Crossbow VS Compound Bow – Which is Best?

The bow and arrow are fascinating. The bow is the weapon of choice of heroes in movies, be them historical pieces or fantasy movies placed in a dystopian future. Archery competitions are some of the most popular features of international games, and television shows are full of bow wielding superheroes.

We can find some iteration of the bow in all major society’s history. It’s the first mechanical device that could launch a projectile faster than a person could throw by their hand. It is a phenomenal tool for use on horseback in mounted combat. The bow could not be beat for speed and accuracy until the revolving pistol.

Even though the modern hunter and target shooter have access to a limitless array of firearms, thousands of people prefer to use a bow. The question is, should you purchase a compound bow? Or is a crossbow better suited for your needs? To answer these questions, we have put together information highlighting the differences of each weapon with the goal of letting you decide which one will be perfect for you.

Crossbow

 Simple Questions to Help You Decide 

 There are some simple questions you can ask that may make it easier for you decide what style of bow is right for you. For example: 

·         Do you want to be a hunter? Or are you looking to target practice?

·         How much time do you have to dedicate to practicing your bow?

·         What is your budget?

·         Are crossbows legal to use for target practice or hunting in your state?

·         Do you have injuries or handicaps that could limit your ability to use a compound bow?

Differences Between a Compound Bow and a Crossbow 

 The differences between these weapons can be divided into the following categories:

·         Speed/energy

·         Drawing the bow

·         Power stroke

·         Accuracy

·         Draw weight

·         Size

The speed/energy of the bow is determined by the draw weight and power stroke. The power stroke defines the distance the bowstring travels from when it’s fully drawn to the rest position. For example, if you have a compound bow that has a 30 in the draw length with a 7 inch brace height, you get a 23 inch power stroke. The longer the power stroke, the faster an arrow will fly from a bow with the same poundage. A 28 inch draw will not shoot as far as a 30 inch draw because the 30 inch draw has the longer power stroke.

To increase the power stroke of a crossbow, you have to increase its length, which makes the crossbow heavier. However, you can increase the power stroke of a compound bow by changing a module to make the draw length longer.

Crossbows have a higher draw weight, with 150 pounds being the average. Your average compound bow will have a draw weight of between 35 and 70 pounds. This allows them to generate more speed and energy, although they have a shorter power stroke. Check out this video to get a good idea of how a crossbow fares versus a compound bow.

Since crossbows have a high poundage, it’s troublesome to draw the bow. It takes a ton of muscle power. Talking about the ease of use of a crossbow, Field & Stream commented, “Crossbows are deadlier. Period.” The average crossbow can shoot a 400 grain bolt at up to 400 FPS. By comparison, a 60 pound compound bow can shoot a 364 grain arrow at around 289 FPS. 

Conversely, you can use a crank, which is cumbersome and can take up to half a minute to draw and lock the bow between shots. You do not have the same problems with compound bows. Compound bows are quiet and are easier to draw.

However, crossbows can be used by disabled individuals who may not shoot a bow and arrow while standing. If you have problems with your joints, you may not be able to use a compound bow.

 Which Bow Allows for More Accurate Shooting? 

 The answer to this question is subjective. If you have more experience with a compound bow, then, obviously, you will shoot more accurately with a compound bow. However, the consensus is that crossbows are easier to shoot because they help users aim better. Crossbows are thought to have an easier learning curve because they offer a design that’s easy to grasp and handle.

 Which Bow Is Easier for Hunting? 

 As any experienced hunter knows, carrying a bow through the woods while looking for prey can get heavy after a while. Compound bows are easier to carry while hunting. However, you cannot manage them as effectively as you can a crossbow. It’s important to practice with the bow you will use and understand how to carry it while walking through the woods.

 Does a Crossbow Produce Better Results While Hunting? 

 This is a question that is hotly contested. Any honest hunter must agree that there are pros and cons to using compound bows and crossbows. It comes down to your preference. According to bowhunter-ed, when it comes to range and power, crossbows are equivalent to a long bow or compound bow that has around half the crossbow’s draw weight. 

A crossbow may be better for you if:

·         An injury prevents you from using a compound bow

·         You want to use a bow whether you are standing, kneeling, or sitting

·         You want to teach kids how to use a crossbow because it’s easy to learn

·         You need a telescopic scope on your crossbow because you have poor eyesight

A compound bow may be right for you if:

·         You want to participate in archery tournaments using a bow that requires skill

·         You have grown up using a recurve or compound bow

·         You appreciate the challenge of hunting with a bow and want to learn how to shoot a compound bow

One factor to consider before purchasing a crossbow or a compound bow is that some states put limitations on when and how you can use your crossbow. You may spend a lot of money on a nice crossbow and realize that you can only use it for a few weeks out of the year.

