The .308 versus the 30-06 for Hunting: Ballistics & Accuracy Comparisons

When it comes to full-bore hunting cartridges in the USA there are two that, for popularity at least, stand head and shoulders above the others. These are .308 Winchester and the classic .30-06.

As well as legions of happy users both cartridges have groups of diehard fans who’ll insist that their favorite is far better than the other.

As a rule of thumb, due to the outstanding firing power, neither should be used for smaller game like coyotes or rabbits. But because everyone has their own opinion, it can be pretty hard to get at the truth.

Below we get into the gritty details of the .308 vs 30-06 battle and give you our opinion on each.

The .308 and 30-06:  A Brief History

The first key to disentangling the mess is that .308 and .30-06 are actually very closely related. In fact one was developed from the other. This goes back to the early 1950s, when NATO was trying to agree a standard service rifle for all its troops.

At the time NATO members used a pretty wide array of calibers, with the main ones being .30-06 and .303. That ruled out a standard rifle right away, and often meant neighboring units couldn’t even resupply each other with rifle ammunition. To improve the situation the alliance’s all members agreed to choose a standard cartridge, then a standard rifle to fire it.

1. The .30-06 Springfield:

Comparing 308 vs 30-06 Ammunition BallisticsThe US Army insisted that the new cartridge had to be full power, either the .30-06 or something equivalent to it. The British disagreed.

Based on wartime experience and the new assault rifle concept, which originated in the German Sturmgewehr 44 (7.92x33mm) and had already been developed into the AK-47 (7.62x39mm) they argued that traditional rifle rounds were overpowered for the average infantryman and an intermediate one should be adopted.

The War Office was determined to phase out their obsolete, rimmed .303. They’d already developed an intermediate round and a rifle to fire it. The .280 British was an excellent round that was light, low in recoil, flat-shooting and very accurate.

Thanks to its long bullet it retained more energy than the .30-06 at ranges beyond 800 yards.

In fact, ballistically, it was almost identical to the much newer 6.5mm Grendel. Fired from the bullpup Enfield EM2 assault rifle it was an impressive package.

Unfortunately, traditionalist generals didn’t like it. The .280 wasn’t a “proper” rifle round like their beloved .30-06, so they refused to accept it.

As a compromise the .30 Light Rifle cartridge was developed. This was basically a .30-06 with the case shortened by half an inch, from 63mm to 51mm.

The case head and bullet were identical, and modern propellant gave it exactly the same performance, so it satisfied the traditionalists while being slightly lighter and shorter than its parent.

The reduced length meant a shorter bolt stroke, too, so the size and weight of weapons could also be reduced.

2. The .308 Winchester:

At this point politics took over. Winston Churchill reached a deal with the USA – he’d agree to scrap the .280 EM2 and support the .30 Light Rifle as the new bullet, if the USA would agree to the FN FAL as the standard NATO rifle.

The USA later went back on that and updated the M1 Garand instead, but the cartridge survived and became 7.62mm NATO.

The familiar .308 Winchester is simply the civilian version of that, and the rounds are pretty much interchangeable – much more so than 5.56mm NATO and .223.

So does this mean the rounds are identical for hunting? Well, not quite. The military versions have theoretically identical performance, but civilian manufacturers – and shooters – are free to play with loadings a lot more.

There are some differences between them as hunting rounds and it is possible to come up with a clear winner. Let’s look at the various factors involved.

Accuracy and Ballistic Differences:

Despite the identical theoretical ballistics of military 7.62mm NATO and .30-06, when the new cartridge started to come into widespread use something quickly became clear.

It was more accurate than the old .30 round. The difference wasn’t massive. It was however enough to make a difference. In fact, it was enough that the NRA eventually reduced the size of the inner bull on their long-range targets.

Modern loads have reduced the .308’s edge slightly, especially at extreme ranges, but in general it is a slightly more precise round than .30-06.

The difference is marked enough that you rarely see a .30-06 in rifle competitions now unless the rules specify it. For hunters it’s less important.

Accurate shot placement is vital of course, but either caliber is easily accurate enough to get clean kills out to 600 yards or more. That means neither of them has a clear edge in this area.

Winner:  Tie

Power:  Which one packs a bigger punch?

Modern propellant allowed the .30 Light Rifle to generate .30-06 power in a shorter case. But what happens if you put the same propellant in the original case? You can fit in more of it, and that should give you more power. In fact yes, it does.

There are limits to how much extra power you can get out of the cartridge.  Both .308 and .30-06 having the same maximum case pressure of 62,000 psi, but overall it’s possible to get close to 150 fps more out of the older round.

This can be done without creating an unsafe load. What’s more, the older round comes with 18% more powder capacity and has a longer neck than the .308.

So, many experienced hunters have reported loading even 250 grain bullets with the former, which might explain why many of them believe that there’s no game in North America that a .30-60 cannot insta kill. Because the 60 loads heavier, it is the go-to cartridge for very large game like bear and moose.

With most bullets in the 150 to 180 grain range, the .30-60 offers significant amount of energy.  Again, in practical terms it doesn’t matter much as average hunters cannot tell the difference.

Either round will deliver plenty energy, out to maximum hunting ranges, to bring down any American animal except maybe the larger bears. In the field, the extra power of the .30-06 really just translates to extra recoil and heavier ammunition.

Winner: .30-06 Springfield

Practicality: Which one is more available and used?

Comparing the .308 and .30-06 is a long way from comparing either of them to .223. There’s no getting away from the fact that, physically, they’re both big heavy rounds.

Yes, .308 weighs a bit less, but with the amount of ammunition the average hunter carries it doesn’t matter a lot.

Where the difference does become significant is in length. The 30-06’s longer case means a longer bolt stroke. In turn that means a longer bolt, a longer receiver and a heavier weapon.

The difference can be a few ounces, and that does start to matter.

More importantly, if you’re a serious hunter using a bolt action rifle,(check out our favorite bolt action rifles here) the longer stroke slows you down a fraction of a second when it comes to chambering a new round.

The difference isn’t huge but it’s there, and there isn’t any way to get round it. Ergonomically the .308 edges into the lead slightly here.

Many .308 rifles are also being updated to lighter stocks and firearm materials, making it a better chocie if you carry other hunting gear like walkie-talkies or game cameras on your hunting trip.

On top of that, in states with very restrictive gun laws like California some rounds are more readily available (and cheaper) than the other. The .308 is usually the most common version in those areas.

Winner: .308 Winchester

Price: Which one is cheaper?

Finally, there’s one category where a real gap opens out – .308 ammo is usually cheaper.

It uses less brass for a basically equivalent round, and its popularity means bigger production runs and lower price. The difference isn’t huge, but if you shoot a lot it adds up.

Not to mention that from a survival perspective, the .308 is mass produced for  many different types of sporting rifles.

As a result, the .308 Win will be easier to find and use in the event of some type of catastrophic event that requires you to hunt your own food or survive in the wilderness.

Winner: .308 Winchester

Hunting: Which one’s best?

The answer depends on the size of the game. For short to medium range, we feel both cartridges do an astounding job for game up to elk. Beyond elk, you should go for .30-06 Springfield with a heavier bullet like 180 grain due to its bigger punch.

And it’s better to have all the extra power if a big and angry animal decides to charge. So, for deer, big coyote, elk, and even small moose you can confidently use both cartridges with  150- or 165-grain projectiles.

If you insist on bringing the .308 Winchester on a big game hunt, get really good bullets. One added bonus of the .308 Win is that it has less recoil than the .30-06, which translates into slightly better accuracy.

So, when it comes to whitetail hunting both soft-tip hunting rounds are great although the .30-60 might be too much within 100-150 yards.

For small game like squirrel and rabbit, neither of the two are a good choice. Pick something considerably less powerful, unless you want multiple pieces of your dinner whizzing around.

Winner: Tie (.30-06 has the upper hand in big game hunting)

Feel Free to Disagree: Our Favorite Pick:

Overall its slightly better accuracy and shorter case give the .308 a slight, but real, advantage as a hunting round within 200 yards.  It will always hit harder than any type of crossbow hunting you may do.

But both analyzed rounds deliver all the power you could ever need for medium-large game (like deer) unless you’re hunting truly big game.  In that case, you might consider switching to the .30-06 for an extra edge.

The accuracy difference does put the .308 slightly ahead, although not by much.  The fact it cuts half an inch off the bolt stroke is enough to put it just a little in front. If you’re buying a new hunting rifle it makes sense to opt for the NATO round.

For a different take and the main benefits of the 30-06 as a survival cartridge, check out the video below by Langley Firearms Academy.

If you already have a 30-06, and you’re happy with it, however, there isn’t any compelling reason to swap.

Both rounds are similar enough that personal preference is more important than anything.  You should shoot both to see which one you prefer, but we have our preference as indicated below.

Our Overall Winner: .308 Winchester for war, survival, and for rifle hunters starting from scratch; 30-06 for really large game or if you have a hand me down rifle and don’t want to buy a new one.

Best Hunting Jackets For Cold Weather: 2020 Reviews (Camo & More)

Hunting in the cold weather can be any hunter’s worst nightmate if you aren’t geared appropriately for the occasion. There’s nothing worse than sitting out in your stand, patiently observing your prey and realizing you are so cold that you aren’t likely to get a clean shot off if you have the chance.

Bottom line is if you go hunting in the fall or winter, you know it’s cold out, and the cold is your enemy. You must stay warm and hidden, but also be able to move quickly. To keep warm and dry, you’ll want to be prepared with the right hunting jacket for your hunting expedition.

If you haven’t done your research, there’s plenty of different types on the market today, adding to the confusion of what you “need” versus what would be “nice to have.”

In this article, we take a look at some of our favorite options for hunters on a tight budget, as well as what you should be looking at if money is not an issue.

We’ve got our two favorites below, followed by a little bit more detail on each model and a detailed buyer’s guide on seven great options if you are the type of hunter that needs a little bit more in-depth research.

Good luck out there!

Best Overall Pick: Legendary Whitetails Men’s Canvas Jacket

Budget Pick: ArcticShield Men’s Classic Parka

Buyer’s Guide

Hunting jackets come in all shapes, forms and sizes. They all have features that come in handy when you’re out on a small game or big game hunting trip.

But picking the right winter hunting jacket comes down to a handful of considerations.

Your winter hunting jacket should be light, making it easy to move around more. It should also be warm, but not bulky. The top winter hunting jackets use classic hook-and-loop fasteners, particularly around the wrist and neck closures.

They should also have multiple pockets for storage, both interior and exterior. These pockets should be deep enough for holding onto the gear you need to keep close.

It should also allow for freedom of movement so you can keep optics that you’ll use close at hand. Read on to learn what else makes up a great cold weather hunting jacket.

