Last updated on March 31st, 2021
Are you fond of hunting big game, but don’t want to spend too much on it and looking for the best crossbows under $400? If yes, we have selected these top-rated best 7 crossbows under $400 for you.
These innovative crossbows have been modified to serve the user’s purpose and upgrade their hunting experience. All of the enlisted products have been selected on the basis of important factors including; pulling mechanism, shooting calibers, velocity. Kinetic energy, draw weight and shooting range.
Before buying deer hunting crossbows, you should know some of the details of the products available in the market, so we have made it easier for you to select a suitable crossbow for the money that’s in your hunting budget.
Read this guide to choose the ideal option for you and let your hunting fun begin.
Recurve vs Compound Crossbow
Compound crossbows are more advance as compared to recurve crossbows because compound crossbows have a mechanism that allows for greater tension in the limbs and results in faster arrow velocity than a recurve crossbow.
With all that extra power, it is better to be careful when switching from a recurve to a compound crossbow. Handling different types of crossbows, including reverse draw crossbows, require very different approaches.
Leading brands like Wicked Ridge tend to offer all types so you can choose which one suits you best.
Last update on 2021-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
TOP 7 BEST CROSSBOW UNDER 400
- Shoots at 450 feet per second or FPS.
- Draw weight of 210 lbs.
- Only weighs 7.5 lbs in total.
- Picatinny-style scope mount rail.
- Covered in camo pattern.
- Functional eyepiece with 4×32 multi crosshair reticle.
- Adjustable stock and fore-end grip.
Let’s take a close look at Goalrilla’s BearX Intense Crossbow. This is one of the crossbows you will want if you are looking for high power in a somewhat compact crossbow.
The BearX Intense lives up to its name by offering you high-powered shots at a massively-high 450 feet per second (FPS)! Being above 400 FPS, that puts this model in the same league as the Ravin R20 and the Tenpoint Vapor. To put it in context, Tenpoint Vapor comes in higher at 470 FPS.
Unfortunately, all that power also means a higher drawing weight of about 250 pounds. For some users, this number might make it too hard to cock the crossbow. So, you will need to use a cocking device to make things easier.
Even though they have no problem with the 250-pound drawing weight, they might prefer something a little lighter for some users. In this regard, drawing weight is a matter of personal preference.
Goalrilla pairs this crossbow with a functional eyepiece that utilizes a 4×32 multi crosshair reticle. However, the scope is not exactly the top of the line.
Despite all that power and precision, the BearX Intense only measures 10” when you pull the cocking rope, and 14” when it is uncocked.
Generally, this is one model that is easy to put together and take apart as needed.
- Shoots at 415 FPS.
- Signature 3.5 lbs. ‘KillerTech’ trigger.
- Adjustable buttstock and foregrip.
- CNC-enhanced aluminium flight rail.
- 149 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy with each shot.
If you are looking for one of the most excellent value-for-money crossbows, it is hard to go wrong with anything by Killer Instinct.
This model is robust, accurate and very impressive to look at. It shoots bolts at a high rate of 415 FPS, well above the benchmark of 400 FPS. Plus, it lives up to its claims of generating 149 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy.
With exceptional accuracy and arrow precision even up to 80 yards, one thing is clear. Whether you are using it for hunting or target practice, whatever you are aiming at with this weapon stands absolutely no chance!
One thing we love about this model is how you can adjust the buttstock and foregrip to suit your body perfectly. Once you have found the right fit and finish, that bow is going to feel like an extension of your body.
Of course, there are a couple of things that Killer Instinct could have done better. Firstly, the scope they paired with this crossbow is useful, but it looks a little cheap. That is a mismatch considering how solid the bow itself feels.
Aside from that, this crossbow would have been much better if it came with a sling included in the package. A sling might not seem like much, but it goes a long way in helping the user carry the crossbow around with greater ease.
- Shoots at 370 FPS.
- 185 lbs draw weight.
- Adjustable stock and foregrip.
- Integrated string suppressors.
- Solid build despite being lightweight.
- 4×32 mm scope.
There are several reasons we wanted to include CentrePoint’s 370 Crossbow on this list. This crossbow bagged the 2016 Outdoor Life Magazine’s “Great Buy” award for starters, which it definitely deserves.
Of course, this bow offers you a lot of power and some pretty high accuracy. It shoots at a speed of 370 FPS with a 185lbs draw weight.
