Transitioning to Crossbow

Crossbow Lifestyle Photo


Rifle to Crossbow: 5 Tips for Transitioning



Crossbows quickly release a significant amount of energy. Take your time to perfect your grip and stance before firing, and always ensure your fingers, thumbs, and all body parts remain below and away from the path of the strings and cables. Use a rope cocker or winch to cock the bow to ensure perfectly straight cocking, a key ingredient of accuracy. For more safety information, be sure to visit for tips and instructions.


Avoid Dry Fire

Dry firing a fully-cocked crossbow can cause serious damage. Look for crossbows that incorporate anti dry fire technology to help prevent accidents on the range and in the field. To further protect against dry fire incidents, prior to every shot, check to ensure the nock is properly indexed with the cock vane (the odd colored vane) oriented downward in the groove of the flight rail, and check to ensure the nock is tight against the bowstring.


Power for Your Game

The kinetic energy output of your crossbow determines the penetration power, if you’re targeting big game, ensure you’re delivering over 65 ft-lbs to the animal. Shooting a crossbow with a minimum speed of 300 FPS will ensure you have enough power to take down larger game.


Site for Distance

Bolts travel along an arc, so the farther the distance to the target, the more they will drop. Practice using the reticles in your scope from a variety of distances to get a feel for the amount of drop to expect. This will help you hit the target when it counts. When practicing, be sure to use safe shooting techniques and be aware of the area surrounding (and in back of) your target.


Target for Anatomy

Hitting vital organs is essential to taking medium and big game with a crossbow. Hone your anatomy targeting skills during the off-season to increase the number of a heart and lung shots in the field.


Know the Law

Crossbow regulations vary by jurisdiction, check your country, State and local laws to ensure you are in compliance with regard to purchase, ownership, possession and use of a crossbow in your specific area. You’ll also want to ensure the speed, kinetic energy and season are right for your specific area and intended game.


Need help finding the right crossbow? Check out our selection of hunting crossbows.