If the J-section or the groove where the cables go has a strip of Teflon tape, you can shoot a crossbow without a cable slide. But, if there is no tape, you need the cable slide to prevent your cables from wearing when shooting and cocking the crossbow.
To keep the Teflon tape in place, install the riser and then press it down on the cables to avoid it from coming loose or rolling up. It would be best to assemble the crossbows yourself, and these kinds of crossbows contain white cable slides. There are two grooves included if you want to get the slides, one for each cable.
The slides naturally fit in with the grooves facing downward as you hold the crossbow in a shooting position. Both grooves are machined; differently. One is more profound than the other. The top cable naturally fits into the deeper machined groove when holding the crossbow in a shooting position.
For easier control, lube the cables well before assembly. There is only one way to do it: to apply the lubricant when cocking and shooting the crossbow. Using a cable slide is not that complicated but needs detailed how-tos to handle it properly.
What is a cable slide?
A cable slide is a type of cable guide and is a component of a compound bow mounted to the bow’s cable guard rod. It retains the bow’s buss cables to refrain it from moving at a slight offset.
Typical cable slides rely on the buss cable’s ability to slide within its confines whenever an archer draws a cycle. Most cable slides are readily available in the market. Also called the “industry standard” for many years already, but that is not the case these days.
You can customize the inclusion of your compound bow based on your need. There are many premium compound bows now that come with roller cable guides. But some companies still prefer using cable slides as an inclusion to their compound bows.
What does a cable slide do?
Installing a cable slide helps you have more control of your bow. Putting it on the cable guard of your chosen compound bow helps prevent the pulley cables from tangling. It stops the cables from rubbing against each other to extend the life of your bowstring and pulley cables.
Another important thing that a cable slide does is reduce the noise created during the release of the string when firing. The noise reduction is a nice benefit for bow hunters when trying to aim for their target. They can catch their prey without making any sound, preventing them from running or moving around.
You can install a compound bow cable guard and slide with simple hand tools. Most of the time, the tools are already part of the compound bow package when you buy them. If it is not yet in the box, you can use whatever you have at home that can push a screw and cut the unnecessary cables.
When should you replace cables on a crossbow?
Archers should always inspect their cables before each use. If the line looks fuzzy and dry, simple waxing usually helps. But, if any cable looks frayed or some of its parts have separated, you might need to replace your cables.
Cables stretch over time and eventually affect your bow’s timing. That is why it is essential to check your cables before using them for better performance. You might also need to replace your cable if your crossbow has tuning or performance issues.
These days, most modern compound bows have visual reference points on their cams called timing marks. If these marks are off, it is time to take your bow to an archery shop for a professional inspection. Sometimes, the cables can also cause this problem, so it is best to have them checked.
Moreover, with recurves and longbows, you will feel the effects of stretched cables when drawing the bow. If the cable is too long, it causes slight reductions in draw weight that cause the cables to rub at each other. A qualified bow tech will take the measurement and then compare the results to factory specs to know if the stretched lines took your bow out of tune.
How do you replace a cable slide on a bow?
Replacing a cable slide is not that complicated. You have to prepare your screws, bow, and replacement cable slide. However, if you do not have enough time to go out and visit an archery shop for help.
Here is a simple guide on how you can change a cable slide on a bow:
- Place your compound bow on a stable table, arrow rest facing up. There are two cable guard mounting holes near the center of the bow’s riser.
- Slip the cable slide at the end of your cable guard and down the shaft.
- Ensure that the grooves in the cable slide face the pulley cables.
- On the riser, set the cable guard into the mounting holes. Make sure to seat the end of the cable guard fully in the front-most mounting hole to prevent it from shaking.
- You can now hand-thread the bolts that came in the package with the cable guard into each cable guard mounting hole. Make sure to tighten each bolt with an Allen wrench to keep it in place.
- Now, push the cable slide between the cable guard and the pulley cables of your compound bow.
- Slowly snap the cable slide into the pulley cables.
- After changing your cable slide, it is time to test it to make sure you correctly replaced the cables and tightened the screws.
- Ensure that the cables do not bind and that the bow fires straight to avoid the cables from rubbing at each other.
You can easily replace a cable slide on a bow using your tools at home. But if this is your first time replacing a cable slide and you are not sure if you are doing it correctly, it is better to let a professional do it. Go to the nearest archery shop and ask them to help you replace the cable slide.
Does Barnett XP 380 have a cable slide?
All compound bows like Barnett XP 380 have cable slides. It usually comes with the package when you buy your bow. However, there are still those that do not have a cable slide included when purchased.
It mostly depends on where you bought your bow. Most of the time, there is only a plastic insert that contracts the rail of your bow if it does not include a cable slide. The cables ride on these rails, and it needs an ample amount of lube or wax to function.
Some bows have a Teflon sleeve that the cable slides ride against when used. It lays flat on the sleeve across the outside of the rail. This area also needs to be regularly waxed well to function correctly.
Can you make your cable slide?
You can create cable slides on your own. With a highly acute sting angle and narrow ATA, the cables must cross dead center below the trail. There are also simple ways how to make a DIY cable slide.
There are three different ways to make a DIY cable slide. The first is to create a bracket using both ATR mounting holes. The second one uses just one ATR mounting hole as a bracket. Both are easy and efficient, but it always depends on your bow what works better.
The last and the easiest one is to use the limb saver after a market string stopper kit. You can buy this online for around $50. But the hole in the rod mounting bracket included in the kit is too large for the ATR screw, so you will have to find a washer that would fit. Choose the one that can hold a recessed mounting hole to reduce it to the dia of the screw.
After that, cut the rod for about 4-inches long. There is only about 1-inch of in and out movement of the cable slide when you draw the bow. Make sure to lock the screw holding the rod in place on the mounting bracket because it can loosen up over time. However, you must note that although it is possible to DIY a cable slide, conversion or alternating it could void your warranty.
If you are new to archery, it can be overwhelming to know everything about the components of your bow. But you do not have to know all at once. You can start with those that are easy to understand its uses, like the cable slide. Then you can go from there and learn the other components of your bow.