case, some broadheads, a few arrows, a quiver, and wax for the rail. If you are just starting up hunting, you will need o buy most of these separately. A lot of crossbow manufacturers includes arrows but that’s it.
- BUNDLE INCLUDES: Killer Instinct BOSS 405 FPS Crossbow Package with a crossbow case and three hunting broadheads
- COMPACT FRAME: Reduced overall crossbow length is easy to handle and lightweight to carry
- CUSTOM FIT: 6-position buttstock and adjustable X-Lok provide a customized fit
- PRECISION SHOOTING: Enhanced Micro-Lite aluminum barrel and 3.5-pound KillerTech trigger for consistent accuracy shot-after-shot
(-) Keep That In Mind
Instead of providing so many crossbow accessories, they should have focused more on the draw weight of the crossbow. The draw weight can be a bit high for newbie hunters. I recommend you to get a rope cocking device ASAP.
6. Centerpoint Tormentor Whisper Crossbow Package
Speed: 380 FPS; Kinetic Energy: 120 FP-KE; Power Stroke: 13.75 Inches; Draw Weight: 185 LBS; Axle-To-Axle: 14 / 18 Inches; Length: 35.5 Inches; Weight: 7.8 Inches.
Centerpoint Archery Mercenary is another great sub $400 crossbow. Surprisingly it provides more speed than the most balanced Sniper 370. Whisper is quite crossbow with a fierce speed and energy.
The speed of this crossbow is 380 FPS. On par with most modern crossbows, 380 FPS shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s better to give consistent 380 FPS speed over false claim of having 400 or more FPS in non-branded crossbows.
(+) 120 lbs of kinetic energy
When you look at this crossbow or take it on your hand for the first time, you will not believe this crossbow is capable of generating this much of power. It’s truly unbelievable how Centerpoint managed to pull this off. I am glad they did.
(+) Whisper silencing system
Tormentors aren’t supposed to be silent. They are supposed to scream at you and make you spill the beans. But this one, this one is a bit different. Centerpoint Tormentor is a silent tormentor that will make you spill the bean without making a noise. Whisper silencing system is a capable and useful noise suppression system. Glad to see more companies are taking the time to make their crossbow quiet.
- Whisper silencing System
- Narrow 14 inch Cocked axle to axle width
- Compact design. Compression fiberglass quad limbs
- Kinetic energy: 120 ft. lbs
(-) Keep That In Mind
It’s almost a trend among budget crossbows. Make the crossbow powerful and fast, give it a good build quality, include a scope that underperforms in the hindsight of the rest of the crossbow. Pretty dumb move if you ask me. The scope isn’t bad but it’s not capable of unleashing this beast either.
7. Barnett Explorer XP 380 Crossbow Package
Speed: 380 FPS; Kinetic Energy: 122 FP-KE; Power Stroke: 13.75 Inches; Draw Weight: 185 LBS; Axle-To-Axle: 13.3 / 16.5 Inches; Length: 31.25 Inches; Weight: 6 Inches.
Barnett Explorer series has been great find for beginner hunters over the years. The Explorer XP takes on the OG explorer and improves the performance, look, and build quality significantly.
(+) Build quality
The build quality of this crossbow is spot on. From the finish to the frictionless rail, everything about this crossbow is great. The weight of the crossbow is only 6lbs. It looks skinny but is quite durable. Compact crossbows are easier to carry around to places.
The maximum speed of the Barnett Explorer XP is 380 FPS. More than enough for big game hunting or similar events. We are getting spoiled by manufacturers with these high-speed crossbows emerging every now and then. Newbies are getting so good products for so little money.
(+) Kinetic energy
To backup that massive speed Explorer XP generates a hefty amount of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is the force behind each arrow that leaves the crossbow. 122ft-lbs of kinetic energy is enough to slay even the baddest of deer.
(+) Available in different configuration for cheaper
The Explorer XP also has other crossbows that is slower than the XP 380 and is less powerful as well. If you want to save 100$ and lose a bit of speed and energy, go for the Explorer XP 370.
(-) Keep That In Mind
The track has no string suppressors. Making the crossbow audible to a distance. If you don’t want to face that trouble, you need buy after market string dampeners and install them on the crossbow.
What To Look When Buying A Crossbow Under $400?
There are plenty of stuffs that you should consider while buying a crossbow, but all of them don’t make that much sense or needed in the budget segment. Here are some of the crucial things that you should consider before buying crossbow at any price point.
Speed. Crossbows are naturally slow firing weapon. They are not meant to win you war against robots. But they can hunt animals quite nicely. The speed is more than enough to land you great hunts. Make sure you get a crossbow fast enough to do the tasks you do.
Power. Budget crossbows tend to lack too much power. That’s not a bad thing per say. You shouldn’t hand a young or novice hunter a super powerful crossbow. They won’t know what to do with that bow. That’s why, take a crossbow powerful enough to do your task. More power is always welcome but not always necessary.
Draw weight. One of the major things that keeps new people from joining this amazing experience. Draw weight on paper can be scary to look at. Once you get used to it however, the process becomes much smoother and tolerable.
Accuracy is important for crossbows at any given price point. Doesn’t matter if it’s a $3000 crossbow or a $300 crossbow. If the crossbow is not accurate, why should you pay for it? Don’t worry the crossbows on this list today is more than accurate. They won’t let you down in terms of accuracy (assuming you test the accuracy in a controlled environment and the bow is tuned).
Size. Many people prefer small sized crossbows and there is nothing wrong with that. Most modern compound crossbows are quite compact and lightweight. But recurve crossbows are still huge. They are lightweight but huge. Find out which size of crossbow suits your style the best and go from there.
Safety is another important part that never should be left out. The safety feature will save your bowstrings from dying early and it will also protect you from misfiring the crossbow. Very important and needed features that all crossbows should add.
Warranty. This is completely subjective. You may want a long warranty and some don’t. But having some sort of warranty isn’t a bad thing. Look for a crossbow that has at least a minimum warranty for repair or replacement and you are good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is $400 crossbow worth it?
Yes, and no. The answer will depend on what you expect from the crossbow. If you have a mountain of expectation from a crossbow, then a $400 crossbow might not be able to satisfy your needs. But if you have minimal expectations and know what kind of budget you have around, you will find a great deal.
Is $400 crossbow powerful?
If you read the entire review, you already know the answer to that question. All of the crossbows on the list here is generating well above 100ft-lbs of kinetic energy. One of them is capable of generating 149ft-lbs. That’s more than what a typical $1000 crossbow offers.
Difference between a high-end and budget crossbow?
There are plenty of things that can differentiate between a high-end and a budget crossbow. The high-end crossbow will always outperform the budget ones. It will also have better build quality, more speed, more power, and more accurate. All of them are enough reasons to invest in a high-end crossbow.
But what if you want to have a crossbow fast enough for the job and not heavy enough to make you go bankrupt. Here comes the budget wonders. I have always preferred the budget stuffs as they are lighter on my wallet.
Conclusion: Best Crossbow Under 400
Well, look at that. We are at the end already. It didn’t even feel like I talked with you enough yet. But we need to part ways and let’s do that on a good note. You have seen some of the best crossbows under $400. All of these crossbows were made with a budget consciousness. I am glad more companies are sharing this sentiment.
I hope you found the answers you were looking for. If you need something else, feel free to drop a comment. Till next time.