Conversely, compound bows require more maintenance, are more difficult to restring, and require more commitment to learn than a crossbow. Compound bows require maintenance and a commitment to the sport.

Regardless of if you purchase a crossbow a compound bow, the quality of the bow matters. Cheaper bows will break. This can ruin your hunt. In the worst case scenario, it can lead to personal injury. No matter which option you choose, get something of quality.

So which one is better? It depends on your preference and your physical ability. A crossbow will work well if you have an injury that limits mobility. Crossbows are easier to learn. However, you will be limited on when and how you can use a crossbow. Compound bows require more commitment to learn, but they are the option that offers a higher return for the money you have invested.

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The Best Laser Rangefinder for Bow Hunting (Top 6 you will love)

A laser rangefinder is a nifty little tool that I use to correctly read the true distance of my game from my treestand or ground blind. This is especially important if I’m aiming at targets at farther distances, since it’s usually harder to make accurate shots without some sort of visual aid.

There are a lot of different rangefinders out there, but are all of them reliable? Here are my top 6 best laser rangefinders for bow hunting, plus some quick tips on how to pick the right model for you.

More…

Best Laser Rangefinders Comparison Table

Laser Rangefinder

Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder with Clear Shot

Editor’s Pick

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser RangefinderBushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam_202208TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder - 6x24 Laser Range Finder for Hunting with Speed, Scan and...Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Laser RangefinderLeupold RX-850i TBR with DNA Digital Laser Rangefinder, Black/Grey

Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11

Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder

Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders

Leupold RX-850i TBR

Our Rating

Price

Check current PriceCheck current PriceCheck current PriceCheck current PriceCheck current PriceCheck current Price

Magnification

4x

6x

4x

6x

6x

6x

Max Range

850 yd

550 yd

600 yd

540 yd

1000 yd

850 yd

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST – Details

Quick NavigationBest Laser Rangefinders Comparison TableHow to Pick the Right Laser Rangefinder for Bow HuntingLaser Rangefinder for Bow Hunting Reviews1. Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC Review2. Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder Review3. Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition Review4. TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder Review5. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders Review6. Leupold RX-850i TBR ReviewThe Best Laser Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

How to Pick the Right Laser Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

While choosing the right laser rangefinder for your next bow hunt may sound tricky, you actually just need to remember five key features when making your decision:

Accuracy. Because you will use the rangefinder in the hunting grounds, you need to get a model that can accurately compute the true distance and angle of your target from you.

I can personally attest that it is not easy aiming at a deer or turkey that is almost directly below me while I’m up in a treestand. But with the help of an accurate laser rangefinder, I can increase my chances of getting a good shot it, even with difficult angles.

Reticles. A reticle is an aiming point (sometimes a circle) you see when you peek into your laser rangefinder. For me, a good rangefinder has a reticle that I can easily see, no matter what my hunting environment is.

While some rangefinders have reticles that are hard to see in dark backgrounds, others have aiming points that are too bright. Having either makes it harder for me to aim accurately at my target. Usually I look for a model that has a black reticle so I can easily see it in daylight, but also has a backlighting feature so that I can still see it in low-light settings.

Priority Mode. Another important feature of a laser rangefinder for bow hunting is its last-target priority mode. This feature allows you to get the correct distance of your target, since the rangefinder will report the distance of the farthest object in its line of view.

For example, if I aim at a whitetail that is 100 yards away, my rangefinder will ignore all the clutter that is in between me and the deer (e.g., branches, large leaves, low-lying fruits). Instead, it will prioritize the last target in its line of sight, which in this case is the whitetail I’m aiming at.

Speed of Scan. Chances are, you may need to use your laser rangefinder to aim at a moving target. When this happens, you need a reliable unit that can scan that turkey or whitetail at the quickest time possible.

As a bow hunter, I would go for a model that not only scans targets at the shortest possible time, but also show the target accurately through its lens. After all, there isn’t really any point of scanning the position of that turkey in less than 10 seconds if I can’t see its vital points, right?

Target Sensitivity. While you will be using your rangefinder to aim at targets from a distance, there may also come a time where you need to aim at something from less than 10 yards. If this happens, you will need a rangefinder that can precisely detect your target at such close range.

