For an arbalist or someone who shoots a crossbow, you need to understand a lot of its specifications. One of the most important features to be aware of is the draw weight of a crossbow.
Draw weight is the force required to draw the bolt back to a locked and cocked position. It determines how much force and how powerful the crossbow will shoot.
A higher draw weight means more power and speed for the crossbow. Though, a higher draw weight means you have to put more energy into the draw. It will be more difficult to pull the string back.
You can change the draw weight of the crossbow by two methods. Tightening or loosening the limb bolts is one method to change the draw weight. You can also change the draw weight by having a crossbow that has replaceable limbs. You can interchange out the limbs to have the draw weight you find comfortable using.
You might find it useful to learn more about draw weight and its other features if you’re into crossbow hunting.
What is a good draw weight for a crossbow?
When choosing a crossbow, you have to consider the right draw weight to use for yourself.
The standard draw weight for a crossbow ranges from 75 pounds to 125 pounds. In some places, they adhere to a stated maximal range that is usually around 200 pounds.
A higher draw weight makes it harder to pull back. For young people who are planning to use a crossbow, a draw weight that ranges from 45-70 pounds will be easier to use.
For men and women who have more strength, a good range is from 95-155 pounds. Some people can also handle a draw weight of 200 – 290 pounds.
It is also important to consider the force you can handle to pull back the string into a cocked position. It can also depend on what drawing weight suits you best.
You also have to know what draw weight is suitable for your style of hunting. For animals like rabbits, you need at least a range of 75 to 125 pounds. Remember that rabbits are harder to shoot at because they are small and fast. They can jump, dart, or crouch, so the speed of the bolt is also important.
For a deer, elk, or mules, the ideal draw weight is at least 150 pounds to 175 pounds. For larger and dangerous animals like bears or moose, you want a draw weight of about 200 lbs. You can also go higher if you want a more powerful shot.
It is also important to study and check your state’s requirements for draw weights. You have to adhere to these rules to prevent any problem when you’re practicing or hunting. You can contact your state agency for the definite requirements you have to follow if you’re unsure of the rules.
How do you lower the draw weight on a crossbow?
You can adjust the draw weight if you’re having difficulty pulling back the string. You can adjust the draw weight by tightening or loosening the limb bolts. You have to tighten the limb bolts clockwise to increase the draw weight.
You can lower the draw weight by unscrewing the limb bolts counterclockwise on each limb. By loosening the bolts, the amount of force you need to pull the string will be lowered.
Remember that using this method may cause unnecessary damage to the bolts if done wrong. So you have to be extra careful to prevent that from happening.
Here are the steps you can follow to do it right.
- First is to locate the limb bolts. The limb bolts are near the center of the crossbow. You can locate them in large circular knobs that attach the crossbow’s limbs to the riser.
- You can now tighten or loosen the limb bolts using a wrench or screwdriver. Adjust each one according to your desired weight. Don’t forget to do this for both limb bolts with the same amount to prevent miscalculations.
- It is important to choose a draw weight that will match your strength. You have to adjust the specifications that will fit your style as well. Cocking the crossbow into a locked position requires a fair amount of energy.
You might be okay at first using a heavier draw weight, but it can cause strain on your part after several shots. Using a heavier draw weight can exhaust you and can lessen the accuracy of your shot. So it is best to go with the proportions that complement you.
Can you make a crossbow easier to pull back?
Another essential aspect to consider when you’re bowhunting is how to load a crossbow. Cocking means that you prepare the crossbow for firing. You can do pull it into a cocked position barehanded and with your physical strength. You can reach and grab the string using your hands or the tips of your fingers.
Some people can do this with ease, but others find it harder to do so. Using your hands after several shots can also tire you. It can also put a strain on your back and arm muscles out, so it can cause inconsistent shots.
You can make a crossbow easier to pull back by using cocking aids or devices. Cocking ropes and cranking devices are the two popular cocking aids you can use.
Cocking Rope Device
A cocking rope has two hooks that operate like a pulley that aids in cocking your crossbow. Using a rope cocker will remove as much as 50 percent of the draw weight. It lessens the physical effort you put and the strain on your muscles and joints.
To use this device, you have to follow this simple instruction:
- First is to point the crossbow towards the ground. Don’t forget to place your foot in the foot claw to secure it in place.
