Crossbows for Home Defense

Crossbows are becoming a popular and legitimate choice for home defense weapons. Although it is hard to compete with firearms, crossbows can still be a highly effective and lethal home defense weapon when used correctly. Below are several recommendations of crossbows recommended as a suitable home defense arsenal that one can purchase. The recommendations are followed by why people are turning into crossbows as a home defense weapon, as well as the advantages and the disadvantages of having a crossbow for home defense purposes. 

Why Crossbows for Home Defense?

Crossbows are resurging to become one of the top alternative weapons of choice. Crossbows have several advantages that makes it an effective and lethal home defense weapon. Additionally, one of the primary reasons of its popularity is due to “The Walking Dead” TV series where Daryl Dixon’s character, Norman Reedus, uses a crossbow as his primary weapon. Therefore, a significant amount of people are beginning to purchase crossbows for a home defense weapon, amongst other options, including firearms and traditional bows. Despite some of its advantages, some people wonder if crossbows are considered as a suitable weapon for home defense usage. If they are effective, then what type of crossbow should one get.

Crossbow Training With Norman Reedus

Pros and Cons for Crossbows as a Home Defense Weapon

The main competitors that crossbows have to compete with, in terms of projectile-based weapons for home defense, are primarily firearms. Firearms are probably the most popular weapons of choice in terms of general home and self-defense. The section below provides the advantages and disadvantages for crossbows, especially in comparing crossbows to firearms:

Advantages of Crossbows

Compared to several other projectile-based weapons, the crossbow has several advantages. This includes a higher-stealth capability, a significantly easier shooting systems and mechanisms for users, and the flexibility using arrows as well as producing them on your own. Below are the aforementioned advantages and details of what makes crossbows better.

Better Stealth Capabilities

One of the primary advantages of crossbows, compared to firearms, are that crossbows are always quieter. The mechanics of how crossbows are constructed is that it produces virtually non-existent sound, especially if your target is several yards away. So, if you have to shoot the target, it is highly like that you will not be going to alert anyone who might be close to the vicinity. This is why crossbows make an excellent weapon for hunting, whereas it requires pure patience and stealth.

Shooting Systems and Mechanisms

Crossbows are considered significantly easier to shoot for someone who is new to shooting a projectile weapon than when using a bow or a firearm. Once the arrow is loaded, you just pull the trigger; it shoots. There is virtually no recoil to pay attention to, and you do not have to pull back to shoot the arrow, just like how a traditional bow is required to, for example. However, like any other projectile-based weapon, you still must train to correctly aim and shoot a crossbow accurately. This is especially true if the target is a significant distance away.  It requires a significant amount of target practice to be a precision shooter in any sort of weapon. Although it is easy to shoot a crossbow, practice is critical to ensure you hit your target accurately despite the distance.

Retrievable and Reusable Arrows

Another significant advantage that crossbows (and bows) have is the flexibility of your arrows in using and modifying them. Compared to firearms, once a bullet has been shot, it is non-retrievable. However, if the arrow you just shot is still intact, all you have to do is clean it a little bit, and it’s set; ready to be used again. Let us use some examples, both on firearms and crossbows, for a more precise context. When you use a firearm, let us say, a Glock 19, and you used up all of your current and stored ammo, then you are entirely out. Now you might be inconvenienced and have to go through buying or finding more ammunition. If you were in a home defense situation, you might be in trouble. Now, another example with the crossbow. When you come into a situation where you had to shoot all of the arrows, you can quickly get your arrows back (If they are not damaged). All you have to do is simply go to your target; provided that your targets are lifeless (Both as an object and a living target), you can retrieve the arrow.As mentioned previously, all you have to do is clean the arrows, and it’s ready to be used again. If you miss your target entirely, then it is a 99.9% chance that you can retrieve and reuse the arrow.

Making your own Arrows

Another necessary skill set to note when having a crossbow is making your own arrows. If you have practiced beforehand and mastered this particular skill set, you could make your own quiver (a collection of arrows) out of the available materials you can scrounge up. These types of materials primarily include wood, and metal, stone, or bone as the arrowhead.

How Powerful is a Crossbow?

Disadvantages of Crossbows

Although crossbows can be an effective home defense projectile weapon, it does come with its flaws. There are a few disadvantages that may hinder your crossbow as an effective home defense weapon. This includes the size and weight of the crossbow, a crossbows slow loading mechanism, and the firing range and distance of a crossbow compared to other projectile based weapons. Below are the listed disadvantages in detail.

