Before using a crossbow (for hunting, competition, or leisure), consider learning how to shoot it. Be aware that the use of this throwing weapon must be done with the utmost caution. In addition to the shooter's physical condition, advanced technical knowledge and mastery of the weapon used are necessary to become a good crossbow shooter. The secret is training. And to reach the top in bow shooting, you need to have the right basics while learning gently, but effectively. Do you want to know more about how to learn how to shoot a crossbow? Find out in detail in this article.
How does a crossbow work and why is it a dangerous weapon?
It should be noted that the crossbow is not a toy, it is a weapon. As such, its use must be regulated for safety.
How a crossbow works
A crossbow is usually made up of different parts such as :
- A cocking yoke
- A barrel
- Bolt retention spring
- Flight groove
- Safety catch
- Sighting bridge
- The trigger
Of course, it is possible to add other accessories depending on the model of crossbow chosen.
To know how a crossbow works, you need to know how its parts work. Like a traditional bow, the crossbow uses a string to propel the projectile. However, with a crossbow, it is no longer necessary to hold the string before the shot is fired. This is the role of the latch and the bolt retention spring. Then, with some of the moving parts that make up the crossbow, it is no longer necessary to manually pull the bowstring, hold it down for aiming and release it to propel the projectile.
To make a long story short, here is how a crossbow works in a simple and basic way:
- Place the projectile on the barrel so that it lines up with the groove.
- Once the string is locked, the bolt can be released by pulling the trigger.
Legislation and risk management
According to French legislation, the crossbow is classified in the 6th category along with bladed weapons, batons, etc. To obtain one, you must be 18 years old or older. It should be noted that the use of the crossbow is subject to many prohibitions, especially on the carrying and transportation. To be authorized, you must have a professional or legitimate proof. In case of infringement, after controls, it is possible to incur a firm prison sentence (up to 3 years. And, he will still have to pay a fine of 3750 euros.
Concerning the practice of hunting with a crossbow, it is forbidden in France. To indulge this fan, it is better to travel to the United States or Canada.
Which crossbow should I choose to start with?
There are different models of crossbow depending on the need. The choice depends on several factors such as preference, the level of shooting, the use, the technical specifications sought, etc.
The different categories of crossbow
We can group the different types of crossbows into :
Recurve crossbow : This is a crossbow with curved limbs that curve outward toward the target. The limbs are horizontal rather than vertical. The curved crossbow is easier to aim and has a longer draw length.
Compound Crossbow : This is a crossbow with a more complex mechanism which makes it more difficult to use. The shorter limbs make the compound crossbow more robust. Among the most popular compound crossbows are the compound pulley models. These use a pulley and cable system. This mechanism ensures better accuracy, power output, and ease of cocking.
Repeating crossbow : these are the easiest models to use. That's why they are the most suitable for novices.
Crossbows for beginners and children
Choosing the right equipment is not easy. Between the power, the desired use and the type of crossbow, it is easy to get lost. Here are a few ideas for interesting crossbows for beginners and children.
Recurve or Classic Crossbow
For those who want to start shooting with a crossbow, it is advisable to use a recurve or classic crossbow. This type is easier to maintain and is best for recreational shooting.
For example, crossbow pistols [in the classic crossbow range] provide a light, safe, accurate, manageable, but one-handed weapon. Only, its lower power will give it only a short range.
The choice of a crossbow pistol must be made with care. You should know that there are two models:
For adults. Its power is between 120 and 150 lbs.
For children, it is a mini crossbow with a power of 50 to 80 lbs.
Possible activities with a crossbow
Knowing how to shoot with a crossbow can be used for many things. While respecting the French legislation in force on the carrying and possession of a crossbow, it can be used for protection. Otherwise, you can opt for other more regulated activities such as
- Competitive archery;
- Recreational archery;
- Hunting (here you will find the best hunting crossbows);
- Sport shooting.
How to learn to shoot?
