Best Crossbow Pistol: Top 5 Picks for 2023

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Crossbow pistols offer an exciting and compact way to enjoy the thrilling experience of crossbow shooting. These smaller versions of traditional crossbows pack a substantial punch while being lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Ideal for hunting, target practice, and even self-defense, crossbow pistols provide an accessible and unique alternative to firearms or standard archery equipment.

The art of shooting from a crossbow dates back centuries, with expert bowmen having contributed to key historical events. Crossbow pistols distill this rich history into a modern and portable form, allowing enthusiasts of all skill levels to master the art of shooting with precision and power.

When considering a crossbow pistol, the choice can sometimes be overwhelming, with various factors to keep in mind before deciding on the perfect one for your needs.

Key aspects to consider when purchasing a crossbow pistol include its draw weight, which affects the shooting power and accuracy, the materials used in its construction, as well as the type of projectiles it uses – usually either bolts or darts.

The balance between size and performance is essential to find the best crossbow pistol that suits your requirements, ensuring comfort and usability while still delivering high performance.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve spent significant time researching and analyzing top crossbow pistols currently on the market.

We’ve prioritized factors like:

  • durability
  • ease of use
  • and overall value for money

to bring you a comprehensive guide on the best crossbow pistol to fit your needs.

So let’s dive in and explore the choices together for an exhilarating crossbow pistol experience.

Best Crossbow Pistols

We have compiled a list of the best crossbow pistols available on the market, to help you find the perfect one for your needs.

BALLISTA BAT Compound Mini Crossbow

The BALLISTA BAT is a reliable option for those seeking a powerful, compact, and lightweight crossbow pistol that is perfect for hunting or target practice.


  • Fast (330 fps) and powerful (130 lbs draw weight)
  • Compact (16″x5″) and lightweight (2.46 lbs)
  • Silent and quick loading


  • String and cables may be of lower quality
  • Not suitable for large game hunting
  • Limited dart options available

We took the BALLISTA BAT Compound Mini Crossbow for a test run and found it to be powerful for its size, making it great for small game hunting or target practice. The fast shooting speed (330 fps) and powerful 130 lbs draw weight allow you to even use this crossbow for hunting purposes. Its compact size (16″x5″) and lightweight (2.46 lbs) design make it easy to carry around, fitting into small backpacks, and ensuring your hands don’t get tired while shooting.

The silent and quick loading feature of the BALLISTA BAT is impressive, making it convenient to use in the field. It also has a 21mm Weaver Rail, allowing you to attach a red dot sight, optics, or laser to improve your shooting experience. The package comes with three 11-inch practice bolts, and it is compatible with Ballista Practice Bolts 12.8″ and Ballista Sting Bolts 13″.

However, we also noticed that the string and cables of the BALLISTA BAT may be of slightly lower quality, which could potentially affect performance and longevity. Additionally, this crossbow pistol may not be suitable for large game hunting due to the limitations of the string and cables. Finally, there are limited dart options available for this crossbow, which could be a drawback for some users.

Overall, we believe the BALLISTA BAT Compound Mini Crossbow is a great choice for those looking for a fast, powerful, and convenient crossbow pistol for small game hunting and target practice.

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Southland Archery Supply Prophecy Crossbow

We highly recommend the Southland Archery Supply Prophecy Crossbow for its power, compact design, and excellent features.


  • Compact body with self-cocking design
  • Powerful performance with 80 lbs draw weight
  • Versatile Picatinny mounting rail


  • Instructions could be clearer
  • Some durability concerns
  • Potential alignment and safety issues

We were impressed by the compact body and self-cocking design of the Southland Archery Supply (SAS) Prophecy Crossbow. It’s easy to cock and simple to use, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for a toy. The crossbow boasts an 80 lbs draw weight, with arrows traveling up to 165 FPS. This makes it perfect for both beginners and experienced users alike.

The Prophecy Crossbow features a Cobra Limb System, which is one of the best pistol limb systems available. It’s strong, powerful, and ensures consistent performance. The Picatinny 7/8″ mounting rail adds stability and is more reliable than other pistol crossbows with dovetail 3/8 base rails. The rail is also compatible with various accessories, such as scopes, red dot sights, laser sights, and flashlights, making the SAS Prophecy a versatile choice.

However, there are some concerns that we experienced while using the SAS Prophecy Crossbow. The instructions provided for assembly could be clearer, especially for beginners who are new to crossbows. Additionally, there were some durability issues reported, such as end caps cracking or pieces breaking off during use. Lastly, we noticed that the crossbow might have some alignment and safety malfunctions, which could deter some users from confidently using the product.

Overall, the Southland Archery Supply Prophecy 80 Pound Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow offers a powerful and compact shooting experience with its Cobra System Limb and added versatility from the Picatinny mounting rail. While there are some concerns around durability and safety, the product’s performance and ease of use make it a solid option for those seeking a crossbow pistol.

Bear X Desire RD Self-Cocking Crossbow

The Bear X Desire RD is an excellent compact crossbow pistol choice for those seeking an easy to use, lightweight option with a red dot sight.


  • Compact design and lightweight
  • Self-cocking arm and forearm grip for safety
  • Red dot sight for improved aiming


  • Red dot sight may require adjustments
  • Initial stringing can be challenging
  • Comes with only three premium bolts

We recently had the pleasure of trying out the Bear X Desire RD compact crossbow pistol, and it did not disappoint. The lightweight, 1.9 lbs design made it easy to handle, while the forearm grip provided added control during use. The self-cocking arm is a safety feature we appreciated, as it made the crossbow easier to load.