Standard-Size Crossbows can be Long and Bulky

The size and weight of a crossbow are primarily one of the most significant disadvantages of a home defense situation. Although there are smaller and lighter crossbows, the majority of crossbows are built heavy and bulky. Therefore, moving them around in close quarters or trying to draw out the crossbows fast can prove to be a challenge. Additionally, the idea of concealing a crossbow is significantly more difficult than a firearm. Pistols are incredibly easy to holster under cover of clothing. Crossbows, however, must be carried around, similar to a rifle. It is important to note that for the majority of standard-sized crossbows, although it is silent when shot, standard-sized crossbows are considered not the best projectile weapon to use in close quarters. The standard size of crossbows, and sometimes its weight, can easily make noise by hitting or knocking the crossbow into walls or objects around you. This is especially true when you find yourself in a situation, let us say, that does not provide you with enough space while defending yourself. If you come into this situation, definitely move over to a larger space environment.

Loading Mechanism

Loading the arrow is probably one of the most significant disadvantages when using a crossbow as a home defense weapon. A crossbow can only load one arrow or bolt at a time. Some argue that when competing against traditional bows and firearms, the crossbow will fall as the slowest when loading. Loading the bolt or arrow takes a significant amount of time, sometimes up to a minute. Loading a weapon can define your outcome in a life-or-death situation. So, make sure that you have placed enough time shooting with your crossbow to be an accurate shooter. Therefore, you will only need to hit your target on that first and single try.

Range and Distance of Crossbows

Although a standard crossbow with the average shooter can reach roughly around 25 to 50 yards (and possibly 80 to 100 yards for a very experienced crossbow shooter), the range of distance does not compare with firearms. The range of your crossbow will depend on several factors, including:

  • Crossbow quality
  • Type of arrow
  • Skill as an archer

However, it still does not change the fact that you have a better ability to shoot a significantly longer distance with a firearm than a crossbow.

Recommended Crossbows for Home Defense

What makes a crossbow great for home defense will include several factors. But most importantly, it is the ability to use it efficiently, along with quick reaction. So, weight, user-friendly features, and loading mechanism play an essential factor in making a crossbow effective for home defense. Below are a few recommendations.

Ravin R29 Sniper Crossbow

The Ravin R29 is considered as one of the top-quality crossbows in the market. The Ravin R29 is capable of firing accurately with few chances to miss. R29 is composed of the most modern and latest features that make it one of the best home defense weapons. Additionally, the Ravin R29 has automatic shooting capabilities with a sensitive trigger system. In terms of home defense, if you have a large-sized property, such as a farm, or a house with a large yard, the Ravin R29 is probably the best choice for you. Although it may come as a typical crossbow, the Ravin R29’s features give its user better chances in terms of quick reaction and long-range shooting, accompanied by easy usage.

The Ravin R29 also has a fully integrated Versa-Draw cocking system, making it significantly easier for users to cock. The R29 only requires just about 12 lbs. of cocking force. This makes the Ravin R29 a crossbow with an easy load-to-shoot, giving it a faster outcome that is an essential factor for home defense situations. Below are the main features of the Ravin R29: 

  • Trigger unloads using quality and resilient bowstring
  • Fires arrows at 430 FPS
  • A projectile of up to 400 meters straight
  • The secure lock prevents it from hitting the wrong targets

In addition, the R29 comes pre-assembled. Therefore, it is easily used and convenient for users since it does not require too much hassle to assemble the crossbow itself when purchased.

Ravin R29 Sniper Crossbow (Source).

PSE Archery Viper SS

The PSE Archery Viper SS pistol crossbow is one of the more recommended crossbows to have for protective measures. The Viper SS is a compact, light, and effective crossbow for home defense. This particular pistol crossbow is light and compact in size, making it incredibly easy to maneuver in close quarters, which is primarily what makes it best for home defense. The Viper SS, despite its small size, is also capable of firing full-powered bolts. Additionally, the firing system allows you to project your arrow at a greater distance than the majority of other crossbows in the market.

The PSE Archery Viper SS Crossbow is also incredibly user-friendly and safe as its features include a safety lock on the crossbow. This will guarantee that you will not get any accidental injuries with the Viper SS. Additionally, the safety lock helps immensely during a position where you have to load your bolt on your crossbow, reducing misfires. The limbs of the PSE Viper SS crossbow are made up of fiberglass, which is incredibly sturdy. Therefore, using it in the outdoors is suitable as it is built for rugged use without risk. In addition to the durability, the Viper SS’ fingerguard also provides extra protection. Overall, the Viper SS pistol crossbow is considered one of the most affordable crossbows in the market. It is a lightweight and user-friendly crossbow, making it a versatile and suitable crossbow for home defense.