We repeat it every time, learn to shoot your crossbow before exploring activities such as hunting, sport. This will limit the risk of accidents and maximize the chances of becoming a good crossbow shooter.
Instruction for use
Once you have a suitable crossbow, consider making some preparations for use. For example, make sure the rail is well lubricated and the stinger is waxed. Make sure the safety mechanism is engaged to prevent accidental firing. Calibrate the scope, if one is available.
Now it's time for the loading or cocking procedure.
To cock, you must:
- Put the stirrup part of the bow on the ground and hold it firmly with your foot.
- Put the string on the cocking mechanism and wait for the right moment to draw. Normally, there should be a click to indicate that the cocking has been successful.
- Place the projectile in the groove located on the top of the bow. The tip of the projectile should touch the string.
For pre-shot positioning, the goal is to have good balance and optimal stability. Here is a simple principle, easy to reproduce, but effective.
In the prone position, the hand opposite to the crossbow grip must grasp the sledge or the suction cup.
Both knees should be on the ground.
The arm holding the crossbow should be straight and have wrist, elbow and shoulder locks.
Avoid tilting the crossbow [left or right] by attaching a small level to your crossbow to get a more accurate shot.
To shoot, remove the safety catch, then unhook the shot. When the bolt is released, the recoil will be absorbed by the shoulder. Also, with the arm extended and locked in position, the shooter's eye will be at the same distance from the aiming elements.
Note: there are different types of stances. And these can be changed to provide better stability, comfort in using the crossbow and optimized aiming at the target.
Find a shooting center
Practicing crossbow shooting at a shooting range allows you to practice in a safe area with qualified instructors. This is very convenient for novices. For those who want to get more involved in crossbow shooting, shooting centers provide a one-stop shop for all twelve disciplines of crossbow shooting.
Where to buy a crossbow to learn to shoot?
The easiest way to find the perfect crossbow to learn how to shoot is to consult with specialists in the gun shop. With technological innovations, such as the Internet, and the democratization of e-commerce, it is now easier to consult catalogs of an online gun shop. You can find, while staying at home, a wide range of items such as bows, survivalism kits, knives, crossbows and other accessories.
At Hattila, your online archery store, you will have all the information [catalogs, tutorials, filters, blogs, contacts, etc.] you need to buy the perfect crossbow at the best price.
Best Hattila beginner models
Best crossbow for target shooting
CROSSBOW WITH WOODEN STOCK 150 LBS
Power: 150 lbs
Arrow speed: 230 km/h or 63,8 m/s
Recommended bolts: 35.5 cm aluminum bolts (8 mm diameter)
Arrows for hunting: 40,6 cm aluminum bolts + hunting tips
Weight: 2,40 kg
Length: 86 cm
Width: 66 cm
String: 65 cm = string for crossbow 150 lbs
Best crossbow for one-handed shooting
80 LBS COBRA BLACK CROSSBOW
Power: 80 lbs - lbs
Bolt speed : 160 FPS 175 km/h
Recommended bolts : 6.5 inches aluminium (reference HAT-514)
Weight : 0.920Kg
Length : 50 cm
Width : 44vcm
Light and solid plastic body
3 bolts included
Best mini crossbow for beginners
MINI CROSSBOW 50 LBS
Power: 50 lbs
Arrow speed: 165 km/h or 45,8 m/s
Recommended bolts: plastic 16,5 cm (5 included) reference HAT-512
Weight: 390 g
Length: 32 cm
Width: 43,5 cm
String length: 44 cm
Best hunting crossbow for beginners
METAL HUNTING CROSSBOW 150 LBS
Power: 150 lbs
Arrow speed: 230 km/h or 63,9 m/s
Maximum range of the bolts: 100 m with an accuracy of 25-30 m
Weight : 2,40 kg
Length : 86 cm
Width : 66 cm
String : 65 cm = string for 150 lbs crossbow
Recommended arrows: 35.5 cm aluminum bolts
Arrows for hunting: aluminium arrows 40,6 cm + hunting tips