When Is a Compound Bow vs Crossbow the Best Choice?

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Are you thinking about getting a new bow for the upcoming archery season? Maybe you’ve considered getting a compound crossbow instead of a compound bow, but you’re not sure if it would be better to try shooting a crossbow over a bow.

Maybe you’ve heard that crossbows are better than a compound bow, but maybe you’ve also heard that a compound crossbow not as good as a compound bow. Or you’re afraid your bow hunting buddies will disown you for trying something new?

Hunting buddies aside, a crossbow is a tool that is worth considering if you are looking to get a new weapon. Most states allow crossbow hunting, either during bow season or during the general firearm season. So should you get a crossbow? Let’s review the advantages and disadvantages of each and the choice should become a little clearer.

Two Styles of Bow – One Objective

When it comes to compound bows and crossbows, they’re made for the same purpose: to hunt game. No matter what you think of crossbows, the objective is the same: harvest an animal in an efficient and sportsmanlike manner.

Crossbows, like compound bows, are a tool to get the job done. At the end of the day, if the weapon helps you bring home meat for the table, it’s a good weapon to have.

Compound crossbows are generally more powerful than compound bows. They can stay cocked for hours once you load them, and you do not have to unload your crossbow until the end of the day. This means the crossbow is ready to fire, only when you are.

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To make matters more confusing, just like there are compound bows and recurve bows, there are compound crossbows and recurve crossbows. Each of which has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of Crossbows vs Compound Bows

There are a lot of differences between a compound and a compound crossbow and below are some of the differences that might help you in choosing one over the other.

Making The Case for the Crossbow

Advantages

Disadvantages

Making The Case for the Compound Bow

Advantages

Disadvantages

What to Choose?

So, which type of bow should you get? Should you get a compound bow, or should you try a crossbow? Both obviously have their advantages and disadvantages.

The greatest advantage the crossbow has over the compound bow is the ability to maintain a loaded, ready to fire condition, whereas the compound bow, though faster when loading, may lose out on a shot to the crossbow.

Crossbows: Crossbows can be learned quickly and allow those with physical limitations to hunt with a bow readily. While they are not fast while loading, they can have more kinetic energy than compound bows. Furthermore, the mechanism behind the crossbow is very familiar to those who are used to rifle and shotgun hunting.

Compound Bows: Bows are lighter and quieter than crossbows, but they require practice and training to become proficient with them. They also do not need a special mechanism to load them. If you want a more traditional approach to bowhunting, stick with the tried and true vertical bow.

Both bows are excellent choices, depending on your needs. You may simply want a crossbow simply to try out another facet of bow hunting that people usually don’t try. Regardless of which bow you decide to get, both are excellent choices provided you keep in mind their advantages and limitations.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>