Maybe you have heard people say that crossbows make more noise than a bow and arrow. You wondered if they were truly louder than bows. Let’s have a look.
Are crossbows louder than bows? Bows were measured at making a noise of 43 decibels, while crossbows make a noise of 80 to 90 decibels, roughly double the noise. This makes crossbows louder than bows, depending on the crossbow that you shoot. The sound from the crossbow comes as a result of the energy leaving the bow.
Hopefully, that answers your question on crossbows being louder than bows, but if you’d like to learn more about how to make the crossbow quieter, keep reading. I will cover a variety of subjects here.
Can You Make the Crossbow Quieter?
You can take active measures to quiet the noise of the crossbow. For example, heavier bolts tend to absorb more energy and vibration to deaden the sound. Keep in mind, heavier bolts may not shoot as far as lighter ones, and they cost you speed. In a hunting scenario, while the crossbow may produce more sound, it can still kill a deer before it has a warning to run off. Rarely will the noise from a crossbow stop you from shooting the deer.
Tightening the fasteners will lower the vibration and noise. You will need to tighten it occasionally because the vibrations will loosen the fasteners over time to cause more noise, and it could potentially ruin your weapon if not put in check.
Buying a top-notch crossbow will quiet down the weapon because it usually includes string dampening rods. You can also add string silencers, anti-vibration attachments and limb dampeners to further quiet the crossbow. Keep the bowstrings waxed because this prolongs the lifetime and dampens the sound. Most crossbow strings will last four to five years.
Apply lube to the rail to deaden the contact noise between the bolt and the crossbow. The small stuff adds up to a quieter crossbow.
When it comes to quieting the sound of your crossbow, the small things add up. Don’t overlook the basics.
Noise Matters More in Hunting
If you’re reading this, you probably want to know how a crossbow fares in the hunting environment. The noise of a crossbow would be irrelevant in target practice. Like the sound from a firearm, the noise from a crossbow won’t give the deer enough time to react in most cases.
The biggest thing with the noise is the down-range noise. The noise you perceive as the shooter may differ from the actual noise near the deer because of how you take the shot with the crossbow next to your ear. In most cases, the deer won’t have the chance to react to it once you take the shot.
If you’d like to learn more about why you should never take a headshot on a deer, I wrote about that here.
Many hunters also report how you never know how the deer will react. In some cases, they may not even run immediately after you fire a gun. A crossbow is much quieter than a firearm. Most deer will ignore the noise from a crossbow, but if they see movement or smell you, they will take off running. On a long shot, the noise could make a difference.
Are There Any Crossbows Quieter Than a Bow?
Because of the design of the crossbow, you won’t find one quieter than a bow. Bows will always be quieter. The noise produced happens because of a greater amount of energy released from the design. It produces more noise as a result. The same thing could be said for guns. You won’t find a gun quieter than a crossbow because of how when the bullet exits the barrel, the kinetic energy from the explosion inside the barrel releasing producing the noise. Design will dictate how much noise it makes. That also explains why pistols usually make more noise than rifles.
String Dampeners on the Crossbow
You put the dampener on the crossbow string to reduce the amount of kick. You could largely attribute much of the noise from the crossbow as coming from the kick. Keep in mind, putting a string dampener on the crossbow could hurt the output power. For that reason, you don’t want to use too much on it. Spend $20, and you will find it worth the cost. Right away, you will feel the difference between the shots taken on the crossbow.
Keep in mind that while they do reduce the amount of noise on the crossbow, they won’t last long. Most hunters report that you can take between 30 to 40 shots with them before they start to wear down. For hunting, that probably won’t make a big difference because you don’t take as many shots, but some hunters won’t find that worth it. As far as FPS loss goes, you won’t lose enough to make a big difference either.
Buy a Quality Crossbow
Higher-priced crossbows tend to produce less sound than the cheaper ones. Not only does it produce less sound, but it will last longer than some of the lower-priced crossbows. Eventually, wear and tear can start to make the crossbow make a louder noise. While you may spend cash upfront, you will find that you save money over the long term, especially if you plan to hunt for years to come.
The Barnett Archery Raptor Pro str Crossbow Package (link to Amazon) is the perfect choice for hunting while remaining quiet when you go to take the shot. You can sight it in and assemble it easily.
Are Recurve Crossbows or Compound Crossbows Quieter?
If you wanted the quieter crossbow, you would want to choose the recurve crossbow over the compound crossbow. Recurves have three main working parts, but a compound crossbow will have extras like the cables and cams. The simplicity of the recurve makes it easier to shoot quietly, and you can maintain it more easily. How loud a crossbow is depends on the vibration throughout the weapon.
Crossbows take 15 to 30 seconds or more to reload, and because of the noise, you usually only have the chance to take one shot especially since the noise spooks the game. In contrast to a bow, you can reload it in five to six seconds.
How to Choose a Quiet Crossbow
Let’s have a look at how you can buy the quietest crossbow. Especially if it’s your first time, you want to know what to look for in a crossbow to receive the best buy possible. Crossbow arrow speeds will range between 265 to 400 FPS. The faster the arrow speed, the farther it can shoot, but it will also make more noise. Still, a faster bolt gives the deer less time to react so that the noise matters less like with a gun.
When out hunting, you may want to choose a smaller crossbow because it makes it more mobile. Many hunters will trek a mile back into the woods to wait for the deer. Heavier crossbows also tend to transfer less vibration due to the heavier weight. When hunting, it will be more to carry, but it will pay off later when you see a deer.
Quietest Crossbows to Buy
Let’s give you a few options for quiet crossbows so that you can figure out what works best for you. You have multiple models on the market.
Excalibur TwinStrike Crossbow
The Excalibur TwinStrike even includes a silent crank on it. With a frictionless trigger, it means you won’t hear as much noise to come out of this one. The engineers at Excalibur designed this crossbow to accurately fire two bolts from one crossbow. Designed with two triggers, you can fire the bolts at the same time for the maximum level of deadliness. This crossbow comes with R.E.D.S. suppressors to make less recoil noise on the string. At the same time, it reduces the shock and vibration.
You can remove and replace the pads when the time comes.
Mission Sub 1 Crossbow Black Bow Only
They designed the Mission Sub 1 Crossbow for the silent kill that your deer never saw coming. You can safely de-cock this crossbow with the press of a button. The compact frame made of quality materials reduces the noise from the shots that this one takes.
Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Mossy Oak Bottomland Crossbow
The frictionless release technology ensures a light and smooth trigger release. You will find that the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Mossy Oak Bottomland Crossbow offers superior accuracy a cut above the other choices on the market. The performance is what separates this crossbow from the other choices. This may not be the quietest on the list, but it rockets the bolt out of the crossbow so fast that the deer won’t have time for a reaction. Again, this one will be louder than the other choices, but you can probably still hit your game in most cases. You also can’t beat the accuracy.
The crossbow does usually make more noise than a bow. Still, you can buy crossbows that will take the deer before they have the chance to know what hit them. Many people prefer the crossbow over the bow and arrow, and you do have advantages of it over the bow. Sound isn’t one of them, but you can easily offset that as a disadvantage.
Crossbows might make more noise than bow or a compound bow, but in most cases, it won’t make a huge difference when out hunting. You want to take active measures to keep it quiet, and we have shown you some of the things that you can do to make it more silent.
Also, learning how to stay quiet out in the tree stand can make an equally big difference. Many times, the deer are as likely to get spooked because your arm brushed up against the tree bark as they are from the noise of a crossbow.