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Modern crossbows have become all the rage in recent years, as aging archers, bowhunting newbies and time-strapped weekend warriors embrace the ease and efficiency of these horizontal platform, arrow-launching hunting machines. And to provide additional hunting opportunities for archery hunters coupled with the need to control increasing deer populations, many state wildlife agencies have expanded seasons for archery hunters wishing to use crossbows, especially in suburban and urban areas where human-wildlife conflicts and property damage are an issue.

The crossbow craze that began a decade or so ago is showing no signs of retreating, as manufacturers dig deep into their bag of tricks to produce new models that outperform those of the past — even the past year. Today’s crossbows are faster than ever, more accurate than ever, more user friendly than ever, and safter than ever — and most come equipped with everything needed to get hunters in the field immediately. But for those not satisfied with the status quo, there is available a plethora of aftermarket goodies that will take any crossbow to the next level of efficiency — and for savvy retailers the opportunity to cross sell the multitude of crossbow-specific aftermarket accessories available.

Be sure you and your staff are up to speed on all the new innovations when horizontal bow buffs pay a visit this year looking for a new horizontal bow. Here are 11 of the top models that are sure to grab their interest.

Axe Crossbows AX440

The AX440 from Axe Crossbows is maneuverable, stable and easily shouldered — 30.5 inches long and less than 12 inches axle-to-axle (cocked). The weight of the bow is centered over the shooter’s hand via a balanced shoot-through stock and riser design and reverse limb system that empowers the most efficient part of the split limb system from just 15 inches of power stroke to launch bolts at 440 fps. It is equipped with a silent integrated crank system and fail-safe trigger assembly with Dry-Fire Inhibiting technology, and its AXE two-stage sliding trigger assembly is crisp, clean and factory set to 3.5 pounds. It comes with the Axe scope system, side-mount quiver and three Axe micro-diameter bolts.

MSRP: $2,099.99

CONTACT: www.feradyne.com/axe-crossbows

Barnett Hyper Raptor

The 2024 Barnett Hyper Raptor shoots 20-inch, .204-inch-diameter HyperFlite arrows at 410 fps, delivering 142 ft-pounds of kinetic energy. Contributing to the crossbow’s top performance is its new Halo System, which eliminates cable crossing and cam lean to create tremendously balanced string travel. The Hyper Raptor features the company’s proven TriggerTech trigger; it has a reliable and crisp, 3-pound pull. In a word — outstanding. The package includes three bolts, 4×36 illuminated scope, premium quiver, lube wax, a sled-style rope cocking device, and is CCD (crank cocking device) compatible. It has a 14-inch power stroke, 205-pound draw weight, weighs 7.1 pounds, and measures just over 7 inches axle-to-axle when cocked.

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MSRP: $599

CONTACT: www.barnettcrossbows.com

Bear Archery Constrictor LT

The BearX Constrictor LT crossbow features a shorter stock than the original Constrictor for a more compact design. Living up to its name, the Constrictor LT measures a mere 10 inches wide cocked and 14 inches wide uncocked, making it a great choice for hunting in tight quarters. Its ambidextrous top mount five-arrow quiver sits on a 360-degree pivot, allowing the hunter to position it on the right- or left-hand side and parallel to the bow. The Constrictor LT comes ready to hunt with upgraded crossbow accessories, which include three TrueX Max 425-grain arrows, top mount five-arrow quiver, 1-5x24mm illuminated speed comp scope, sling, aluminum cocking sled and rail lube/string wax.

MSRP: $679.99

CONTACT: www.beararchery.com

CenterPoint Wrath 430X

The CenterPoint Wrath 430X crossbow features a sleek 9-inch axle-to-axle width when cocked and launches arrows at speeds up to 430 fps, providing modern crossbow hunters with a blend of mobility and performance at a value-packed price point. At 32 inches in length and weighing just 9 pounds, this compact crossbow is a great fit for hunting from treestands and ground blinds. The Wrath 430X has an inverted cam design that delivers up to 164 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, and its full bearing cam system produces smoother operation and increased velocity. It comes with an integrated folding stirrup that doubles as a bipod, a 4x32mm illuminated crossbow scope, silent cranking system, quiver and three 20-inch CenterPoint arrows.

MSRP: $699.99

CONTACT: www.centerpointarchery.com

Killer Instinct Swat X1

The Killer Instinct Swat X1 crossbow is easy to cock, handle and shoot, while producing speeds up to 405 fps. Measuring only 24.75 inches long and 6.25 inches wide when cocked, the crossbow’s micro frame generates its speed and power from the highly efficient Synchronized X cam. With 50 percent let-off, the narrow X1 can be cocked effortlessly by hand, but also includes a compact silent crank. The Accutac barrel provides additional guidance and support to the crossbow bolt for broadhead accuracy at high speeds. The enclosed design also protects the bolt and broadhead, and a crisp 3-pound trigger produces a clean break with zero creep.

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MSRP: $999.99.