PSE Archery Viper SS (Source).

Bear X Constrictor CDX Crossbow

The Bear X Constrictor CDX Crossbow is potentially one of the most highly user-friendly crossbows in the market. Many choose the Bear X because it does not require much prior experience using crossbows. Additionally, it is versatile, making it very suitable for both home defense and hunting. Although the Bear X is a full-size crossbow, it is made up of lightweight, durable plastic, making it easily maneuverable.  Furthermore, the Bear X is considered a high-quality crossbow in the market, attached with all the latest features, providing it with the best experience for users of all levels.

One of the primary advantages of the Bear X Constrictor is that it is conveniently portable and compact, measuring in at just 10″ wide (14″ uncocked). The Bear X Constrictor comes with a draw weight of 200 pounds, along with a dual-mount string recoil suppressor system and an anti-dry fire mechanism.
Below are several other notable features of the Bear X Constrictor CDX Crossbow:

  • Shoots arrow up to 410 FPS
  • Illuminated scope
  • 32″l, 9 lbs.

The Bear X is capable of being one of the top crossbows for home defense situations due to its optimum user safety features as well as consistent results when used in the shooting.

Bear X Constrictor CDX Crossbow (Source).

Steambow AR-6 Stinger Tactical Repeating Crossbow

The Steambow AR-6 Stinger Tactical Repeating Crossbow, an Austrian-made product, is arguably one the better pistol crossbow that your money can buy in the market. Many of the AR-6 Stinger pistol crossbow owners have reviewed it as accurate, compact, and extremely easy to use. Th Steambow AR-6 Stinger Tactical Repeating Crossbow has a drawing weight of 80 pounds. The drawing weight itself gives the AR-6 Stinger extra stored energy, giving it an above average range compared to other pistol crossbows. 

One of the best things about the Steambow AR-6 Stinger Tactical Repeating Crossbow is its innovative 6-shot repeater design, making it easier to shoot. The faster you can shoot without loading your arrows, the better chance you have in home defense situations. Also, the Stinger can be stored with a full magazine for quick use. For loading and safety purposes, the Steambow AR-6 Stinger Tactical Repeating Crossbow’s magazine is equipped with a “charge level indicator”. This feature allows the user to monitor how many arrows have been shot or loaded, as well as which arrows are loaded in the magazine. The AR-6 Stinger comes with a red hunting arrow and a blue training arrow.

Another additional factor that is deemed incredibly important in home defense situations is size and weight. The Steambow AR-6 Stinger Tactical Repeating Crossbow is made from CNC aluminum, which has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and natural corrosion resistance. This factor keeps it light and makes it more durable than the plastic-made crossbows. Furthermore, the pistol size and light weight make it incredibly easy for users to draw and maneuver quickly in close quarters. This is considered an incredibly important factor for home defense situations. 

Steambow AR-6 Stinger Tactical Repeating Crossbow (Source).

CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow

The CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow is considered as one of the best model produced by CenterPoint Archery. CenterPoint’s Sniper 370 Crossbow model is known to be extremely affordable while providing the best feature for an efficient home defense crossbow. Additionally, the crossbow is also known to have a complex compound system while being user-friendly.Purchasing the CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow comes in a full package, which will include: 

  • Carbon bolts
  • Rope cocker
  • 4×32 mm scope
  • Quiver
  • Three 20-inch carbon arrows

Another feature that CenterPoint’s Sniper 370 crossbow has is its adjustable stock and foregrip for comfort. This feature will be incredibly useful in adjusting your scope and mounting process. While crossbows that have non-adjustable stocks would sometimes require the owner to deal with discomfort or purchase a new sight for better performance. The CenterPoint Sniper 370 crossbow also includes a fully integrated string suppressor. This feature is extremely useful for users who prioritize stealthy capabilities and vibration-free shot for stability. All-in-all, the combination of its easy use, lightweight, accuracy, and lethality, the CenterPoint’s Sniper 370 crossbow is one of the best crossbows you can get for home defense situations.

CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow (Source).

Conclusion – Crossbows are Lethal for Home Defense

As mentioned, crossbows are becoming a popular and effective home defense weapon. More and more crossbows on the market are developed specifically for home defense-type situations. Although it is not as efficient as a firearm, it can still be lethal with users who have the proper training and experience using crossbows.


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Kevin was born and raised in Texas and loves all things tactical. His hobbies include shooting, hunting, rock climbing, and hiking with his dog Jax.

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