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Archery Reasons Why Crossbows Aren’t Allowed

Reasons Why Crossbows Aren’t Allowed

CenterPoint AT400 crossbow showing all sides.
CenterPoint AT400 Crossbow

If you’re seeking an archery range to practice with your crossbow, you may be hard pressed to find one. Because all bows are not created equal. Let’s talk about it. 

Range Shopping

Have you ever been range shopping? If not, there may be more ranges near you than you’re aware of, but which one better suits the shooting style you’re most interested in as well as the equipment you shoot. Did you say, “Archery is archery, what’s the difference?” That’s not the opinion of everyone, especially archery range owners.  

What if you own the CenterPoint AT400 Crossbow? At some shooting ranges you may be allowed but your crossbow will not be! That will make your search for a range much more difficult. I suggest you make a phone call before packing up your equipment and heading there. Especially if you’ve got any kind of lengthy drive. . 

Hunting Guide

Crossbows Not Permitted

Why do some ranges restrict shooters from using crossbows at their facilities? After doing some research I’ve found a couple reasons, and some may say they’re legitimate while others say all archery should be allowed regardless! 

And that is where some ranges’ reasoning begins! Not all archers consider crossbows as part of the archery community. As I’ve said before, it seems like a cross between a bow and a gun and may not be accepted into the sport by some, actually many.  

closeup of cocked crossbow string anchor point with arrow nocked and safety on.
Cocked, Nocked and Safe

For the next one, I lean toward safety and liability. It’s pretty difficult to accidentally shoot an arrow from a compound, or traditional bow. The steps to shoot it are pretty intentional. A crossbow on the other hand… Say you’ve got the crossbow cocked, and the CenterPoint 20” Carbon Arrow nocked, then you get distracted. It takes no physical effort at all to keep the crossbow cocked and makes it easy to forget about it. More fatal or otherwise accidents are possible with a crossbow than any other bow. 

Ouch! My Wallet Hurts!

The next reason is that a crossbow has a greater impact on the wallet of the range owner. Have you ever priced archery targets like the Morrell Outdoor Range Target or the Real Wild 3D Deer Target? For an individual to buy one, it may not seem like such a hard hit to your wallet, pocket book, or bank account. For a shooting range it’s not generally just one target, multiply that even just three times and it adds up. 

Which is more powerful and dumps more energy? The CenterPoint AT400 Crossbow or the Bear Archery Green Glass Traditional Bow? With the much higher draw weight of 200 lbs. required from the crossbow, compared to the peak draw weight of 45 lbs from the traditional bow, it would only make sense to have a higher velocity and kinetic energy produced from the crossbow.

What does that generally mean? More damage to the intended target, and for the range owner it may mean more frequently replacing those targets. A few hundred dollars later, they feel it and may not be so friendly toward the crossbow community. 

Your Range, Your Rules!

3D zombie target
Undead Fred 3D Archery Target

It may be in your best interest if you’re a crossbow shooter to acquire your own Big Shot Trophy Target, or if you’d like to practice for the zombie apocalypse you can get the Delta McKenzie Undead Fred 3D Target. You don’t need a lot to create your own range, 50 yds and a suitable target! Now you can make your own range rules, and hey, we all need a reminder sometimes, shoot responsibly and share the sport! 

author avatar
The Bow Bully
The Bow Bully discusses a variety of archery topics and offers tips, advice and the occasional nudge to make you a better bowhunter. With years of experience, and an attitude to match, you'll find the Bully has something to offer both beginners and seasoned hunters.

2 thoughts on “Reasons Why Crossbows Aren’t Allowed”

  1. I guess I’m one of those types that agrees with the range owners. Crossbows are not archery equipment. They are a separate sport unto themselves. Don’t get me wrong. I own and use one myself for hunting. But I don’t consider what I am doing as archery.

    I feel the same way about any muzzleloaders that don’t involve flint. So you can call me an equal opportunity curmudgeon. Don’t get me started on cell phones and tablets.


    • Hey Edlee,

      I agree that crossbows are one of a kind! What crossbow do you use? What do you hunt?

      Don’t worry about being a curmudgeon, everyone is to someone or another and there’s room for all of you here 😉

      Thanks for the shot out!


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