Sometimes it’s daunting when your first getting into bow hunting with all the information available on what bows to choose and what will suit you best.
With so many options on the market theses days, and prices varying from a few hundred up into the thousands, potential bow hunters are often left with analysis paralysis.
Most lads and ladettes starting out usually want to go for the cheapest bow they can find, and while that is fine their are some particular bows and brands you can really keep an eye out for to ensure you get your best bang for buck.
This really gives the opportunity to ensure you have the best experience possible when starting out in your bow hunting journey and serves as solid foundation to build further knowledge on the subject with out having to sell a kidney to get into the sport.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best compound bow under 500 Dollars so you have a list at the ready without having to search for months on end trying to find the best deals around.
Every bow we’ve reviewed offers exceptional performance and at a quality price.
Bows are really one of those items you need to get a feel for before making a decision on a purchase.
Everybody has their own personal opinion as to what will suit them best and theirs so many factors involved that their really is no one size fits all.
Remember, picking out a bow shouldn’t be about it’s specs and what will shoot the fastest or provide the most energy. Rather it’s about what feels comfortable. A bow hunter who can employ his weapon properly will out do a hunter with a top of the line compound bow but who really isn’t comfortable using it.
So don’t listen to what everybody else has to say, and just roll with your gut instinct as to what feels and suits you the most. There is no right or wrong decision.
Now, there are some things you can do to give you a much clearer idea as to what type of bow you want to buy. Decide weather you want to hunt, or weather you primarily want to shoot targets. This decision alone will eliminate a large chunk of bows and make your choices clearer and easier.
Competition bows tend to be more rigid and provide more stability.
While a hunting bow will usually be shorter and more compact, usually a little on the lighter side as well.
Their are some hella’ sexy bows in the market but they come at a hella’ price as well. Truth is you dont need to sell a kidney to get into the sport of bow hunting. A $500 bow will do the job just fine.
So Rednecks, this is what your waiting for, let’s crack on.
Diamond Core, Compound Bow Package
The Diamond core is a great affordable bow for the beginner.
It offers up an adjustable draw length of 25 – 30 inches and a adjustable draw weight of 40 to 70lbs. Plenty enough for the average beginner bow hunter.
The bow comes in at a nice manageable weight of 2 pounds making it perfect for the hiker hunter stomping through hilly terrain. Spitting arrows out at 322 fps means that any game in front of that arrow with good shot placement wont travel far at all.
The bow however is a single cam bow. Now this is definatley an upside for the novice bow hunter, but for those more experienced in the field you may find that the single cam system sacrifices a bit to much on the power for your liking. Personal preference and opinion though really.
The upside to the single cams are they offer a ridiculously smooth pull. Smoother then a baby’s bottom. Hence the reason great for the beginner to help build that solid foundation of technique.
This bow really is punching above it’s weight.
Coming in at a 31″ axel to axel length and a 7.25″ brace height the bow is tremendously stable and provides unwavering accuracy.
It’s light weight makes this bow one of the lightest in this price range. As I said, a top choice for any newby hunter.
Another upside to the Diamond core is how ridiculously silent the bow is. Usually bows in this price range have to make certain sacrifices in certain areas to meet the budget costs, and one of those areas is usually sub average cams. This bow however, isn’t like that. It’s as a quiet as whisper, and thats due to its quality cams keeping release and draw cycle noise to minimum.
Once you get this bow home and get it sighted in, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how accurate it is. Punching arrow after arrow in a nice tight group.
I will admit however that most ready to shoot out of the box bows often sacrifice on their accessories a little bit. The main one that always comes about is the arrow rest, usually being below par. Arrow rests are only cheap though, so upgrading to a better known brand wont be a hassle. That’s one thing I really love about these budget bows, is the fact you can spend $500, take the money you’ve saved from not buying an expensive bow, and put it towards some quality accessories, which will 9 times out of 10 have any of these bows shooting stupidly accurate and highly capable of hunting any game you want.
Well folks, I’ve got to say, this is by far my favorite budget bow.
You cant get much better for the price really. An accurate lightweight bow, with a ridiculously smooth draw cycle and whisper quiet release.
While some of the accessories will need upgrading at some stage, don’t let that turn you off. The bow is literally ready to shoot out of the box, and even with it’s standard accessories it’s more then capable of being taken out hunting as soon as you get it.
Truly, you wont find better bang for buck then what the Diamond Core offers.
Quest Radical Compound Bow
Let’s check out the nitty gritty.
With an adjustable draw length of 17.5″ – 30″and adjustable draw eight of 15 – 70lbs theirs more then enough room to move for the beginner bow hunter.
