Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just someone who enjoys some quiet target practice in the backyard, a pistol style crossbow can add a new dimension of portability and fun to your archery repertoire. Despite their diminutive size, the best crossbow pistol can pack quite a punch even at considerable range, and of course, should never be handled like toys. Depending on what you plan to use your pistol crossbow for there are several things to look out for.
Most of the best crossbow pistols on this list come with arrows included, some as few as three while others have 15 or more. The type of arrows is also important. For those planning on using the bow mostly for target practice plastic arrows with metal tips are fine, however, those planning to use the bow for small game hunting should look for ones that include aluminum bolts that are much more durable and offer greater penetration.
The velocity of the arrows is very important depending on how far from your target you want to be. The standard pistol crossbow fires at about 165 feet per second, which is more than enough to handle small game at 20 feet or more, but higher velocities will offer greater range.
For those planning to use their pistol crossbow for hunting adjustable sights or even a scope might be appropriate. Many of the crossbows on this list feature adjustable sights and two come with scopes. While a scope might be overkill for someone just shooting targets at 20 feet or less, it comes in handy while hunting hares or vermin where every shot counts.
Best Crossbow Pistol Reviews
Let’s now take a look at ten of the best crossbow pistol reviews. These are ten of the best that you can buy on amazon today.
Cobra Self Cocking Pistol Tactical Crossbow
The first pistol crossbow in our lineup is the Cobra System self-cocking tactical crossbow. This crossbow features an 80-pound draw strength with a unique self-cocking mechanism that allows for faster and easier reloading. The rear end of the crossbow has a pivot point where it connects to the body of the device and is used for drawing and cocking the string. This is much faster and offers much more leverage than just grabbing the string by hand and pulling it back. The crossbow also comes with three aluminum arrows that have a metal tip and three fins at the back.
The Cobra System pistol crossbow fires the aluminum arrows at 165 feet per second and is ideal for hunting small game or easy target practice. This model is constructed from a plastic body with compressed molded fiberglass for the actual arms of the bow. While this isn’t the most compact pistol crossbow the self-cocking mechanism gives it a much shorter reload time and puts much less strain on the user, making long target practice sessions much easier.
SAS Pistol Crossbow
Up next in our roundup is the SAS pistol crossbow. This bow boasts an aluminum construction with an all-metal bow at the front. This crossbow features a similar self-cocking break action mechanism as the Cobra Systems bow we just looked at and also has an 80-pound draw weight. This one, however, fires the included arrows slightly slower at only 160 feet per second. This slight difference in speed does not reduce this model to a simple toy, however, as the metal bolts included will still pierce small game very easily.
This crossbow is not to be taken lightly and comes with 27 bolts to keep target practice going for a long while before needing to retrieve the bolts from down range. The crossbow requires some construction and is best assembled with an extra set of hands around. This model also boasts an adjustable rear ball sight as well as an adjustable front sight to get the bolts properly zeroed in.
BOLT Pitbull Crossbow
The Pitbull crossbow from BOLT is the first compound crossbow in our list with a seemingly paltry draw weight of only 28 pounds. Thanks to the pulleys on the limbs of the bow, however, this results in a bolt velocity of 150 feet per second. The Pitbull crossbow comes equipped with adjustable rear sights but also features a Picatinny rail on the top for mounting many different sites such as a red dot or even a scope.
This pistol crossbow comes with three plastic bolts that have a metal tip and can easily penetrate soft targets but might break somewhat easily if shot into a hard target or wood. The body of the crossbow is made of a strong plastic while the arms at the front are constructed of metal. All the assembly that is required is to screw the metal bow onto the front of the plastic body and string the bow. The BOLT crossbows also come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty that covers all parts of the crossbow. This model also features a charging handle at the back of the body of the crossbow for quick and easy reloads.
iGlow Pistol Crossbow
The iGlow pistol crossbow is not the most compact of the pistol crossbows in our lineup but does come with some very useful features. It is an 80-pound draw strength bow with a bolt speed of over 160 feet per second and features a charging handle at the back as well as a metal ring at the front for putting your foot through in order to draw the string back. Of course, it goes without saying that you put the bolt into the crossbow after using the charging handle so as to not literally shoot yourself in the foot.
This particular crossbow comes with an extra string as well as 15 arrows that have a PVC body and a metal tip. The bottom of the crossbow has a quiver with slots that you can place the arrows into for easy carrying and access when needed. The durable body of the iGlow is made of aluminum while the wide limbs of the bow are constructed of fiberglass.
