Crossbows

We are happy that your interest in crossbows has led you to our shop. No matter whether you just want to inform yourself or already buy a crossbow. We offer you extensive purchase advice as well as a huge product range of crossbows that are always in stock and the matching crossbow bolts. Fulfill your wish and find your crossbow together with BSW.

BSW is the right place for you

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Anyone interested and future buyers of crossbows are often overwhelmed by the huge selection and extensive choice of products and lose track quickly. Mispurchases are inevitable that way and the new interest is often tarnished by avoidable mistakes. This does not have to be like that. BSW wants to give you a hand and help you find the perfect crossbow since there often is a lack of knowledge about the necessary information that is needed in order to buy the right crossbow. No wonder considering that you never have the opportunity in everyday-life to get into contact with a crossbow, let alone compare several models. This is why we offer detailed information about crossbows with our extensive guide, so that you are able to pick the right crossbow for you. Of course we will also be happy to help you by telephone or via our support center at any time. Here, our experienced crossbow shooters will be helping you in word and deed.


Buy crossbows at BSW

At BSW, every crossbow shooter will find his ideal companion for leisure-, competetive-, or hunting use. When compared to bows, no matter if longbow, horsebow or recurve bow, shooting with a crossbow will be an entirely different experience. The crossbow sector offers numerous possibilities and thereby a broad selection of crossbow models. No matter if you do a hunting vacation in foreign countries, training or are at a medieval event in historically accurate clothing- here at BSW you will certainly find the right crossbow for your desires. Browse through our large selection of well-known quality manufacturers and you will also become a precise crossbow shooter.


X-Bow Scorpion II

Lots of value for money!

After the X-BOW Scorpion I, beginners as well as advanced crossbow shooters will come across the powerful but affordable successor X-BOW Scorpion II. If you want to receive your crossbow fully sighted in, check out our SPECIAL-set.


Which types of crossbows are there?

If you have informed yourself a little bit about crossbows you surely have noticed already that the various models are different in the way they are built and how they operate. Some crossbows are smaller than others while other types have rolls at the ends of the limbs on the other hand. We would like to bring some light into the darkness. If you want to buy a crossbow at BSW, you will have to learn about the different executions sooner or later. We will help you decide. There are the following types of crossbows:

The compound crossbow at one glance
  • very small groupings
  • easy to span due to compound tech
  • high velocity even at low draw weight
  • large selection of models

The compound crossbow

You have opted for buying a compound crossbow? Or maybe you are only in the process of informing yourself about this special model. In both cases you are right at BSW. Apart from a large selection of compound crossbows, we alo offer extensive purchase advice.


What is a compound crossbow?

The compound crossbow is a high end sports device that convinces with its special and futuristic looks as well as with formidable and impressive properties.

This combination quickly helped the compound crossbow become the first choice for beginners and professionals at once. So if you are looking for a model that offers high accuracy and convinces with its light draw, we generally recommend you buy a compound crossbow.


But how exactly does a compound crossbow work?

The many components of compound crossbows can quickly overwhelm beginners here and there. No wonder considering that normally in everyday-life you do not get in contact with such devices. This of course makes it quite difficult to get some initial experience with crossbows.

If you take a closer look at the compound crossbow you will soon notice the iconic rolls at the ends of the limbs, which are called cams. These cams are connected with the string as well as with cables that are secured in the other limb. When spanning, the components all work together and a pulley effect occurs, making the spanning process significantly easier. This way, the compound crossbow can achieve the same or even higher arrow speed despite having a far lower draw weight than fast recurve crossbows.


The recurve crossbow

The recurve crossbow at one glance
  • very robustly built
  • comparably cheap price
  • low maintenance cost
  • very persistent

Compared to the futuristic and modern looking compound crossbows, recurve crossbows look rather simple at first glance and have a somewhat traditional character. One important reason for that is that many components that are very often used on compound crossbows are left out in the case of recurve crossbows. Recurve crossbows do not use any cables or cams and thereby do not have the properties of the pulley effect that compound crossbows have. These models only use the very essential components.


How does the recurve crossbow work?

