Best Recurve Crossbows of 2019 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

Recurve crossbows offer a wide arrange of benefits, such as their lighter build and ability to shoot more accurately. Since they are less complicated than other types of bows, they allow for more trouble-free shooting and less maintenance. There are, of course, many different types of crossbows out on the market today, which may make purchasing one a bit difficult. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of crossbows so you can find the perfect one for your lifestyle.

Product

Rating

Price

Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF

Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow with Lite Stuff Package/Vari-Zone Scope (Draw Weight : 200-Pound), Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Recurve

Best Overall

SA Sports Empire Fever Pro

SA Sports Empire Fever Pro Recurve Crossbow Package, Kryptek Camo, 175 Pound Draw | 235 Feet per Second

Best for the Money

Barnett Outdoors BCR

Barnett Outdoors BCR Recurve Crossbow Package, Large, Black

Best Under $300

CenterPoint Sniper 370

CenterPoint Sniper 370 - Camo Crossbow Package

Best Under $500

Jaguar CR-013 Series Kit, 175-Pound

Jaguar CR-013BK Crossbow Kit, 175-Pound, Black

Best Jaguar Recurve Cross Bow

Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow

Barnett Recruit Recurve

Best Barnett Recurve Crossbow

What is a Recurve Crossbow?

A recurve crossbow is a long type of bow that has a longer draw length. This allows more acceleration for the projectile you use, whether it’s a bolt or a full arrow. Recurve crossbows also allow for more power and shot speed, making them great additions to a hunt. They are also easy to work on, and it’s easy to replace the string on the bow.

Parts of a Recurve Crossbow (Source)

How to Choose a Recurve Crossbow

There are a few things you should consider when you choose a recurve crossbow, such as what you plan on using it for, speed, and safety features.

Purpose​

When you’re looking at a crossbow, first examine what you plan to do with it. Are you planning on just doing some target shooting or undertaking some serious hunting? What type of animal will you be hunting and at what ranges? More modern crossbow offerings can take down larger animals, such as deer, at around 60 yards if you develop the right skills. Realistically consider your own skill set, as well as the ranges you plan on shooting before deciding on a crossbow.

Speed

Another important factor to consider when it comes to purchasing a recurve crossbow is speed. A fast arrow is great in terms of hitting harder and shooting flatter, but the drawback is that as you increase speed, you decrease the crossbow’s tolerance for any little mistake. A fast arrow will react more quickly to a less than perfect draw, as well as being less forgiving for any imperfections in the arrow or vanes.

Safety​

There are a few safety features you may want to consider when purchasing a recurve crossbow, especially if you’re new to using them. One is an auto-engaging safety. This is automatically set during the action of drawing the bowstring, and functions much like the safety on a rifle. Another factor is the forward grip design, which stabilizes your hand when you shoot.

Quick Take | Best Recurve Crossbows

Review of the Best Recurve Crossbows

To help make the search for your perfect crossbow a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of six of the best recurve crossbows. This list ranges from the best overall to the best recurve crossbow for the money.

Excalibur Crossbow Null Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow with Lite Stuff Package/Vari-Zone Scope (Draw Weight : 200-Pound), Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Recurve

PROS

  • Easy to Use
  • High Quality
  • Easy Drawback
  • Shoots Smoothly
  • Durable, Lightweight Material

CONS

  • None

This crossbow has a draw weight of 200 pounds, a mass weight of 5.5 pounds, and an arrow weight minimum of 350 grams. This crossbow kit perfectly meets the need for a high-quality crossbow made with durable components to ensure a long lasting life for this product. You are easily able to change the strings, even while in the field, so as not to miss any important hunting time due to a mishap.

As described, it shoots a smooth 340 fps and has an easy drawback. Lightweight and easy to use, with a scope made of quality glass ensures accurate aim. This is a relatively easy crossbow to handle, and practice will only make the flow of using this bow more efficient and comfortable.

