By Bob Shell
Apache Junction, AZ -(Ammoland.com)- A Friend of mine got a crossbow a couple of years ago which got me interested in crossbow hunting, mainly because it gives me an extra 2 months of deer hunting every year.
I have been shooting guns and hunting for over 40 years but this would be my first attempt at shooting a crossbow or any kind of bow. Crossbows are becoming more popular and in many states seasons are longer.
I thought how hard could shooting a crossbow be, it has a stock and trigger like a rifle and it has a scope so like a rifle you just aim and shoot right? Wrong I found out real quick that a crossbow was much more complicated than any rifle I have ever shot.
I started out by joining a couple crossbow forums and started reading posts about different brands of Crossbows and different styles Recurve and Compound and started asking questions and before too long I realized that I was in for a real learning experience.
I chose a Jaguar Cr-013 Series Crossbow 175Lbs because it wasn’t real expensive and because it was a recurve, less moving parts then a compound, less things to break and I read a lot of reviews about the Jaguar and I felt that for the price it was a good crossbow.
Let the adventure begin, the first thing I found out was you need a rope cocker or some other type of cocking device, Cocking the bow by hand is not only hard but it’s really hard to keep the string center if the string is not center the arrows will hit all over the place. With the use of a Allen Company Crossbow Double Handle Cocking Device I was able to start getting some groups on target and that’s where I hit my next problem , my Jaguar came with a 3 dot scope it was illuminated but had very little magnification I just didn’t like it.
Therefore, I went to Hawke Sport Optics website www.hawkeoptics.com and I found the perfect scope for my crossbow the Hawke XB1 SR it has Dual Red/Green illuminated reticle, Speed selector ring – speeds from 250 to 425 fps and fast focus eyeball and high torque zoom ring.
I have used Hawke scopes on a number of rifles and they always perform well. There are various types of lit reticles and crosshairs so there is something for everyone. The prices are reasonable within the reach of most hunters.
I really like the Speed selector ring because it automatically compensates for Arrow Drop, I am using 20” Carbon Arrows that weigh 380gr with a 100gr target tip and I have 100gr dual blade broad heads for hunting I talked to a Tech at Carbon Express and with this arrow, I should get 280fps.
The XB1 SR has Dual Red/Green illuminated reticle’s I tried the red first then the green and I think I like the red but I believe the green might be better with less light, both of them really stood out and it was easy to line up on the target fast. This is a great high tech scope I love it.
With the speed selector set on 280 fps I was ready to start sighting my crossbow in, you need a good backstop to prevent too much penetration. I read some article’s in the crossbow forum and I took a 2’ x 4’ cardboard box and stuffed it with old clothes and rags it makes an excellent back stop the arrows only penetrate about 10” so you don’t damage or rip the feathers off the arrows.
Bales of straw do not make good backstops because the arrows go straight through and tear the feathers off.
It is recommended that you sight in a crossbow in at 20 yards , That is another nice feature with the XB1 SR you zero it in at 20 yards using the center cross hair then for a 30 yard shot you drop down to the next set of cross hairs etc. Once I got my scope zeroed in at 20 yards I shot a 3 shot group , all 3 hit in the bulls eye , I then shot 3 at 30 yards and 3 at 40 yards
I didn’t make any adjustments to the scope after zeroing it in at 20 yards and you have to remember that I am a novice so I think they were some nice groups. I am sure with a lot more practice I will be able to tighten those groups up a lot. Also you should remember to practice at all ranges you anticipate shooting at a deer. Arrows drop a lot more then a bullet so practicing at different ranges is important.
I think that The Jaguar 175# Crossbow with a Hawke XB1 SR Scope is a Great Combination and I will have no problems bagging a Deer with it.
- Jaguar CR-013 Series Crossbow 175Lbs Spring
- Hawke XB1 SR Scope
- Allen Company Crossbow Double Handle Cocking Device
About Bob Shell:
A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo, Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting and now Archery Subjects. Visit: www.bobshellsblog.blogspot.com