Crossbow targets are designed to help the archer improve their precision when they shoot. These targets are critical components of archery and especially of archery hunting. To make certain that the crossbow targets we labeled as the best were truly the best, we asked several bow hunters, and instructors to try out the targets and give us their opinions on them.
We compiled a list of the targets that these experts liked, and then took out any targets that were not recommended by two or more of the experts. The results are targets that are durable, easy to use, and worthy of mention.
Best Crossbow Targets
1. Rinehart Targets 18-1 Broadhead Target
This is a cube shaped target so you get the ability to take aim from different positions that you could not have if you were shooting at a square or flat target. You build a greater amount of skill because you have a greater number of angles to shoot from.
Most bow shooters approve of this target because it can withstand arrow speeds of as great as 500 feet per second. If the target cannot tolerate high speeds then crossbow shooters will be destroying the target with their shots. This particular item can handle a variety of arrow types such as field points and expandables, and still be serviceable.
This item can also be used to help you gain precision with your air rifle. It is versatile, easy to transport, and highly visible.
2. GlenDel Buck 3D Archery Target with Replaceable Insert Core
This is a replacement core for your white tail shaped target. The deer shaped targets increase the ability of the shooter to bring down a deer with one shot instead of possibly wounding an animal and the animal getting away. You can practice hitting the exact location that will guarantee a kill shot rather than just shooting at a circle drawn on paper.
This is a durable item that you can use for a long period of time due to the uniform layer compression used to create the insert. The target is strong and capable of withstanding many shots. You can use broad-heads, field-tips, and just about any other arrow head to shoot at this realistic looking target.
3. Morrell Yellow Jacket Stinger Field Point Bag Archery Target
If you are practicing with your compound or traditional bow then this is a target you will want to have. It is best used with field point arrows, that is designed to be long lasting. It appears to be a simple sand bag target, but do not let the simplicity of the design fool you. This target is made to be shot out repeatedly and when the exterior portion of the unit begins to wear thin you can recover the internal sections and keep using it.
The target even lets you audibly hear when you miss the bulls-eye. If you do not hit the target on the bulls-eye the arrow striking it will make an audible thud. It is nice to know immediately if your shot was perfect, and gives you more incentive to keep on trying.
4. Morrell Yellow Jacket YJ-425 Field Point Bag Archery Target
This is a long-life archery target designed to be used to hone your skills with a compound bow or a crossbow. It is capable of taking the high speed and penetrating arrow shots that are ejected from these weapons when they are fired. You do not have to worry about the arrow penetrating the target and doing any damage on the other side, or getting damaged in the process.
This target is made in the USA from materials that are capable of withstanding thousands of arrow hits with little or no visible signs of damage. It is brightly colored with four specific target areas on the side so you can shoot at different angles and work towards getting your shot so precise that you hit the smaller bulls-eye every time.
5. Block Classic Archery Target
This block target has amazing stopping power so you can feel secure setting up your practice area in your back yard. The cube will capture the arrow you hit it with and will not damage the arrow shaft or head as it does so.
This design uses friction to stop the penetration of the arrow instead of using force so you get less arrow damage when you shoot. It also allows you to pull the arrow free easily so you do not damage the arrow during retrieval.
It is light weight, easy to transport, and easy to see. It is great for improving skill and any level of bow shooter will gain from the experience with this target.
6. Morrell Double Duty 450FPS Field Point Bag Archery Target
You can shoot your arrow into this target and with its ability to capture a bolt traveling at 450 feet per second you can rest assured that it will stop the arrow. The variety of designs that are illustrated on each side of the target will allow you to not get bored of shooting at it. Having different illustrations keep you interested and that keeps your skill level increasing.
It is a great target for youth, beginners, and experienced marksmen. It has the ability to stop the arrow penetration with creating a possibility of arrow damage. It is surprisingly light and easy to transport so setting up your shooting alley will take very little time and effort.
7. Delta McKenzie Targets Crossbow Discharge Bag Target
This crossbow target can withstand the arrows that have speeds up to 400 feet per second or greater. The target is recommended for shooting with field tip arrows so keep this in mind when you are practicing.
The materials of the target are water-resistant but if you leave the item outdoors all of the time eventually the rain and moisture will get in through the holes created by the arrow hits. When rain and moisture enter beneath the outer covering the target may be compromised.
This makes an excellent device for unloading your bow after a hunt. If your bow is still cocked you do not have to go through the difficulty of uncocking it you can simply shoot your arrow into the target, retrieve it, and load up to go home.
8. Morrell Yellow Jacket Crossbow Bolt Discharge Bag Archery Target
Compact, easy to carry, and durable are all great aspects of this simply to use target. You can add highly visible, sturdy, and beneficial. This little target is easy to toss in the back of your truck or in the trunk of your car. When you go out hunting you can rest assured that it is waiting for you ready to absorb the arrow that is fully loaded into your bow. You do not have to go through any un-cocking rituals that could be dangerous for you, and you do not have to shoot at something that you merely hope will capture the arrow properly.
You will always be prepared to unload by shooting into this target. Of course; this little jewel is also great for target practice to help you sight in a scope, or perfect your ability to shoot at a precise location.
