Mini Crossbow Field Guide – Toys, or Real Weapons?

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Just how mini is a mini crossbow? There’s no real consensus on the market as to what precisely this category would include. Therefore we are creating this guide with a few small crossbows that can pass as “mini.”

We’re assuming you’re not talking about children’s crossbow toys, but rather crossbows that would be used by adults. If you plan to give it to a child, here’s a selection of children’s crossbows suitable for young 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.

mini crossbow guide Image by UmerSaud from Pixabay

Quick History(*)

These mini crossbows are produced in China, and that’s where the craze began and died very quickly. They were 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 a 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 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.

China is a strict country about crossbows. In China, regular crossbows can be carried around only with a permit, and failure to have a license can result in five days behind bars and a 500 yuan fine (**). Other countries have more relaxed rules about crossbows, and you should 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 gets banned in China, it means we aren’t getting it either. Simply because they are the manufacturer and supplier of the vast majority of goods throughout the world, it explains why, despite the massive popularity of the mini crossbows, we haven’t heard of them. Very few merchants sell them around the globe, 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 at a person and 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 very high quality, made of stainless steel. They have a shooting range of 10-15m. The ammo they use is toothpicks, matches, q-tips, and BBs. They are adorable 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

Amo: toothpicks

Who it’s best for: those who are sleepless and want to play at night.

✅ Video – Ghosthunter 1 and 2

Below is a short video demonstration of how the ghosthunter 1 and 2 works.

Ghost Hunter One Black

Ghost Hunter Two Gold

The Sniper Series – Best for shooting multiple projectiles

The Sniper comes in many colors and shapes and features a self-loading chamber that allows you to store multiple toothpicks or matches and 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.

✅ Video – Sniper Series

In the video below, the three different kinds of sniper series are shown. Find out how each product is different from another.

Ambush Sniper Silver

Silent Sweeper Silver

Ace Sniper Silver

Ace Sniper Black

BB Sniper Silver

BB Sniper Black

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.

Bowman Silver

Bowman Gold

Bowman Black

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 move 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 you might tend to think they are toys when you see their small size and weight, once you test one, you will know that it can inflict severe damage. They can even be lethal in the hands of a skilled shooter. People use them for target practice and small game hunts.

The pistol crossbows are carbon fiber, metal, or plastic material. The draw weight is 50-80 lb. They feature speeds between 160-215 FPS and are suitable for shooting within 20 yards or so.

We have created an extensive review of the pistol crossbows that you can access here.

For this article, we are just going to mention the two most popular in this category:

#1. Prophecy

#2. PSE Viper SS


There are different types of mini crossbows. Some works as a real weapon, while others are just toys that can be used for fun. When choosing a mini crossbow, make sure that you think about where you will use it. The smallest ones are ideal for collections, while those that function as a real crossbow can be used for target shooting. Thank you for reading!




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