You may take techniques to improve your accuracy when shooting a crossbow. However, learning the fundamentals of a crossbow will help you gain pinpoint accuracy as a beginner. A newbie should be aware of six procedures to shoot a crossbow accurately. The procedures include cocking the bow, loading and aiming the bow, and finally shooting the bow.
To shoot a crossbow as a beginner, you must first learn six steps. It takes a lot of effort and expertise to learn how to shoot a crossbow accurately. In our guide, you can learn much more about crossbow shooting and all the things that can impact accuracy.
By the end, you’ll be well-armed with more than the right arrows for your crossbow, but also the knowledge of how to shoot more accurately to become an efficient crossbow hunter. (Find the Best Cross Bow Scope)
Why Is My Crossbow So Inaccurate?
Most often, archers often forget that crossbows are mechanical devices. Like with many things, they need some TLC and regular maintenance. Parts and components wear, and sometimes they need replacing.
Even if they are recurved bows rather than compound bows, they still require attention.
Areas such as screws loosening, scopes, or mounts need tightening and adjusting. You need to know can affect your accuracy and shooting experience every time you head into the woods.
There are several factors to consider to maintain consistent crossbow accuracy. Some things are down to the bow, but many are down to the shooter.
Here are a few things that influence crossbow accuracy.
Your bow Doesn’t Fit
Crossbows are not all the same weight, length, or width. Therefore, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all crossbow, although there is a crossbow for everyone.
The accuracy of a crossbow is directly proportional to how well it fits you. If a bow is overly heavy, feels too long or wide, or is difficult to lift and maintain on target, it doesn’t fit and isn’t suitable for you.
Crossbows have rifle-like stocks, and they should not be unduly heavy, challenging to manage, or awkward to operate, just like a rifle. Consider the time to pull the trigger. In addition, your trigger pull should be smooth with no resistance and allow for accurate shot placement.
When hunting with a crossbow and you want consistent accuracy, you’ll discover that bigger, faster, and fancier may not be better for your shooting style.
You Have The Wrong Arrows
Whether you call them arrows or bolts, most crossbow manufacturers recommend lengths and grain weights, and sometimes, they recommend carbon or aluminum composition.
Most manufacturers recommend a specific nock type for their crossbows. This is based on a model’s power stroke, draw weight, optimizing front of center, and what works best to stabilize the arrow to offer near-perfect shot placement. (Read Is A Crossbow A Firearm)
Only use the crossbow’s manufacturer-recommended arrows for sighting in and hunting for optimal accuracy.
Changing arrows causes confusion and inaccuracy. True, lighter arrows fly faster but faster does not always mean better. However, heavier arrows offer many benefits against ones that are too light.
Use an arrow that flies at a slower or moderate pace or the manufacturer’s recommended speed. Using lighter arrows or arrows not recommended by the manufacturer increases the risk of harm and voids the warranty.
Poor Fitting Components
It takes very little to throw a crossbow arrow off course. A loose scope can lead to human error when sighting your prey. You can either have a clean miss or harm a deer where it will potentially die in agony if you can’t catch it.
Most crossbows are well built, but they vibrate during use, and through time, screws and bolts that hold the bow together are apt to loosen.
Don’t copy other hunters’ mistakes, as one screw can affect accuracy. Instead, make it a habit before going to the woods hunting deer to ensure all bolts and screws are tight.
A compound crossbow is more challenging to use. Limbs are shorter and stronger than recurve crossbows. Like a traditional compound bow, the compound crossbow has pulleys and cables like a traditional bow.
Cocking Your Bow
A crossbow string needs cocking correctly to shoot straight consistently. When the bow is fully cocked, the serving must be centered, with equal lengths on both sides of the rail.
When the string is at rest, mark the serving with a marker pen or felt pen on both sides of the rail to assist eliminate the problem.
In the cocking process, use the marks as a visual guide to help keep the string equal as you guide it into the trigger housing.
Rope cocking devices, especially those with rail slides and integrated cocking aids, are a great help, too. Plus, they significantly reduce the physical effort needed to cock the bow. (Find the Best Recurve Bow Sights)
Bow Not Tuned
A crossbow’s brace height and tiller must be balanced—the distance between the bowstring and the belly side of the riser when the bow is not cocked. Place a mark on the flight track where the string crosses and watch it extend.
That’s normal; however, arrow velocity varies when the string stretches and settles and impact sites shift. Therefore, replace the string and cables on compound models.
The tiller is the balance of the limbs’ pull length and weight. If arrow impact points scatter left or right on the target or rail marks emerge on the arrow shaft, the tiller is out of balance. As a result, the marks will be heavy in difficult situations, especially at the shaft’s nock end.
To fix it, measure from each limb’s prod to the string. They should match. Each limb, or tiller, on most compound models, has an adjustment screw or bolt that may be turned in or out until they are the same.
On recurve models, you can only replace the limbs. If unclear, visit an archery store or the manufacturer.
Poor Bow Maintenance
Routine maintenance can prevent many accuracy issues caused by loose components and improper tuning.
The manuals include maintenance methods and safety recommendations, assembly and sighting directions, and other helpful information.
Except for the server, and in rare circumstances, the cables, lubricating the flight rail, and waxing the string are usually at the top of the list. In addition, some manufacturers recommend lubricating the trigger box, axles on compound models, and exposed bolts.
Do as the owner’s manual say. If you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions, your string and other components should last 150-200 shots, and the bow should last years.
Poor Shooting Practices
New shooters frequently struggle with accuracy when hunting deer or even target practice.
The first is a shaky crossbow. Crossbows have gone a long way in weight reduction and ease of use, but they are still difficult to hold on target for extended durations.
When sighting in a rifle, you always shoot from a bench to improve accuracy. Do the same when sighting in a crossbow.
It will simplify the process and solve any accuracy issues. If your raised tree stand has a safety rail, use it. If not, shooting sticks or other support aids will come in handy. (Learn What are the Feathers on an Arrow Called?)
The second factor is firing the trigger. Pulling a crossbow trigger is wrong. Pulling or pulling the trigger increases the risk of shifting the bow during the shot. Using a shooting assist and squeezing the trigger is vital for accuracy.
Incorrect Lining Up
Cantering, or shooting with one limb lower than the other, reduces accuracy. The limbs must be level, parallel, or parallel to the ground. Lower left limb
Fit and accuracy go bow in hand. A too heavy, long, or wide bow is generally not for you. The bow will shoot left if the left limb is lower than the right. It will shoot right if the right limb is lower than the left. Depending on the range, it will shoot high or low.
The solution requires experience and concentration, especially when a four-legged target is in range. But maintaining crossbow accuracy is critical.
Using The Wrong Scope
Scopes improve target acquisition speed and accuracy. What makes a decent crossbow scope? Which is better, hunting or target shooting? One should prioritize essential characteristics in both cases.
A 1-inch tube and 32 mm optical lens are suitable standards for low-light-gathering performance. Using high-powered magnification with a crossbow is unnecessary, but a 1-to-4X variable will help with target acquisition and locating vitals on game at close and long-range.
Ease of view is also helpful. Improve your crossbow experience by using a scope with adjustable parallax to 35 or 50 yards. A crossbow scope should also account for arrow trajectory.
Popular crossbow scopes are multi-dot and multi-crosshair, with most having adjustable lighting. However, the dots obscure the target area at the maximum range. In addition, when the lights are light enough, they wash out the field of view.
Crossbow hunters like multi-crosshair sights. The crosshairs are visible, whether lighted or not. You can see them even if the battery dies. Crosshairs help target shots at maximum range. The crosshairs can also be used for bracketing or shooting between crossbow ranges. They can be used to control or avoid canting the bow when shooting.
Now Your Range
Manufacturers push crossbow speed and range, although the industry recommends 40 yards. In the game, though, crossbow arrows must be exact every time.
Knowing your target’s range is critical to quickly and humanely killing game. But not every hunter can estimate range accurately, or at least effectively enough for crossbow accuracy. For example, is a deer 25 yards distant or 35 yards away? Those 10 yards can make or break your success.
Know your shooting distance. From your stand or blind, a rangefinder is a must-have tool for crossbow hunters.
How Far Can You Shoot a Crossbow Accurately?
What exactly is a bolt? A bow and arrow are commonly used in archery.
The arrow used in a crossbow, on the other hand, is referred to as a bolt. The only difference between a bolt and an arrow is that a bolt is significantly smaller.
A bolt is typically 16 inches long or smaller. On the other hand, an arrow can be anywhere between 20 and 40 inches long.
Nonetheless, a bolt functions similarly to an arrow. Both are aimed at a specific target and fired with a bow. They’re called bolts since they’re meant to be used with a crossbow.
The type of crossbow bolt you can use is also determined by how you want to use it.
For example, we’ve discovered that field point bolts are better suited for target practice because the point isn’t sharp and thus ineffective for hunting.
However, if you’re going hunting with your crossbow, you’ll want to utilize a broad head.
Using a crossbow is safe if you are an experienced archer. The only distinction is that crossbows fire bolts through a trigger mechanism. (Find the Best Long-Range Scope For The Money)
As a result, you should know how to load a crossbow correctly and how to operate one safely.
How Accurate Is A Crossbow At 40 Yards?
A gorgeous buck gives an excellent shot opportunity after hundreds of hours in a tree stand searching for a trophy deer.
You take careful aim and shoot; unfortunately, it’s a clean miss, which often occurs for many hunters.
One of the most frustrating things about hunting is taking a decent shot with either a gun or a bow and then missing.
