Common Crossbow Mishaps: Dry Fire


Crossbows are fun to use for hunting and shooting but they are also dangerous if you don’t follow the certain safety precautions. There are times that we get distracted and do things that damage our crossbows or inflict injury on ourselves or others. It is lack of knowledge and focus that causes these mistakes when handling crossbows. These mistakes should not happen and must be prevented from happening in the future.  This article will talk about the most common mistake that beginners make when using their crossbows—dry fire.

What is Dry Fire?

The most common mistake people make with crossbows is dry fire. This occurs when you fire a crossbow without an arrow loaded to it. Firing a bow that is not equipped can result to broken bow strings or even broken limbs. This mistake is common when a person is rushing to take the shot or if he is gets distracted through his shooting sequence. The trick is to always double check if your bow is loaded before you pull the trigger.

There are three ways wherein a person can experience dry fire. First, when you load an arrow in your bow but it did not go all the way in to reach the string. This will cause the string to pull back over the arrow nock after you fire the crossbow. Second, when your crossbow uses a moon or capture style nock and you did not align it properly. If you don’t put the special nock into your arrow correctly, it can cause some problems when trying to fire the crossbow or the misaligned nock can cut your crossbow’s string. Third, when you have a broken nock that you don’t know about. Your arrow might seem like its normal but when you try to fire it, the string pressure at the back of the arrow will cause it to break all the way.

How Can You Prevent Dry Fire?

If you want to prevent partial dry fires from happening in the future, there are tips that you can try. Always make sure your cock cane is pointed down. If you have the same color of vanes on all of your arrows, use a marker as a guide. After shooting a round, always inspect your nocks. The force of an arrow hitting the back of the arrow that you are shooting with will cause the nock to rotate. Inspect the nocks of your arrows by pressing n it sideways. Sometimes, the cracks are not too noticeable because of the arrow shaft that is holding it together. An arrow with a cracked nock should not be used for shooting.

Today, most manufacturers have developed anti dry fire mechanisms for their products. Barnett crossbows for example, have this mechanism. If you are new to the sport, you may want to purchase these mechanisms to make sure you don’t experience dry fire and inflict damage to yourself or break your bow. If you do not have this mechanism, make sure you follow the tips above and stay focused when shooting.

Buying the right crossbow isn’t enough to avoid these mishaps.But reading on reviews and doing your research about the right type of bow is still important. Your level of knowledge in using a bow is also crucial in avoiding accidents so make sure to use beginner crossbows if you’re still learning.