1. Construction & Durability

The right winter hunting jacket will always be durable, well-constructed, and made of materials that are right for the application. Here’s what to look for:

  • Noise: The last thing you need in any hunting jacket is noise. Put the jacket on to see if it creates a surprising amount of noise when the jacket arms brush against the sides. Waterproof jackets are especially noisey. So find something that doesn’t blow your cover.
  • Fabrics: The right material will not only be quiet, but tough and durable enough to handle the brush and moving around in the deep woods. Camo winter hunting jackets shells with poly-tricot are super-quiet and hold up extremely well under difficult conditions. Other shells to consider are the ones constructed from micro-suede or microfiber.
Durability of Jacket
Durability and construction are extremely important qualities.

Any hunting jacket worth its salt will be both waterproof and windproof. They should tape the seams of your hunting jacket to block the wind. Pockets for duck hunting or other waterfowl should also be self-draining.

Make sure the zippers, collar and wrists all seal to prevent the cold, wet weather from entering. Such seals are often hook-and-loop.

Light is the watchword for camo winter hunting jackets. Err on the side of a lighter jacket and buy it up to a size larger if you want to accommodate under-layers.

If you’re doing bow hunting, you’re going to need a thinner jacket than someone who doesn’t need the range of motion that drawing a bow requires.

The lining material must be both lightweight and capable of retaining your core body heat during periods of little to no movement. Fleece or 100 percent polyester with a polyester fill will keep you warm.

Some camo winter hunting jackets have a removable liner to make it easier to wash. If you go for a removable liner, make sure they tape the seams.

2. Linings, Hoods & Seams

When you return the liner to the shell, make sure the seams seal properly. You don’t want to get a cold, wet surprise when during a downpour on your next hunting expedition.

Camo winter hunting jackets with hoods is a must. Many hunters know that one of the secrets to staying warm is keeping your head covered. Being able to draw the hood tightly around your face also provides a camouflage effect.

Hoods and Linings
Make sure you have a hood and decent jacket lining if the circumstance calls for it.

Having a detachable hood comes with its advantages. Hoods attach to the jacket with either a zipper or a button.

They come off easily when the weather doesn’t warrant a hood or if you need to clean it.

Some hunters prefer to leave their hood off to hear what’s going on around them more clearly, too.

The collar on camo winter hunting jackets will keep your neck warm and shield you from heavy winds and rain. Collars should have a fleece lining, with hook-and-loop closures to ensure weather integrity. They should also rise up to fit snuggly under your chin.

Taped seams are an essential element of the top camo winter hunting jackets. If you expect your jacket to remain waterproof and windproof, make sure they tape the seams. Likewise, there should be similar closures around the zippers to lock the warmth in and keep the weather out.

Many camo winter hunting jackets are straight cuts. So if you have a little extra around the middle, you’ll need to order a size up to get a good fit. Also, if you plan to hunt in extremely cold weather, you’ll want to get a larger jacket size to accommodate the extra layers.

Our Top Picks

 1. Legendary Whitetails Canvas

Product


Legendary Whitetails Canvas Jacket

Top Overall pick

  • Heavy duty 10 oz. sanded canvas
  • Features a full 210 grams of insulation
  • Heavy duty zipper
  • Double interior pocket
  • Zip off hood

Our rating

Details

  • Heavy duty 10 oz. sanded canvas
  • Features a full 210 grams of insulation
  • Heavy duty zipper
  • Double interior pocket
  • Zip off hood

The Legendary Whitetails Canvas is one of the top camo winter hunting jackets for hunting and regular outdoor use. It holds up extremely well when moving through heavy brush, yet it’s lightweight enough to make moving comfortable and easy.

The jacket is a straight-cut, so the chest size is identical to the waist size. Take this into consideration when ordering to ensure a good fit, especially if you use layers when the weather gets deeply cold.

This is a tough hunting jacket with a shell of heavy-duty, 10-ounce sanded canvas. It features 210 grams of insulation as well. The shell is 100 percent cotton, and the lining is 100 percent polyester. The fill is also 100 percent polyester, making this a warm, durable jacket.

The zip-up hood is perfect for hunting, allowing you to keep the hood on for maximum warmth or remove it so that you can hear a rustle in the forest. Legendary Whitetails is a company known for making durable products, and this winter hunting jacket is no exception.


2. Coleman Men’s Waterfowl Fleece

Product


Coleman’s Waterfowl Fleece Jacket

Great for Waterfowl

  • Shell Upper Body 100% Polyester Brushed Twill
  • Shell Lower Body 380 Gram Brushed Polyester Fleece
  • 10000 W/P, 10000 MVT,DWR
  • Lower kangaroo zippered pockets
  • Neck at back is higher in back for extra wind protection

Our rating

Details

  • Shell Upper Body 100% Polyester Brushed Twill
  • Shell Lower Body 380 Gram Brushed Polyester Fleece
  • 10000 W/P, 10000 MVT,DWR
  • Lower kangaroo zippered pockets
  • Neck at back is higher in back for extra wind protection

The Coleman is the second top camo winter hunting jacket on this list. Although it is great for duck hunting, it is also the choice for cold weather hunting. The most surprising thing about this jacket might be how inexpensive it is compared to some of the others. The outer shell features classic mossy oak duck blind camo. Also, it is extremely quiet when you’re moving around.

This is a surprisingly durable jacket that will serve you well for quite a few years. It will hold up under the toughest use. The fleece liner is both windproof and waterproof. The insulation is thin enough to allow freedom of movement, which is important if you’re a bow hunter.

They cut this jacket to accommodate layers, so when it gets below 30 degrees, you add a sweater. As a waterfowl jacket, it’s cut to the waist, allowing for waders. The neckline is high enough to keep the wind out, too.


3. Browning Pheasants Upland

Product


Browning Pheasants Forever Jacket

Popular Pick

  • Products designed in the USA with quality materials
  • High tensile and durability with all Browning gear
  • Whether you’re an avid outdoors man or recreational, good for all…

Our rating

Details

  • Products designed in the USA with quality materials
  • High tensile and durability with all Browning gear
  • Whether you’re an avid outdoors man or recreational, good for all…

Browning makes a wide variety of hunting gear, and the Pheasants Forever jacket is an excellent option for hunters. It is lightweight, yet warm. It has an orange/tan pattern to stand out when hunting in the woods or timber. The outer shell is cotton canvas. The canvas material is both durable and whisper-quiet. The jacket has lined interior, and zipper cuffs with slash pockets both inside and out.

One of the great things about the Natural Gear Waterfowl Jacket is that it has a bloodproof front load game bag for easy cleaning.  But whether you’re hunting waterfowl or deer, this jacket will keep you comfortable during the long stretches of sitting in a blind. This hunting jacket is easy to manipulate, even with gloves on, making it a great choice for cold weather.

Unfortunately it doesn’t have a hood, but you can pair it with a hoodie, making this the overcoat to keep you extra warm.  The heavy-duty zipper that closes it up makes it easy to get in and out of. The numerous pockets give you lots of places to store your gear. The jacket’s thick insulation keeps you warm yet it doesn’t inhibit you when the time comes to move.


4. Onyx-Arctic Shield-X-System

Product


AcrticShield Men’s Classic

Budget Pick

  • Waterproof, windproof, relaxed fit
  • Adjustable drawcord hood
  • Zippered chest and side pockets
  • Adjustable wrist cuffs w/hook and loop tabs
  • Durable polyester tricot outer shell

Our rating

Details

  • Waterproof, windproof, relaxed fit
  • Adjustable drawcord hood
  • Zippered chest and side pockets
  • Adjustable wrist cuffs w/hook and loop tabs
  • Durable polyester tricot outer shell

If you’re looking for the ultimate in warmth without the heavy bulkiness with many camo winter hunting jackets, the Onyx-Arctic Shield X System jacket is the way to go. This jacket is windproof and water-resistant. It also uses Arctic Shield technology to capture and return up to 90 percent of your body heat.

The jacket shell features the popular Realtree camo pattern. They made it of micro-suede, which ensures both durability and silence when you’re walking through the woods. The liner and the fill are polyester, too.

The wrist cuffs are neoprene and have adjustable hook-and-loop tabs, allowing you to seal them tightly and keep the wind out. The jacket also features a two-way front zipper and several pockets on the outside with an interior patch pocket. The waistband is elastic for additional comfort and fit, while the collar has a fleece-lining for the same effect.

You may need a breathable outer raincoat for wet weather, although the jacket is water-resistant. Its wind protection will perform well even under extreme conditions. If you’re looking for a lightweight, warm, quiet, and compact jacket, this is for you, especially if you plan on sitting for long periods of time.


5. Carhartt Men’s Quilted Flannel

Product


Carhartt Men’s Quilted Jacket

Popular Pick

  • 12-ounce, 100 percent cotton duck with real tree camouflage…
  • Quilted-flannel lining in body, quilted-nylon lining in sleeves
  • Att ached quilted-flannel lined hood with draw-cord closure
  • Two large lower-front pockets
  • Two inside pockets

Our rating

Details

  • 12-ounce, 100 percent cotton duck with real tree camouflage…
  • Quilted-flannel lining in body, quilted-nylon lining in sleeves
  • Att ached quilted-flannel lined hood with draw-cord closure
  • Two large lower-front pockets
  • Two inside pockets

This Carhartt Men’s Quilted Flannel hunting jacket is a great choice for any hunter. It is windproof, waterproof, and breathable, providing warmth and comfort. It features two snap-secured front pockets that are deep, along with several other pockets to store your stuff. There’s even a protected interior pocket for your cell phone or walkie-talkie.

The side entry pockets have a fleece lining for warmth, and it has a bi-directional zipper in the front, which is protected with a storm flap. There’s a detachable drawstring hood with hook-and-loop and snap closures for extra security. Also, this jacket has netted cuffs so they’re extra comfortable and retain heat. They also seal with the classic hook-and-loop strap.

They made this jacket for use with zippered bibs, which makes using the outdoor facilities much easier. This is a great option for hunters that are on a really strict budget. This is one of the camo winter hunting jackets that fits true to size. It keeps you exceptionally warm even under the coldest of conditions and long stands.


6. Rocky ProHunter Insulated Parka

Product


Rocky ProHunter Insulated Parka

Best All-Purpose

  • Guaranteed Rocky Waterproof construction
  • Removable hood
  • Front zipper with storm flap
  • Polyfill insulation
  • Drawcord waist
  • Adjustable cuffs

Our rating

Details

  • Guaranteed Rocky Waterproof construction
  • Removable hood
  • Front zipper with storm flap
  • Polyfill insulation
  • Drawcord waist
  • Adjustable cuffs

This is a lightweight and warm jacket especially designed for late fall hunting. It will keep you warm in cold temps down to 38 degrees F or 20 degrees F if you wear the right extra layers. The jacket is stormproof, waterproof, and comes with a removable hood to keep you extra warm and dry when Mother Nature is having a fit.

