How To Sight In A Crossbow Scope Without Shooting?

Shooting a crossbow can be fun. But unless you are the literal definition of “good with a bow and arrow” it can also be frustrating. This is because even the best crossbows will not be accurate out of the box.

To get your crossbow shooting accurately you need to sight it in. But, how to sight in a crossbow scope without shooting?

You can follow two methods for zeroing in. Using a bore sighter, or visually locating the impact point by looking into the barrel at a predetermined spot.

How to Sight in A Crossbow Scope Without Shooting? (All The Ways)

It’s quite simple to sight your crossbow without firing it by following some simple procedure.

Without shooting, there are two ways to sight in a crossbow scope: utilizing a bore sight or visually calculating the impact site. The latter approach, on the other hand, is only suitable with a bolt-action crossbow which lets you detach the bolt. 

But first of all, you’ll need the following items to sight in —

  • Crossbow equipped with a scope.
  • A monopod, bipod, or tripod
  • Target
  • Laser Boresighter 

Laser Boresighter

If you’re looking for the most accurate way to sight in a crossbow scope without actually shooting, the easy and best option is laser bore sighters. These come in either bullet-shaped or end-mounted models. 

Before you begin, place a target at a distance of about 20 yards from where you are standing.

  • You’ll see a laser dot showing the aim of your crossbow after setting up the boresight to the tip of an arrow or a bolt. 
  • Now, you need to examine the red laser point through your scope. And place your scope’s crosshairs on that location.
  • Utilize the adjusting dials located in the center of the scope to adjust the crosshairs.
  • Turn the top dial counterclockwise to raise the crosshairs up, and clockwise to bring them down.
  • Again, you can turn the side dial clockwise for the right and counterclockwise for the left.
  • The crossbow is finally zeroed in when you notice that the crosshairs and laser pointers are aligned.
  • Finally, remove the bore sighter and start shooting.

Visual Boresighting

This is a great, fun way to sight in your crossbow.

  • Detach the bolt of the crossbow.
  • Place the crossbow on a tripod for stability and point at your target from a stable platform.
  • Examine the flight groove and move the crossbow till it aligns with a precise location on your target.
  • To match with that spot, adjust the scope crosshairs and utilize the scope adjustment technique similar to the laser boresight.
  • Always realign your crossbow if it moves during the operation.
  • It’s zeroed in when the target point and crosshairs are matched.

Can You Set a Scope Without Shooting?

Can you set a scope without shooting

The short answer is, yes! You can set a scope. But before you get started, the most crucial thing is to make sure that you’ve attached the scope accurately. Otherwise, no matter how many you make adjustments, an incorrectly installed scope won’t give you any better shot.

  • You should typically zero the scope in such that it is precise at 100 yards.
  • Also, you can set the objective target to 25 or even yards, if 100 yards is too far.
  • Keep in mind, that if you zero the scope in one of these near ranges, you must double the adjustment by two or four. You’ll be able to zero correctly at 100 yards this way.
  • If you’re a beginner, try a bullseye target. 
  • However, you can also use a large piece of paper to practice.

Do You Follow the Arrow When Sighting in a Crossbow?

You need to follow the arrow while sighting a crossbow. It involves adjusting the scope, which might be new to you. However, it’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it. 

The first thing to do is to sight in your crossbow, which means making sure that your shot hits where you are aiming at a certain distance (usually 20 or 30 yards).

To do this, you need to adjust the scope until the crosshairs line up with where you want your shot to go. This can be done by adjusting the scope’s windage and elevation knobs, like turning screws or sliding pieces which I’ve mentioned above. 

Each scope has a distinct method of setting the crosshairs. But once you know how to do it on one model, it’s easy to figure out how to do it on others. 

When Sighting in a Crossbow What will Give You More Stability?

There are many things that can affect a crossbow’s accuracy, but the most important is stability. The one thing that will help you shoot more accurately is to use a shooting bench or support.

Well, that’s because you want to be able to take careful aim and fire off as many shots as possible without having any movement.

Besides, if you really want to maximize your stability when shooting from a standing position, consider using bipods or monopods instead. Most of the manufacturers of gun accessories offer them. 


While it used to be necessary to actually shoot the bow with an arrow in order to get it zeroed in, this is no longer the case. Follow these instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have any trouble sighting in your scope without firing an arrow. 

Be sure you have all the tools available, and get organized beforehand, so that you can spend as little time as possible sighting in your scope.

I hope this article will help you along with any person out there who wants to learn how to sight in a crossbow scope without shooting.

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