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Martin Erben




Location: Germany, Düsseldorf
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 7:01 am    Post subject: Dry-shooting a Crossbow         Reply with quote

Hi

I'm in the process of building a Crossbow and just wanted to ask if I can dry-shoot (without an arrow) my crossbow because I want to try if everything works perfectly before I finally assemble and finish the whole crossbow . I'm using a 185 pound steel prod with a dacron sting (I know you shouldn't dry shoot a wooden or fiberglass bow and that's why I'm asking).

Thank you in advance
Martin
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My guess is you should not. loosing the cord without the bolt will damage the fibers of the string. The energy being released needs to do something so it will find an out and without a bolt that out is the item itself. I have also heard the bow is damaged because the force is not focused on anything as well but I could not say I have seen such damage myself. I have seen bows and crossbows have their strings damaged from dry shooting.

RPM
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its not the best idea to shoot it with out something in there. That said I have a crossbow and it has had a few dry fire incidents when I first got it, namely the roller nut wasn't secure and when I let of the string it loosed. I checked everything over very closely and there wasn't any damage. So there is a little forgiveness in there it just not something I would want to do often.

Sounds like using a disposable test string might not be a bad idea.

Not sure if you have looked here but another source for crossbow building information is the Arbalist Guild Forum http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Best of luck and I really want to see pictures of it.

I.m currently waiting on a new crossbow and getting impatient so any pictures of crossbows is cool
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You shouldn't repeatedly dry fire...but once won't do much...IF everything is done right Wink . Beyond the string fibers being damaged, your limbs will get stressed faster with dry fire. And if your testing it out...better to test without a sharp pointy thing then with hehe.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect there's not enough mass in the bolt to really matter much either way. But what do I know? Happy
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I always read that dry firing a bow is not a good idea, a crossbow would be the same I think.

Doing it once or twice might not harm anything but it might, so why take the chance ? It would certainly put some stresses on the prod and string that are normally absorbed by the bolt as energy i.e. all the energy that goes to accelerate the bolt will be transmitted to the string and prod in it's sudden stop all at once ...... that can't be a good thing. Wink

So what to do ? You don't want to fire bolts all over the place in an unsafe manner to test the crossbow's functioning, so I would make a " dud " bolt weighing the same as the real bolts but with a padded head instead of a point.

Build up a head out of ducts tape maybe until the head weighs the same as a normal bolt: You should be able to shoot this into a cushion or a large carboard box filled with bubble pack or some other soft filler to take the dud bolt without damage to the bolt, furniture or " gulp " people. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

I am in the camp that it does matter.

The sound difference between a dry fire and a loaded shot is quite distinct, with a dry fire being a much sharper crack, so there must be a significant stress difference between the two states. I am quite sure of this.

I am similarly pretty sure that if the string holds, the limbs will not be unduly stressed.

Dry fires can occur for a number reasons, so a string should be able to take the stress, however you also want to make the string as light as you can so it should be OK for a few shots, but it is not something you should repeatedly do.

I test shoot my bows before I fully assemble them with a bolt so I have to ask, if you can dry fire your bow before completion, why can't you fire it loaded?

If this is because you do not wish to shoot it inside I would take the following approach (not that I am suggesting you should). I would take a piece of dowel of the correct diameter and about 14" long, find some nuts that slip over the end and tape them on with loads of insulating tape. Find an old duvet, quilt or pile of blankets and wearing goggles shoot it at point blank into the soft furnishings.

Tod

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You've convinced me! Man, you're right, the sound is vastly different.

I fire my bow every now and again just as Tod suggests: into a padded box, though I do it from about 8-10 feet away. It's been safe for me so far.

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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do not dry fire a cross bow or a longbow for that matter. It doesn't do either of them any good.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want a different sound have a compound bow dry fire. That was an expensive mistake. Mad Because of that I try to never draw any bow with out an arrow or bolt. I would rather have an arrow in the wall than break another bow.

I should a disclaimer that my crossbow has more string drag than it should so dry fires would be less detrimental than a bow with a properly installed prod.

Will add that the box with rags or blanket in it works well for a quick cheap backstop.
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