Be you a professional or a beginner in the hunting and target practice world, getting the perfect crossbow makes a whole lot of difference. And while crossbows come in different price ranges, finding a good crossbow for the money within a low-budget range can be quite tasking. Well, for those looking for something less salty on the pocket and have the very pertinent question: what is the best crossbow for under $400? This piece is here to tell you all you need to know about the best crossbow under 400 in 2021.

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The 8 Most Functional Crossbows Under $400 Reviewed 

1. 80lbs Self Cocking Cobra Crossbow

For those who love blades and guns, this crossbow makes a perfect blend of both, adding a little spice to the hunting and tagging fun world that the crossbows exist in. 

The Snake Eye Tactical Last Punch brand presents to you a small yet functional crossbow model, the Cobra Crossbow, that promises to meet your pocket standard and your expectations too. 

Although the 20 x 7.7 inches model is a tough made model constructed out of metal with a fiberglass body and limb, its small weight of 2.1 pounds makes it look quite tiny for what it can do. The Cobra crossbow is designed to shoot at 160 + Feet Per Second with a draw weight of 80 pounds allowing you to have a more precise and accurate shot with the perfect speed. 

The unique design of the product features it as a crossbreed between a pistol and a crossbow, making it easy to fire and use, especially on small games. To top it all up, the model has an auto safety cocking mechanism and includes 15 aluminum arrows. 

Pros

  • Small-sized and efficient
  • Features a durable construction of fiberglass and metal
  • Auto safety cocking mechanism
  • A unique crossbreed of pistol and crossbow design
  • Powerful impact capacity

Cons

  • No silencing mechanism
  • Only suitable for small games

Takeway

Considering the price of this model, it is a surprise that the Cobra crossbow has such an impactful power capacity of over 160 Feet per Second which is powerful enough to handle small games and even better for target practice. For those who like compact, this is no doubt a good choice, and as a crossbow cheapest in its category, it is a great choice.

2. Viking FX1-45 Recurve Crossbow

Compact, minimalistic in design, and looks yet highly powerful and functional beyond your wildest imagination. These are some of the things many users have to say about the Viking FX1-45 Recurve crossbow, and that is what we are here to see. 

The 30 x 26.5 inches model is a stunning and compact rhino camo-designed crossbow made from aluminum for durability and strength. Although it looks small with very little capacity, this small but mighty model packs the capacity of hitting 240 Feet Per Second at lightning speed with very little effort input. 

Designed to allow movement to standard accessory rails and also buffer tubes, Viking FX1-45 comes with standard Picatinny and mil-spec dimensions. The draw weight of 175 pounds can be easily returned thanks to the inclusion of a rope cocking device, making for a quick restart after every shot. 

Plus, the package unit also includes a KO 540 Buttstock and %10 Foregrip, which can be customized to individual user preferences, and not to forget the 4x 32 inches scope, a turn knob to lower the front of the scope for longer shot access, 4 16 inch bolts with target tips and removable thumb guards for a more comfortable maneuver and movement across the platforms. 

Pros

  • Minimalistic but highly functional design
  • Unique rhino camo look
  • Powerful speed capacity
  • Features user-customizable parts
  • Comfortable grip and movement

Cons

  • Durability not guaranteed

Takeway

People say the best things of life come in small packages, and that is exactly what the Viking FX1-45 is all about. Asides from the super convenient features it comes designed with, the entire package includes a wide variety of useful components that make using the crossbow a breeze with little time wasted and the best part of the time spent functioning optimally.

3. Spider 150 lb Compound Crossbow

The Spider compound crossbow is what many would describe in simple words as solid or sturdy and durable with a decent level of functionality, not to forget the primary ingredient, a very good deal. 

Manufactured by SAS, Spider compound crossbow is a strong aluminum barrel construction with high-tech fiberglass limbs and a black-coated finish that makes the idea of long-term target shooting or hunting a pleasing one. 

