Are you in doubt about crossbows and its accuracy?
Then I must say ignore it as it has been liked and admired by many especially among both hunters and target archers. It probably has great precision at long distance. But there can be another opinion and some of you will slightly disagree with the statement.
So it is the correct platform where you can understand the different variants and aspects of the crossbow basics. And you may get the chance to outgrow another point of view after reading this piece of writing.
Quick Navigation :
- Recurve Crossbows
- Compound crossbows
- Pistol Crossbows
- Draw Weight
- Crossbow Width
- Power stroke
- Crossbow Weight
- Cocking/ Decocking
- Maintenance and Storage
Learn The Crossbow Basics with Brief Description
Recurve Crossbows is an extraordinary design which works very simply. It earned the name recurve for having a curving tendency towards the shooter while somebody is about to shoot.
In many cases, archers are spellbound by its lightweight and this qualifies it for quicker target acquisition which ensures the accurate shot every time. But the lightweight is not enough to have a good command over anything.
Isn’t it? So we need to go deeper to recognize the actual features of every part of it. In Recurve crossbow, you will find limbs which are longer compared to a compound bow and works well.
Moving parts are allowing you to go with the budget. You need to spend the money on the parts which require replacement. So be happy as it takes less maintenance except for wear and tears on the string itself.
However, string set up is an incredibly easy task for anyone. It is very pleasant as it doesn’t make the loud sound while arrow released from the bow. Thus hunters find it ideal for its quiet nature.
The considerable fact which can decline its ranking is that the ratio of arrow speed to draw weight is less. It can work as a barrier while you will pull the draw. So I would like to advise you to go with another if have less shoulder strength.
Compound crossbows are slightly heavier but the outrage of the weight will only soothe during drawing the bow. You will feel zero draw weight after pulling it so this can be good for an archer. Another good thing to tell about it is the narrow shape of the bow which has been the reason for successful aiming through heavy bushes and dark tree branches.
Moreover, there is a great discussion between the split limb and single limb compound bow. While you will go for further discussion you will meager differences between it. Some think that split works a bit better and easier way. For lighter weight, it gathers its popularity as well.
Now if you would like to choose one among recurve and compound crossbow then pay attention to the weight as the main difference between these two crossbows is their weight while drawing. Compare to a compound crossbow, recurve is quieter and lighter.
Basically, trigger mechanism doesn’t work well with recurve so if you would especially concentrate on trigger mechanism then try to avoid it.
If not so then happily you may pick this up as this recurve is more feasible then compound on other cases. It is a multi-functional where in many cases you need to bring the compound to a archery shop for replacing. Typically those who are searching for more power than their body then it make sense of choosing compound.
Owning a Pistol crossbow is really fun as it is accurate up to about 30 yards. but if you want to get the real experience of hunting then it is impossible. Although it is cheaper, more portable and shooting with it is absolutely fun but the fact depends on the issues why you are gonna use for.
I am fascinated with its self-cocking function but here balance matters. The new self-cocking system makes shooting easier and faster to reload.
Draw weight is very essential in both hunting and target archery. If you are a newbie then it is must to know your draw weight capacity first. It is the measurement which means how much weight will be needed to cock the bowstring without an assistance device.
So guys which crossbow can meet your necessary? If you are likely to compare among three then let me tell you the minimum draw weights which can be proven very helpful to you. Typically pistol crossbow has a very light draw weight of 50 lbs.
So if your intention to hunt large rabbit or anything else similar to it then better stay off as it requires more draw weight around 150lbs. for further dangerous hunting about 200 lbs could be your companion but more then 150 lbs is always difficult to draw. But be happy as we have varieties of assistant device available in the market.
So do not forget to take this mechanical advantage. But before finding the correct draw weight you must go with the basic regulation of hunting as draw weight varies on the compound bow.
Just for target practicing draw weight would not be a big issue as any draw weight is fine for target shooting. Working more on this will give you accuracy so upgrade your draw weight with time for long range shooting.
