So you’ve decided to raise your budget to get the best crossbow under 600 dollars. If you have done this, congratulations! This is a sweet price range to invest your money in. Because you will get almost all the features, you look for in a high-end bow at an affordable price. If you want more than just an average crossbow, this is the category for you.
Crossbows offer significant advantages over other weapons, and they can be used in almost any situation. They are relatively easy to operate, accurate, and quieter than most other weapons. This means you can use them for hunting and even target shooting. If you are looking for a quality crossbow under 600 dollars, this review is designed to help you find it. We have tested 10 different crossbows under the $600 price range and selected the top 3 best for hunting and archery.
We picked these top 3 crossbows based on their quality, performance, and price. We also compare the features of each crossbow to make sure that they are comparable with each other.
On top of our list is the Barnett TS380 Crossbow. This is a powerful crossbow with excellent speed and accuracy. It comes with an adjustable trigger and a crank aid cocking device, making it easy to cock. This crossbow has a magnesium riser and an adjustable stock, making it lightweight and versatile for any type of hunter. It can shoot arrows at a speed of 380 feet per second which is more than enough to take down medium to large games.
On the second position, we picked the Bear X Constrictor Ready to Shoot Crossbow Package. It has the highest speed among all the crossbows we reviewed. Also, it’s one of the narrowest crossbows we tested out of all the crossbows we reviewed (only 10″ when cocked). Thus, this crossbow enables you to shoot in tight spaces and into your target without any problem. The speed of this crossbow is 410 feet per second, and the draw weight is 190 pounds, making it perfect for hunting medium to large game such as deer or elk.
Finally, at third position, we picked the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Mossy Oak Bottomland Crossbow. This crossbow is a perfect choice for hunters who want to improve their accuracy and power without investing a lot of money. This crossbow package comes with a blazing speed of 375 feet per second. Also, it can generate kinetic energy of 118.6 ft-lbs which is enough to take down any medium-sized game in the woods.
Why Should You Trust Our Review?
We have reviewed many crossbows, and we know what you need. We do not just focus on the features of a product but also its performance. We have been in hunting for many years, and we know what works and what does not.
How We Picked These 3 Crossbows Out Of Many?
After hours of research and field tests, we have picked the top 3 crossbows. We only tested products that were in the same price range and that had similar features. We did not include low-end models because they do not offer any advantages over high-end ones. After analyzing, and field testing 10 different crossbows, we have picked the best-performing ones.
Review Of the Best Crossbow Under 600 Dollars
Barnett TS380 Crossbow Review
Barnett is a well-known brand in the crossbow industry. They have been manufacturing high-quality bows for decades and still doing so today. This crossbow is versatile and easy to use. It has a compact design, adjustable buttstock, and is pretty quiet at shooting, making it ideal for hunting in the woods.
When we first unboxed the Barnett TS380, we were impressed by its look and feel. The rubberized construction will make you feel comfortable while shooting. Its lightweight construction, which is only 6.9 lbs, makes it easy to carry around. The best part is when we first take the bow, we notice it comes almost fully assembled. It’s a one bolt crossbow; all you need to attach the riser on, and that’s it; you are ready to go.
Another great thing we like about the size of the crossbow is it’s very compact, and it fits in your hand perfectly. We also like that it has a nice finger track to keep your fingers in and helps you hold the crossbow easily. Also, the rubberized anti-vibration foot stirrup is in the correct size. You can put your hunting boots in the stirrup easily.
Barnett uses the magnesium alloy riser on this crossbow, making it sturdy and easy to carry around. In addition, it comes with an adjustable tactical series buttstock. So no matter whether you are taller or shorter, you will be able to adjust the crossbow according to your height.
During our field test, we were impressed by the speed of this crossbow. Though Barnett says it can shoot an arrow at 380 FPS, we found that it hits around 360 FPS. Which is still good to hunt medium to large game with ease. We were able to shoot a target at 30 yards with our first shot, and we noticed the arrow hit the mark perfectly.
