Crossbows: Compound, Designs, Directory, Draw Weight, History, Hunting, Modern, Recurve, Reviews & Terminology.
Crossbow Manufacturers: Barnett, Excalibur, Horton, Parker & Tenpoint.
Power and Range: 200-225 FPS., 225-275 FPS., 275-325 FPS. & 325-375 FPS..
Crossbows: Compound, Designs, Draw Weight, History, Hunting, Modern, Recurve, & Terminology.


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How much draw weight for crossbow hunting?

 While it may seem like a simple question, it is one however with a complex answer, what is needed to be known is how much arrow energy is needed for hunting. This is answered at arrow energy. Draw weight is only a fraction of the equation for determining arrow energy.

 First, what is draw weight, draw weight is the amount of force required to draw the crossbow back to its fully cocked and locked position.

  • A recurve crossbow's draw weight increases the farther back you pull the string and it reaches its peak draw weight when it is in its fully cocked and locked position.
  • A compound crossbow will most likely be designed with its wheels and or cams to be at peak draw weight with almost no let off for the entire draw length to the last inch of its cock and lock position and this is the reason why compound crossbows deliver a higher arrow energy for a given draw weight.


  •  Second, what is a crossbows draw length, draw length is the distance between the crossbow-string's position at rest and its position when fully drawn to its cocked and locked position. (Also known as crossbow powerstroke.)

     Draw weight and draw length determine arrow energy.

  • Crossbow draw weight determines how much force is applied to the arrow.
  • Recurve crossbow, gradually increases draw weight until full draw.
  • Compound crossbow, peak draw weight for the entire draw.
  • Crossbow draw length (powerstroke) determines the amount of time that force is applied to the arrow.
  • Crossbow draw weight plus crossbow draw length determine arrow energy.


  •  Crossbow 150 pound draw weight for hunting. (Actual examples)

  • Recurve crossbow, 150 lb. draw weight, 11" powerstroke, 400 grain arrow = 205 f.p.s. velocity = 37 ft.lbs. arrow energy, good for hunting up to deer size animals.


  • Recurve crossbow, 150 lb. draw weight, 12.5" powerstroke, 400 grain arrow = 235 f.p.s. velocity = 49 ft.lbs. arrow energy, good for hunting up to short range black bear and elk.


  • Compound crossbow, 150 lb. draw weight, 9.5" powerstroke, 400 grain arrow = 252 f.p.s. velocity = 56 ft.lbs. arrow energy, good for hunting up to black bear, elk and wild boar.


  • Compound crossbow, 150 lb. draw weight, 13" powerstroke, 400 grain arrow = 302 f.p.s. velocity = 81 ft.lbs. arrow energy, good for hunting up to cape buffalo and grizzly bears.
  •  As you can see in the above examples all of the crossbows have a draw weight of 150lbs. yet they can be used to hunt many species of game animals effectively, so choosing a crossbow by its draw weight alone is not enough information.


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