Hunters have reported that the bow is good as lightweight option but I personally say the bow sits in the mid range of weight. Coming in at a touch under 4lbs.
The upside to this bow, and well any bow that run this style of cam system, is you dont require a bow press to adjust draw length. Making it hassle free for the beginner which in turn gets you out there shooting quicker, putting the practice where it counts.
Axle to axle the Quest Radical comes in at 29.25″ which is on the shorter side for bows in the budget range.
Brace height measures in at 7.125″. The upside to the shorter bows is that if your going to be hunting in thick scrubby terrain you’ll get hooked up a lot less with a shorter bow. Something to keep in mind if you think that’s where your primarily going to spend your time.
Spitting arrows 295fps the bow is more then capable of taking down any small to medium game that dares stand in it’s way. A lot of people have bragged about the speed of this bow, but personally I wouldn’t say it’s anything special. It’s definatley not lacking however.
All in all, the quest radical gives everything a the average bow hunter needs. With a price tag of a touch under $400 you really can’t go wrong. The bow can be purchased in both Right hand and Left hand models, and for a bit extra you can get the AP Purple color. Im sure that will get the lady bow hunters going.
Probably the biggest stand out feature for the Leader Compound Bow is it’s speed for a cheap bow. It’s near on par with the Quest Radical pumping out arrows at an average of 310 fps. That type of speed is relativity fast for a compound bow, and when you add in the fact it’s a budget style bow, well it’s a match made in heaven for all you speed freaks out there.
When the bows tuned you can sit quiet comfortably at the wall (at full draw) without any dramas. The average 80% let off ensures thats possible. This means if the bow is tuned to the max 70lbs, your only holding an average of 14lbs at the wall.
Coming in at 4.5 lbs the bow does sit a little on the heavier side, which may be something to think about if you plan on doing plenty of hike style hunting.
The leader also has a adjustable draw weight of 50-70lbs. Axle to axle comes in at 31.5″ putting it in the mid filed when compared to other bows in it’s class.
The riser is made form CNC machined aluminum making for a high quality durable riser.
The draw length on the leader is easy enough for the beginner to adjust themselves, adding an upside for the beginner. Instructions come with the bow and clearly explain how to adjust both draw weights and draw lengths.
All in all the leader accessories compound bow has proven a worthy choice for beginner bow hunters. An extremely versatile and durable bow, and at a fraction of the price of what you would pay for the big brand names with them same sort of specs.
The bow comes in a range of colors and their should be a color available to suit all hunters alike. One thing to keep in the back of your mind is the fact that this bow is only available as a right hand purchase. Sorry south paws, but this bow just ain’t for you.
Velocity Youth Archery Race 4×4
Probably the biggest standout of this bow is just how light it is. Given the fact that it is a youth model but hell, at 3.2lbs you won’t get much lighter then that. Which does lend its self perfectly to the younger bow hunter.
The draw length comes in at 19 – 29″ and draw weight is 15 – 55lbs which is consistent with what you would expect for a youth bow.
One of the upsides of the Velocity youth is the fact thats its a ready to shoot out of the box bow. Which is perfect when it comes to getting the young ones into the sport. Usually they dont want to have to wait around for ages to get the bow all setup before they can shoot it, so ready to shoot bows are great for the little hunters.
The accessories on the Velocity Youth are also pretty good considering that a lot of the time on ready to shoot bows accessories get compromised to keep the overall build with in the budget.
Most people have been reporting the bow to be easily adjustable for the required draw weights and lengths.
The upside to this bow is that it’s usually under $200, which given the fact that’s a youth bow thats set up ready to go out of the box is a pretty good deal really.
The bow comes in a range of different colors and I’m sure the young tackers will find one that suits them.
SAS Scorpii Compound Bow
SAS (Southland Archery Supply) has been a big hit among bow hunters and they’ve been bringing out some quality gear for quiet some time now.
The Scorpi Compound bow has a 28″ axle to axle length and and an adjustable draw weight range of 30 – 55lbs. Plenty enough for the average beginner. The also run a user adjustable 19-29″ draw length range.
The bow is pumping out arrows at a whopping 260fps, which is a little on the lower side, but I still reckon I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of an arrow hurdling at that pace.
Let off is reasonable but not at the standard of some of the other bows reviewed in this post.
Probably one of their stand out points is their ABS compressed limbs which provide a longer lifetime of the bow. Personally though, most bows these days should be able to last a lifetime with correct maintenance techniques.
Brace height runs at 7.5″ and the bow is said to weigh in at 3.3lbs when completely kitted out, which isn’t a bad weight at all and quiet manageable out in the field.