Contact: www.killercrossbows.com

Mission Crossbows Sub-1 XR

Mission is known for ultra-accurate crossbows, and the Sub-1 XR is no exception. Benchmark Fire Control technology features a fully contained rolling sear dual-stage trigger set at a crisp 3 pounds, easy-load arrow retention arm and a de-cocking button. Its fully synced cam system eradicates lateral nock travel, and the CNC-machined rail eliminates vertical nock travel. The result is unparalleled accuracy. Shooters can easily adjust the length of pull with six different butt positions and enjoy the control and stability of the AR-style grip. The compact Sub-1 XR is designed for hard-hitting accuracy and superior stealth — delivering an exceptional shooting experience. From concept to completion, Mission crossbows are 100 percent Wisconsin made.

MSRP: $2,199.99

CONTACT: www.missioncrossbows.com

Ravin R5X

Built for shooting from close quarters, the compact R5X from Ravin Crossbows combines the popular R26 crossbow’s front end with a newly designed stock that includes an adjustable cheek pad and buttstock. It features the Versa-Draw Cocking System that works in conjunction with the Trac-Trigger Firing System — an ultra-compact fully integrated cocking mechanism built into the sleek stock design. The trigger mechanism slides forward on the rail and clasps directly to the precise center of the string, allowing for straight-line nock travel. The Frictionless Flight System allows the arrow and string to free float above the rail, eliminating friction for consistent accuracy and increased string and cable life. Ravin’s HeliCoil technology advantage delivers astounding accuracy with every shot.

MSRP: $1,624.99

CONTACT: www.ravincrossbows.com

Rocky Mountain RM400 Black

The Rocky Mountain RM400 Black crossbow is built upon a precision-molded one-piece black stock and a rock-solid limb system. With the total uncocked assembly measuring 18.5 inches wide by 35 inches long, the 195-pound limb system cocks to 14.5 inches wide and sends arrows downrange at 400 fps, producing 135 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. The RM400 features a DFS (Dry Fire Safety) system that auto engages when the bow is cocked, dual string suppressors and limb dampeners to reduce bow noise. Each RM400 crossbow package includes a standard reticle 4x32mm scope, rope cocking device, RM Quiet Crank, quick-detach three arrow side quiver three PileDriver Carbon Express arrows with practice points and rail lubricant.

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MSRP: $379.99

CONTACT: www.feradyne.com/rocky-mountain

SA Sports Empire Punisher 420

The SA Sports new Empire Punisher 420 is on the cutting edge of today’s modern crossbow technologies. It features an ultra-narrow profile at only 12 inches wide un-cocked at rest and a mere 7.75 inches axle to axle when cocked and ready to rock. Featuring a reverse cam design, the Punisher clocks in at 420 fps and produces a punishing 156.5 foot-pounds of force. It also features a precision anti dry fire trigger system with a 3.5-pound pull, full-length aluminum barrel, full Picatinny rail and adjustable foregrip. Extremely quiet and compact, the Punisher comes completely equipped to shoot directly out of the box with an illuminated multi-reticle scope, quiver, three carbon arrows, special U-sled rope cocker and sling.

MSRP: $699

CONTACT: www.sa-sports.com

TenPoint Flatline 460

TenPoint Crossbow Technologies’ Flatline 460 features the ACUslide cocking and de-cocking system for safe and efficient operation — an ultra-narrow, 12/7.5-inch-wide uncocked/cocked reverse-draw bow that shoots arrows at speeds up to 460 fps. The Flatline’s S-1 two-stage trigger is a zero-creep design that delivers a consistent, crisp 3.5-pound pull. It is equipped with a 100-yard Evo-X Marksman Elite camo precision scope with new scope struts and a longer dovetail that increase strength by 80 percent. The Flatline comes ready to hunt with a six-pack of Evo-X CenterPunch 16 premium carbon crossbow arrows, integrated string stop system, quiver, Sentry bowhanger and bubble level.

MSRP: $2,649.99

CONTACT: www.tenpointcrossbows.com

Wicked Ridge Raider 400 De-Cock

Wicked Ridge recently launched its Raider 400 De-Cock crossbow featuring the revolutionary ACUdraw De-Cock system and D1 trigger. This ultra-lightweight bow combines the convenience of de-cocking and speeds up to 400 fps. The ACUdraw De-Cock silent cocking and safe de-cocking system features the company’s Auto-Brake Gear System that eliminates the potential of losing control during the de-cocking process. The D-1 two-stage trigger is designed for zero creep and includes a new DFP (Dry Fire Prohibitor). The Raider 400 De-Cock features a powerful 185-pound bow assembly consisting of a lightweight cast aluminum riser and machined aluminum limb pockets fitted with 11-inch WRX double-laminated limbs. Powered by 5S Cams and DynaFLIGHT 97 string and cables, the bow assembly measures a narrow 15 inches wide.

MSRP: $899.99/With ACUdraw

CONTACT: www.tenpointcrossbows.com