There was a verdict that distance between arm tips on a recurve bow and axles on a compound bow can be the reason of your great success. But recent query express something else. It barely matters for target hunting at the normal distance.
Many are puzzled for this aspect although it is much required for archery. As it is one of the least understood matters so go through before making any mistakes. It simply a distance between the arrow rest of a string to the fully drawn point of the bowstring.
In another word, it’s a draw length of the conventional bow. Remember the longer the power stroke the faster the arrow speed.
To clear your observation on arrow speed this is most true that the environment also has great influential power on arrow speed.
So keep in mind that we have to consider other possible adverse condition during hunting or target practicing other than power stroke. But comparing the power stroke an easier way to measure the quality as we have no hand on other aspects.
Speed performance on a bow varies on different circumstances. To know more vividly let me explain in two different ways. First, you will consider the arrow speed which can the great source of understanding a bow’s speed performance.
Normally arrow speed measured Feet per Second (fps). This speed will reveal how fast your arrow flight and it remains the same during arrow flight. So this can be the most considering thing for an archer. Usually, 200 fps to 400 fps are a common range found in the market.
The second way is the kinetic energy which is also similar to the first one. Actually, it is the energy measurement which is transferred from the bow to arrow.
Hope you understand that the more energy it will get, the speedy it will work. It is usually measured in Foot Pounds of Kinetic Energy (fpke). But here Kinetic energy stared to decline while it travels further to the destination. This normally ranges from about 30 fpke to 125 fpke.
Besides these two ways, you need to be careful about the grain of the arrow as it affects simultaneously arrow speed and kinetic energy.so you need to choose the correct arrow weight which you bow allows. Here is the chart showing how your speed is affecting varies grain arrows.
- 425-grain arrows will fly at ~97.5 of early speed
- 450-grain arrows will fly at ~95% of early speed
- 475-grain arrows will fly at ~92.3% of early speed
- 500-grain arrows will fly at ~90% of early speed
- 525-grain arrows will fly at ~87.8% of early speed
- 550-grain arrows will fly at ~85.5% of early speed
- 575-grain arrows will fly at ~84% of early speed
- 600-grain arrows will fly at ~82.5% of early speed
Be clear that to cover every additional 10 yards distance, the speed will be decreased approximately three to four present. Arrow speed or kinetic energy doesn’t matter while you are new and building your skill.
For covering longer distance if you choose the lower arrow speed then shooting would be more difficult to you and it will destroy your ultimate wish of earning fame in your fate. So go with your preference. On the contrary, hunting is a different case where you need to know the definite kinetic energy for a clean kill.
- Primary level of hunting which covers turkey or groundhogs you should have between 20 and 25 fpke
- Medium level of hunting which covers deer and antelope you will need between 30 and 40 fpke
- High level of hunting which covers elk or black bears you will need between 45 and 60 fpke
- Higher and more dangerous level of hunting which covers grizzly bears or moose you will need between 65 and 75 fpke
Bolts are familiar for a crossbow and they are definitely having different structure and work than any other conventional bolts. Usually, it comes with shorter and thicker outlook. Between 14 -20 inches is the standard length but typically there can be particular length suggested for any given crossbow design.
It works awesome with three to four inches fletching. Depending on your preference, you will collect a suitable one for your shooting. Maximum bolts are available with about 175 grain along with 125-grain field point.
Usually, bolts specialized for the crossbow, field points weigh 125-150 grain. while you are ready to buy new points, be sure its weigh are matching with the original point which was available with the crossbow(or a little heavier)if you choose lighter field points than the recommended points then get ready for severe injury and damage your bow permanently.
Preferring heavier points can be a good decision as it flies more. I prefer carbon fiber bolts although others are made of aluminum can be great for shooting. Make sure to sight using broadhead before shooting. Every archer claims that they have seen huge differences in the flight of a bolt on a field point versus a broad-head.