These guys sell the bow with a 7 year warranty which is pretty good. It goes to show just how confident they are in their gear, especially when it comes to budget bows. The warranty covers both damaged and defective equipment. You’d have to read the fine print though to see exactly what that entails.
All in all SAS have built up a pretty loyal following over the years which speaks loudly for the quality of their gear at such a bargain price. This bow usually comes in at under the $200 mark and can be purchased in a range of different colors.
XGear Compound Bow
Right then speed freaks, this ones another one for you guys. Speeding on a budget.
The Xgear is spitting arrows at 296fps which is pretty dang good. Struting 30-55lbs user adjustable draw weight and a 19-29″ user adjustable draw length range the Xgear is another budget bow that will put you in the game quick smart.
The bow has relativity short brace height which is good for you hunters who dont mind being in the thick scrub. Brace height is 7″ and axle-axle length runs at 28″. A nice short bow which would lend its self perfectly to scrub busting.
The bow is extremely user friendly when it comes to adjusting to the users needs. All that’s required is an allen wrench, and well, probably a beer.
There’s not a great deal to say about this bow. It really is just a good all round budget bow. Nothing good nothing bad really.
When you purchase this bow you’ll receive it as ready to shoot out of the box bow. Coming with all of it’s accessories including a sight, drop away rest, release, D-loop, peep sight and a few arrows to get you on the road to becoming robin hood.
Users are reporting the bow to have super smooth draw cycle, and a smooth release, which is good to hear considering the cheap price of the bow.
Actually, the X-gear would be one of the cheapest in it’s class which i’m sure will be of interest to some of you. The bow can be purchased in 2 different colors and both are the complete kit.
Siege SAS Compound Bow
Another great bow from SAS.
These guys are really killing ti in the budget bows game which I thinks is awsome. Their really putting themselves out their to make bow hunting as affordable as possible for the average joe bloe, while still ensuring that their are no compromises on the quality of their equipment. It really is no wonder these guys have such a loyal following.
So whats different about the siege compared to their other bows.
Well, let’s start with axle to axle length, coming in at a whopping 41″, this bow is pretty long for a compound, but looking at the style of it, it seems to me that the bow would lend it’s self quiet well to the finger bow shooters out there.
For those who aren’t aware, it’s bad practice to shoot a lot of compound bows with out a release. Reason is is you can actually torque the string during the draw cycle which results in derailing the string, which is a pain in the arse. Judging by the looks of this bow though, it seems like you could finger shoot it quiet comfortably and not have to worry about that. Let off sits at around 70% on the siege which is more then comfortable.
The Siege is spitting arrows at 206 fps, which is a little on the slower side, but nothing that good shot discipline and placement wont fix.
The bow comes with all the right gear to get straight into shooting. Inclusive of a, bow-sight with sight light, arrow rest, stabilizer, bow sling and peep sight.
Once again the siege comes with SAS compressed ABS limbs making for a strong durable bow where it counts.
While theirs not a great deal of room to move in adjustability of draw weight the bow has only 5lbs of room to move either way. increasing and decreasing the draw weight is easy though, with only having to tighten or loosening a bolt at either end of where the limbs attach to the Brace.
The bow sits at a touch under 4lbs which is, well, in the middle ground for this type of class of bows. Not really heavy, but not light either. Once again the bow comes with a manufacturer warranty.
However the warranty on this bow is only 3 years. This still gives you plenty of time to really put the bow through it’s paces though, and any damage that should arise, should have shown it’s self within the first 3 years if it was to.
Users are reporting the bow as powerful, however I would beg to differ as it definatley is one of the slower bows under the $500 price range. The bow can be purchased in several different colors which im sure they’ll have a color for any new hunter.
Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro, Left Hand
OK Southpaws, get exited.
This has been what your waiting for. Finally, a review dedicated just to you guys.
Now, I’ve got to admit, you’ll have to shop around on this one. Usually you can find this bow on sale for under the $500 mark but at current on Amazon it’s a touch over. Im still going to review it anyway because the bow is absolutely brilliant.
With a user adjustable draw length of 13-31″ and a weight 3.2lbs the bows stats already look promising. user adjustable draw weight from 15-70lbs and pumping out arrows an average of 310fps, this bow really is some next level shit for a budget bow.
What I really love about this bow, is you get this as a youth and literally hunt with your whole life. You wont outgrow a bow like this. You might move up into some more notable brands but you literally will not out grow this bow. The amount of room to move is just phenomenal. I mean, you could shoot this bow from 10 through till 80. Extremely versatile. I think the infinite edge has definatley taken the cake their.
When you purchase the bow you’ll also receive a octane quiver and 3 pin apex sight. Both of these are more well known brands in the archery world so it’s good to see the lads at diamond archery haven’t skimped out on the accessories.
