Crossbows are a unique hunting weapon that combines a rifle’s firepower with a bow’s compact size. However, as hunters know all too well, every new weapon brings new crossbow safety concerns.
Unloading an unloaded crossbow isn’t as simple as unloading a shotgun or an unloaded bow.
There are standard precautions to take when handling any crossbow and arrow; safely unloading a crossbow requires special consideration.
Unloading any crossbow is not complicated but can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
Read More to learn more about safely unloading your crossbow and keeping you and others around you safe while doing so:
Store Your Crossbow Unloaded
As with any firearm, you should store your particular crossbow unloaded when it’s not in use. Keeping your loaded crossbow for an extended period can cause damage to the internal parts of your crossbow, which may be irreparable.
When storing your crossbow, make sure it’s unloaded and in a safe place. The safest place for your crossbow is locked in a loaded gun, safe from children and other household pets.
Point Your Crossbow At A Safe Target
While unloading your crossbow, make sure the crossbow is pointed at a safe target. You don’t want the crossbow to fire accidentally while it’s being unloaded.
You can use a piece of cardboard or a target designed for crossbow unloading, or you can point the crossbow at a wall or other surface that won’t lead to injury if the bow fires.
When pointing a crossbow at a target, ensure that the target is far enough away from you and others that the bolt won’t harm anyone in the event of a misfire.
You Should Check Your Crossbow.
Just like you would check the condition of a firearm before unloading and firing it, you should check the condition of your crossbow before unloading it.
Ensure the bowstring is fully spooled and the crossbow’s limbs are wound and intact. Ensure no frays or kinks are in the bowstring and inspect the limbs for cracks, breaks, or other damage.
Do not attempt to unload and shoot your crossbow if these conditions are present.
Unloading a crossbow with damaged parts can cause the bowstring to snap or the limbs to break, leading to injury.
Check Your Arrow’s Condition.
Before you attempt to unload your crossbow, you should check the condition of the arrows that will be fired from the bow.
Make sure there are no kinks or frays in the arrows. Ensure the shoot arrow is of the proper length and width for your crossbow.
Do not attempt to unload and shoot your crossbow if these conditions are present. Unloading a crossbow with damaged arrows can lead to broken limbs and even injury to the person firing the bow.
Slowly Pull The String Back
Slowly pull the bowstring back when unloading a crossbow while watching the nock. The nock is the end of the bowstring where the arrow sits when loaded and ready to be fired.
The nock may or may not be covered in a nock-retention device, but you should watch the entire string, not just the nock.
You want to ensure the string stops at the proper place: before the string touches the groove inside the limbs.
When the bowstring is unspooled and the string is touching the limb grooves, the bow is unloaded and safe to handle and store.
Crossbow Safety Tips
Unloading A Compound Crossbow
The process is pretty simple if you’re looking to unload a compound crossbow. First, you’ll want to ensure that the crossbow is unloaded – that is, there are no arrows in the bow itself.
Once you’ve confirmed that, you can proceed to cocking the crossbow. This is done by simply pulling back on the string until it locks.
Once the crossbow is cocked, you can release the string and allow it to return to its original position. This will effectively “unload” the crossbow, and you can then store or transport it safely.
Unloading A Recurving Crossbow
It would help if you unloaded your recurving crossbow by first removing the arrow from the bow. To do this, you must depress the cocking lever to release the string tension.
Once the string is released, you can remove the arrow from the bow.
Next, you will need to remove the bolt from the bow. To do this, you will n eed to depress the cocking lever to release the crossbow string tension. Once the string is released, you can remove the bolt from the bow.
Finally, you will need to remove the string from the bow. To do this, you must remove the bolts that hold the string in place. Once the bolts are removed, you can remove the string from the bow.
Crossbows are a unique hunting weapon that combines a rifle’s firepower with a bow’s compact size.
As hunters know, every new weapon brings new safety concerns. Unloading an unloaded crossbow isn’t as simple as unloading a shotgun or an unloaded bow.
Though there are standard precautions to take when handling any crossbow and arrow, safely unloading a crossbow requires special consideration.
To safely unload your crossbow, you’ll want to fully unspool the bowstring and place the arrow on the string so that the head of the arrow is facing the bow’s handle.
With the arrow in place, slowly draw the bowstring back until the string is fully unspooled and the head of the arrow is touching the limb grooves.
Once your bowstring is unspooled and touching the limb grooves, you can safely handle and store your crossbow.
Can you decock a crossbow with a crank?
Yes, you can decock a crossbow with a crank. There are a few different ways to do this, depending on the type of crossbow and the specific model. Some crossbows have a lever you can push or pull to kick the bow. Others have a knob that you can turn to rewind the string into place. And still, others have a crank that you can use to rewind the string into place.
What is the recommended way to Uncock a crossbow?
The recommended way to safely Uncock a crossbow is to:
1. First, make sure the crossbow is unloaded.
2. Next, find the string release lever or cord, and disengage it.
3. Finally, carefully allow the crossbow string to return to its resting position.
Does it hurt to leave a crossbow pulled back?
It can, depending on how long it’s left pulled back. If the crossbow is cocked for too long, the bowstring will become stretched and lose some of its elasticity, which can reduce the power and accuracy of your shots. In addition, if the crossbow is left cocked for an extended period, the strain on the bow can cause it to break.
Can you decock a crossbow with a crank?
Yes, you can decock a crossbow with a crank. This is a standard method for decocking crossbows and is generally considered to be the safest way to do it. Cranks are explicitly designed for this purpose, allowing you to slowly and safely release the tension on the bowstring, making it safe to handle.