With its durable construction designed to withstand weather and usage, you also get to enjoy a powerful impact from the arrows that travel up to 250 Feet Per Second in a single shot thanks to its powerful 150 pounds draw weight that aids the speed capacity. 

To enhance accuracy, the Spider compound crossbow features a 4×32 inches scope that provides a clear view of your target to reduce wasted shots. Also, the unit package comes with a free pack of arrows alongside broad-head tips, a rope cocking device, and a quiver which are all very easy to put together. 

Pros

  • A solid construction of aluminum and fiberglass
  • Powerful impact speed and draw length
  • Perfect choice for target shooting and small scale hunting
  • Concise package components

Cons

  • The manufacturers could make use of a better long-range hunting scope for the model
  • Instructions for setting-up are not so detailed

Takeway

In the world of hunting and target practice, just as the shot speed and range are primary features to look out for, the material construction is a bonus as it guarantees that you do not have to change your crossbow at every hunting season or after a short period of use. With the Cobra compound crossbow, you get that guarantee and a little more reassurance on the functionality.

4. Raptor Compound Hunting Bow Kit

Hunters and hunting enthusiasts gather here to get the best that the crossbow market has to offer you in the form of a budget-friendly but highly functional model, the Predator Archery Raptor Compound Hunting kit. The perfect sturdy material construction with much more to offer. 

The high-quality aluminum-made compound bow is a highly adjustable model featuring a draw length range between 24.5 – 31 inches with a draw weight adjustment between 30-70 pounds for even distribution and a better shot. With a 30-inch axle-to-axle length and weighing a total of 3.6 pounds, the speed of this model is beyond powerful; it is perfect in every sense, including being a great turkey hunting crossbow

Asides from its impressive material construction and range, the product includes a split yoke tuning system for more proper adjustments and a better arrow flight, which is complemented with a 75% let-off feature. 

And of course, the total unit includes a TRUGLO EZ brush rest, 5 pin fiber optic sight with light and level, 4 arrow quivers, Allen wrench, 2-inch paper target, pre-installed Peep sight, and D-loop.  

Pros

  • Finely adjustable limbs for better target
  • Durable made in USA parts
  • Designed with enhanced features for accuracy
  • Easy to assemble
  • A great choice for target practice and beginners

Cons

  • Does not come with arrows
  • The optics could be improved

Takeway

As a crossbow cheaper than many on the market, you would think that it would have minimal functionalities, but to the surprise of many, it is beyond perfect when it comes to range and functionality, with many users complementing the left-handed model, accurate capacity as well as top-notch functionality, making it a great choice for the money.

5. BearX Intense Ready to Shoot Crossbow

Remarkably powerful, with great accuracy and, of course, affordable, the BearX Intense Crossbow is not only viable in the category of the best cheap crossbow but also a great choice in terms of functionality. 

In terms of its capacity, there is just more than enough for you to get with this 33 x 20.1 x 9.2 inches power pack of a crossbow weighing a total of 7.5 pounds but has a power capacity of 175 pounds with a lightning speed of 405 FPS. It might not look like much, but BearX Intense measures 10 inches wide when cocked and 14 inches wide when uncocked with a power stroke of 12.7 inches, allowing for a wider range while applying the right amount of force. 

Component-wise, the model is a sturdy and well-designed ready-to-hunt package that includes 3 BearX Truex arrows, 4-arrow quiver, illuminated scope, rail lube or string wax, as well as a cocking rope. The arrow is a 260 grain model with a 100-grain point, while the scope is a standard 4×32 scope. Plus, the length of the rope is adjustable, and the entire set is quite easy to set up.  

Also, considering the powerful impact it carries, BearX Intense is equipped with an anti-dry fire mechanism and a dual suppressor system explicitly designed to aid your hunting by preventing dry firing at every point as well as muffling the string draw process to reduce distraction. And while you might be worried about the dominant hand, the model features an ambidextrous hand orientation. 

