Crossbows are powerful weapons, and you need to take precautions when handling them.
While some people might assume that a crossbow is more dangerous than a recurve or compound bow because of its trigger mechanism, that’s not necessarily the case.
But as with any type of weapon, there’s always risk involved in handling a crossbow.
Even if you store your crossbow properly and use it responsibly, there’s always a chance that something might go wrong.
For example, you could drop it or have an arrow malfunction during practice.
If those scenarios sound scary to you, don’t worry; we’ll walk you through six ways to uncock a crossbow without firing it so that you feel safe handling your weapon at home or in the field.
Discharging a Crossbow Without Firing It
Some people assume that it is impossible to discharge a crossbow without firing it. However, this is actually possible, but it is not recommended unless you’re in an emergency situation.
Discharging a crossbow without firing occurs when you stretch the string taut while keeping the bow un-cocked. With the string taut, it will catch the arrow and launch it.
This phenomenon is known as static discharge, and it is not recommended as a safety practice because you don’t get any tactile feedback when the bow is activated.
In other words, you won’t feel the vibration that you get when the bow is cocked, which means you won’t know when it’s ready to fire. If you are in a situation that requires the use of static discharge, make sure you’re in a safe location.
It’s also important that you don’t keep the string taut for too long. The static discharge will cause the string to fray, so try to keep the string under tension for as short a period of time as possible.
Change The Cocking Device
A cocking device is a mechanical device that helps you draw the string back with one hand. If the string on your crossbow gets stuck and you can’t manually cock it, you’ll want to find a way to release some tension on the string.
If you have a wrist cocking device, you can simply change the cocking device to a hand cocking device. This will let you release some tension on the string, making it easier to manually cock the bow once again.
If you don’t have a wrist cocking device, you can try changing the string. Some strings are stretchier than others, so if the string is too tight, it may be impossible to manually cock the bow without it getting stuck again.
Use A Safety Extension Cord
A safety extension cord is a device that attaches to any bowstring to reduce the length of the draw by about a centimeter or two. You can use this device to reduce the tension on the string when uncocking the crossbow.
Use the safety extension cord by attaching it to the bowstring and manually pulling the string back until it touches the attachment point on the extension cord. When the bowstring touches the cord, you can slowly release the tension so that the bowstring is loose enough to manually cock the crossbow.
A safety extension cord can also be used if the string gets stuck or if you can’t manually cock the bow. Simply attach the cord to the bowstring, draw the string back until it’s touching the safety cord, and then slowly release the tension until you can manually cock the bowstring again.
Use A Stopper
A stopper is a device that attaches to the bowstring to reduce the amount of tension on it. Some crossbows come with stoppers, and you can also buy a stopper attachment that can be used on any bowstring.
If you have a bowstring stopper, attach it to the bowstring and slowly ease off the tension so that the bowstring is loose enough to manually cock. If you don’t have a bowstring stopper, you can use a rubber band, a piece of string, or even a piece of cloth to reduce the tension on the bowstring.
A bowstring stopper is a great device to use if the string gets stuck on your crossbow and you can’t manually cock it. Simply attach the bowstring stopper to the bowstring and release the tension so that the bowstring is loose enough to manually cock.
Offer The String Some Slack
If the string gets stuck and you can’t manually cock the crossbow, you can offer it some slack by cutting off a centimeter or two of the string. You can do this by using a pair of scissors or a knife.
Simply cut off a centimeter or two from the string and then draw the string back until it’s touching the string. You can then slowly release the tension on the string until it’s loose enough for you to manually cock the crossbow.
Optionally, you can tie off the loose end of the string so that it doesn’t unravel. But keep in mind that cutting off some of the string will reduce your draw length, which will change your arrow’s trajectory and make the crossbow less accurate.
Change The Tension Spring
If you can’t manually cock the crossbow because the string is too tight, you can try to ease up the tension on the bowstring by changing the tension spring. This is only recommended if your crossbow came with a string that features a tension spring.
There are two ways you can change the tension spring on your crossbow. The first way is to unscrew the tension spring and increase the spring’s length. The second way is to unscrew the tension spring and wind it in the other direction.
There are many ways to uncock a crossbow without firing it. One of these methods will be suitable for your particular bow, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the parts of your crossbow and how they work. These tips will help keep you and others safe when handling your crossbow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you release a crossbow without shooting?
As long as the crossbow is not cocked, it can be released without shooting. When the crossbow is not cocked, the bowstring and the mechanism that holds it in place are relaxed and easy to move. This makes it easy to open and close the crossbow without shooting it.
Which crossbows can be Decocked?
The crossbow that can be decocked are:
1). Barnett Penetrator Crossbow (model 40 bowtech)
2). Bear Whitewinder Bowtech 40.
3). Bear Thunder Kick Crossbow.
4). Barnett Buck Commander Compound Crossbow (40).
5). Excalibur Coalfire Crossbow.
6). Pse Archery Pursuit 20 Crossbow.
7). Optimum Knyper Crossbow (40-pound draw weight) RV Archery Vengeance Compound Bow (30-inch draw length and 40-pound draw weight).
Can you decock a crossbow with a crank?
Yes, you can decock a crossbow with a crank. To decock a crossbow, you need to rotate the crank counterclockwise until the bow is in the lowermost position. Because of this, crossbows are generally easier to decock than regular bows.
Should I decock my crossbow after every hunt?
If you have a legal license to hunt, I would recommend that you always decock your crossbow after every hunt – even if you are in a treestand or ground blind.
A decocked crossbow means that the bow is not cocked and ready to shoot. Rather, the crossbow is uncocked and in a state of relaxation with all limbs (again, known as ‘dinky dink’ or ‘all buckled up’) in their resting positions.
Decocking a crossbow is not hard to do. What it does, however, is prepares the bow for safe storage and transportation. It also creates an additional safety measure for you to ensure that the bow does not accidentally fire while you are transporting it or when it’s in storage. So even if you’re just going from your treestand to your vehicle, I’d recommend always decocking your crossbow. And then whenever you’re done with your hunt, be sure to completely unload the crossbow of any ammunition before safely storing it away.