While using the Bear X Desire RD, we found the red dot sight to be beneficial for aiming but noticed it might require some adjustments before achieving perfect accuracy. However, once dialed in, it greatly improved our shots.

The initial stringing of the crossbow can be a bit tricky, so it may take some time and patience to set it up correctly. Additionally, the Desire RD comes with only three premium bolts, so purchasing extra bolts would be advisable for extended use.

In conclusion, the Bear X Desire RD is a fantastic choice for anyone seeking a compact, easy-to-use crossbow pistol with a red dot sight. Although it comes with a few minor drawbacks, we believe that its overall performance and design make it well worth considering for both beginners and experienced shooters.

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CenterPoint Archery Sniper Elite 385 Crossbow Package

The CenterPoint Archery Sniper Elite 385 is a top choice for those seeking power, accuracy, and a customizable fit in a crossbow pistol.


  • High performance 385 FPS
  • Fully adjustable stock and foregrip
  • Quiet and vibration-free shooting


  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Assembly can be challenging
  • Scope may need upgrading for better field of vision

We recently put the CenterPoint Archery Sniper Elite 385 Crossbow Package to the test and were impressed by its power and accuracy. The 385 FPS and 185-pound draw weight give this crossbow pistol the force needed to take down even large game.

One feature that stood out to us was the fully adjustable stock and foregrip. Having the ability to customize the fit ensured that we could shoulder the crossbow confidently, improving accuracy and comfort during long shooting sessions.

The integrated string suppressors and limb dampeners were great additions, as they provided a quiet and vibration-free shot. This allowed us to remain stealthy and avoid spooking game while hunting.

However, this crossbow pistol may not be ideal for beginners, as it packs a serious punch and requires some experience in handling powerful weapons. The assembly process was also a bit challenging, although manageable. We recommend taking your time when putting it together to ensure the best results.

Lastly, we found that the included 4x32mm scope may not be adequate for all users due to a limited field of vision. Older users or those with vision impairments may prefer upgrading to a better scope.

In conclusion, the CenterPoint Archery Sniper Elite 385 Crossbow Package provides excellent performance, customization, and stealthy shooting. It’s best suited for experienced hunters, and those willing to invest time in assembly and potentially upgrading the scope.

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Buying Guide

When looking for the best crossbow pistol, there are several factors to consider. We have listed some of the critical features to help you make an informed decision.


First and foremost, think about the reason for purchasing a crossbow pistol. Are you looking for a compact and portable hunting device or something for target shooting? Understanding your desired use will significantly impact your choice, as certain features will be more critical than others.

Draw Weight and Velocity

Draw weight refers to the amount of force needed to pull back the bowstring. A higher draw weight typically corresponds to a higher velocity, resulting in a faster and more powerful shot. However, keep in mind that a higher draw weight can be harder to manage for beginners.

Size and Weight

Since one of the primary benefits of crossbow pistols is their compact nature, it’s important to pay attention to size and weight. A lighter and more compact crossbow pistol will be easier to carry and maneuver, making it more suitable for extended use.

Safety Features

As with any shooting device, safety should be a top priority. Look for crossbow pistols with features such as anti-dry fire mechanisms and finger guards to minimize the risk of accidents.

Ease of Use and Assembly

Some crossbow pistols require assembly, and this can range from simple to complex. Consider your skill level and how much time you’re willing to spend on assembly. Additionally, look for crossbow pistols that are easy to load, cock, and release to maximize your shooting experience.

Quality and Durability

Lastly, make sure to choose a crossbow pistol made from high-quality materials that can withstand repeated use and harsh conditions. Solid and durable construction will ensure that you get the most out of your investment.

By taking these factors into account, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the best crossbow pistol that meets your needs and preferences.

Final Recommendation

After a meticulous investigation and comprehensive analysis, we wholeheartedly recommend the CenterPoint Archery Sniper Elite 385 as the superior crossbow pistol on the market. Its blend of power, precision, adjustability, and quiet operation makes it a standout choice. Let’s summarize the key factors that contributed to our decision.

The Sniper Elite 385 boasts a remarkable draw weight of 185 lbs and a velocity of 385 FPS. These features enable both potent shots and swift firing, ensuring users a trustworthy and effective crossbow pistol experience.

Precision is another crucial strength of the Sniper Elite 385. The fully adjustable stock and foregrip allow users to customize the fit, enhancing their targeting capability. Coupled with the power it offers, this leads to superior accuracy.

The Sniper Elite 385 offers a substantial benefit with its quiet and vibration-free shooting, thanks to its integrated string suppressors and limb dampeners. This stealthy performance can be essential during hunting sessions where silence is often golden.

On the flip side, the Sniper Elite 385 may not be the best choice for beginners due to its formidable power and the experience required to handle it safely. It’s a tool for the experienced, not for the faint-hearted.

Assembly can be a bit challenging, but this is a small trade-off considering the advantages it offers. As for the included 4x32mm scope, it may serve basic needs well, but for a broader field of vision or for users with visual limitations, upgrading to a superior scope may be desirable.

To summarize, the CenterPoint Archery Sniper Elite 385 stands as a top choice for a crossbow pistol, due to its high performance, customization capabilities, and quiet operation. Although it may be challenging for beginners and may require some initial assembly, the benefits it brings for experienced users far outweigh these minor concerns. It is particularly well suited for those who value power, precision, and stealth in their crossbow pistol.

To summarize, the CenterPoint Archery Sniper Elite 385 is the top choice for a crossbow pistol due to its:

  • High power and velocity
  • Exceptional accuracy
  • Durable construction
  • User-friendly design

It is our belief that this crossbow pistol will meet and exceed the expectations of users across various skill levels and purposes.

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