How Far Will A Crossbow Shoot?

How far will a crossbow shoot? Generally, a 300 FPS crossbow can give a fatal shot at a distance of 35 to 40 yards, and experts can target beyond this limit. 400 FPS crossbows give a successful attempt of about 5000 feet
By Rebecca Rios | Updated On January 29, 2023
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How Far Will a Crossbow Shoot

Crossbow designs have been upgraded many times to provide the best consistent weapons. The goal of the manufacturers is to make crossbow beginners-friendly. So, a newbie can successfully use the weapon with little practice and experience. Prior knowledge about the crossbow range is essential. A flawed shot can severely injure the animal but not kill it. So, be conscious about the range of the crossbow.

Before landing on the main topic, my quick suggestion is that you should prefer to buy a crossbow that provides sufficient speed and kinetic energy. If you are a hunting freak or want to invest in the weapon, experts suggest buying the fastest crossbow. However, for beginners, Barnett Crossbows are the best option. They can efficiently use it to hit the target. How far will a crossbow shoot typically depends upon these three factors;

  1. Targeting scope
  2. Targeting or hunting technique
  3. Velocity, FPS of crossbow

It also depends upon your experience. If you are a professional hunter, you must know the proper techniques and angles compared to a beginner.

How Far Will a Crossbow Shoot?

A 300 FPS crossbow will shoot an arrow from 50 to 80 yards over the hunting range. The crossbow shot should be powerful enough to penetrate the animal’s vital organs. The precision and accuracy of the shot also matter while hunting. But the exact precision and perfect penetration are very rare.

Many hunters prefer to release the shoot from 35 to 40 yards. However, 40 yards is an average range of a successful fatal shot, and only experts can handle a successful trial of over 40 yards. So, many hunters fall within the safe zone of 35 to 40 yards. Otherwise, killing the animal will be much more risky and arduous.

I will also recommend shooting from a distance of 35 yards because if you are not an expert, you will eventually miss the shot, and it will harm the animal instead of killing it. So, 35 to 40 yards will be an effective hunting range for a 300+ FPS crossbow.

A 400 FPS crossbow arrow can cover almost 5000 feet. However, if the angle is appropriately set and the crossbow is flawlessly leveled, it can hit a shot of about 250 feet.

effective hunting distance:

The distance between the animal and the crossbowman matters the most. This distance decides the accuracy and precision of the shot. Crossbow arrows or bolts start to decelerate with the increasing length. An inverse behavior exists between the target animal location and the bolt. The more the distance, the slower the crossbow arrow or bolt will be.

A considerable distance decreases the kinetic energy. So, the crossbow arrow will not hit the animal with the force required to kill the animal. Hence, the distance factor matters even in the best crossbow. Assume the example of a whitetail deer. The kill zone is about 10 inches from the deer’s heart; if you shoot the deer outside the range of 40 yards, the chances of hitting the deer increase and killing the deer decrease.

accurate hunting range of a crossbow:

Now, let’s discuss the critical question, how fast does a crossbow shoot in mph? The effective hunting crossbow range is nearly 40 yards. Only an expert archer can shoot about 60 yards with the help of a fast standard crossbow. Otherwise, do not even imagine shooting beyond 60 yards as a newbie. You will not hunt even a single animal, but your incorrect shot will wound the animals, which I am sure you do not want.

So, limit your trials to 40 yards as a beginner or hobbyist. After excelling in the art of shooting, you will be able to kill animals at a distance of 60 yards. As it is said, practice makes a man perfect. So, practice within the range to shoot beyond.

factors affecting the hunting Range Of a Crossbow:

The effective range of a crossbow depends upon many factors, such as;

  1. Distance: Distance is a paramount factor that should be considered before releasing the bolt. Also, distance depends upon the animal’s species. Some species are difficult to kill, even with a more precise shot. Beginners prefer to shoot within close range, but expert crossbowmen are comfortable killing animals even from a longer distance.
  2. Range: Effective crossbow range differs from person to person and animal to animal. Some experts can target animals beyond 60 yards. However, beginners and intermediate hunters limit their shots to 40-50 yards.
  3. Weather condition: Trajectory and precision of the crossbow shot depend upon the weather. The bolt will fluctuate while hitting the target animal in windy or snowy weather.