It can generate kinetic energy up to 122 ft-lbs with that speed, which is more than enough for a lethal single-shot kill. The Powerstroke is 12.625″, making this crossbow one of the powerful and best crossbows under $600. The draw weight is 201 pounds, quite manageable for young hunters. But if you have difficulty pulling the string back, use the rope cocker which comes with the crossbow package.
We knew that Barnett used trigger tech technology on this crossbow. So we want to test it on the field and guess what it worked really great. To be honest, the trigger pull is really smooth and crisp. Also, it comes with Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) mechanism, which will prevent you from firing the crossbow accidentally.
The axle-to-axle distance is 16.75″ (uncocked) and 13.25″ (cocked). It is perfect for the crossbow to be effective, and you can easily carry it in small spaces. On our package, we got two 20″ headhunter arrows, a side mount quiver, rail lube wax, a rope cocking device, and a 4 X 32 multi reticle adjustable scope.
One of the downsides we found on this crossbow is the scope. The scope is just basic, and it’s not illuminated. The multi-reticle scope is okay, but it doesn’t have the best quality, so don’t expect to see crisp and clear images with this scope. So we recommend you buy a high-quality scope.
Despite con, this crossbow is still our top pick for its outstanding performance. It’s fast, powerful, and accurate. So if you are looking for a high-quality crossbow under $600, then look no further; this is the crossbow for you.
Bear X Constrictor Ready to Shoot Crossbow Review
Bear Archery has been in the crossbow industry for more than 80 years, and they are known to make some of the best bows in the market. The Bear X Constrictor is one of their top-notch under $600 crossbow, which has received lots of positive reviews from users all over the world.
When we received and unboxed the crossbow, we were surprised to see how compact it was. It measures only 14″ at uncocked and 10″ at the cocked position, which is extremely small and compact.
This crossbow is a little heavier than the other ones we reviewed, but it’s not much. It is 8.9 lbs, where our other reviewed Barnett TS380 is just 6.9 lbs. Still, 8.9 lbs. is lightweight for a crossbow, and we don’t think you will have any problem with it.
Another great thing we noticed is that it has a nice top-mounted quiver instead of side-mounted or underneath the limb like most crossbows.
The bear x constrictor comes with an adjustable cheek plate buttstock, which is excellent, and it fits most hunters from smaller to taller. It also comes with a comfortable, solid rubber grip which is perfect for handling the crossbow.
When we took it down to the shooting range for the speed test, we were really impressed with how fast it was. This crossbow achieved the 1st position in terms of speed in our test.
According to Bear Archery, it can propel 410 FPS, but it was shooting around 390 FPS when we tested it. Which is relatively faster than Barnett TS380.
It has a draw weight of 190lbs and can generate kinetic force up to 121 ft. lbs, making it the most powerful crossbow under 600 bucks. With that speed, you can take down almost any hunting game in North America. We found out that the draw weight is quite okay, but we recommend using the rope cocker provided in the package.
One of the best parts of this crossbow is its got sound suppression on it. This can significantly reduce the noise of this crossbow to make it more effective in hunting situations.
It features an anti-dry fire system for safety measures, which prevents the crossbow from firing if it is not cocked. It also comes with guardrails for finger safety, which is a nice touch and definitely a great safety feature.
Speaking of the scope, this crossbow comes with an excellent 4X32 illuminated scope which is easy to see in low light situations.
During the field test, we noticed that the front weight of this crossbow is a little bit heavy; you may feel heavy on your forearm, so keep in mind this issue.
Also, we found that the string tears off after some shots, which can be a little bit annoying.
If we did not experience the above issues, this crossbow would be our top pick.
But overall, this is an excellent crossbow for ground blind or box blind hunting. We highly recommend it to the hunters who need a super compact and fastest crossbow out there. With less than 600 dollars, this crossbow is definitely worth the money.
Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Review
The Mossy Oak Bottomland camo pattern Barnett whitetail hunter STR is our last crossbow pick under 600 bucks. Though it’s a much cheaper crossbow than other crossbows we reviewed here. But we picked this crossbow because it is one of the top choices for hunters who want something simple and effective in the field.
With its sleek and compact camo pattern design, you can easily hide it in the bush when you are hunting. In addition, this crossbow is well balanced and has a compact design, making it easy to carry around and handle.
