Best Crossbow Under 500 – Top 10 in 2023 [Guide & Top Picks]

Crossbows are an essential part of hunting. Each year a lot of newbie hunter joins the scene and get confused about which crossbow to buy. Don’t worry, your savior is here. Haha, jokes aside, even if I am not a savior, I will try to help you decide on the crossbow. Stick around and let’s go on a spiritual journey of budget crossbows.

Finding the best crossbow for you can be a tough ask. A shopkeeper might try to sell you the most expensive item in his possession. While that crossbow may be good. But is it good for you? If you have already decided you want a crossbow under $500 then that expensive crossbow is not for you. 

It’s not about budget always, some of us don’t even need anything more than a $500 crossbow. A lot of us can’t use the crossbow to its full potential. That’s why we are here to help you decide your next crossbow. Let’s get started.

What To Look For When Buying A Crossbow Under $500?

There are lot of things you have to consider while buying a crossbow under 500 dollars; we listed a few important things below-

Speed is an essential part of a crossbow. If the crossbow isn’t fast enough for the task you are going to do, then you shouldn’t consider that crossbow.

Power is quite subjective in the budget section. A lot of manufacturers boast about high power when in reality the power is nowhere near that mark. Take a crossbow that is powerful enough for your tasks. Just because the crossbow is powerful on specs, that doesn’t mean it will be the best crossbow for your task.

Draw weight can be scary at times. The draw weight scares away a lot of potential newbies each year. Recurve bows have a ridiculous amount of draw weight. If you are not okay with that, don’t buy a recurve crossbow.

Noise: Crossbows aren’t as loud as guns, but they still can be fairly loud. You don’t want to scare away the animal you are hunting. That’s why you should purchase a fairly silent crossbow. Even if it isn’t, buy some after-market noise suppressor for the crossbow.

Durability: Most of the crossbows in this range is made from two or more materials combined. Except for pistol crossbows, you won’t find any crossbows made from plastic completely. Make sure the crossbow you are buying has an aluminum rail for hassle-free firing.

Warranty will vary highly depending on the brand of crossbow you are choosing. From 5 years to a limited lifetime, we got them all. Honestly, you don’t need that big of a warranty. Still, for initial support, a good warranty is always a priority.

Don’t have time to read the entire thing? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are the best crossbows under $500

Best $500 Crossbow for Hunting

Killer Instinct Ripper 415 is a no brainer for this. Generating 149ft-lbs of kinetic energy and 415 FPS. This thing can hunt for days.

Best Tactical Crossbow Under $500

Barnett Whitetail Pro STR. It’s one of the best hybrid crossbows in this price-range. Generous speed and power for hunting and great accuracy for tactical shooting.

Best Crossbow For The Money

PSE Fang HD 405 is an incredible value for what you pay. The crossbow is packed with feature and a great service from PSE Archery. Being a small company helps in getting faster customer service.

1. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow Package

Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy140 Ft. LBS
Power Stroke16.375 Inches
Draw Weight187 LBS
Axle to Axle17.625 Inches
Length36.5 Inches
Weight6.9 LBS

Barnett is one of the most well-known crossbow manufacturers worldwide. The one we have here is from another famous series from Barnett. The Whitetail series is famous for its hunting crossbows.

What Do We Like

Speed & Power

The maximum speed of this crossbow is 400 FPS. That’s quite fast for a crossbow this cheap. And it’s from a well-known brand as well. So, don’t worry about false advertisements. Whitetail Pro STR can generate up to 135 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. One of the most powerful crossbows under $500 for sure.


The weight of this crossbow is quite light. Coming at 6.9 lbs (nice) the weight is not too high not too light either. The weight balance on the crossbow is also quite good.

Nock Sensor and Anti Dry Fire Trigger System

The camo finish of the crossbow is a beauty, to say the least. You get an excellent warranty from Barnett. Equipped with Nock Sensor and Anti Dry Fire Trigger System to eliminate Dry Fires and finger trigger safety for extra protection. 

Integrated cranking device

You will get a cranking device integrated into the bow. You don’t need to buy a separate one. Making your worry about the draw weight disappear completely.