Crossbow Weight / Mass
Handling crossbow can be a big challenge as they weigh sometimes twice or more the weight of recurve or compound bows in the market. Typically some are fond of its extra stability but it can come to you as a problematic issue while you need to raise the bow for any period of time.
To handle the weight you will get other accessories available in the market. Among all those, I prefer to rest. While your destination of hunting will cross 30 yards then must use a rest for the perfect finish.
Another thing that also important is how you are exposing yourself during shooting especially your movements. If you are positioned upon a tree struggling with leafage then it will not be a concerning matter but positioning behind a tree, there would be more chance of spotting your movements. That time you can rely on the bi-pod.
Sling, the name says all, is also an important thing to handle the weight. While the arrow will be released then your bow will tip forward.
So how are going to manage your bow? There are two options, first, you need to use your hand to grab your bow and the other is, use a finger sling to catch it. Another advantage of the sling can make your job easier especially when you need to carry a heavy crossbow over your shoulder for a long period of time.
Stocks and Cheek Pieces
The stock is usually another heaviest piece which is made of wood and plastic. But the interesting issue is the outer layer of steel gives it sturdy quality. So it would offer come with the heavyweight. Many mentioned that heavier stock is well enough for the bow as its solid construction provide extra stability.
For the further comfortable shoot, you will find cocking mechanisms in some stocks which eventually help you to draw back the string. Skeletal stocks also work well to give you the strength.
One of the great challenges here of shooting a crossbow to get a firm holds on the bow. The comfortable stock length and cheek rest are very important in this case.
It is very clear that a conventional crossbow creates unpleasant sound than any other bows available in the market. However, to control the noise, you must do something so that you can get probable success in shooting.
Noise affects a lot as before hitting the target, loud noise making an animal aware of its feasible danger. What will happen then? Definitely, you will miss the target as it will flinch and revive itself by running.
To get the maximum success you need to be more conscious regarding the function of the different hunting by crossbow and how do they perform. If you choose to recurve than it can be good as this bow is typically lighter and quieter than a compound bow. Even you can take advantage of mechanical accessories as it allows to do the necessary adjustment for reducing noise.
Sound dampening mechanisms can be proved great and sometimes it comes as a whole and already installed. Silencers can be another option which you need to adjust with the string to decline the noise. Typically all these are small rubber pieces work to absorb the vibration after arrow release.
An archer needs to pay special attention to three primary ways of cocking the crossbow. First is to seize the string with your hands and muscle it back into a cocked position.
To do this you will be required a great amount of strength which can cause inappropriate cocking that will reduce accuracy. Rope cocking device is a pulley system which cuts the amount of force essential to cock your bow by 50%. This process of cocking eradicates the risk of inconsistent cocking.
The most popular way for cocking is the crank or lever system. This method includes a greater mechanical advantage. To draw the string just you have to crank a lever. And then your work is done.
However, the system is more troublesome and costs a bit. But anybody with the physical disability can take this without the second thought. As they have the restriction of strength so it can be ideal for them. Trying to soothe the arrow string after shooting can be risky.
It is good to work with three common primary options for sights. The old single pin system is usually used on conventional bows.
However, maximum crossbows currently are available with a scope of some kind. Reflex sights are normally good option but few find it troublesome issue as it needs to install aftermarket. But the first two mentioned above are designed for close range shots. Reflex sights are quite familiar for fast target acquisition on moving objects.
In the case of choosing optics, you need to spend as much as you can afford. Better equipped optics can provide you the confidence to take the challenges but a lower categorized optic can puzzle you for the simplest shots. Read your product reviews before buying one.
Maintenance and Storage
It is absolutely essential to take good care of your bows as this will secure the long-lasting quality and save your money. Even the slightest friction on an armor scope can throw everything offline.
Usually, waxing your bow string is the common practice for crossbows. While arrow is releasing from the bows, produced vibration causes friction the string with the bow every time. This puts a great deal of oppression on the string.
So you must wax the whole string every five to six times the crossbow is fired. Finally, you may keep a spare string handy and have the tendency of replacing the string after firing highly 50 to100 times.