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Crossbow cocking

 

 

       
 

Coking a crossbow may seem an easy and simple task.

Just repeat the action a few times and the morning after you will discover that your lower back is not is not as fit as you used to remember….

There is something you can do however.

First is learn a good technique.

If you place you crossbow with the stock upright and your strong foot into the foot stirrup in order to cock the crossbow the most natural gesture is to bend forward , place your fingers on the string and pull up using your arms and lower back until the crossbow is cocked.

If you think for a second that your crossbow has a peak draw weight that (commonly) falls between 185 and 220 pounds you understand why your lower back is sore.

Any experienced weightlifter will explain that the good technique to lift a heavy weight (220 pounds ARE HEAVY !!!) is to pull with your legs not with your back. Spend a minute on youtube to see some weightlifting technique.

Muscles in your legs are much stronger that the ones in your lower back. Cocking your crossbow is an action to be performed with your back as straight as possible.

Another area of improvement is correct balance.

We all have a stronger arm and a stronger leg so it is normal to be able to pull more with one side of the body than the other.

This is a problem as pulling more on one side place the sting slightly off center (more load on one limbs than the other) . Off center string leads to precision problems…. And we all want pinpoint precision from our crossbow right?

You can keep your fingers close to the flight rail, you can mark your string on both sides and this helps but to me is just a patch not a solution.

The right solution to both problems (weight and centering) is to use a cocking device!

Cocking devices are mainly of two types: rope and crank

Rope cockers are inexpensive (usually found at under $25) easy to use and reduce the needed effort considerably (50%) thanks to the pulleys that use. The rope cocker must find place somewhere (pocket?) when not in use.

Crank cocking devices are more complex and must be attached to you crossbow to be used, either permanently (like TenPoint’s ACUDRAW) or attached only during use (like Barnett’s). Crank cockers allow a drastic reduction of the needed effort (down to under 10 pounds) allowing anyone to cock a crossbow. These devices are more complex than a rope cocker so the required investment is considerably higher ($100 or more).

Both rope and crank cocker allow for perfect string alignment to bolter crossbow precision.

My strong advice is to always get a cocking device, at least a rope cocker; you will get all you can from your crossbow and save your back!

 

   
             
         
             
       
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