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How Far Can a Crossbow Shoot – 4 Major Determiners!

Written by Catherine Weeks

When learning to fire a crossbow, one of the first questions you’ll have is how far it can shoot. Crossbows may be extremely precise hunting equipment, and modern manufacturers are capitalizing on this characteristic. With today’s sophisticated crossbows, you can fire hundreds of yards. Previously unthinkable shots are now normal for the average bowhunter. The range of a crossbow is greatly influenced by the weight of the arrow and the type of arrowhead applied. Using a crossbow with a heavier bolt reduces the crossbow’s range based on elementary school physics.

4 Major Elements That Control Your Range

Effective hunting range

1. Effective hunting range

A crossbow’s effective hunting range indicates the distance that you can steadily fire your crossbow at efficiently and accurately. This may differ based on the animals you are hunting. Some animals need a more accurate shot. Your ability as a bowhunter will also have an impact on your effective range. Novice hunters might find it simpler to fire from closer ranges, but more skilled hunters might feel more at ease firing from a greater distance. The altitude and accuracy of your shot are also affected by weather conditions. Unfavorable weather conditions, such as storms or snow, might cause a bolt to deviate from its intended path.

2. Broadhead travel

Numerous crossbows on the marketplace now can easily fire a broadhead 500 yards, regardless of accuracy. The issue arises when you need to make a precise shot. A handful of people can shoot successfully from 100 yards or more, let alone additional 400 yards. Shooting at these ranges is ineffective for hunting. At 500 yards, a bolt or arrow will not have enough force to land a clean shot.

3. Effective hunting distance

The optimal hunting range for a bowhunter is determined by two factors: their skill and the sort of equipment they use. The typical effective hunting distance for a 300+ FPS crossbow is approximately 60 yards. Past that point, an 80-yard shot could be lethal enough to kill bigger animals. Your hunting success is determined more by your talents than by the strength of your crossbow.

Bowhunters usually have less accuracy in their shots beyond 80 yards. There aren’t many who can strike bolts with such precision to successfully kill animals. Most hunters like to shoot from 40 yards or less. It’s not really that their bolts can’t properly kill an animal from a greater distance, simply it’s a method of ensuring that the bolt lands in the correct spot. Any responsible hunter seeks a clean pass.

4. Optimal target practice distance

There are hundreds of various kinds of targets to pick from, and having more alternatives means having more freedom. You shouldn’t have to be concerned about making moral hunting selections when it applies to target practice. This means you may fire from as far away or as near to your target as you want.

There’s also less concern over the bolt’s or crossbow’s strength. In practice, a 300+ FPS straight point crossbow bolt will effectively penetrate most current archery targets from far over 80 yards range. While shooting 2-inch groupings from this distance could be a challenge, it is achievable with training. However, keep in mind that the bolt’s strength decreases as it goes further. Even with the most potent bows, the flight of an arrow can start to decrease in as few as 30 yards.

How to Increase the Distance of Your Crossbow?

How to Increase the Distance of Your Crossbow

1. Practice

You could have the most expensive and finest quality crossbow and yet be a bad shooter. It’s not about how much money you spend, but how much effort you’re willing to put in to improve your archery skills.

The secret to shooting further is to become familiar with your gear. Any bolt or arrow you can think of will travel differently. As a result, when you’re using your crossbow and arrows outdoors, the more you will learn how they function. Replace your arrows, broadheads, and bolts as needed. Then customize them in different ways. You’ll improve at shooting at longer distances as time goes on.

2. Tune your crossbow

Aiming with a crossbow that isn’t properly tuned or balanced might affect your accuracy. Many crossbows have optimal settings included in their owner’s manuals that might help you improve your shooting abilities. Additionally, adjust your crossbow at least once every several weeks. That is because your settings may alter if your crossbow is exposed to wet or cold weather.

3. Regular maintenance

Be sure you’re aware of the methods described in your crossbow’s handbook to appropriately maintain it. The most important things to do to keep your crossbow in good shape are to lubricate and wax it. Performing these procedures regularly not only extends the life of your crossbow but also improves its shooting performance.

You should also do periodic maintenance to guarantee that your crossbow attachments are securely fastened. Broadheads can also get separated, so ensure they are correctly fastened and in great condition. Broadheads that are bent or damaged might reduce the range your bolt travels.

4. Correct fit

Crossbows are similar to a nice pair of pants. What works for one person may not work for another. The secret to shooting farther is to choose a crossbow that fits your needs. You should select a crossbow that is appropriate for your endurance and body size. You will not be able to maintain it steady when shooting if the draw is too strong. It will be uncomfortable to use if it is too large.

If you need assistance, consult an expert. Also, before choosing one, try out a few similar crossbow models. You may prefer one’s features or discover that another is extremely accurate.

5. Use quality broadheads and bolts

Based on their structure and weight, bolts move through the air in various ways. This has an impact on the range and strength with which it strikes. Having a bolt that hasn’t been calibrated with your crossbow might lead to bad performance.

Fortunately, choosing quality bolts is among the easiest methods to improve your crossbow’s optimum effective range. The manufacturer of your crossbow is a great location to get helpful advice. They generally have bolts on the stock that they suggest for the best results.


1. How far can a crossbow shot travel?

Most crossbows on the marketplace have a range of up to 500 yards. Nevertheless, at these distances, maintaining accuracy is difficult. As a result, the estimated average hunting distance is 60 yards, although most bowhunters prefer to shoot from 35 yards or less.

2. What is a crossbow’s effective killing range?

If you’d like to hunt, a highly experienced shooter should get up to 80 yards, but if you are a novice, you should keep to a maximum of 50 yards, and ideally much less (35-40).

About the author

Catherine Weeks

Cathy believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature.

She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

Though Cathy has hunted most of her life, it was not until her partner gave her a bow that she realized she had finally found her passion.

She is always determined to share her missed opportunities, dedication, emotions, and small details that people often forget to mention when they talk about their hunting experiences.

Cathy also works to promote wildlife preservation and protect natural resources. She thinks “patience” is the most important thing that can make a big difference.

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