When we tested the speed of this crossbow through the chronograph, we found the speed to be around 350 fps. So it is not the fastest crossbow like the Bear X Constrictor, but it’s still quick and accurate enough for hunting. However, Barnett claims that the speed of this crossbow is around 375 fps.
The axle-to-axle distance of this crossbow is 18.125″, which is slightly wider than TS380. TS380 was 16.75″ (uncocked) while STR is 18.125″ (un-cocked). It can generate kinetic energy up to 118 ft. lbs., enough to penetrate the deer’s hide.
Also, Barnett uses the fiberglass composite step-thru riser on this bow to make it a more powerful and lightweight crossbow possible. Like the TS380 crossbow, this one is also quite straightforward to assemble; just attach the riser and tighten the single bolt on the riser.
At the shooting time, we were pleased to see the trigger tech technology system on this bow. This feature will help you to have a smooth, consistent trigger pull. In addition, it comes with an ADF (anti-dry fire) mechanism for safety purposes, which will prevent you from shooting without an arrow on the bow.
Overall, this crossbow is a good deal for serious hunters that will allow them to practice shooting skills before heading out hunting.
With this ready-to-hunt crossbow package, you will get two 22″ headhunter arrows, 4×32 multi-reticle scope, rope cocking mechanism, quiver, and rail lube wax. Also, this unit is compatible with Barnett 17455 crank cocking device.
The major downside of this crossbow is the scope, which comes with the package, is not very clear, and it can be blurry. You will need to spend some money on a good scope for this crossbow.
Finally, if you need a reliable and ready-to-hunt, compact crossbow package, this one is the best option under the $600 price point.
Things To Consider For Buying A Quality Crossbow Under $600
Many of us do not take the time to invest in a quality crossbow. Why? It’s so much fun, and you can shoot it at a whole lot of things, including from squirrels to the largest game grizzly bear! So, if you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on a crossbow, then you should make sure that it’s worthy of your investment. Here are some factors to consider when you’re shopping even it’s a crossbow under 400 dollars.
Weight Of the Crossbow
The weight of the crossbow is very important to consider. It should be light enough to carry around all day but not so lightweight to have stability issues. If you’re going to use your crossbow a lot and for extended periods, then it’s best if you buy one that’s made of a material that won’t rust. It should also be strong enough to support the weight of your arrows. If you’re going to use a crossbow for hunting, you can consider buying one that weighs less than 10 pounds.
The weight of the crossbow depends on what type of limb and riser material it’s made of. A crossbow made from carbon is going to be lighter than one made from wooden or aluminum. Nowadays, modern crossbow manufacturers considering magnesium alloy, aluminum, and carbon for their crossbows. Most hunters are going to be satisfied with a crossbow that weighs less than 10 pounds. Magnesium alloy is introduced newly in the market, and it’s the strongest among other risers and limb types.
Speed & Kinetic Energy
The speed of the crossbow is also essential. It should be able to shoot arrows quickly enough so that you can hit your target. Speed or velocity measured in feet per second (fps). You may see on the crossbow manufacturer website stating, this crossbow can shoot up to 400 fps. But that number is not always accurate; the speed of the crossbow depends on the arrow grain and other factors.
They might figure out the number by using the lightest arrow, but that arrow would not be the right one you choose for hunting. So, we recommend you go for a crossbow that shoots at least 275 fps and above for a lethal shot. With that speed, you can take down almost any small to medium game animal (depending on your shooting distance and arrow grain).
When you’re shooting arrows, the crossbow must have enough kinetic energy so that it can easily penetrate your target.
Kinetic energy is measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs). The kinetic energy depends on how fast it shoots and the distance that it can travel before it stops moving forward. Remember, the kinetic energy continuously falls as the distance increases.
So if you choose a crossbow with a velocity of at least 275 ft/s (+), it can generate kinetic energy of max 60 ft-lbs. Which is enough for taking down a large game such as elk or black bear within 20 yards (approx).
