How to Sight in a Red Dot Scope on a Crossbow

by Matt Logan

If you want to hit the center ring, you have to put in the effort.

Target for crossbow shooting. Amateur competitions. image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com

With considerations such as range, wind and velocity playing larger roles, sighting in a crossbow isn't exactly like sighting in a rifle. Weather conditions are in constant flux, so likely you'll be sighting in your bow every time you take it outside. Red dot sights (also known as laser sights) make this task less complicated.

  1. Determine the conditions under which you will use your crossbow. Find out what the wind speed and direction are likely to be, as well as whether precipitation is expected. You also need to know the approximate range at which you will be shooting.

  2. Prepare your shooting range to match the target conditions as closely as possible. Wind and weather are not always easy to accommodate, but with practice, you can learn to allow for them. Place the target at the far end of the range with a suitable backstop, then set up the tripod or brace at the desired target range.

  3. Sight along the arrow groove on the crossbow and adjust your laser sight to match where you expect the bolt to go. Try to allow for arrow drop.

  4. Lock your bow into the brace and fire a bolt with the red dot on the center of the target. Leave the bow locked in place and make a note of how far off center the bolt is on both the horizontal and vertical axes. Use these notes to adjust the sight according to the manufacturer's handbook, then fire another arrow. Repeat until the bolts start forming an acceptable pattern around the red dot.

Photo Credits

  • Target for crossbow shooting. Amateur competitions. image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com

About the Author


Matt Logan is an Alabama-based freelance writer. He has more than seven years of experience in computer repair, as well as expertise in crafting.