Do You Follow The Arrow When Sighting In A Crossbow? Archer’s Guide




When sighting in a bow do you follow the arrow? Archers frequently ask this question.

To see a bow, many factors have to be considered. The crossbow’s elevation and windage may need to be adjusted to achieve the desired point. Crossbow scope alignment is a crucial factor to keep in consideration as well. So, a query arises: Do you follow the arrow when sighting in a crossbow?

Do You Follow The Arrow When Sighting In A Crossbow

Do You Follow The Arrow

In short, when sighting a crossbow, you should always follow the arrow. Adjusting the crossbow’s scope or sights to align with your target is the process of sighting. The proper way to do this is to attach an aiming point to the end of an arrow and make sure it points in the direction you wish to shoot.

Salient Highlights

  • Make sure that the crossbow scope is pointing in the direction of the arrow. Accuracy depends critically on scope alignment.
  • At the time of sighting in, always adhere to the arrow to maintain accuracy.
  • Start at a close range if you want to shoot accurately. Then, as you approach, make sight adjustments. Make sure you take multiple shots for accuracy.

This is not everything. Read more to know deeply-

Do You Follow The Arrow When Sighting In A Crossbow? 

When sighting a crossbow, you should always follow the arrow. This means that after aligning the crossbow’s scope’s centre with the target’s centre. You should modify the crossbow’s elevation and windage to get the desired point of impact. 

Do You Follow The Arrow When Sighting In A Crossbow

Remember that when making elevation adjustments, you should always follow the arrow. This entails putting your crossbow’s sights or scope. When you draw as much weight as possible, each shot will land the arrow where you intend. 

For every click at 20 yards, the majority of crossbow scope knobs shift the arrow’s point of impact by 1/20′. Yet, you should still refer to the instructions that came with your variable power scope.

The rule of thumb for crossbow sighting is to always follow the arrow. To aim your scope, turn the dials or knobs until the arrow points at the target. Then, all your shots should be fired at that same point.

What Is Crossbow Sighting?

Crossbow sighting is aligning the sight system with the arrow’s path. It is also sometimes referred to as zeroing or calibrating. 

Making sure the point of impact and the point of aim line up when aiming at a target is the aim. To aim correctly, consider the respective distances, your shooting style, and the type of arrow or bolt.

Remember, wind and humidity can affect how an arrow or bolt moves through the air. It’s a good idea to check and adjust your crossbow sight settings regularly. 

Always follow safety guidelines and recommendations provided by crossbow manufacturers.

Importance Of Arrow Alignment

In archery, arrow alignment is when the arrow is straight and in line. It is a crucial component that influences your shots’ accuracy and consistency. 

When the arrow is aligned correctly, it will react predictably when released. This leads to shooting that is more accurate and reliable. Arrow alignment is important because of some factors given below:


Proper arrow alignment provides us with more accuracy of our accurate shots. When arrows are lined up right, they usually go straight and hit the intended target.


A key component of archery is consistency. The arrows always go in the same direction, making it easier for the archer to shoot accurately. When sighting in a crossbow with broadheads, ensure precise adjustments to account for the specific weight, arrow flight, and optimum accuracy for the hunting scenario.

Reducing Torque

Arrow flight can be adversely affected by torque. It also can be affected by the twisting force applied to the arrow during release. Proper arrow alignment helps reduce torque and promote a cleaner release and more stable arrow flight. 

Energy Transfer

When an arrow is released, the energy stored in the bow is transferred to the arrow. This energy transfer could only be effective if the arrow is aligned correctly. Thus, it would reduce the arrow speed and accuracy.

Adjusting The Bow

An essential part of bow tuning is arrow alignment. For the arrows to fly well and hit consistently, they need to be stiff enough. This depends on the weight of the bow and the length of the archer’s draw.

Wide-head flight

Bowhunters who use broadheads must align their arrows properly for accurate and stable flight. Misaligned arrows may cause broadheads to reduce the effectiveness of the shot.

So, where do you sight in a crossbow? You should sight at your shooting range. Must follow the safety guidelines and make sure there is a clear line of sight to enable precise adjustments.

Archers consider the arrow’s spine, straightness, and weight to make sure it aligns well.In case of 250 and 300 spine,250 spine are for slower crossbows where 300 spine are good for quicker bows.

Step-By-Step Guide To Sighting In A Crossbow

When you look through a crossbow scope, you see dots and reticles, which are crosses and dots. There are two types of crossbow scopes: red dot scopes and reticle scopes.

Elevation Adjustments And Windage Adjustments

Every scope has two distinct types of knobs that aid in precise crossbow sighting. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s directions while sighting in a Barnett crossbow scope. Accurate and dependable shot placement can be achieved by carefully adjusting windage and elevation.

Windage Adjustment Knobs

This knob is on the side of the scope. It assists you with the left and right points of impact of the arrow.

Elevation Adjustment Knobs

The scope’s top is where you’ll find this elevation knob. It facilitates up-and-down-adjusting the arrow’s point of impact.

To lower where the arrow hits, turn the knob left. To raise it, turn right.

