Proper Crossbow Maintenance is essential to get the maximum usage and lifespan possible out of your purchase.
A successful Hunt takes time and effort. On average, the more time and effort committed, the more shot possibilities you’ll have. A failure to perform regular maintenance on a weapon could reduce accuracy, reduce the lifetime of equipment and possibly cause weapon failure or personal injury.
Good hunting opportunities are few and far between, so you want to ensure your equipment performance when you are given a chance at the once-in-a-lifetime shot.
Here are some tips to maintaining your crossbow that ensure your crossbow continues to perform at its best.
Top 10 Important Tips For Crossbow Maintenance
1. Inspect your Crossbow and Gear
Inspection of the equipment is an important step in crossbow safety as well as maintenance. Prior to using your crossbow, you should always inspect your equipment. Inspect the limbs, strings, cables, cams and other essential components from top to bottom. Examine for signs of wear and tear that could cause serious damage like the string the snap or limbs to splinter.
Check them for any signs of damage such as:
- Check limbs for any cracks or twists
- Loose bolts
- Arrow shafts that, i.e., splintering or bent
You should also periodically tighten the bolts. Keep a hex or screwdriver in your crossbow in case you need to tighten up loose bolts while you are in the field.
2. Wax Crossbow Strings and Cables on Your Crossbow
To properly maintain your crossbow, it is important to waxing the string regularly as it reduces the wear on your crossbow string. Keeping the string and cable well waxed will help to keep them from becoming dried or frayed out from wear and weather conditions.
- Crossbow wax helps protect the string from potential damage.
- It offers a layer of protection against normal friction.
- It keeps the string from becoming dry and brittle.
- String/cables require more frequent waxing than a regular bow.
Be sure to use a wax that specially designed for use on strings. Apply the wax onto the length of string and cables. Using your fingertips, rub the wax so that it will adhere better. Avoid waxing the area beyond the arrow rail to prevent gumming up the trigger box. The frequency of waxing a string will vary based on the particular type of crossbow you own.
Many crossbow packages comprise a tube of wax with it. However, if it isn’t included, you have to purchase it separately.
3. Lubricate the Rail of Crossbow
Maintaining the lubrication of rail will help in better accuracy and performance when firing a crossbow. As it minimizes friction, ensures smooth traction and improve efficiency. Use extra-slippery rail lube instead of tacky string wax.
- Apply two drops of lubricant onto the rail. Using your fingers rub it along the entire length of the rail.
- It is advised to use oil-based lubricants. Avoid using gun oil, WD-40 or jelly-based lubricants as they can lead to potential problems.
- As a general rule, you can lube the rail after every 50-60 shots. However, if your fence begins to look dull and dry, you should apply more lubricant sooner.
- While applying lube ensure that it doesn’t accumulate girt or dirt. If debris does accumulate, wipe away all dirt and reapply a fresh layer with a paper towel.
It is also essential that you don’t over lubricate the rail. However, using excess oil leads to wear of the rail and thus should be avoided.
4. Lubricate The Exposed Bolts And Trigger Box
While you’ve crossbow lubricant handy, you should apply several drops on the trigger box and any visibly mounting bolts. The lubricant will help protect the bolts from corrosion or damage from exposure to damp weather.
- If you have a compound crossbow, apply lubricant to the axles/wheel as well to make sure they turn as smooth as possible.
- Applying too much lube can cause wear on string’s centre serving.
5. Check The String of your Crossbow
Check your bow string occasionally for any visible signs of tear or wear. Replace the string at the initial sign of breakage or visibly serving separation. Failure to keep string well lubricated on a regular basis lead to a shortened lifespan by approximately 20%, thus requiring a replacement sooner.
If your string is jumping, check the nock on the bolt. If this appears to be in good working order, then inspect your string next. If the nock is damaged, you should replace the arrow as damaged nock can cause a dry-fire.
The average lifespan of the bowstring supports firing of 200 to 1,000 arrows. Always carry a spare string whenever you are going out with your crossbow in the field.
6. Re-tighten The Bolts Periodically
Before you use your equipment for hunting or target practice, always tighten all the bolts. Firing exerts a lot of pressure to the bolts hence losing them. Therefore always check the bolts after firing every 50 to 100 arrows to retighten them.
- Keep a proper hex key/screwdriver with you when going out in the field.
7. Clean the Scope Lens
Clean the scope lens, whenever you notice your vision start obstructed. Obstruction can be a result of a smudge of your fingertips or dust particles on the lens.
Use wipes for cleaning the lens to avoid unwanted scratches or smears.
8. Get Rid of Dirt
You should clean out dust or dirt that has stuck in or accumulated any part of your crossbow. It is advised to use a can of compressed air for this. Use it every possible area such as grooves, connection points, as well as nooks.
Always perform this step after each session or hunting trip.
It is essential to clear out visible dirt properly to lubricating any part of the crossbow.
9. Keep Your Crossbow Un-cocked
Don’t leave the crossbow cocked for a more extended period. Leaving the bow cocked for extended periods may weaken the limbs and reduce speed.
In general, don’t leave the bow cocked for more than four hours at a time.
10. Crossbow Storage
Crossbow should be stored safely in a gun locker or a crossbow case and out of reach from children. A good crossbow case protects your equipment from impact damage. It also protects from dust & moisture. It extends the life of your strings, cables, and mechanisms.
- During transport, it should be always be zipped in a bow case.