The Top Components and Gadgets You Need for a Successful Crossbow Shooting
By Wendy Wilson
It’s a huge world out there.
Some accessories do one thing; others do another. How do you know what you need?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you’re a novice crossbow hunter or a seasoned enthusiast, this article will provide you with the top accessories crossbow experts recommend and why you should have them.
Arrows, Broadheads and a Quiver
Hunting and target-shooting crossbow enthusiasts must first consider what they’re launching from their weapon, says Barb Terry, customer relations, training and education maven for TenPoint Crossbow Technologies, which is based in Suffield, Ohio.
The arrow, or bolt, is the projectile’s shaft, while the broadhead is the tip that sits on the bolt’s business end.
You should choose an arrow made from carbon or aluminum, Terry advises, sticking with the crossbow manufacturer’s recommendations for minimum weight and length standards, as well as whether it calls for a flat or moon nock (the notch where the string meets the arrow).
“Each manufacturer has a standard minimum weight for that arrow,” she says, noting that in TenPoint’s case, the company does not recommend shooting its bows with any arrow/broadhead combination weighing fewer than 420 grains.
“And we use a minimum of 20 inches on our arrows,” she says. “You can’t just look at arrows and think you’re going to get the right one. There’s no standard across the board, so you need to read your manufacturer’s specs.”
And don’t forget your quiver, Terry says.
“There are quivers that mount to the bow, and they usually come as part of a crossbow package. And then there are some of us who don’t want to have anything else added to the crossbow, so we use a hip quiver. There are different types,” Terry adds, so choose what works best for you.
A scope, an optical device that places crosshairs or dots on the object the user wants to shoot, brings your quarry up close and personal––just what you need to hit it right on target.
Some scopes magnify the prey; others don’t, Terry says. Three-dot, red-dot scopes typically come standard with many crossbows today, but there are options for those who want something more.
“Some people might get a bow with one type of scope, but another type is really better for them,” she says, adding that nonmagnified scopes work well for those who wear corrective lenses. “Or they might get their bows with only a peep and pin,” she says. In this case, they will need to purchase a separate scope for hunting. “So this is definitely an accessory to look at.”
Chris Hamm, national sales manager for HHA Sports, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, says his company recently released a scope that allows the shooter to dial in his distance—as long as he has a rangefinder, he adds.
“You can shoot with a single crosshair scope, a single aiming point, so you don’t have the clutter of looking at four or five different crosshairs or three or four different red dots,” he explains. After determining your exact distance with a rangefinder, “you just roll the wheel to the desired yardage.”
The full story is in the Crossbows Fall 2011 issue, on sale now!