A crossbow has a stock that is similar to a firearm, and it shoots shorter arrows than conventional archery equipment. These shorter arrows are sometimes referred to by the medieval term “bolts.”
Safe use of a crossbow requires following the safety rules for both firearms and bows.
- Like conventional bows, the crossbow is limited to short-range shooting. For most crossbows, 30–40 yards is the maximum range.
- Always unload your crossbow by firing it safely into a target or into the ground.
- Always practice these crossbow safety rules:
- Keep your fingers below the flight groove.
- Beware of objects around the bow's limbs.
- Never “dry fire” a crossbow.
- Keep the rail properly lubricated.