Just how mini is a mini crossbow? There’s no real consensus on the market as of what exactly this category would include, therefore we are creating this guide with a few types of small crossbows that can pass as “mini”.
We’re assuming you’re not talking about children crossbow toys, but rather crossbows that would be used by adults. If you are planning to give it to a child, here’s a selection of children crossbows suitable for small ages. If not, let’s move on.
Essentially, we’ve uncovered three categories of mini crossbows:
Mini Toothpick & BB Crossbows
These super mini crossbows shoot toothpicks, needles, q-tips, matches, balls, BB pallets, and other small projectiles. They are smaller than the palm, sold as toys, but they can inflict some serious damage.
These mini crossbows are produced in China, as mostly everything these days, and that’s where the craze begun and died very quickly. They were obviously sold as toys for very little money due to their size, and quickly became the must-have toy for school-kids and adults alike. Kids were playing during classes, and adults were hunting each other through office cubicles. So much so, that it was driving parents, teachers, and bosses crazy.
However, the level of craftsmanship, features, and functionality is beyond that of a simple toy. The mini crossbows proved to be quite powerful, and also due to the sharp projectiles like toothpicks and needles, they caused many injuries. For example, this video presents the case of a child permanently harmed in his eye. Parents vented their frustration on social media, afraid for their children’s safety. They claimed these are not toys, but miniature destruction weapons.
By mid-2017, due to the large number of incident reports, these toys were banned in China. In some provinces, police raided stores in large operations, and seized the mini crossbow toys. The production lines were shot down.
After the toothpick crossbow became banned, manufacturers move on to producing BB pellet mini crossbows. Authorities did not welcome these either, and started to crack down on internet searches for pellet crossbows.
Just so you know, China is a country very strict about crossbows. In China, regular crossbows can be carried around only with a permit and failure to have a permit can result in five days behind bars and a 500 yuan fine (**). Other countries have more relaxed rules about crossbows, and you should definitely check the regulations in your country and jurisdiction.
So China has banned them, and that means bad luck for the rest of the world. When something is banned in China, it means we ain’t getting it either. Simply because they are the manufacturer and supplier of the large majority of goods throughout the wold. This explains why, despite huge popularity of the mini crossbows, we haven’t really heard of them. Very few merchants sell them across the world, and certainly not the Chinese ones. But we were able to find them for you.
Just a word of caution: treat them like dangerous toys – do not aim to a person, and definitely nowhere near the face, don’t use sharp projectile, and don’t leave kids unattended when playing with them.
Mini Toothpick Crossbow Products
All of the following products come in a very high quality, made of stainless steel. They have a shooting range of 10-15m. The amo they use is toothpicks, matches, q-tips, and BBs. They are very cute and sophisticated, we’re very sure you will use them even if just for display.
The Ghost Hunter (Gold, Black) – Best for night hunting
The Ghost Hunter is the top of the line mini crossbow, comes with illuminated infrared light that helps you hunt ghosts in the middle of the night.
Material: Stainless Steel
Who it’s best for: those who are sleepless and want to play at night.
The Sniper Series – Best for shooting multiple projectiles
The Sniper comes in many varieties of colors and shapes, and features a self-loading chamber that allows you to store multiple toothpicks or matches, and to shoot multiple projectiles.
Amo: toothpicks, BBs, matches, q-tips
Who it’s best for: those who want to be more effective in an office war.
The Bowman Series – Best for plainly fun
The Bowman is the original mini crossbow from UncommonCarrier, great for practicing your archery skills plains and simple.
Amo: q-tips, matches, toothpicks
Who it’s best for: those who are not sure if the mini crossbow fever will get them, and want to spend the least amount of money.
Mini crossbows with Laser and Arrows
A step up from the mini toothpick crossbows are the mini crossbows that shoot actual bolts. Yes, very small bolts, but at least we’re upgrading from toothpicks. They are as small as the previous ones, still in the dangerous toy category. Along with bolts/arrows, they also shoot BBs or steel balls.
Mini Pistol Crossbows
With this category, we are moving into the more serious crossbows, that can actually be used as weapons. They have all of the basic features of a standard crossbow. The mini pistol crossbows feature a pistol grip, are small and light, and are rated with draw weights and speeds. They also use bolts.
Although when you see their small size and weight you might tend to think they are toys, once you test one you will see that it can inflict serious damage. They can even be lethal in the hands of a skilled shooter. People use them for target practice and small game hunt.
The pistol crossbows are made of carbon fiber, metal, or plastic. The draw weight is 50-80 lb. They feature speeds between 160-215 FPS, and are good for shooting within 20 yards or so.
We have created an extensive review of the pistol crossbows, that you can access here.
For the purpose of this article, we are just going to mention the three most popular in this category: