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Archery is an excellent skill set and overall sport, but it can end up becoming an expensive hobby pretty quickly. At the same time, there are many different compound bows on the market, and it can be challenging to determine which ones provide the best features for a fair price.
In this article, I’ll dive into the best compound bows under $400, as well as their associated specifications, features, and the pros and cons of each one!
But if you are short of time or just want to see the top picks, here they are:
Sanlida Archery Dragon X8 RTH Compound Bow
Features & Specifications
- Axle-to-axle: 30”
- Draw Weight: 0-70lbs
- Draw Length 18”- 31”
- Brace Height: 6.6”
- Weight: 3.8lbs
If you’re looking to dive into archery or are just looking for an affordable compound bow, the Dragon X8 from Sanlida would be a great place to start.
Hailed as an excellent choice for men, women, and children alike, it’s quite adaptable and is a go-to choice for many beginners.
You can also transport the bow easily as it doesn’t require a bow press to dismantle it after use. Although it packs a decent punch, the draw feels like butter.
You won’t miss out on accessories as this bow comes with everything you’ll need to get the most accurate shot.
It also offers excellent mobility, only weighing nearly four pounds.
Compound bows can be fairly diverse, but the Dragon X8 aims to provide as little hassle as possible.
This bow comes with an accurate sight attachment, along with an arrow rest and puller.
The list of accessories continues, and Sanlinda ensures you’ll be set to pick up and go.
The design of this compound bow provides very little stress allowing long practice sessions.
Furthermore, the draw length and draw weight are easily adjustable, and the complete installation of the bow and its accessories is a breeze.
Many buyers also love how quiet the bow is through every motion, and there’s minimal vibration upon releasing the arrow.
Lastly, if you happen to have any issues with the bow, Sanlinda offers excellent and efficient customer service.
It’s no doubt that this compound bow has many glowing qualities, but it comes with its fair share of cons as well.
The Dragon X8 comes with a full set of accessories for the bow, but many buyers have made complaints about the quality of the parts.
The sights for the bow provide a pretty clear shot, but their construction seems to be a little flimsy.
From another aspect, the arrows don’t seem to be the most sturdy, even for beginners.
Those who have spent time with this bow seem to have a general consensus that the bow itself is relatively impressive, but all of the included parts and accessories may not make the cut.
This is essential as faulty parts can be a severe safety concern.
You’ll find mixed comments online, but there are a decent number of people who feel the bow’s parts aren’t worth the risk.
There have been reports of the drawstring snapping after minimal use, and the cams don’t seem to withstand a lot of stress.
- Ready to hunt compound bow pro package comes with a 5-pin sight, an arrow rest and a stabilizer, a wrist sling, a peep sight, 12 pcs of arrows, a quiver, a release, an arrow puller, a bow stand and a compound bow case.
- Large range of adjustable draw length 18-31", draw weight 0 -70 lbs without needing a bow press. A bow for all ages and skill levels. Limited Life-time Warranty on main parts after your registration within 30 days of purchase.
- Specifications: Axle-to-Axle 30", Brace Height 6.6", Draw Weight 0 to 70 LBS, Draw Length 18" to 31",（Each 0.5" adjustment）, IBO Speed 310FPS, Net Weight 3.8 LBS, String Length 58.13" , Cable Length 32.23". For the extra replacement string and cables, B091291VDQ is for the Dragon X8 compound bow.
- Material: CNC machined cams and modules with the 6061 T6 aluminum. Bow string and cables are made of BCY-D97,imported from BCY USA.
- The Dragon X8 Package include several related accessories, if there is any issue with any accessory, please feel free to leave a message to us, we will respond within 8 hours!
Raptor Compound Hunting Bow
Features & Specifications
- Axle-to-axle: 30”
- Draw Weight: 30-70lbs
- Draw Length 24.5”- 31”
- Brace Height: 7.5”
- Weight: 3.8lbs
Famed for being machined with utmost quality, you can’t go wrong with this compound hunting bow from Raptor.
Many bows in this price range are built with almost entirely plastic parts, which doesn’t provide the best longevity.
However, this bow from Raptor has an aluminum build, and each component moves like butter.
Better yet, other than string changes, every other aspect of the bow can be assembled and disassembled without the need for a bow press.
The d-loop and peep sight come pre-installed, and each accessory is of equal quality to the bow itself.
You can also enjoy twelve different draw length adjustments to find the best fit for your arm length preference.
After dialing in the various accessories and personal parameters, the Raptor offers excellent accuracy and consistency with each shot.
Moreover, the sights may seem simple, but they allow you to stay focused on your target with minimal visual obstruction.
You know this compound bow stands out from the crowd because it gathers positive comments from beginner and expert archers with a wide range of compliments from different points of view.
Many buyers are also surprised at the bow’s range and seem to hit a sweet spot of performance around 50-60 yards.
Even with the ability to reach 70lbs of weight, you’ll find this bow packs plenty of power at even the lowest setting of 50lbs.
It seems to be a unanimous decision among archery fans that the Raptor Compound Hunting Bow is worth the buy.
Although many customers are highly satisfied with this bow, it still comes with a few flaws that could use some improvements.
You’ll find plenty of reviews that claim the bow is easy to set up, but this isn’t the case for every individual.
Moreover, the instructions for setup aren’t the clearest, and some of the smaller manufactured parts, such as screws, seem to be cheaply made.
Other components, such as the cams, also seem to have inconsistent manufacturing.
On some occasions, the cams don’t function properly, and the slide glides aren’t as fluid as they should be.
The bow is definitely a great budget-friendly option, but that also comes with some long-term downsides.
