How Accurate is a Crossbow at 100 Yards – A Field Experiment

 Accuracy is the most desirable feature in crossbow archery. Following this is a field experiment result on “How accurate is a crossbow at 100 yards.”

How Accurate is a Crossbow at 100 Yards – A Field Experiment

Like everything else, I know that a bow’s performance, durability, and accuracy vitally depend on its price. “The more sugar, the more sweetness,” this wise statement speaks to a bow’s overall performance.

And my archery experience supports it wholeheartedly. However, I performed an exciting test last week to investigate the authenticity of this perception on crossbows.

I arranged (mine and my friends’) several crossbows and tested them for “How accurate is a crossbow at 100 yards.” In brief, the crossbows are 100% accurate for 40 yards. And for 100 yards, the precision relies on various factors. 

Here goes my full review.

Crossbow Shooting Distance

Table of Content

  • Is Crossbow Accuracy Test Important?
  • 06 Crossbow Accuracy Determiners.
  • A Table: How Accurate is a Crossbow at 100 Yards?
  • Get Accurate Crossbow Shots 100 Yards Apart.
  • Resourceful FAQs.

How Accurate is a Crossbow at 100 Yards


Why do the Accuracy Testing of a Crossbow at 100 Yards?

Below are the points:

  • To examine each crossbow’s cost-benefit ratio.
  • To find out how far each one can shoot accurately, gain insights about the ratio of success and distance from the target, shooting angle requirements, body positioning, etc.
  • Thirdly, to enhance knowledge of the crossbow’s functions.
  • There were two fellow archers present with me. They teach archery in the local archery range. For them, it was self-learning and shareable with the trainees.
  • Finally, and most importantly, it was real on-field fun.

Related: What is Brace Height On a Compound Bow?

06 Factors Affecting Crossbow Accuracy at 100 Yards

Let’s explore the factors affecting a crossbow’s accuracy one by one.

  • Type of Crossbow

Several crossbows are on the market with individual advantages, disadvantages, features, etc. Therefore, you can expect every crossbow to show a different result. 

For example, a recurve crossbow or rifle crossbow is more accurate than a pistol crossbow when shooting a target from 100 yards away.

  • Bolt/Arrow Type and Material

The type of arrow used is also a crucial factor in a crossbow’s accuracy at 100 yards. A crossbow bolt (arrow) selection depends on the weight, arrow mass, vane size, and personal preferences. These factors also possess influential characteristics on the bow’s accuracy. 

For instance, a heavier arrow will fly straighter with a more consistent velocity, resulting in greater accuracy in long shots. Additionally, specially designed arrowheads (field tips or broadheads) can ensure improved accuracy in long-distance shooting.

Backyard Crossbow Shooting

  • Draw Weight

The draw weight, the force required to pull the string at maximum length, is the prominent factor in the crossbow’s accuracy at 100 yards. In general terms, crossbows with higher draw weights shoot with more power, making the arrow fly faster and farther. It potentially results in improved accuracy at longer distances.

  • Crossbow Sights

The quality of the used sight also defines the accuracy of the crossbow. Just imagine you are using a poor-quality sight for the shooting; can you still aim comfortably?

Can you hit the target? The answer is a resounding “no.” So, for an accurate shot at 100 yards, a sight’s quality also matters significantly.

  • Shooter’s Skillset

It crucially determines higher accuracy in archery. I saw many people with mastery levels of skill with degraded quality crossbow setups get astounding accuracy. 

After all, a top-level archer with skills and expertise knows how to deal with the crossbow. Such a seasoned shooter can overcome bow variations, unsuitable arrows, a malfunctioning sight, or an inappropriate draw weight. The archer can still manage those issues, making every shot successful.

  • External Factors

As an archery enthusiast, you must acknowledge the influence of external factors on accuracy. For example, you have a perfect setup with adequate skills, but the highly volatile wind velocity changes directions frequently. 

To summarize this section, can you hit the target perfectly every time? Well, I am not saying you cannot, but the success rate will surely decrease. Some will hit the mark; some will not. In short, external factors can make a huge difference in accuracy.

Top Accurate Crossbows

How Accurate is a Crossbow at 100 Yards?