Keep That In Mind

The scope on this crossbow is not the best. If you decide to upgrade something on the bow, make sure that the scope goes away first. You could also install some extra noise suppressors for even better noise silencing.

Read more about Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow Package

2. Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow Package

Speed415 FPS
Kinetic Energy149 Ft. LBS
Power Stroke15 Inches
Draw Weight200 LBS
Axle to Axle14.25 / 17.75 Inches
Length33 Inches
Weight6.9 LBS

Killer Instinct makes killer budget crossbows. Their naming sense is also quite nice. I know my puns aren’t that good, but Killer Instinct has mastered the art of name puns. The ripper is one of the fastest crossbows under $500. That’s not an easy task to do.

What Do We Like


The maximum speed of the Ripper is 415 FPS. That’s quite fast for a crossbow in this price bracket. It will exceed your expectations. Fast crossbows are always welcome. They will give you the rush of a more expensive crossbow. They are quite tame as well. That’s why newbies won’t have any issues getting settled in.


Killer Instinct Ripper 415 is one of the most powerful crossbows under $500. It can give much more expensive crossbows a run for their money. From big-game hunting to small-time hunting, whichever you want to do, Killer Instinct got you covered.

Keep That In Mind

The stock draw weight is quite high for this crossbow. Coming at 200lbs, I can’t recommend you a rope cocking device enough. It will be a lifesaver for you.

Read more about Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow Package

3. PSE Archery Fang HD 405 Crossbow Package

Speed405 FPS
Kinetic Energy134 Ft. LBS
Power Stroke14.5 Inches
Draw Weight205 LBS
Axle to Axle14 / 18 Inches
Length35.5 Inches
Weight7.3 LBS

Just because the name of the crossbow is cool, that doesn’t mean the crossbow will be cool as well, right? Wrong, The PSE Archery Fang HD 405 is cool on both paper and on the field. What makes the Fang HD good? Let’s find out.

What Do We Like


Crossbows aren’t that adjustable after setting them up. Some crossbows have an adjustable AR-style buttstock. But most crossbows don’t have that. Fang HD comes with an adjustable buttstock and an adjustable forearm. Making the crossbow highly adjustable.

Fast and furious

The top speed of Fang HD is 405 FPS. Once again, the name of the crossbow is spoiling the speed. Anyway, the speed shouldn’t be taken lightly. 405 FPS is a lot. Considering how slow most cheap crossbows are, 405 FPS is one of the fastest.


It can generate up to 134 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Quite good and well-rounded for big-game hunting.

Keep That In Mind

The draw weight of the crossbow might be too much for some people. The solution is to use a rope cocking device. That will cut down the draw weight of the bow by 50%.

4. Wicked Ridge Rampage 360 Crossbow Package

Speed360 FPS
Kinetic Energy112 Ft. LBS
Power Stroke13.5 Inches
Draw Weight175 LBS
Axle to Axle15/19 Inches
Length35.5 Inches
Weight6 LBS

Wicked Ridge is a sub-brand of Tenpoint Crossbows. We all know just how good of a brand Tenpoint is. Wicked Ridge isn’t behind at all either. They mainly focus on the budget range and try to bring good crossbows to the consumer market.

What Do We Like


The maximum speed of this crossbow is 360 FPS. That’s not quite close to the one we just showcased above. Still, 360 FPS for a starting crossbow is more than enough. You can do regular hunting and tactical shooting with this much speed as well.


The crossbow is capable of generating up to 112 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. That may not seem like a lot, but when you take it out on the field or shoot prey with it, you will see just how powerful this crossbow is.

Multi-coated scope included

Most of the crossbows in this price range have quite bad scope included. But this one comes with a pretty good scope.

Keep That In Mind

The noise suppression on this crossbow wasn’t good at all. You need to do a lot of tuning and tweaking to make it good.

5. BearX Intense 400 Crossbow Package

Speed400 FPS
Sport TypeTactical & Military
Power Stroke12.7″
Draw Weight175 LBS
Axle-To-Axle10 / 14 Inches
Length36 Inches
Weight7.8 LBS

BearX is a fairly new brand in crossbow making. But in their short period of making crossbows, they have gained quite a bit of followers. With the cap of $500, you can’t go all out on everything and make the best crossbow ever made. But with what BearX had, they made a great crossbow.