You may find that this bow isn’t the best for extensive strain or use.
The Raptor bow performs quite well from the start, but that sentiment seems to change for some buyers after they’ve put a fair amount of time into it.
The construction of the bow as a whole doesn’t look like it will stand the test of time, as the smaller and more fragile components tend to give out earlier than many had hoped.
Furthermore, the cable rod has popped out of place during use for quite a few people, and issues like this are a considerable safety risk and can lead to a quick injury.
- PERFECT PLATFORM – Hunting bow, bow fishing, Farm Bow, and target shooting, this incredible unique bow offers versatility and strength for adults, youth, beginner, and Intermediate archers, Right hand and Left hand Compound bows!
- FULLY ADJUSTABLE – With an axle length of 30” and weighing in at only 3.6 lbs, the draw length ranges from 24.5”- 31” and the draw weight can be adjusted from 30 lbs - 70 lbs without needing an archery compound bow press as big bows usually requires!
- HIGH QUALITY MACHINING – Both the cams and modules are fully machined aluminum with zero plastic. Compound design allows for 75% let - off and features a split yoke tuning system providing precise adjustments for proper arrow flight.
- COMPLETE BOW - Compound bow package Includes 5 pin fiber optic sight with light and level, TRUGLO EZ brush rest, stabilizer, 4 arrow quiver, string stop, allen wrench, 2’ paper target, and pre - installed Peep sight and D - loop.
- Compact bow Available in 2 colors Black and Camouflage, includes manual with warranty Raptor Predator Archery Family owned business and years of experience adding valuable knowledge to every product as members of The Sport and Archery in general.
Bear Archery Cruzer G2
Features & Specifications
- Axle-to-axle: 30”
- Draw Weight: 5-70lbs
- Draw Length 12”- 30”
- Brace Height: 6.5”
- Weight: 3.0lbs
Easily one of the most versatile compound bows under $400, the Bear Archery Cruzer G2 is stocked with features.
Created as an excellent starting point for beginners, the bow offers a surprising amount of durability and quality, even for experienced users.
The Cruzer can also be used by any age group, allowing any adjustment you might need for your arm length, body size, sight, and more.
The Cruzer can handle up to 70 pounds of draw weight, and you can quickly adjust the draw length for optimal performance.
Furthermore, any adjustments needed can be handled with the right size Allen wrench, and it won’t require a bow press either.
In addition, hand fatigue won’t set in too early as the bow has a very ergonomic grip design for the most comfortable positioning.
Many buyers have been impressed with the distance they’re able to obtain with this bow.
Some are only interested in 10-30 yard shots, while others have successfully pushed the limits reaching 60-70 yards with complete accuracy.
Considering the Cruzer G2 has impressed beginners and experts alike, it’s clear that it offers much more than a budget-friendly price tag.
Although the bows themselves seem to be of decent quality, the accessories and external components don’t really hold up to the same quality standards.
Some people are able to put hundreds of arrows downrange with little to no difficulty, while others can’t seem to get thirty days out of it.
It’s understandable that buyers are frustrated with the quality of individual parts, as it’s not only a waste of money but could be a serious risk to their health too.
Archers with more experience with the craft have claimed that this bow isn’t exactly ready out of the box as advertised.
From another aspect, those who are new to archery seem to be fairly happy with the bow upon arrival, but this may be due to a lack of experience.
Nevertheless, even though the Cruzer G2 has an appetizing price point, the known issues that come with it shouldn’t be ignored.
This compound bow still holds up well against many others, with some experts claiming that it could compete with others in the one to two thousand dollar price range.
- VERSATILE: Maximum-versatility bow is engineered for all ages and skill levels
- READY TO HUNT: Ready to hunt bow comes equipped with six Trophy Ridge accessories
- ADJUSTABLE: Adjustable from 12" to 30" draw length range and from 5 to 70 lbs. peak draw weight
- EASY ADJUSTMENTS: All adjustments are made using an Allen wrench with no need for a bow press
- LIGHTWEIGHT POWER: Weighs only 3 lbs. and fires arrows at 315 feet per second
What To Look For When Buying A Compound Bow?
You want to ensure the bow is easy to use and requires zero or minimal modifications. Equally, you want to ensure the bow you choose matches your dominant eye (to ensure you can see as you shoot).
You may think distance and speed are equally important, but if you’re a beginner, these aspects can only cause more mistakes since you’re still learning.
And regardless of price, you want to choose a bow that fits your draw length (how far you can draw back the bowstring)
Your draw length should not be too short or too long, although in some bows it can be adjusted.
You can measure your draw length yourself by measuring your arm span, or get a pro at an archery shop to do this for you.
You also want to ensure you can handle the draw weight of the bow, or the force needed to draw the bow.
Next, the bow length is important; bows with a longer axle-to-axle measurement are more forgiving. They are more stable and less likely to torque.
Lastly, the brace height. This is the distance between the bowstring and the deepest part of the bow grip.
The shorter the brace height, the longer the arrow will stay on the string, which increases the likelihood of mistakes.
A 6 or 7-inch brace height is considered ideal for beginners.
Check out my comprehensive guide to choosing a compound bow for further information.
If you are looking for a compound bow for under 400, you wouldn’t do wrong with any of the three curated products referenced here today.
So take a look at each product listing on Amazon, read some reviews, take into account the pros and cons referenced here, and factor in your draw length, draw weight, bow length, and brace height.
That way you’ll get the right one, for your needs.
I live in Alberta, Canada where I enjoy indoor and 3D archery with traditional bows and compound bows. On this site, I share everything I’ve learned about archery along the way.