CROSSBOWS FOR HUNTING AND HOME PROTECTION
What To Look For When Buying A Crossbow
The crossbow is like a hybrid between a compound bow and
a rifle. It is like using a horizontal bow mounted on a frame
similar to a rifle. It shoots arrow like projectiles known as
arrows, bolts, or quarrels. Archery hunting with a compound
bow is a highly specialized skill that requires a lot of practice
and expertise. A crossbow is easier to learn, easier to shoot
a faster, more accurate shot. Still requiring practice, and
expertise, but quicker to pick up and learn. In a lot of states, you have to use a compound or the old style
recurve bow for archery season, and you can usually use a compound or recurve bow in rifle or general
season. But, in most states, you cannot use a rifle or a crossbow in archery season, as a crossbow is
typically treated as a rifle due to it’s much higher speed and accuracy more similar to a rifle. Check your
state’s fish and game regulations to know what’s allowed in your one or hunting area.
Types of Crossbows
Just like with a standard bow and arrow, there are recurve and compound crossbows. There are
differences between the two, but both have their place as a favorite for bowhunting enthusiasts, as it’s
all about personal preference. Recurve Crossbow Compound Crossbow
A recurve crossbow, just like a standard recurve bow, has tips that curve away from you. It is a simple
design that consists of a simple bow and string. It doesn’t have any cables or pulleys. With such a basic
design, it is very reliable with little maintenance needed to keep it maintained. The recurve crossbow’s
shape makes it so that it does require a steady hand to operate it. It also has a higher draw weight with a
much slower shot speed than the compound crossbows have.
A compound crossbow, like the standard crossbow counterpart, is more modern and more high tech. It
has mechanized cams and pulleys that allow the latch to hold the bowstring in a cocked position. A few
key advantages that set the compound crossbow apart from the recurve crossbow are that the
compound crossbow has a let-off feature that takes off much of the draw weight and and allows for the
crossbow to shoot it’s arrow at a higher speed. The crossbow release is much quicker and a lot more
powerful than recurve models. This provides for a much more accurate and more precise shot. The only
drawback to the compound crossbow is in it’s maintenance. Once the string is damaged, you will have to
have it replaced at an archery shop or buy and use a bow press to make the repair yourself.
What to Look For When Buying A Crossbow
When looking for a crossbow, it’s important to buy a crossbow that is strong, reliable, and super quiet, so
you don’t spook the game animals that you are targeting when you hunt.
Additional Features to Consider In a Great Crossbow
Bolt Speed and Velocity
Flight Groove Weight
Crossbow Bolt Speed and Velocity
Bolt speed and velocity are crucial to ensuring that you will have a high performance crossbow, which
will improve your success rate when hunting. The faster performing crossbows can shoot 450 feet per
second (FSP) or more. The faster your arrow or crossbow bolt is, the flatter the flight trajectory, and the
harder the impact of the target. The faster speed can also decrease the tolerance for even the slightest
of mistakes during aiming or shooting the crossbow bolt. Though good practice, as you build your
sharpshooting skill, will lessen the risk of making mistakes.
You can use a scope with most crossbows that you can get dialed in for added accuracy. Some higher
end crossbows can be used for up to 200 yards, depending on the equipment scope, quality, and brand.
The most popular types of scopes are multi-dot and multi-crosshair. Both of which offer different levels
of illumination. Most crossbow hunters prefer the multi-crosshair scopes to pinpoint their shots. Quality
bolts and broadheads will also help with the accuracy of your shots.
Crossbow Noise Level
For a successful hunt, it’s important to be silent, and your crossbow is no exception. The crossbow
should be silent, though it’s impossible to eliminate all noise. The release of the arrow will always have
some noise from the pulley mechanism, but the higher end crossbows lessen the noise with higher
quality parts and design. A recurve crossbow is a little quieter in this regard, however the extra physical
work required to draw the shot makes it a wash.
Crossbow Flight Groove
The flight groove, also known as the barrel or the track, refers to the grooved portion of the crossbow
where the bolt rides. The more precise the flight groove is, the more accurate your shooting will be.
Tracks can be made of carbon, aluminum, or composite material. The least expensive is the composite,
but they are also the least accurate and durable. Aluminum tracks are more expensive than composite,
and they are stronger than composite, and provides for better accuracy. Carbon provides for a
lightweight durable track.
When you are looking for a new crossbow, it’s important to consider the weight of the crossbow, as well
as the draw weight. When you are looking at the weight of the crossbow, a heavier crossbow typically
means increased stability and speed. If you are going to be doing long hikes into the woods or the
wilderness, a lighter weight for the crossbow would probably be the best way to go. Especially if you will
be traveling into difficult and rugged terrain. Extra weight could also make it more difficult to aim and
hold steady. For the draw weight, state regulations vary with what draw weights are allowed for hunting,
with ranges between 75 and 125 pounds. With the latest advancements in crossbow technology, the
typical compound crossbow will have weights between 150 to 175 pounds and higher. The larger draw
weights are recommended to give you a stable shot with enough force to kill your game animals at the
High Quality Crossbows
About The Author
Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is
an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great
outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that
they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to
enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We
frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not
drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or
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The Best Crossbow Shooting Experience Awaits!