What Do We Like


Intense is extremely fast. Coming at 400 FPS, it can beat most budget crossbows easily. Made for hunters, the 400 FPS is more than enough for all your hunting needs. You can hunt small or go big in big games. Best of both worlds.

Highly accurate

The accuracy will still depend on the environment. But in a controlled environment, this crossbow is deadly accurate.

Super good build quality

It’s not often that you praise the build quality of a budget crossbow. But have to admit, this is a well-built crossbow. The CNC-machined aluminum rail had no anodization issues either. It was smooth and became even smoother after waxing it.

Keep That In Mind

The crossbow comes with 0 sound dampeners installed. That was a dumb move on BearX’s part. But it’s understandable that they wanted to keep the cost down. You need to buy some third-party sound suppressors to bring out the best of this crossbow.

6. Centerpoint Dagger 390 Crossbow Package

Speed390 FPS
Kinetic Energy135 Ft. LBS
Power Stroke14.5 Inches
Draw Weight185 LBS
Axle to Axle14 / 18 Inches
Length35.8 Inches
Weight7.8 LBS

Centerpoint crossbow is not a new name to anyone. They usually compete in the mid-range and high-end markets. Recently they also started to make budget crossbows. Knowing the reputation Centerpoint has, their budget offerings are bound to be good.

What Do We Like


Centerpoint Dagger is capable of firing at 390 FPS. Just a tad bit shy of the 400 FPS mark. On paper, the 10 FPS difference isn’t that huge. Honestly, in day-to-day uses you won’t notice the 10 FPS difference either. But let’s not discredit how good it is to have 390FPS speed.

Ease of access

The idea behind the Dagger was to provide a beginner-friendly experience to the scene. That’s why Centerpoint markets the Dagger as an entry-level crossbow. They are not far from the truth. The setup process for this crossbow is quite easy and won’t take much time either.

Keep That In Mind

The crossbow doesn’t come with a cranking device built-in. It does support a cranking device developed by Centerpoint. But that’s way too expensive and isn’t a budget-friendly purchase.

Read more about Centerpoint Dagger 390 Crossbow Package

7. PSE Thrive 400 Crossbow Package

Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy142 Ft. LBS
Power Stroke17 Inches
Draw Weight175 LBS
Axle to Axle18.25 Inches
Length32 Inches
Weight6.7 LBS

PSE archery is also a pretty new face in the industry. Made by some passionate hunters and engineers, PSE gained attraction quite fast. Mainly for providing good crossbows on a tight budget. Of course, making a cheap crossbow is only part of the job. The main task is to make that crossbow good.

What Do We Like


One might say, that PSE Thrive thrives for speed. I will admit that was terrible. But you get my point. Thrive is capable of firing arrows at an incredible speed of 400. While more and more crossbows are hitting this mark, it’s still an achievement nonetheless.

Unlimited power

PSE Thrive is a powerhouse. It’s the 2nd most powerful crossbow on the list today. PSE Thrive can generate up to 142ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Now, that’s a lot of power for a crossbow. For hunting or tactical archery, this crossbow will annihilate its prey and targets.

Deadly silent

For once, a stock crossbow was quite silent and tolerable. You know I recommend grabbing an aftermarket silencer for most crossbows. But this time I won’t. The stock suppressors are more than enough to provide a good hunting experience.

Keep That In Mind

The included rope cocking device is not that good. I will recommend you to get an ACUdraw 50 SLED for the crossbow. That’s a great rope cocker.

8. Barnett TS380 Crossbow Package

Speed380 FPS
Kinetic Energy121 Ft. Lbs
Power Stroke17 Inches
Draw Weight201 LBS
Axle to Axle13.25 / 16.75 Inches
Length32.375 – 34.875
Weight6.9 LBS

We already know how good Barnett’s crossbows are. It’s not really surprising that you are seeing more than one offer from them. After all, they are known for their budget stuff.

What Do We Like


Barnett TS380 can fire up to 380 FPS of speed. It’s quite impressive that crossbows this cheap are hitting this high speed like it’s nothing. It’s also good to see that newbies are getting to experience what fast crossbows are like.