I recommend going for a model that has precise close-target sensitivity, with at most 5x or 6x magnification. This helps improve focus on closer targets, especially those in cluttered hunting environments.

Laser Rangefinder for Bow Hunting Reviews

1. Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC Review

Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder with Clear Shot
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Class 1 laser with <0.5mW average power output

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

Top of my list for the best laser rangefinders for bow hunting is the Bushnell 202442, also known as The Truth Laser Rangefinder. I find that there is something beautiful and elegant in its design, which is just icing on the cake. What I really like about this model is its features and functionality that makes my job as a bow hunter a whole lot easier.

For one thing, it has the innovative ClearShot technology, which provides instant feedback on my shots. I also don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting branches and other obstacles between me and my game, because I can calibrate my rangefinder so that it corresponds with my bow’s speed via its sight system.

For a reasonable price, this Bushnell model can read distances of up to 850 yards clearly. All these can be viewed thru its very bright lens, which surprised me because the unit is built so small and compact.

The main thing I want Bushnell to improve for this model is that sometimes I have to restart the unit for it to range properly. I also sometimes hear a faint buzzing sound when I’m using it, but not enough to alert a deer or turkey I’m targeting.

PROS

  • Features advanced ClearShot technology for instant shot feedback
  • Ranges and reads distances of up to 850 yards
  • Easy to operate
  • With bright lense and an easy-to-view display
  • Small, compact, and very lightweight
  • Reasonable mid-range price

CONS

  • Sometimes needs restarting to range properly
  • Emits a soft buzzing sound

2. Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder Review

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
  • At 3.6"x2.9"x1.5" in size, the ACULON Rangefinder is Nikon's most compact laser rangefinder,...
  • An uncluttered, easy-to-read screen displays ranges in 1-meter/yard intervals;Eye Relief :18...
  • Class 1 laser product, power output not exceeding .0975 milliwats

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

Read Our Full Review

3. Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition Review

Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam_202208
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity; 100 percent quality materials used and tested...
  • beautifully designed with durability Built to Last: Simple single button operation in a...
  • Displays exact distance to target from 10 to 600 yard with +/ 1 yard accuracy

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

If you’re looking for an alternative rangefinder, then I recommend another Bushnell product: the Bushnell 202208, also called its Bone Collection Edition Rangefinder. While it may not have as many cool features as the other Bushnell model in this list, I find that it works effectively for regular bow hunting sprees.

I think my favorite feature of Bushnell 202208 is its camo design. I find that it’s easier to hide it in plain sight since it blends with what is usually found in hunting grounds. This camo housing is also weather resistant, so I don’t have to worry about ruining it when a sudden drizzle happens while I’m in the field.

I find this Bushnell model very convenient to use, featuring a simple one-one button operation for easy distance ranging. I think its optics clear and easy to see view, and with a 4x magnification, it’s good for ranging close-distance game.

I did find some issue ranging small targets past 200 yards, especially in low-light settings. And perhaps because it’s not as expensive as other brands, it might not be as hardy as them. Still, for the price you’re paying, I’d say you’re getting a pretty good deal.

PROS

  • With an accuracy of +/- 1 yard and 4x magnification
  • Features clear optics for easier viewing
  • With a simple one-button operation
  • Features a good camo design
  • Comes with weather resistant housing
  • Comes with a handy and durable case
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • Readings on smaller targets sometimes get less accurate over 200 yards
  • Not as durable as more expensive brands
  • LCD display is harder to view in low-light settings

4. TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder Review

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder - 6x24 Laser Range Finder for Hunting with Speed, Scan and...
  • HUNTING LASER RANGEFINDER; Tired of cheap rangefinders with short ranges of measurement? Our...
  • SPEED, SCAN and HUNT TECHNOLOGY; Provides fast measurement with +/- 1 yard accuracy.
  • THROUGH THE LENS DISPLAY; Premium, ultra clear, multilayered optics with easy read, through the...

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

If you’re a bit low on budget but you still want a reliable laser rangefinder, then I think the TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder may be a good fit for you. For a very budget-friendly price, you’ll reap the benefits that other efficient but more pricey rangefinders may offer.

For instance, it can provide fast measurements with +/-1 yard accuracy, all thanks to its speed, scan, and hunt technology. It also features multi-layered optics that are super clear and easy to read. I find it really convenient to check my measurements because of its big display.

I also like that it’s portable and lightweight, especially since it’s made with a durable dust- and water-resistant body. Additional bonuses are the free lanyard and casing, so it’s easy to bring it along during my hunts.

