Target crossbow shooting is a healthy outdoor (and indoor) sport/hobby which appeals to both sexes and all ages, provided the individual is strong enough to handle the bow. There are restrictions for under 18s (see the law). Our members are from varied sporting and non-sporting backgrounds from archery and rifle shooting to those who thought they would "give it a try".
Clothing is as for archery – white, light, inexpensive and unsupportive (no special padding or supportive like target rifle clothing). Shooting is from the standing position (unless in a wheelchair).
Targets are standard archery bosses with archery style target faces ranging from 25cm to 60cm diameter depending on the round being shot.
Members assist each other with advice: string making, bolt making, shooting style and new developments etc and any other information gleaned from International events.
There is a gross misconception that target crossbows have a great hitting power and that the bolts damage archery targets. This is not the case: Yes crossbows may have 2-3 times the draw weight of an archers bow, but the draw length of a crossbow is shorter by a similar amount so the energy input into the projectile is equivalent. Compound archery bows greatly exceed target crossbows in this area. A crossbow bolt also quickly loses its energy over distance so the maximum distance a crossbow target is placed is 65m. compared with up to 100m. for archery. At demonstrations, archers are always surprised at the lack of target bolt penetration.
Through WADS (Wolverhampton Association for Disabled Sport) we organise and assist with friendly shoots for the able bodied, disabled, assisted, blind and amputee crossbow shooters. RSDA (Rugby Sport for the Disabled Association) run a similar indoor event.