If you have any sort of experience in Archery, or even if your a total noob, im sure you would of heard “to never dry fire a compound bow”. Now if your like me, then that’s all good and well, but I’d like to know exactly why not, and what actually happens if you do.
Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for you, I have made that very mistake by accident.
You see I was showing off my Mathews EZ7 to my mate, trying to be all cool. Unfortunately I never nocked an arrow, and that was my biggest mistake right there.
Before I pulled back the string, I even said to him “You should never do this without an arrow nocked, just in case you accidentally release the string”. Hahaha, what great advice right, pitty I didn’t listen to myself.
As I pulled back the bow with ease, making it look like a walk in the park, looking all chuffed with myself. I started speaking to my mate, and then bang, I tapped the release.
A crack like the sound of a .22 went off, we both looked at each other in disbelief, like a deer in the headlights. I looked at my bow and the string was snapped an completely derailed. A wave of anger come over me and I thought how I could I be so stupid.
The next day I took the bow into the local bow shop.
The boys there told me I was extremely lucky, as I only needed a replacement string, but man oh man it could of been a hell of a lot worse. Had of I destroyed my limbs then I would of been up for more cash.
All in all though I learnt my lesson.
Sine that day forward I have NEVER EVER pulled a bow back without nocking. Not recurve, not compound, not hybrid. NONE. NIL. ZILCH.
So your probably starting to get the point now after my little story, so lets delve a little deeper and find out why such catastrophic failure happens.
What happens when you dry fire a bow?
Well, funny you should ask. It ends absolutely terribly, I’m speaking from experience.
But ok, let me break it down a little bit more.
First off Im going to use a little analogy. This is the way I like to explain it.
Imagine your a boxer. Imagine your going all out on the boxing bag for your training, throwing the hardest hooks and jabs you possibly can. Now take that boxing bag away, and your shoulders are going to hurt like hell.
Why does this happen?
It’s because energy needs to directed somewhere, and if it’s not directed onto that bag, and instead into thin air, then your shoulders will have to retain that energy hence causing pain through your arms and shoulders.
The exact same thing happens with a bow.
If you dry fire that bow (any bow, or even firearm actually) then that energy needs to redirected. There’s no arrow for the energy to be transferred into. Instead the limbs, cams and riser all take the full force of that energy.
Now, if your talking about a firing pin on a firearm, thats usually not a huge issue on most guns, but if your talking about a bow at it’s max draw weight usually 70lbs then this is absolutely catastrophic.
As I said in my little story, I got extremely lucky with only having to replace my string, but 9/10 you will have to replace your whole limbs and cam system.
Even if you think the limbs or cams aren’t damaged you need to have it looked at by the pro’s because their may be micro fractures through the limbs, which after a few more shots will still turn catastrophic.
Moral of the story.
NEVER EVERY DRY FIRE THE GOD DANG BOW!
Wrapping things up…
So, I think that should be clear enough now as to why you should never dry fire a bow. If you can take one lesson away from this, it’s to ALWAYS NOCK AN ARROW when ever drawing your bow.
So ’till next time bow hunters,
Stay safe and no dry firing bows,