How far can a crossbow shoot?

Crossbows are fun, powerful, and lethal. You can use them for hunting, target practice, and everything in between. If you are thinking of acquiring a crossbow, one of the things you will most likely want to know about it is the distance you can shoot.

This information will help you to decide if it is good enough for your needs. However, if you are not a veteran or intermediate hunter, you cannot tell for sure if a certain range is good enough. This is because you have nothing to compare it with.

In this post, we will reveal to you how far a crossbow can shoot. We will also share with you information to help you shoot further with your crossbow.

How far can a crossbow shoot

So how far can a crossbow shoot?

A good crossbow can shoot a bolt as far as 500 yards. While this may seem very impressive, it is not as impressive as you think. This is because while you can shoot a bolt 500 yards away, it doesn’t mean the bolt can kill something 500 yards away.

This is because, by the time a crossbow bolt lands 500 yards away, the kinetic energy it has is usually zero or next to zero. So how far a crossbow can shoot is often not very important. The important thing is the effective hunting range.

The effective hunting range of a crossbow is the farthest distance that a crossbow can take down game. In other words, it is the distance that a bolt still has the kinetic energy to penetrate and kill game.

A good crossbow (one with a minimum of 300 FPS), will typically have an effective hunting range somewhere between 50 and 80 yards. What this means is that most high-quality over 300 FPS crossbows can only kill wild game less than 80 yards away.

Anything further than 80 yards means you will have to move closer to the animal before shooting it.

what distance can a crossbow shoot

Now that you know the effective hunting range of a crossbow is a more important thing to know than how far it can shoot, there is one more thing you should know. There is no harm in knowing how far a crossbow can shoot.

The reason why is that you can use the information for practice. Next time you get somewhere where you can shoot your crossbow safely, try to shoot a bolt as far as 500 yards. It will be difficult to hit 500 yards but through practice and fine-tuning your bow, you can get it to shoot bolts as far as 450 yards or something close to that.

Practicing with your crossbow and fine-tuning it to shoot farther will obviously make you a better hunter. You will learn a lot about your bow, your skills, and ideal conditions. The knowledge you will gain is what will make you a better hunter/ shooter.

What to do to improve the range of your crossbow

If you have a high-quality crossbow (capable of shooting bolts at 300 FPS), you should be able to push a high-quality bolt at least as far out as 400 yards. Your effective range should also be at least 50 yards.

If you cannot push a crossbow bolt at least 400 yards for practice, there is a problem and you need to address it. Follow the steps below to improve how far your crossbow can shoot.

1. Fine-tune your crossbow
Your crossbow will certainly not achieve its potential if you shoot it at its worst settings. You should set it correctly to ensure it can shoot bolts as far away and as strongly as possible.

The number one thing to do to make sure your bolt is working properly is to balance it.  Check the owner’s manual for instructions on how to balance your crossbow. Search YouTube and social media for videos on how to fine-tune your crossbow.

Many crossbow companies and crossbow owners have posted videos on how to fine-tune dozens of crossbows. You will definitely find at least one or two on your crossbow.

Fine-tuning your crossbow will make sure it has the right settings to shoot bolts at a high speed.

2. Proper maintenance
You should take good care of your crossbow the same way car enthusiasts take good care of their cars. If you don’t maintain your crossbow, it will not be in a position to shoot bolts as fast as it can.

Crossbow maintenance usually includes several steps such as waxing the string, lubricating the rail, and removing and reattaching the removable parts.

It is important to regularly maintain your crossbow especially after using it in wet conditions.

3. Choose the right bolt
You need the right bolt for your crossbow to be able to shoot as far as your crossbow can. Check the owner’s manual to find what bolt the manufacturer recommends. Buy that very bolt to ensure your crossbow performs optimally.

Without the right bolt, your crossbow cannot perform optimally.

4. Practice
After ensuring your crossbow can work like magic and that you have the right bolts, you should start practicing. It is unlikely that an inexperienced person can shoot a crossbow bolt the way it should be shot. However, with practice, an inexperienced person can quickly start shooting a crossbow correctly.

Practicing shooting your crossbow will not only enable you to shoot it as far away as possible but also help you to become a better hunter. This is because practicing with your crossbow will enable you to master it and once you do this, you will surely be able to shoot better even at game a short distance away.

How far can a longbow shoot

How far can a longbow shoot?

Since longbows are simple bows, they cannot shoot as far as crossbows. A typical high-quality 30, 35, or 40 lbs. draw weight longbow will have a maximum range of between 200 and 300 yards. Its effective range will be between 30 and 50 yards.

Basically, the bigger the draw weight of a longbow, the further it can shoot and the longer its effective range.

If you are looking for quality longbows that can shoot really far, you should check out our list of the best longbows currently available on the market.

Final word

A good crossbow capable of shooting arrows at 300 FPS will have a maximum range of between 400 and 500 yards, and an effective range of between 50 and 80 yards. If you want a crossbow that can shoot the farthest, it needs to be a high-quality and high-speed crossbow. Check out our review of the best crossbows currently available on the market to pick one for yourself. Also check our review on the best recurve crossbows currently available on the market.

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