In the front area of the recurve crossbow the riser is located, which the so-called limbs are mounted onto. Depending on the model, it can be just one entire limb or a pair of limbs. The ends of the limbs are connected with the string. Since the string is shorter than the distance between the two ends of the limbs, they are always under pressure. And that is all, no hidden or surprising functions.

There is always pressure on the limbs of the recurve crossbow until the string comes to rest in a lock at the back of the crossbow, which secures the string. Thereby the energy is safely stored in the trigger unit until releasing it.


The advantages of a recurve crossbow

Many beginners to crossbow shooting quickly come to the conclusion that the performance of recurve crossbows cannot compare with that of compound crossbows. How is such a simple construction even supposed to compete with the complex design of compound crossbows? Please do  not allow yourself to be deceived by the simple construction. Recurve- as well as compound crossbows can achieve nearly identical performance. Of course recurve crossbows are harder to span compared to their compound crossbow brothers due to the missing compound tech, that triggers the pulley effect.

The recurve crossbow has its advantages in other important topics. The simple and robust construction of the recurve crossbow allows it to be shot without the shooter having to worry about potential malfunctions even in bad weather conditions when outdoors. There are no cams that can get damaged or bent easily when handled roughly. There is little space for mud and dirt to accumulate in various parts. The cables would be another unnecessary wearing part that you do not need to worry about anymore with a recurve crossbow. Like that, the costs of possible repairs and maintenance are reduced to a minimum.


Crossbow purchasing guide

As you can see there are also numerous advantages with recurve crossbows. Now you have to find out what properties are relevant for you in order to find the right crossbow. For that, we offer an extensive crossbow purchasing guide, by which we want to support you so you can find your desired crossbow.


The hunting crossbow

If you are looking for a hunting crossbow, you can pretty much look at 90% of our models at BSW in detail. But why does the majority of the crossbows belong the the category of hunting crossbows? There is a pretty simple reason, namely that the crossbow was originally designed for hunting purposes. So all proper crossbow models are intended to be used for hunting. No wonder that the large manufacturers of hunting crossbows like Excalibur, Barnett and Tenpoint are from Canada or the US since they are not only used for sports but also for hunting there. Not suitable for hunting are light beginners´- and LARP crossbows as well as the compact pistol crossbows.

But not only the large, well-estabilshed manufacturers offer convincing hunting crossbows. There are also alternatives to the incumbents from the US or Canada, for example the brand X-Bow, which you should definitely take a closer look at.  X-BOW crossbows convince beginners with fair prices as well as experienced crossbow shooters with an impressive performance.


Are you allowed to hunt with crossbows?

As we know by now, clearly the main use for crossbows is hunting. In many countries, this use of hunting crossbows is not restricted like in Canada or the United States.

But what about Germany? You can only buy crossbows in Germany if you are 18 years or older. There is no further need for any certificates like a firearms license or similar documents. Crossbows in public should only be carried in such a way that other persons that are not entitled to handle the crossbow are not able to do so. For that, suitable crossbow cases or crossbow bags for example are a good choice.

Hunting with crossbows is prohibited in Germany. Thereby the crossbow can only be shot in sports use. That means that customary targets for crossbows or 3D animals can  be used as crossbow targets for example. This can occur on your private property, a club or on the parcours. Of course you should inform yourself whether the owner of the parcours allows or does not allow the use of crossbows.


The values of crossbows | joule, fps, lbs, grain

In order for you to be able to opt for the right crossbow, you should also understand the values of that certain crossbow, which is not always very easy. If you have already looked into the topic more closely, you certainly came across values like fps, lbs or joule. For many beginners, these values are likely to be a completely new thing. This might not be surprising, however, since these values are used in the imperial system. Chances are that you are more familiar with the metric system. If that is the case, you first have to get used to that since you will come across this commonplace data in the entire world of archery. In the following, we would like to clarify some terms for you, in order to bring light into the darkness.


FPS – The speed of the crossbow

The fps-value tells you how fast the crossbow is. FPS menas "feet per second" and is the counterpart to the metric unit "meters per second" (m/s).  This value, however, can also be converted to km/h. This should be the most common unit for users of the metric system and thereby the easiest to understand how fast the crossbow bolt will be.


