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. For a more detailed explanation of what to look for, watch the video above.