BugOutBill.com

Best Mini Crossbow: Definitive Guide 2022

February 20, 2022 // 17 minute read

Bugout Bill is independent: we research, test, and rate the top products to help you make the right buying choice. We sometimes use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on your purchase at no added cost to you. Learn more...

Best Mini Crossbow: Definitive Guide 2022

Best Mini Crossbow - Bugoutbill.com

Share this article:

Share this article: Bugoutbill.com is independent – we research, test, and rate the top products to help you make the right buying choice. We sometimes use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on your purchase. Learn more…

Who knew that pistol crossbows would evolve into these durable, accurate, and high-tech tools?

We’ve gone from store to store, shop to shop, and crossbow to crossbow. Would you believe that the best pistol crossbows out there are just right under your nose?

Whether you’re going small game hunting or just want it for target practice, you’ll need a self-cocking bow that would give you the best target shooting experience.

So, in this article…

Let’s talk about:

  • The five best pistol crossbows we found on the market;
  • Their best features and what to improve about them;
  • Which ones include aluminum and plastic bolts, sights, fore grip, and other additional features;
  • Which ones are easiest and safest to use;
  • Which ones are the best in each metric and why we thought so; and
  • So much more!

You better keep scrolling to know which ones can help you hit the mark with the highest precision and best accuracy!

Eye on the target…

And fire!

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction

The world has gone from vertical bows to these gun-like bows that offer better convenience and precision.

If you’re a hunter, chances are, you prefer crossbows to the last millennium’s technology – especially if you sometimes use guns. If so…

You’re in the right article!

We came up with this list after weeks of looking for the best mini crossbows on the market. We shot at targets, squirrels, deer, and other games.

We took note of their durability, accuracy, features, and prices.

So now…

We hope to help you with your next purchase with this list of the top five best pistol crossbows.

Fire away…

Recent posts

Categories

1 - Best Durable Mini Crossbow- Editor’s Choice Award

KingsArchery Crossbow Pistol Self Cocking

Editors Choice - Bugoutbill.com

Value for Money

10

Ease of Use

9

Durability

10

Accuracy

9

Features

9

Overall Score
94

Bottom Line: This is the best pistol crossbow that you can have both for target practice and hunting small game.

Pros

Cons

SUMMARY:

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, this self-cocking crossbow is for you. Its 80-pound draw weight combined with 165 FPS makes it a powerful yet easy to control tool.

But what made it our Editor’s Choice…

…was how sturdy the overall build is. This KingsArchery crossbow is very durable, and it survived many uses. We tried it from target practice to hunting and had no problems.

Even the arrows are durable too!

Speaking of which…

This package includes a bow and a total of 63 aluminum and PVC bolts. It’s priced higher than others on this list, but you’ll get a whole lot more.

And aside from arrows, KingsArchery also has sights that you can easily adjust.

However…

There are less durable parts of the package. Overall, the arrows are great, but the aluminum bolts get more easily damaged than the plastic bolts.

And you might have to get a better bowstring than what comes with the bow. The one we got didn’t snap, but it loosened after several shooting sessions.

Also, the sight might be adjustable, but it’s not that easy to use. It needs some getting used to.

That said…

The sight won’t damage KingsArchery’s accuracy. You’ll be able to control it and get used to it quickly.

And there’s no need to worry about adjusting to a new bow because this one’s going to be with you for years!

Related: Best Bunker Food

2 - Best Budget Mini Crossbow- Best Value Award

PSE Cobra Crossbow Cobra Handheld Crossbow

Best Value - Bugoutbill.com

Value for Money

10

Ease of Use

8

Durability

9

Accuracy

10

Features

7

Overall Score
88

Bottom Line: Start your target practice with an affordable yet good quality pistol crossbow.

Pros

Cons

SUMMARY:

You may mistake PSE Cobra for something too cheap. But let us tell you – it’s our Best Value awardee, not just because it’s affordable. But it exceeded our expectations about its quality.

Although…

There are a few things that you might not like. For example, its bowstring is rope-tight. It’s like the manufacturer wouldn’t want you to cock it.

But it’s nothing that a string replacement can’t fix.

