Crossbows are generally used for leisure, hunting and military purposes. They have been used from ancient times, originating from China and then Greece in the 5th century, to all over the world. One needs to check the hunting laws prevailing in the country before buying a Crossbow.
There are different types of Crossbows available varying from speed, weights, cocking styles, and noise level. In fact, a lighter version of a Crossbow is also available for female shooters. The important requirements for the maintenance of a Crossbow include keeping it under climate-controlled conditions and waxing it regularly.
What is a Crossbow?
The string is released to shoot Projectiles. These projectiles are the arrows called the bolts or quarrels for shooting. The effective range of shooting with a Crossbow is from a distance of 40 yards, when practicing grouping arrows. The average shooting success is 20 yards or less by Crossbow hunters.
Top 5 reasons to buy a Crossbow
- Boosting the confidence of shooter: Many first time shooters start shooting quickly with the help of a capable person, aid of cocking devices, a shooting stick, and proper instructions. The confidence level of shooters increase using Crossbow as a tool as compared to other hunting tools.
- Easy to use: Crossbow is good for women, youth, physically challenged individuals, who are willing to shoot but are sensitive to factors like noise, has some medical condition or low physical strength which is required for tough archery equipment, or people who avoid shooting a rifle. A Crossbow is an easily accessible tool for such people.
- Controls animal population: At many places, government wants to control wildlife population. And so, hunting is legal in some countries. In a way, Crossbow hunting controls wildlife population to quite an extent.
- High Efficiency level: In a traditional or a conventional type of a bow, string on the bow pushes arrow more than double the distance as compared to when shooting with a Crossbow. For producing the same arrow speed, Crossbow is required to have more than twice the weight of a compound bow to absorb the shock. Therefore, a shorter power stroke on Crossbow helps with better shooting. But for this, it must have a heavy wooden structure. The idea behind this weight is to move a short distance and quickly stop when shooting. Hence, a Crossbow must have more mass than the bow.
- Prevents harmful health effects: Earlier rifle shooting lead to many health problems like arthritis, fractures, dislocations, shoulder injuries and so on. But these modern Crossbows do not create such health issues due to its preloaded configuration. It is designed in a compact and accessible manner, so that it does not harm our body.
Factors one needs to consider before buying a modern Crossbow
Ease of Usage
An ideal Crossbow must be user-friendly, produce minimal noise, and ensure lack of recoil so that people make a way for hunting. Youth generally get influenced with the above factors and get attracted towards buying a crossbow for hunting.
All Crossbows had steel limbs till a few decades back. But now-a-days these have fiberglass or composite limbs. Limbs also come in different designs ranging from long thin bow to thick long plank shaped. A new form of construction is split-limb construction in modern day Crossbows. This has ensured lesser weight to the weapon and equalize the stress. Crossbows is made up of various types of wood and plastic material with metallic elements in it. These increased weight makes it easy as well as increases the accuracy to aim the target.
Various types of Crossbows available
As there used to be recurve and compound bow in old medieval times, similarly there is recurve and compound bow these days. The recurve type of a Crossbow lacks the complicated strings which is there in compound Crossbows. Compound Crossbows are easier for shooting as they have shorter limbs. Compound Crossbows will shoot same weight arrows much faster than recurves.
Power or weight requirements
Crossbows can be light or too heavy, as per the shooters requirement. The only drawback of lighter Crossbow is that it can be hard to control. Similarly, a too heavy Crossbow can be difficult to control too. While you are aiming and shooting it, it is tough to shoot accurately with a moving Crossbow. Weight of Crossbows ranges from 80 to 200 pounds. For example while hunting a deer, a weight of 150 is recommended by experts. Thus, you must properly consider the purpose of a buying a Crossbow to select the appropriate weight which would serve your requirement.
Aiding Sights or accessories for the Crossbow
One should buy all the needed accessories along with the Crossbow while purchasing it as the fittings of accessories might vary from the newer range of Crossbows now coming into the market. Crossbows are available in iron, optical or red-dot sights. Optical sights are very useful for Crossbow arrow between 20-40 yards. What is important is knowing the clear range of the target, so that the correct Crossbow and aiding accessories are taken for that range.
Speed of Crossbow shoot
Speed of Crossbow is measured feet per second and commonly written as (fps). Generally, it is between 300 and 380 feet per second. Speed of 300 fps is no less to shoot efficiently, but speed of 380 will be hitting even harder. Tools such as cams, power stroke, and heavier limbs are added by the manufacturing companies for extra speed.
But there will always be a trade-off for increased speed with noisier sounds, more recoils and difficulty in cocking the Crossbow.
Noise level is a primary concern for many archers, manufacturers are trying their best to improve noise level. There are some accessories available to control noise, such as, bow noise dampening kit. So you might as well consider to buy those along with the buying of Crossbow.
