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Best Recurve Crossbow Reviews

A recurve crossbow is a popular choice for target shooters and hunters alike. Because of their elegant one-string design, crossbow recurve models are easy to maintain, easy to shoot, and provides a classic shape. While this has always been a popular style of bow, there are more models on the market now than ever.

Thus, it can be challenging to find the best recurve crossbow. We scoured to stores and found our top-five favorites that represent options for any budget and need. Here are the best recurve crossbows we are looking at and what we found.

Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Recurve Crossbows on The Market Reviewed

Viking Crossbows FX1 Package with Rifle Stock

Ergonomics is a focus that is forgotten all too often when designing a crossbow. Manufacturers often become so focused on firing speed or feature lists that they forget to make a weapon that is comfortable and enjoyable to use. It is within this context that the Viking FX1 truly shines. This is a beautifully made crossbow, but you might be tempted to overlook it based on specs alone. However, it quickly became a favorite among our testers because it was so imminently enjoyable to use. 

Viking Crossbows FX1 Recurve Crossbow Package with Rifle Stock, 240 Feet Per Second, 175 Pound Draw, Boneyard Camo, One Size

The stock of the FX1 is a rather unique design but does a fantastic job of maximizing strength without adding weight. It incorporates an adjustable KO540 stock that does a truly admirable job of vibration dampening while adjusting to fit mil-spec or commercial buffer tube sizes. Past this, all the grips are nicely padded, and a very convenient shoulder sling is including.

Even the act of cocking this bow is a pleasant experience. With a 175 lb draw, you might expect this to be a challenging crossbow to cock. However, the mechanism is so smooth and well-engineered that it is actually among the easiest we tested. If you’re tired of crude and unpleasant to use bows, give the FX1 a try.

PROS

  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Padded grips
  • Shoulder strap included

CONS

  • Quiver is somewhat flimsy
  • Its length can make it hard to store

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Barnett Blackcat with Red Dot Sight, Arrows & Quiver

Although there is a lot to like about the Barnett Blackcat, the style is going to be the first thing you notice. Many crossbows seem painfully stuck in the past with dated or non-functional designs. Not so here. The design of this bow is modern, tough, and functional. Despite its rugged appearance, the Blackcat is surprisingly lightweight. It’s easy for the weight of a crossbow to sneak up on you, and a heavier bow can become much more difficult to carry and aim on a longer hunting expedition. Luckily, at only 4.8 lbs, the Blackcat won’t risk dragging you down.

Barnett Blackcat Recurve Crossbow | Recurve Crossbow with Red Dot Sight, Arrows & Quiver| 260 Feet Per Second, Black Strike

Despite its svelte bulk, the Barnett Blackcat doesn’t lack power. This model has a firing speed of 260 feet/second with 53 ft/lbs of kinetic energy. This means you’ll have plenty of power to take down deer, hogs, turkey, or other similar game. As a quiet, light, and elegant hunting solution, this is a great option.

Barnett was generous with the included accessories too. The price of this crossbow is extremely competitive. But, despite the low cost of entry, this constitutes a very complete kit. They wanted to make this bow ready to hunt right out of the box, so they included a high-quality quiver, 2 aluminum-tipped carbon-shafted arrows, and a 3-dot red laser sight. As a complete entry-level package, this one is hard to beat.

PROS

  • Great value
  • Complete hunting package
  • Sturdy design

CONS

  • No cocking rope included
  • Firing speed Isn’t best-in-class

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Wildgame Innovations XR250 Crossbow

Compared to the more modern Barnett Blackcat, the Wildgame Innovations XR250 is a more traditional crossbow. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking traditional is a bad thing. The overall design of the stock is a more classic shape but integrates a magnesium rail for strength and accuracy. The entire bow is covered in a very nicely designed wooded camouflage, which can be advantageous if you use the bow for hunting.

Wildgame Innovations XR250C Crossbow - Shoots 250 Feet Per Second Quiver, 2-18' Arrows, RCD & Red Dot Scope, Elude Camo

For most shoppers, this will be their first crossbow, and the price reflects that. If you are unsure about wanting to venture into this hobby and are looking for a cost-effective way of testing the waters, the XR250 is a great option. With a 250 ft/second firing rate, this is not the highest-powered crossbow that we looked at. However, it is sufficient for most tasks.

