Best Youth Crossbows [2020 Review for All Experience Levels]

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Crossbows are excellent devices for minors that want to get into activities like hunting or recreational shooting. They are versatile, practical, and quite useful, given some proper safety instructions.

There are many models to choose from, each with a different set of features that can vary depending on the model. Some choices are explicitly designed for young users, while other options marketed toward adults offer the mobility and ease-of-use that children and teenagers can benefit from.

Here are a couple of things you should know while picking the right model.

Comparison Chart of the Best Youth Crossbows

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Barnett Whitetail Hunter II

  • Best Youth Crossbow for Deer Hunting
  • Rated draw weight at 150 lbs
  • Constructed from all-stainless steel components
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BOLT Crossbows

  • Best Youth Hunting Crossbow
  • Draw weight rated at 80 lbs
  • Includes three bolts and detachable fore grip
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Daisy 4003 Youth Crossbow

  • Best Daisy Youth Crossbow
  • Features an adjustable rear sight
  • Rated draw weight at 29 lbs
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Parker Challenger Crossbow X400-MR

  • Best Parker Youth Crossbow
  • Has a heavy draw weight rated between 125 to 150 lbs
  • Scope sight included with purchase
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Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package

  • Best Barnet Youth Crossbow
  • Easy pull back rated at 3.5 lbs ideal for beginners
  • Package includes quiver, bolts, and a red dot sight
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How to Size a Crossbow if You Are Not an Adult

The first thing to consider is the type of activity the product is for. Target shooting and hunting demand an utterly different set of characteristics and specifications that can vary, like density, length, velocity, and draw weight which can have a tremendous general impact. Moreover, a person that is just beginning doesn’t necessarily need a model with the same features as a more seasoned individual.

The first thing to have in mind when acquiring a crossbow is its power. This is dictated mostly by the bolt velocity, measured in FPS (Feet Per Second) and the draw weight.

Both of these elements are important to know because depending on the location you're in, there can be regulations for hunting that prohibit certain devices that don’t pass a specific threshold in regards to power because firing may not result in a humane kill but just injuring the animal.

Minors, in general, do better with devices that are lightweight and compact. First, because traversing long distances with a weapon can cause fatigue and second, because it gives the user more mobility. The bigger the product, the more likely it is to bump into branches and bushes which has an impact on quality.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying a Youth Crossbow

Keep these considerations in mind throughout this review:

Weight

If the crossbow is going to be carried around, then it needs to be lightweight to avoid fatigue faster.

Draw Weight

It is the amount of force applied to the string while it’s pulled back. The higher this is, the more power it delivers to the arrow when pulling the trigger. This trait also determines how far the bolt goes and how accurate it is. You should take into account that it also means that heavier strings are harder to load which can be an issue for a minor even with models that come with cocking devices.

Speed

Velocity essentially plays a role in how fast an arrow is and it's relevant because sound travels faster than an arrow. Animals react almost instantly to sound thanks to instinct. You can determine the speed by FPS or (Feet Per Second).

Characteristics

Beginners are often prone to specific occurrences or accidents that are avoidable, provided a crossbow has the features to prevent them, like dry firing, which is basically when a weapon is fired without a full bolt and can result in damage to the device and in the worst cases, injuries to the user.

Cost

Prices can vary a lot when it comes to crossbows, but that doesn’t generally translate into quality. Some more affordable options usually compare in power and efficiency to the most powerful. In general, it all depends on what are you looking and what you are using your bow for?

Quick Take | Best Best Youth Crossbows

Just looking for the three best models? Here they are:

  1. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II
  2. BOLT Crossbows
  3. Daisy 4003 Youth Crossbow

Review of the Best Youth Crossbows

Let's see which models made our list and the key characteristics that make them stand out. 

PROS

  • 4x32 scope for better aim
  • Has a lightweight construction at 6.4 lbs
  • Features a digital grey camouflage patter
  • Comes with two powerful 20-inch arrows
  • Very high kinetic energy and velocity at 350 feet per second

CONS

  • Manual is difficult to understand
  • String has to be waxed repetitively

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers found this product to be very effective in shooting. They found its 20-inch long arrows to be very sharp and highly penetrating. They reported having almost no missed shots. So, buyers had a good time using it on the whole. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us with its digital grey camouflage, which helps you stay undetected. The crossbow has a 4 x 32 scope, too, which helps the users in having the perfect aim. The velocity and inherent kinetic energy are also remarkable at 350 FPS.

