Crossbows

What are the top 3 Best Crossbows For Target Shooting?

How you will shoot your crossbow entirely depends on the weight of the shaft or otherwise known as broadhead, as well as the configuration of your crossbow. Other factors that will influence how far you can shoot your crossbow are:

  1. Your technique
  2. How you are doing your target shooting
  3. The velocity of the crossbow
  4. How good your crossbow scope is

The Top Crossbows For Target Shooting

#1 Excalibur Phoenix Target Crossbow

Excalibur Phoenix Crossbow PackageThis crossbow weighs 175 lbs with a forward mounted limb system and produces an energy speed of 305 fps, with a power stroke of only 14.5 inches. It has a traditional stock that is ideal for smaller stature target shooters or those who appreciate the advantages of doing target shooting with a small, lightweight crossbow

Pros About Excalibur Phoenix Target Crossbow

It is lightweight, includes an illuminated scope and produces a smooth trigger pull.

Disadvantage of The Excalibur Phoenix Target Crossbow

It is slightly longer than an average target shooting crossbow, underpowered for a 175 lbs draw weight and the fact that it is manual safety makes it dangerous to operate.

What Comes With This Crossbow

When you open the box, you will find the Excalibur Phoenix crossbow, ShadowZone illuminated scope, assembly hardware and tools, 4 arrow quiver, 4 Firebolt arrows, rope cocking device, owner’s manual and a warranty card.

The Crossbow Scope

This X-bow comes with Excalibur’s ShadowZone scope, which is an illuminated variant of their steadfast Vari-Zone Scope. The scope sights in easily. The illuminated reticles have 5 brightness settings, and are perfect for those before dawn or after dusk shooting hours. The reticles are set for 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards, and the optics are optimally coated for resistance to fogging

A Review on Excalibur Phoenix Crossbow

This is an excellent crossbow designed for smaller target shooters. It includes one of the best scopes available as an included accessory and comes with everything you need to get started. It has a lifetime warranty, thus assuring you of a lifetime of fun target shooting.

#2 Matrix 355 Target Shooting Crossbow

Excalibur Matrix 355 Crossbow

This is a wonderful crossbow for target shooting practice which every beginner should have.

Package Contents of a Matrix 355 Target Shooting Crossbow

It comes with the Matrix 355 Target shooting crossbow, a string and foot stirrup, a tact zone reticle scope, an 18 inch carbon crossbow arrow, four arrow field tips, four arrow field tips, arrow quiver with quick detach lever, string maintenance kit, rope cocking device, assembly DVD videos, owner’s manual, lifetime warranty card, assembly bolts, screw and wrenches.

Assembling The Matrix 355 Recurve Crossbow For Target Shooting

Beginners in this field should follow the instructions very carefully. The instructions are in the DVD insert. The whole process is easy as tightening a few bolts, and it involves bolting the riser to the ergo grip stock; screwing in the foot stirrup, attaching the arrow quiver platform and finally, mounting and securing the crossbow scope.

First Impressions: Design, Comfort, and Safety

The powerload limbs are very durable and as tough as you would expect considering it is a 240 lbs draw weight crossbow. The limb pockets are heavy duty and secure the limbs very tightly. The foot stirrup is very large and the surface was designed to prevent it from slipping when cocking the crossbow. The quiver platform is installed in a location that makes shooting more comfortable and the fore grip is large, comfortable, and padded for both extra comfort and to help the palm to stay warmer in winter. It has a nice and wide shoulder plate for comfortability and the foregrip has a thumb hole as well as finger protectors for your safety during the target practice. The arrow retainer is sturdy.

#3 SZ 350 Target Crossbow

Stryker Strykezone 350

It has sleek, weather resistant composite stock, ergonomic design and a flat black finish which makes it appealing to many target shooters. It is lightweight and well balanced at 6.9 lbs; it has an axle to axle width that makes it an excellent choice for target shooting. Assembling this crossbow is quick and easy. It comes with 3 Phillips head screws which you attach the stock to the rail section, four Allen-head screws lock the loading stirrup solidly in place. Two more Allen head screws attach the quiver mount to the rail, and the crossbow is ready for target shooting.

In other words, the SZ 350 is a lethal combination of speed and performance in a compact package. The flings flat flying bolts up to an impressive 350 fps is good for a target shooter. Its axle to axle length is 19.5 and features an ultra-weight, creep free switch trigger that has less than 3 lbs of pull with under 0.015 of travel. Its auto flip magnetic safety clicks into safe mood when cocked. Power stroke is at 15.5 inches, length at 34.375 inches. It has a camo pattern. The package includes crossbow, three 385 grain bolts, five arrow quick detach quiver, multi reticle scope and owner’s manual.

