Crossbows have been there since the 5th Century BC. Used for hunting and in warfare, crossbows have come a long way to where they stand now. In today’s world, they’re used for more than just hunting and shooting arrows. They’re used to shoot arrows, bolts, and even 6-8 mm metal balls made of lead or steel.
Ball shooting crossbows were first invented in the 16th Century BC, with the hard clay balls being used as bullets. Their existence didn’t have much of an effect since the arrow shooting crossbows were more preferred. Now that there are thousands of crossbows available in the market, not all of them are capable of shooting ball bearings. Out of all the crossbows, only 4-5% of them are able to shoot ball bearings.
So what are ball bearing crossbows used for? Ball Bearing Crossbows are used mainly for the purpose of hunting and target shooting, also being used by some military personnel.
Why are ball bearings used in a crossbow instead of arrows?
Crossbows that shoot ball bearings are used for hunting small animals and birds such as rats and pigeons. Compared to a gun, a ball-bearing crossbow doesn’t give off much sound. But most important of all, metal balls are deadlier than arrows. The metal balls, although smaller than arrows, cause more damage to the target animal with twice the speed. Ball bearings are also easier to carry around and much cheaper than a conventional crossbow arrow.
What are the best crossbows that shoot ball bearings?
If you’re considering getting yourself a ball-bearing crossbow, you might as well get one that has a dual function system. It can be quite difficult to find a good and affordable crossbow since there aren’t many available in the market. So how do you find one?
We’ve listed down below the top dual-functional crossbows that shoot ball bearings.
1. Talon Raptor Crossbow
This one’s the best ball bearing firing crossbow out there, being able shoot ball bearings and lead projectiles. Talon Raptor, with the draw weight of 60 lbs., can shoot 8 mm ball bearings at the speed of 420 FPS. It comes along with an optional built-in laser to provide accuracy while shooting ball bearings. If you’re a beginner, getting a hold of Talon Raptor wouldn’t be a problem since it’s lightweight and easy to carry. What makes it special is the fact that for every crossbow, you can get a custom made string which is very flexible while cocking. To shoot crossbow bolts, just simply remove the top tube and return it back to shoot the ball bearings again. It has fitted dovetail rails for attaching a scope or a red dot sight, providing more accuracy.
Due to all its features, a Talon Raptor crossbow is considered more powerful than a top end air rifle!
2. William Tell Archery WT4 Repeating Crossbow
This William Tell Archery WT4 is another excellent tactical crossbow. It can shoot 8mm steel balls and arrows at 250 fps enough to kill a deer. It’s known for its lightweight, accuracy, aluminum body and sturdy feel. The red dot and the included 4×32 scope greatly increase its accuracy.
3. Armex BlackHawk 99lbs Crossbow
This 8 mm ball bearing crossbow is a savior for beginners. It has a draw weight of 99 lb. which is easy to handle. Just like other great crossbows that shoot ball bearings, the Black Hawk LSG also provides dual-functions. It can shoot 8 mm steel balls along with normal or crossbow bolts with a speed of 200 FPS, which is a great speed for beginners. It also has the magnetic mechanism like AR480 Mark2, which attaches the steel balls or bolts to the magnetic device. But here comes the fun part; the crossbow has a thin tube, located along the foregrip, in which you can insert the steel balls. This is the feature that makes the crossbow distinctive. You can also adjust the foregrip according to your size and comfort to help you keep the crossbow steady.
Although it isn’t as super as other ball bearing crossbows, the Black Hawk LSG is great for practicing and hunting small animals. If you’re a beginner, then this crossbow is definitely what you need.
4. AR480 Mark 2 Crossbow
The STS AR480 Mark2 crossbow has something special. It has the ability to hold steel balls and bolts in place with a magnetic mechanism. In case if you’re using normal bolts, you need to get the bolts which have a steel nock so that it gets attached with the magnetic device. Unlike other crossbows, it is silent and compact, helping in getting the target in one shot. However, the steel balls used are bigger than usual with their size varying from 10 to 12 mm. The flexible two strings provide more support and accuracy for shooting a steel ball. It also has a safety mechanism in order to prevent release of the strings before cocking. With its 80 Joules of energy, it can penetrate through steel, plywood and even oak wood. It can be reloaded within a few seconds, making it easier for you to shoot your next ball bearing at the target.
The AR480 Mark2 crossbow can shoot steel balls with a speed of 480 FPS, even faster than a TenPoint Vapor RS40! In fact, it’s as fast as any other air rifle present in the whole of Europe. Only a skilled crossbowman can handle this crossbow’s superiority.
Can ball bearings cause any damage to your crossbow?
Not all crossbows are capable of shooting ball bearings. A normal crossbow is simply designed to hold an arrow, while a ball bearing crossbow is designed to hold a ball. Trying to shoot a ball bearing with a normal crossbow is almost impossible, unless you’ve made some changes to the mechanism on your own. However, it can still be very dangerous and you might just end up damaging your fingers while trying to put the ball bearing. To prevent this, you should use a dual or a multi-purpose crossbow. You can use it to shoot ball bearings without causing any damage while making a few changes to the structure.
Which of the ball bearing crossbows would be the best one for you?
If you’re a skilled crossbowman, looking for a crossbow to gain more skills, the WT4 Repeating Crossbow is exactly what you need. Its speed, design, and mechanism are something that can only be handled by a skilled person. It’s way too affordable for its price and the packages that come along with it. Seriously, how awesome would it be to get your dream dual-functional crossbow under $2000!
If you’re a beginner or a competent, then we would advise you to get a Black Hawk LSG. It is affordable, easy to use and carry. But you can have it along with a normal crossbow for better experience. With this crossbow, you get to have the fun of shooting both ball bearings and bolts. And as a beginner, you get to learn how to use a crossbow that shoots ball bearings.