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:
- How well do you perform?
- Do you hunt or are you practicing target shooting?
- Does the crossbow have a high velocity (FPS)?
- 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:
- The range of a powerful crossbow can reach 500 yards if you don’t care about hitting a target.
- 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.
- It is definitely possible to shoot 180+ yard shots during target practice, however, accuracy requires godlike skills.