The crossbow, like any other hunting weapon, requires practice to get consistent results. More than just shooting arrows should be part of that practice. It should also allow you to test your equipment and have a working opportunity of the variables that can lead to accuracy problems.
To begin with, you may ask, what does a crossbow shoot? The short arrows are called bolts.
Before setting out, check that your bolts are all straight. If you can’t use a machine, lay them flat on a table with the fletch dangling over the side.
Roll the arrows one at a time, monitoring the nocks. A wobble means the bolt will not shoot straight no matter how good your aim.
Re-roll them and look where the shaft meets the flat surface. The bolt shaft will not lay flush against the flat surface if it is curved.
Remember that a crossbow is a bow that shoots a big bolt. When taking shots, the initial bolt velocity is faster than most vertical bows; the weight carried speeds up the loss of speed and kinetic energy.
Yes, long yardage shooting can generate good bolt groups but not enough kinetic energy to kill a deer.
The bolt drop can be severe at over 40 yards, so a rangefinder should be standard hunting gear.
Using The Right Broadheads
One of the most common problems in crossbow performance is broadhead selection. Most of these bows shoot an arrow at 300-400 fps.
Because this is faster than the usual vertical hunting bow, many broadheads miss. Therefore, choosing the optimal point from over 100 broadhead options might be difficult.
Broadheads are classified as fixed bladed or mechanical.
Some e brands opened early because of the quick surge of energy.
This was more clear at 400 fps than at 300 fps. The arrow fell well out of the bolt group when a mechanical head expanded before contact.
The crossbow is becoming a popular hunting weapon as many states liberalize bowhunting rules. If you decide to hunt with a crossbow, make sure you and your gear are ready.
Is Shooting A Crossbow Hard?
Although many guides state that there are four essential steps to shooting a crossbow, there are two more actions you should take before setting up or cocking a crossbow.
In addition to cocking the crossbow correctly, you can shoot the crossbow with pinpoint accuracy if you follow the preliminary instructions below.
Choosing the correct crossbow for you is the first step towards firing a crossbow accurately.
To acquire the best accuracy from your crossbow, you should be able to hold it comfortably and cock it easily.
Once you’ve found the correct crossbow, the next step is to ensure sure the flight rail and sting are adequately greased and waxed.
Taking the effort to wax the string and lubricate the rail will extend the life of your crossbow and improve its accuracy.
If your crossbow comes with a scope, the next step is to calibrate it.
Make sure your sight is set to the range you’ll be firing your crossbow. Before setting up a target, check your scope is correctly adjusted. If you know how to cock the crossbow, you can make the necessary changes by firing some test shots (called bolts) at the target.
After completing the preceding steps, it’s time to start loading or cocking, procedures.
To cock your crossbow accurately every time for maximum accuracy, follow these steps:
Place the bow’s stirrup section on the ground and secure it with your foot.
Pull the string evenly on both sides of the string with both hands.
So that the cocking mechanism latches, place the string on it. You’ll hear a click when the string is inserted correctly. If you don’t hear a click, don’t let go of the string.
Place the bolt (arrow) in the top of the bow’s groove. The bold’s end should be in contact with the string.
If one of the fletchings (feathers or plastic vanes at the end of the arrow) is in the groove, you know you’ve loaded the bolt correctly.
You must ensure that the bolt (arrows or shots) is properly cocked; the bolt must be completely straight and aligned. The precision of your bolt can be impaired if it is off-center. As a result, double-check that your bolt is straight.
It’s also worth noting that a crossbow features a safety mechanism that prevents a bolt from being accidentally released. The safety feature kicks in when you cock the crossbow, preventing the bolt from accidentally firing.
Eliminating crossbow canting is another approach to fire a crossbow with pinpoint accuracy.
When you lean your crossbow too far to the left or right, it’s known as crossbow canting. This has an impact on the precision of your shot.
Attaching a tiny level to your crossbow to make your shot more exact is the greatest approach to eliminate crossbow canting.
The final step is to aim and shoot at the target. Your accuracy will be off at first. However, this simply means that you must practice these procedures until you master them. Please keep in mind that practicing does not imply that you are firing without a bolt.
You must practice firing from the proper stance to fire a crossbow efficiently. You’ll be able to fine-tune your timing as a result of this.
To begin, stand with your back straight and your right foot in front of you. Make sure you’re pointing up at the sky rather than your targeted target.
Next, check to see if you’re aligned correctly with the crossbow canting system; if not, simply adjust the canting lever to point at the same area on your body.
This is also useful for learning how to shoot a crossbow accurately from a treestand.
While accuracy is vital, you should also think about how it will affect your shooting speed.
Shots that are in the appropriate range and direction are considered accurate. However, you can end up firing off-target if you use the wrong range and direction, undermining the goal of a hunting trip.
Finding the proper arrow, the perfect target, and practicing until you reach that accuracy with the right crossbow while following all safety tips and avoiding windy conditions for the best approach to achieve this aim on your intended target.