One of the essential aspects of being a great hunter is stealth. Being able to move through the woods in a way that you’re undetectable is critical for hunting. If you’re not cautious, any loud noise can startle animals, which will likely cause you to miss the target.
A deer’s reaction in time or any animal you’re hunting will be so much faster than the speed of the crossbow bolt. It’ll be a struggle to hit the animal if your crossbow is loud. A lower firing sound will help you have better hunting experiences. Though there’s no such thing as silencing your crossbow, you can quiet it down a little bit.
You can quiet down your crossbow by tightening up all bolts and screws before hunting. You can either put duct or electrical tape on the stirrup or arrow retention spring as well. Installing sound-dampening gears on your crossbow will also help reduce its loudness.
Any loose parts will create vibration when fired, so make sure all fasteners are tight. You can tighten and secure the parts by using a wrench. It will also ensure your crossbow’s accuracy and consistency to aim and shoot.
Also, do not put too much if you plan on using a duct or electrical tape. Too much of it will likely interfere with your crossbow’s performance. Placing a fair amount of tape will lessen the vibration of the stirrup or arrow retention.
Another way to quiet down your crossbow is to use heavier bolts or a heavier broadhead. Bolts absorb a lot of energy as you place them in a cocking position. The heavier a bolt is, the more energy it will carry once released. It will leave less energy in the crossbow, thereby quieting the crossbow.
If you’re hunting, it’s also a good practice to pay attention to how your crossbow sounds when it’s fired. It will help you determine the suitable method for you to reduce the loudness.
Why is a crossbow so loud?
If you’ve already used a crossbow, you’re most likely familiar with the fact that a crossbow is loud. The loud firing sound of it can be one of the downsides to crossbow hunting.
What makes a crossbow loud is the vibration its parts create when it’s fired. Parts that usually vibrate are the limbs, stirrup, string, and arrow retention string. A crossbow, in a cocked position, stores a significant amount of energy. Once you pull the trigger, it releases all stored energy, which creates a loud noise.
The string plays a big role in the loudness of a crossbow. Once released, a string usually slaps and drags about the barrel, thus creating a loud sound. The barrel is the part that a crossbow bolt rests.
How much noise does a crossbow make?
On loudness, a typical crossbow usually ranges from 100 to 120 decibels. It’s as loud as the sound of a power lawnmower, jackhammer, or rock concert. Results may also vary depending on the crossbow model you’re using.
Decibel (dB) is the unit used to measure the sound intensity or loudness. The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. When it comes to a harmful level of sound to humans, the number is 85.
Long exposures to higher decibels can be dangerous. Researchers discovered repeated exposure at this decibel level could cause permanent hearing loss.
Moreover, how fast a crossbow travels affect the perceived loudness when it arrives. The speed of sound is about 1125 (feet per second) fps, while a crossbow can travel for about 400 fps. It’s less than half the speed of time, which means the bolt will not get there before the sound arrives.
If you’re hunting, you have to consider a thing called deer jumping the string or ducking the string. It’s about the animal’s reaction time to the sound of your crossbow.
Will the animal hear the sound of the bolt leaving your crossbow and then move even before the bolt gets there?
Taking this into account is crucial for every hunter like you. It will help you know how much quieter your crossbow needs to be.
What do crossbow string dampeners do?
In essence, the sound you hear is the energy leaving your crossbow, also known as the vibration. As a hunter, you would want to reduce the vibration that will scare or alert your target. Thus, reducing the amount of sound produced by the crossbow necessary.
One way to reduce the vibration, also known as string oscillation, is to add some rubber to the strings. Damping is the term used when you add accessories called dampeners on your crossbow.
String dampeners reduce the vibration of strings. It decreases the sound that comes out with your shot without reducing the speed or accuracy of the bolt. It also helps reduce the decibel level and shortens noise duration when used on a crossbow.
There are also different types of noise-reduction dampeners you can use. You can add dampeners to the limbs, bolt-retention spring, and barrel of your crossbow. Also, putting one on the foot stirrup and accessories, such as the quiver, is okay too.
You can place rubber limb dampeners on the limbs for a solid limb bow or between the limbs. It can reduce or drop any residual noise generated in this area. The limb dampeners can also reduce vibration transferred between the strings and riser. It can further reduce loud sounds.
Other noise-reduction accessories you can put are string stars, also called leeches. To place this, you have to take your strings off first. Install one on each side of the serving. Don’t forget that it should be the same distance from the serving too.
Cat whiskers are also a popular alternative add-on you can use to quiet down your crossbow. It kind of looks like a spinnerbait a person uses during fishing. It’s usually included in your manufacturer’s kit list when you buy your crossbow. You can attach it to the string or limbs to reduce vibration.