And don’t bother looking for arrows – they’re not included in the package.

Now that’s out of the way…

Let’s talk about how this cheap bow can outlast the more expensive ones you can find on the market!

We had a blast with this bow – from target shooting to hunting – and we didn’t find any damage or malfunction.

Plus…

It’s so easy to assemble and use. You’ll be able to control it.  With its 80-lb draw and 150 FPS, it can powerfully and accurately shoot bolts like no one’s business. 

3 - Best Compact Design Mini Crossbow - Top Pick Award

Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow

Top Pick - Bugoutbill.com

Value for Money

10

Ease of Use

8

Durability

9

Accuracy

9

Features

10

Overall Score
92

Bottom Line: This self-cocking crossbow is compatible with any sleeve and accessories of your choice.

Pros

Cons

SUMMARY:

We don’t just give our Top Pick award to any product. So, be assured that Southland Archery’s Prophecy deserves it.

Why?

It only has the best additional features that don’t just look great but also function well.

You’ll notice that in this list, Prophecy is the only one with a foregrip. That, combined with its sights, adds to this bow’s accuracy.

Moreover…

Prophecy has a comfortable and soft grip handle because of the pressure pads. It’s the only bow at this affordable price point that has all these!

So, even though its package only includes three bolts and the accessories aren’t as sturdy and easily installed as the rest of the bow, it still has more value than we paid for.

Overall…

You’ll find this durable and powerful bow great for your hunting adventures. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s so easy to carry because it’s narrower and lighter than most.

4 - Best Feature Mini Crossbow

PSE Viper SS Crossbow Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

Value for Money

9

Ease of Use

8

Durability

9

Accuracy

8

Features

9

Overall Score
86

Bottom Line: This is a good pistol crossbow with the best safety features that you can have for an affordable price.

Pros

Cons

SUMMARY:

The first thing we noticed about the PSE Viper is its relatively higher FPS yet lower draw weight. That just made it an imbalanced bow.

Not to mention the sight that comes with it. We thought that this was one inaccurate bow.

But once you’ve adjusted to it…

It’s hard not to love this super affordable pistol crossbow!

PSE Viper has a very comfortable grip and durable overall build. And it’s the best one we found that works so well with smaller bolts.

Plus…

It has these additional features that you won’t find on other bows in this list.

Its self-cocking mechanism has an automatic safety feature and anti-dry trigger. All those add to this bow’s security.

Also…

PSE Viper’s high-tech fiberglass limbs and finger guard are worth mentioning. 

Out of all the bows that we found on the market – it might not be the easiest, but – this is one of the safest to use.

5 - Best Adjustable Mini Crossbow

KingsArchery Crossbow Self-Cocking 80 LBS with Adjustable Sights

Value for Money

9

Ease of Use

8

Durability

8

Accuracy

9

Features

8

Overall Score
84

Bottom Line: The combination of the 80-pound draw weight, 150 FPS, and adjustable sight makes this an accurate and powerful pistol crossbow.

Pros

Cons

SUMMARY:

Here’s another bow from KingsArchery that really impressed our hunter side. It may not be the most powerful pistol crossbow on the market, but it sure can compete.

Here’s what we think:

Its FPS is only at 150, drawing up to 80 pounds. The latter is already considered heavy, so pro hunters prefer that weight.

KingsArchery combined that weight with just the right FPS and bow dimensions. And it successfully made a powerful and highly accurate bow!

Only…

This product is less durable than other models of this brand. 

And it’s pretty hard to assemble – especially the tight string. We even consulted the manual and still didn’t get much help.

But…

We didn’t mind replacing the string. We saved up from the arrows anyway because this package contains 15 of them – and they’re aluminum too, which are generally more sturdy than plastic bolts.

And it also comes with precise sights that add to this bow’s overall accuracy. So, it’s still better than most bows on the market.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been backpacking, camping, and enjoying the wild outdoors for years. And one of the best parts of those activities is hunting and target shooting.

So, we take our tools seriously.

In other words…

After reading many pistol crossbow reviews out there, we knew we just had to try them for ourselves.

