Crossbows for hunting and recreational target shooting have recently seen a resounding comeback. Shooting a crossbow can be a fun, exciting, and rewarding sporting pastime.
Having the appropriate gear for hunting can make your trip that much more enjoyable and easier. If you have ever cocked and loaded a crossbow for shooting, you know the importance of a good crossbow cocking device.
If you are in the market for a new crossbow and are looking for the best crossbows with built-in cocking devices, look no further! We have put in the research and hard work to bring you our top three best crossbows with built-in cocking devices.
Before we head straight for our target, let’s take a look at a few key elements that you should keep in mind when searching out a new crossbow with a built-in cocking device.
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What to Look for in a New Crossbow
Your new crossbow with a built-in cocking device is an investment. It is vitally important that your purchase meets your needs and has features that you find value in. The following elements of your new crossbow need to be met for you to feel strong in your purchase choice:
- Total bow weight: If you have to carry your crossbow for any length of time, then the total bow weight matters. Total bow weight is the weight in pounds of your crossbow.
- Draw weight: This refers to the amount of force in pounds that will be required to cock your crossbow’s string into the “ready” position. Even with a built-in cocking device, you will still need to be able to manage a percentage of your crossbow’s draw weight.
- Bolt (arrow) speed: The velocity in feet per second (fps) is how fast your arrow will travel from release to impact. The higher the velocity, the faster your bolt will reach its intended target.
- Scope (optics): Multi-reticle and illuminated scopes are two of the more popular options found on the crossbow market. A quality scope will increase your shooting efficiency.
- Included accessories: Accessories for your new crossbow enhance the functionality of your purchase. These can consist of lubricants, string suppressors, detachable slings, and so much more.
Important Crossbow Terms
Our top three best crossbows with built-in cocking devices reviews contain certain specifications, and here is a quick rundown of what each term means:
- Draw weight: The amount of force in pounds required to draw (cock) your crossbow
- Bow weight: The carry weight in pounds of your crossbow
- Length: The total length in inches of your crossbow
- Power Stroke: The distance in inches the string of your crossbow travels from the cocked position to the resting position after firing
- Speed/Velocity: The speed in feet per second (fps) of the arrow leaving your crossbow
- Kinetic Energy: The amount of energy an arrow carries when in flight, measured as foot-pound of kinetic energy (fpke)
Now that you know more about what to look for in a new crossbow and are familiar with crossbow terminology let’s discuss what cocking devices do and the different cocking devices on the market today.
What Is a Crossbow Cocking Device?
Manually cocking a crossbow can be a daunting task. Most crossbows on today’s market have draw weights of 150 pounds or more, making it easy to misalign your crossbow’s string when cocking by hand.
Crossbow cocking devices can make readying your crossbow for shooting easier. They center the crossbow string and put much less strain on your legs, back, and arms. There are two popular types of cocking devices:
Cranking Devices: A crossbow cranking device is basically a winch (like on the front of your side-by-side). Many manufacturers have begun integrating cranking devices into the crossbow itself.
To use a cranking device on your crossbow, you will simply wind a handle to latch your crossbow string into the “ready” position. The cranking device will reduce the draw weight of your crossbow and allow for even pulling of your crossbow string when cocking.
Rope Cockers: A crossbow rope cocker operates in the same manner as a pulley. After the rope cocker is positioned correctly and you have the ball of your foot in the cocking stirrup of your crossbow, you will simply pull the handles of the rope cocker upward until the string has locked into the “ready” position.
A rope cocker can remove as much as half of your crossbow’s draw weight, limiting the strain on your body that can occur when manually cocking your crossbow.
Now that you’re a bit wiser on the mechanics of crossbow cocking devices, let’s get to the center of the target.
Top Three Best Crossbows with Built-in Cocking Devices
The budget you set aside for purchasing your new crossbow with a built-in cocking device is wholly up to you. If you have it within your budget to buy a top-of-the-line model, go for it! Keep in mind. However, the biggest price tags aren’t always the best products.
1. Barnett Hyperghost 405
The Hyperghost will check every box on your list and more. It is one of Barnett’s most powerful (arrow speeds of 405 fps) and durable crossbows.
This crossbow weighs 7.7 pounds and is easy to assemble and set up. The Hyperghost has anti-dry fire technology, RUCS hooks, CNC machined aluminum flight groove, and step-through risers. It also comes with three 22-inch Hyper Flite bolts, lube wax, a rope cocking sled, and an illuminated 1.5x5x32 mm scope.
2. TenPoint Viper S400
The Viper S400 is one of the more compact of our choices at only 32 inches long. The crossbow’s draw weight of 250 pounds is matched with bolt velocities of 400 fps.
Viper S400’s silent and safe crossbow cocking device isn’t its only top-notch feature. It boasts a Tec-X stock, a RangeMaster Pro scope, a smooth S1 trigger, and a micro-trac barrel.
3. Ravin R26
Ravin debuted the R26 crossbow at the 2019 Archery Trade Association exhibition. It solidified itself as one of the most compact yet powerful crossbows on the market.
At 26 inches long, the R26 may be small, but it is fierce with powers of 400 fps. When purchased, the R26 comes pre-adjusted and wholly assembled with six Ravin arrows, built-in sling mounts, one mountable quiver with brackets, an illuminated scope, and anti-dry-fire technology.
The built-in cocking mechanism allows for easy cocking and de-cocking of your crossbow. It is well balanced, lightweight, and ergonomically designed.
Selecting a new crossbow can be a fun and exciting thing. Hopefully, this article has not only explained some crucial aspects of the crossbow but given you a bit of insight into which crossbow with built-in cocking devices will be best for you. Happy hunting!