Coking a crossbow may seem an easy and simple task.
Just repeat the action a few times and the morning after you will
discover that your lower back is not is not as
fit as you used to remember….
There is something you can do however.
First is learn a good technique.
If you place you crossbow with the stock upright and your strong foot
into the foot stirrup in order to cock the
crossbow the most natural gesture is to bend
forward , place your fingers on the string and
pull up using your arms and lower back until the
crossbow is cocked.
If you think for a second that your crossbow has a peak draw weight that
(commonly) falls between 185 and 220 pounds you
understand why your lower back is sore.
Any experienced weightlifter will explain that the good technique to lift
a heavy weight (220 pounds ARE HEAVY !!!) is to
pull with your legs not with your back. Spend a
minute on youtube to see some weightlifting
Muscles in your legs are much stronger that the ones in your lower back.
Cocking your crossbow is an action to be
performed with your back as straight as
Another area of improvement is correct balance.
We all have a stronger arm and a stronger leg so it is normal to be able
to pull more with one side of the body than the
This is a problem as pulling more on one side place the sting slightly
off center (more load on one limbs than the
other) . Off center string leads to precision
problems…. And we all want pinpoint precision
from our crossbow right?
You can keep your fingers close to the flight rail, you can mark your
string on both sides and this helps but to me is
just a patch not a solution.
The right solution to both problems (weight and
centering) is to use a cocking device!
Cocking devices are mainly of two types: rope and crank
Rope cockers are inexpensive (usually found at under $25) easy to use and
reduce the needed effort considerably (50%)
thanks to the pulleys that use. The rope cocker
must find place somewhere (pocket?) when not in
Crank cocking devices are more complex and must be attached to you
crossbow to be used, either permanently (like
TenPoint’s ACUDRAW) or attached only during use
(like Barnett’s). Crank cockers allow a drastic
reduction of the needed effort (down to under 10
pounds) allowing anyone to cock a crossbow.
These devices are more complex than a rope
cocker so the required investment is
considerably higher ($100 or more).
Both rope and crank cocker allow for perfect string alignment to bolter
My strong advice is to always get a cocking device, at least a rope
cocker; you will get all you can from your
crossbow and save your back!