LBS – The draw weight of the crossbow

The draw weight of crossbows is measured in lbs. LBS tells you how much weight in pounds is required for the string to be fully pulled back. This value is from the imperial system as well and can be converted to kilogram, which might be more common to you. Recurve crossbows generally have a higher draw weight than compound crossbows since recurve crossbows do not make use of the compound tech, which triggers a kind of pulley effect.

That means that a higher draw weight does not necessarily mean higher arrow speed or performance. The actual energy is measured in joule.


Joule – The energy of the bolt

Joule is the unit telling you the energy of the bolt, that means how high the power or force of the bolt is. Because of that, this unit is one of the most significant of the crossbow. In order to calculate the joule value of the crossbow, you need to know the velocity (fps) and the weight of the bolt (grain).


Grain – Weight unit for bolts, points etc.

The weight of bolts, points, nocks as well as feathers is measured in grain most of the time, which is an even smaller unit than gram. 1 gram is 15.4 grain for example.


The crossbow for leisure-, sports,- and hunting use

As an alternative to the classic bow, crossbows offer many similar application possibilities in the hobby sector as well as for hunting. The entire construction consists of one bow that is mounted in the middle of a horizontal pillar. The string is spanned between the two limbs as usual, although in the case of crossbows you should always use a spanning aid.

This ensures a consistent draw and reproducable results when firing the bolts. Crossbows were used mainly as ranged weapons in medieval wars. Nowadays, they are mainly used as sports- and hunting devices. They are made of high-quality plastics as well as carbon fiber and fiberglass, which makes them extremely durable.


Beginners´ sets with numerous accessories

You want to get a crossbow? Then you unfortunately have the agony of choice so take a quick look at our crossbow purchase guide. Thereby you will quickly find the models that are suitable for you. You are a beginner and want to collect some experience about crossbows first? Then we recommend you buy an affordable pistol crossbow by X-BOW, which can also be ordered in a complete set for beginners including the crossbow itself, a bag, aluminium bolts, string wax and a replacement string. Like that, you can immediately start with your first training. Of course you will also find recurve- or compound crossbows in our shop that are suited for beginners. If you prefer a medium-priced model, you can take a look at the crossbows by Sanlida. They are ideal for the hobby- and sports sector and are a good choice for learning basic shot techniques.


Excellent brands

If you are one of the advanced or professional sports shooters or hunters, it makes sense to switch over to medium- or high range crossbows. Decide whether you want a recurve- or compound crossbow by Barnett, Excalibur or Stryker and profit from the excellent quality.

For each one of our crossbows we supply the matching bolts with accessories, exchangeable points and individual fletching. Medieval- and LARP-fans can also get equipped at our shop with detailed replicas of historic crossbows made of wood and metal. Take on a journey through time between the 12th and 15th century and duel with our crossbows. Do you have questions? Then do not hesitate to call our friendly service team or send us an email.


Crossbows in the course of time

Whether you want a recurve crossbow, a pistol crossbow, a compound crossbow or a medieval crossbow - you have the agony of choice if you want to get yourself a new crossbow. Today´s crossbow models are all based on technologically far less advanced models that have already been used by the Greeks, Romans and Normans. The crossbow has already had a long history.

The primal form of crossbows is a medieval wooden bow that had to be spanned with both hands and whose draw weight was very low. It did not require a spanning aid. A further development of this form was the composite bow, which was made with horn and animal tendons. This construction was still susceptible to weather and had to be equipped with a spanning aid in the form of pulleys, levers or screws. In the 14th century, only crossbows made from steel that were no longer affected by wind and bad weather were produced.

Modern crossbows cannot be compared to the early ones. The basic function of crossbows was kept, although the advance in technology made it possible that crossbows could be precise, efficient and light-weight at the same time. Modern materials like aluminium or carbon allow for the desired low weight, high-speed cams enable bolt speeds of up to 400 km/h and due to accessories like high-quality scopes, crossbows are as accurate as never before.