The insulation consists of high-quality polyfill fabric (don’t expect down at this price point), cuffs are adjustable to keep cold air out and warmth in, and the front zipper comes with a handy storm flap. The storage capacity of this hunting jacket is impressive too. There are inner pockets for your valuables and two exterior pockets for your whatnots.

Plus, the material feels great, the pattern looks amazing, and the coat is true to size.


7. Banded White River Wader Jacket

Product


Banded White River Wader

Best Mid-Weight

  • 100% Polyester
  • Made in the USA or Imported
  • Machine Wash
  • SHEDS waterproof breathable technology
  • Anatomical tri-adjust hood
  • Weather-resistant YKK zippers
  • PrimaLoft silver insulation provides extra warmth
  • Zip-out liner can be worn as a standalone garment

Our rating

Details

  • 100% Polyester
  • Made in the USA or Imported
  • Machine Wash
  • SHEDS waterproof breathable technology
  • Anatomical tri-adjust hood
  • Weather-resistant YKK zippers
  • PrimaLoft silver insulation provides extra warmth
  • Zip-out liner can be worn as a standalone garment

The maker of this hunting jacket claims that the coat has “40 grams of the world’s most advanced insulation.” Indeed, the jacket comes with a down filling that can keep you toasty down to 32 degrees F (we haven’t tested it in subzero temps yet). The waterproofness of this coat has let us a bit down. The jacket is more water resistant than waterproof which is a big difference.

The Banded White River Wader Jacket is durable, warm and can stand up to a lot of abuse when out in the woods. The extra features like magnet-close bellowed shell pockets, fleece-lined hand warmer pockets, and the zip-out liner that can be worn on its own are some nice additions that can be rarely found in such abundance at this price point.

Be wary though that the jacket runs a bit small. If you’re a tall guy, check out Banded’s sizing chart first as you might need to order the next size up.


Parting Thoughts

Any of these seven camo winter hunting jackets will help you stay warm when you’re out in the cold woods or sitting in a blind during a varmint hunting trip.

The right camo winter hunting jacket will also give you the freedom of movement at the right time to make a big shot count. With any of these jackets, you’ll be ready to brave the cold and concentrate of the hunt.

You should always have the right gear at your side if you are planning on having any type of successful hunting trip.  There are so many things that go into planning how to track your prey, that worrying about the elements shouldn’t be on the top of your list.

Benchmade 940 Osborne (S30V Steel) Pocket Knife Review

Over the years, Benchmade has become one of the biggest names in the world of knife manufacturing. This is a company that offers premium quality knives and uses state of the art technology to create knives that are built to really perform.

The Benchmade 940 Osborne is premium quality pocket knife with a reverse tanto blade.  It’s not only sleek and elegant, but also extremely durable.

This US manufactured knife is one of our favorites for EDC pocket carry with the only knock against it being the premium price tag.  The handle is ergonomically friendly, and the reverse tanto blade serves very well for both rugged wilderness tasks around the campfire, or cutting open boxes at your shop.

Click to See on Amazon.com

The Benchmade story dates back to the end of the 1970s, which is when Les de Asis decided to create the perfect knife. Keen to create a product that used the latest materials and innovation, he teamed up with Victor Anselmo, and the first Benchmade knife was born. Since that time, Benchmade has gone on to become a huge name in this sector, dealing with customers around the globe.

This is a manufacturer that prides itself on the creation of innovative, high performing, solid knives fit for a variety of different purposes. From industrial and professional use through to recreational and personal use, you will find knives designed to cater for all needs. Today, this company continues to offer great quality and design with plenty of knife options to suit a range of requirements.

The Benchmade 940 Knife:

Benchmade 940 Rear End

The Benchmade 940 is one of the many popular knives made by Benchmade, and one of the best sellers in the pocket knife category.  This is a knife that combines versatility with robustness and durability. You will find yourself with a very high quality knife when you invest in the 940. It falls under the category of an Everyday Carry knife and offers high specifications as well as a range of features.

This knife has been available through Benchmade for many years and still enjoys huge popularity amongst those looking for a great quality everyday carry knife. The knife offers a high level of versatility, which makes it ideal for use in a range of different situations. It is also lightweight and easy to carry.

Benchmade 940 Specs & Details:

Benchmade 940 Spine
If you are looking for an everyday carry knife with high specifications and unique features, this could be the ideal choice for you. The designer of this knife model is Osborne and it comes in a manual opening style with an AXIS mechanism.

The length of the blade is 3.40 inches and the overall length of the knife when it is open comes in at 7.87 inches. When the knife is closed, the overall length is 4.47 inches.

The weight, handle and blade materials can vary, as you have a choice available to you with this knife. The Osborne has aluminum handles, which has a CPM S30V steel blade and weighs in at 2.90 ounces.

The aluminum handles are 0.41 inches thick. The blade comes in a reverse tanto design, which is a design that is known for its sturdy tip.

Related: If you’re wondering how to sharpen a folding knife without ruining it, check out our step-by-step guide: How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife Properly: Hunting & Survival Blade Sharpening Tips

Appearance of the Benchmade 940:

Benchmade 940 Another Angle

The Benchmade 940 knife is robust, versatile, and designed to perform superbly. It also boasts a very sleek, modern, and slim-line design. This is a very stylish knife, which adds to its appeal for many people. Overall, this knife has unique elegance and a stunning design. Although it is classed as an everyday carry knife, many find that it makes the perfect gentleman’s knife and is a great choice for a gift.

The Osborne has a very ergonomic design that has been created to ensure ease of use and comfort. You will benefit from superior grip with this knife, which helps to make day to day tasks far easier.

The knife comes with a standard Benchmade pocket clip, which is simple yet effective. The knife is lightweight and slim, which means that you can carry it around with ease. The thumb studs and AXIS mechanism on the knife will enable you to flick out the blade in next to no time and without any problems.

Benchmade 940: Price and Pros & Cons

Benchmade 940 Osborne in Hand

In terms of cost, the Benchmade 940 is not the cheapest everyday carry knife out there. However, when you compare the cost of the knife to the modern design, appearance, feature options, and overall quality, you will see that it does offer value for money.

The S30V steel is one of the most expensive knife steels that is used in manufacturing knives today, and that is often the reason for the higher price tag of this knife in comparison to other models.

Pros

  • Lightweight, wear resistant, and tough
  • Smooth action
  • Super AXIS lock mechanism
  • Compact size makes it an ideal EDC
  • Premium quality steel and impressive finish
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Many knockoffs out there

Our Verdict:

Benchmade 940 in Hand

In conclusion, the Benchmade 940 is a knife that many will consider the perfect everyday carry knife. It has something for everyone – great design, compact and lightweight, durability and power, versatility, ease of use and more.

The fact that it has a number of options with regards to handle material, blade steel, and weight means that you can benefit from a knife that suits your personal needs.

When you opt for this product as your everyday carry knife or even a gentleman’s knife, you can rest assured that you have a product that is designed to both perform well and last you for years.

There are reports of users having used this gem for more than 5 years and the knife still performs like in the first day. We believe that with the Benchmade 940 you truly get what you pay for as long as you steer clear of the cheap, Chinese counterfeits.

Here’s a review of the Benchmade 940 five years later if you’re on the fence about its durability:

How to Shoot A Crossbow for Beginners

The crossbow, based on the traditional bow, is a mechanical device that shoots projectiles called bolts. It’s capable of cleanly taking down the biggest North American game, and it can be deadly accurate.

The crossbow is used in many states for many different types of hunting.  While it is banned for use in some states, depending on what you hunt, the hunting crossbow is one of the most uniquely used hunting tools on today’s market.

While you won’t get many bowhunting tips in this article,  you will definitely learn the basics of how to shoot a crossbow once you’ve found the right crossbow for your hunting expeditions.

Step 1: Cock the Bow

Cocking the crossbow takes a little patience to learn. There two methods for cocking the bow: Manual and crank-operated.

To cock the bow manually, put your foot in the stirrup at the front of the bow and pull the crossbow string back evenly across both sides of the barrel until it is cocked.

This is something of a chore with modern hunting crossbows, which unlike common recurve bows or compound bows, have draw weights over 150 lbs.  If you don’t pull straight you can misalign the bow and your aim will be off.

A rope cocking tool can make the manual cocking process easier, helps center the string better, and is recommended by a lot of hunters. A rope cocker is essentially a simple pulley system.

To use a rope cocker, first get the cocker into position, insert your foot into the stirrup, grab the rope cocker’s pull handles, and pull the handles up until the crossbow string is cocked. Once it’s cocked, store the rope cocker until you need it again.

A crossbow crank will definitely be easier to use than manual cocking, but it will take longer. A lot longer, so if you’re in a hurry the crank isn’t the way to go.

A crossbow crank is nothing more than a winch. Some cranks are separate devices, and some are integrated into the bow. To crank cock a crossbow, engage the crank, and turn it until the string is cocked. Then put the crank back into place, or into its holder.

Step 2: Load the Bow

Once the crossbow is fully cocked, place an arrow in the barrel of the crossbow, aligning the cock vane of the arrow in the barrel channel. Nock the arrow securely into place.

Step 3: Aim

Hunting crossbows are equipped with a sight pin arrangement or mount scope through which to aim, such as an optical scope with a reticle. You need to sight in, and prepare to shoot.

But first… A word of warning: Make sure there are no obstructions that could get in the way of the limbs when they snap forward or injury is likely. Similarly, do not wrap your thumb around the crossbow forearm.

Step 4: Shoot

Once you have the target sighted, squeeze the trigger just as you would a rifle’s, keeping the target aligned in your sights. As you squeeze tighter you’ll hear the pop of the trigger release as the bow fires and the bolt hurtles toward the target.

Getting your scope set up properly with your crossbow will take some adjustments, much like the adjustments you make to your rifle. But once its sighted in and you’re hitting the bullseye, you’re ready for action!

Where to Shoot Deer with a Crossbow

When bowhunting you cannot pull off a nice clean shot by head shooting a deer since you don’t have the tremendous fire power of a rifle to penetrate the skull. So, you’ll have to go for the vitals.

Many beginner bulk hunters wonder where to shoot deer with a crossbow for an (almost) instant kill to minimize animal suffering. You should be aiming at the deer chest area, which is a rather generous place but with caveats.

We do recommend studying deer anatomy so that you can visualize the best shot placement when target shooting or when out in the field. As a crossbow hunter you’re aiming for the thorax, where all the important vital organs lie: the heart, the liver, and the lungs.

The best ethical shots are attained by piercing the lungs (good) or the heart (best) since these organs are fairly large and can lead to massive blood loss when hit. Skip the liver as a beginner since that one is very narrow and requires tons of practice.

One key to successful bow hunting is inflicting massive blood loss with one shot so that the deer dies within 100 yards. Otherwise you will have to track it down for hours, risk losing sight of it, or, even worse, the animal might die in excruciating pain.

