The crossbow is a weapon design that was developed around the time of ancient china before black powder weapons were invented. The crossbow was a handheld device that allowed the user to shoot an arrow with more force than any standard bow. In today’s market, the price is not always a tell-tale sign of quality. The archery industry is proven to show that price is a factor in quality.
Loading Your Crossbow
There are three different ways to load your crossbow.
The first method is the manual cocking method. If you are looking at your crossbow, you should see a triangular-like shape toward the front of the bow. This is called a stirrup. Put the bottom of the stirrup on the ground and put your foot inside. Use the weight of your leg (and body) to hold this firmly on the ground. Then, grasp the string on either side of the stock of the crossbow. You want your thumbs to be as close to the stock on either side as you can manage. Use a slow and steady movement to pull the string back and lock it into place. Be careful of pulling the string back unevenly, as this reduces accuracy and will damage the string, arrow track, and even arrows with time. This is considered the most difficult method, as you will need to lift 150+ pounds of dead weight to load your bow.
The second method is the rope cocking method. This is one of the easiest ways to make it easier to cock your bow since you only need a simple rope to assist you. You may not even need to buy this, as some crossbows with higher draw weights come with a rope to assist in the package. With the rope method, you cut the force necessary to cock the rope back in half. Put your foot into the stirrup as you did while manually cocking. Use the cocking rope to pull the string back. Another benefit of this method is that you are less likely to lean to the right or left, thus, less likely to cause damage to your crossbow.
The third and final method is the crank cocking method. This is a little costly, with the equipment for this costing around $100-$150. However, this method is so easy that even a child could crank the bow back. Simply stick your foot through the stirrup and turn the crank to load your bow. Aside from the cost, the disadvantages of this method are the speed since it can take a full minute to load a bow and the weight of the crank mechanisms, which adds to the overall weight of your bow.
Choosing the Best Crossbow
Choosing the best crossbow may be a seemingly difficult task. To find the best one for you, there are a couple factors to keep in mind.
1) Consider the draw weight of the crossbow
The benefit of a higher draw weight is a stronger force when your arrow shoots forward, making it more likely that you will kill your prey. For this reason, it is recommended that you choose a bow that has a minimum draw of 150 pounds if you want to kill anything. If you are just using your bow for target practice, then you can choose a lower weight bow. Remember, however, that you must dead weight the draw of the crossbow unless you use a mechanism to assist.
2) Consider the power stroke of the bow
The power stroke is simply the length that the string must be pulled to be cocked. This typically ranges between 10 inches and 14 inches. A higher power stroke will mean a more powerful shot, though this does not matter much if the crossbow was properly adjusted for its specific draw weight.