Brad Fenson discusses the scientific reasons for the effective range of a modern crossbow.
The best way to look at where crossbows reside in terms of ranged power is by taking a gander at F-class shooting. F-class is long range, and operates in the range of 300 to 1,200 yards, or 900 to 3,600 feet. Crossbows are not effective at 300 yards, although they’d still hurt a target under the right conditions, they may lose their lethality.
Effective Hunting Range. If using a 300+ FPS crossbow, the average effective hunting range is 50, maybe 60 yards. You can obviously go beyond that – even an 80 yard shot would still be powerful enough to kill medium and even big game.
Also, a modern crossbow has an excellent speed of 400 fps to make a kill. The difference between them is you cannot make consistent shots with a crossbow in comparison to a rifle. A rifle gives you more flexibility than a crossbow. Without knowing the most effective range of a crossbow, you may injure a deer.
Maximum Crossbow Shooting Distances If you are shooting in perfect conditions like an indoor range, you may find that your crossbow is very accurate all the way out to 100 yards or more. However, when you add in all the variables of a hunting scenario, the effective hunting range of a crossbow is going to be quite a bit closer than that.
And of course, the terrain, weather conditions and visibility all play part when it comes to determining an effective range. How Many Meters Can a Modern Crossbow Shoot? As far as distance goes, a rule of thumb is that a modern crossbow can shoot around 500 meters, although at that distance, your chances of hitting your target are clearly reduced.