Massive bleeding is achieved by:

  • Hitting the vitals
  • Using razor sharp broadheads (an absolute must!).

Related: Best Broadheads for Hunting: Expandable & Mechanical Broadhead Reviews

Another key to successful hunting when shooting deer with a crossbow is shot placement. Archery buck hunters’ arch enemy when it comes to shooting deer is a thing called the scapula (brachial plexus). This is a dense shoulder bone with a ridge that’s almost impenetrable by most arrows even with an ultra-sharp broadhead.

The scapula rotates as the deer moves its legs covering the vitals. So, it is important to shoot the deer when the scapula has rotated away from the vitals. The scapula is out of the way when the deer’s front leg is forward – you should shoot just above the leg – or when the deer puts its head down.

When it comes to the best shot placement when hunting deer with a crossbow, you should also  take into account the fact that the deer might “jump your string,” namely quickly squat when they hear the arrow whizzing at them.

This can happen in the blink of an eye and you would need a crossbow with 600 fps to hit a vital organ instead of just missing or hitting a shoulder. But some of the fastest crossbows currently on the market like the Scorpyd Aculeus 460FPS ACUdraw Crossbow (check it out here) don’t go past 460 fps.

So, it is best to aim at the lower third of the chest cavity to halfway up to have enough wiggling room for a clean shot. Just visualize and split the vitals area into 3 horizontal sections and go for the bottom third. Do practice a lot on 3D deer targets beforehand.

Related: For all the tidbits on the best shot placement check out our dedicated post: Where to Shoot a Deer – Aiming for the Best Kill Zone Shot Placement

Some experts recommend using heavier arrows, with at least 14% front of center (FOC) to make your bow and arrows quitter and prevent string jump, but that’s no longer a beginner’s cup of tea.

Image credits: Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr; Larry W. Brown on Flickr

Gerber Prodigy Knife Review

When Joseph R. Gerber described his young knife company, Gerber Legendary Blades, as the “birth of an enterprise that grew into big business,” it was true.

However, it was also a vast understatement because what had started out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country.

By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated and collected names in knives. In the over 70 years since its founding, Gerber continues to grow still grounded on the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s enterprise:

Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use.

In fact, the sleek stainless steel sheath knives of the ’50s and ’60s (such as the Magnum Hunter) gave birth to today’s lightweight, open-frame, clip folders (such as the Remix).

Gerber, however, is no longer just a knife company since they have begun exploring making products other than knives with the same standards of quality and design. These new Gerber products include:

  • Multi-tools
  • Axes
  • Handsaws
  • Machetes
  • Headlamps
  • Flashlights
  • Survival kits and
  • Digging implements.

Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife, Serrated Edge, Black...

The Gerber Prodigy features an overall length of 9 3/4” with a black, powdercoated, partially serrated 4 3/4” drop point blade made from 420 HC stainless steel (Rockwell hardness unknown) with a saber grind.

In addition, it also features full tang construction with over-molded rubber handles to ensure a soft, comfortable yet secure grip in all conditions. The handle also includes molded quillions and a lanyard hole.

Note that the knife comes with MOLLE compatible ballistic nylon sheath with a friction-release thumb lock.

Upon first viewing this knife, it was obvious to me that the designer (Jeff Freeman) intended this knife to be a tactical knife and not a dedicated survival knife.

This first impression is supported by Gerber’s original description of this knife even though the Gerber Prodigy is currently being marketed as a survival knife and even as a combat knife, despite having a serrated blade.

However, in an outdoor situation any knife is far better than having no knife at all. The Gerber Prodigy would serve far better than some.

For instance, although the drop point blade is too short even for minor chopping jobs, it would still serve well for slicing, splitting and puncturing which covers the majority of tasks a user would normally require in an emergency situation.

Also, the partially serrated edge located in front of the ricasso tends to preclude using the knife for carving to sharpen stakes and staves and carve the notches needed to create snares and spring traps which is the most important tasks you can use for a survival knife.

In addition, the saber grind on the blade makes the bevel too wide and thus, it prevents the user from creating a really fine edge on the knife.

On the other hand, the full tang construction does create a very strong knife with a satisfying amount of weight in the hand. The use of 420 series high carbon stainless steel compliments the intent to create a tough knife that will hold an edge reasonably well (contains 0.4% to 0.5% Carbon).

This gem is also reasonably corrosion resistant. It contains 12% to 14% Chromium and 0.6% Molybdenum which combines with Chromium during forging to create hard double carbide bonds that makes the steel corrosion and abrasion resistant.

The choice of ballistic nylon for the sheath is also a wise choice because nylon is an extremely tough material that is both waterproof and rot proof.

Variants and Similar Models

There’s also a straight blade version, the Gerber Prodigy Fine Edge, which is exclusively sold by Wal-Mart (although we’ve heard that the big-box retail giant might have discontinued  it).

The Fine Edge is great if you’d rather buy a Prodigy without the serrated portion on the blade. It makes a sturdy fixed blade knife for camping as there are not major differences between the two variants.

If you’d like a straight blade Prodigy right now and Wal-Mart no longer carries it, the closest thing that you can get to the Fine Edge by Gerber is their Strong Arm Fixed Blade (check price and availability here) but expect some losses in the ergonomics department.

Related: Finding the Best Survival Knife in 2020: Our Favorite Fixed Blades [Tested and Reviewed]

Another tactical/survival knife that’s very similar to the Gerber Prodigy is Gerber’s iconic LMF II Infantry, a knife field tested with American troops (check it out here). In fact, the LMF II is Prodigy’s predecessor since the latter has borrowed heavily design-wise from the former.

The Prodigy, though, is smaller, slimmer and comes with a narrower blade which makes it more portable than the LMF II and a great option for users with smaller hands.  Also, the Gerber Prodigy lacks the LMF II’s built-in knife sharpener. You can check out the LMF II Infantry here.

To Wrap It Up

Although there are many other knife designs that I would personally choose over the Gerber Prodigy for use as a dedicated survival knife, the Prodigy is not actually a bad choice-  it is just not a particularly good choice.

Also, the 420 HC stainless steel is in my opinion not a particularly good choice of steel for a dedicated survival knife especially when there are much better stainless steels for the purpose such as AUS-8 or AUS-10 or even 440C.

I would be much happier if the blade had a hollow grind or even a semi-hollow grind instead of the saber grind displayed on this knife. But as I said, when you really need a knife the most, any knife is better than no knife at all.

What are the Top Heavy Duty Sleeping Bags for?

If you are looking to head out into the wilderness on a hunting or camping trip, your sleeping bag needs are going to be different than a hiker.

For someone going hiking looking for the best ultralight sleeping bag to keep their weight down while they are on the move, a thick heavyweight bag is not the right choice.

For a hunter or camper that’s setting up a base camp and not going too far from that location, a heavy duty sleeping bag makes a smart choice due to the thickness and comfort they provide.

Below we have broken down 7 of our favorites and give you our top two choices for sleeping outdoors down to either 20 Degree Temps or Zero Degree Temps.

Top 7 Heavy Duty Sleeping Bags

Two Great Heavier Bags for 20 Degree Camping:


Coleman Dunnock Large Sleeping Bag1. Coleman Dunnock:

A traditional rectangular bag, the Dunnock is perfect if you like to have a bit more room at night. It’s generously sized – anybody under 6’4” will have plenty space – and you can zip two together as well.

It’s filled with Coletherm synthetic fiber but both the inner and outer shells are pure cotton. That makes it highly breathable and very comfortable. It also makes it relatively bulky and heavy, at just over five pounds, so it’s not ideal for ultralight backpacking. The cotton also has practically no water resistance.

On the other hand if you’re camping with a good tent the Dunnock will let you sleep in luxury. It’s a bit marginal as you approach the 20°F limit and if you regularly camp below freezing you might want to look at something else, but for summer and fall use it’s great. It also has an integrated stowage bag and carry handle.


Coleman Brazos Large Sleeping Bag2. Coleman Brazos:

Another rectangular bag, this uses the same easy-roll system as the Dunnock and in general it’s a fairly similar bag. The main difference is the shell, which is polyester. Some people will find this less comfortable but it does resist moisture a bit better, and it’s easier to keep clean.

It’s also a smaller bag, more suitable for anyone up to around 5’11”, and that makes it slightly lighter too.  It’s also a lot cheaper, so if you need a competitively priced spring to fall bag this could be perfect.

Like the Dunnock the Brazos doesn’t use box baffling, so there are stitching points that run through both inner and outer shells, and at lower temperatures you might feel some cold spots. The zip has a good baffle though and you certainly shouldn’t have any trouble down to a few degrees below freezing.


Five Great Heavyweight Sleeping Bags for Extremely Cold Temps: Camping & Outdoors


Browning Camping McKinley1. Browning Camping McKinley:

This is a heavyweight rectangular bag with mummy-style hood, weighing in at 8.8 pounds, but it’s extremely warm and comfortable.  It’s a good sleeping bag for hunters that need the extra weight, but it’s not all that lightweight in comparison to the other models on our list.

Shoulder and zipper baffles, combined with offset quilting and a generous quantity of Techloft synthetic fill, give it all the insulation you could ask for – and it’s also very roomy.

Add in a soft microfiber lining and a well contoured hood and this is an excellent piece of kit.

It’s perfect for hunters, who’re usually less concerned with weight but need something to keep them warm in exposed locations, and it’s also very sturdy and durable.


Coleman Big Basin Extreme 0 Degree Sleeping Bag2. Coleman Big Basin:

Below 0°F a sleeping bag has to work harder to keep you warm, so for the Big Basin Coleman have modified the simple rectangular design with some mummy features.

The result is interesting; it’s very roomy, accommodating campers up to 6’6” tall, and if you’re both more modestly sized it’s possible to fit two in there quite comfortably.

Meanwhile the bag has offset quilting to eliminate cold spots, a fully baffled two-way zipper and a drawstring hood.

The bottom end has a fleece liner to give your feet some extra warmth, and there’s also an internal pocket for a flashlight. This is a pretty large and heavy bag but it’s an affordable cold weather option.


3. Coleman North Rim 0°F:

This Coleman heavy duty model is a great sleeping bag for those camping or hunting trips in extremely cold temperatures. It is rated at 0°F but most users that have tested it said it is very warm down to 10°F.

The North Rim is designed especially for tall guys (up to 6 ft 2″) but if you’re over 225 lbs consider going for the Coleman Big Basin as beyond that point it feels constricted.

This bag is not that great for backpacking either as it is not very packable but it does its job with flying colors in a camping tent, RV, or a hunting shack. It is an amazing cold weather heavy duty bag that won’t let you down (unless you’re not careful with the zippers – they’re very delicate.)