Considering the entry-price we were generally impressed by the quality. The finish was nice, and the construction felt sturdy. We did notice a slight wobble in the scope mount, but this did not significantly detract from its use. As a complete starter kit or as a gift for an aspiring hunter in your life, the XR250 deserves attention.

PROS

  • Incredibly cost-effective
  • Nicely designed camouflage
  • Easy to cock

CONS

  • Scope mount wobbles
  • Side-mount quiver can be awkward

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Excalibur Axe 340 Kryptek Raid with SDS & Air Brakes Package

Although we try to focus primarily on affordable options when looking for recurve crossbow hunting models, there is always room for a higher-end option or two. If you are passionate about bow hunting and are looking to upgrade to the top of the food chain, the Excalibur Axe 340 is an option to strongly consider. Excalibur has a long-standing reputation as one of the most elite manufacturers of bows. However, while the quality of Excalibur models is second to none, the price certainly reflects a premium. Luckily, among the prestigious options offered by Excalibur, the Axe 340 is one of the more affordable options. Although it is a more approachable option, quality and innovation are still on full display. 

Excalibur Axe 340 Kryptek Raid with SDS & Air Brakes Recurve Crossbow Package #E74132

The firing power of the Axe 340 is going to be the most prominent aspect you notice. With a 340 feet/second firing speed, this bow is in a different class from the competition. This higher firing speed allows you to safely and ethically take down larger game and do so from longer distances. This is far from a one-trick pony, however. The engineering and manufacturing quality of this bow is truly stunning. You can search all day and never find a single scuff, rattle, or flaw. Excalibur makes a truly bomb-proof crossbow. They stand by their products, too. Excalibur is one of the few brands that still offers a lifetime warranty on their products.

Although the Axe 340 is a more advanced machine than some entry-level models, that doesn’t make it difficult to service. Doing a basic refit of the bow proved that it was exceptionally easy and intuitive to service, whether you’re adjusting the rails or restringing. Between the high-quality construction, aluminum frame, and lifetime warranty, this is a bow you can pass onto your children. If you want the best, this is it.

PROS

  • Lifetime warranty
  • High fire speed
  • Impeccable quality
  • Easy to service

CONS

  • Somewhat costly

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CenterPoint Tyro 4X Recurve Crossbow Package With 4x32mm Scope

Even if you are fairly new to bows, you’ve almost certainly heard the name CenterPoint. They are one of the most popular crossbows on the market and a very common option for a first foray into bow hunting. Many crossbows seem painfully stuck in the past with dated or non-functional designs. Not so here. The design of this bow is modern, tough, and functional. Despite its rugged appearance, the Blackcat is surprisingly lightweight. It’s easy for the weight of a crossbow to sneak up on you, and a heavier bow can become much more difficult to carry and aim on a longer hunting expedition. Luckily, at only 4.8 lbs, the Blackcat won’t risk dragging you down.

CenterPoint Tyro 4X Recurve Crossbow Package With 4x32mm Scope, Camo

Despite its svelte size, the Barnett Blackcat doesn’t lack power. This model has a firing speed of 260 feet/second with 53 ft/lbs of kinetic energy. This means you’ll have plenty of power to take down deer, hogs, turkey, or other similar game. As a quiet, light, and elegant hunting solution, this is a great option.

Barnett was generous with the included accessories too. The price of this crossbow is extremely competitive. But, despite the low cost of entry, this constitutes a very complete kit. They wanted to make this bow ready to hunt right out of the box, so they included a high-quality quiver, 2 aluminum-tipped carbon-shafted arrows, and a 3-dot red laser sight. As a complete entry-level package, this one is hard to beat.

PROS

  • Great value
  • Complete hunting package
  • Sturdy design

CONS

  • No cocking rope included
  • Firing speed isn’t best-in-class

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

How to Choose The Best Recurve Crossbow

Regardless of your experience or budget, there are a lot of factors to consider when trying to choose the best recurve crossbows. Here’s what you need to consider.