Modern crossbows by well-known manufacturers

In our product range, you can find lots of great recurve-as well as compound crossbows by manufacturers like Barnett, Excalibur, TenPoint, Sanlida, Stryker or X-Bow. Of course you will also be supplied with high-quality accessories like crossbow bolts, scopes or replacement strings. With such a large selection of crossbows, the decision which one to buy is not all that easy. For that, we offer you our free crossbow purchase guide in our online shop, which will help you make a decision. As you can see, we have thought of everything so that you are 100% happy with your next crossbow and are always able to hit the bullseye.

Crossbow purchase guide

Hobby and leisure

Sports and hunting

Beginners´ crossbows

20 - 400 EUR

For beginners that want to experience the world of crossbow shooting with their friends on their private property (garden and yard).

Pistol crossbows

  • X-BOW Cobra Commando
  • X-BOW Cobra MX
  • X-BOW Alligator
  • X-BOW Cobra System
  • Pythonpistole
  • HORI-ZONE Redback

X-BOW

  • Python I & Python II
  • Cougar II
  • Jag I & Jag II
  • Wasp
  • Black Ant

BARNETT

  • Recruit Tactical
  • Rouge

SANLIDA

  • Chace Wind
  • Chace Star
  • Tomahawk
  • Chace Sun II
Our recommendation

Models for advanced shooters

400 - 800 EUR

For the advanced and ambitious crossbow shooter and also for newcomers that want to have more high-quality and powerful models right away.

X-BOW

  • Scorpion I & Scorpion II
  • Accelerator 410
  • Titan
  • Torpedo
  • Stinger
  • Guillotine
  • Ballistic
  • Blade

BARNETT

  • TS370
  • Droptine STR
  • Whitetail Hunter
  • Raptor FX3
  • Raptor Pro STR
  • Whitetail Pro STR

EXCALIBUR

  • GRZ2
  • G340
  • Matrix Micro 335
  • Matrix 380
  • Matrix Bulldog 330

HORI-ZONE

  • Alpha XT
  • Wazp-ULT
  • Kornet 390 XT
  • MX-405
Our recommendation

High-End crossbows

800 EUR and more

Crossbows with extreme performance and best quality for the highest demands, thereby perfectly suited for expert use (hunting and tournaments).

BARNETT

  • Ghost 375
  • Predator
  • BC ReVengeance
  • TS390
  • Hyper Ghost

EXCALIBUR

  • Micro Suppressor
  • Assassin 420
  • Micro 360 TD
  • Matrix Bulldog 440
  • Micro Assassin

MISSION

  • Sub-1
  • Sub-1 XR

TENPOINT

  • TENPOINT Nitro XRT
  • TENPOINT Nitro X
  • TENPOINT Stealth NXT Elite EVO-X
  • TENPOINT Stealth NXT

STRYKER

  • Katana 360 & Katana 385
  • Solution
  • Solution LS

RAVIN

  • R10, R26 & R29
Our recommendation

Questions we often get asked about crossbows

In the following, we would like to go over some questions that people often ask us about crossbows.


How far does a crossbow shoot?

How far a crossbow shoots is very dependent on the characteristics and the performance of course. In general, very powerful crossbows will shoot approximately 200 meters far. This would be possible with Ravin crossbows for example. We recommend using a sight with a long-range reticle in such a case. Beginners´ crossbows can effectively shoot 30-50 metres far.


How often should I use string wax?

Just like the lubricant, the string wax should be part of the basic equipment of every crossbow shooter. The string wax looks like a lip stick and contains wax that is comparable with the one of a candle. It is used to maintain the string- and cable material and keep it from drying out. Only the visible strands are coated and the reinforced parts left out. The string wax is simply applied to the string and worked into it with the fingers. The cables and the string should always feel a bit sticky when touched.


How often should I use lubricant?

In order for the friction between the string and the rail and the resulting wear to be as minimal as possible, the so-called lubricant should be a basic part of the equipment of a crossbow shooter. So that a sufficient sliding action can be achieved, the lube should be applied to the rail every 5 to 10 shots. The lube should coat the entire range of the rail where the string slides along.


Why does the trigger not work?

If the trigger of the crossbow does not work and thereby the bolt cannot be fired, there are two common reasons for that. The easiest but often forgotten reason is that the safety has not been set to "fire".

