Looking for the best pistol crossbow? – Then keep scrolling down.
Here we not only introduce you to the top reliable choices with detailed reviews, but we also share some buying tips to make the most of your spending.
Moreover, we explain all frequently asked questions to free you from confusion and to help you use pistol crossbow the most safely.
What Is Pistol Crossbow?
Interesting enough, a pistol crossbow looks like a bow and a long gun at the same time.
On the one hand, it features a bow-similar prod which is mounted horizontally onto the tiller frame, along with short heavy projectile called bolts.
These parts look like arrows.
On the other hand, the prod is handheld in a wooden centerpiece, looking similar to the gunstock. You can call it the crossbow stock.
Also, the trigger mechanism uses the pistol technology and self-cocking feature to shoot.
As pistol crossbows are often smaller and less potent than compound and recurve crossbows, they are typically preferred for practices rather than hunting.
However, there are still some fast and advanced models like the best pistol crossbow we introduce above to bring along in a small hunting game.
Best Pistol Crossbow Reviews
So far, CenterPoint Sniper is famous for its powerful, smooth-operation, and high-speed shooting tools.
This CenterPoint Sniper 370 is no exception. It is the right combination of advanced features and economical price.
In other words, you do not need to break a bank to get high-quality technologies such as Whisper silencing System or Dry Fire Inhibitor.
In terms of construction, parts of the crossbow are made of aluminum and composite. These materials ensure a speedy and durable performance.
The overall weight and draw weight are 7.9 lb and 185 lbs, respectively, so both youngsters and women can handle and practice with this tool.
The Whisper-silencing system is worth mentioning. With string suppressors, the shoots are less vibration and more accurate. Even better, the foot stirrup is rubber-coated.
Such noise suppression is helpful while hunting sensitive animals like deers.
For safety purposes, you can rely on the anti-dry fire mechanism and ambidextrous safety release. When the bow is cocked, the safety is auto-set.
We like almost all parts, except for the cheap-looking accessories.
Although there are many things included in the package, such as carbon bolts, illuminated scope, arrow quiver, or rope cocker, they are not very high-quality.
2 Snake Eye Tactical Pistol Cobra – Best Budget Pistol Crossbow
Beginners wanting to practice shooting will love this Snake Eye Tactical Pistol Cobra.
Coming at an affordable price, this tool includes all the necessary features you need in the pistol crossbow.
First off, the trigger mechanism is self-cocking, which is competent enough to draw back the string and load up your favorite bolts with ease.
Also, the high-tech fiberglass is safe and straightforward to align string preciously with the cocking.
Thus, you can shoot over and over faster than the traditional crossbows.
Fifteen aluminum bolts are included in the package, along with metal tips. If you want to buy additional bolts, you should go for heavier ones.
Secondly, the draw weight is 80 lb, meaning you can manually cock the hand pistol crossbow easily. It is also powerful for targets and small games.
The adjustable rear sight is another plus.
On the one hand, the sight supports dialing in the accuracy of shootings. Moreover, it is removable to take place for a small scope – especially helpful while hunting.
The vulnerable string is a little downside. It breaks after several shootings.
It makes sense because this crossbow is inexpensive. Fortunately, the string replacement and installation is straightforward.
3 Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – The Best-Overall Pistol Crossbow
At a glance, this Barnett Whitetail Hunter II crossbow looks professional and robust with skull patterns over the body of the bow.
Hilariously, our shooting tests have confirmed our first impression. This tool shoots consistently and accurately.
Let’s begin with the built quality.
Assembled in the U.S.A, the crossbow is equipped with a 16.125-inch cocked axel-to-axel width and 350 FPS speed.
Moreover, all the staple accessories are available.
The draw weight is 150 lb, and the kinetic energy is 103 lb. Such weight means plenty of power and superb accuracy.
Excitingly, this compound crossbow remains as compact as 6.4 pounds thanks to skeletonized stock and edge appearance.
You can take it out in your backpack for hunting games and outdoor practices.
Trigger Tech is an excellent add-on.
Accordingly, there is a free-floating roller between the trigger mechanize and the sear. You can expect the triggering to be lighter and smoother.
Good overall, but it can be better.
ADF system is somewhat low-quality, which does not minimize dry fires as advertised. It is hard to decock the bow without a bolt in.
With a cool camo pattern, the CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper is the advanced version of Sniper 370.
Hence, this shooting tool adopts almost all features of her brother and more.
Accordingly, it is still built with a high-quality trigger group of 14-inch axle-to-axle stock, 35-inch stirrup, foregrip, as well as string stops.
Besides, the rails and cams are still crafted from durable aluminum, and the stock is all-weather rifle style composite, plus with padded rubber grips.
Performance is improved.
Correctly, this pistol crossbow can shoot at 380 FPS with 120 lbs of kinetic energy and 185 lbs of draw weight. It is powerful to be a hunting weapon.
Also, the CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper is superb quiet. There are two stoppers with silencers and two limbs dampeners on them.
These parts bring vibration and noise to almost nothing. Even deer or elk might not figure you out.
The whisper system also softens the vibration damage to the crossbow and the shock to you.
Accessories are still worth complaining about. This Whisper 380 is more expensive than the 370. However, the additional scope and bolts are not stellar at all.
Moreover, the full unit comes at 9.2 lb – slightly more substantial than other counterparts.
5 SAS 80 Lbs Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow – Best Lightweight Crossbow
The SAS Pistol Crossbow is another primary alternative for Snake Eye Tactical Cobra for entry-level shooters.
Like many other affordable choices, the SAS features easy-to-use and straightforward construction, including a self-cocking system, bolts, adjustable sight, and rifle-like stock.
