Crossbows vs compound bows – what should you choose?


When you mention you want to get into the bow hunting sports, you are bombarded with loads of advice. Some archers tell you to buy a compound bow, while others recommend the crossbow. The type of scenario is familiar when it comes to archery technicians confronting beginners with it daily. However, experience has taught us to layout both their advantages and let the person decide.

Advantages of Crossbows

For hunting, both the crossbow and the vertical bow are effective. With the crossbow, you have a higher arrow speed with kinetic energy. The modern crossbow can produce an arrow speed from 300-470 fps over 100 FT/LBF. In contrast, the compound bow delivers a velocity of 270-310 fps with 60-90 FT/LBF kinetic energy. Both provide you with enough power for bowhunting ranges from zero to 40-yards.

Furthermore, the crossbow provides you with ease of use and accuracy, the same as compound bows. It is easier to place the arrow precisely downrange with the crossbow even when shooting with it for the first time. While the archer can do the same with compound bows, it requires more practice.

Another benefit is the lack of movement needed to use it when it comes to crossbow hunting. You know you need to be quiet and still, and it is a close-range sport. Therefore, you can make a shot with little movement using this bow.

To use a compound bow, you need more movement increases the risk of the animal detecting you.


Advantage of Using a Compound Bow

When it comes to shooting, these compound bows shoot arrows significantly quieter than a crossbow. Therefore, it will not put the critters in the wood on high alert. Not only is the bow quieter than your crossbow the reload time is faster to make a second shot.

Using a crossbow works with some cocking aid in a rope-styled device, not part of the bow. Others have crank-style cocking devices built in the stock. Using it is cumbersome to cock the bow while in tight spaces such as a tree stand.

Furthermore, using a compound bow is not that awkward in a tree stand and takes up less space. Fully cocked crossbows require more space as it takes up a lot of room, leaving less room for you. The compound bow weighs less, about six pounds compared to the crossbow with a weight of eight pounds.

There is No Right or Wrong Choice

As a hunter, you want the blast to be humane, making it clean as fast. Here it all comes to preference. If you have any physical disability, you may find using a traditional bow not the best option. You may find using the crossbow more proficient at making a clean blast. If you are a beginner hunter struggling with traditional bows drawing weight, consider using a crossbow instead.

If you desire to shoot frequently and partake in loads of recreational shooting, the compound bow is a great bow to have for hunting. However, you can shoot a compound bow with the same precision as using a crossbow. It just takes more practice. So it is a personal choice, and the bottom line is that you are taking an animal’s life. You owe it to them to make it as humanely as possible when taking the shot.


I'm Isaac Murphy and at the moment I am a student. I took up archery as a hobby about 3 years ago and built this blog to share some of the things I have learned and to help those starting out in this sport. Check out my bio here

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