When it comes to shooting a crossbow, the speed can have a major factor regarding the success of the shot. There are varying opinions about how fast a crossbow actually needs to be, simply because there are so many conditions that can affect the bow and the speed of the shot. There are definitely reasons why a hunter would want one of the fastest crossbows and there are times when speed is really not necessary.
Defining the fastest crossbow is actually easy to do. Crossbows that can exceed 380 FPS are considered the fastest available. Really, any crossbow that has a speed above 340 FPS is rather fast, but there are actually crossbows that are even faster. So, why would you want one of the fastest crossbows?
Top 4 Fastest Crossbow Picks
- 1 There are several advantages that come with a seriously fast feet-per-second rating.
- 2 While the speed of your crossbow can make a big difference in a positive way, it can also affect your hunting and shooting in a negative way, too. Just as the benefits of the powerful crossbow are based on physics, so are the cons, too.
- 3 There are a few crossbows that to perform at top speed with FPS ratings that are higher than the rest. These are four of them:
- 3.1 1. Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package
- 3.2 2. Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow Kit (Rope Cocker, 3 Arrow Quiver, 3 Crossbolts, Rail Lubricant, 3 Practice Points, 4×32 Glass-Etched Reticle Lighted Scope)
- 3.3 3. Horton Crossbow Innovations Storm RDX Premium Package with ACUdraw, One Size, Mossy Oak Treestand/Black
- 3.4 4. Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package, Realtree Xtra, 260-Pound
- 4 Final Thoughts
There are several advantages that come with a seriously fast feet-per-second rating.
1. Physics Increases the Range
The science of physics gives faster crossbows a longer range. Because gravity is always doing its job, every arrow fired from a crossbow will land on the ground. But, the speed from the faster FPS lets the arrow travel farther than one with a slower FPS. Despite the fact that the arrow will travel farther does not guarantee that the arrow will arrive accurately. Firing over a long distance is difficult to do and a fast FPS does not mean that the bow will do exactly what you hope it will do. It will do what your aim will do.
2. Trajectory Improves
Another good reason to use one of the fastest crossbows is because the arrow will have a flat trajectory. This is what helps the arrow travel a longer distance than a slower crossbow does. The trajectory ends of having less of an arch than slower arrows do, because of the speed. With the straighter trajectory, the arrow will get closer to what you are aiming at, but the speed does make it difficult to get the exact spot. With the straighter trajectory, you do not have to understand how high the arrow will go after you shoot it. You can shoot and expect that the arrow will get pretty darn close because the arrow drop will happen later than a slower arrow will drop.
3. Kinetic Energy Improves the Shot
The other positive aspect of using an ultra-fast crossbow is the increase of kinetic energy. There is a standard formula for figuring kinetic energy and when you increase the mass and the velocity of an object, the kinetic energy increases by an expected amount. When there is more kinetic energy, it is easier for the arrow to do harm to the object it hits. So, an arrow fired with more FPS will take down the animal that it hits, simply due to physics. When the arrow hits the animal, that animal will not get too far away before falling.
While the speed of your crossbow can make a big difference in a positive way, it can also affect your hunting and shooting in a negative way, too. Just as the benefits of the powerful crossbow are based on physics, so are the cons, too.
1. Loud Crossbows Can Warn Prey
One of the most detrimental problems that comes with having an ultra-fast crossbow is the sound that the bow makes when it fires. The sound comes from the energy of releasing that much power because it increases the vibration. If you do not have any type of vibration suppression on your bow, it will be loud. And, if the bow is loud, then the deer will hear it. This means that they can move, which can take away the chances that your arrow will hit one. Sounds is faster than the movement of the arrow, so the deer has time to move. And, if you are shooting from a farther distance than you would with a slower crossbow, the deer will have plenty of time to get out of the way.
2. Not As Many Accessories
Since most crossbows are slower than the ultra-fast ones, there are more accessories that will work on slower crossbows. The faster ones are a bit tougher on the bow and the accessories, so not every manufacturer provides products, like bolts that will work on ultra-fast crossbows. Instead, you will most likely have to spend more money on highly specialized accessories and equipment to get your crossbow to your exact standards.
3. Crossbow Parts Wear Out Quickly
Because those components and accessories have to work harder on a ultra-fast crossbow than the slower options, there is more change for pieces to wear out. Some crossbows will shatter while shooting a high speeds because of the stress placed upon them. You will have to take very good care of your ultra-fast crossbow to prevent it from becoming damaged.