My main issue with this rangefinder is that I can’t seem to read targets clearly from long-range distances. I noticed that the farther my target is, the less accurate its readings become. Also, the batteries do not last as long as other premium brands.

PROS

  • Provides fast measurements with +/-1 yard accuracy
  • Comes with super clear multi-layered optics that are easy to read
  • Made with a dust- and water-resistant body
  • Lightweight, portable, and durable
  • Comes with a case and lanyard
  • Very cheap and affordable

CONS

  • Reads less accurately on long-distance targets, especially on small targets
  • Batteries drain fast

5. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders Review

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Laser Rangefinder
  • The Ranger 1000 rangefinder is easy to use and features a clean, illuminated display and highly...
  • The primary HCD mode displays an angle compensated distance that is ideal for the majority of...
  • A scan feature gives continuous range readings as you pan across a landscape or track a moving...

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

If you don’t mind spending extra on a premium item, then I suggest checking out the Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder. It’s more expensive compared to other laser rangefinders, but it makes up for it with its cool features.

For me, its best feature its advanced LOS mode, because it gives me the option to calculate long-distance, high-angle shots with increased precision. It also has a primary HCD mode, which displays distances at a compensated angle, which most hunters prefer.

I also love its innovative scan feature, which gives me continuous range readings as I pan my rangefinder across a landscape or as I track and follow a moving whitetail or turkey. And did I mention it has three brightness settings? These allow me to see the display no matter what the light condition is in my hunting ground.

Other cool features of the Vortex Optics Rangefinder include its multi-coated lenses, a textured rubber armor for a no-slip grip, and waterproof and fogproof lenses that allow me to see through in harsh weather conditions.

Sadly, I find that this model takes too long to read long distances so there’s always a chance my target has moved on before I get a good bead on it. I’m also a bit miffed that it takes me three clicks to get one reading.

PROS

  • Features a basic HCD mode and an advanced LOS mode for long-distance, high-angle shots
  • Has an innovative scan feature for continuous range reading
  • Features three brightness settings
  • Comes with multi-coated lenses that are fogproof and waterproof
  • Made with a no-slip textured rubber casing

CONS

  • Expensive compared to other brands
  • Takes longer to get readings for long-distance targets
  • Requires three clicks to get one reading

6. Leupold RX-850i TBR Review

Leupold RX-850i TBR with DNA Digital Laser Rangefinder, Black/Grey
  • 100% waterproof and fog proof: absolute waterproof and fog proof integrity – each is ready...
  • 6x magnification gives you plenty of power while maintaining a wide field of view to track game...
  • The durable aluminum housing is shrouded in a rubber armor coating that provides a positive...

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

Often hunt on humid or rainy hunting grounds? Then you’ll probably enjoy using the Leupold RX-850i TBR Rangefinder. It is 100 percent waterproof and fog proof, so you won’t have to worry about looking into a display with moist in the lenses, or having your unit short circuit because it got wet.

Aside from that, this Leupold model features a 6x magnification, which I find works well in reading both short-range targets and long-range ones. Its built-in inclinometer allows me to calculate the ballistic range of my target, which makes it easier to make my shots.

I also love its hardy and durable aluminum casing. But the rubber armor coating is what really makes me happy, since I can easily grip it without worrying that it would slip from my hand. Another bonus is that it comes with a CR2 lithium camera battery, so you could immediately use it as soon as you remove it from its box.

What I don’t like about this model is that I think the reticle is too heavy. This makes it harder for me to view smaller targets and pinpoint their vital points well. The display sometimes appears dim, too, especially in partially covered forest settings.

PROS

  • 100 percent waterproof and fog proof
  • Features a 6x magnification to accurately read short-distance and long-distance targets
  • Comes with a built-in inclinometer with TBR
  • Strong and durable aluminum casing with a rubber armor coating
  • Comes with a CR2 lithium camera battery
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • Display might appear dim on some weather conditions
  • Reticle is a bit heavy and might partially cover smaller targets

The Best Laser Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder with Clear Shot
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Class 1 laser with <0.5mW average power output

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

My clear favorite is the Bushnell 202442 Rangefinder. I love its ClearShot technology because I can quickly get feedback for my shots. I can easily read targets that are up to 850 yards away, and view them in its large and clear display. Elegant and beautiful, the Truth Laser Rangefinder comes at a very reasonable price for the features it’s offering.

Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam_202208
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity; 100 percent quality materials used and tested...
  • beautifully designed with durability Built to Last: Simple single button operation in a...
  • Displays exact distance to target from 10 to 600 yard with +/ 1 yard accuracy

Last update on 2020-04-01 PST - Details

My other favorite is another Bushnell product: the Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition Laser Rangefinder. It has an accuracy of +/- one yard, has 4x magnification perfect for short-range distance readings, and uses a simple one-button operation. Plus its camo design allows it to blend well in different hunting areas.

  • Updated April 7, 2019
  • GEAR

What are the Best Turkey Calls for Beginners? (Here are 4 great calls you’ll love!)

I still remember getting my first turkey call. I was new to bow hunting back then and didn’t know much about getting the right equipment. Because I bought something too complicated to use, I ended up having a hard time during my hunting trip.

Are you a new turkey hunter? Are you looking for the right turkey call for an upcoming hunting trip? Today I’ll be explaining the differences between the different types of turkey calls for new hunters. Then I’ll give a roundup of what I think are the best turkey calls for beginners.

Ready? Read on!

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  • Updated March 18, 2018
  • GEAR

Crossbow vs Gun – What Makes The Best Survival Weapon?

We all know about the AMC’s post-apocalypse TV series - The Walking Dead - which hits its 8th season on October this year (2017).

One thing we’ve all learned from this popular show is the power of a crossbow in a doomsday scenario…I’m talking about Daryl Dixon's crossbow which has saved him and his fellow survivalists right from the beginning of the show.

And get this from me:

The show has influenced the preppers’ choice of a survival weapon, with a handful opting for the crossbow…yet a handful still swears to guns and cases of ammunition.

The question is:

How does a crossbow compare to a gun in a SHTF situation?

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Archery For Women – Key Things You Need To Know

Women archers - a community whose numbers has grown in the recent years.

I believe that the ever-rising women’s interest in archery and bowhunting could have been fuelled by the emergence of heroine archers like Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games TV Show, or the legendary horsewomen archers (the Amazons), or simply due to the increased popularity of the bow and arrow.

However, I’ve learned that there’s still a good number of females who want to join this sport or want to better their archery skills but don’t know where to start.

I, therefore, came up with this info-rich article to give you answers to everything you need to know about archery for women.

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FOUR Bowhunting Tips for More Whitetail Success

The last hunting season came, you ventured into the woods…and even with your high expectations, you didn’t reach the number of whitetails you’ve planned to put in your freezer.

Truly sad.

As the next season approaches, I’m sure you’ve set a new goal- the number of whitetails you want to take home.

BUT…you might get disappointed again because you’ll probably repeat the same tactics you used last time.

What if you put in new, proven tactics? Truly, this will raise your game (and flood your freezer with whitetails).

That being said, I’ll share with you 4 Powerful tips below that will help you bag more deer in the next season.

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Top Tips on How to Scout for Deer – Check Them Out Now!

Whether you’re a new bow hunter or you’re already a pro, you need to prepare before you set out to the field come hunting season. One essential preparation you need to do is scout for deer and check out the woods you’re planning to hunt in.

Do you know how to scout for deer? If you’re looking for tried and tested tips for a successful deer scout, then read on.

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Best 7 Early Season Deer Hunting Tips You Need to Know

While many bow hunters prefer to hunt during the rut, starting to hunt early in the season has its advantages, too. Not only will you get the first pick of bucks, you’re less likely to have competition as well.

If you wish to start early with your whitetail hunting, these seven early season deer hunting tips could help you make the most of your hunting trip.

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HOW TO HUNT DEER WITH A BOW: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

It’s bow hunting season once again! Whether you’re heading off to a hunting site to catch that perfect buck or you’re just interested in the sport, now’s the perfect time to read up on this exciting activity!

Even seasoned bow hunters need to review their knowledge of bow hunting every once in a while. What tools and equipment should you use? What is the best strategy to attract some bucks? How do you properly butcher a deer?

This handy guide gives you a comprehensive view of how to hunt deer with a bow. Read up, learn more, and immerse yourself in the fun and challenging world of bow hunting!

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Bow Hunting Safety Tips: Top 5 Easy Things You Need to Remember

Bow hunting could be an exciting and challenging hobby, but it also poses risks if you are not careful. Accidents could easily happen to a bow hunter who does not pay attention to his weapon and surroundings.

Over the years I’ve compiled a list of bow hunting safety tips that have helped me and other bow hunting colleagues stay safe during shooting practice and actual shooting in the field. I’m sharing them today with the hope that they might help you stay safe and make the most of your bow hunting experience.

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