9. GlenDel Pre-Rut Buck 3D Archery Target with Replaceable Insert Core
This 3D archery target gives you the opportunity to clearly see where on an animal such as a white tail deer you should attempt to make your shot. You want to shoot an animal in such a way as to kill it with one shot instead of causing an injury that could cause the animal to suffer for a long period of time before dying. Humane hunting practices are the best hunting practices.
This target will last you for many years, and it is possible to insert a new core into the target when it does start to wear thin after thousands of arrows have been shot into it. This is possibly one of the best hunting targets available.
Best Crossbow Targets Buying Guide
If you are learning to shoot a crossbow then you naturally want to get a target to perfect your shots with. Not all targets are capable of handling the bolts ejected from a crossbow, and using the wrong target could cause you to damage your arrows, or worse, damage something that is behind the target.
Before you go target shopping take the time to familiarize yourself with the common features of the targets that are approved for crossbow users.
You are going to have to choose the type of target that you want. Basically, there are two different target types, the bag style and the foam style. There are several different target shapes, but the actually target falls into one of these two categories.
- Not intended to be used with broad-head arrows
- Not as dense as foam targets
- Allow for easy arrow retrieval
- Usually less expensive to buy
- Often made small for the purpose of discharge or un-cocking the weapon after a hunt
- Usually larger than the bag style
- Usually heavier and often hard to transport
- Can normally handle field point arrows or broad-head arrows
- Removing the arrow from them can often be difficult
- Durable and created for extensive use
- Usually cost more than the bag style
Feet Per Second Capabilities
When a bow shoots an arrow the speed that the arrow travels is determined in feet per second. When an arrow is shot at faster feet per second speeds then the bolt will be able to penetrate the target to a deeper level. If a target is designed to handle a low speed arrow and you shoot a high-speed arrow into it you may see your target go through the target rather than being stopped by the target.
Know the feet per second that your bow shoots and make sure the target you select can handle that speed or greater.
Aiming Points on the Target
It will be beneficial if you choose a target that has several aiming points on it. If you are shooting at the same location time and time again then the target is going to get worn in that area pretty quickly. If you have several different points to aim at you can take shots at different locations and extend the life of the target.
Weight and Portability
This is going to matter according to how you practice and where you practice. If you practice in the same location all of the time then the weight and portability of the target will not be as important. If you carry the target with you or shoot from different places then the weight and portability will be a huge factor in your decision.
If you would like to be able to hang your target from a rope then look for one that has grommets at the top. The little metal rings are designed to be tough enough to handle the weight of the target when it is suspended.
If you are practicing your skills so you are a better marksman when you hunt then hanging the target will increase the difficulty of hitting the bulls-eye and will improve your shots.
If you want to put a target up in one place and leave it in that place all of the time then the weather-proofing of the item is going to be a major factor. You want a target that is not going to fade from the sun exposure and that will not have its internal stuffing damaged by the rain and moisture.
Types of Crossbow Targets
Crossbow targets come in different shapes, colors, and sizes, but the main difference between these items comes down to them being a part of one or two crossbow varieties.
- Bag Targets
These targets are slightly smaller and often lighter than the foam targets are. They have inner materials that are not as dense as foam targets and are less likely to do any damage to the arrow you shoot. Their design allows an arrow to penetrate only a short distance but stops the arrow from going far enough into the target that the vanes on the arrow actually come into contact with the unit.
These targets usually look like a sand bag of some sort. They are sack shaped, or cube shaped. The retrieval of the arrow from these targets is usually very easy to do, and they do very little damage to the arrow.
- Foam Targets
Foam targets are typically larger than the bag style units. They are built to be used repeatedly for thousands of shots so they are durable. They are also denser and removing the arrow from these targets can often be very difficult to do. You may even get damage to the arrow from when it strikes the target.
What Size of Crossbow Targets Do I Need?
The size of the target you choose will be determined by the weapon you use to shoot the arrow, and the purpose of the target. If you are getting a bag style target that you can use to unload your weapon with at the end of the day then a small bag that is at least 12 inches thick is going to suffice.
If you are shooting a high-speed arrow at the target from a greater distance then you will want a larger target that is thick enough to capture the arrow and not allow it to pass through completely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Shoot a Compound Bow at a Crossbow Target?
For the most part you can shoot the compound bow at the crossbow target. Most crossbow targets will accept high-speed arrows that have field-points or broad-heads on the end of them. Make sure that the target you are shooting at is rated for the arrow head you choose and the speed of your weapon.
How Heavy Are Crossbow Targets?
The weight of the target is determined by the size of the item and the interior filling it has. Foam filled targets weigh more than the bag style targets. Some of the larger and heavier targets may weigh in excess of fifty pounds.
How to Remove Crossbow Bolts from a Target?
Wearing a glove can help you to grasp the shaft of the arrow and keep the shaft from slipping as you pull. You should plant your feet firmly, or even place one foot on the target to give you leverage so you can pull the bolt away with less strength.
You can purchase an arrow pulling tool that will help you to pull the arrow free without you having to exert any energy.
If you plan to use a bow and arrow then you need to have targets to shoot at so you can improve your skill. The simple targets that you print out on paper are okay if you place them on the side of a bale of hay so the arrow is captured and not damaged.
Most bow hunters prefer to buy a specific target designed to be used with the bow variety they shoot. If you shoot crossbows this is important because they launch the arrows at higher rates of speed, and they send them into the target with greater force.