Related: How to Wash a Sleeping Bag for a Clean Camping Nap


4. Teton Sports Celsius XL -25°F:

Teton Sports Extreme Weather Below Zero Sleeping BagIf you’re at all worried about getting too cold this monster from Teton should solve your problem.  We didn’t want to include too many monsters on our list, but we felt we couldn’t ignore the quality on this one.

It weighs a hefty 9.5 pounds, so it’s not one for the ultralight fans among you, but it’s very, very warm.

It’s also rooms, thanks to its rectangular shape, and you can zip a pair of them together.

The shell is durable taffeta; the liner is comfortable flannel. It also has the features you’d expect from a mummy bag – fully adjustable hood, zipper baffle and two-way zippers.

This is a big, heavy bag, but for camping only use it should keep you warm through just about anything.


Teton Sports Celcius5. Teton Sports Celsius Regular:

Like the Big Basin this is a hybrid – a rectangular bag with some mummy features, including a generous drawstring hood to close off any drafts around your neck.

The shell and filling are both polyester, making it rugged and easy to keep clean. The zipper has a full-length baffle and is two-way, so in warmer weather you can open the bottom for some ventilation. This is a very high quality and well featured bag for the price range that it falls into.

It also performs well, and we wouldn’t hesitate to use it right down to 0°F. Teton have a great reputation for affordable but effective gear, and this bag lives up to it.


Putting it All Together:

Overall, any of these sleeping bags would make a great addition to your next hunting or camping trip.  All of them are rated highly and don’t quite make the cut as a lightweight bag for hiking, but they will serve you very well if you are just looking for something that you can be used in your backyard or on trips where your base camp is near by.

How To Purify Water in the Great Outdoors:  5 Ways to Make Lake or River Water Safe

Regardless whether you are hiking, kayak fishing or hunting, any outdoor trip can go quickly awry in a hurry if you aren’t geared with the proper survival equipment or don’t have a clean water supply.

If you’re not carrying your own water in with you, you’ll need to purify the water you find in the wilderness.  To purify water while camping, you have five great options:

Let’s look at 5 great ways to purify lake or river water next time you’re out in the sticks.

Boiling:  

Boiling water is a simple and effective way to purify water for drinking. There’s nothing to it: Collect the water into a pot or other container, put it on the camp stove, and bring it to a roiling boil and boil for at least one minute.

At altitudes above 6,562 feet, boil the water for at least 3 minutes, since because the air pressure is so low there, water takes less energy to hit the boiling point. This means that the water will boil at a lower temperature than usual but the boiling time will need to be increased to purify water or cook meals.

Boiling kills the bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that may ruin your trip. However, boiling does not remove the mud and other particulate matter found in backcountry water.

But if you’re patient, you can leave the water out for a bit and the mud will settle to make drinking more pleasant.

The Good:

  • Boiling water is relatively safe, cheap, and effective
  • It does not require expensive gear and special expertise
  • Boiling water is the go-to method of many outdoor enthusiasts

The Bad:

  • Some nasties in water might not be nixed at the boiling point; you’ll need a pressure cooker to kill those bugs, but fortunately they are very rare;
  • Boiling does not remove the dirt, heavy metals, and pollutants from water.

If you aren’t used to boiling your own water in the Great outdoors, below is a quick video with a demonstration as well as the pros and cons.

Chemical Treatments:  

The most common commercial water treatments come in two basic types: chlorine and iodine. Chlorine is available in tablets that you dissolve in water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Chlorine can be also replaced by liquid household bleach, just make sure that it hasn’t expired and doesn’t have any added fragrances in it. Use half of teaspoon of bleach to 5 gallons of water. Double the dose, if the water is really murky.

Wait 30 minutes before drinking the water. If the water doesn’t have a bleachy smell add just as much bleach and wait 15 more minutes.

Make sure that no more than 6 months have passed between the bleach’s manufacturing date and the use date for maximum effect. After around 6 months bleach starts to lose its potency.

Iodine, which can be purchased as tablets, crystals, or tinctures, works the same way, though iodine should not be used by pregnant women or people with thyroid issues.

For both methods, it is best to pre-filter the water to remove dirt and particles free floating in the water. You can use a clean T-shirt or a bandanna.

The Good:

  • Quick and convenient (no need for a stove and fuel)
  • Save on fuel bigly
  • The go-to method of many ultra-light backpackers

The Bad:

  • Chemical water treatments should not be used extensively as they have a cumulative effect, slowly overloading your body with chemicals
  • Chemical treatments often fail to kill giardia as the tiny bug is almost immune to the chemicals
  • Heavy metal contamination, debris, and pollution are still an issue
  • Water does not taste (or smell) that great after chemical purification

If you aren’t familiar with the chemical treatment of water, below there’s a short tutorial.

Gravity-fed Water Filters:  

Water filters are great options for purifying water when camping. They’re easy to use, and are available in personal or larger, portable models for two or more people.

Filters do a good job on protozoa and bacteria, but will not filter out viruses. Water filters work by straining the water through an internal element using a hand pump, gravity, or in a sip tube. They also leave the mud out, so you get a nice clean drink.

The Good:

  • Cheap
  • Can filter out large quantities of water
  • You can make your own filter

The Bad:

  • They take a lot of time to work
  • Just for camping
  • Not 100% effective

Below there’s is a quick method to make an emergency water filter by yourself.

Portable Water Purifiers:  

Water purifiers are the next step up when it comes to convenient solutions. Most water purifiers are a combo of a filter and chemical compounds or, most recently, a multiple filter system.

To be marketed as a water purifier in the United States, the device must meet or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers.

EPA-registered products must kill 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% or viruses and 99.9% of protozoa. Water purifiers are currently very affordable and provide safe, reliable filtration.

The Good:

  • They kill pathogens down to 0.2 micron in size
  • Very portable and lightweight
  • You can filter water as you go

The Bad:

  • Portable water filters do not kill viruses because of the small size (they need to be backed by other water purification methods)
  • You’ll need to put some serious elbow grease into getting enough water to drink

Below, there’s a quick review of three very popular water filters.

The Ultraviolet Light Method:  

Ultraviolet light can also be used to purify water. At the correct intensity, UV light contains ample radiation to destroy the DNA in microbes and shut down their reproductive mechanisms, making water safe to drink.

Most UV purifiers pass water through a UV irradiated chamber to sterilize it. The downside to UV purification is the price: Even a simple handheld unit is very costly.

However, UV radiation uses absolutely no chemicals, leaving you with pure, tasty drinking water.

One key to making the UV filter work properly: The water should be pre-filtered to remove sediment before purifying as to not obstruct the UV light.

The Good:

  • Quick, easy, convenient
  • No nasty chemicals are added to the water
  • Water tastes and smells fresh
  • You can filter as much water as you want (you’ll not run out of fuel or tablets)

The Bad:

  • Water will become unsafe to drink if exposed to visible light after the treatment
  • Pre-filtering is a must for the best results
  • UV-based water treatment devices are a bit pricey

One popular UV water sterilization  device is the Steri-pen. You can see the product broken down in the video below.

Wrap Up:

While there are several ways to make sure the water you are about to drink is clean, any of the methods mentioned above should keep you out of harms way on your next outdoor excursion.

**Disclaimer**

We are not responsible for any unsuccessful attempts by you to purify water.  The suggestions above are meant to be used by users to purify their own water but at their own risk.

The 7 Best Machetes for Survival in 2020 [Rated & Reviewed]

Almost every outdoor and survival enthusiast will agree that a machete is an essential survival tool for any time you spend outdoors.

From building shelters, clearing brush, chopping wood, gather firewood or prepping game, a machete can increase work efficiency and serve as a great all purpose cutting tool for just about any occasion. Protection is another important element that shouldn’t be overlooked when selecting a Machete.

It’s not surprising that survival machetes are the main security provision for indigenous tribal people the world over. A reliable defense weapon against animals in the wilderness, a machete takes the guess work out of a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors.

When it comes to finding the best multi purpose survival machete on the market, there are a few things you should consider before jumping in to make a purchase and we are going to outline the basics below.

Before we jump into details, below you will find our comparison guide where we’ve selected our top 5 favorite choices along with some basic details including price and average user rating.  For a more in depth look at each, take a look at the information below where we cover the types of steels machetes are typically made of and a review of each machete below that.

Our Comparison Table:

View on Amazon:Typical Use:Our Rating:
Ka-Bar 1249 KukriBrush & Military
Ka-Bar Black CutlassSurvival
Cold Steel KukriBrush Clearing
Gerber Gator MacheteMulti Purpose
Woodman’s Pal 2.0Multi Purpose
Luna Tech LTK9500Military/Survival
Gerber Bear Grylls ParangMulti Purpose

What Are Typical Machete Materials?

Carbon Steel:  One of the oldest materials in machete manufacturing, carbon steel has been employed for centuries. Stronger than stainless steel, carbon steel retains its sharpness over time.

There really are no drawbacks to Carbon Steel.  The two primary benefits are listed below.

  1. Carbon steel is harder than stainless steel.  It’s also easier to sharpen and holds an edge longer than Stainless.
  2. Carbon steel may can rust, but if you properly oil the blade from time to time, it will be better protected from the elements.

If you are in a pinch, some WD-40 can be an effective blade lubricant for Carbon Steel.  Steel wool will also do a great job cleaning off any unwanted oxidation on the blade. Carbon steel blades tend to be easier to field sharpen.

Stainless steel:  An overlay of chromium nickel makes stainless steel manageable in wet climates. Stainless blades are a good budget option, but we prefer Carbon steel for machetes.

The softer metal means that Stainless Steel requires more sharpening than Carbon Steel. An even better choice is high carbon stainless steel; tougher on the edge with the rust resistant properties of stainless (See the Ka-Bar recommendations below).

Best 7 Survival Machetes in 2020:

Below we break down our top 7 survival machetes with a little bit more detail to help you decide if any of these are right for you and your next outdoor excursion.

1. Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri:  

This machete is a one of the best-selling Machetes on the market today and is often used by many servicemen and women in all branches of the United States military.

It’s a full tang blade and the construction is outstanding which is true of almost all Ka-Bar manufactured items.  In 1942, Ka-Bar was the knife of choice for men fighting in WWII.  This is a heritage that Ka-Bar is proud of, and you can be too if you pick one up.  The Ka-Bar is our top choice.


2.  Ka-Bar Cutlass Machete:

This machete is great for someone that isn’t really interested in the curved blade of the Kukuri. It may be more of an aesthetic choice since Kurkuri models are extremely popular, but the Ka-Bar impresses us with the Cutlass.

Made with a cutlass style blade (hence the name) out of 1085 carbon steel, this Machete is a solid choice that you won’t regret if a curved blade isn’t your style. 


3.  The Cold Steel Kukuri:  

The Kukuri is a model of a machete designed by the traveling Gurkha mountaineers of Nepal and Cold Steel does this particular model justice.  Cold Steel is one of our favorite manufacturers because their quality is top notch for a reasonable cost.  

The Cold Steel 97KMS has an 18 inch length with a 13 inch blade and 2.75mm thickness.  It’s made of carbon steel and is a great pick for anyone that wants quality along with affordability.


4.  Gerber Gator Machete:  

This machete is a great pick for someone on a budget.  The ergonomics are solid and the Machete is relatively light weight.  It’s equipped with a tactile rubber grip and has both a saw blade edge as well as a fine edge for clearing brush.  

It’s made of high-carbon stainless steel and is a great pick in a budget friendly price range.


5. The Woodman Pal 2.0:

Click to view on Amazon.com!

The Woodman Pal 2.0 carries on a design used by the U.S. army since the Second World War with some minor revamps to make it a survival machete that can do just about anything while out in the wild. You can use the Woodman Pal 2.0 for bushcraft, survival, land clearing, batoning, surveying, camping, hunting, and more.

It is a beautiful machete whose sheath and ash wood handle are handcrafted by Amish craftsmen in Lancaster County, PA. The machete is 100% USA-made and has been treated to temperatures of up to 1500 °F to ensure maximum strength and durability. This rare gem’s high-carbon steel blade was individually sharpened and comes with a blunted point for the user’s safety. We were very impressed with the stunning quality and versatility of this machete.

6. The Luna Tech LTK9500, with MOLLE System:

The Luna Tech LTK9500 full tang machete was designed by self-defense and survival expert, Dave Young, so expect it to have everything a survival machete needs. Besides being full tang, the razor-sharp 440 stainless steel blade is serrated on both the edge and ridge and comes with a rope cutter.

The machete’s length is just right (23”) for most emergency situations, and the non-slip rubberized handle comes with a 70 HRC carbide tip which can be used as an emergency glass breaker. The elegant black sheath is compatible with MOLLE systems for maximum versatility in the field.


7.  Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete:  

Click to view on Amazon.com!

This machete is one of the newer models out there that’s part of the Bear Grylls line which like the Gator is also manufactured by Gerber. It has a strong hand grip and is relatively light weight making it a great multipurpose machete for any expedition.

It’s slightly shorter in length than the Gator, and the grip is just as comfortable as the Gator (possibly more).  We like the lanyard cord that it comes equipped with as well.


Time to Clear some Brush!

Whether you are planning a trip to the rainforest or the outback, or simply going hunting for the weekend, a good machete is a must. Hunters should be especially careful about the handle rigging and blade efficiency to avoid any risk while dealing with game.

Uncertain how to use a machete properly?  Check out the brief video below that will help you understand not only how to use one, but how to properly hold one so you don’t end up with painful blisters that can be hard to treat in the wild.

It’s important to remember that while most machetes are in the same wheelhouse price-wise, most price points vary according to material, model and brand.  Picking one of the machetes that we have outlined in our article should help keep you on the right path when selecting this all-important survival tool.

It should always be paired with a smaller knife to make sure you have every situation covered should a survival situation arise that you need to be prepared for.

Survival machete owners trained in self-defense will acknowledge that a machete is an effective tool for any SHTF situation. Be sure to check with regional law enforcement for license rules.

Best Gun Cleaning Kit in 2020: Our Top 10 Revealed

Imagine you are out hunting in the woods on a beautiful day. You’ve been looking for something, anything, to come into your sights and make this whole trip worth it.

Suddenly, a huge, majestic buck comes into view—a beast like something out of a nature documentary. Carefully you aim and put your finger on the trigger, but when you fire, your gun jams and away he runs. You didn’t use the best gun cleaning kit on your weapon.

If you’re a hunter, this is one of the most frustrating experiences you can go through. However, you can prevent this from happening with the proper care and maintenance of your firearm.

There are many steps and procedures that are involved to do this, but one of the most important steps is the regular cleaning of your firearm. You will, however, need to select the best possible cleaning kit for your weapon to do so.

Luckily, that’s just what we’re here to help you with. We’ve examined a number of cleaning kits and narrowed the list down to the ten best gun cleaning kits for you to choose from.

Remember, it’s important to select the right kit for your individual weapon. So let’s look at exactly what you’ll need to consider before you buy one.

1. WHAT IS A GUN CLEANING KIT?

Before you look for the best gun cleaning kit, it’s important to understand just what this kit is. As you may imagine, your gun experiences wear and tear just like any other tool.

With the combination of use, loading, and taking it around, a gun’s inner workings can become dry and malfunction. A gun cleaning kit works to repair the problems of wear and tear so your gun works properly every time.

2. HOW DOES A GUN CLEANING KIT WORK?

A gun cleaning kit works to repair many issues that gun use can cause. The best gun cleaning kit will lubricate all moving parts to prevent wear and tear. This will usually use oil and/or grease. It will also help you remove the residue of materials like gunpowder and metal from the gun, allowing it to function properly.

This function is vital for your firearm. Using the best gun cleaning kit will not only keep your gun functional, but it will also keep it safe to use properly. Your gun may malfunction or even explode if not properly cleaned. So for your own safety, be sure to use your kit consistently.

3. WHERE CAN YOU BUY IT/THEM?

So now that you understand the function and importance of the best gun cleaning kit where can you get one? In today’s world, online shopping is always an option.

However, if you’d like to see the kit and get instructions, sporting goods stores usually carry them. Dick’s and Cabela’s are excellent places to look.

How We Reviewed FIREGEAR Gun Cleaning Kit Universal Supplies for Hunting Rifle Handgun Shot Gun Cleaning Kit for All Guns with Case

So what is the best gun cleaning kit? That will vary depending on your gun, but we are here to give you a headstart. We compiled a list of the ten best gun cleaning kits available today. We want to be sure you are fully informed about the kit you purchase.

We complied a list of the most important parameters to consider when buying the best gun cleaning kit. These include the features available, the pros and cons of each model, the price, where you can buy them, and the warranty.

We’ve even used these factors to make our own choice for the best gun cleaning kit. Before we get to that, let’s look at one factor you may already consider—the price.

Overall Price Range of the Best Gun Cleaning Kit

So how much does the best gun cleaning kit cost? It’s actually a fairly wide margin, as kits can go anywhere from $40 to $120. This can vary by model; a shotgun kit would be more than a handgun kit.

However, more expensive kits can offer better supplies or more cleaning options, but again, that depends on the model you need.

What We Reviewed

  • Otis Technology The Otis Elite
  • Hoppe’s Boresnake Rifle Soft-Sided Rifle Cleaning Kit
  • Remington Hunting Cleaning and Maintenance Kit
  • Hoppe’s No. 9 Cleaning Kit
  • DAC Winchester Super Deluxe Soft Sided Gun Care Case
  • New Hoppe’s 9 Rifle Cleaning Kit
  • Allen Company Ultimate Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Ohuhu 28PCS Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Allen Ultimate Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Cleans all rifles/pistols/shotguns/inline muzzleloaders with 100% cotton 2” & 3” patches, 3 slotted tips & 2 patch savers
  • 16 firearm specific bronze bore brushes with size marked on brush stem (.17, .22 limited breech, .22/.223, .243-.260, .270/7mm, .30-06/.300/30-30/.308, .338-.35, .357-38cal/9mm, .40/10mm, .44/.45, .50cal, .410ga, 28ga, 20ga, 16ga, 12/10ga)
  • 8”, 12” and 36” aircraft grade Memory-Flex cables and thread connector for proper Breech-to-Muzzle cleaning
  • Small & large obstruction removers knock out mud, snow, stuck casings and double as a t-handle base for included t-handle; small t-handle & stud included for small caliber cleaning

FEATURES

The Otis Elite is a solid choice if you own more than one gun. This system works on both handguns and shotguns, and even rifles. The kit itself contains almost everything you would need to get the best performance out of your weapon. However, it is a more expensive purchase.

WARRANTY

Otis Elite uses a ‘No Nonsense’ warranty on their products. Any damage to the kit or dissatisfaction will result in either a new product or refund. Otis also encourages photos of any malfunctioning kits. They will be used to improve future models.

Pros

  • Over three dozen cleaning components
  • Bronze bore and chamber brushes
  • Durable carrying case
  • Two tubes of Otis Ultra-Bore solvent included

Cons

  • One of the more expensive kits on today’s market
  • Super-compact, complete BoreSnake Gun cleaning kit
  • The world’s quickest three-step bore shine
  • Rugged, soft-sided case attaches easily to a belt
  • Includes BoreSnake, Hoppe’s No. 9 Solvent, Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil, Hoppe’s Weatherguard Cloths and pulling tool

FEATURES

This cleaning kit is a simple, no-frills purchase. It comes with lubricating oil, #9 solvent, a weather guard cloth, and the namesake Boresnake pulling tool. The carrying case is soft-sided and convenient to carry. This is a great choice for rifle owners.

WARRANTY

Warranty information can be found at Hoppe’s customer service lines. Please contact them at http://www.hoppes.com/global/customer-service.

Pros

  • Ultra compact carrying case
  • Fair price
  • Scours debris quickly

Cons

  • Not for handgun owners
  • Rem Squeeg-E removes all dislodged barrel debris in just one pass
  • Sturdy, coated Rem Flex Rod Cables help protect barrel finish
  • Machine-washable Rem Pad (28″” x 12″) velcro’ed in the bag protects surface and stores easily
  • Rem All In Bore Cleaner offers high-performance on carbon, plastic, lead and copper fouling
  • Essential Tools: 2 large cleaning brushes, brush revolver adapter and gun cloth

FEATURES

This kit has been a consistently strong performer for some time. Like the Otis, it is suitable for a number of firearms and can be used for personal or professional firearms. The kit comes with flex coated cables and ten bore brushes, which work to ensure you will only need one go-around with this kit. .22 cal. pistols and 12 gauge shotguns work best for this kit.

WARRANTY

Remmington offers a warranty of up to two years. However, they will not repair damage caused by improper use. If a defect is found, they will repair or replace the weapon. The warranty form can be filled out at https://www.remington.com/warranty-registration.

Pros

  • Multiple brushes
  • Cleaning oils and lubricants
  • Works on multiple guns

Cons

  • Not the best for prime time use
  • Plastic Storage box
  • Hoppe’s No. 9 cleaning kit with aluminum rod
  • Includes one 2 oz. bottle cleaning solvent and one 2.25 oz. lubricating oil
  • Brush for the intended caliber is included with this kit
    Intended for .38, .357 and 9mm pistols
  • Packaged in a box, not clamshell

FEATURES

The second Hoppe’s kit on our list, this one is best suited for .9, .38, and .357 mm handguns. It’s a bare bones kit, but it will provide you with everything you need to clean your gun. It removes fouling agents from the barrel and has high-quality lubricating oil. Combined with the low price, this is a solid investment.

WARRANTY

Please see the Hoppe’s Boresnake kit previously reviewed for warranty information.