The other reason is that the most current crossbows have an anti dry-fire security. This prevents that the cocked crossbow is shot without a bolt in it. If the bolt is not put into the rail or it has not been pushed up enough in order to deactivate the anti dry-fire system, the bolt cannot be fired and the trigger does not work. The bolt has to be pushed upwards all the way to the stop.


Why can I not cock the crossbow?

The most common reason why this happens is because the crossbow safety is on "safe" when trying to cock it. If the safety is activated, the crossbow cannot be cocked. In order for the bolt to be released successfully, the safety has to be set to the "fire" position.

Crossbow check list: Hints for beginners

In the following, we would like to give you a short and concise list that should help you buy the right crossbow and also support you in the later use.

We also would like to use this opportunity for getting rid of any wrong information that is spread by websites about crossbow guides. Maybe you have come across one of the websites of this kind.

So do not believe awkward claims like "The higher the draw weight, the faster the bolt speed". Why this is not the case and how these two factors are connected, you will learn here with our hints for beginners.


1. How expensive should the crossbow be?

This question cannot be answered very generally. It depends of course on how much you want to spend or can spend for your crossbow, although we want to give you an approximate price range where our recommended beginner crossbows are in.

It pays to take a look at the X-BOW Jag I or the X-BOW Jag II, which is the successor. Why you ask? Because we as well as many of our customers are more than happy with these two beginner crossbow models. The cheap price as well as  the simple and robust recurve construction make these crossbows a very good choice.

Of course, we do not want to tell you which crossbow you should buy in the end, which is why we made an extensive purchase guide that shows a large variety of different crossbows for beginners.


2. What draw weight should the crossbow have?

As already quickly mentioned in the introduction, there are websites that claim to be crossbow guides with statements like "The higher the draw weight, the faster the arrow will be". Beginners that do not yet have a lot of experience might think this made sense. But crossbow experts and the operators of such websites should know that this is absolutely not true.

The draw weight is only one of several factors that determine how fast the bolt will leave the crossbow in the end. We would like to explain why. Apart from the draw weight of the crossbow, the so-called powerstroke and the used tech of the crossbow also play an important part.

The powerstroke is the area where the string pushes the bolt forwards and thereby transfers the energy. In other words, the way from where the string comes to rest up to the lock.

One more very important factor for determining the bolt speed is the used tech of the certain crossbow. The two types are recurve- and compound crossbows. Recurve crossbows use a very simple but sturdy and robust construction in order to accelerate the bolt. Thereby, the recurve crossbow only has one string that connects the two ends of the limbs. That is it. Most of the time, the draw weight of recurve crossbows is substentially higher then on compound crossbows, which we will explain now.

Compound crossbows use a clever tech that uses additional parts like the so-called cams and two cables in order to work. The compound construction triggers a kind of pulley effect when spanning, which makes the crossbow much easier to cock because of the reduced draw weight. Like that, bolts can have the same velocity with a much lower draw weight than quite heavy recurve crossbows.

A compound crossbow can thereby have the same arrow speed with only 150 lbs like a recurve crossbow with a substantially higher draw weight of 285 lbs for example.


A comparison: More draw weight does not necessarily mean more performance:

Compound crossbow

STRYKER Katana 360

Draw weight

150 lbs

Speed

360 fps

Recurve crossbow

EXCALIBUR Micro Assassin 360

Draw weight

285 lbs

Speed

360 fps


3. What do I have to consider before spanning the crossbow?

Before the crossbow can be spanned for the first time you should consider some things that also might endanger your own safety. We urgently recommend to check whether all the screws on the crossbow are tight and to make sure that they will not come out.

Hint: When firing the crossbow there will be some vibrations that go into it. This can lead to the screws coming loose over time. Therefore we recommend using something to secure the screws in place like Loctite, which will ensure that the screws are held in permanently.


4. Use maintenance products

Before spanning the crossbow we also recommend using maintenance products to extend the life span of wearing parts on the crossbow like string and possibly cables. For one, there is so-called string wax that is used for treating the string and cables of the crossbow. The string wax ensures that the material does not get brittle and damaged because of that. The string wax is comparable to a lip stick from the outside. You can press the wax out of the tube and go over the string material and the cables to coat them. The thicker serving should not be treated. The serving is the reinforcement that most of the time is located in the middle and at the ends of the string as well as the cables.