Bottom Line

Summing it up, this item is definitely a reliable choice for the young shooters. It has high accuracy, and novice shooters can have a better aim with the scope as well. So, get this one for your children and grandchildren if you like to take them to hunting trips with you. 

Runner-up:
BOLT Crossbows

PROS

  • Foregrip to have a better aim
  • 3 aluminum bolts for a clean game
  • Maximum draw weight is 80 pounds
  • Has higher reliability with a 1-year warranty
  • Comes with a velocity of 200 feet per second

CONS

  • String is not very sturdy
  • Some report that the string needs frequent waxing

What Recent Buyers Report

This BOLT crossbow has facilitated recent buyers in many ways. They liked its black exterior and the easy arm grip. They also liked this item because of the aesthetic frame and yellow arrows. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We found this item to be ultra-powerful as it has a velocity of 200 feet per second. It can have a remarkably high draw weight of up to 80 pounds. This way, it serves both beginner and expert shooters well. 

Bottom Line

To give a final word, this is a modern and easy to use crossbow which helps youth in safe shooting. It comes with 3 aluminum bolts, which make sure that the arrow penetrates well into the prey. So, you can get this crossbow to have fun with different shooting techniques. 

Best for the Money:
Daisy 4003 Youth Crossbow

PROS

  • Rear sight has high adjustability
  • Has two powerful bolts in the package
  • Great for young shooters due to additional safety
  • Very lightweight with a draw weight of 29 pounds
  • Compact frame at 11.2 x 3.8 x 1.1 inches dimensions 

CONS

  • Has a tricky assembly

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers came up with majorly positive feedback about this product. They liked its sleek construction the most as it has the dimensions of 11.2 x 3.8 x 1.1 inches. The buyers also took well to the draw weight of 29 pounds at max. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This crossbow has impressed us with its quick shooting and simplicity of design. It has a highly adjustable rear sight, which helps in improving the accuracy of shots. Its frame is quite easy to handle due to a lighter weight, making it perfect for young shooters.

Bottom Line

After comparing it with other items, we have found it to be quite amazing. The crossbow looks simple and has an easy draw, but the shots are great. There are two aluminum bolts, too, which make sure that you do not miss any shots.

Best Parker Youth Crossbow:
Parker Challenger Crossbow X400-MR

PROS

  • Maximum velocity of 300 feet per second
  • Has a very lightweight design at 5.5 pounds
  • Does not need any additional gear for shooting
  • Realistic camouflage graphics all over the crossbow
  • Added safety with vented forearm and finger flange

CONS

  • Seems a little overpriced
  • Overall construction isn’t long-lasting

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who bought this Parker crossbow love it as it has such a cool appearance. The realistic camouflage has become a favorite of most buyers. They also like it due to its lightweight construction as it weighs only 5.5 pounds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Parker Challenger crossbow has made it to our list because of its incredible safety features. It has a velocity of 300 feet per second, and the shots are pretty accurate too. Another amazing detail is the safety finger flange, which goes well with the vented forearm.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a nice item for beginner shooters and youth, as it is one of the safest units on the market. It has three arrows that help you in continuous shooting when you have a plentiful game. Thus, going for it will be a great decision if you value safety the most.

Best Barnet Youth Crossbow:
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package

PROS

  • Weighs only 7.7 pounds
  • An easy to pull 3.5 lbs trigger
  • Shooting velocity of 315 feet per second
  • Synthetic string and cable system last longer
  • Premium red dot sight included in the package

CONS

  • Needs weather controlled storage

What Recent Buyers Report

The Barnett Jackal crossbow has gained very positive feedback from buyers. It made shooting fun for them with its velocity of 315 feet per second. This and the smooth finishing of the crossbow’s frame impressed the buyers the most.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is one of the best youth crossbows due to its 3.5 lbs pull trigger. It makes it easier for young shooters to have a secure shooting. The red dot sight is another great feature as it helps the users in setting the right aim. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is a finely designed item which has some of the best safety features. It has a synthetic string that is sure to serve you for a long while. So, investing in this crossbow will be a wise decision on your part. 