The value of this crossbow comes from more than just its power and accuracy. Overall, this model has an excellent build despite how light it feels in your hands. That is fantastic news, considering how it means that you can hunt for much longer before your arms get tired.
Beyond that, this is also the perfect crossbow if you value silence and overall stealthiness. Thanks to the integrated string suppressors, each trigger pull won’t make too much noise. Even if you miss, the odds of scaring off other animals is minimized because of this excellent feature.
With all of these features considered, this bow also wins thanks to its great value-for-money. Compare it with other models with similar specs, and you will see that you are getting a lot more value dollar-for-dollar with this model.
There are some downsides, however. The assembly instructions that come with this crossbow are entirely unhelpful. If you are familiar with crossbows and can put one together with your eyes closed, then you will be fine.
But for first-timers or those who are relatively new to using this kind of equipment, the assembly will be quite a pain. Pictures in the assembly guide are unclear, and the instructions are not worded as well as they should be.
Aside from that, the stealthiness that comes with this bow is also undermined by the adjustable buttstock rattling that is noticeable with each trigger pull. That is a shame, considering how the entire bow seems to be aimed at being stealthy, from its string suppressors for a quiet trigger pull to its dark black finish.
- Shoots at an arrow speed of 375 FPS.
- Fibreglass composite Step-Through Riser.
- 4x32mm scope included.
- TriggerTech Trigger System
- Metal-Injected Molded Trigger.
- Integrated Crank.
Barnett is another leading name in the crossbow industry, responsible for other popular models like the Barnett Jackal. For this list, we are looking at their powerful and accurate Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow.
The first thing you will notice about this bow is the unique camo pattern on it. For this model, Barnett went with the Mossy Oak Bottomland camo pattern. Firstly, this pattern will do a great job at helping you maintain a low profile when you’re out hunting. Besides that, it just adds a lovely ‘hunter’s crossbow’ feel to the entire thing.
There is one downside, though: the fit and finish. The camo pattern on the limbs is of a slightly different color shading than the crossbow’s body. Apparently, that’s the result of how the camo pattern is applied onto these two parts; one is hand painted, while the other is dipped into the design.
For most people, the difference might not be noticeable. But anyone particular about this kind of thing might not be too happy about the discrepancy.
Nevertheless, this crossbow is still a force to be reckoned with. It shoots at 375 FPS which is comparable to some of the more powerful crossbows on the market. It also benefits from a Step-Through Riser that’s made entirely of a fibreglass composite, as well.
Firing this crossbow is definitely an enjoyable experience thanks to the highly-responsive, metal injection moulded trigger. Pair that with Barrett’s TriggerTech system and you can rest assured that it will fire precisely when you need it to.
Another notable feature is the integrated crank. One of the most challenging parts of operating a crossbow is cocking it, and having an integrated crank makes all of that much easier. That crank is an equalizer. So no matter how strong the user may or may not be, they’ll have absolutely no problem cocking the bow and getting it ready to fire.
- Shoots at a speed of 245 FPS.
- 175 lbs draw weight.
- Rigid stock made of composite materials.
- Scope included.
- Lightweight but sturdy.
If you are looking for something a bit more affordable, an excellent choice would be this Avalanche Anaconda Recurve Black Crossbow by K EXCLUSIVE. Don’t let the price and weight fool you. You are still going to get some outstanding performance from this black crossbow.
This model shoots at a speed of 245 FPS, which is admittedly a little slower than most other crossbows on this list. With the 175-lbs draw weight, though, this crossbow is easy to use for most types of people.
Overall, you have a crossbow that is incredibly sturdy despite its low weight. That is thanks to the rigid stock that K EXCLUSIVE makes out of composite materials. Those materials also mean that it will take a lot for you to damage or break this crossbow, despite how light it feels in your hands.
The scope is a nice touch, especially since you don’t see that very often. It gives you a somewhat tactical feel when using this bow for hunting or when doing target shooting.
There are many things to like about this particular model, but its affordability gives the best value.
Aside from performance, the manufacturer has a lot of room for improvement in the assembly instructions. As mentioned with the other models on this list, an experienced crossbow user shouldn’t have too much of a problem putting something like this together, but for newbies who rely heavily on the instructions, they are gonna have a tough time figuring out which parts go where.