An additional product is used to reduce the friction between the string an the rail on which the bolt is accelerated. When the shot is executed, the string will slide over the rail with extremely high speed and will generate a certain amount of heat and friction, which will damage the string over time. In order to reduce the friction the so-called Super Lube can be used for example.


5. How do you span a crossbow?

There are various methods to span a crossbow. The exact spanning method depends on the model, the draw weight and the tech used.

You have to make sure that the safety is on "fire" with all crossbows before spanning. Otherwise, spanning will not be possible. Most crossbows engage the safety themselves after cocking. Crossbows by EXCALIBUR on the other hand have to be switched to the "safe" position manually after cocking.

Older models and lighter crossbows were always able to be spanned by hand up to now. The technological progress, however, does not exclude crossbows of course. Over time, the tech used has become better and the draw weights of crossbows have increased continously. Thereby, crossbows with a draw weight of 250 lbs (pounds) and more are definitely not rare anymore. Due to that, alternative spanning methods had to be found in order too still be able to span the crossbow. Spanning crossbows with such high draw weights by hand is not possible anymore. In the following, we have listed the most commonly used methods of spanning crossbows for you:


Spanning the crossbow by hand

Crossbows with a low draw weight (approx. 150 to 175 lbs) can theoretically still be spanned by hand comfortably. After some time, however, this might really overstrain the hands with bruises and abrasions for example.

There is also the problem that when spanning the crossbow by hand, the string is not pulled evenly sometimes. If the string is pulled more strongly with one hand unconsciously for example, the crossbow limb of the exact side is also stressed more. This results in inconsistent shot performance. Of course this way of spanning a crossbow is quicker compared to the others but in our opinion the advantages of this method do not make up for the disadvantages.


Spanning the crossbow with a spanning aid

In our opinion, the spanning aid is the best method for spanning crossbows. Prices for such spanning aids are fairly low and the benefit you get from them is comparably large.

After a short training period, using a spanning aid is quite simple and can be done quickly. The draw weight is reduced by approximately 50% due to a kind of pulley effect. This makes spanning the crossbow substantially easier of course.

Before the first use of the spanning aid, it should be set to the correct length. We recommend adjusting the length in such a way that it is just a little bit shorter then the actual distance to the string. Like that, the spanning aid is always under tension and cannot slip out of position.

First you put your foot deep and firm into the stirrup of the crossbow and insert the spanning aid centered in the designated notch that most of the time is situated below the scope and behind the sight rail. Then the hooks, which are mounted on the spanning aid are hooked into the string from below.

The final step is to pull back the spanning aid, which is done with the designated handles that are situated at the ends of the spanning aid. The crossbow string can now be pulled back.


Spanning the crossbow with a crank

The crossbow crank is probably the most expensive but also the most effortless method of spanning a crossbow. Depending on the execution of the crossbow, the crank is already included in the delivery contents or can be purchased and installed at a later point.

If you want to equip your pre-purchased crossbow with a crank, you have to keep in mind that your crossbow has to be suited for the crossbow crank beforehand. Mounting a crossbow crank is not possible on every model.


6. Use a good scope

Apart from a good crossbow,  the scope is also an essential part in order to get good results. Because of this, you should also be careful what you buy in this sector, if you want to score good and consistent results.

Depending on the equipment of every single crossbow, you will find various delivery contents ranging from simple iron sights up to high-quality scopes. Particularly the high-end crossbows already come with a quality scope most of the time, which means that you do not have to buy a separate good scope any time soon.

This is different in the sector of beginners´ crossbows, however. Most of the time, there is no additional scope included in the box. Maybe you will find a simple ironsight. Convincing results are only hard to score with this setup, however.

This is the reason why it pays to think about buying an alternative scope. Apart from the standard sight, you also have the option to get a red dot scope.

Red dot scopes are aiming devices that project one or more glowing dots onto the glass where you look through by using a source of light. Compared to standard scopes, red dot scopes only have little or no magnification at all and thereby are rather suited for pistol crossbows or light crossbows at best like the Jag One or Jag II.

