Taking Care of your X-Bow
Like all tools that contain moving parts weapons need to be taken care of to perform well when you need it. Crossbow maintenance and care is something that’s to be done on a regular basis, not once and forgotten about. Since you’re making a sizable investment on your weapon, you want it to maintain its good condition for many years to come which is what they’re made to do.
When should you do it?
Crossbow maintenance typically should be done before any shooting session. The extra care you put into it not only prolongs the life of the device but also the strings, cables, arrows. It also gives you the best possible performance in terms of speed and accuracy when it comes to shooting.
In general you want a complete check of the cables, wheels (if you’re using a compound x-bow), strings, arrows and screws.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of some of the most important steps of crossbow maintenance.
Remove Dirt or Debris that Collect on your X-bow
Let’s face it, you shoot and hunt outdoors. In the best of conditions you have some wind and dust, in the worst of them, rain, mud and other dirt that can get caught on the parts. Clean out these parts with a dust remover or canned compressed air.
Also, check the opening as these are often overlooked. The slots on the wheels and limbs, flight rail and trigger box are all places where tiny particles can collect.
Check if any Strings Need Replacing
Because of how the crossbow machinery works, the strings are most prone to wear and tear. This means you have to take special attention it checking if you have strings or cables that are separating, worn or frayed. These are signs that the integrity of the connection can be compromised at any time which can be dangerous if it happens when firing an arrow.
If they don’t look right replace them. As part of maintenance these usually get replaced every 3 or 4 years but could be earlier depending on how much use the x-bow gets.
Also check the center serving on the string.
Prolonging the life of your x-bow strings includes religiously waxing them to keep them from wearing out quickly. We get to this below.
Tighten the Crossbow’s Screws
These may seem trivial and even menial work, but it pays off. When screws go un-tightened at best they can cause accuracy problems because some parts of your bow move during aiming or firing. At worst, the jiggling of the parts can cause damage or make them breakdown when a shot is made since the jolt of the shot is very strong.
Also, periodic screw tightening is useful since some models have screws whose tendency is to move out of their treads due to the vibration of the crossbow when firing. After numerous shots some screws come a bit loose. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen to many models, but it does to some crossbows so proper maintenance is important.
Preventing Wear on Your Crossbow’s Strings and Cables
Wax the String and Cables
String wax is often provided by the manufacturer when you purchase a crossbow package. Use it, and use it religiously and regularly. This is the one this major care tip that will prolong their lives. Sting wax comes in the form similar to lip balm, and is very cheap to purchase.
Wax the string by covering the strings and cables completely except for the part where the center serving is. This part is pulled back to the trigger box during the cocking process and getting wax coating in the trigger box messes up the mechanism.
After putting a layer of wax on the strings, use your fingers to rub the wax into the string. This melts the wax and leaves a coating that protects the string.
Lubricate the Flight Rail
A tube of Rail lube will often be included with your x-bow. Use this to lubricate the flight rail. This reduced friction and lets the crossbow fire smoothly with less resistance.
Make one to two drops on each side of the rail. Then use your fingers to apply the lubricant throughout the entire rail, which means you’ll be covering the area of each rail from the trigger box till the riser.
- Use the proper type of lubricant as specified by the manufacturer on the instruction manual. Different brands use different lubricants and using a wrong type can potentially damage your trigger box.
- A couple of drops may not seem like much but it’s enough. You may get tempted to put a lot, don’t. Too much lubricant can seep into the trigger box which can cause dirt to collect there. It can also damage the serving.
Lubricate the Trigger Box and Mounting Bolts
Apply one to two drops of lube to the trigger box and also the different bolts that are exposed. These are all moving parts so we want to keep them properly lubricated to prevent unwanted gnawing between metal parts.
Taking Care of the Crossbow Accessories
Check your Scope
The most important thing about the scope is check to make sure its clean and clear. Wipe away any dirt or particles that have stuck to the lenses. Also check to make sure it is securely mounted and doesn’t wobble even a single bit. It has to be steady to give you the best chance at hitting the target.
Check the battery. Crossbow scopes use a CR2032 lithium battery similar to those in watches and calculator. They’re easy to get at the local store. Change the battery if it’s running low. Better yet always carry a spare so you don’t have to cut any hunting trip short if your scope’s battery suddenly dies.
Inspect your Crossbow Arrows
People forget that aside from the crossbow, the other factor play a big role in how far, fast and accurate your shot goes is the arrow. Makes sure you arrows are in good condition from tip to nock since they can get nicked, bent or dented either from the force of the impact or them hitting one another when you shoot target groups. Replace any arrows that show damage.
Any damage to the arrow affects its flight path which can be dangerous if it drastically goes wayward. I like to label the arrows so you can tell later on which one, if any doesn’t shoot straight.