Hunting Guide

How far can a crossbow shoot?

A crossbow is a type of weapon that can be used to hunt wild animals or for target practice. How far a crossbow shoots depends on the strength of the user, as well as the arc path and speed at which it travels.

Must Read: Best Binoculars for Hunting

How far can a beginner use his crossbow to shoot?

Crossbows are very difficult to master, so most beginners will not be able to fire them more than 20-30 meters away. A good aim, concentration and strong arm are required in order to hit anything with accuracy. How accurate one aims is also dependent on how steady/steadfast their hands are. How much distance an arrow fired from a bow covers depends on its weight and aerodynamics. How much distance a crossbow can shoot is determined by how far it can penetrate and whether or not the bolt hits anything that could change its paths such as branches, trees or walls. How far does a crossbow typically shoot?

Generally speaking, most average crossbows tend to be able to travel up to 100 meters away without too much trouble. However, those of poor quality will usually only be able to shoot out about 30-40 meters at full force. How strong one’s arms and handgrip power is also a factor in determining how far a crossbow shoots. How many yards can an expert hit with his crossbow?

Experts who use this weapon for sports tend to be able to fire their bolts out over 200 meters away depending on the type of crossbow they use. How heavy a bolt can be fired varies from person to person and with their strength, so most experts will choose a lighter bolt in order to increase their accuracy and speed as well as fly further. How much power is needed for a crossbow?

People who wish to fire larger bolts or those made of stronger materials such as steel would need more power output than those who shoot smaller, lighter ones. Both men and women can use this weapon effectively but it is generally recommended that women seek training first before using one due to the weight and length of these weapons which could affect their aim and stability. How far does an arrow go with a high arc path?

The EVO-X Marksman Scope has a sighting dot that allows you to shoot your crossbow out to 80 yards when you are target shooting.  With the RangeMaster Pro Scope or the 3X Pro-View 3 Scope, you can shoot your crossbow out to 60 yards with the sighting dot.  The Multi-Line Scope on your crossbow provides a sighting line that allows you to shoot your crossbow out to 50 yards.

In terms of crossbow hunting, we do not recommend shooting your crossbow beyond 50 yards.

It is your ethical responsibility as a hunter to take the shot on an animal you think will have the best chance of dying. The best shot is the one that has the greatest probability of success. As a result, a closer shot will have less effect from obstruction, the loss of arrow trajectory, wind drift, or animals “jumping on the string”. There is a greater likelihood that one of these factors will be at work when you shoot a long-range crossbow at an animal, reducing your chances of a successful harvest.

Crossbow hunting is ultimately a game of probability, and the best crossbow hunters find the shot that has the best chance of success. 

Considering your broadhead’s weight, along with how your crossbow is configured, will greatly determine your arrow’s travel distance.

In order to answer this question, we need to consider the following factors:

  1. How well do you perform?
  2. Do you hunt or are you practicing target shooting?
  3. Does the crossbow have a high velocity (FPS)?
  4. Are you satisfied with your scope?

Shooting at a distance exceeding 500 yards is possible with a crossbow with a good 300+ FPS, such as the Barnett Jackal or the Buck Commander. But the arrow has no range left, plus it’s near impossible to shoot from such a distance.

Hunting ranges that are effective

Crossbows with more than 300 FPS have an effective range of 50 to 60 yards on average. The accuracy is far superior – even a shot that is 80 yards would be able to take out both medium and large games. Here, the important question is whether you are able to hit the target accurately and hit the vital organs; most people do not have the ability to do so consistently. This is why the majority of crossbow hunters prefer to shoot from 35 yards or less; not because their arrow cannot kill from further away, rather they want to guarantee they hit the target, otherwise, they don’t want to wound the animal but not kill it.

Effective Range for Target Practice

It is possible to make a mistake here. Crossbows with more than 300 fps are capable of penetrating compressed foam targets (or any other material frequently used in archery targets) from a distance of up to 180 yards. However, there are people who can shoot 2″ arrow groups at 80+ yards with a crossbow, certainly not a miracle.

If your arrow is at such a distance, its velocity will be significantly reduced. Even the most powerful crossbow will drop its trajectory after only 30 yards.

You can see below the drop rate of a 400-grain arrow fired at 350 fps using a crossbow:

  • 20 yards: 0 inches
  • 30 yards: 3.81 inches
  • 40 yards:10.81 inches
  • 50 yards: 21.13 inches

Longer distances will result in a much more pronounced drop in trajectory.

What is the effect of scope on the equation?

As the numbers above suggest, there are a number of implications. If your target is far away, you will need to aim your crossbow higher to compensate for the arrow drop. For shooting targets at a distance, you need to have at least 3 reticles or red dots.

With a typical 3-dot / 3-reticle scope, the top dot or reticle is typically sighted at 20 yards, the second at 30 yards, and the third at 40 yards. Even at 60 yards, the lowest reticle on some scopes will be viewed with no problem.  For most crossbows, the bottom-most dot/reticle corresponds to targets within 40 yards, so if you wish to shoot targets beyond 40 yards, then you must rely on your instincts and experience to know how high you need to point your crossbow; make sure the bottom dot/reticle is above your intended arrow impact.

In a Nutshell:

  1. The range of a powerful crossbow can reach 500 yards if you don’t care about hitting a target.
  2. You can hunt up to 80 yards if you are a very skilled shooter, but you should stick with a maximum distance of 60 yards, and preferably much less than that (30-35 yards) if you are a beginner.
  3. It is definitely possible to shoot 180+ yard shots during target practice, however, accuracy requires godlike skills.


How far can a crossbow kill effectively?

For crossbow hunters, the effective range is approximately 40 yards as it is for vertical bowhunters. It is at this distance that most hunters can accurately fire a crossbow and kill their prey.

What is the range of a crossbow that shoots 400 fps?

At 100 yards, a 400-grain arrow traveling at 400 fps will drop 93 inches (yes – nearly 7 feet).

What is the range of a 350 fps crossbow?

Crossbows normally come with an indication of the speed so you can estimate the distance. As an example, if you do not care much about hitting a target, you can use a crossbow that shoots at 350 fps and can shoot an arrow at 500 yards if shot up into the air.

Can you leave a crossbow loaded for a long time?

If you leave your crossbow cocked for more than 24 hours, it is likely to stretch prematurely, leading to a loss of performance.

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