Available in many models

The TS series is available in 3 models. TS360, TS370, and TS380. If you want to save some money, then go for a lower-speed one. The specification on that is nearly the same.

Comes with a pre-installed cranking device

A crossbow is priced under $500 and it comes with a cranking device. The cranking device is not even bad. It’s pretty solid and easy to use. The scene truly is changing. That’s good, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on your first crossbow.

Keep That In Mind

The scope of the crossbow had a quality control issue. Some people complained of receiving the wrong scope. If you face that, don’t forget to contact Barnett and get a replacement on the scope.

Read more about the Barnett TS380 Crossbow Package

9. Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package

Speed370 FPS
Black StockYes
Power Stroke13.5 Inches
Draw Weight185 LBS
Axle to Axle18 / 21.50 Inches
Length36.5 Inches
Weight7.7 LBS

Centerpoint Sniper 370 is a lot similar to Whitetail Pro STR. Yet, both of them are completely different crossbows.

What Do We Like


For some, 400 FPS is absolute. But others who know that anything above 350 FPS is enough for them, will be more than happy with this crossbow.

Good build quality

The crossbow features a CNC-machined aluminum rail. Making it durable and lightweight. It also features anti-dry fire safety to protect you from misfires. It’s a solid construction with 5 years warranty. Rest assured, you will have a blast with this crossbow.

Moderately low draw weight

The draw weight of this crossbow is 185 lbs. That’s not too low, but it’s still quite low for a crossbow of this power and speed. You can always cut down the draw weight by half using a rope cocker.

Keep That In Mind

The included scope of the crossbow wasn’t up to the mark. It was good but not good enough. You could use a better scope with this crossbow. That’s due to the fact this came out a few years ago. Back then cutting the cost in the scope section was quite common.

Read more about Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package

10. Excalibur GRZ2 Crossbow Package

Speed305 FPS
Cocking Effort100 LBS
Power Stroke11.2 Iches
Draw Weight200 LBS
Axle to Axle26 / 30.5 LBS
Length33.25 Inches
Weight5.5 LBS

Excalibur is known for its recurve crossbows. They are the only brand that is still making tons of good recurve crossbows for us recurve lovers. Recurve crossbows have their fair share of advantages over compound bow.

What Do We Like


The recurve crossbow is one of the easiest to use and easy to fix crossbow. Due to the ease of access, a lot of newcomers prefer recurve crossbow. Excalibur makes some of the best recurve crossbows on the market.

Lightweight and durable

The weight of this crossbow is only 5.5 lbs. One of the lightest crossbows you will ever use. Lightweight crossbows are easier to carry around and you can take them anywhere you want without facing any issues.

Easy to fix

Recurve crossbows don’t have complex parts like a compound crossbow. If the string breaks on a recurve crossbow, you don’t even need to take it to a repair shop. You can do that on your own. That’s why it’s quite suitable for newcomers.

Keep That In Mind

The draw weight on this crossbow is quite high. 200 lbs can be scary for a lot of people. But you can cut that down by half using a rope-coking device.

Read more about the Excalibur GRZ2 Crossbow Package

Frequently Asked Questions

IS a $500 crossbow worth it?

Yes, they are worth it. You are not paying a lot of money for these features. Just keep your expectations in check. Don’t expect it to outperform a 2000$ crossbow and you will do fine.

Recurve crossbow vs compound crossbow

Recurve crossbows are more beginner-friendly and easier to repair. Besides that, I will take a compound crossbow any day. The quad limb setup on a compound crossbow generates a ton of power that will help you aim further and hunt from afar. But if you are just starting and don’t want the fastest bow but want a seamless user experience, then you might want to look at recurve crossbows.

Best Crossbow Under 500: Conclusion

See, told you it wouldn’t take long. Here we are at the end. I hope you were able to decide on the crossbow. If you require further assistance, we will be more than happy to oblige. But if you do end up purchasing from above, share with us which one you got.

I hope you enjoyed the read, because I certainly enjoyed writing it. Good value for money has always been my motto. I would appreciate it if you have any feedback that you would like to share. Don’t forget to bookmark TargetChaser to read more cool stuff.

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