Bottom Line

This crossbow has many perks and no noticeable negatives about it. Made of durable and lightweight material, it is easy to use and it has an easy drawback. The durable material also ensures that this product will last you a good while, so you won’t have to worry about scouring the market for a new product.

The strings are easily replaceable, so if there happens to be a mishap on the field and your strings need to be replaced, there won’t be an issue and you won’t take any time out of your hunting trip. With a great balance, an easy draw, and impressive accuracy, all at a good price, this crossbow is worth investing your money in and taking on your next hunting trip or to target practice.

SA Sports Empire Fever Pro Recurve Crossbow Package, Kryptek Camo, 175 Pound Draw | 235 Feet per Second

PROS

  • Lots of Safety Features
  • Includes Many Extra Features
  • Suitable for New and Experienced Users
  • Aluminum Track and Barrel to Last for a While

CONS

  • None

This bow features a very user-friendly design, with safety features like the large hand-saver palm grip, ambidextrous auto safety, and a boot-style foot stirrup, making this bow suitable for both new and experienced users. The aluminum track and barrel will last through many seasons of hunting, along with the quick detach quiver that makes your arrows easily accessible.

This crossbow also includes a 4x32 crossbow scope, four aluminum arrows, instructions, and a padded shoulder sling for easy transport. This bow can reach speeds of up to 235 feet per second and has a 175-pound draw weight. With so many included features with this durable crossbow, this is the best option for the money.

Bottom Line

With all the added features and accessories included with this crossbow, you’re most certainly going to get your money’s worth. Safety features include a hand palm grip, auto safety, and a foot stirrup, making this bow perfect for experienced users along with anyone new to using crossbows. An aluminum track and barrel allows this bow to handle prolonged use, making it perfect to take for multiple seasonal hunts.

Best Under $300:
Barnett Outdoors BCR

Barnett Outdoors BCR Recurve Crossbow Package, Large, Black

PROS

  • Simple Design
  • Accurate Shots
  • Good Safety Features
  • Reliable and Powerful

CONS

  • Could Come With Better Instructions
  • Recommended to Purchase a Bolt Retention Bar to Increase Accuracy, Though the Accuracy is Still Good for This Crossbow

This crossbow has a draw weight of 150-pounds and includes a premium red dot scope and anti-vibration foot stirrup. An anti-dry fire trigger keeps shooters from accidentally firing the crossbow without an accompanying arrow.

Additionally, a spring loaded redundant safety bar stays in place until a properly seated arrow is detected, which then allows the safety to be switched off by the user, enabling a shot to be fired.

Though a simple design, it is reliable and holds plenty of power, making it perfect for a hunting trip. It holds accurate distances of over 25 meters, and with practice, you’ll gain great consistency in shot pattern.

Bottom Line

Though a bit on the pricier side compared to the previous two crossbows, this one is well worth the money. A premium red dot scope allows you to seek your target before firing, and an anti-dry fire trigger ensures you don’t shoot off an arrow until it is seated properly.

This crossbow is simple in design and holds power and accuracy. It is recommended that you may want to buy a retention bar in order to increase your accuracy, especially if you’re new to using crossbows. The instructions could also be better, but it is relatively easy to set up and use. Once you practice a bit with this crossbow, hunting trips will be smooth sailing.

Best Under $500:
CenterPoint Sniper 370

CenterPoint Sniper 370 - Camo Crossbow Package

PROS

  • Very Powerful
  • Lightweight and Durable
  • Other Items Included in Package
  • String Suppressors for a Quiet Shot

CONS

  • Assembly Takes Some Time
  • Bolts That Come With Package Aren’t the Best Quality, it is Recommended To Get Better Ones

This crossbow has a 370-foot firing velocity and a 185-pound draw weight. It includes a fully-adjustable tactical stock and forearm and integrated string suppressors to allow for a quiet, vibration-free shot. This unit maneuvers easily due to the narrow 18”axle-to-axle width and durable, lightweight CNC-machined rail with a shoot-through riser.

