January 14, 2021
By Lynn Burkhead
As the virtual version of the 2021 ATA Trade Show continues, it might be easy to think that all of the new crossbows on the market this year are going to empty out Scrooge McDuck’s bank vault at the cash register.
But that’s simply not the case as these sub-$600 crossbows show, along with one new crossbow model just above that price point. In fact, it’s entirely possible to get into the crossbow hunting game for whitetails, big game, or off-season wild hogs with an affordable design that is big on features and short on cash outlay in these challenging times.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of what’s new this year in the sub-$600 crossbow market:
CenterPoint Pulse 425
Speed and a quiet shot are hallmarks of the new CenterPoint Pulse 425. Checking in at only 12-inches in width from axle-to-axle when cocked, this crossbow is a quiet assassin that can be easily maneuvered in a treestand, ladder stand, or ground blind situation when a big buck steps from cover. Featuring a CNC-machined aluminum rail and cam system, this crossbow comes with an AR-style buttstock and a folding stirrup. With a Whisper Silencer System that uses string stops, limb dampeners, and string silencers to keep noise and vibration at bay, this design is quiet along with being safe, thanks to an anti-dry fire and auto-safety trigger mechanism. Add in the 4x32 illuminated scope, three 20-inch bolts, a rope cocking device, and a side-mount quiver and hunters are only a few easy steps away from hitting the woods when they purchase this new crossbow from CenterPoint Archery!
MSRP $499 | centerpointarchery.com
CenterPoint Wrath 430
OK, true confession time. The title of this story says it's about new crossbows for 2021 that check in with a price tag of less than $600. As you might notice in this description, the price tag for the new CenterPoint Wrath 430 is just a little bit more than that, checking in at $649. But when there’s an affordable crossbow with these kinds of features, what’s a handful of $10 bills amongst friends, right? The guess here is that there will be plenty of takers for this new crossbow thanks to the fact that it's CenterPoint Archery's shortest and fastest crossbow ever. Measuring only 9-inches axle-to-axle when cocked--and only 13-inches when not cocked--this crossbow is 28 1/4-inches long, weighs 8.3-pounds, and lets bolts go at 430 fps. With a 4x32 illuminated scope, a bullpup stock, and a ball-bearing arrow retention spring, this crossbow is easy to like at the cash register as well as in the field. Coming with three bolts, a quiver, and a stirrup that folds down to act as a bipod, this new CenterPoint design is easy to maneuver in a treestand or a ground blind, sends bolts downrange at blistering speeds, and won't break the bank. It’s a winner and then some in the crowded crossbow market this year.
MSRP $649 | centerpointarchery.com
PSE Coalition Frontier
The features are numerous on the newest addition to the PSE crossbow lineup, but the number of George Washington’s you’ll have to spend to buy the new Coalition Frontier aren’t. Starting with a 13 1/4-inch power stroke, the Coalition Frontier can launch bolts at speeds of up to 380 fps as the 190-pound draw weight delivers a good kinetic energy punch downrange. Weighing 6.9-pounds, measuring 33 5/8-inches in length, and being only 17 7/8-inches from axle-to-axle at rest, this crossbow comes in Kryptek’s Altitude camo. With a 1.5-5x32 variable zoom illuminated scope, three 22-inch carbon bolts, a five-bolt quiver, limb dampers, string silencers, dual string stops, and a cocking rope, this is a high quality crossbow at a very affordable price. But then again, what else would you expect from Pete Shepley and the folks at PSE?
MSRP $299.99 | psearchery.com
Rocky Mountain RM400 Black
Looking for an affordable way to get into the crossbow hunting game while still purchasing a high quality hunting product? Then look no further than the new Rocky Mountain RM400 Black design from Feradyne, which propels 380-grain Carbon Express Pile Driver bolts—included in the package—at 400 fps with 135 foot-pounds of kinetic energy at impact. And all of that big performance at an easy to stomach price tag of only $299.99, leaving you plenty of extra money for the venison processing and taxidermy bill! Measuring 18 1/2-inches wide—14 1/2-inches wide when cocked—by 35-inches in length, this crossbow is built on a one-piece black stock that has a 195-pound draw weight limb system as its core. Coming with a Dry Fire safety system, RM Quiet Crank, a bolt quiver, three Carbon Express bolts, dual string suppressors, limb dampeners, and a 4x32 scope, this crossbow is ready-to-hunt and at a friendly price tag that just about any hunter can afford.
MSRP $299.99 | feradyne.com/rocky-mountain
Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360
A big-time crossbow without a big-time price is a good way to describe the Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360 by the makers of TenPoint. Weighing only 6-pounds and measuring 35-inches long by 15-inches wide, the crossbow sends bolts downrange at 360 fps thanks to the WRX laminated limbs, machined 5S Cams, and DynaFLIGHT 97 string and cables. With a 4x32 multi-line scope that is pre-sighted at the factory for 20-yards, this package comes with TenPoint's Dry Fire Inhibitor, a fully enclosed trigger guard, safety wings to keep fingers safe as the bolts start their journey downrange, and a crisp 3 1/2-pound trigger. With three XX75 Alpha-Nock aluminum bolts, PEAK camo on the limbs, a black tactical stock, and a picatinny rail for mounting accessories, this is a penthouse level crossbow for a studio-apartment level price tag.
MSRP $399.99 | wickedridgecrossbows.com