Pros

  • Features a silencing system of dual string suppressor
  • Includes an anti-dry fire mechanism
  • Set up is easy
  • Ambidextrous hand orientation
  • Solid construction that is very much weather-resistant

Cons

  • A bit heavy due to material composition
  • Complaints of weak parts

Takeway

In search of something powerful that packs quite a punch and gets the job done despite the little money on it, BearX intense is the right choice. The model design equips any hunter, professional, or beginner with the capacity to hit the mark just right with very little input.

6. Barnett Explorer XP Crossbow

Barnett Archery is a brand name well known when it comes to all things hunting as a whole. Their crossbows and hunting gears have been in the market since 1952, and while creating innovative gears that meet standard requirements and functionality, they have not forgotten to consider the financial capacity of their loyal customers. 

The Explorer XP380 is a tad bit above the XP370 model, and there is no doubt why. Designed to shoot at a speed of 380 Feet Per Second with a kinetic energy of 122 ft per pound, the black strike camo crossbow promises a powerful impact. Dimension-wise, the 34.5 x 37 inches model weighs a total of 6 pounds, making it perfect as the best beginner crossbow for a more conservative and amateur functionality. 

This model is just as powerful as it is accurate, thanks to the Barnett patented TriggerTech frictionless release technology designed for a smooth release process affording you a more precise shot. To top the accuracy game, you have the red/green illuminated dot sight perfectly set up to help you hit your target at the right spot every time. 

Asides from the accuracy and powerful capacity, Barnett Archery adds an anti-dry-firing mechanism to the crossbow with the Soft Lok floating bristle arrow retainer. And of course, you get to enjoy your crossbow right after you get it as it comes mostly assembled and dons a single-bolt assembly making the entire set-up easier and faster. 

To top it all up, your ready-to-hunt unit includes 2 average length carbon bolts, a 4×32 mm multi reticle scope, lube wax, and of course, a lightweight side mount quiver. 

Pros

  • Super accurate with TriggerTech frictionless release technology and illuminated dots
  • Minimal assemblage required
  • Smooth firing
  • Soft Lok to prevent dry-firing
  • Powerful shot capacity

Cons

  • No silencing mechanism
  • Weak parts complaints

Takeway

As a star name in the Archery industry, Barnett Archery sure knows how to manufacture the best, and considering the flawless and impactful capacity of this model as well as the lightweight size and color appeal, the model is a great choice for anyone who knows what they are doing, and it’s no wonder the brand has its products amongst the best crossbow under 400 in 2021.

7. PSE Coalition Frontier KA Crossbow

Another very unique brand in the archery business that has a top-notch product is the PSE which offers a unique crossbow model with a very powerful and very quick capacity for, of course, very little money. 

Sufficiently enhanced and designed to respond with lightning-quick speed, the PSE Coalition Frontier KA Crossbow shoots its arrows at a whooping 380-370 Feet Per Second, utilizing a draw weight of about 190 pounds in total. 

Featuring a lightweight design, the crossbow measures 35 x 10 inches with an axle-to-axle measurement at 17.875 inches and an overall 6.9 pounds. 

While the design seems easy on the eyes with a sleek camo coating perfect for blending in, the crossbow makes little to no sound allowing you to target your prey and hit with little to no notice. For accuracy, the model sports a scope while the total package comes with all items necessary, including a quiver and bolts, which are all very easy to set up and use.  

Pros

  • Powerful with lightning-quick capacity
  • A silent mechanism allowing for a quiet hunting experience
  • Sleek and appealing camo design
  • Features a scope for enhanced accuracy
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • No anti-dry-firing mechanism in place
  • The scope could be better enhanced

Takeway

Considering the brand manufacturer, there is no doubt about the functionality behind the product as there are many others of the type, although, in a much higher budget plan, that is just as good. Considering the low budget angle, the PSE Coalition Frontier KA Crossbow performs excellently for its price tag, which goes to show that PSE is always ready to provide quality at all levels.