This purchase will also include a cocking device and wax for the string and rail, making it the perfect package so you can break it in right away. It is a fairly compact crossbow for the power that it contains, and like most crossbows, it is front heavy. The trigger has minor take up and a sharp window-glass-break which adds to great accuracy.

Bottom Line

Overall, you’re getting a quality crossbow that is worth the money. Though on the pricier side, this crossbow is fast and accurate, holding a lot of power in a durable and lightweight form. String suppressors allow for a quiet and vibration-free shot, perfect for hunting season. Other items complete the whole package, such as a cocking device, bolts, and wax for the string and rail. The bolts that are included in the package aren’t of the best quality, so it is recommended that you get ones of higher quality for a better shooting experience.

Jaguar CR-013BK Crossbow Kit, 175-Pound, Black

PROS

  • Durable
  • Easy to Put Together
  • Lots of Safety Features
  • Comes With Various Added Accessories

CONS

  • Arrows That Come With it Aren’t the Best

This crossbow has a draw of 175 pounds and can fire arrows at 245 feet per second. A Weaver-style rail with the addition of a single dot 30mm red dot scope with seven levels of brightness adjustment. Four 16-inch aluminum crossbow bolts with 150-grain points, a six-bolt removable quiver, shoulder sling, and safety glasses are also included, making this the perfect crossbow kit for new or experienced users.

This crossbow has a rugged composite stock and 175-pound fiberglass limbs, offering modern accuracy, safety, and durability. It features an ambidextrous safety which can be auto-engaged when cocking, and it also features a 12-inch power stroke and a slotted cast-magnesium barrel for accurate bolt flight tracking.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a good crossbow kit for the price. It is well-made, durable and able to fire arrows at speeds of around 245 feet per second. Modern accuracy and multiple safety features make this the perfect purchase for experienced or new users of crossbows. The only suggestion is that you purchase arrows of better quality since the ones that come with this kit aren’t the best.

Best Barnett Recurve Crossbow:
Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow

Barnett Recruit Recurve

PROS

  • Easy to Assemble
  • Accurate Shooting
  • Lightweight and Powerful
  • Includes Additional Accessories

CONS

  • Difficult to Cock
  • The Scope Could Be of Better Quality

This crossbow is capable of firing arrows at around 245 feet per second, with a smooth trigger that makes for accurate shooting. Lightweight and easy to assemble, this is a great crossbow for new or experienced users. This purchase comes with a quiver, three 18-inch arrows, and a red dot sight scope.

Cocking this crossbow by hand can be a little difficult, so it is suggested that until you get used to it, you may want to invest in cocking rope for some extra ease on your hands. The alignment of the scope is also off, so it may take some work re-aligning it to perform more accurate shots, especially if you aren’t an experienced user.

Bottom Line

This is a pretty good crossbow for the price, though it does come with a few flaws. The scope could be of better quality, as it is out of alignment which can be an issue for accurate shooting. It is also a bit difficult to cock this crossbow by hand, so you may want to invest in some cocking rope until it becomes easier to do. This isn’t a bad little kit, including a quiver, three 18-inch arrows, and the scope. If you’re new to using crossbows, this could work well for you, but if you want something of better quality, it may not be the right purchase to make.

Recurve vs. Compound Crossbow - What is the Difference?

Wondering the difference is? Here's how to spot the two apart:

Recurve Crossbow

Recurve crossbows typically have both a longer bow and draw length. This allows for more acceleration for the projectile you use, whether it’s a bolt or a full arrow. A recurve crossbow also tends to be louder than a compound crossbow because of the length. Because of its longer draw length, this crossbow can offer more power and shot speed, and can also cover longer ranges with its power and projectile acceleration.