All things considered, this bow would make for an excellent starter model for anyone new to operating crossbows and/or hunting with them. More experienced users may say that this model reminds them of the Ridge RDX 400 crossbow from way back. Just like that one, this K Exclusive model is easy to use, very affordable, and the lower power makes it less intimidating to the first-time bow hunter.
- Shoots at a speed of 370 FPS.
- Red/green illuminated dot sight.
- Comes mostly assembled with single-bolt assembly.
- TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology.
- Anti-dry fire protection with a dry-fire inhibitor.
Barnett Archery makes a wide range of impressive products, which is why we include another one on this list. This time, we’re looking at their Explorer XP Crossbow.
This powerful model shoots at a speed of 370 FPS, which is on the higher end of the hunting crossbows spectrum. Still, all that power is never wasted thanks to the high accuracy of this bow.
From what we can see, that high accuracy is the result of two crucial features. Firstly, the TriggerTech frictionless release technology that Barnett is so well-known for. Between you pulling the trigger and the bow being released, every part of the process is smooth thanks to that release tech.
On top of that, the red/green illuminated dot sight also adds to the overall accuracy, helping you hit your target right on the dot every time.
Aside from its impressive performance, this powerful bow makes for a great buy because it is so easy to assemble. The entire unit comes mostly-assembled right out of the box. Plus, Barrett did an excellent job designing it with a single-bolt assembly which means you can put it together and take it apart very quickly.
There are some downsides to consider, though. Firstly, this model is all-black color is somewhat disrupted by the colorful decals on the crossbow. I you are trying to maintain a low profile, in that case, the fit and finish of the bow could give away your position and scare away whatever animal you are hunting.
To make matters worse, this crossbow also makes a fairly loud noise whenever you fire it, which may scare away any nearby animals even more.
Thankfully, these flaws are not deal-breakers. You can resolve them by spending a little extra to cover up those bright decals and perhaps investing in some dampeners to reduce the noise.
- Shoots at a speed of 390 FPS.
- CNC-machined aluminium cam system.
- Includes CentrePoint’s Whisper Silencing System.
- Rail-mounted string stops.
- Oversized finger guards and stirrups.
You know you are looking at a serious crossbow when it comes from CentrePoint, and when it has a name like ‘Mercenary’. Thankfully, the specs of this bow live up to its name and the reputation of the company that produces it.
Firstly, the Mercenary crossbow shoots at a speed of 390 FPS. Compare that with most crossbows, and that number is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to how much power it has.
Beyond that, the crossbow benefits from how it is CNC-machined and made of sturdy aluminium. These two factors ensure that the entire unit is highly durable and can withstand some abuse, especially when you are hunting in the outdoors and exposing the bow to the elements.
The one feature that makes this crossbow so lethal is CentrePoint’s Whisper Silencing System. Combining the high-power and impressive accuracy with the fact that it fires so quietly makes this a formidable bow to take hunting. It is safe to say that whatever creature you’re hunting with this crossbow will never hear you coming.
CentrePoint was very thoughtful in putting in extra-large finger guards and stirrups for this bow. Those oversized guards will keep your fingers out of harm’s way, while the stirrups will come in handy if you’re stepping down on it with your big boots.
All that power does come at a cost, though. Cocking this unit is incredibly difficult even for seasoned crossbow users, and it will definitely be too difficult for newbies to do. Thankfully, you can use a compatible cranking device with this bow, which is actually a great idea to reduce fatigue if you are often reloading.
Lastly, you will want to be careful about putting this crossbow in the hands of an amateur. The high power might be a little overwhelming for some, so they might want to use something with less power before switching to this model.
What Is The Best Crossbow For 2021?
All things considered, we have to say that the best choice for 2021 is CentrePoint’s Mercenary 390.
Looking at all the finer details, it is evident that CentrePoint put a lot of thought and effort into building what we feel is the best overall crossbow we have seen so far. It is a perfect balance between power and accuracy but also build quality and affordability.
Firstly, it shoots at a speed of 390 FPS which places it at the higher end of crossbows in terms of performance. On top of that, it supports that high FPS speed with a high degree of accuracy as well.
What truly makes this bow so lethal when hunting is just how quiet it is. CentrePoint’s Whisper Silencing System package includes limb dampeners and string silencers that aim to reduce vibrations. With fewer vibrations, each shot becomes very hard for your prey to notice in time.
