Your Ultimate Guide on Shooting a Crossbow Accurately

A crossbow is a type of bow that resembles a cross, featuring a wooden or composite horizontal stock and two curved limbs mounted on one end and a string that connects from one top of the limb through the body to the other tip of the limb. A crossbow is used for shooting arrows known as bolts or quarrels. Crossbows are popularly used in archery and hunting. While a crossbow is extremely useful, it’s good to learn how to shoot with it more accurately for success in archery and hunting.

Shooting a Crossbow Accurately

A crossbow uses a trigger mechanism to shoot bolts. Here’re some tips on how to shoot a crossbow accurately.

Tip-1: Apply Rail Lube and Wax

You should apply wax on the crossbow string to enhance its efficiency. Applying wax will also allow the string to last longer. The string is usually put under extreme pressure when shooting. Waxing it regularly will allow it to retain its flexibility for more shooting strength. You should at least wax the string after every ten shots to minimize friction. Avoid waxing the crossbow string serving as it might weaken become frayed.

Also, applying rail lube on the crossbow rail will keep it smooth such that arrows will glide along the rail fast enough with reduced friction for enhanced shooting speed and accuracy. You should also apply lube on the cams and trigger components without overdoing it. Also, in case the crossbow gets wet, especially after hunting, allow it to dry and reapply rail lube. Also, use high-quality rail lube for the best results.

Tip-2: Calibrate the Scope

If you’re using a crossbow with a scope, then you have to calibrate it properly for enhanced shooting accuracy. You should adjust the scope to the shooting range you’re firing from. You can start with testing the scope to ensure it is properly adjusted before aiming at your target. In this case, cock your crossbow and fire a few test bolts as you make adjustments as needed.

Tip-3: Cock the Crossbow Properly

You should cock the crossbow properly for more accurate shooting. When cocking, place the stirrup on the ground. You can hold it securely in place with one of your feet. Next, use your hands to pull the crossbow string. Pull both sides of the string evenly and place it on the cocking mechanism such that it latches in place. You’ll hear a clicking noise once the string latches properly. Next, put the bolt in the groove and ensure the end of the bolt touches the crossbow string.

You should ensure that the bolt is properly loaded by confirming that the plastic or feather vanes of the bolt are within the groove. Also, the bolt should be aligned straight for enhanced shooting accuracy. By cocking it properly, you’ll be more likely to shoot at your target. Also, you can mark the crossbow string on either side using a permanent marker. Marking the string will assist you in centering it properly to ensure it shoots the bolt along a straight line for more accuracy.

Tip-4: Eliminate Crossbow Canting

Crossbow canting is an issue that causes inaccurate crossbow shooting as a result of leaning the crossbow more to the right or left rather than keeping it straight. Leaning it either right or left will make the shot miss the target. You can avoid crossbow canting by attaching a small level on the crossbow for enhanced shooting accuracy.

Tip-5: Use a Tripod Stand

Shooting freehand with a crossbow can be quite challenging, even when using a small crossbow. Thus, you need some form of support to shoot more accurately, especially when shooting at a target far away. You should shoot a crossbow when it is stationary to improve its accuracy. A tripod stand can assist in enhancing your shooting accuracy. You can find a tripod stand from an archery shop or order for one online. It’ll assist you in sighting a crossbow easily and quickly and give you a stable platform for more accurate shooting.

Tip-6: Practice Often

You need to use a crossbow more often to learn how to shoot more accurately from different distances and elevations. Bolts drop quickly after being shot, unlike bullets from guns. Thus, you can increase your chances of hitting a target by practicing to sight and shoot more often.

Tip-7: Only Use Top-Quality Bolts

A bent bolt will most likely fly off target and reduce your chances of succeeding in hunting or archery. Most low-quality bolts are often bent and you might not even notice it. Although you can use an arrow straightener to straighten bent bolts, you’d rather invest in top-quality bolts to avoid all that trouble. Top-quality bolts are more likely to be straight and will allow for more accurate shooting.

Tip-8: Use the Appropriate Head

Bolts for crossbows come with either a mechanical head or a fix-blade head. Mechanical heads are more accurate for use during windy weather. This is because wind doesn’t interfere with the blades of a mechanical head as they remain within the head until it hits the target. Thus, accuracy is maintained. On the other hand, fix-blade heads are ideal for shooting during non-windy conditions since they shoot fast enough when it’s not windy. Shooting with speed demands a narrower head and non-windy conditions allow for faster shooting, which is best done with a fix-blade head.

Tip-9: Ensure All Components are secured in Place

Crossbows tend to vibrate when shooting. Thus, any loose component may interfere with the accuracy of shooting. Thus, inspect all components such as nuts, screws, bolts, quiver, bow assembly, sights, and scope among others before shooting to ensure they’re tight enough. Tighten any loose components. Also, ensure the crossbow doesn’t have any missing components. Replace any missing and damaged components before shooting.


It’s important to fine-tune your crossbow in readiness for shooting. Although crossbows come with a scope, trigger, and stock, they’re more complicated to shoot accurately than guns. Thus, you need to learn how to shoot a crossbow more accurately. Simply maintain your crossbow properly, lubricate the string, rail, and trigger components, and use top-quality bolts with proper cocking for more accurate shooting. By keeping these tips in mind, your next hunting or archery experience will be more successful.

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