Firing Speed Matters

The firing speed is an often overlooked aspect of many bows. There is a common misconception that any given bow will have enough power for recreational hunting. This is not necessarily the case. Unfortunately, an underpowered bow can result in a dangerous and inhumane situation when hunting. The best recurve crossbow for deer hunting needs to have the power to do the job.

Although this is a more significant consideration when tracking larger game such as deer, smaller game at longer ranges can also require a higher-speed shot to execute a clean kill. Determining the exact speed and power you need will depend on a myriad of factors, such as the range, the animal, and the accuracy of your shot. However, faster is better. 

Even a small difference between 240 and 260 feet/second can have a significant impact on the efficacy of a weapon. As any hunter knows, a wounding shot can be your worst nightmare, so always have a capable bow.

It Needs to Be Easy to Service

Crossbows are typically very elegant machines without a relatively small number of moving parts. However, they still require maintenance and repair. At the very least, any bow will occasionally need to be restrung, lubricated, and adjusted.

When it comes to servicing, not all bows are created equally. Read reviews and speak to technicians to find out how easy a bow is to repair. Check for parts availability as well. In this roundup, we emphasize finding bows with parts that can be easily sourced.

Many less reputable brands can be almost impossible to maintain.

Comfort is a Factor When Choosing The Best Recurve Crossbow

A bow can be technically excellent but poorly suited for a user. Different recurve crossbow brands have different approaches to ergonomics, and some users prefer certain styles and arrangements.

When shopping for your next bow, don’t overlook comfort as a factor. Is the sturrup sturdy and easy to use? Did the manufacturer incorporate anti-shock features? Is the draw-weight manageable for someone of your size and strength?

Having a bow that fits your needs properly can make a huge difference in your enjoyment.

How Complete is The Recurve Crossbow Kit?

Lastly, always check to see how much is included in a kit. Many recurve crossbow reviews only focus on the bow itself, not the entire package. However, compiling the necessary accessories can be a time consuming and costly experience.

To avoid this, it is worth selecting recurve crossbows that give you everything you need to get started right away. A few arrows, a quiver, and a sight are the main items. However, some manufacturers go either farther and include lubrication, draw-ropes, and more.

Don’t Overlook Weight of The Recurve Crossbow

Weight can be an easy to forget factor when shopping for a bow. However, if you’ve ever spent a long day in the woods lugging around an overweight piece of gear, you aren’t likely to forget the experience. To combat this problem, I always encourage shoppers to look for lighter options. A lighter bow is easier to transport, easier to aim, and more suited for a wider variety of users.

Conclusion

Whenever we set out to write a review of any gear, we make a specific point of finding options that fit a variety of budgets and needs. Thus, each of the five options in this review fulfills a specific need for the right person. Whether you are trying to find the best budget option or the most advanced bow on the market, we strive to have you covered.

Yet, despite the variety, there is always one option that impresses us just a little more. The winner of this roundup is the Viking Crossbows FX1 Recurve Crossbow. Its value and focus on ergonomics proved to be a novel combination, and it was the option that we kept coming back to throughout testing.

As an all-around solution that will serve the majority of people beautifully, it is a hard choice to beat.

Viking Crossbows FX1 Recurve Crossbow Package with Rifle Stock, 240 Feet Per Second, 175 Pound Draw, Boneyard Camo, One Size
70 Reviews
Viking Crossbows FX1 Recurve Crossbow Package with Rifle Stock, 240 Feet Per Second, 175 Pound Draw, Boneyard Camo, One Size
  • Shoots at an impressive 240 feet per second with a 175 pound draw; package includes a 4x32 multi reticle scope and 2 point shoulder sling
  • Features an adjustable KO 540 stock for superior vibration dampening; adjusts to fit mil-spec and commercial buffer tube sizes
  • Equipped with an ergonomic KO 510 foregrip; fits mil-spec Picatinny rails and features removable thumb guards
  • Comes with a rope cocking device, rail lube, hex keys, and a large boot-style foot stirrup; ambidextrous auto safety and hand grip
  • Recommended bolt length is 16 inches; 4 carbon bolts with field points and a quick detach quiver are included

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jared Russo
Hey, my name is Jared, a self-reliant expert and action taker. I hope you've enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends and family, it would make my day!

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