You may sacrifice on features for price but safety should never be sacrificed. Some research on the safety points must be considered when buying Crossbow online or from a store. Crossbows are equipped with dry fire inhibitor, auto-engaging safety, safety wings, and models a pass through fore-grip and so on. You must look for a list of safety features provided along with the Crossbow package. You should check them carefully before taking a decision of which Crossbow you would be choosing.
Look for the balance point by picking up a variety of Crossbows. Excessive light or excessive heavy Crossbows will not be a good option. For example, too heavy one could be difficult to manage when shooting out of a tree stand. Most popular one is a reverse draw Crossbow. You will need to judge from forward and reverse draw Crossbows.
Determine the proper length and width
The length and width of a Crossbow may not be important while we are shooting for a particular kind of a target. However, in some cases, the length of the Crossbows may hinder the comfort level of the shooter to keep eyes on the target while hunting or any other shooting activity.
Choice of the Ground blind
Consider your blind while shooting. For instance, how wide the window is, which we are considering for hunting purpose. Blind can be made of solid or out of some other material. If the blind is a soft-sided blind, then it might not matter if the limbs were hitting the edges of the window. Whereas if we are considering a hard-sided blind, than this might not be the case.
If you are using a tripod or holding full weight of Crossbow, then make sure that you have enough space to hold yourself. Support is recommended while using Crossbows, otherwise it can lead to nervous jitters or a muscle pull. Also Crossbows become very heavy without support, as you will need to hold them for a long period of time.
Hunting with Tree-stand support
The length of Crossbows matters a lot, when we are hunting with a tree-stand support. Higher we go up the tree, Crossbow may feel longer and due to this, Crossbow may be uncomfortable and heavy for holding it at its place.
Design of Crossbow
The design of the Crossbow should be compact. Manufacturers today are trying their level best to design sleeker crossbows. It helps in case of narrow shooting-lanes and tight quarters in stand.
Choice of trigger
A Crossbow buyer should pay attention to the trigger as it affects shooting accuracy. Trigger that has no creep (a no creep trigger releases without warning) can be dangerous. On the other hand, a Crossbow trigger having too much creep may be too tight to squeeze. Similarly, comparing a light and hard trigger, it is dangerous to trigger a Crossbow with a lighter trigger. And a heavy one will be difficult to squeeze steadily. Premium-trigger Crossbows shoot with accuracy as they have optimum travel time.
Top four Crossbow Reviews of 2017:
- The product dimensions are 24 x 12 x 10 inches.
- The weight of the product is 12.2 pounds.
- It has 370-Feet per second firing Velocity.
- The quad limbs are fitted with a CNC-machined cam system.
- The sniper is easy to use.
- The product has an 18 inch axle to axe width when cocked and 21.5 inch when relaxed.
- It features a 185 pound draw weight.
- It comes with a center point sniper with 4×32 mm scope, three 20 inch carbon bolts, a quiver, a shoulder sling and a rope cocker.
- It has anti-dry fire and auto-safety trigger mechanisms.
- It is fully adjustable and has tactical stock and forearm.
- With lightweight CNC Machined aluminum rail with shoot-through riser.
- It is integrated with string suppressors for a quiet, vibration-free shot.
- The weight of the product is 2.3 pounds.
- It has an 80 pound draw weight.
- It has an easy to use cocking system.
- It is pistol-styled, self-cocking device having a plastic body and a molded fiberglass bow.
- It arrows at a speed of 165 FPS (feet per second).
- It is a dual purpose Crossbow as it is ideal for both hunting and shooting practice.
- Includes three aluminum arrows with metal tips and adjustable tactical sight.
- Due to speedy cocking mechanism, the reload time is shortened which helps to get more number of shots quickly.
- The product dimensions are 33 x 13 x 7 inches.
- The weight of the product is 4.7 pounds.
- It shoots at 315 feet per second with 150-pound draw weight
- It has a sleek stock which is very durable and lightweight.
- It has Quad Limb High energy wheels, Synthetic string and cable system producing fast speed.
- Includes three 20 inch quivers.
- The trigger provides a 3.5 lb. pull.
- It has a rail divided fore-grip which makes hand placement easy.
- It includes quick-detach quiver, bolts, and premium red dot sight.
- It has high energy wheels.
- It requires climate-controlled storage and waxing the string from time to time.
- The product dimensions are 10.5 x 32.5 x 7 inches
- The product weight is 6 pounds.
- The draw weight is 130 lbs and 80 foot pounds of energy are set to the bow.
- It is suitable for women and small-framed hunters.
- It produces a speed of 300 FPS.
- The butt stock is adjustable.
- The finger reminders pass through the fore-grip.
- It comes with three 20″ Arrows, premium Red Dot Sight and Rope Cocking Device.
- It requires storage at a climate-controlled place and timely waxing.
Crossbow hunting is fastest growing and popular segment in hunting now-a-days. It has also been widely used for shooting practice.
How effective is your shooting depends on factors like how good is your shooting technique, whether you are hunting or target practicing, what is the velocity of the Crossbow (feet per second), correct weight and the design suitability of the Crossbow. The hunting license and education is mandatory before going for hunting through a Crossbow.