How to Properly Load a Crossbow Like Pro – Complete Guide

Do you want to learn how to load a crossbow properly like a pro? If that’s the case then you have landed in exactly the right place. Crossbows are getting quite popular nowadays and many people are getting attracted to this hobby.

Crossbows might seem like an easy tool to use however that is not the case. If you want to learn how to use a crossbow then you must be aware of all the steps that must be followed in order to make efficient use of it. Read on to learn all about loading a crossbow.

Things to do before Loading a Crossbow

Before we begin teaching you how to load a crossbow properly, you need to make sure that you are properly following all the safety protocols. Let’s divide these safety protocols into dos and don’ts in order to make them easier for you to understand. Let’s begin with dos.

Do’s of using a crossbow

cocking a crossbows tips
  • Properly read the user manual. You need to be well informed about all the features of the crossbow and the user manual can help you with that. It also contains some important safety measures that you need to ensure before you start using the crossbow.
  •  Try using the stirrup before loading a crossbow. A stirrup helps provide safety to the user so you need to ensure that you firmly set your foot in it beforehand.
  • In order to prevent accidents, use a cocking device when you cock your crossbow.
  • A crossbow has a safety attached with the trigger. You need to ensure that this safety is engaged until you are ready to shoot.
  • Take a proper look at all your arrows before you shoot them in order to prevent any accidents.
  • Make sure you know where to place your fingers when firing an arrow.
  •  You need to be very careful while transporting the crossbow. Use a haul line if you need to move the crossbow along with the tree stand.

Don’ts of using a crossbow

  • Do not cock the crossbow with your hand. Use a cocking device for cocking the crossbow.
  •  Never hang the cocking device’s rope around your neck as it is extremely dangerous and a safety hazard.
  • Do not move your foot from the stirrup before engaging the trigger safety.
  • Do not direct the crossbow in the direction of anything other then your target. Keep your hand away from the trigger until you are sure that you want to shoot at something.
  • Do not use your crossbow unless there is an arrow in it. Avoid dry fires as they will only damage your crossbow.
  • Do not shoot an arrow if there is anybody anywhere near you. Make sure that that no one is standing in front of or behind the crossbow.
  • Never use arrows that are damaged or broken.
  • Never remove the safety harness while making use of the crossbow.

How to shoot a crossbow accurately?

Best crossbow for women - how to use

Now we will discuss the steps that you need to follow for crossbow loading and shooting. Following these steps will surely help you become a pro shooter. So, are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Proper inspection of arrows and crossbow

Before you learn how to load a crossbow, it is extremely important to properly examine the arrow as well as the crossbow. Properly check the crossbow’s limbs and make sure there are no cracks or signs of wearing. Wiggle the crossbow in your hand to make sure that there are no loose bolts which might affect your shooting or cause accidents.

Check the bowstring and make sure that it is properly intact and is not separating from the corners. Next you need to check the arrows that you are about to use. There should be no bending or splintering in the shafts and the field tips should be securely attached.

2. Properly put your foot on the cocking stirrup

load the crossbow properly

Now that you have ensured that your arrows and crossbow are intact and fit for use, you can now begin the steps for holding and loading the crossbow. For this, you need to first place your foot properly on the cocking stirrup.

This will help firmly plant the crossbow into the ground so that it stays in place when you retract the string of the crossbow to shoot an arrow.

3. Orientation of the cocking device

For crossbow loading using cocking ropes, it is important to properly orient these ropes according to your crossbow in order to make sure that the string of your crossbow is properly pulled back.

You need to ensure that the middle part of the cocking rope is in the groove so that the cocking rope is properly tightened when you pull the ropes. Now, you need to put the middle part of the bowstring inside the groove which is by the stock. This groove is right on top of the crossbow. This will help ensure that the bowstring comes back to its original place after you pull on it.

The rolling cocking hooks need to be placed on the bowstring on both sides of the barrel. Mark this spot so that you can find it faster the next time. Pull-on the ropes slightly to make sure that handles are even on both sides. This will ensure a balanced pull-back when you are shooting an arrow.

