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Crossbow Related FAQ

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Crossbow FAQ:
Q: Is crossbow considered an archery bow?

A: The answer is "Yes" and "No".

"No": According to regulations in some states, including California, crossbows are not considered "archery" equipment so they are not allowed during archery season. The only exception would be hunters with a Disabled Archer Permit.

"Yes": The crossbow is an archery bow. As more states are legalizing crossbows during hunting season, more archers will use crossbows as their hunting weapons.

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Q: What kind of broadheads should I use and what are the recommended grain weights?

A: There is no “rule of thumb” when it comes to choosing the right crossbow broadheads. For more information, please read Crossbow Broadheads Buyer's Guide or our Crossbow Broadheads page

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Q: Why are some broadheads inaccurate?

A: The design of some broadheads is not conducive to accurate shooting with a crossbow. Some broad heads have an extremely large surface area, blade shape, or other design characteristics that, when used on an arrow shaft of 20" or less will not fly well. The shorter the arrow you are shooting, the more difficult it is to get extremely tight groups with some broadheads. If the heads have too much surface area or a very large cutting diameter, they will plane easily from catching air in flight.

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Q: What type of arrows should I use with my crossbow?

A: It depends on what your crossbow will fit. First of all, check our manual for recommended arrows. While it is always recommended that you use same brand arrows for your crossbow, you can still try arrows from other brands. For more information, please read our Crossbow Arrow Buyer's Guide .

Notes: Some crossbows require specific arrows, such as PSE TAC 15i and TAC Elite crossbow, which can only use PSE TAC 15 arrows because of its special design and power. Using arrows other than PSE TAC 15 arrows may break the crossbow and will void the warranty.

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Q: Why does my crossbow shoot to the right or to the left?

A: This question can be answered as simply by checking to see if the bow is being cocked off center. If the string is cocked off center to the left or right, the arrow will shoot off to the left or right. The string being off center by as little as 1/8" could result in the shot being off several inches down range. To remedy this, put a mark on the string's center serving where it crosses over the flight track when the bow is not cocked. When you cock the bow to shoot again, make it a priority to have the string's marks centered in the trigger mechanism. If it is cocked and still off center, grasp the string and nudge it into the centered position, with the safety still engaged. We recommend using a rope cocking device to ensure proper cocking.

The other problem may be slightly more technical. Your bow could be out of till (out of square). If you have made any adjustments to the limb bolts (the bolts that secure the limbs onto the bow) this is a possibility. To accurately measure your tiller, begin from the point where the limb meets the prod housing back to the string. Do this on each side of the prod housing. If the measurement is not equal then the bow is out of till. It would be best to have a dealer make the till adjustment to correct the problem. Most crossbows are pre-set for tiller and proper draw weight at the factory.

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Q: How long can I keep my crossbow cocked?

A: It is safe to keep your bow cocked while you are hunting in a stationary position. FOR PERSONAL SAFETY REASONS, DO NOT STALK OR WALK TO AND FROM YOUR STAND WITH YOUR BOW COCKED. We do recommend that if you break from your hunt that you let the bow down to the un-cocked position by shooting a target arrow into a safe backstop. It would be good practice to let the bow down every 4 hours relax it for about ½ hour. If ending your hunt without having taken a shot, it is recommended you keep a practice arrow at your camp to fire the crossbow safely into a target.

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Q: What do I do to extend the life of my synthetic system?

A: Some crossbow packages contain a tube of lubricant (Rail Lube), which should be applied to the flight track (rail) every 5 to 10 shots. Crossbow String Wax should also be applied anywhere the cables make contact with the cable slide or Teflon tape, whichever is applicable, every 20 to 30 shots. To extend the life of your cables it is important to apply String Wax to all non-served areas of the cables and string every 30 to 50 shots or when white fuzz begins to appear. If the crossbow has been exposed to excessive moisture you may need to apply String Wax sooner.

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Q: How long should strings last?

A: With proper maintenance of the string and the crossbow itself, the string should last a minimum of 100 shots, with several hundred shots not uncommon. Proper maintenance includes applying lubricant to the area where the string touches the flight track, keeping the flight track surface area free of nicks, gouges, burrs, dirt, debris, etc. The string life can vary depending on the care and maintenance, the amount of shooting and weather extremes the string system is exposed to.

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Q: What is the difference between a compound and a recurve crossbow?

A: The difference between a compound and a recurve crossbow (or any archery bow) is that the compound crossbow incorporates a set of cams or wheels into the limb assembly. On the recurve crossbow the string attaches directly to the limbs.

The benefit of the compound is that it allows the user the benefit of "let-off." (Let-off is a term used to describe the reduction in draw weight by percentage when the wheels roll over from the action of drawing the string.) A compound will "let-off" about 50% on current models from a 150-lb draw weight to 75 lbs. when the wheels roll over. Not only is it easier for the user to cock a compound crossbow, but also it is less mechanical stress on the trigger mechanism.

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Q: How do I replace a string on a compound crossbow?

A: A bow press is required to change the string on Synthetic Cable Systems. In most cases, you will need to take your bow to a local shop with a bow press.

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Q: How do I replace a string on a recurve crossbow?

A: It is much easier to change the string for a recurve than a compound crossbow. If using your crossbow stringer, place the loops of the stringer securely on the limb tips. Cock the bow using the cable stringer. Place the loop of the new string through the loop of the cable stringer and secure to the limb tip. (It is important to make sure the string loops are properly seated on the limb.) With assistance, you will need to slowly release the cable stringer by holding it securely in both hands while you have someone release the safety and then trigger of the bow. Once the string and cable are in the resting position you can remove the cable stringer. To ease this process you can pull up slightly on the new string as if you were cocking the bow, this will allow the stringer to be more easily removed. You may also use the string that you want to replace in the same fashion as above instead of using a cable stringer.

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Q: Why are some crossbows faster when their draw weights are lighter?

A: Speeds are not only derived from the draw weight of the crossbow. The longer the power stroke, the faster the arrow will travel. This in conjunction with weight and harness assembly: i.e. high energy cams, synthetic cables and string store more energy than a heavier weight bow with a shorter power stroke.

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Q: What is the difference between arrows and bolts? Which one should I use for my crossbow?

A: Technically, bolts were 8 to 10" long in Medieval times. And a bolt has no fletching, or broadhead, or nock. On the other hand, arrows are longer than bolts and come with fletching.

In modern crossbow industry, an "arrow" is what we shoot today with crossbows. Arrows now can be as long as 20" or 22" long and are made of either aluminum or carbon fiber.

Generally speaking, you can call it either arrow or bolt.

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Q: Do I need a permit to buy or own a crossbow?

A: No, you do not need a permit to buy or own a crossbow in the US. Some countries might require a permit, please check your local regulations.

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Q: Do I need a permit to hunt with a crossbow?

A: Yes, in most cases, you need a permit to hunt in the US. Please check our Crossbow Regulation Page for more information.

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Q: How old do I need to be to purchase a crossbow?

A: You must be 18 years or older to purchase a crossbow. See the Disclaimer here.

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