The below table contains the accuracy at 100 yards for three types of crossbows in percentages. However, you must remember the factors mentioned above. They can turn the result in any direction.

Crossbow Type Accuracy in Percentage (10 shots each)
Recurve Crossbows 78%
Compound Crossbow 88%
Rifle Crossbow 95%
Pistol Crossbow 55%

Crossbow Shooting MPH

How to Achieve Accurate Shots at 100 Yards?

To shoot at 100 yards more accurately (penetrate the target appropriately; average 9 out of 10 shots), you must consider the factors below.

  • Your crossbow’s triggering mechanism must be very functional.
  • Avoid lightweight arrows.
  • The draw weight has to be at least 40–50 lbs.
  • You must have a sound understanding of the impact of wind velocity and flow direction.
  • The arrow must have an appropriate head to ensure perfect penetration.
  • You must be a highly skilled and expert crossbow shooter.
  • The installed sight on the crossbow needs proper alignment. Ensure the correct functioning of the magnification system.
  • Body positioning and style also matter a lot.
  • Your physical condition must allow you to use the full draw weight.
  • Finally, every part of the bow must function effectively.

Related: Do You Need a License for a Compound Bow?

Better Bow Alternative to a Crossbow

Compound bows are an immensely popular hunting weapon than crossbows. Unfortunately, compound bows cannot reach long-distance targets or hunt the animal fast. Importantly, they are legal to use across all US states during archery seasons.

Conversely, crossbows are sometimes illegal during hunting time of the year.

Decocking Crossbows

Final Thoughts

My experiment is exciting, and it can guide beginners and pros on “How accurate is a crossbow at 100 yards.” Indeed, this analysis can provide crucial insights for enhancing your shooting accuracy with a crossbow. 

However, it is undeniable that some crossbows may perform better than others at longer distances; with cutting-edge technique and equipment, accurate shots at 100 yards are achievable. 

Finally, regular practice, scheduled testing, and crossbow adjustment can help you achieve more accurate shots.

Crossbow Accuracy

People Also Ask

How fast is my crossbow?

Crossbow arrows move at 350+ feet per second. Still, the standard modern variation can gain up to 375 fps. Several advanced crossbows will break through 400 fps without much effort.

How powerful is my crossbow?

Crossbows are mighty weapons for their powerful target penetration. As a rule of thumb, fast-moving heavy arrows offer more power at any range. So the power calculation derives from the weight and speed of the bolts. 

What are the cons of crossbows?

Typically, crossbows are heavy, awkward, and sloppy for fast handling in the woods or the treestand. So an average person might find it hard to steady the baulky weapon during the shooting.

Hence, the crossbow could deliver less accuracy than the vertical bow. Plus, its firing makes a loud sound. But stealthy noiseless action is a must in hunting a game.

For the best shots, you must spend tons of time fixing them for a good aim. Alternatively, you can also use a crossbow stand for a stable shooting point.

How long can my crossbow stay cocked?

A crossbow can stay cocked for less than 24 hours. Leaving the weapon cocked can significantly damage the string power. Also,  the cables may become less functional. So it will show weaker performance. You must uncock it immediately after finishing your shooting session.

How can I decock my crossbow?

Instead of a genuine arrow, you can shoot a decock bolt or a decoy arrow to uncock your crossbow. Uncocking arrows are false bolts that normalize the cocked string. Shoot the decock arrow into the ground or the target to release the bow tension. This is how to decock your crossbow.

What is the advantage of crossbows?

Crossbows are preloaded weapons. Hence, they allow you to hunt fast. So you can shoot a long-distance target quickly. Most importantly, fans prefer this firearm for its lethal accuracy.

Is my crossbow functionally different?

Crossbow limbs move a shorter distance. Those limbs stop almost instantly when an arrow is shot. Hence, the crossbow requires maximum physical mass to control the shock.

Therefore, powerful strokes generate hefty noise when the bolt is discharged. These crossbow features are unlike any other conventional bows, including recurve and compound bows.

We are OutdoorLoops , a group of outdoor enthusiasts who love the thrill of the hunt. We believe in preserving our natural resources and we enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends. We are passionate about the outdoors and the experience of hunting. Our goal is to provide an enjoyable and educational hunting experience for our guests.

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