Its 135 pound draw weight and 15.5 inch power stroke make SZ 350 to be a pleasurable crossbow to use for target shooting. This is made possible by its 3 pound trigger pull which is touted as the lightest trigger on the market by the manufacturers. The trigger travel is less than .015 inches which allows for more accurate target shooting at 30 and 40 yards targets.

This crossbow has a patented cease fire double barred secondary safety which slides into places after the crossbow is cocked, immobilizing the trigger. It has a standard auto flip trigger which is reactivated when the ceasefire insert is removed prior to shooting.

It has an easy to use quiver which holds five arrows. It has a 3 x 32 four dot reticle scope and mounts that attach to a Picatinny top rail in seconds using the provided Allen wrench. The rail and mounts provide several inches of adjustment variable so the crossbow comes to the shoulder quickly with no additional gymnastics required

Cocking this crossbow is quick and nearly effortless due to the 135 lbs draw weight. It is possible to set up targets at 20, 30, and 40 yards. This is an excellent choice for both new and veteran crossbow shooters. Lightweight, well balanced and accurate, it is more likely to meet the needs of any target shooter.

Effective Target Practice Range

If using a 300+ fps crossbow, an arrow with a field point can easily penetrate a compressed foam target from well over 180 yards away.hitting the bulls eye consistently from such a distance would of course be short of a miracle, but for the more skilled people, they can shoot 2 inch arrow groups with a crossbow from 80+ yards away.

The important thing to keep in mind is that, arrow velocity will deteriorate severely at such distances. In fact, the trajectory of an arrow fired from even the most powerful crossbow will begin to slightly drop after as little as 30 yards.

  • A 400 grain arrow fired from a 350 fps crossbow will deteriorate as follows:
  • At 20 yards it will deteriorate 0 inches
  • At 30 yards, it will deteriorate 3.81 inches
  • At 40 yards, it will deteriorate 10.81 inches
  • At 50 yards, it will deteriorate 21.13 inches

When the distance is long, the deterioration seems to increase.

How Does A Crossbow Scope Affect The Target Shooting

From the above deterioration, you can conclude that, the farther away your target, the higher you need to aim your crossbow to compensate for arrow drop. Meaning, the further the target the higher the sighting; you will need at least 3 reticle or red dots if you want to shoot targets from far away.

In a typical 3 dot / 3 reticle scope, the top dot or reticle will be sighted for 20 yards, the second for 30 yards, and the third for 40 yards. There are scopes with more reticles, where the lowest reticle will be sighted at 60 yards. But most crossbows have their lowest dot/reticle, will be for 40 yard targets, which means if you have the target more than 40 yards, if you are using such crossbows, you will have to rely on your instinct and experience to know how high up to point your crossbow for the arrow to hit the target; you will need to raise the bottom most dot/reticle above your intended arrow impact point.

The best standard sight for target shooting are 4 x scope with a series of vertical cross hairs that allow the shooter to sight in at 20, 30, 40 and 60 yards respectively. If they are properly mounted, tightened and maintained, these scopes will allow any shooter to shoot at any target at the designated range, as long as the other aforementioned factors are put in place.

Crossbow scope mounts also serve as open sight bases, which can be adjusted by turning an elevation knob on the side of the receiver. These can be toyed with or bumped inadvertently, put a permanent marker on them once your bow is on target. One click either way amounts to 10 yards of error, and that is more than enough to miss your target.

Because crossbows have so many moving parts, accuracy can literally change daily. To avoid surprise miss, sight your crossbow before going out for hunting, then recheck after you reach your hunting destination to make sure that it is still in place. Have a small target block where you try on your crossbow before doing the actual target shooting. Even the gentle jostling of highway driving can affect your bow’s accuracy, so it is best to test fire before starting your target shooting.

When target shooting a crossbow over a stand rail, blind ledge or other hard surface, make sure to have your hand on a soft cushioning material under the forearm. Like a firearm, a crossbow will shoot off target, normally high, if the hard forearm is allowed to bounce off another hard surface.

What to Do To Make Sure That You Are On Target

A crossbow is a machine, and like any machine, it has to be maintained in order for one to shoot on target.     Before going for target shooting, make sure that all the screws and bolts, including all stock, bow and sight, are tightened. Check the bowstring to make sure that it is centered. To monitor if the bowstring is centered, make sure you mark the string where it crosses the rail using a black colored marker. Mark the string on both sides of the rail. When the bow is cocked, the mark will show you if the string is uneven, which can cause the arrow to fly off-center.

Make sure the string and the rail is well lubricated. It is recommended that you lubricate after every three or four shots. The bottom line of all this is, if you see your arrow flying off the mark, first check the string alignment and lubrication points before moving on to the cables, limbs or sights.

Top Targets For Crossbow Shooting

There are various types and kinds of crossbow targets for practice. What makes a good target? It has to be resistant to arrows going into the target, even if you shoot multiple times into the same hole. It also has to be friendly, so that, anytime you go to pull out the arrow, it doesn’t take a major effort. Easy to pull your arrow out is a very desirable feature. The target should be one which doesn’t damage your arrow and at the same time, one which doesn’t damage the bow and arrows you are shooting.

