[RPG] Can you attack twice using the same hand crossbow if you have the Crossbow Expert feat


I have searched for the words Hand Crossbow and Crossbow Expert but didn't find this Q&A, which is awkward as it's cited many times.1

The Crossbow Expert feat states:

When you use the Attack action and attack with a one-handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a hand crossbow you are holding.

A hand crossbow is a one-handed weapon, so if you attack with it, can you attack again with the same hand crossbow as your bonus action?

1 As I said, the answer itself is cited in many other questions, but I didn't find any question that actually asked it. I think the question itself is useful so people can easily refer to it, and possibly we get less "dual-wielding crossbow expert" questions with answers clarifying that they don't need the second crossbow.

Best Answer


Yes, it is confirmed by Crawford

@mpetruzz @mikemearls Crossbow Expert does allow a character to shoot a hand crossbow as an action and again as a bonus action.

Note that later, Crawford himself states that this is simply "how it is written" and that it is "murky"

@MLenser The feat is, without a doubt, murky. It's on my list of things to clear up in a future printing. @mikemearls

This tweet answer was later included in the Sage Advice Compendium

Does Crossbow Expert let you fire a hand crossbow and then fire it again as a bonus action? It does! Take a look at the feat’s third benefit. It says you can attack with a hand crossbow as a bonus action when you use the Attack action to attack with a one-handed weapon. A hand crossbow is a one-handed weapon, so it can, indeed, be used for both attacks, assuming you have a hand free to load the hand crossbow between the two attacks.


Ultimately, it's up to DM's discretion if it should be allowed or not. Mearls states

@GX_Sigma @Eoffram_Troyas @Wizards_DnD I'd rule it should specify a different weapon, not same weapon twice

However, note that Mearls is not the official rules guru for 5e - Crawford is - and the SAC is an official document. This tweet doesn't change the fact that the official answer is still: yes.

For balancing purposes, this is essentially giving an early Extra Attack to, for example, fighters that wouldn't be using their Bonus Action at 1st level anyway. It even adds the dex modifier to the second attack.