The entire crossbow is highly adjustable, which is essential to suit the end-user. No matter your body dimensions, you can adjust the cheek piece and buttstock to fit your body perfectly, just like a tailor-made suit.
CentrePoint also did a great job with the Mercenary 390 in terms of safety for the user. With all that power and lethality, this bow also has a great deal of protection built into the unit. Firstly, the oversized finger guards keep your fingers away from the flight path and help you avoid contact with the string and any cables.
On top of that, the oversized stirrup helps you get a stable foot placement even if you are using boots of a larger size. Clearly, this is anything but a compact bow.
The only downside with this bow is that it is quite challenging to cock, even for seasoned crossbow hunters. CrossPoint makes up for it by making it compatible with cranking devices that will help you cock your shots much more comfortable each time.
Suppose you are looking for the most high end model. In that case, CentrePoint’s Mercenary 390 crossbow is what we consider to be the overall best crossbow that you can buy with your money in 2020.
How Far Can I Kill A Deer With A Crossbow?
A high-quality, modern crossbow can shoot as far as 500 yards. That’s equivalent to about 460 meters, give or take. Still, that does not mean that you can quickly kill a deer or any other prey at that far a range.
With a bow in hand, you will need to be at least within 50 yards (or 48 meters) away from your target. Having said that, your ability to kill that deer will depend mainly on your skill as a crossbow hunter, and the power of the crossbow you’re using.
Even for the most experienced of hunters, they might still consider 50 yards to be the bare minimum. To get a clean and ethical kill, the 20-30 yard range would be ideal, especially for those who are not experienced at crossbow hunting yet.
Experience levels are not the only factor, though. The bow you have must also be accurate enough, or else it won’t hit a target no matter how close you might be. That is why having a high-quality scope is incredibly important when hunting with a crossbow. You will want a multi reticle scope or sight that will help you pinpoint your target quickly and a bow that can shoot arrows straight without deviating too much from where you are aiming.
Aside from your level of experience and your powerful crossbow, it is important to remember that the environment you are in also plays a significant role in your ability to hunt effectively.
It is going to be very difficult to get close enough if you are in a wide-open area where the animals can see you coming. That’s why a compact crossbow sometimes comes in handy.
Even in a wooded area, you may only get as close as 20 yards to your prey. At that range, you’d better hope they don’t hear you or the bow firing, or else they’ll get spooked and run away. That’ll make it much more challenging to shoot at them accurately with a crossbow.
What Is The Best Crossbow For Under $400?
If you’re looking for the best value-for-money crossbow on the market, look no further than the Avalanche Anaconda Recurve Black Crossbow by K EXCLUSIVE. Of all the models that we have reviewed, this is by far the one that is the most affordable crossbow that doesn’t sacrifice too much on power and quality.
Despite its low price, you still get a crossbow that’s excellent for first-timers and veterans alike. The manufacturer did a fantastic job in how they built this crossbow. The body is incredibly tough, so you won’t have to worry about exposing it to abuse or breaking it in half.
Sure, the 245 FPS firing velocity isn’t the highest speed that you can get, unlike a 400 fps model, but for its price range, that’s high enough to cause some severe damage at whatever target you have downrange. Best of all, you can still hit that target with a high degree of accuracy thanks to the sight that comes as part of the package!
The only downside to this crossbow is the instruction manual that could have been prepared a lot better. Still, don’t view it as too much of a negative. Experienced crossbow users won’t have too much of a problem putting it together. As for newbies, well, this is an excellent chance to get some first-hand knowledge on how to put a crossbow together.
Overall, this is a lightweight crossbow that gives you an excellent bang for your buck and with a high-enough degree of accuracy that you’ll find it useful in a wide variety of situations.
In a nutshell, these top-rated 7 hunting crossbows are the best ones in a reasonable price range all under $400.
If you are fond of hunting you can buy any of these crossbows to practice or learn archery at home without investing a huge amount of money on it.
Grab any of these, and enjoy the adventurous sport. To read more articles please visit.
Eva is Cartbig’s editor in chief and she has worked on everything Cartbig covers, from beyblades to lawn mowers. In her previous life, she held editorial positions in iEssent and BHP.
She loves reading, she has a daughter and a poorly behaved havanese dog.
She resides in Utah and she works remotely from a desk piled with post-it notes, science fiction books and all kinds of cameras. Even broken ones.