Pistol Crossbow for Survival?

Pistol crossbowWould a crossbow pistol make a good survival tool?  No I’m not talking about becoming Daryl Dixon and standing up to the Zombie hoards but rather a more realistic survival situation.  Like your hiking and become lost, your stranded in your car, or an economic collapse and you need to bug out.  These are all things that a higher probability of happening  compared to a zombie apocalypse.  Would a mini crossbow be useful in these situations and should you have one in your bug out bag, car trunk, or bug out location?  A lot of that depends on your location and overall all preparedness.   No two people are the same just like no two survival situations are the same.   Let’s take a look at some of the pro’s and con’s to using a pistol crossbow in these situations.


  • Small and compact – These mini crossbows are small and will fit easily in trunks and bug out bags.  Easy to conceal as well because of this.
  • Lightweight – If you have to bug out, it’s not going to fatigue you to carry one of these all day.
  • Powerful – Even though it’s light, small, and compact a pistol crossbow packs a punch.  It can take down small and even medium size game from a distance which is an advantage when you need food.  It also will inflict some damage on 2 legged varmints if your life depended on it.  Is it the best weapon for either of these tasks?  No but it sure beats the hell out of using your fist.
  • Quiet – Stealth is a big deal in certain survival situations.  A crossbow pistol bolt is much quieter than a bullet fired from a gun.
  • Legal where a pistol isn’t – In some states you can’t own a pistol or maybe you don’t want to apply for a conceal and carry permit.  In some of these situations, it’s perfectly legal to own one of these mini crossbows.
  • Cheap – Sure a gun is nice to have when your bugging out but not everyone can afford the price tag.  A pistol crossbow is cheap enough that you can afford to throw one in your kit right off the bat.   Save up for that gun but in the meantime have the peace of mind that you have some sort of weapon in your survival bag.


  • Limited ammo –  You can only carry so many crossbow bolts or arrows.  They are hard to duplicate in a survival situation unlike say a slingshot where rocks and other objects can be used.
  • Long term durability – If your survival situation lasts for a long time there is a chance that your pistol crossbow will fail you at some point.   Strings will break, bolts will come loose.  This isn’t a factor in most survival situations that you will encounter but it’s worth noting and something you can prepare for by packing extra strings and a good multi-tool.
  • Reload time and capacity – It does take longer to reload a crossbow in between shots than say a pistol.  You only get one shot and you have to reload.  This might be a big deal in a situation where a follow up shot might get you dinner or something is coming at you.

So weighing all the pros and cons would I use a pistol crossbow in a survival situation?  Absolutely.  Personally I like the pros enough that I have a mini crossbow in my bug out bag and I also have one stashed at my bug out location.  Now I also have a pistol and rifle but I can see lots of situations where it’s advantageous to use the crossbow instead.  What’s your thoughts?  Would you want one in survival situation?

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