If you are considering getting yourself, or a friend a pistol crossbow then you have to know a little bit about them before you commit to the purchase. The first thing that you need to take into consideration is who will be using this device. This market is larger than it looks and knowing this will help to point you in the right direction. You should also know how the shooter would use the bow and make sure that you are aware of what you will need to purchase with the device. These devices can provide a lot of entertainment; just make sure you know what you are getting.
As we stated, you should know who is going to be using this pistol crossbow. If it were for a child then I would recommend that you get an option that has a 50-pound draw weight. It will be easiest for the child to use and will not allow them to shoot the arrows at too fast of a speed. You are also going to want to make sure that the device has a safety mechanism so you can show the child how and why it is used. If you are an adult that would like to shoot one of these, then you want one that has an 80-pound draw weight. This force has been known to go through various levels of dry wall at once.
If you are planning on just shooting at a target, or only using your device to shoot at soda cans then you are fine getting a 50-pound version. However, if you want to get rid of some annoying squirrels or want to take your chances of trying to catch a rabbit, then I would suggest that you get the 80-pound version. This version can pierce through the hides of many smaller animals but is not recommended to be used on anything larger than a rabbit.
I would highly recommend that you purchase an extra string for your pistol crossbow. I have found some that are only $8.99 and they keep me calm when I am shooting, because I know I have backup if anything happens. You should also make sure that you have extra arrows. I can sometimes lose a few of the arrows in the shrubbery behind my house so it is always nice to know I have a backup so I do not have to lose my mind retrieving my arrows. Once you have these extras, you will be good to have some fun.
No matter whom you are getting it for, or who will be shooting it, you should be aware that these bows are weapons. Before you go out and purchase one, make sure to check out the regulations to see if you can use one, or if it is illegal in your state. Always be aware that these crossbows will pierce flesh, so you must always take extreme safety when you are using them and as fun as they are, should not be treated as a toy. Make sure to follow the rules for using your pistol crossbow and enjoy the fun!