How to Use a Crossbow
Crossbows are powerful weapons that have been used for centuries. Using a crossbow is simpler than using a bow, since the crossbow mechanism allows for aiming the weapon much like a rifle. but learning to use a crossbow does require simple preparation and safety precautions
Start using the crossbow by first drawing the string up until it is locked in place. Larger crossbows use a stirrup for this, since the string takes a great deal of force to pull back. A pistol-style one handed crossbow can be cocked more easily.
Check the locking mechanism to be certain it is holding tightly. A cocked crossbow has a great deal of potential force locked in place. Crossbows do not use arrows; they use bolts. The bolt must be seated properly for it to fly true.
Determine the distance to the target by sighting down the crossbow. Although a crossbow can shoot a bolt over 100 yards, most shots are taken within 20 yards. Use the same sighting techniques used to fire a rifle.
Squeeze the trigger gently. Do not pull on the trigger harshly; squeeze off the shot. This takes some practice to accomplish. The bolt leaves the crossbow at incredible speeds and with great force, so be certain of the shot before taking it.
Use a straight tip bolt for target practice. The more dangerous pointed tips used for hunting do not work well for target practice because they penetrate the target too deeply.