4. Cocking the crossbow

Cocking means pulling on the ropes of the crossbow such that they are in proper position for shooting. You can achieve this position by pulling the rope till the moment that you hear about 2-3 clicks. While doing this make sure that safety on the trigger is properly engaged and make sure that your hands are away from the trigger.

5. Loading the crossbow

loading the crossbow

Now we have arrived at the most important step of using a crossbow. How to load a crossbow? Now that you have completed all the above steps, the answer to this question is fairly simple. Put a single bolt into the barrel groove.

Make sure you put the fletching which has a different colour than the others, in the groove first. This will help ensure that the bolt is placed against the bowstring properly.

6. Shooting the crossbow

Now that you have learned how to cock and load a crossbow, you are ready to face your fears and finally shoot an arrow. For this, you have to slide the bolt along the barrel and place it firmly against the bow’s string. If your crossbow has a clip, you can use it to keep the bolt in place.

Now you can switch of the safety on the trigger but make sure that your fingers are away from the trigger. Make sure you do this only right before you shoot to help prevent any misfires.

Now, take a good and balanced stance and angle your crossbow according to your target using the pin sights on the bow or by using a scope. Finally squeeze the trigger gently to release the arrow. Make sure that you do not jerk or pull the crossbow because this will badly affect your accuracy.

7. Examine your target and adjust your crossbow

After shooting the arrow, put the safety on the trigger back on and check where your arrow has landed on the target. If you are not satisfied with your shot, adjust the angle of your crossbow and recheck with the scope to get a better aim.

That is all, folks! You now have the answer to the question: How to load a crossbow? Not only can you load a crossbow now but you can also shoot it really well. All you need to do now is practice, practice and practice!

How To Decock A Crossbow?

Once you are done shooting, you will need to decock your crossbow. Now, how should you go about it? There are two ways to decock a crossbow. The first way uses a decocking arrow. A decocking arrow has a blunt end rather than a sharp one. In order to decock the crossbow using a decocking arrow, you need to shoot the decocking arrow towards the ground using the crossbow. This will immediately decock the crossbow. This is the safest method of the two.
The other method includes the use of a rope cocking aid. This is also a good method and will help you decock a crossbow easily.

Maintenance of crossbow

Following are the steps you can take in order to take good care of your crossbow so that you can sue it for a longer time.

Crossbow Maintanance

1. Waxing the cable and strings.

Your crossbow might come with a wax but if not, make sure to get a tube separately. Apply it on the strings and cable. Just leave out the center section. Rub it in properly using your fingers.

2. Lubrication of the rail.

You need to keep the middle of the rail lubricated with rail lube. Spread it across the flight deck using your fingers. Don’t just use any kind of lube on the rail. Make sure that you buy rail lube which is specifically manufactured for crossbow rails.

3. Lubrication of trigger box as well as other metal components.

Apply a few drops of lube on the trigger box as well as other metallic parts such as mounting bolts and axles in order to prevent any corrosion.

4. Keep your scope lens clean.

You can clean the scope lens using lens cleaning wipes. You don’t need to clean it after every use but do clean it if you feel that your view is obstructed due to a dirty lens.

5. Clean the dirt on the crossbow

Dirt can get stuck in the crossbow in small spaces which are hard to reach. You can use compressed air to blow away any dirt stuck in the crossbow.

6. Tighten all the bolts.

Before each use, make sure all the bolts are properly tightened. If you feel that your crossbow does not feel intact, make sure to tighten all the bolts before suing it.

Final word

That’s all that you need to learn in order to load a crossbow and use it. Now you are fully capable of cocking, loading, shooting as well as maintaining a crossbow. Make sure you take an experienced shooter along for your first shooting. Certain situation can come up in the field which you might not be equipped to handle yourself. Practice and a lot and you will soon get a hang of all there is to shooting with a crossbow. We hope we were able to provide you with the assistance that you needed. If you still have queries, you can always reach out to us. We would love to answer any other questions you might have regarding crossbows. We hope that you have a successful first shooting session. Stay safe!

Leave a Comment

Bows Hunting

We take the idea of bowhunting and make it real, dishing out Expert reviews on how to hunt and where to get started

Important Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.