How Do You Choose The Right Target For Your Target Shooting

Choosing the right target for your type of crossbow and arrow can be hectic especially if you are a beginner and are not sure of what you are looking for. Each target is designed to be used with a particular bow setup.

Bag Targets

Some of the most common crossbow targets are made of filled bags. The large surface area of the bag makes it a good choice to practice on for beginners. They can withstand repeated shooting and it holds together through hundreds of arrow hits. Most of them are filled with synthetic material. They easily stop the bolt and it is also easy to remove the arrow. This type of target doesn’t ruin the arrow thus saving you the money on replacement costs.

You will only have to use it with field points because broadhead tips often become stuck in sacks and can rip the outer material ruining the target. This is a target which is only recommended for indoor target shooting practice. It cannot be used outdoors because of its bulkiness.

Foam Block Targets

They are durable, easily portable, and are great for use with light bows. The friction in the foam is the one which stops the arrow and helps the tips from breaking though broadheads can be stuck and get broken in this type of targets so still field points are the best for these targets. Don’t use bows which are heavy because they will automatically ruin these targets.

It is recommended that you place the block so that the foam layers lie vertically, which will help guide your arrow between instead of across the layers. It is easy to set this type of target.

3D Targets

It is the best target to practice with if you are preparing to go out and start hunting. The 3D targets are available in different forms animal species imaginable. 3D practice gives you a feel of real hunting in an imaginary world. They normally have the vital organs of the animal marked on the outside so that you are able to target the specific organ you think will get your “real” target off-guard. They are able to give you a hands-on to improve your accuracy and skills in preparation for the real hunting out in the field.

So whatever you are doing target hunting for; whether for a competition or you want to improve your hunting skills, there will always be a target for you to practice with.

Some of the targets available in the market include:

Rinehart Rhino Block Target

This is a six sided self healing foam construction target which has two vital areas for honing arrow placement. One outlines the organs over the vital area and the second reveals an anatomically correct view of the organs inside the vital areas It has 40 high visibility target zones , two with large targets for holding aim and two with small targets for perfecting arrow placements. The self healing, weatherproof foam and construction automatically seal arrow holes in seconds, stops field points, Broadheads, expandable, and built-in with ease; and offers a hassle free extraction with no layers or files.

Block Black Target

This target stops all Broadheads and field tips. It is a four sided shooting target with a high contrast design: An easy to remove arrow surface which is caused by the fusing of the internal layers to the inner target wall thereby resulting into a more uniform layer compression which in turn means easier arrow removal. Polyfusion technology is what is used to construct it. This structure gives this block target a longer target life. Arrows find their way between layers. It is available in four different sizes: Block black 16, block black 18, block black 20, and block black 22.

The Bone Collector 400 fps

This is a strong target that will stop the strongest bow. It is the target for any shooter who is out on target shooting. It can stop speeds up to 400 fps and it has patented nucleus center for unmatched durability. It has an E-Z tote carrying handle for easy portability; easy arrow removal; free standing (no need for a stand); can be used to play dartboard game; has a bulls eye, extended life, 100% weather proof, IFS technology (internal frame system).

Field Logic Glender Pre Rut Buck 3D

This item gives you the opportunity to practice to shoot from all four sides. It is a 3D featuring super sized, four sided insert that is much bigger than inserts in other targets on the market. It has Polyfusion technology and lasts twice as long as previous inserts. It has various vital displayed on each side and offers easy arrow removal. The durability, stability and design of this model makes it the perfect target to practice on.

Morell Yellow Jacket Crossbow Target

It is designed to stop arrow speeds up to 350 fps and it is 100% weatherproof. It has an E-Z tote carrying handle for ease of portability and it is a great target for either home or camp target shooting. It has a multi layered designed design which can stop both fixed blades and mechanical Broadhead. It has an offset bulls eye technology, thus creating maximum life.

Let us review some of the best crossbows for targeting shooting in the market.

Conclusion

If you don’t care about hitting a target , a powerful modern crossbow can shoot as far as 500 yards. If you want to hunt up to 80 yards it is possible for a very skilled shooter , however, stick to a maximum of 60 yards, preferably much less than 30 -35 if you are a beginner. But for target shooting / practice, everything will all depend on your skills ; 180+ shots are definitely possible, for accuracy, you need to be super skilled.

At peak accuracy, your crossbow is likely to be so accurate that you will not be able to shoot more than two arrows at the same bulls-eye. Keep in mind that, it might take a dozen of shots or so to zero your crossbow sights. Take your time and make sure your string mark line up, your sights are properly adjusted and your bowstring and rail are properly lubricated .

Get a crossbow for target shooting after reading reviews of those who have already had an experience with them.

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