Following these tips will make you and your crossbow quieter come hunting season.
Crossbows are louder than vertical compound bows. The sound you hear when shooting a crossbow is simply energy leaving the bow. Most vertical compound bows have 60 or 70 pound limbs. Your average crossbow is usually somewhere between 150 and 200 pounds with some below that mark and some above it. So with that much more energy leaving the bow, reason would tell you a crossbow is going to be significantly louder than a vertical compound bow. However, there are some thing you can do to make your crossbow as quiet as it can be.
Get a Wrench
The first and most cost effective way to reduce sound in your crossbow is to make sure all of the fasteners on the crossbow are tight. Loose parts create vibration at the time of the shot and that vibration causes more noise. Check over all of the bolts on the crossbow. But there are a few common trouble spots. Quiver brackets seem to loosen themselves quite often. Scope mounts and rails are also a repeat offenders. A little blue Loctite goes a long way to keep bolts secure.
Rubber It Up
String stops are becoming more and more common in the crossbow world. Many of the higher end crossbows and even some low cost crossbows now come with string stops factory installed. If not, you can add them on after the purchase. Putting rubber silencers on the limbs is also a popular tactic. If you have an Excalibur, Air Brakes are probably the most effective way to quiet a Matrix or Micro crossbow.
The sound of a crossbow is energy leaving the crossbow. But many people don’t realize their arrow also absorbs a lot of energy and thus a lot of the sound. If you’ve ever been around when someone dry fires a crossbow you’ll hear a loud cracking sound that is much louder than the normal sound a crossbow makes. That’s because there wasn’t an arrow to absorb any energy and all of the energy is being dissipated through the crossbow and it’s limbs.
By using a heavier arrow, more of the energy is transferred to the arrow and there is less energy left in the crossbow. This is a great way to quiet your crossbow without a lot of work or expense. It will slow down your crossbow but the arrow will carry more momentum and hold it’s energy further downrange.
A lot of hunters are worried about the sound their crossbow makes after they pull the trigger. What they should think about is the sound before the trigger is pulled. Deer often pick off hunters as we click the safety. Many of us get in a hurry on the range and just pop off the safety without thinking of the noise. When hunting, those habits continue. If you practice moving the safety from the “safe” position to “fire” quietly on the range, it will become part of your process and you’ll follow through the same way during the hunt.
Following these tips will make you and your crossbow quieter come hunting season. Good luck!