Compound Crossbow

Compound crossbows are typically on the shorter side, but this gives an advantage in the reloading speed because of the shorter draw length. This type of crossbow can also be quieter than a recurve crossbow, which can be more advantageous in a hunting situation.

How Do The Limbs On A Recurve Crossbow Differ From the Limbs on a Compound Crossbow?

Crossbows with recurve limbs must have longer limbs and a longer barrel to provide a longer power stroke. This differs from a compound crossbow, which has shorter limbs, which can be advantageous by allowing you to have a faster reloading speed because of the shorter draw length.

Perks of Investing in One of These Top Picks

Below are the main benefits of investing in one of these models:

Accuracy

Many of the recurve crossbow models from our list offer accurate shots. Some of them include a red dot scope that allows you to better aim at your desired target, and they include other features which add to great accuracies, such as a sharp window-glass-break.

Speed

Many of these crossbow models have a very quick speed, able to shoot arrows at speeds of around 245 seconds. The feature is great for hunting or target practice and can lead to a stronger impact on the target. Some models also feature rapid trigger speeds, which is ideal for any crossbow owner.

Design

Many of these models are made from durable material that allows them to last for multiple seasons, while also being light enough to use. Many of the designs also have multiple safety features, such as ambidextrous auto safety, palm grips, safety bars, etc. The design doesn’t need to be fancy, simple designs made of durable material provide power and accuracy, which is exactly what you’d want on a hunt or during target practice.

Conclusion

There are many different types of crossbows out there and a variety of them offer great features that would add to the quality of a hunt or practice. Recurve crossbows are known to be longer bows and have a longer draw length, which gives them more power and shot speed, while also covering longer ranges with their power and projectile acceleration. Many of the models we introduced today come with multiple safety features, which make them perfect for anyone to use. Whether you’re new to using crossbows, or you’re an experienced user, there is a perfect crossbow out there, and we hope you’ve found one on our list reviewed today.

Crossbows 101 With Dan Ellyson of A1 Archery

Choosing a crossbow can be intimidating for the first time buyer. Dan Ellyson of A1 Archery has been selling crossbows in his shop for over ten years. Just like a vertical bow, Dan says there is a wide variety of choices and features with crossbows. Speed is always a factor crossbow buyers are interested in. Draw weight is important in determining speed. Dan says faster crossbows are usually around 185 to 200 pounds of draw weight and fire bolts at well over 300 feet per second. Slower crossbows usually have a draw weight of 120 to 150 pounds.

The simplest designed crossbow is the recurve style crossbow. Excalibur Crossbows are well known for this recurve style. There are no cams or pulleys used. It’s basically a traditional bow turned on it’s side with a firing mechanism. The simple design prevents a lot of the common issues found with archery equipment. Recurve style crossbows are also easier to pull back. The major drawback is the size of the bow.

Crossbows are often used by older hunters or hunters with disabilities. They are great tools for keeping hunters in the woods when health setbacks may have eliminated their opportunities to hunt. Crossbows are also great for getting young people started. The Parker Cyclone is adjustable so young and old can enjoy it’s features. Dan’s six year old daughter dropped a Nebraska turkey with a Cyclone this spring.

Parker has recently released a breakthrough crossbow. The Parker Concorde with Quick Draw System has an exclusive pneumatic cocking system. To cock the bow you simply push a button. At the end of the hunt, the same button can be used to let down the bow. The bow can be cocked in less than three seconds. The main drawback to the Parker Concorde is it’s weight. It weighs around 12 pounds so it’s a bit heavy to be used for stalking. The Concorde’s weight does absorb much of the sound. Dan says this bow is one of the quietest on the market.

When looking at crossbows, take a look at how heavy the crossbow is, the speed of the bow, how it is cocked, and if the company stands behind it’s product. Dan says crossbows have more violent reactions when fired compared to compound bows. This makes part failures more likely. The probability of part failures makes investing in a quality crossbow made by a reputable company vital. 

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