Best for Experienced Users:
Wicked Ridge by TenPoint

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Crossbows Ranger Crossbow Package with ACU-52 Cocking Mechanism

PROS

  • Accurate scope
  • Powerful and effective
  • Good loading mechanism
  • Accurate at long distances

CONS

  • Axles are not compact

This option is the heavyweight champion for more seasoned users. It is not only great for experienced young users but for small-framed people that want an effective but compact weapon. It has 150 lbs of draw weight and a speed of 300 FPS which means that it is as powerful as heavier and pricier options.

It comes with a cocking mechanism that reduces the draw weight by 50% while loading it with an arrow and also comes with a Ten Point's 3x multi-line scope that can deliver accurate shots up to 50 yards with almost no spread. It is 33  inches long from axle to axle, which doesn’t make it as compact as other options on the list, but the overall weight is still light at 5.9 lbs.

Bottom Line

If a young user is ready for a more powerful tool after learning the ropes of shooting a crossbow, then this is the next logical step. The model is designed for small-framed users and delivers a considerable amount of power. It is not only a product that can be used by minors but by adults that desire a smaller model.

BARNETT Recruit Terrain Crossbow, 330 FPS

PROS

  • Material is sturdy
  • Adjustable buttstock
  • Comes with an anti-dry fire feature
  • Good choice for small-framed people

CONS

  • Becomes less accurate with distance

If you know about crossbows, then you know Barnett. This brand offers top quality products at an affordable price, while still offering great choices. Their options are always cost-effective.

The Barnett Recruit Terrain Crossbow has a draw weight of 140 lbs that combined with an FPS of 330 that means it's a compelling weapon but is still suitable for young users. However, it does lose accuracy with added distance.

Putting together a crossbow is always a time-consuming task, however, this model comes almost assembled and ready to use. It has an anti-dry fire system, which is a must in youth-focused devices and also has a rope cocking device, therefore loading an arrow is easier. In terms of size, it is 16.125” from axle to axle and is one of the most compact options on the list.

It has an adjustable buttstock that can be customized to obtain a better grip and is also great for minors as they won’t lose comfort while growing up. The material used in these models is stainless steel that can be very durable and lasting against the elements and the occasional bump.

Bottom Line

This option is unique in terms of power and mobility. It’s suited for experienced users that want a useful product but is still an excellent choice for beginners given the anti-dry fire system. Its measurements make it easy to carry around while being a long-lasting stainless steel device that can withstand the elements.

Barnett Youth 30 Compound Crossbow

PROS

  • Easy to reload
  • Price-friendly option
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Designed for young users

CONS

  • May be subjected to hunting restrictions given its low power

This model is designed especially for children. It has the functionality of a more expensive model, with its adjustable buttstock that provides more comfort and finger reminders to keep the user safe when firing. It is also the most affordable option which also makes it a good option for those that are just beginning in archery.

It has a draw weight of 30 lbs which makes it perfect for a minor because they can load it themselves without a cocking mechanism and has an FPS of 140. This weapon is a perfect option for an entry-level young user, given its lower characteristics. However, before using it for activities like hunting, it's advised to check the regulations in your area since the low draw weight may be prohibited.

Besides that, it's a compact and lightweight option with a total weight of 6.2 lbs, without accessories. The red dot scope that comes with it delivers accurate shots at short distances, but it falls short in long ones, given its low draw weight.

Bottom Line

This alternative is great for those people that are on a budget but still want the customization that a pricier model offers. This choice lacks power, but it is still an excellent option for the youngest users and those that are just beginning.

Cautious Considerations Before Buying Your Child a Crossbow

Kids love to try out new things, and they like to engage in the activities that adults do. And it is appreciable for you to take your kids hunting with you. But you have to be extra careful when it comes to buying the hunting equipment for children. So, let’s have a look at the cautious considerations that you have to keep in mind while making a purchase.

Safety

The foremost consideration has to be the safety features of the crossbow. It has to be completely safe for children to avoid any accidents or misfortune events. 