We shot at targets in our backyards, hunted small game, and compared each others’ observations and experiences.

Now, we have this article, and we hope that it will help you decide on your next purchase!

Buyer's Guide:
How To Choose The Best Pistol Crossbow

Best Mini Crossbow - Bugoutbill.com

What are the different types of crossbows?

  • Recurve Crossbows – only have one string.
  • Compound Crossbows – a combination of a vertical bow, cross, and modern rifle technology.
  • Repeating or Automatic Crossbows – shoot multiple bows in one cocking and a short amount of time.
  • Reverse Draw Limbs Crossbows – has limbs in a reversed orientation.
  • Pistol Crossbows – small ones that you can use with one hand.

Features to look out for:

  • Automatic safety features add security for you and your bow.
  • Some bows include a rope cocker or a cocking lever.

Mini crossbows and specifications explained:

A pistol crossbow is a hunting weapon small enough to be used with one hand. It has a lower draw weight and less power than a regular crossbow, so it’s mainly used for target practice and hunting small game.

  • Draw weight – a heavier draw weight makes the pistol crossbow harder to pull.
  • Arrow FPS – higher FPS tends to be more powerful and accurate than lower ones.
  • Material – the best pistol crossbows on the market are those made of a combination of aluminum and fiberglass.
  • Foregrip – the presence of a fore grip adds to the accuracy of a crossbow pistol.

These are things to consider:

  • A rope cocking device is more functional if your bow isn’t the self-cocking version.
  • Almost every bow needs its bow stringer replaced.
  • Fiberglass is generally more durable than steel limbs.
  • An 80-pound draw weight is pro-level.

Jargon buster:

  • Bolt – another term for an arrow.
  • Draw weight – the force you need to pull a bow.

Mini Crossbow Top Tips:

  • Start small. Practice with low draw weight but higher FPS.
  • Manufacturers focus on the quality of the bow itself, so don’t mind the additional features too much.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Mini Crossbow - Bugoutbill.com

Question 1: Are mini crossbows lethal?

A - Crossbows propel sharp arrows, so, yes, they’re dangerous to some degree. But in this industry, the draw weight is proportional to how lethal the weapon is. And pistol crossbows have relatively low draw weight.

Question 2: What is a crossbow pistol or mini crossbow?

A - Pistol crossbows are small enough to be used with one hand.

Question 3: How long does crossbow string last?

A - Most crossbow strings last 4 to 5 years. But we suggest that you replace yours every two years for maximum quality.

Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results

Best Mini Crossbow - Bugoutbill.com

Value for Money

The best crossbow pistols aren’t the most expensive ones. We found great products on the market that you won’t need to break the bank for.

We’re especially talking about our Best Value PSE Cobra Crossbow. It’s the cheapest one but works just as well as others.

Our Editor’s Choice KingsArchery and Top Pick Southland Archery Prophecy pistol crossbow are relatively affordable as well.

Value for Money Rating

KingsArchery Crossbow Pistol Self Cocking

100%

PSE Cobra Crossbow Cobra Handheld Crossbow

100%

Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow

100%

PSE Viper SS Crossbow Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

90%

KingsArchery Crossbow Self-Cocking 80 LBS

90%

Ease of Use

A pistol crossbow is easy to use when you can assemble it quickly and with minimum help. And there’s also the matter with the string, cocking lever, and the way the triggers fire arrows.

In this list…

You’ll find that our Editor’s Choice KingsArchery towers over the rest. It’s the easiest to install and fire.

But all the others only have just a problem or two – they’re still more foolproof than most crossbows on the market.

Ease of Use Rating

KingsArchery Crossbow Pistol Self Cocking

90%

PSE Cobra Crossbow Cobra Handheld Crossbow

80%

Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow

80%

PSE Viper SS Crossbow Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

80%

KingsArchery Crossbow Self-Cocking 80 LBS

80%

Durability

The most durable pistol crossbow in this list is KingsArchery which makes it our Editor’s Choice.

It means that it’s the best crossbow pistol in terms of sturdiness and toughness of the overall build. It didn’t break easily after several uses and accidental drops.

But…

Even though the others didn’t get perfect scores, they’re still going to last long enough.

