Recurve Crossbow

Recurve Crossbow hanging up after hunt.
OttoDarlanen/Shutterstock.com

Recurve Crossbow History

The recurve crossbow has a long and storied history. Much like its cousin, the recurve vertical bow; the recurve crossbow started out as a military weapon. The earliest recurve crossbows date back to ancient China. It was a simple device and did the job during times of war.

We here at HuntingCrossbow.Net focus on the crossbow as a hunting tool. We already know there are many advantages to hunting with a crossbow (See our Top 5 HERE), so let us get down to the nitty-gritty and really discuss the pros and cons of the recurve crossbow.

Pros of the Recurve Crossbow:

  • Lightweight - The recurve is usually much lighter than its compound crossbow brother. This is due to the lack of additional part i.e.: cams, cables, etc.
  • Quick Acquisition of Target - Due to its lighter weight, it is much faster to shoulder and make an accurate shot on the target.
  • Easy to Hold Position - Once again, the lighter weight makes for an easier time of holding the position. This comes in handy while waiting for your target to assume the position.
  • Reliability - Less moving parts means less to go wrong. Recurves have very few maintenance needs. This is very important to a hunter on a hunt where there is no pro shop near by.
  • Quick Repair - The most likely failure to a recurve crossbow is a snapped string. An extra string can be carried in a pocket and does not need any special tools or equipment to restring. The restringing of a recurve crossbow can be done in a matter of seconds. If you were hunting with a compound crossbow and the same failure happened, your hunting day or possibly even the whole trip would be done.
  • Quiet - Let's face it. It is a crossbow. These are not quiet weapons. The recurve crossbow does tend to be LESS noisy than a compound crossbow, but let us be honest, it is not much.

Cons of the Recurve Crossbow:

  • Less Power - When a compound crossbow and recurve crossbow with the same draw weight are compared, the recurve will produce less power.
  • Slower - The bolt speed from a recurve is slower than that of a compound crossbow, this is due to the wider limbs.
  • Wide Limbs - The wider limbs of the recurve not only make for slower bolt speed, they also make the recurve harder to hunt with in tight spaces, like a tree stand.
  • Not Easy to Cock - The cams of a compound crossbow will make the bow easier to cock. However, with the many cocking devices on the market, the heavier pull can be easily equalized.

The basic design makes for simple operation, easy maintenance, and overall reliability. The minor loss of speed and power is not necessary when hunting most all game in North America. The simple recurve crossbow is more than sufficient for the beginner to the most experienced of hunters.

What we Recommend

For the beginner shooter we would recommend the following recurve crossbows:

The Barnett BCR                                     The Barnett Recruit

For the more experienced crossbow hunter, we would recommend the following recurve crossbows:

  Excalibur Matrix GRZ 2                        Excalibur Matrix 350SE

Do you have any positive or negative experiences with the recurve crossbows mentioned above? Why do you like or dislike the recurve crossbow? We want to hear from you. Please share your story with us. Leave a comment or you can reach out to us by clicking HERE.