Weight

Another important thing to keep in mind is the weight of the product. Since children do not have motor skills as sharp as we do, they need lighter crossbows. Even if your child knows how to aim and use a crossbow, you have to be careful about his/her safety. 

Price

The price of a crossbow can be the ultimate factor that makes you choose or reject one for your child. The crossbow has to be affordable and reliable so that both you and your child love it. 

Accessories

The accessories that come with a crossbow have to be child-friendly too. They should not be too sharp or hard to handle. This way, your child can practice better with the crossbow without getting any hand injuries.

Benefits of Hunting With a Crossbow

Relaxation of crossbow regulations are not without controversy. However, crossbows advocates are slowly winning the war and more people are taking to the woods with horizontal bows. There is no doubt there are advantages to using a crossbow over a compound bow. But there are several things you need to know before hunting with a crossbow.

The are numerous benefits to hunting with crossbows. Once they are sighted in, anyone can use them. It doesn’t’ matter if the shooter is right-handed or left-handed, young or old. Once a crossbow is cocked, it’s easy for anyone to fire. That’s what makes the crossbow so handy for introducing kids to hunting. They don’t have to have super strength to pull back a bow string and the bark and kick of a gun is absent in a crossbow. Manufacturers are creating crossbows with built in cocking mechanisms for ease of use. Parker Crossbows has recently released a crossbow with an automatic cocking mechanism powered by CO2.

The most obvious advantage of hunting with a crossbow is being able to be perfectly motionless while waiting for a deer to move within range. The bow is already drawn. No need to stand up and risk being spotted while pulling a bow back. Crossbows are also ideal for ground blind hunting. One of the issues with hunting out of a ground blind with a vertical bow is being low enough to avoid hitting the roof of the blind with the cam. Crossbows are being made more narrow than ever. There are several models on the market measuring 18” or less limb-to-limb when cocked.

The other big advantage is the scope. Compound bows are usually sighted in for an individual. Once a crossbow is sighted in, just about anyone can shoot it as long as they are steady.

It may sound like crossbow hunting is a piece of cake, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. First of all, many opponents of the crossbow see horizontal archers hitting targets as far away as one hundred yards. You may be able to hit a target at that distance but a deer isn’t going to sit around and wait for an arrow to travel a hundred yards.

If you practiced that shot with a compound bow you could make it too. Big game needs to be just as close, if not closer, to be within ethical range of a crossbow. Crossbow bolts are often fifty to one hundred grains heavier than compound bow arrows. Bolts drop much faster than arrows over long distances.

Crossbows have a few more moving parts and typically make a little more noise when fired than compound bows. This makes jumping the string more likely with a crossbow than a compound bow. Just another reason why it’s important to wait until game gets close before pulling the trigger.

Like any other weapon, there also safety precautions that need to be followed. The first thing a crossbow hunter should do is read their owner’s manual and fully understand how their particular crossbow works. The safety should always be left on until you’re prepared to fire. When firing, it is imperative that your hands remain on the stock and below the rail of the crossbow. The string could literally take off a finger. For a short demonstration, check out the video below.

Conclusion

A suitable device will not only help young users that want to learn the sport of hunting but also experienced ones that have outgrown their current one. These tools, given the right instruction, can keep minors utterly safe while they enjoy themselves and their newly acquired crossbow.

People Also Ask

Since youth crossbows are risky, and there are greater safety concerns, people tend to hesitate before buying them. So, it is necessary to clear all their confusion regarding these. This is why we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions here. They will help you buy the right one without any worry.

How Old Should Someone be Before Using a Crossbow?

The age range varies from individual to individual when it comes to using a crossbow. But, most children between 8 and 9 years of age can handle a crossbow well. Of course, they need to be supervised while using one as their motor skills still are not fully developed. 

How Much Does a Crossbow Weigh?

Crossbows usually weigh around 6 to 9 pounds when they are not loaded. But once you fix all the accessories and arrows in place, the weight can exceed up to 50 pounds. Heavier ones can weigh around 10 to 12 pounds when unloaded. 

How to Unload a Crossbow Without Shooting?

You can unload a crossbow without shooting in different ways. But using a crossbow diffuser is one of the safest options. You just insert the diffuser in the crossbow and release the tension slowly. Then you can take out the arrow, and the crossbow will come back to its unloaded position.