Higher performance crossbows should very well be equipped with a genuine sight. These models can shoot bolts at higher distances and therefore can be used to shoot at targets that are far away. Furthermore, these sights should be equipped with some level of magnification since targets that are far away seem very small and it is difficult to get a sufficient hold of them without an optical magnification.

The CARBON EXPRESS 4x32 scope is a good option for beginners, since this sight has a 4-times magnification as well as multiple dots that allow the crossbow shooter to sight in the crossbow at several distances.

So that the crossbow can be sighted in even at very far distances, you need a long-range adapter or as an alternative a sight with a long-range reticle. The long-range adapter enables you to angle your sight rail of the crossbow downwards. Due to that you have to hold your crossbow higher up in order to see the target through the scope. This way, the bolt can reach far more distant targets. A scope with long-range reticle has a similar effect.


7. Use the right crossbow bolts

Also in the case of crossbow bolts you should not be saving too much. It of course makes no sense to put so much effort into finding the right crossbow and then use low-quality bolts in the end. Needless to say, this really is not necessary and as usual, there is a lot be be aware of when picking the right crossbow bolts.

The material of the bolt

Let us begin with the materials that bolts are made from. Here, you have the opportunity to choose from aluminium- or carbon bolts. Aluminium bolts are a bit more affordable than carbon bolts but they are also not quite as durable.

Light crossbows like the X-BOW Jag One for example come with affordable aluminium bolts from the factory. In this case it is completely fine if you stick with the aluminium bolts for future use. The bolt is not stressed as much with lighter crossbows and thereby it is alright if you use aluminium bolts.

More powerful versions should, however, absolutely be used with carbon bolts. One example for a stronger type of crossbow is the X-BOW Guillotine. There is a reason why this model is already equipped with carbon bolts when it comes from the factory. The energy, the bolt has to absorb in the case of stronger crossbows is substantially higher and it therefore requires more stability.

The SPHERE Storm carbon bolt is a great option for beginners. Not only the price is convincing but also the more than impressive performance. Professionals and advanced crossbow shooters that like to save a bit of money when possible should take a closer look at the SPHERE Thunder. A straighter bolt and a particularly robust construction make this model quite interesting, especially for performance enthusiasts.

The length of the bolt

Apart from the material of the bolt, the length also plays an important role. In this case as well, you should always select a perfect measure. A bolt that is a bit too short is also very light but the bolt should definitely have a minimum weight since the crossbow generates a lot of energy when pulling the trigger. This energy has to be absorbed by the bolt sufficiently, which is not possible with a very light-weight bolt.

Broadheads relating to the length of the bolt is a very interesting topic as well. Broadheads have blades on them of course, which exceed the height of just the bolt itself by a lot. A bolt that is too short would make the blades lie on top of the rail where the bolt is placed. This of course has to be prevented. If a crossbow bolt is used with a broadhead, it has to be long enough that it does not touch any of the mounting parts of the crossbow.

The weight of the bolt

As we have already annotated the weight of the crossbow bolt plays a vital role when configuring the bolt. We can understand that many beginners to crossbow shooting want to configurate their bolts as light-weight as possible. That way, the velocity of the bolt will of course be higher than with a heavier bolt.

Please be aware, however, that a bolt that is too light can damage your crossbow! When the bolt is released there are enormous powers that have to be absorbed by the bolt.

When the bolt is too light, it cannot absorb all of the released energy in such a way that the crossbow can be shot long-term without being damaged. This is also the reason, why a crossbow must never be shot without a bolt in it. All of the energy is transfered to the limbs, which cannot handle such large amounts of stress.

Dry firing, that means shooting without a bolt is often the reason for various kinds of damage that can only be fixed with expensive and preventable repairs.

In most cases, crossbows are delivered with bolts already included from the factory. In general we recommend not to undercut the measurements as well as the weight of the bolts. If in doubt, you should rather opt for a heavier bolt. Thereby, your crossbow will have a longer life span.


8. What is the correct way to put the bolt in?

Before using a bolt, you should definitely check it for possible damage in advance. If the bolt is not in an immaculate state, we would not recommend using it. Furthermore you should make sure that the tip is in the shaft correctly and screwed in entirely.

