No one knows for sure when the crossbow was invented, but some experts suspect it might have roots in Europe and China in the 4th to 6th centuries. Obviously, all types of archery equipment have improved greatly from those used by our ancestors. Although some bow-and-arrow purists still prefer shooting with a longbow or recurve, most of those weapons lost favor with many archers as compound cam-style systems were developed. These new designs resulted in less draw effort, flatter trajectories, increased arrow velocities, and higher retained energy upon impact. And those benefits did not go unnoticed by crossbow folks. Soon, the advantages inherent in cam designs became the norm for crossbow designs.
Patience is a virtue, but ethics help define a hunter. With the long-range crossbow craze getting attention, some good advice would be to never shoot at a live target in a hunting situation at yardages you have not practiced and are not comfortable with at the range.
Long-Range Crossbow Arc
Fact: A crossbow shooting a 400-grain arrow at 400 fps will drop 92.8 inches to hit a 100-yard target. That is a significant arc from what would be the fastest bow around.
Anyone who thinks they can make a 100-yard shot when hunting needs to run some tests. Set up at the range and shoot your crossbow so you can see the actual arrow flight. It will astonish you how big the arc is; it’ll look like a bold rainbow after a good rain.
Film the exercise and play it back in slow motion. The time it takes for the arrow to get to the target should make it clear that it isn’t an ethical hunting shot.
Have fun target shooting at extreme ranges, as it will only make you more accurate at distances you intend to hunt, but don’t confuse long-range target shooting with how far to push a crossbow when hunting.
This article is from the summer 2018 issue of Ballistic Magazine. Grab your copy at OutdoorGroupStore.com.