Notably, the full-assembled crossbow is as lightweight as 50 lbs, and draw weight is 80 lbs. You can simply put this tool and some bolts in the bug out bag.
The performance is quite good at its price category.
The semi-auto self-cocking system is based on the traditional Barnett Commando Pistol. Thus, it can release the bolts fast over an impressive distance.
The adjustable rear sight is unusual for such low-priced pistol crossbows. Nonetheless, you can find it at SAS Pistol Crossbow.
Our complaint is related to the bolts. They are a little flimsy in the tail, making it possibly busted off while shooting.
Moreover, the instruction is nowhere near a user-friendly document. To be exact, it is not informative enough.
You have to guest some steps because the document does not mention all parts.
6 Ace Martial Arts Supply Cobra System – Easy to Use Crossbow
If you are still not satisfied with the economic Snake Eye or SAS pistol crossbows, then take a look at Ace Martial Arts Supply Cobra System.
The first note is, this is an 80-lb draw weight crossbow with a safe and straightforward cocking system. The shooting speed is around 165 FPS.
Simply put down on the pivoting arm, and the bow is easily cocked, and even the safety is automatically engaged.
The tool comes nearly pre-assembled. Moreover, the instruction guide is comprehensive.
Even when you are a hunting beginner, you can learn how this shooting tool in a matter of hours or also of minutes.
We recommend this crossbow for daily practice or small hunting games.
There are 15 aluminum bolts with metal tips in the packet. Even an extra 80-lb string is included. In other words, you can save some money on string replacement.
The construction looks sturdy as almost all parts are made of metal and durable plastic.
However, the new sight is a joke. Many consumers reported that the sight broke off after some weeks of using.
7 Prophecy 80 Pound Aluminum – The Best Classic Pistol Crossbow
Although its appearance is quite traditional and classic, this Prophecy 80 Pound Aluminum crossbow is continually improved in terms of features.
The unique Cobra system limbs, including self-cocking, mechanize, and stiff arms, are the most noticeable parts.
Thanks to them, you can load the bolts with the least effort. All to do is to pull the lever down and then back up.
The power stroke of the cocking lever is 6-4/5,” and the draw weight is also 80 lbs as many others.
Such a high power stroke ensures the stored energy for fires or self-cocking processes.
As a result, the bolt speed can be as fast as 165 FPS. This is larger than many counterparts on the list.
The crossbow comes with a red dot sight, which is unusual. However, this part is the most annoying and complained.
Firstly, the scope is hard to adjust, resulting in the inaccuracy of the view.
Moreover, the power source of the scope is held in an exposing clip. It turns out popping right off after a couple of fires.
8 Ace Martial Arts Supply Self Cocking – The Most Simple Crossbow Pistol Package
Do not mistake this Ace Martial Arts Supply Self-cocking Crossbow for the Ace Martial Arts Supply Cobra, we mentioned earlier.
So, what are the differences?
This pistol crossbow is even more plainly in construction. Or, you can call this a pistol mini crossbow.
We mean, the package has fewer accessories than its advanced version: only 3 aluminum bolts and two strings.
The firing speed is also slower – only 150 PFS. The kinetic energy is around 12.5 ft/lbs, with the draw weight of 80 lbs.
Fortunately, the Cobra self-cocking remains, including plastic riser and prod, polyester strings, compression plate, and vibration-dampening pads.
The assembly of this pistol crossbow is not too difficult if you are string crossbows before.
The manual guide does not tell all parts correctly.
Please remember to assemble the dampening pads on the other side of a prod while the vibration dampener is in the front.
String replacement might need two people to get it done. Hence, you had better ask someone to bend the prod for you.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Pistol Crossbow
When it comes to any weapon, even if it is just for practice, you should always make sure you understand that tool and know how to buy the best.
For a pistol crossbow, please be considerate to these things.
This feature is a possibly misleading term.
Many hunters think, “Hilariously, no need to do anything, the pistol crossbow can cock itself.”
You still have to push the boil back to shoot. However, the self-cocking feature makes it faster and easier to load up with the bolt rather than draw the string physically.
So, is self-cocking necessary that much to care?
Without it, the pistol crossbow is useless.
Hence, make sure you check the availability of the self-cooking feature carefully.
A rule of thumb: Heavy bolts are less affected by wind and travel further. Meanwhile, the light bolts go faster.
However, it is our recommendation not to use shaft shorter or a spine lighter bolts. It might cause hazardous accidents.
Based on your shooting level and hunting purposes, you can choose either aluminum bolts or darts (plastic bolts.)
The earlier choice is light and expensive. Primarily, they are powerful enough to kill animals. The latter is cheaper and flies longer.
The ideal size of bolts comes around 6.5 inches.
Options for draw weight are limited.
Most pistol crossbows now come between 50 and 80 pounds – this weight is measured when you cock the bow.
The fact that the best pistol crossbow today is self-cocking makes the draw weight negligible.
However, you can also cock manually. If you need assistance from rope cocker, then go for the lighter weight.
It is difficult to string pistol crossbow because of its small size and complicated construction.
You often need help to string it properly. Otherwise, the limbs might be fragile.
It is a great deal if the bow comes pre-assembled, or even better, with a stringing tool.
If not, you had better buy one.
Of all the eight pistol crossbows we introduced you above, feel free to pick up the best pistol crossbow.
Take all features, prices, and buying guide into consideration so that you can make the most informed decision.
To sum up, the pistol crossbow is suitable for practicing. More practices result in better hunting skills.
Of course, and more fun.