Just like this, when you turn the windage knobs crossbow bolts clockwise, the arrow moves to the right. When you turn them counterclockwise, the arrow moves to the left.

Start your crossbow sighting process by following these steps:

  • Precisely twenty yards separate you and your target.
  • Use a rope or crank aid to cock your crossbow.
  • Place an arrow onto your crossbow’s flight trail.
  • Orient your scope so that the bull’s eye and the uppermost red dot or reticle line up.
  • Using only the tip of your finger, swiftly squeeze the trigger. You will lose accuracy if you move your entire arm or palm.
  • After that, get closer to your target or use a spotting scope or binoculars to check it. On the paper, is the arrow? If not, Take aim at the bull’s eye with your crossbow by aligning it with the flight rail. After that, change the windage and elevation to get near the bull’s eye.
  • Next, you’ll change your scope’s windage and elevation by how far your shots are off-centre.
  • As you approach your target, measure how far your arrows need to travel to hit the bull’s eye. You will need to move your scope up and to the right, for instance, should your shots be 2″ left and 1″ low.
  • Go back to your crossbow after retrieving your arrows. After taking off the caps, adjust the knobs on the scope as needed. 
  • Most crossbow scopes shift the point of impact of the arrow by 1/20′′ with each click at a distance of 20–30 yards.
  • Yet, you should still refer to the instructions with your scope.
Start your crossbow sighting process by following these steps

You can think about, do you follow arrow when sighting? Yes, when sighting a crossbow, you should always follow the arrow. To aim accurately, adjust your crossbow’s scope or sights to align with your target. 

What Are The Common Mistakes In Crossbow Sighting?

Crossbow sighting is a crucial process for achieving accuracy, and like any skill, it can be prone to mistakes. The following are some typical blunders made when seeing a crossbow:

What Are The Common Mistakes In Crossbow Sighting
  • Inconsistent shooting may arise from mounting or crossbow rest on an unstable surface.
  • Arrow flight can be impacted by wind, humidity, and other environmental conditions. 
  • A crossbow model’s manufacturer’s recommendations and instruction manual should be followed precisely. It is essential for avoiding incorrect sightings and adjustments.
  • It is crucial to adjust the crossbow for broadhead flight if you intend to hunt with broadheads. 
  • Varying shooting positions can cause variances in the impact of the arrow. For example, you are holding the crossbow differently for every shot.
  • If you record the sight settings after you reach a satisfactory zero, it could be clear if you later need to readjust or swap arrows or bolts.

At this moment a query arises: what will give you more stability when sighting-in a crossbow? If you have to use the same broadheads for practice and actual hunting, make sure you replace or sharpen the blades before going hunting. For increased stability when sighting in, it is best to use a shooting bench or other support to shot a deer with an arrow.

Factors Influencing Arrow Path In Crossbow Shooting

Understanding the various elements that affect the arrow path is essential to attaining accuracy and consistency when shooting a crossbow. The following are important variables that affect the trajectory of an arrow shot from a crossbow:

Factors Influencing Arrow Path In Crossbow Shooting

Spine Of Arrow: One important factor is the stiffness of the arrow spine. An accurate arrow spine ensures accuracy and proper arrow flight.

Arrow Mass: The arrow’s weight influences both its trajectory and speed. Perfect arrow weight offers more kinetic energy and better penetration.

Broadhead Type And Weight: The choice of broadheads and their weight can impact arrow flight.

Size And Design Of Fletching: An arrow’s fletchings affect how stable it is in flight.

Wind: The wind has the power to dramatically change an arrow’s trajectory. 

The Distance To The Target: Arrow drop is influenced by the target’s distance. 

Crossbow Speed: The arrow’s trajectory is determined by how quickly the crossbow shoots it.

Arrow Straightness: The degree of straightness of an arrow shaft is called straightness. So, to get the proper arrow straightness, measure the arrow shaft accurately. If an arrow is bent or warped, it is less likely to follow a predictable trajectory than an arrow that is straight.

To shoot a crossbow accurately, archers should consider these factors when putting it together and firing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Chase The Arrow When Sighting In A Crossbow?

It shouldn’t be done. You should focus on your target and maintain a steady aim for better accuracy. So, no need to chase the arrow when sighting a crossbow.

What Distance Should I Sight In My Crossbow For Optimal Accuracy?

You should sight in your crossbow for optimal accuracy at a 10 to 20-yard distance.

Can I Use A Laser Sight For Crossbow Sighting?

Yes, you can use a laser sight for crossbow sighting to properly align with the trajectory.

Final Words

In short, for sighting a crossbow, avoid the desire to track the trajectory of the arrow. Give focus on maintaining a steady aim. Make sure that the crossbow is properly aimed for stable and accurate shoots. You can increase your crossbow’s effectiveness and improve your shooting performance by making a reliable, target-centred approach your priority. So, do you follow the arrow when sighting in a crossbow?

I think you have already gotten your answer.  You have cleared now. Be aware of your safety concerns.

Bob Magic

Written by

Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

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