When putting the bolt in, it is very important that the index fletching is facing downwards and situated between the crossbow rail, in which the bolt is put into. In most cases, the index fletching is the fletching on the bolt that has a different colour than the others.

This ensures that the nock is aligned correctly with the string. The nock is the back end of the bolt, which makes contact with the crossbow string. The nock namely has a little indention that has to be aligned correctly with the string and make contact with it. The bolt is now pushed below the bolt retainer all the way up. The bolt retainer can have the form of a little arm or a kind of brush, which applies some pressure on the bolt so it cannot slip.


9. What do I have to consider before the first shot?

The cocked crossbow should always be held in a direction where there are no people. It is also important to check again that the nock of the bolt is aligned correctly and makes contact with the string. The easiest way to check this is by looking, whether the index fletching is facing downwards and lies between the rail where the bolt is put in. If the bolt has been put in securely, the saftey can be set to "fire". After positioning yourself in a safe and correct way, the string can be released by pressing the trigger and the bolt will be fired.


10. Use a suitable target

Finally, you should also think about which target you would like to use with your crossbow since a wrong target can be fatal for your bolts that you put a lot of effort in configurating.

The purpose of your future target should be to stop your crossbow bolts reliably and safely as well as preventing total penetration. Targets that cannot stop your bolts well enough are too weak for your crossbow. As a result you will have damaged bolts or also bolts that can no longer be found because they disappeared somewhere behind the target.

So that you do not have to experience this yourself, we will help you find the perfect target suitable for your crossbow. In order for you to find the right target accurately you should know beforehand how strong your crossbow is. To find out, you have to look at the draw weight of your crossbow, which is measured in pounds (lbs).

If you know about your crossbow´s draw weight, choosing the suitable target will not be a big challenge anymore since every crossbow target you can find in our shop is furnished with a specification that tells you the maximum draw weight the target is suitable for. This way you can quickly find out if the exact target is strong and resilient enough for your crossbow or if you should rather look for a different one.

There are several methods to increase the life span of your target. We recommend shooting at different areas in order to ensure that the entire target board is used and not just one small section, which would otherwise get damaged very rapidly.

This means that you should not just shoot at the middle of your new target but preferably arrange the target faces in such a way that you cover multiple areas of the target and thereby wear out all the sections evenly. Furthermore, we offer alternative backstops, which will enhance your target´s ability of stopping arrows even more.


Proper sighting in of the crossbow

You can have the best and most expensive crossbow in the world. Without a good and functioning sight, your crossbow will not be very effective but even after purchasing the right sight, there is still some work to do so the bolt can hit the target you are aiming at. This is why it is important to sight in your scope correctly. It works best to sight in your crossbow only at a comparatively short distance at first. Then the distance to the target can be increased continuously. Like that, you only have to do some minor corrections.

We recommend using a so-called sight in-contraption when sighting in the crossbow. These sight in-contraptions allow you to put down the crossbow without it sliding around. Depending on the model they can be adjusted in height and length and can be adapted to the crossbow. In general, a solid crossbow rest is an advantage.


How to sight in the crossbow

1. Aim at the target

First of all, you aim at the designated target. In most cases, that would be a standard target with a target face on it. So, we put the center of the crosshairs (also called reticle) on the middle of the target, the gold.

2. Make the first shot

So now that we are aiming at the gold, we are ready for the first shot. After pressing the trigger the bolt is released. It will most likely impact somewhere on the target but not yet in the center, which we actually aimed at. We suppose the bolt hit the top area left of the gold. This is not a problem, however, because the crossbow has not yet been sighted in of course.

3. Adjust your sight

After the first shot, the bolt impacted on the target. Unfortunately not there where we would like it to be, namely in the gold. In order to correct that, we need to aim at the gold again, just like in the beginning. If you are aiming at the gold again, we will now change where the reticle is by turning the two small adjustment wheels on the scope onto the position of the bolt sticking in the target. In our case, we turn the reticle to the left and upwards onto the misguided crossbow bolt.

4. Shoot again for varification

After we corrected the crosshairs by turning the adjustment wheels onto the misguided bolt, we can now aim at the gold again. Since we have corrected the reticle, the results should be a lot better when shooting again. If necessary, this process can be repeated several times.