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How to String a Compound Crossbow

Updated April 17, 2017

The modern compound crossbow is a high-tech weapon using the latest technology in composite material construction, cam and limb design and sighting. Compound crossbows use cams and pulleys to create a more compact and energy-efficient weapon than a recurve crossbow. The compound crossbow's high-tech construction puts it at a disadvantage when it comes to changing a broken string. To change a compound crossbow string, you need access to a bow press to compress the stiff limbs and slide the string into place, a process not done easily in the field.

Wax the new bowstring and check it for any flaws. Waxing the string will make it easier to install and extend the string's life. Set the waxed string aside.

Set the crossbow into the bow press. Use a bow press that is approved by your crossbow's manufacturer. Slowly compress the crossbow limbs to loosen the string. Using a bow press reduces the possibility of the string breaking while you're changing strings.

Install the new string over the old string while it is still on the crossbow. Follow the old string, placing the new one over the old one. Carefully remove the old string without dislodging the new string.

Inspect the crossbow while still in the bow press. Check the limbs, pulleys, cams, stringer and stock and ensure that all parts are in proper working condition.

Release the bow press tension and remove the bow. Check the crossbow's alignment to make sure it did not get bent while in the press.

Test out the restrung crossbow at an archery range. Cock the crossbow checking that the cams roll freely and the string does not bind. Fire the crossbow to check that it works properly and shoots straight.

Tip

Wax the crossbow string weekly to reduce string wear. Inspect the crossbow before each use, check for any visible damage to the string or the crossbow.

Warning

Always wear eye protection when working on your crossbow.

Things You'll Need

  • Bow press
  • New bowstring
  • Bowstring wax
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About the Author

Based in Colorado, Joe Kelly has been a freelance writer since 2007. His writing has appeared in various online publications such as OC Publife, The Raiders Post, Liberty Abyss, Chasing the River and PipingShark. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from California State University, Northridge.