How to Sight in a Crossbow Scope – Step-By-Step-Guide

So you’ve fitted the scope to your crossbow, and now you’ve got it cocked and ready to go. You’ve let loose a practice shot at the firing wall, and it has landed woefully off target. What can we do about this? All you need to know now is how to sight in a crossbow scope to ensure that you will fire as accurately a shot as possible. For those seeking sensible advice on how to help you set your crossbow sights straight, we are here to help. We have laid out a short, comprehensive step-by-step guide that will take you through how to sight in a crossbow scope.

Step 1: Check the Accuracy 

So, you’ve mounted the scope to your crossbow, and you’ve leveled it. The next step to ensuring your crossbow’s accuracy is at its highest is to grab yourself a serviceable block target; an empty box will do fine.

After that, you’ll want to have a rummage around the house and the garage and try to find yourself a decent-sized empty box and then place it about 10 yards in front of your firing position. You’ll then want to set yourself and fire a shot at an easy-to-identify target point on the box to determine distance accuracy (Note: use the highest reticle on the scope and put it dead center on the target when you take this shot.)  

Step 2: Shoot the Target

Next step, you gotta take the shot. Fire a single round at the center of the target at the box placed 10 yards from you and see where it ends up. If your scope accuracy is off, the shot will land well clear of the intended target. This means you must make standard corrections to your crossbow to compensate for wind speed and your weapon’s elevation.  

Oh, and always use a rest when you fire the bow – it’s easy to correct against artificial error but very difficult to correct against human error. In the next step, you’ll have to set about correcting those sight errors and improving the crossbow’s posture before moving forward.  

Step 3: Correct it   

Do you remember the last time you adjusted the scope of your hunting rifle? If not, don’t worry, but if yes, the adjustments needed to be made on a crossbow scope are performed the exact same way. Although it should be noted that precise adjustments, such as a quarter-inch change, wouldn’t be possible on a crossbow scope. You’ll need to remove the scope caps, and you will clearly see the markers on the scope that indicates which adjustments need to be made by corresponding them with the deficit of the shot from the target.

What happens next depends on how inaccurate your scope sight is, but assuming it is approximately 10 clicks out to the left, you would need to adjust the top down-market wheel up 10 clicks to the left. Then on the horizontal axis marker, turn that 10 clicks to the left as well. After you’ve made these corrections, put your scope caps back on, take up arms, and fire another shot at the box in front of you.  

Step 4: Shoot the Target Again  

Right, you’ve got a second bolt loaded now, you’ve corrected for elevation and for wind speed, and you’ve made your 10 click correction (or however many clicks it was in your own personal case). Now it’s time to fire again at that center target and see if you can get yourself a bullseye this time.

If it’s off again, don’t worry; just go back and repeat the previous three steps until your sight alignment is in correspondence with the scope’s reticle. After several shots, it’ll start to become apparent, and you’ll land it on the bullseye eventually. Once you get your bolt in the dead center of the target, you can move onto the most important step.

Step 5: Be Sure to Distance it

So, your bolt has landed just off the center of the inner target on the box, and you are satisfied with your adjustments. Not so fast; we are only 10 feet away. What will appear dead on the target, and the perfect shot, at 10 yards, will most likely veer off and miss the mark at further distances. The only sure-fire way to ensure that your crossbow scope sight will remain accurate at further distances is to move your target box back an additional 20 feet and repeat the process from step 1 onwards.

Once that target has been hit in the middle of the sweet spot, move the box back another 30 feet, repeat the process again, and so on. Do this until you have reached whatever distance you want your crossbow to accurately operate. As long as you move your target box out in this manner, you’re ready to go with your scope sight – it’ll be hitting exactly where you want on the crosshair mark. Congratulations, you’re done! You’ve learned how to sight in a crossbow scope, and you just need to repeat this technique whenever required. 

Your Goal

The goal here is to keep your sights remaining, ‘at at zero’ for as long as possible, and always make sure you check your sights at the beginning of any session – be that hunting, range shooting, or what have you. The sights may hold for one hunting session, but after two or three, you’ll need to make your checks and make any adjustments that need to be made.  

We hope this guide has been of help with improving your crossbow firing accuracy. For any beginners, your instincts will improve gradually over time when you adjust the markers to set the sights to zero. All of this takes practice and persistence. Just remember, adjust your markers correctly and keep moving the box back if you want a longer range. Happy crossbow shooting and remember to check the accuracy of your sights at the beginning of every session that you use them.

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.