Page 4 of 4 - Crossbows

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Crossbows are great for hunters and target shooters and are gaining acceptance throughout the US in more hunting seasons. For those unfamiliar, a crossbow is a unique blend of elements that incorporate the frame of a bow placed horizontally at the end of a rifle-type stock and trigger. Crossbows fire arrows or bolt projectiles when the trigger releases the bowstring. The more powerful crossbows can push projectiles over 500 fps. When you sight your crossbow correctly, it is one of the most accurate hunting tools available.

Choosing a Crossbow

The reasons for using a crossbow are varied and can be different for everyone. After you decide why you want a crossbow, the other questions you need to answer:

  • Recurve or compound crossbow
  • Budget
  • Size
  • and power

Read our detailed guide, How to Buy a Crossbow, to help answer those questions and choose the right crossbow for your needs.

You might also wonder if it is legal to use a crossbow. That would depend on your local area, the season, and whether a license is required. In many regions, crossbows are legal for hunting as long as you meet the requirements of your municipality.

Popular Crossbow Accessories

As crossbow hunting grows in popularity, so does the need for accessories that help you use your crossbow to its full potential.

  • Cases - Crossbow cases are essential for protecting your investment and ensuring the safe transport of equipment.
  • Cocking Devices - Use a cocking device to safely draw your crossbow, reduce fatigue, and improve accuracy.
  • Vibration Reducers - Use vibration and noise reducers to dampen string and limb vibration and maintain stealth in the field.
  • Targets - When practicing with your crossbow, it's essential to use targets designed to withstand their power and speed. Specialized archery targets are recommended for crossbow use.

Advantages of Crossbows

Crossbows offer several advantages over traditional vertical bows, making them attractive for beginners and experienced users.

  1. Ease of use and reduced learning curve. Crossbows allow hunters to pre-cock the weapon, eliminating the need to draw and hold at full draw while aiming. Which is ideal for hunters with physical limitations or upper body strength required by traditional archery.
  2. Increased stability and accuracy. The horizontal limb design allows for shooting rests, providing better stability and the potential for more accurate shooting. It also has better optics capabilities, like those used with firearms, that can lead to tighter shooting groups.
  3. Versatility in hunting conditions. Hunters can wear bulkier clothing without worrying about string interference, so they can be more comfortable even in the coldest conditions or through extended hunting sessions.
  4. Limitless aim time. Once cocked, the crossbow holds tight, ready for action allowing the hunter to track the animal's movements through the sight, continually compensating for distance until a clear shot is presented. With minimal movement required, the hunter remains undetected by the prey until the shot is fired.
  5. Firearm techniques quickly transfer. The stock design and trigger mechanism are similar to a rifle setup, which makes it easy for rifle hunters to transfer the skills they have mastered to a new hunting platform.
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