While many people new to archery look at shooting a crossbow as being as easy to shoot like a rifle, it is actually quite different in many respects. These crossbow shooting tips will get you started on the right foot.
How Is Shooting a Crossbow Different Than A Compound Bow?
Crossbows use a string to propel an arrow the same way as a regular bow.
But the significant difference between a bow and a regular bow is the direction of the riser and string. Compound bows are strung with vertical risers while crossbows use a horizontal format.
The main advantage of firing a crossbow vs a compound bow is that a compound bow requires the string to be held back manually while a crossbow string is held back via a mechanical trigger system.
Here are some good tips and tricks for firing an xbow accurately:
Crossbow Shooting Tip #1: Get An Even Draw
The crossbow draw process is the first step that one should master when practicing shooting. Most modern xbows are bought as a package with the cocking devices either built directly into the buttstock or as a separate accessory such as a rope draw device consisting of a rope and string sled.
One should make sure to go through the manufacturers manual to understand the process of drawing your xbow safely.
One should load an arrow when the string is seated back by the trigger latch evenly to ensure accuracy. Grasp the shaft at its front near the point to make sure that your fingers and hands are far from the bowstring path.
It’s essential that the center of the xbow string is locked evenly in the trigger mechanism, so the arrow is propelled from the rail with equal force.
After the arrow is loaded, it becomes easy to handle as compared to vertical bows.
For vertical bows, one has to hold back at the draw length until when ready to fire. The best thing about crossbows is that the string latch holds the string until the trigger is pulled and the arrow is released.
Xbow Shooting Tip #2: Use Wax & Rail Lube
It is recommendable that one uses wax on the xbow string for maximum efficiency and to prevent the string from wearing out too soon. Crossbow strings are under tremendous pressure and must be waxed frequently to retain flexibility and prevent them from becoming frayed.
Xbow rail lube must be applied to the rail to keep it slick and smooth, so the string and arrows can glide across it quickly and with minimal friction to maximize arrow.
Shooting Tip #3: Use a Good Quality Crossbow Scope
Similar to any other hunting weapon, one needs to learn how to aim correctly with your crossbow.
Most xbows are equipped with low magnification scopes with or without illuminated reticles.
Xbow scopes are designed for shooting different distances via numerous reticles inside the scope. The reticles are usually factory adjusted for different crossbow draw weights.
Higher end optics will allow the shooter to adjust each reticle individually.
Having high-quality optics on a crossbow is crucial because it will allow you to see the target more clearly, and it will function better under low light conditions.
Cheap crossbow scopes also tend to lose zero more frequently and will require more frequent adjustments.
The crossbow scope is one of the best upgrades one can buy for a crossbow as many of the optics which ship standard out of the box are of lower quality.
Tip #4: Keep It Slow & Steady
With the arrow knocked and sitting firmly on the rail of the xbow with the stock pressed firmly against your shooting shoulder, the other hand should be placed on the fore-grip.
Ensure the fingers and hands are placed out of the bowstring path or unfortunate and very painful things can occur when the trigger is pulled.
Crossbows can be propped up against the side of hunting blind or box blind to steady the shot.
Just be sure the limbs have adequate space to expand without hitting anything that could damage the crossbow or cause dangerous limb fracturing.
Slowly the pull the trigger as if it were a trigger on a rifle. Do not jerk the trigger or pull it back abruptly as this can cause poor shot placement.
When exhaling, completely concentrate on the downrange spot one has chosen and start to squeeze the trigger slowly. Continue to exhale and slowly squeeze the trigger for ultimate focus with the shot one is about to take.
There should be some air left in your lungs to continue exhaling even after firing to avoid lifting or moving your head. A smooth and slow pulling of the trigger is a crucial step for hitting the target spot on every time.
Don’t forget that arrows are traveling much slower than rifle bullets and thus will be more significantly impacted by the wind. Practice shooting in windy conditions so you are aware of how the wind can affect shot placement at different wind speeds and different shot distances.
The further the shot, the more drastically the arrow placement can be affected by the wind.
Practice Makes Perfect When Firing A Crossbow
These crossbow shooting tips aren’t going to guarantee you tag a monster buck this fall, but they will definitely get you started in the right direction.
All the tips in the world aren’t going to help your crossbow shooting much if you fail to buy a decent model made by a reputable crossbow brand.
Crossbows have a lot of moving parts, especially the compound varieties. Starting with a model made of quality components and keeping it well maintained are crucial crossbow shooting tips that should not be overlooked.