Pros

  • 2oz bottle of cleaning solvent
  • Long lasting lubricating oil
  • Heavy duty plastic carrying case
  • 40 cleaning patches included

Cons

  • Not for rifle owners
  • Custom fitted Winchester EVA soft sided case
  • Removable handoliers and accessory pouches
  • Machined aluminum handle
  • Winchester super deluxe cleaning kit
  • 68 Piece Set
  • Soft Sided Case

FEATURES

This well-stocked kit comes with over 68 tools. As a result, you will have everything you need to clean your gun. These tools include 18 bore brushes made of bronze and a nylon brush. With such a versatile kit, you’ll get the best cleaning possible.

WARRANTY

Winchester does not offer a warranty on most of its products.

Pros

  • 68 pieces
  • Weather resistant case
  • High quality product

Cons

  • No lubricating oil
  • The Hoppe’s 9 Rifle Cleaning Kits Include the tools necessary for proper gun care maintenance.
  • Help extend the life of your firearm by using the most relied on cleaning tools in the industry.

FEATURES

Hoppe’s appears once again with this rifle cleaning kit. Despite its name, this kit comes with enough tools to clean both rifles and handguns. It’s a solid, basic kit with enough tools to clean your guns. If you want simplicity, you can’t go wrong here.

WARRANTY

See our earlier Hoppe’s entries for warranty info.

Pros

  • Lubricating oil, aluminum rod, and patches
  • Removes corrosion
  • Attractive price

Cons

  • Basic clamshell case
  • Professional grade cleaning kit in a tool box for storage
  • Includes components for standard rifle/pistol calibers plus 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and . 410 bore shotguns
  • Components include bronze brushes, brass jags, cotton swabs, brass slotted tips, brass adapters, muzzle guards, cleaning rods, pick, cleaning brushes, and cotton patches
  • 65 cleaning tools/supplies – see details in product description below
  • 15″ x 10″ x 8. 75″ tool box with dual latches

FEATURES

This kit is designed more for a professional shooter. It has all the tools needed to clean 12 and 20 gauge weapons. These include brass slotted tips, adaptors, muzzled guards and more. It has everything you need.

WARRANTY

Please speak with Alien concerning warranty information.

Pros

  • Every tool you could need
  • Excellent tool box
  • Organized

Cons

  • Cleaning rods
  • Deluxe 28 Piece Kit
  • Built to Last
  • Easy Gun Maintenance
  • Neatly Organized
  • Grab and Go Case

FEATURES

Like the Allen model, this gun kit comes with a wide variety of tools. This allows it to clean rifles, shotguns, and handguns. While not as numerous as the Allen, it’s 28 tools provide plenty of ease for cleaning. The cleaning case is solid, making this an excellent purchase.

WARRANTY

Please speak with Ohuhu concerning warranty information.

Pros

  • Good for multiple firearm owners
  • 10 different brushes
  • 6 total rods, 3 for rifles and shotguns

Cons

  • No lubricant or solvent
  • All-in-one: Universal cleaning accessory kit for used for all types of shotguns, rifles and pistol cleaning. All you need to clean common caliber guns in a compact case. Our case is designed to keep the pieces in their place, we also included 2 spaces to put you cleaning oil and solvent.
  • No Cheap Plastic: all our slotted tips and cleaning jags are made of high quality brass and high quality nylon plastic. Sets from other brands use cheap plastic tips that can easily break after two uses. With this set you will not experience the frustration of having a broken jag/tip inside your gun barrel.
  • Helpful & Portable: Keep your guns performing at their best by utilizing this cleaning/maintenance kit. Everything is kept neat and organized in the lightweight durable plastic carrying case.

FEATURES

Another kit designed to have all possible tools inside. This universal kit also cleans rifles, shotguns, and handguns. The carrying case is designed to keep tools organized for your needs. Combined with the price, this is another strong choice.

WARRANTY

Please speak with Gloryfire concerning warranty information.

Pros

  • Multiple tools
  • No cheap plastic
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Brass rod handle
  • Professional grade cleaning kit in a tool box for storage
  • Includes components for standard rifle/pistol calibers plus 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and . 410 bore shotguns
  • Components include bronze brushes, brass jags, cotton swabs, brass slotted tips, brass adapters, muzzle guards, cleaning rods, pick, cleaning brushes, and cotton patches
  • 65 cleaning tools/supplies – see details in product description below
  • 15″ x 10″ x 8. 75″ tool box with dual latches

FEATURES

This kit features 65 pieces in a large, toolbox style carrying case. As such, it holds a large variety of tools that should fit any need you have. It works for either a gun novice or pro. A great choice for any gun user.

WARRANTY

Allen back their products for up to one year after purchase. For the full warranty, use the link at https://byallen.com/warranty/.

Pros

  • Every tool you could need
  • Cleans guns, rifles, and pistols
  • 100% cotton patches

Cons

  • No solvent or lubricant included

The Verdict

All of these kits have strong pros and cons that may make or break your decision to buy them. Remember, not every kit is best for your gun and it’s vital to get the kit you need. But with that said, we promised to give you our choice for the best possible kit. And after much deliberation, we’ve arrived at a solid verdict.

While these are all solid choices, the most consistent product and our pick for the best buy is the Otis Elite. This model has a large selection of tools which echoes other products on this list. However, it has one added feature those kits lack. It comes with lubricant and solvent, which many other ‘universal kits’ don’t include.

That said, the price of the Otis Elite is a factor that may deter you. However, buying one of the other kits will require you to spend additional money on the supplies that are not included. And the Otis Elite contains enough tools that you can clean whatever gun you may have. So if you want a comprehensive kit that will allow you to get everything in one shot, we recommend the Otis Elite.

The Best Crossbow For The Money [2020]: Our Top 11 Picks Reviewed

When contemplating purchasing the best crossbow for the money, the first question people often have is why should I choose a crossbow over a compound, recurve, or long bow?

Now obviously, if you are physically impaired, then a crossbow may be your only option and some states do limit the use of crossbows for hunting to those who are handy capped. However, other states are not so restrictive and allow any hunter of legal age to use a crossbow.

But, that does not answer the original question and thus, some of the many answers to the question of why choose a crossbow are: because both hands are used to draw the bow, a crossbow can be drawn more easily than a compound bow, recurve, or long bow.

Once a crossbow is drawn and cocked, it does not have to be held in the drawn position by the shooter and crossbows can be mounted with sophisticated aiming systems which provide pin point accuracy.

So, for those of you who are considering making the move to this not so primitive weapon, below you will find a list of our three favorite crossbows for that allow you to find your best crossbow for the money.

Top Picks

Our rating

Barnett Jackal

BEST OVERALL

Centerpoint Sniper

Our rating

CenterPoint Sniper

BEST VALUE

Barnett Ghost

Our rating

Barnett Ghost

HIGH END

In the remainder of this article, we’ve given you 7 additional choices to look over for a total of our 10 favorites which we break down in more detail. Please use the quick reference guide navigation menu below for easy navigation if there’s a model that you are particularly fond of that you feel you need some more details about.

Don’t forget to check out the buyer’s guide below so you can check all the important facts off the list as you move forward with your best crossbow for the money.

Buyer’s Guide & Walkthrough for Buying the Best Crossbow for the Money:

When purchasing the best crossbow for the money, what do you look for in order to get the best bow for your particular purpose? Well, the three criteria that most people consider most important are that the bow be fast, compact, and lightweight.

However, cost is often a limiting factor in our pursuit of these goals and in fact, crossbows can range in price from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars.

However, that does not automatically mean that the most expensive crossbow is also the best crossbow for you.

Therefore, when choosing the best crossbow for the money, you will first need to determine whether you prefer a compound or a recurve crossbow?

While it’s true that compound crossbows are faster than recurve crossbows of equal draw weights, a compound crossbow is also heavier and generates more noise.

Next, you will need to determine what draw weight you prefer. For instance, bows with heavier draw weights will generate faster arrow speeds and thus, flatter trajectories but, will also be more difficult to draw.

Therefore, although most states only require a minimum draw weight of 75 to 125 lbs., most hunters prefer a draw weight of at least 150 lbs. But, for those hunters who intend to pursue truly large game such as Elk, Moose, or Brown Bear, then draw weights of 175 lbs. to 225 lbs. are in order.

Another consideration is whether or not you will require a cocking device to cock your new crossbow and if so, does the model you are considering have an integral cocking device or must it be carried separately?

In addition, you should consider the physical weight of the bow since, even a few ounces can sometimes make a huge difference on a long hunting hike. Last, you need to contemplate what type of sighting system you would like to have on your crossbow?

For instance, you can use a simple sight pin arrangement or mount scopes, red dots, holographic sights, lasers, or just about any other sighting system on a crossbow.

As a result, when purchasing the best crossbow for the money, you should keep in mind all of the factors listed above and choose your new crossbow accordingly.

Our Top 10 Reviews to Help You Find the Best Crossbow for the Money:

It should be noted that although most modern compound crossbows feature a conventional limb design, some manufacturers now produce “reverse-draw” models which place the riser (and the balance point) much closer to the shooter’s shoulder and thus provide a much steadier aim.

Because of that, while choosing the best crossbow for the money using this list, we have included both conventional and reverse-draw compound crossbows in addition to recurve crossbows.

1. Barnett Jackal:

Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3 - 20-Inch Arrows...

  • Speed: 315 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 150 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 12 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 26.25 in. (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 35.5 in.
  • Mass Weight: 7.7 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

The Barnett Jackal features a highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design with a carbon fiber riser with strings and cables for speeds of up to 315 fps!

However, the stock does not contain an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually but, with a draw weight of just 150 lbs. doing so is within the capacity of most shooters. In addition, it comes with a very capable red dot scope that is specifically calibrated for crossbow use.

It also has a and a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull thanks to Barnett’s new ADF MIM trigger components for superior accuracy.

Plus, it also comes equipped with a pic rail as a mounting platform and is manufactured in the USA. This is one of the best crossbows for the money for someone that’s just starting out and not looking to break the bank.


2. CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Package:

  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 15.375 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 20 in.
  • Overall Length: 37.375 in.
  • Mass Weight: 7.2 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: Optional

The CenterPoint Sniper is unique in that it features the only carbon fiber riser available on a crossbow and it is specifically to reduce the weight of the front end by as much as 43% and thus dramatically shift the balance point rearward toward the shooter’s shoulder for a significantly steadier aim.

Also, it features the Shoot Thru Riser which increases the length of the power stroke without placing the string out of reach and also serves as an integral stirrup which strengthens the riser to deliver speeds of up to 400 fps with a 400 grain arrow.

In addition, it features a highly ergonomic pistol grip stock design that can be outfitted with an optional integrated cocking device and includes a 3 x 32 mm, illuminated, 3-dot/multi-reticule scope that has been specifically calibrated for crossbows to provide superior shot placement combined Metal Injection Molded trigger components that create a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull along with a machined aluminum barrel and an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental damage to the bow.