BOLT Seeker Crossbow
The Seeker is certainly one of the most tactical looking pistols in our roundup with it’s all black matte plastic construction looking very sleek and the foregrip offering both more stable aim as well as an extra tactical aesthetic. This crossbow has a short stock that can be used to improve aiming but is also the cocking mechanism. The bow has an 80-pound draw strength and has a bolt velocity of 200 feet per second. Once cocked the safety on the crossbow is automatically activated and should be turned off only after a bolt has been loaded into the pistol as dry firing can cause damage to the device.
Construction is easy and only requires the user to loosen one screw to string the bow, then tighten it back up to secure the bow to the front of the pistol. This model comes with three aluminum bolts and is intended for small game use more than target practice with its high level of accuracy and high bolt speed. Like the other BOLT brand pistol crossbows on our list, this one comes with a one year warranty.
Wizard Archery Hunting Crossbow
For those looking for a pistol crossbow capable of taking longer range shots and handling slightly larger game than varmints and birds, the Wizard Archery hunting crossbow is a great option. The crossbow is much longer than many of the other pistol models on this list but is designed with a powerful 150-pound draw weight. There is no self-cocking mechanism of charging handle on this crossbow, however, and the only assistance given to the user in charging the bow is the metal loop on the front that you can put a foot through to hold down the bow and use both hands to draw the string back.
This particular crossbow comes with 8 bolts and it is recommended to also have a stringer to actually string the device, meaning this is intended for more serious hunters and crossbow users. This crossbow does, however, come with a 4×20 scope allowing for the user to make much more long-range shots and take full advantage of the high velocity this crossbow has to offer.
The King’s Archery crossbow pistol is the second one in our roundup that includes a scope, however, the actual range of this particular model is slightly less ample. The bow has a draw strength of 80 pounds and is designed with a break action self-cocking mechanism that allows for easy reloads. Simply taking the back end of the crossbow with one hand and the handle on the front with the other and pulling down on each will allow you to draw the string back with plenty of leverage.
The scope is removable and there are fixed sights at the front of the pistol as well for shorter range target practice or small game hunting. This kit comes with 15 arrows in total, 3 aluminum bolts which are more for hunting, and 12 colored PVC bolts with metal tips that are more geared towards target practice. The bow itself is made of durable fiberglass and include two strings in case one frays or wears out. This particular crossbow pistol, however, is only compatible with 2 vaned arrows making the shots slightly less accurate.
Prophecy Pistol Crossbow
For those looking for an aesthetically pleasing pistol crossbow the Prophecy crossbow from Cobra Systems is a great choice. It features the same break action self-cocking mechanism of other Cobra System crossbow pistols but is trimmed with a very nice wooden finish that is very reminiscent of a rifle’s stock. The bow has an 80-pound draw weight and fires arrows at up to 165 feet per second with its 6-4/5″ stroke.
The bow also comes with adjustable front and rear sights that can be sighted in before hunting for a greater degree of accuracy in the field. The stock is not real wood but instead os crafter of durable and light aluminum, but treated to look and even feel like real wood. This particular crossbow does not come with any bolts, so it’s important to purchase these separately if you don’t already own some. It does, however, come with a string and two end caps.
Rogue Aluminum Pistol Crossbow
Next in our roundup is the Rogue pistol crossbow, which has a number of features that are useful while hunting or on the go. The frame is made of aluminum and the botom of the pistol features a built in quiver to hold up to five arrows when not in use. The arrows are held perpendicular to the bow itself adding considerable width to the frame, but it is still not wider than the limbs of the bow itself when full of arrows. This crossbow has a charging handle at the back and a loop at the front for holding the bow down while charging it.
It comes with 3 arrows and is also designed with an automatic safety mechanism that engages the safety as soon as the charging handle is pulled back. The safety then needs to be manually disengaged after a bolt is loaded before the crossbow can be fired. The bow has an 80-pound draw weight and fires arrows at about 160 feet per second.
Firefield Stinger Pistol Crossbow
The final entry on our best crossbow pistol list is the Firefield stinger, a wide crossbow with an impressive range. The crossbow fires bolts at over 175 feet per second and features the familiar break action self-cocking mechanism that is common in many pistol crossbows. This model also features an automatic safety which engages itself once the crossbow is drawn back and must be disengaged by the user. The rear sight has windage adjustment as well as click-adjusted range settings while the front post is fixed in place.
The crossbow comes with three aluminum arrows that are steel tipped, which are well suited to either target practice or hunting, and feature a two vein design. Again, three vein arrows are not compatible with this particular crossbow pistol which will hamper accuracy at range somewhat.