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Shooting sport in the Netherlands is large and has various competitive forms where it revolves around precision, speed and type of rifle/pistol. The founder of the modern Olympic Games was a fanatical shooter and organized many competitions. As a result, there are many shooting sports that are played at the Olympic Games, such as skeet shooting and biathlon. In terms of the number of practitioners, shooting is one of the largest sports in the world. At The Old Man Knives & Tools Amsterdam we share a passion for the sport and as a shooting sports store we offer an assortment of weapons and ammunition for the shooters.


Crossbow shooting is also a popular form of target shooting. There are special competition crossbows that must meet the requirements of the game. A bow is made of fiberglass and has a maximum draw weight of 200 pounds (lbs). A crossbow uses special crossbow bolts. Is a crossbow legal in the Netherlands? Yes, from the age of 18 it is allowed to have a crossbow. Use is only permitted on private property or at a shooting range. Buying a crossbow is also allowed, both online and in the store.

Which crossbow do I need?

If you are going to buy a crossbow, it is important to first look carefully at what kind of one suits you. There are different sizes and strengths of crossbows for crossbow shooting. In addition to the standard crossbow, a smaller crossbow pistol is also available. For crossbow competitions they often use older handmade crossbows. Always check this in advance at an association or competition.

Crossbow arrows and targets

A crossbow or crossbow pistol needs special arrows. A crossbow arrow is available in 14, 16, 20 and 22 inches. Which one you need depends on your rifle or pistol. In a crossbow pistol, the arrows are 6.5 inches. For the material you can choose between plastic, aluminum or carbon, with carbon usually being the most expensive. The arrows are reusable. If you take good care of your arrows, they will last longer. So always use an arrow trigger to get your arrow out of the target. The target in crossbow shooting is often a round target. This target is often mounted on a shooting cabinet with an arrow catcher.

Is a crossbow legal?

If you are going to buy a crossbow, you have to take the legislation into account. From the age of 18 it is allowed to buy and own a crossbow in the Netherlands. A license is not required to own a crossbow and it is legal. The most important rule is that the use of a crossbow is only allowed on private property or at a shooting range. In addition, a crossbow may not be immediately available for use during transport. So store the crossbow safely and make sure it is not cocked.

Note: This is a summary of the rules. You are responsible for being aware of the exact and current regulations and for complying with them.


Blowpipe shooting may not be one of the shooting sports, but it is similar. When using a blowpipe, it is an extra challenge to master the technique of blowing. Buying a blowpipe is allowed in the Netherlands. Unlike the aforementioned weapons, you can use a blowgun under the age of 18 because it is not covered by the Weapons and Ammunition Act.

air rifle

One of the most used rifles in the Netherlands for sport shooting is an air rifle. An air rifle is a gun that uses air pressure to fire a small bullet. These bullets are called airgun pellets . The most commonly used sizes are 4.5mm or 5.5mm. Be aware of the laws associated with buying and using an air rifle. From the age of 18, buying and owning an air rifle is legal in the Netherlands as long as it does not resemble a real firearm. Use of the weapon is only allowed on private property or on a designated shooting range. It is forbidden in public! Do you want to spend an afternoon on a shooting cabinet or shooting targets? That is allowed as long as you do it in your own garden or at a shooting range.


You also need shooting targets to practice shooting sports. Depending on your preference, you can buy a moving shooting cabinet or a regular shooting cabinet. In a shooting cabinet there is often a target that you can replace. The best solution for a crossbow or a blowgun in an arrow catcher.