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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.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Best equipment for Crossbow Expert for highest total damage in rounds 1–3? \$\endgroup\$ – András Jun 22 '18 at 8:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András the questions are very different, although related. This one isn't even an optimization question, it's simply asking about how the rules work. Many answers for many hand crossbow questions include the answer for this one, but I didn't see any question actually asking if you can do it. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 22 '18 at 8:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HellSaint I believe the 'duplicate' here means 'has the answer here' and not 'it's the same question'. \$\endgroup\$ – FenrirG Jun 22 '18 at 8:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FenrirG Well... check this meta. rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8059/43856 - your comment is a very solid example for why I wanted to change that notification. Note that the flag for duplication does state "This question has already been asked and has an answer somewhere else". \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 22 '18 at 8:56
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Official

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.

House-ruling

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.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the confusion you introduce from Mearls' tweet doesn't help your answer. Yes, he's a designer, but his tweets/opinion on intent aren't official (which you stated that Crawford is, but not really that Mearls isn't). There are a lot of instances where they Mearls/Crawford have differing opinions, but Mearls' really is only as relevant as our own rules opinions. I think this could be improved by having a house-rule caveat explaining another option and showing Mearls' tweet there. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 22 '18 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Sage Advice Compendium also reiterates Crawford's answer about how the feat works as written. See the answer to "Does Crossbow Expert let you fire a hand crossbow and then fire it again as a bonus action?" \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 22 '18 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Two sections now - one for the official rule and other for house-ruling with Mearls back-up. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 22 '18 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Much clearer, have an updoot! \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 22 '18 at 19:33

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