Plus, the Anti-Vibration Isolation Technology reduces both vibration and noise up to 30% by overmolding the limbs and other components with a layer of noise dampening material which also helps to prevent nicks and scratches.


3. Barnett Crossbows Wildcat C5:

BARNETT Wildcat C5 Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3-20-Inch...

  • Speed: 320 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 150 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 12.25 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 26 in.
  • Overall Length: 36 in.
  • Mass Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

The Barnett Wildcat CD features an ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip gas assist molded stock with a machined aluminum riser for increased accuracy to generate arrow speeds of up to 320 fps.

In addition, it comes with a light, crisp, trigger and a dry fire inhibitor along with a 4 x 32 mm scope for safe operation and superior accuracy.

Plus, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver bracket with a 3-arrow, quiver and three Headhunter arrows.


4. Barnett Vengeance:

  • Speed: 365 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 140 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 18 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 23.25 in (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 33.75 in.
  • Mass Weight: 7.9 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

The Barnett Vengeance features a highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design and an adjustable pistol grip fore end with a machined aluminum barrel combined with Barnett’s Carbon Lite riser and a reverse-draw limb design with an easy-to-draw, 140 lb., peak weight to launch a 400 grain arrow at 365 fps.

However, it can be outfitted with an optional, integrated, cocking device to make drawing the bow even easier. Also, it includes Metal Injection Molded trigger components that create a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull combined with an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental damage to the bow.

In addition, it includes a 3 x 32 mm, illuminated, 3-dot/multi-reticule scope that has been specifically calibrated for crossbows to provide superior shot placement and, Anti-Vibration Isolation Technology reduces both vibration and noise up to 30% by overmolding the limbs and other components with a layer of noise dampening material which also helps to prevent nicks and scratches.

Plus, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver bracket with a quick detach, Cross Carbon, 3-arrow, quiver and three, 400 grain, carbon fiber, arrows.


5. Horton Storm RDX:

Horton Innovations NH15001-7552 Storm RDX Crossbow Package...

  • Speed: 370 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 15.5 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 23.25 in (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 35.25 in.
  • Mass Weight: 7.7 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: ACUdraw

The Horton Storm RDX features a highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design with an adjustable, 7 position, cheek piece and an adjustable, 3 position, butt plate so that you can customize both eye alignment and length of pull to suit your individual needs.

In addition, it also features a machined aluminum barrel and a machined aluminum riser combined with reverse-draw limb design.

It has a self-locking limb pocket and cap system that prevents limb twist and provides cushioning to reduce vibration along with a custom RDX Cam System and DynaFLIGHT 97 sting and cables to produce speeds of up to 370 fps with a 400 grain arrow!

Also it is available with an integral ACUdraw cocking mechanism which enables shooters of all ages to draw and cock the bow. In addition, with an axle-to-axle length of only 15.5 in. at brace and 10 in. cocked, it is one of the most compact crossbows on the market.

It also includes a Horton Multi-Line 4 x 32 mm scope with fully coated optics and three, duplex, crosshairs calibrated for 20, 30, and 40 yards along with a light, crisp, trigger for superior accuracy.

Plus, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver bracket with a quick detach, 3-arrow, quiver and three, 400 grain, carbon fiber, arrows.


6. CenterPoint Sniper 370:

CenterPoint Sniper 370 - Camo Crossbow Package

  • Speed: 370 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 13.5 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 18 in.
  • Overall Length: 25 in.
  • Mass Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

The CenterPoint Sniper 370 was specifically designed for those hunters who are begging to hit their next hunting expedition with a fully capable and equipped crossbow package.

It features a highly ergonomic and very lightweight, pistol grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel combined with a machined aluminum riser and Compact Recurve Technology recurve limbs with a 185 lb. draw weight that will launch a 350 grain arrow at an amazing 370 fps!

However, it should be noted that the stock does not contain an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually and, with a draw weight of 185 lbs, the average shooter may require a separate, mechanical, cocking device.

But, it does feature an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental damage to the bow and a built-in release enables easy decocking of the bow without having to fire an arrow.

Also, the integrated string suppressors reduce recoil, vibration, and noise for a more accurate shot. Plus, it includes a 4×32 Multiplex Scope with a dual red or green reticule and adjustable multiplex crosshair system for superior aiming accuracy in low light conditions.

Lastly, it also includes an ambidextrous quiver and 4-arrow, quiver and three 20″ carbon fiber bolts.


7. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury:

Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow Kit (175-Pounds)

  • Speed: 235 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 175 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 10.5 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 18.5 in (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 34.5 in.
  • Mass Weight: 4.84 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

The Arrow-Precision Fury features a cost effective, highly ergonomic and lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel that can generate arrow speeds of up to 235 fps.

However, the stock does not incorporate an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually but, with a draw weight of 175 lbs., even shooters with smaller statures shouldn’t have a problem cocking the crossbow manually.

In addition, it includes an adjustable Weaver style scope mount and a 3 dot multi range scope, combined with an ambidextrous, manual, safety for safe operation.

Plus, it also includes a quick detach, 4-arrow, quiver and four arrows. This small & lightweight crossbow makes an excellent choice for beginners and hunters looking to carry light on their next hunting trip.


8. Stryker Solution Luxury Series (LS):

  • Speed: 390 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 15.5 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 19.36 in (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 35 in.
  • Mass Weight: 6.9 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

The Stryker Solution LS features a highly ergonomic and very lightweight, camouflaged, pistol grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel combined with a machined aluminum riser.

It also features an ultra-compact, conventional, limb design but incorporates a new, stronger, laminated, limb material for greater durability and a newly redesigned, more aggressive, cam that increases arrow speed while also making the bow easier to draw; thus generating arrow speeds of up to 390 fps with a 385 grain arrow!

However, the stock does not contain an integral cocking device and thus, the bow must be cocked manually but, with a draw weight of just 155 lbs., doing so is within the capacity of most shooters.

In addition, it comes with a multi-reticle scope (the manufacturer’s web site states neither the magnification nor the size of the Objective Lens) and a light, crisp, trigger along with a dry fire inhibitor for superior accuracy and safe operation.

Lastly, it also includes an ambidextrous, side-mount, quiver bracket with a quick detach, 5-arrow, quiver and five, 385 grain, carbon fiber, arrows.


9. TenPoint Venom:

TenPoint Venom Crossbow Package with ACUdraw

  • Speed: 372 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 13.5 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 17.6 in (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 34.6 in.
  • Mass Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: ACUdraw or ACUdraw 50

The TenPoint Venom crossbow features a highly ergonomic pistol grip stock design combined with a 19.9 inch barrel made from woven carbon fiber and a high speed version of their XLT bow (which has a parallel limb design) to create an extremely light, ultra-compact, crossbow that delivers an amazing 372 FPS with a 370 grain arrow!

Also, the stock contains an integral cocking device which is available in two different models that will enable shooters of all ages to effortlessly cock the bow.

In addition, it has a a Rangemaster Pro 1.5-5 x 30 mm, multi-reticule, scope that is specifically calibrated for crossbow use and a light, crisp, 3 1/2 lb. trigger pull thanks to its Metal Injection Molded trigger components combined with an automatic safety and a dry fire inhibitor for superior accuracy and safe operation.

Furthermore, the limbs are fully isolated from the riser for superior vibration dampening by the Over-the-Top Limb Pocket/Zytel limb suspension system and the Vibra-Crush bow-to-barrel mounting system and the Bowjax crossbow noise dampening kit also helps to eliminate vibration for ultra-smooth shots.

Last, it includes an ambidextrous Side-Mount Quiver Bracket with an Instant Detach 3-Arrow Quiver and six, TenPoint Pro Elite, 370 grain carbon fiber arrows.


10. Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme:

  • Speed: 365 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 13.375 in.
  • Axle to Axle Length: 19.875 in (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 34.2 in.
  • Mass Weight: 7.1 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

The Barnett BCX Buck Commander Extreme features a highly ergonomic, grip stock design and a machined aluminum barrel combined with a machined aluminum riser and conventional limb design and ultra-high performance twin cams for arrow speeds of up to 365 fps!

Where the Barnett Buck Commander differs from other models is that it comes with an integrated scope right out of the box. This reduces the money you’ll need to shell out if you plan on grabbing an aftermarket scope.

The small & lightweight design of the Barnett Buck Commander make this a formidable crossbow for any type of hunting and one of the best crossbows for the money:. It’s specifically engineered for deer, but you’ll need to read up on local laws in your area to ensure that hunting bucks with a crossbow is allowed.


New Entry: Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR:

  • Speed: 375 fps.
  • Draw Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Power Stroke Length: 15 7/16”
  • Axle to Axle Length:18.125 in
  • Overall Length: 34.875 in
  • Mass Weight: 6.6 lbs.
  • Integral Cocking Device: None

If you’re into deer hunting, for the price, you cannot go wrong with the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR. When it comes to force, speed (375 fps!) and accuracy, this bow has the ‘wow’ factor to it.

It can accurately hit a target at 40 – 60 yards with flying colors. Some hunters claim that they managed to take down game even farther, but we take those claims with a grain of salt.

This bow comes mostly assembled and it takes less than 10-15 minutes to get it ready to shoot even by complete newbies. It comes with some neat accessories: three 22” bolts with 100gr target tips, string strops, 4×32 millimeters Multi-Reticle Scope, quiver, rope cocking device, and lube wax.

280 lb deer taken down with the Hunter STR at 48 yards

The illuminated scope is great at dusk/ dawn or on overcast days but it could have been better.

We believe The Hunter STR would benefit from some uprades like a better scope, the Barnett Crossbow De-Cocking Bolts (as not all users have mastered cocking using the cocking rope), and a compatible Barnett crank cocking device if you want it to be perfect this upcoming archery deer hunting.


Final Thoughts for Choosing the Best Crossbow for the Money:

At the end of the day when it comes down to choosing the best crossbow for the money, the most important factor to keep in mind is that you are looking for the best crossbow for your particular needs. Not only you should consider the price, you should also consider what type of crossbow is best for you, the arrow speed, the draw weight, the physical weight, the overall length, and whether or not it incorporates an integral cocking device.

Be sure to also check out our related posts:

Our top 10 breakout guide serves as one of the most comprehensive guides on the web to help you choose the brands and models that are most aesthetically & ergonomically pleasing to you in order to help narrow those choices by providing you the right information.

We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you in order to help you find the best possible crossbow for you & your hunting needs. If you feel like there’s a model that needs to be added onto this list, please feel free to drop us a line on our contact page as we plan to update this guide frequently in order to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information possible to choose the best crossbow for the money.

Featured Image Credit: Kiki Nusbaumer on Flickr

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