How to Sight in a Crossbow Scope Without Shooting?

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Sighting in a crossbow scope is easy – but still, there are many people who don’t know how to do it properly. I can understand this can be a frustrating problem for those who are new to optics such as crossbow scopes. But don’t worry, I am here to help you.

How to sight in a crossbow scope without shooting? You can sight in a crossbow by using a bore sight tool which aligns your scope with the crossbow, and you’ll be able to sight the crossbow and achieve higher accuracy while shooting an arrow.

I know that sighting the crossbow scope is a very important step for any crossbow shooter to ensure accuracy and precision. In this guide, I will go down into the details and explore this topic. Let’s get started.

Related Article: Can You Use a Rifle Scope on a Shotgun?

What are Crossbow Scopes?

Before I go into the advanced things, I would like to make a base for you so that everything remains nice and easy. So, while reading the article, you won’t feel confused – and all the words will be easy to absorb.

So, what is crossbow scope? It is an optical device that is made for shooters who use a crossbow. These scopes are mounted on the crossbow and can be used to achieve better accuracy while archery, bowhunting, or target shooting.

In my previous guides, I did talk about the rifle scopes, but keep in mind that the crossbow scopes are not the same as rifle scopes. These scopes are designed to withstand the unique recoil and vibration of crossbows, which can be much more powerful than rifles. 

Special Note: crossbow scopes are usually calibrated for shorter distances because you use the crossbow to hit closer targets – unlike those rifles which are used to hit distant targets.

Can You Sight A Crossbow Without Firing An Arrow?

Yes, you can definitely sight in a crossbow scope without shooting. This can be done when you’re a budget-conscious person and don’t want your arrows to be broken, wasted or lost due to excessive shooting.

Keep in mind that there are many methods that help you sight without shooting, but none of them are as accurate as sighting in with a fired arrow. However, these methods can get you close enough to the target for general use. Those methods that could give you the nearest to accurate results are going to be discussed in the section below.

Details on How to Sight in a Crossbow Scope Without Shooting?

Well, there are many ways that can be used to sight a crossbow and it is totally up to your personal needs and will. One of the most popular methods to sight in a crossbow scope without shooting is to use a bore sight. 

In this method, we use a bore sight tool which helps in shooting the right at the target. But you should ask what the bore sight tool is and how it helps in focusing on the target. These questions are 100% legit. Let me answer.

So, as I said earlier, the bore sight tool is a device that is used to align aiming devices, such as a scope, with the crossbow. So when you use the crossbow, the bore sight will project a laser beam onto a target. You can then adjust the scope until the laser dot is right in the middle of the target.

Here is a stepwise process that you follow to sight in a scope with a bore sight tool

  • Place the bore sighter into the crossbow’s barrel.
  • Adjust the bore sighter to align with the scope’s reticle.
  • Look through the scope and adjust the windage and elevation until the reticle is aligned with the bore sighter.
  • Remove the bore sighter and shoot a test shot to confirm accuracy.

Once you feel that the laser dot produced by the bore sight tool is right on the target or spot, you can shoot the arrow with the crossbow, and it will hit right on the target where your laser dot was present.

The second method for Sighting the Scope without shooting arrows

There is one more method if you want to see a crossbow without shooting. In this method, you’ll have to visually estimate where your shot will land. This method works for bolt-action crossbows that let you remove the bolt. 

To use this method, just take out the bolt and aim your crossbow at a target. Adjust the scope until the aiming point is in the center of the target. Once you’ve set up the scope correctly, put the bolt back in and test the accuracy of your aim.

Fine-Tuning Your Crossbow Scope

Once the crossbow scope has been roughly sighted in, then I highly recommend you fine-tune the scope for greater accuracy. This can be done by shooting the crossbow at a target and adjusting the scope until the bolt hits the center of the target. 

It is not a must-do task if you’re on a tight budget, and don’t want to shoot an extra arrow with the crossbow. I understand that this practice can break your arrows. If you have a handsome budget and have money to afford, then you must fine-tune the scope.

When fine-tuning a crossbow scope, you should make small adjustments and test the accuracy of the scope after each adjustment. Keep adjusting until you don’t achieve the perfect result.

Benefits of Zeroing A Scope Without Firing Arrow

Zeroing a scope without firing has several benefits. First, it saves ammunition. By using this technique, hunters and shooters can save on the cost of ammunition and reduce the amount of time spent at the range. This is probably the most prominent benefit that you get when zeroing a scope without firing.

Apart from the cost perspective, this method is also useful as it helps in causing less risk to the shooter. When you don’t shoot, it reduces the risk of accidental discharge and ensures the safety of the shooter and those around them.

As there is no need to fire a weapon, shooters can zero their scope anywhere and there will be no restriction. But when you zero a scope by shooting then you’ll have to be in a shooting field or restricted place where it is legal and safe for others.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you adjust the windage and elevation on a crossbow scope?

Most crossbow scopes have adjustment knobs located on the top and side of the scope. To adjust the windage, turn the knob on the side of the scope. To adjust the elevation, turn the knob on the top of the scope.

What is the proper distance to sight in a crossbow scope?

The proper distance to sight in a crossbow scope is usually between 20 and 30 yards. 

Can you sight in a crossbow scope without a shooting range?

Yes, it is possible to sight in a crossbow scope without a shooting range. 

Is it necessary to sight in a crossbow scope every time you use it?

It is not necessary to sight in a crossbow scope every time you use it, but I recommend you to check the accuracy periodically, especially if the crossbow has been bumped or dropped. 

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