If you’re a car guy, some of the most important steps in maintaining the meditative hum of the engine and the glimmering shine of bright sports car is a good wash, wax, and oil change. In truth, it’s no different for crossbow owners. A quality wash, wax, and lubrication application will go a long way to making your “baby” last a lifetime!
Washing a car helps to clear debris and dirt from the body and the moving parts of the car to prevent rust and enable the wax and oil treatments to do their job more efficiently. The same holds true with crossbows, but not with water. A simple can of compressed air can do a great deal to help remove dust and other dirt from places like the trigger box, the joints of the cams and axle system, and from any of the cutouts in the riser or stock.
After the season is over and you’re ready to give your hunting crossbow a break for winter, prepping it for storage by flushing these areas with compressed air will help extend its life.
When you apply wax to a car, you are enhancing its ability to shed excess moisture to help prevent rusting over a prolonged period. When you wax the strings and cables of a crossbow, you are effectively doing the same thing: weather proofing.
One very important thing is to never apply wax to any serving on the string or cable. It is recommended that you apply wax to your strings and cables about every 75 shots, but it won’t hurt to apply a light coat every time you take that crossbow out into the elements. If it was exposed to moisture, got dirt on the strings, or could have interacted with dust, a light coat of wax on your string and cables will be just the ticket to avoiding any unwanted nicks, dings, or loose strands that would decrease their lifespan.
Lastly, once your car looks like brand new on the outside, you add oil to the engine to keep all those moving parts working smoothly for maximum efficiency, improved durability and increased longevity. Likewise, you should lubricate the entire length of your crossbow barrel. This will improve efficiency as the string propels the arrow down the barrel.
Oiling the barrel also helps to ensure the life of the string serving, preventing wear by reducing the overall friction of the entire mechanism. It also helps you produce the maximum speed, i.e. maximum kinetic energy down range, by reducing friction as the arrow leaves the bow. This makes your crossbow a more efficient hunting tool.
Vaseline and petroleum jelly are not good crossbow lubricants. These will get pushed back and build up inside your trigger box over a period of time and will collect dust and dirt, making it impossible to cock the crossbow. Definitely not a problem you want to run into.
TenPoint Crossbow Technologies, Horton Crossbow Innovations and Wicked Ridge Crossbows all supply a sample tube of lubricant in each crossbow box. Other archery lubricants are available if you need to replenish your supply.
These three steps should be done before the hunting season starts and after it has ended. Do them occasionally during the season as you practice on the range at targets and tote the crossbow to the field in pursuit of game. Proper maintenance, just like you would do to your 1967 Camaro or your 1970 Corvette to make them shine and run like the day they came off the factory floor, will go a long way to helping your crossbow perform like it did straight out of the box, making you a more efficient and effective hunter for a much longer period of time!
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