Another example is if your crossbow can shoot at least 375 ft/s (+) so that it can generate kinetic energy of max 100 ft-lbs. That speed and power are perfect for taking down large games from 50 yards (approx).
So if you check the above example, an increment of 100 fps increases the ability to hit from more distance keeping enough kinetic energy.
Now you can understand how important it is to choose a crossbow with high velocity and right arrow weight. Having high FPS will allow you to kill your target from further distances.
These FPS and kinetic energy are correlated; if you choose a crossbow with the correct velocity, your arrow will hit your target at least 70% of the time.
That’s why it is also essential to choose a crossbow, considering how far you want to shoot your arrows.
The draw weight is the amount of force needed to pull back the string. In other words, it’s how much you have to pull back on your bowstring to fire an arrow. The higher the draw weight, the more powerful your bow is. This means that it will be able to fire arrows faster than a crossbow with lower draw weights. The higher the draw weight, the more force you will need to pull back your bowstring. We recommend choosing a draw weight of at least 150 pounds.
The power stroke is the distance your bowstring will draw to the back of the flight rail before it releases an arrow. The longer this distance is, the more power your crossbow is. In contrast, the shorter the power stroke is, the less powerful your crossbow will be. Thus, we recommend choosing a power stroke of at least 16 inches.
The limbs of your crossbow are what make it work. It is the main part that you will be shooting with. The limb material determines how well a bow can shoot arrows and how much power it has when firing an arrow. There are several different materials used to construct crossbows, and they all have their own advantages. The most common material used for crossbows is fiberglass, which is also the most durable. In addition to being the strongest type of bow, it has high tensile strength and low weight.
Axle To Axle Distance
The axle-to-axle distance is the measurement of how far apart your crossbow’s front and rear limbs are. This measurement is important because it determines how well you handle the crossbow. The shorter the distance between the axle and axle, the easier it is to handle it in tight spaces such as ground blind or tree stand. So, we recommend choosing an axle-to-axle length of at least 16 inches for most users.
There are two main ways to cock a crossbow. The first is with your hand, and the second is with an assisted mechanism. It’s hard to cock a crossbow with your hand, so it’s best to use an assisted mechanism.
Modern crossbow hunter uses different types of cocking aid for crossbows, and they all have their own advantages. Some of the most common ones include rope and cock cocker.
Crossbows can be pretty loud. The crossbow noise is caused by the strings and bolts hitting each other as they fly through the air. You must consider whether your crossbow will be used in a quiet or loud environment. If you are hunting in the wood, it is a must to buy a noise dampener for your crossbow because you don’t want to make your target alert before the arrow hits.
The trigger is another important factor to consider. Modern crossbows have very sensitive triggers that allow for a lot of control over the release. If you buy a crossbow, make sure the trigger is smooth and easy to use.
A crossbow scope or sight is a mandatory accessory for a crossbow hunter. Having a scope can help you target your prey and give you more accuracy to shoot from a longer distance. Hunting for a big game in the woods requires a lot of accuracies. And that is why it’s important to buy a high-quality crossbow scope. We recommend choosing scopes that have red/green or crosshair reticles or illuminated features.
Before buying a crossbow, it’s essential to consider the safety features. Remember, crossbows are not a toy so, when you use a crossbow, some risks come with it. Thus, it is very important to know how to safely use and store your crossbow. Make sure that the bolts and strings do not get tangled with each other and that the safety is always in place.
Modern crossbows come with safety features such as an anti-dry fire mechanism, which will stop the bow from firing if it is not loaded. You will get anti-dry fire safety in almost every crossbow, which we reviewed here for less than $600.
Crossbow bolts are also very dangerous, so make sure that you always use the correct bolt size for your crossbow. Make sure to clean and maintain your crossbow correctly to avoid accidents.
As you can see, crossbows are not just toys for kids anymore. They have become an essential part of many hunting groups. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hunter, there is something for everyone when it comes to choosing your crossbow.
Crossbows are gaining popularity among hunters because of their greater precision and speed than the traditional bow. However, crossbows also come with drawbacks. For example, you can’t use them in some states because they are not legal. So before buying a crossbow, you should check the laws of your state.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in OUTDOOR EVER.