Today, hunting weapons are one of the most demanded items which is understandable since hunting has become America’s favorite outdoor activity. 

So, the debate regarding the best outdoor activity is now over, but a new debate has taken place i-e which is the best hunting weapon. 

Generally, people are found comparing crossbows and compound bows? Which is better among these two. 

Both crossbow and compound bow are effective hunting weapons. They are almost identical, but there are certain massive differences. 

To end this debate, we have performed a brief comparison of these two hunting weapons. We shall explain how these two work, and then we will compare the pros and cons. 

In the end, we hope to derive a conclusive result and figure out one better weapon. So, let’s begin with a short explanation of what crossbow and compound bow are. 

What is a Crossbow?

Crossbow is a modernized hunting weapon and an advancement of traditional bow and arrow. It is usually shaped like a rifle or a pistol. However, it fires darts rather than bullets. 


It works exactly like a real rifle. You pull the trigger to shoot darts. It is considered a beginner friendly and one of the easiest hunting weapons. It possesses a mechanism of drawing and releasing string.  

What is a Compound Bow?


A compound bow is closer to the traditional bow and arrow. It uses a levering system for bending the limbs, typically of pulleys and cables. 

Compound bow uses real arrows, not darts, and it is not shaped like a rifle or pistol. There is no trigger to pull, rather the user has to pull and release the string himself to shoot arrows. 

Pros of Crossbow

Easier to Learn and Use

The greatest advantage of crossbow is that it is very easy to learn and use. After all, it works like a pistol or rifle. All you need to do is pull the trigger to shoot darts. This is the easiest way to use any hunting weapon. 

Less Training Required

If you are using firearms or other hunting weapons, you need to spend some time in training yourself. At least some days, if not months. 

But, crossbow does not make you train yourself for that long. Just a day will make you a perfect user. You only need to learn how to aim and pull the trigger to fire darts. 

Easier to Handle & Beginner Friendly

For beginners, this is an ideal hunting weapon. It is easier to handle compared to all other hunting weapons out there. Beginners can get on with straight away. There is nothing complex or difficult when it comes to using crossbows.

Easier to Aim

Specifically compared to compound bows, crossbows are easier to aim. You can hold them like real rifles. Similarly, you can aim like you aim in the case of firearms. 

You have nothing else to focus. Therefore, you can concentrate on aiming and it will ease the work for you. 

Good for Disabled Hunters

In America, disabled hunters are in great numbers. Though they are usually on an advantage when considering hunting regulations, they can double their advantage if they use crossbows. They are easier to handle for disabled. Also, they are easier to use!

Cons of Crossbow

Lack of Accuracy

The greatest drawback of crossbow is the lack of accuracy. Accuracy is a key factor in hunting and if your weapon is inaccurate, it becomes little ineffective and useless. So, this is what you can’t afford. 

Crossbow disappoints too often when it comes to accuracy. You often miss your target if you mishandle it. So, this is a major question mark on this hunting weapon!

Higher Draw Weight

Crossbows have higher draw weight compared to compound bows. This makes them heavier as well. Since they are heavy, they are difficult to carry on a field too. This is another key disadvantage of this weapon. 

Higher draw weight makes it difficult to handle for the users who have lack of physical strength. Also, you need massive space in your bags for carrying them. Moving forward with this weapon in your hands is a great challenge. 

Slower to Operate & Reload

Another challenge for crossbow hunters is to operate them. They take too much time in reloading the darts. When you are hunting deer or other big game that are fast as deer, you need a quick weapon. 

Unfortunately, crossbow is not the quickest when it comes to reloading. This is a disappointing factor as well which leads to a day full of disasters for the hunters. 


Noise is another factor that can make your hunting experience awful as well. Crossbow is a noisy weapon as well, specifically compared to compound bow. 

It produces sounds that can inform the danger to the big game, and hence, they can escape and run away from your reach in a matter of seconds. So, it is not an ideal weapon for hunting big game like deer, considering it is not a silent weapon. 

Pros of Compound Bow


Keep the pros and cons of crossbow in your mind as we get to compound bow. The biggest plus with a compound bow is that it is a silent weapon. 

It does not produce any sound, and this is key when it comes to hunting big game, such as deer. You can silently target them and in the end have a wonderful hunting experience. 

Quicker Reload

Compared to crossbow, compound bow is quicker. Obviously, the preferable weapon for hunting is the one that is fast. So, this makes it a slightly better option. You can quickly reload it with arrows and shoot them. 

Lighter in Weight

Compound bow is much lighter than a crossbow. We’re not specifically considering the draw weight, we are also considering the actual weight of the weapon. Since it is lighter in weight, it is sometimes easier to handle. 

It is easier to carry on a field. Also, the disabled hunters can move forward easily when they are equipped with a compound bow, thanks to its lower weight. 

More Accurate

Compound bow is the most accurate hunting weapon as well. It provides unbelievable accuracy. Though it is difficult to aim at times, but the accuracy that it offers eliminates the disappointment of aiming challenge. 

Since accuracy is a major factor that determines the effectiveness and efficiency of a hunting weapon, compound bow is easily more efficient, considering its accuracy.


Cons of Compound Bow

Difficult to Handle

Compound bow is not the easiest to handle hunting weapon. For beginners, it is the most challenging weapon. It is pretty difficult to handle it for unskilled people. You need to be an expert to use it perfectly.

Days of Practice Needed

To learn and use compound bow, you need to spend days in learning and practicing it. Sometimes, it may take months for you to become an expert user. You just can’t get your hands on it un;less you have the necessary skills to use it efficiently.

Not Great for Disabled Hunters

Sorry for disabled hunters, compound bow is not an option for you. You just can’t use it. You need to pull the string and then release which is impossible for a few disabled hunters. So, this is where it is slightly disappointing as it is not an ideal weapon for all sorts of hunters. 

Immense Skills Needed

Users of compound bows are often highly skilled individuals. They have spent years in using the, and as a result, they have established unmatchable skills to use it. If you lack skills of aiming and hitting the spot each time, this is not the best hunting weapon for you. 

Strength Needed to Operate

Since you need to pull the string and then release it, you need to apply some force. If you lack physical strength, you won’t be able to use it. Significant power is required to use them perfectly.

Harder to Aim

With compound bow, your aiming skills are tested. They are the hardest to aim which makes them ineffective hunting weapons. 


Well, it is still not easy to give an opinion regarding which weapon is better among the two. Crossbow has its own share of pros and cons, and the compound bow also presents some advantages and drawbacks. 

Before, we get a final verdict, it is necessary to tell you that for beginners, crossbow is the better choice since it is easy to handle. But for expert users, compound bow is worth a try. 

Similarly, crossbow is ideal for unskilled users and disabled people. But for those who are efficient and need a more powerful weapon that provides accuracy, compound bow is the go to weapon. 

To sum up, crossbow is certainly a better choice, considering the overall comparison. It is shaped like a rifle or pistol, and hence become easier to use. 

In addition, it requires less training and skills, and hence, for most number of hunters out there, crossbow is a better hunting weapon compared to compound bow.