4. Margin For Error Increases
The last issue that can happen with these lightning-fast crossbows is the actual margin for error. Because the arrow is traveling so much faster than the traditional speed of arrows, there is a chance that a bad shot could really go bad. Accidents that happen at fast speeds involve more damage than those that happen at slow speeds. So, it is important that you are very careful about your aim and your fire when you work with an ultra-fast crossbow.
There are a few crossbows that to perform at top speed with FPS ratings that are higher than the rest. These are four of them:
1. Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package
The Barnett Ghost crossbow is one of the fastest on the market. It has an FPS speed of 410, which is significantly higher than the 380 FPS minimum rating to be considered an ultra-fast crossbow. The Ghost has a draw weight of 185 pounds and it comes with a 3×32 scope. The package also includes a quiver with three arrows, a Talon sling, and a rope cocking device that eases the 185 draw weight. The crossbow is 20-inches in length from axle to axle. In order to making the crossbow consistent and safe, Barnett recommends regular maintenance in the form of waxing the strings after every 10 shots. It is also helpful to keep the bow in storage that is climate controlled. For safety purposes, the bow should be stored with the arrow fletching pointing toward the floor.
The powerful, yet lightweight bow weighs only 7.4 pounds. Barnett used their Carbonlite Riser Technology to keep the bow safely light, so you do not have to worry about it being damaged by the powerful shots. The balance point of the bow is back, near the shoulder.
2. Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow Kit (Rope Cocker, 3 Arrow Quiver, 3 Crossbolts, Rail Lubricant, 3 Practice Points, 4×32 Glass-Etched Reticle Lighted Scope)
Carbon Express created the Intercept Axon Crossbow with quality and power in mind. This crossbow includes the Picatinny platform that has been specially designed for customization with military and commercial accessories. The rail is 29 inches in length, so there is plenty of room for customization, too. This crossbow is actually adjustable, so you can get it to fit your pull-length to enhance your shot power. The axle-to-axle length is 13.5 inches to keep grouping tight. It includes an anti-dry-fire mechanism for the ultimate in safety. The bow can be shot from either side, left or right.
The Intercept Axon is a powerful crossbow, but not with the FPS of the Barnett Ghost. The Intercept Axon has an impressive FPS of 360 and it has been know to exceed that number. It does come with a 175-pound draw weight, so it is helpful to have a rope-cocking device, too. This crossbow weighs 8.3 pounds.
3. Horton Crossbow Innovations Storm RDX Premium Package with ACUdraw, One Size, Mossy Oak Treestand/Black
The Horton Crossbow Innovations Storm RDX is a serious weapon, with serious power. This crossbow has an FPS rating of 370, still not over 380, but it will do damage. The crossbow has a draw weight of 165 pounds, in a reverse style draw. The entire crossbow is 32.25 inches in length and the axle-to-axle measurement is 15.5 inches when uncocked. Before adding any accessories, the bow weighs 8.2 pounds. The bow is made with a high-tech riser that is designed to stay straight without any twisting; it also is cushioned so the limbs are not stressed with the serious fire power. The RDX Cam System powers the limbs.
This kit comes with an ACUdraw cocking mechanism as well as a high quality TenPoint 3x scope. The quiver is ambidextrous, so you can get to the includes 400-grain bows quickly.
4. Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Package, Realtree Xtra, 260-Pound
This another one of the fastest crossbows on the market today. With a FPS rating of 380, it gets the arrow where it needs to go, quickly. The crossbow is covered with Realtree 3800 camo with a tact zone. Because of the serious FPS velocity, this crossbow also has a serious draw weight of 260 pounds. Since the draw weight is one of the highest, it does require the use of a strong cocking device. The power stroke is 13.1 inches and the crossbow comes with an ergonomic grip stock to make it comfortable to hold the crossbow while firing it.
Like all powerful crossbows, it is important to constantly maintain it by closely following the recommendations from Excalibur. The quiver can be removed and the rest of the bow is easy to customize, too. Just be sure that the pieces you add will function under so much stress.
These four crossbows are the cream of the crop when it comes to sending a bolt as quickly as possible. Due to the outstanding technology and the quality components, these crossbows have a larger price tag than the others. But, the price tag is worth it, simply for the power that the crossbows exude. They are all good options, but you really do want the fastest crossbow available today, the Barnett Ghost is not going to disappoint.