- Place the middle of the rope in the cord groove and attach the hooks or clasps to the crossbow string.
- Pull the rope handles until you hear and feel the clicking mechanism. This means the safety has been set, and the crossbow is ready for loading.
- Don’t forget to remove the rope.
Using a cocking rope can help you have more consistent shots. It will also lessen the time and energy you put in than when you’re cocking it using your hands.
You only have to adjust the length of the rope depending on what suits you best for your bows’ length. It can cause dry fires if not used right and can cause shoulder injury from pulling back too much. You can shorten it by tying a new knot lower down the rope.
Cocking Crank Device
Most models of crossbows already have a built-in crank device. You can also buy a separate crank that is compatible with the crossbow you are using.
Using the crank device is the same as loading a cocking rope. But instead of using rope handles to pull, you only have to rotate the handles or lever until it is in place.
The advantage of using a crank device is that it produces the most accurate and consistent shots. It can lessen the draw weight by at least 5-15 pounds. Like a cocking rope, it can also reduce the strain on your arms and muscles when you use it. The only disadvantage to it is that it takes longer to prepare it. It also creates a sound when pulling the string back.
So these are the examples of cocking aids you can use to lessen the draw weight. You can choose your preferred device to make the pulling of the string back easier.
What are the parts of a crossbow?
When you want to try bowhunting, it is important to know the parts of a crossbow. Learning its anatomy will help you understand the mechanism better. It will also provide you with knowledge on how to have more accurate and consistent shots.
Here are the parts of a crossbow:
- Cocking Stirrup
The stock, also known as the body, is the central part of a crossbow. It is where all the other parts of the crossbow are usually attached. This is also where you hold the crossbow and also the part where your shoulder rests.
The stock holds the barrel, trigger, and sight bridge together. It also serves as the support for the arrow track and sight. It is usually made from various materials like wood, plastic, or composite materials.
Connected to the foregrip is the crossbow’s stock, the part where you hold using your aiming hand. It helps you steady your aim and have full control of your shots. It also helps you stay in line with your target.
The trigger is also known as the release mechanism of a crossbow. When squeezed, it releases the string and launches the bolt. It is usually located under the latch that holds the string in a cocked position.
A barrel is also called the rail or track that aligns the bolt with the string. You can locate the barrel at the top of the crossbow. It produces consistency and accuracy for every shot.
This is the part of the crossbow where the two limbs attach. This is the point at which limbs attach in a crossbow. The purpose of it is to hold the limbs of the bow at a certain angle.
This is where the ends of two strings connect. It stores the power or energy used to launch the bolt. Some models of crossbow have replaceable limbs.
The string is the most important part of a crossbow because it is what launches a bow forward. This is where the two limbs connect. It determines the firing power of the crossbow. You have to take care of the string for the crossbow to have a good performance.
The latch holds the string in place and captures the string when you draw the crossbow. By pulling the trigger, you release the taut.
The sight serves as the part that provides the accuracy of the target when aiming the bolt. Three common types of sights are pin and peep, red dot, and scope.
The stirrup is the metal frame located at the front of the crossbow, used for cocking. This is where you place your foot to keep it in place when you draw the strings back. It also serves as the protection of the ends of the bolts from any damage. It also prevents the arrow from accidental release.
A quiver is the part of the crossbow that carries the bolts. You either place it on top or underneath the crossbow.
By learning the information above, you will have a better grasp of how to use a crossbow well.
How far will a crossbow shoot?
Another important aspect to look at is the distance of bolts when shooting using a crossbow. Points that play a big role in the accuracy of the range are angle, arrow weight, and kinetic energy. The length of the bolt also plays a big role in how far an arrow travels.
The average distance a crossbow can shoot is at least 80 yards. The shots within this range will remain accurate and consistent.
If you are a hunter and you have a specific target, the range should be more or less 50 to 80 yards. You can still shoot using your crossbow with accuracy. You can also hit the animal with consistent shots.
Without a specific target, the highest range that a crossbow can shoot is 500 to 600 yards. The longest distance recorded using a crossbow is 680 yards.
Learning about the important features of the crossbow will improve your bowhunting skills. By having the right knowledge of the right draw weight for you, you can improve the accuracy of your shots. Use the above information to guide you about crossbow and bowhunting.