Dylan Gowans discharged with weapon in the direction of a group of people he believed were responsible for attacking his grandfather’s home.
The 23 year-old instead struck Archibald Climson, who happened to be out looking for his daughter.
Mr Climson (46) suffered a collapsed lung and needed a blood transfusion following the incident.
Gowans was today locked up for three years and nine months at the High Court in Glasgow.
The supermarket worker had earlier pled guilty to culpably and recklessly discharging a crossbow to the danger of Mr Climson’s life.
The crime occurred in the city’s Easterhouse in the early hours of September 11, 2016.
Lord Mulholland told him: “You could have easily killed the man if the bolt struck another part of his body. It is alarming that you caused a member of the public to be shot by a crossbow.
“This is not medieval times. This is Glasgow – a civilised society in the 21st century.”
The court was earlier told how Mr Climson had been out in the area asking people if they had seen his daughter.
He ended up being struck on the left side of the chest with a crossbow bolt and was rushed to hospital.
Prosecutor Liam Ewing said medics believed the incident was “potentially life threatening”.
Mr Climson recovered, but died from an unrelated condition last year.
Gowans, also of Easterhouse, was snared after being spotted on CCTV with a crossbow.
He denied touching the weapon – but his DNA was later found on the bolt.
Brian Fitzpatrick, defending, said: “It was because of the stone being thrown he did this. There was no intent to fire it at anyone to their injury. I think there was no actual danger to Mr Climson’s life, although there was the potential.”
The lawyer today added Gowans had found out that his girlfriend is expecting a child.
Lord Mulholland said the jail-term would have been five years, but for the guilty plea.