What Are The Two Most Common Types of Crossbows?


Crossbows have been around with us for many centuries. Over the span of many centuries, the design of the crossbows has evolved with the invention of new technologies. Crossbows are generally used for hunting purposes. Many hunter recruiters also recruit people by testing their skills with the crossbows. Crossbows can also be used to pass leisure time, for learning as well as for several sports. They were also used in battlefield and wars. Crossbows are generally recognized as the advanced form of bows and arrows, with similar functioning as that of guns without causing any negative impact on the environment. While having these aspects from this advanced form of bows, you might be thinking what are the two most common types of crossbows and which one to select.

As we have spoken earlier, crossbows aren’t only of a single type. Over the period of time, many different forms of crossbows have been developed. However, there are two major types of crossbows that are well-recognized among every people having interest in crossbows. Getting information about these two types of crossbows is highly essential if you are thinking about purchasing a crossbow for the first time.

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What is a Crossbow?

What Are The Two Most Common Types of CrossbowsA crossbow is a combination of bow and arrows. It features an architecture similar to that of a bow which is placed on a frame called “stock” which keeps the bow loaded in the crossbow every time and shoots arrow-like objects called “bolts”, “quarrels” or simply “arrows” which are smaller in size while comparing with the traditional arrows. Bolts can be of different weight, and their weight depends upon where they are used. If the weight of bolts to be used in a crossbow are similar, the results produced by the crossbow while firing the bolts can be highly accurate. Generally, most crossbow manufacturers provide consistent bolts for using in their crossbows.

A crossbow can be used by pulling back its lever to the position of the bow and then release it to fire the bolts and quarrels mechanically. The mechanism used in shooting the bolts is highly accurate while comparing with the traditional bows and arrows. There are several crossbows which can shoot up to the distance of around 450 meters. However, for hunting purposes, crossbows that can shoot up to 100 meters can be better. Crossbows can be used for hunting as well as in wars. Many shooting competitions are also based on crossbows. You can use crossbows for any other purposes such as passing leisure time, learning, etc.


What Are The Two Most Common Types of Crossbows!

There are many different types of crossbows you can find in the crossbow marketplace. Many new forms of crossbows have evolved with the development in the field of technology. Every type of crossbows has their own pros along with downsides. However, there are mainly two types of crossbows that you really need to know about before purchasing a crossbow. Today, we will be looking at detailed information regarding both types of the crossbows along with the reviews of one of the best crossbows of both types.


Comparison Between Compound and Recurve Crossbows

FeaturesCompound CrossbowRecurve Crossbow
String ReplacementDifficultEasy
DurabilityHighly durableDurable
CostExpensiveComparatively Cheap
Noise ProductionLessHigh
DecockingNo decocking systemEasy decocking by removing the arrow


Compound Crossbow

Barnett Whitetail Crossbow 01A compound crossbow consists of a complex architecture which can be difficult for you to assemble while using it for the first time. However, it is a lot easier to shoot with this type of crossbow. It uses cams or wheels to pull off the string which helps in the let-off. The let-off is a reduction in draw weight which happens when the cams or wheels are being used. The loaded energy in the crossbow can get higher with the help of the let-off. Due to this, the compound crossbow can shoot with a high velocity. The cams or wheels are connected with the shorter limb assembly in a compound crossbow which enables the crossbow to be able to hunt at tight locations.


It is also a durable type of crossbow thanks to the usage of synthetic material in its architecture. The compact design of this kind of crossbow can help in getting highly accurate results and can be used at any period of time without any problems. Due to the shorter draw length of this crossbow, it can be easier to use while hunting. The amount of vibration produced by this crossbow is also very low and hence it can be a great choice for hunters.


One downside about this crossbow is that it can feel heavier due to the working mechanism being based at the front side. Since there are a lot of parts in its complex design, it can cost a lot for its maintenance and you can have a hard time repairing this crossbow. The accuracy can also be lower when this crossbow is dropped from time to time. Below we have discussed the best compound crossbow for the money:

CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package, Camouflage
811 Reviews
CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package, Camouflage
  • 370-Feet per second firing Velocity, 185-pound draw weight
  • Fully Adjustable, tactical stock and forearm. Stock style: ambidextrous
  • Lightweight & durable CNC Machined aluminum rail with shoot through riser
  • Integrated String suppressors for a quiet, vibration-free shot
  • Quad limbs with precision CNC Machined Cam System. Stock material-Composite/Aluminum


CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package

Centerpoint 370 01The CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow is one of the best compound crossbows available out there. It is also available at a very affordable price and you can get a lot more out of the crossbow. The crossbow can feel heavier than the other crossbows of the present time, but it can shoot with a very high velocity of over 370 FPS with a draw weight of 185 pounds. It is also designed in a simple way with compact architecture. It features a basic rope cocking device which makes it easier for you to cock the crossbow. These features are already a lot more you can get for such an affordable price tag.

The crossbow also features a 4×32 scope which helps you to shoot with higher accuracy. Along with that, a tactical stock and forearm are present in the crossbow with full customization options that lets you customize the crossbow in any way you like. With the overall CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow package, you will get all the above features as well as a 3-pack carbon bolt of 20-inch, a 4-arrow quiver, and a shoulder sling. With its advanced architecture and a draw weight of 185 pounds, it can be a tough task for you to cock the crossbow for the first time, but with the passing of time, things would turn a lot easier. The simple rope cocking device lets you use the crossbow easily.