8. BearX Saga 420 Crossbow Package

For more professional hunters, especially those in the heavy hunting business, the BearX Saga 420 Crossbow is the ideal powerful hunting crossbow equipped to the brim from every angle and corner to make your hunting experience fun and fruitful, ending with the perfect game catch. 

The ambidextrous 32 x 12 inches model is quite easy to maneuver despite its 7.5 pounds weight. The model offers top-notch adjustability with an adjustable fore-end grip, rear adjustable stock, and an ambidextrous safety with a draw weight of 210 lbs and a draw length between 14-18 inches when cocked and uncocked. 

Speed-wise, this hunting wonder offers you the capacity to fire arrows at 420 Feet Per Second. This speed is achievable thanks to the incorporated fore-end grip design that eliminates hand torque in a bid to enhance accuracy when shooting. 

Asides from the improved balance, adjustability, and power capacity, the unit package comes with a variety of accessories to make your hunting experience much better. This includes 4 bolt quivers, a 4×32 scope with multiple crosshair reticles and a functioning eyepiece, 3 carbon bolts with field points, cocking rope, and rail lube/string wax.

Pros

  • Highly lethal with a powerful speed capacity
  • Great maneuver capacity
  • Perfect for hunting big games like turkey and deer
  • Good adjustability feature
  • Includes dual string suppressor system, a Picatinny style scope mount rail, and an anti-dry fire inhibitor

Cons

  • Fixing faulty parts involves a hectic process

Takeway

In a world where good hunting gear means a better capacity to get the game, the BearX Saga 420 model is your best bet. Designed with premium height and weight adjustability, you have the opportunity to fit the crossbow in a way that would make your shooting easier and more accurate, with a higher certainty of coming out a victor.

Buying Guide 

Crossbow types

Before you venture into the world of crossbows to determine the best crossbow on the market, irrespective of the price tag on it, you must consider the type of crossbow it is and how practical and useful it would be for you. 

Keep in mind that your crossbow could be one-handed, which is the pistol model that incorporates the design of a pistol and a crossbow into one, and the two-handed model, which is the most common variety used in hunting target shooting fishing, amongst others. 

Going off the hand configuration, in terms of types in itself, there are the recurve crossbows which are more of the basic ones with a basic design featuring replaceable strings and other parts that make usage quite easy whose tips curve away from the person shooting it. Plus, these types of crossbows are much lighter, easier to carry as well as cheaper too. 

The compound crossbows are quite similar to the recurve crossbows, with the main difference being that the compound crossbow has its string attached to the limbs or prod. This type features the likes of cams or pulleys for string drawing, it’s considered to be much heavier, particularly at the frontal region, its louder, and its strings are not replaceable. 

Finally, the reverse limb crossbow closes the chart of types of crossbows. As a recent technology innovation in the crossbow manufacturing arena, which isn’t very common amongst low-budget crossbow types, it is known to be an upgraded model compared to most types of crossbows as it features better balance, increased power stroke, reduced noise and vibration, and better power impact.    

Speed 

Crossbows with the fastest and highest speeds of 400 + Feet per Second are found within the higher up prices, of course, while the speed range for crossbows under $500 and $400 price tag has a lower speed range from 350 Feet per Second and below. 

This goes to show that the higher the price tag, the higher the speed, and the lower the price tag, the lower the speed. This, nonetheless, does not mean that the low-priced crossbows have weak speed. In fact, many professionals that are well versed in crossbow functionality know that the faster the arrow, the less likely it is to hit the target over a long distance. 

This invariably means that short-speed crossbows of 350 and below have a higher propensity to hit their targets at first impact, making them even more functional than their high-priced counterparts. 

Draw weight 

The term draw weight refers to the amount of pull required to flex the limbs of the crossbow into a firing position. When it comes to the draw weight, the higher the draw weight value, the faster the speed of the arrow. 

Another consideration regarding the draw weight is that the bigger the target in terms of size and weight, the higher the draw weight value required. But also note that very high draw weight values make it more difficult to use the bow; hence, to facilitate the draw weight, most crossbows feature cocking or loading tools that make the process simpler and more effective.