Moreover, you can also add a string stopper. It will not make your crossbow quieter, but it will only make your crossbow sound different. It makes the sound more metallic. Also, be careful on how you install it because it can interfere with the brace height of your crossbow.
You can also opt to install dissipater pads or air brakes in front of your crossbow. It adds weight, thus reducing vibration and changing the sound when it’s fired. To do this, you have to do the following:
- Take the limbs off
- Unstrung your crossbow
- Install the airbrakes or dissipater pads
- Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Using these can make your crossbow quieter. But, the big takeaway from using these gears is the effect on the speed of the crossbows. Using the noise-reducing gears can make your crossbow slower. The difference of effect can also depend on your crossbow’s model.
Don’t forget to check with your crossbow’s manufacturer first before using them. It is to ensure safety and to know what noise-reduction gears suit your crossbow best.
Are reverse draw crossbows quieter?
A reverse-draw crossbow has reversed limbs. It’s much different from a typical crossbow configuration. For a typical crossbow, the riser is at the end of the barrel. For a reverse-draw crossbow, it’s placed well back on the frame. Sometimes, the riser is even behind the trigger.
Reverse-draw crossbows are quieter because it’s energy-efficient than forwarding draw crossbows. It has a lower draw weight, which means there’s less energy released when it’s fired. It results in less vibration, thus less sound.
You can also take into account the following advantages of a reverse-draw crossbow.
- It has a lower draw weight
- It generates faster arrow speeds.
- It provides a better balance.
- It has a narrower axle
Because of the design, the string is closer to the end of the barrel when it’s at rest. It results in a lower draw weight because of a longer power stroke built into the reverse-draw system. It means higher bolt speeds for the draw weight due to a longer contact time with the bolt.
Because of the longer power stroke, the less draw weight gives a faster arrow speed. Some reverse-draw crossbows can generate over 400 fps while using limbs under 200 lbs.
It has a better balance due to the riser’s placement at the back. As the riser shifts back towards the shooter, the center of gravity shifts back as well. The more weight shifts back towards the shooter, the greater level of control it has. It also provides a greater level of accuracy.
A reverse-draw crossbow has parallel limbs. It results in a narrower axle to axle distance of the farthest points on each limb. A narrower axle allows a hunter to maneuver a crossbow in areas only available for a rifle hunter alone.
Some reverse-draw crossbows can also be as narrow as 10 inches wide when cocked. These models are popular as a hunting crossbow during hunting season.
If you plan on using a revere-draw crossbow, it’s also essential to know its limitations. Although it may seem minor, understanding these will help you know if it’s suitable for you. The disadvantages are:
- Fewer accessories suitable
- OEM cables and strings.
Due to the unique design, only a few accessories can be suitable for a reverse-draw crossbow. You can only use accessories made by the manufacturer.
It can be a struggle to find a variety of selections of scope and strings for reverse-draw crossbows. It can only use OEM cables and strings because the power stroke is longer.
You can use a reverse-draw crossbow if you want a quieter crossbow during the hunt. But, keep in mind the following advantages and limitations to help you in choosing.
Are crossbows louder than bows?
Crossbows are louder than recurve or compound bows. The decibel sound of the crossbow is about 100 to 120 dB, while a bow usually ranges from 80 to 90 dB. Also, what makes crossbows louder than bows is the difference between the draw weight.
The higher draw weight it creates, the more energy it releases, thus creating a louder sound. Crossbows have a heavier draw weight, which makes the volume of the sound louder than a bow.
The standard draw weight for a crossbow ranges from 75 to 125 pounds. For a bow, the ideal draw weight ranges from 30 to 40 pounds.
Why it’s important to silence your crossbow?
You may not completely silence your crossbow, but you can quiet it down by using gears to reduce sound. You also reap a lot of advantages by quieting down your crossbow.
- Avoid scaring animals
- Reduce arm fatigue
During crossbow hunting, being silent as much as possible is a must. Any loud noise can scare off animals even before your bolts can even come close to reaching them. It will make hunting hard, especially if you’re participating in big or small game hunting.
Heavier shocks and vibrations while shooting a crossbow can cause fatigue. It usually sets in on your arm. By quieting your crossbow, your arm will receive fewer vibrations.
As a hunter, you should also consider other firing noises that might scare off your target. Don’t worry too much about the sound your crossbow makes after you pull the trigger. Instead, focus on the sound created when you move the safety switch from the safe to the fire mode.
Deers or any animal can pick up the sound even if they’re at a far distance from you. So, it’s necessary to be as quiet as possible when you’re switching it. To do this, you have to touch the button and move it from safe to fire gently. Once you’re accustomed to this, you’re hunting experience will be much better.
Aside from having great hunting skills, a hunter needs to be stealthy. Following all guidelines mentioned above will help quiet down your crossbow. It will also help improve your accuracy and consistency. It’s guaranteed that your hunting experience will be a lot easier and more fun.
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