You are also able to pull back the string included in this crossbow easily without having any difficulties. The customer support team for this crossbow also features friendly people who can help you with everything from cocking to customization of the crossbow. CenterPoint has also included a 5-year warranty period along with crossbow package.

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Features We Loved

  • It can shoot with very high velocity.
  • It features an efficient safety mechanism which prevents the crossbow from firing when no bolt is loaded.
  • It is highly affordable.

We Didn't Like

  • It can be difficult to assemble for the first time.
  • The user manual doesn’t provide proper instructions.

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Recurve Crossbow

 Recurve CrossbowOn the other hand, a recurve crossbow features a rather simpler design while comparing with its compound counterpart. Looking at its name, it is easily clear that the curves at every end of the crossbow face towards the opposite direction from the user. This feature helps the crossbow to place its string in a proper place rather than moving it. Since the curves are facing towards the opposite side, the users of this kind of crossbow can be safe while using.


With the use of this kind of crossbow, it can be very easy to shoot at the target. The draw length of this crossbow is longer than that of the compound crossbow which helps in increasing the rate of acceleration while firing. Due to the higher acceleration of the bolts, a large amount of vibration can be produced while firing which can easily disturb the targeted animals. Hence, this crossbow may not be suitable for hunters. This is all due to the larger amount of pressure being exerted on the crossbow. Due to the larger draw length, this crossbow can be useful for people to shoot at larger distances. This crossbow can be highly suitable at locations where a large amount of power and speed is required such as shooting competitions.


A recurve crossbow isn’t so compact while looking at its design which makes it less portable and can’t be used at every place. The simpler design of this crossbow is also a major disadvantage since it can result in a large amount of strain on its string. This can lead you to purchase new strings for the crossbow from time to time. Below we have discussed the best recurve crossbow for the money:

Barnett Outdoors BCR Recurve Crossbow Package, Large, Black
77 Reviews
Barnett Outdoors BCR Recurve Crossbow Package, Large, Black
  • Draw weight: 150 lbs
  • Premium Red dot scope
  • Finger reminders and pass-through fore grip
  • Lightweight Composite Stock
  • Adjustable Butt Pad


Barnett Outdoors BCR Recurve Crossbow Package

Barnett Outdoors BCR 01The Barnett Outdoors BCR Recurve Crossbow is one of the best recurve crossbows available for the money. This crossbow allows you to know what’s happening in the surrounding areas and enables you to shoot at the right time with the inclusion of the red dot sight. This crossbow can shoot with a velocity of over 245 FPS with the kinetic energy of 54 ft-lbs., which can be lower than the compound crossbows but with its draw weight of 150 lbs, you can easily shoot with very high accuracy.

The overall crossbow package features all the above features along with 3.5-pound trigger pull, 3-pack bolts of 18-inch as well as an amazing scope with the red dot sight. The bolts included in this crossbow can shoot with very high power and accuracy. The draw weight of 150 lbs helps in increasing the power of the crossbow. Unlike compound crossbows, this recurve crossbow is very easy to assemble. This crossbow also features an anti-dry system which prevents the crossbow to be fired without the bolts being loaded into it.

This crossbow also includes an integrated crank and a butt pad which can be adjusted in any way you like. It features a foot stirrup with anti-vibration isolation system which helps in the reduction of noise produced while firing. You can get this crossbow for an affordable price tag along with finger reminders which makes it easier to use for beginners. If you are new to crossbows and would like to perform deer hunting or play crossbow sports, this crossbow is one of the best options available for you.

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Features We Loved

  • It is very lightweight.
  • It is easy to assemble and use.
  • It features finger reminders which are best for beginners.
  • The butt pad can be adjusted in any way you like.

We Didn't Like

  • The limbs are designed with fiberglass which isn’t so durable.
  • It can’t be used for advanced hunting purposes

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Now that you have known about what are the two most common types of crossbows with the comparison of their several aspects, it is time for you to decide which one would be the best for you. If you are looking to build your career as a professional hunter, getting a compound crossbow would certainly help you a lot since it can help you in shooting at a higher velocity with the production of less noise. For a sportsman, a learner or someone who wants to spend their free time with crossbows, it is better to get a recurve crossbow since it is very affordable and includes several features for user safety. A compound crossbow can cost up to two times the price of a recurve crossbow which makes it highly expensive.

However, it is all upon you on which crossbow you need to get. If you have any issues while choosing the best type of crossbow, you can write about your issues in the comments below to get a response from us right back away.


Frequently Asked Questions on Crossbows

Q. Should I get a compound crossbow for deer hunting?

Answer: For deer hunting, a recurve crossbow can also be very useful. You can get a recurve crossbow at a very affordable price.

Q. How can I replace the string on my compound crossbow?

Answer: You need to have a bow press to replace the string on a compound crossbow.

Q. How can I uncock my recurve crossbow?

Answer: If you own a recurve crossbow, you can uncock it easily just by removing one of the bolts from the crossbow.

Q. How can I uncock my compound crossbow?

Answer: You can’t uncock a compound crossbow like you can do in a recurve crossbow. You must fire the bolt to be able to uncock your crossbow.

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Last update on 2019-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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