Size and weight 

When it comes down to the size and weight of a crossbow, know for sure that there is an endless variety of it all since there are countless brands and even more countless models out there. 

To get the crossbow with the perfect size for you, it is good to consider the purpose behind the crossbow use. This means that if, for instance, you wish to hunt a wild game that would require you to climb a tree or any geographical obstruction, a small-sized crossbow would be ideal as it wouldn’t delay your climbing nor strain you to the point that you would be too tired to operate it due to its enormous size. 

Also, in terms of weight, the major point of consideration would be the size of the game you are handling or hoping to handle. Large to medium games like deer, turkey, and the likes would be better caught with a large crossbow of at least 7 pounds, while smaller-sized games like rabbits, squirrels, and the likes would not need much bigger weight and can be squarely handled with a smaller sized crossbow. 

Safety 

Keeping in mind that crossbows are designed to function with power and speed, the danger that surrounds them is pretty high, hence, the need to handle them carefully, and also the need to ensure that they are designed with all the necessary safety precautions for safe and careful usage. 

To ensure safety, manufacturers design their crossbows with integrated safety devices that keep the triggers from releasing each time they are drawn. Another safety feature is the anti-dry-fire technology which prevents hunters from dry firing at every instance. 

Always take note of the safety precautions laid out by individual manufacturers, ensure that they are standard safety precautions and that they are not damaged in any way before use. Also, you can add more safety features to your crossbow to ensure that they are safe for you and for those around you at all times.

Noise 

By popular knowledge, the quietest crossbows are the recurves with parallel limbs which are better to hit your target while making the littlest amount of noise in the process. 

But if your crossbow does not come with a noise muffler, it is still alright, and you shouldn’t fret much. But if you are particular about it, you could go for the ones that feature it.  

Additional Features 

Crossbows come with mostly the same design and even functionality basis, but some often come with special and additional features that enhance their functionality in terms of accuracy, safety, and much more. 

Despite their low budgets, some crossbows below $400 still feature the likes of scopes, noise damper mechanisms, and vibration dampers for more efficiency. You could get a crossbow with more enhanced features for more enhanced performance and functionality. 

FAQs 

Are cheap crossbows any good? 

For beginners, the best affordable crossbow is an excellent choice as they allow for trial and error without the financial burden for it. Also, being cheap does not mean that they are not of good quality as many perform at the same standard as higher-priced crossbows despite their limited features. 

How long can a crossbow below $400 last? 

The lifespan of an average crossbow is between 3-5 years or 5-10 years, depending on the level of professionalism and usage. 

Whereas for cheaper crossbows below $400, the lifespan is shorter as they are not as sturdy or built of top-quality materials and might not last long through strenuous conditions beyond what they were built for. Considering all of that, the lifespan of a crossbow below $400 the lifespan would be maybe 2-4 years.

What crossbow type is best for a beginner? 

As beginners who are just trying to get the hang of crossbows, the best crossbows to get are the cheap ones as these are less strenuous to use and have fewer features for the new users to get a hang-on faster. 

Plus, cheaper crossbows, especially the recurve types, are perfect as they can be easily mended if there is any fault in them in the process of learning, and they are just as accurate and functional as the high rolling ones. 

Can crossbows under $400 be used to hunt bigger games? 

Yes, there are certain crossbows that, despite their price tags, are fully equipped to handle the bigger animals in the wood. 

If you get the right type of crossbow under $400 with the right features like the compound bows, you can actually hunt bigger games like turkey and deers. 

Parting Thoughts 

For hunting and target game enthusiasts that are out there in need of something not so heavy on the pocket that is still as functional as the bigger ones, then the best crossbow under 400 in 2021 are the best choices for you. Despite their small budgets, they are still as functional and efficient as their higher price range counterparts and could be great choices for you to enjoy good hunting and target practice experience without any issues.