Probably the down side with the infinite edge is that shooters have reported get out of tune more often then other bow brands. Not really often enough to cause a drama, but if you were to say, shoot for a week, then not touch for it for a few months the bow will need re tuning. Personally if your not shooting your bow for a few months, then the second you pick it up you should be making sure it’s still sighted and tuned anyway. Even if it’s just as simple as 5 shots on a target just to see where your hitting. But hey, that’s just me.
Personally, I think the bow is great buy, and is starting to really bridge the gap between budget and pro style bows. I absolutely love this bow and it has my tick of approval.
SAS Rage Compound Bow
Another great bow bought out by SAS . Looking at the specs of the rage it seems like a pretty sweet bow. Nothing overly special about it but it certainly gives other bows in this class a run for its money.
With a user adjustable 26-30″draw length and 55-70lbs draw weight, the Rage has plenty of room for the average adult beginner to move in.
The bows pumping out arrows at 270fps, which is in line with what you would expect of bows in this class.
Weight looks like it might be a bit of an issue though topping at 4.4lbs which is definatley starting to get on the heavier side of the spectrum. This may start to cause dramas for those who dont mind a bit of hike hunting. 4.4lbs will get pretty heavy pretty quick after days of hunting where ever pound you shave counts towards an easier more comfortable hunt.
On the upside the bow is a out of the box ready to shoot bow.
It comes with all the accessories you need to kit out your bow and start hunting straight away.
Some of the accessories though are on the average side which is known problem with these bows, but hell, when your getting a bow for $300 you can quiet easily take another $200 and kit it out with some high quality accessories and have a bow that will give the big brand names a run for their money.
Theirs not really a great deal more to say about this bow. Just another solid product bought out by the Southland Archery Supply team.
Genesis Original Bow
Where the genesis shines is its simplistic design and its user friendliness.
The bow is extremely versatile and can be used by any body, no matter how big or small.
You might be wondering how a compound bow can be used by anybody considering it has to be specifically tuned to an individual. Not 100% true. At least not with the genesis original anyway. See, the bow doesn’t have draw lengths, it’s just a one size fits all.
Now this would cause a problem, if say, the bow ran in the 50 – 70lbs range, but the genesis only has a draw weight range of around 10-20lbs, which isn’t enough to really cause significant harm to an individual if their draw lengths aren’t right.
Now I know you might be wondering what on earth you’d use a bow like this for, cause your sure as shit not going to hunt with it now are you.
The bow is more designed as a youth bow and serves a purpose for young hunters to start to form the correct techniques and disciplines to form a solid foundation of correct form. I guess this is really where this bow excels, is its ability to help steer people in the right direction for absolute perfect technique without having to worry about all the bells and whistles.
Matter of fact this bow has been named the official bow of NASP (National Archery Schools Program) which I believe speaks loudly about how effective this bow is for forming a solid foundation of skills in young hunters and archers alike.
Ok, enough of me giving this bow a shameless plug, lets finish it off with the nitty gritty.
The Genesis runs in at 35.5″ axel to axel and runs a brace height of 7 5/8″.
The bow uses an aluminium riser which is in line with most bows these days, especially in this price range.
The bow utelises a single cam system to harness it’s energy, which makes for a nice smooth draw, but does sacrifice a lot of potential power in doing so. Given the fact that the bow isn’t designed to be a hunting bow though means that the lack of power utelising the single cam doesn’t matter. Remember, this bow is used for punching paper, please dont try to hunt with it. It lacks the power and results in inhumane and unethical kills.
The bow can be purchased in a wide range of colors and comes in at a touch under $200. Absolutely dirt cheap.
The genesis isn’t a left or a right handed bow either, meaning Southpaws, have fun launching arrows.
Wrapping things up…
Well folks, there you have it. 10 of the best budget bows reviewed. That should put you on the right path.
Their really is a lot of great choices out there, and theirs a lot on this list as well. Like I said at the start of this post, if you plan on busting bucks you dont need to spend thousands of dollars to put your self in the game. You can get in the game with a few hundred.
Trust me, a deer with a lung or heart shot doesn’t know the difference between 250 fps or 320 fps. The most important thing is to get what you want, and practice practice practice.
Personally I think the diamond core and diamond infinite edge takes the cake when it comes to finding the best compound bow under 500. These bows are a budget bow that you could literally buy for a teenager, and that will last their whole lifetime. You will never outgrow an adjustable draw weight range of 15-70lbs. Most bow hunters are only running 50-70lbs now days anyway.
Anyway, i’ll leave you with this post to ponder on and hopefully I’ve pointed you in the right direction.