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Bowhunting is a sport that requires a great deal of skill and concentration, as well as properly maintained equipment. A malfunctioning bow can cause anything from problems with accuracy to life-threatening accidents, so it’s imperative to ensure that the weapon is in prime working order before taking your shot. Below, find several common crossbow issues and the best way to resolve each of them.

Cocking issues

If your crossbow will not cock into position, first check to be sure that the safety is set to the “fire” position, as this can prohibit cocking in some models. If this is not the case, then it’s likely you’re not pulling the string all the way back.

Problems with firing once the bow is cocked

If the safety didn’t properly engage during cocking, the bow may not fire. Often, this issue also arises from not pulling the string far back enough to engage the safety. Re-attach your cocking mechanism and pull the string back until you hear the telltale “click,” meaning the safety has engaged.

If the safety does not engage, but the bow is still able to fire, be sure to click the safety on manually after cocking. It’s advisable to take the bow in for repair if this happens however, as it’s an obvious malfunction and you’ll want to make sure that nothing else is amiss with the weapon.

Failure to fire once bow is cocked and loaded

Again, the first course of action is to ensure that the string has been pulled all the way back. If this is the case and the bow still won’t fire, check to make sure that the bolt is still pushed all the way back. If the bolt isn’t in position, it can’t make contact with the string. Lastly, check the tension on the arrow-retention string, and consider a replacement if it’s slack.

Grouping issues

If the crossbow isn’t grouping well, there are several possibilities as to the cause. Go down this list, checking the optic after each one to see if the problem is solved.

  • Check all the hardware holding the optic in place, and tighten any loose screws or bolts.
  • Ensure that the cocking device is the proper fit for your crossbow model.
  • Center the cocking device before pulling back.

If you have difficulties with any of the above, see this article for more details.