So, effective hunting range is dependent on these factors. Now, I believe that the effective range of a crossbow shot will no longer be a question as I have compiled enough information about the crossbow range.

maximum Crossbow Range for hunters:

The hunting range of a crossbowman consists of two essential elements:

  1. The skill level of the crossbowman.
  2. The quality and type of weapon being used.

With a 300 FPS weapon, a learner can hit a shot of about 40-60 yards. On the other hand, an expert can give a successful attempt of about 80 yards. So, the killing of the animal depends upon your skill level, precision, and the angle of the shot. After all these factors, the quality of the crossbow is considered. A beginner can hit a successful attempt of about 35 yards.

How Many Shots Does It Take To Kill The Deer?

The fun fact is that the effective crossbow range for deer is still negotiable, as deer can hear and react to the crossbow arrow before it hits them. So, it depends upon your expertise on how you target deer. But an estimated number is 40 yards, the same as the effective crossbow range. Forty yards is a fair distance through which even a beginner can kill the animal with a lethal shot. Also, no specific number of attempts is required to kill deer, and it can take one to multiple shots depending upon the hunter’s experience.

The position is a vital factor while hunting deer or even any other animal. If you target animals from a height like a cliff or a tree stand, your view will be clear to take an accurate shot. If your position is on the ground, hindrances make it challenging to get a perfect shot. So, location is the central element of hunting.

Climatic conditions are a natural behavior, so you cannot hold the situation when the weather is rainy or stormy. So, I prefer hunting in clear weather.

Angle is necessary to maintain while taking the shot. If the animal’s entire flank is in front of you, then a successful attempt of 40 yards with a 300 FPS crossbow is possible. The range will decrease if the animal is not visible.

Factors Affecting Crossbow Shots:

Several components result in a successful crossbow shot. Some prominent elements are listed below;

  1. Arc and angle.
  2. The range between prey and hunter.
  3. Bolt weight.
  4. Bolt speed.
  5. Location of crossbowman.
  6. Climate.
  7. Hunter’s technique.
  8. Type of crossbow.

How To Improve The Range Of The Crossbow?

The range of crossbows can be increased by adopting specific changes. However, a fatal shot dramatically depends on your ability and experience. I am summarizing some suggestions that will enhance the crossbow range;

  1. Always remember practice is the key. Regular training will directly improve your shooting skill. While doing practice, challenge yourself, or practice with a companion for more fun. Practice the shots from different positions to learn the perfect angles. You can even polish your skills in a 3D target. Try various arrows, broad heads, and bolts. Practice with different combinations. Enjoy your practice, and gradually you will see a clear difference in your shooting skill.
  2. Bolts make a difference. A bolt with the best performance will give you a successful shot. Bolts travel in the air according to their weight and construction. Types of bolts differ in their design and weight. A bowyer can better guide you about different kinds of bolts so you can consider their instructions.
  3. Use a high-quality scope. Use a high-quality scope with illumination, reticles, and magnification features.  
  4. Properly maintain your crossbow by waxing the string and greasing the rail.
  5. Test and try different bows to find a suitable one. Everyone has their own choice and preferences, so you cannot function with someone’s recommendation. Try numerous bows and then select an accurate one. The secret behind the faster shooting is a comfortable bow.


In a nutshell, how far will a crossbow shoot depends upon personal skills and abilities. A 35-40 yards distance is perfect for beginners to target their animal, and experts can give a lethal shot beyond 40 yards. However, people with godlike skills can hit the prey of about 170+ yards. With practice, right angles, suitable positions, and correct techniques, beginners can upgrade their competence. Invest in quality broad heads, bolts, crossbows, and other accessories.

Hunting is challenging and fun as long as you are not hurting or injuring any animal. If you can take the fatal shot, it is excellent. But if you can only harm animals instead of killing them, I suggest stopping this unethical activity. It would help if you had practice, so practice, practice, and practice.

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