We also commend the affordable ones for having such quality despite being cheap – like our Best Value PSE Cobra and PSE Viper.

Durability Rating

KingsArchery Crossbow Pistol Self Cocking

100%

PSE Cobra Crossbow Cobra Handheld Crossbow

90%

Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow

90%

PSE Viper SS Crossbow Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

90%

KingsArchery Crossbow Self-Cocking 80 LBS

80%

Accuracy

The metric accuracy measures how well the pistol crossbow hits the target. You might argue that it depends on the archer, but the weapon has a significant contribution too.

In other words…

An accurate pistol bow means that it’s easy to control and has features that help its operator – like a reliable iron or red dot sight.

In this list, you’ll see that the Best Value PSE Cobra excels compared to others.

Accuracy Rating

PSE Cobra Crossbow Cobra Handheld Crossbow

100%

KingsArchery Crossbow Pistol Self Cocking

90%

Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow

90%

KingsArchery Crossbow Self-Cocking 80 LBS with Adjustable Sights

90%

PSE Viper SS Crossbow Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

80%

Features

We deemed this metric important because features add to the durability, accuracy, and overall experience.

And…

We found our Top Pick Southland Archery Prophecy to have the most functional features.

Features Rating

Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow

100%

KingsArchery Crossbow Pistol Self Cocking

90%

PSE Viper SS Crossbow Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

90%

KingsArchery Crossbow Self-Cocking 80 LBS

80%

PSE Cobra Crossbow Cobra Handheld Crossbow

70%

Our Final Verdict: Best Pistol Crossbows

The crossbows fought well. But the best crossbow pistol couldn’t help but tower over the rest.

So…

We now give you the five crossbows that have the best quality, durability, features, and price.

Our Editor’s Choice KingsArchery will do great during target practice and deer hunting. And it will last you ages.

But don’t forget the Best Value PSE Cobra, with its surprisingly good quality despite the low price.

Plus…

Our Top Pick Southland Archery Prophecy will also surprise you with its unique and functional features.

Best Mini Crossbows Rating

KingsArchery Crossbow Pistol Self Cocking

94%

Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow

92%

PSE Cobra Crossbow Cobra Handheld Crossbow

88%

PSE Viper SS Crossbow Viper SS Handheld Crossbow

86%

KingsArchery Crossbow Self-Cocking 80 LBS

84%

Conclusion: Best Mini Crossbow

Best Mini Crossbow - Bugoutbill.com

You can’t go small game hunting with a pistol crossbow that falls apart as you pull the trigger. So, you better pick yours from our list!

Let me remind you…

If you’re looking for durability, look no further than our Editor’s Choice KingsArchery. 

If you’re on a budget, Best Value PSE Cobra and PSE Viper will make sure you get the best quality for low prices.

And if accuracy is your priority, aside from the Cobra, the KingsArchery crossbows will help you hit the bullseye!

So…

What’s it going to be? Your target, your choice.

See you out there, buddy!

Similiar Posts

BugOutBill.com

About Author

Bug Out Bill is an adventurer and survivor through and through. From the time he was just a little boy (Bug Out Willie) running and jumping through the backwoods of the rocky mountains in Colorado, to the man he is today. Backpacking through South America, scaling two 26,000+ ft peaks, sailing across the Mediterranean, surviving a near death 50 foot fall with very little food while waiting 6 days to be rescued in the wilderness, and everything in between. No wonder he wants to Bug Out, hahaha. BO Bill is truly a passionate outdoorsman when it comes to living life to the fullest with no boundaries. The way we were meant to live and survive. He shares that passion here with you in his writing and sharing. We hope you enjoy your stay at the Bug Out Bill website. . Now Bug Out!

Bugout Bill -

Emergency NOAA Weather Radio - Bugoutbill.com

Want a Free Survival Emergency Weather Radio Delivered To Your Door?

Enter your email address below for a chance to win a Survival Survival Emergency Weather Radio ($19.99 Value) in my Jan 2021 giveaway.

You’ll also get my ‘3 Day Bugout Bag Checklist’ and be signed up for my exclusive newsletter.