Are you an avid hunter ready to hunt your target as the crossbow hunting season arrives? Well, many newbies think that sighting in a crossbow is difficult, but it’s generally easy, perhaps easier after reading our guide.
However, ensuring the accuracy of your crossbow scope is most important because there are three main types of crossbow scopes you can find. Let’s discuss these types and learn the 3 ways to sight in a crossbow.
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Types Of Crossbow Scopes
In this guide, we will discuss the three main types of crossbow scopes and how to use them. All of them differ from one another, but the sighting in method is quite the same.
But, make sure you also read the manufacturer’s guide as it will give a better understanding of the FPS and magnification of your crossbow scope.
Red Dot Crossbow Scope
Red dot scopes are ideal for short and mid-range hunting, especially when you want to hit a running deer.
However, red dot sights are further available in two types.
- Single red dot
- Triple red dot
As the name suggests, the single red dot sight has one dot at the center representing 20-yards. If your target is far away, you might have to aim the dot at a higher level.
On the other hand, the triple red dot sights are ideal as it offers two more spots, which are at 30-yards and 40-yards.
As the red dot scopes don’t have magnification, you get an enhanced field of view.
With this enhanced and wider view, you don’t have to squint your eyes to aim at the target. Keep them open, enjoy the wider field of view, and hit the target even if it’s a running deer.
Another benefit of this crossbow scope is that you can quickly shoot within seconds. Their fast speed and accuracy of shooting make them perfect for deer hunting.
Red dot scopes are only ideal for hunting moving animals. They also tell you if there’s an obstacle like a tree in your way, which isn’t present in others.
Drop-Compensating Reticle Scope
A multi-reticle crossbow scope or drop-compensating reticle scope comes with red dots along with horizontal lines.
These dots and marks make shooting a lot easier. You can also accurately shoot at long distances without having to miss your target if it moves a bit forward. For example, you can still shoot at the target at 40-yards without moving if you missed the one at 20-yards.
These scopes don’t have a speed dial, but you’ll see windage and elevation adjustment knobs.
You can adjust the accuracy from left to right by using the windage adjustment knobs. On the other hand, the elevation adjustment knobs are for adjusting the accuracy up and down.
Speed Dial Crossbow Scope
Speed dial scopes are easy to use as compared to the other types. As you can use crossbows with varying shooting speeds in the scope, we also call it a variable power scope.
All you have to do is to check your crossbow’s shooting speed through the manufacturer’s guide. Then, by dialing in the scope, you can adjust it and add crossbows with different speeds.
Speed dial crossbow scopes also offer a longer shooting range.
Speed dial crossbow scopes are ideal for hunters who use arrows of different weights. You can adjust it with different arrows, and you won’t have to compromise on the accuracy.
We will now learn how to sight in a crossbow scope. You can also watch this video for a better understanding.
How To Sight In A Red Dot Crossbow Scope
As red dot crossbow scopes only have dots in the center, sighting in them is much easier.
Step 1: Make things ready
It’s essential to keep your crossbow scope at the right place to make shooting easier. So, a better idea is to mount it on the shooting rail.
Keeping it on a stable surface like a table can also help in ensuring accurate shots without missing the target.
Step 2: Sight the red dots
We already discussed that these scopes either have one red dot in the center or three red dots.
If your scope only has one red dot in the center, you can use it to sight at your desired distance.
But, scopes with three red dots work differently because the last two dots are marked at increments of 10 yards.
However, to make things easier, a better idea is to keep the middle red dot at 30 yards. If you do so, your scope will automatically sight the top red dot at 20-yards, and the bottom red dot at 40 yards.
Step 3: Adjust the scope
Although you can adjust the scope here, it’s better to shoot two or three bolts to understand how much adjustment it needs.
If you’re missing the target, it’s time to adjust it. You can do this by using windage and elevation knobs. By turning the horizontal adjuster in the clockwise direction, the red dot will move to the right.
However, if you want to move the red dot up or down, you’ll have to use the elevation adjuster for this.
You can turn them in the clockwise and anticlockwise direction to aim at your target, and you’re ready to hit!
We recommend checking the manufacturer’s guide about sighting as well because triple dot scopes come with different adjustment techniques.
How To Sight In A Drop-Compensating Reticle Scope
Sighting in a multi-reticle crossbow scope is quite similar to that of a red dot scope.
Step 1: Fire Shots
The first step is definitely to fire shots through the mark at the top in your scope. You can adjust the scope to 20-yards to make it convenient for you.
Step 2: Adjust the knobs
If you’re shooting but not hitting the target, you need to adjust the windage and elevation adjustment knobs to get the right hit.
As discussed before, rotating these knobs will help you adjust them at the target and aim at it.
Step 3: Determine the distance to shoot
The next step is to determine the distance at which you’ll shoot while hunting. If the distance is 30-yards, you’ll have to move your target to 20-yards. Similarly, if it’s at 40-yards, consider moving your target to 30-yards.
Step 4: Take shots
Let’s consider you’ve set your target to 30-yards while it’s at a distance of 40-yards. While using the second line or dot on the scope, take some shots. You might have to adjust the knobs here as well.
Step 5: Move the target and repeat
When you’ve taken the first shot at 30-yards, it’s time to move your target to 40-yards.
You’ll have to use the third line or dot on the scope and repeat the process.
Step 6: Move it again
When you’ve aimed at your target this time as well, you can move to 20-yards and use the line or dot at the top to hit.
When hitting at 20-yards, you may notice that you’re missing the target. But, don’t worry.
It’s likely to happen, but it shouldn’t be enough to miss your target animal’s vital zone.
Step 7: Verify
It’s now time to verify your settings, and for this, you’ll have to set it back to 40-yards and repeat the process. Even if it’s a few inches away, it should stay within the vital zone of the target animal.
If it isn’t, you have to start the process all over again.
How To Sight In A Speed Dial Crossbow Scope
Sighting in a speed dial crossbow scope is also similar to the methods mentioned above. However, one difference that arises here is the speed in FPS.
To check the speed, you can use a chronograph or check the handbook that came with the crossbow.
Step 1: Adjust the speed dial
The first step is to adjust the speed dial of your crossbow scope. You will have to adjust the speed dial later again, so it’s okay if you cannot get it accurate this time.
Step 2: Adjust the knobs
The next step is to set your target and aim at it. We recommend setting it at 20-yards for now. You can also adjust the windage and elevation knobs to hit the target.
Step 3: Move the target
It’s now time to move the target at 40-yards and shoot. At this point, our shot should hit directly at the target, with the slightest variation occurring up or down.
Step 4: Adjust the speed dial
The shot might be high or below the target.
- For lower shots, decrease the speed of your speed dial.
- If the shots are high, increase the speed.
At this step, make sure you don’t adjust the windage and elevation knobs at all.
No matter how difficult it may seem, sighting in a crossbow is particularly easy. All types of scopes follow almost the same process of sighting with slight variations due to different mechanisms.
The main steps include adjusting the knobs according to your target and shooting at the right time. However, crossbows with speed dials may require you to adjust the speed dial as well.
We hope our simple guide on sighting in a crossbow would have been beneficial for you. If you still have questions, feel free to ask, and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!
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