When you pull and release the string, the string of a bow without any arrow is defined as dry firing. Almost every other person’s instinct is to dry fire a bow as soon as they hold it. However, it is not an ideal thing to do with a bow as it can damage the dynamics and alignment of your bow. Apart from this, dry firing can also cause severe injuries to the person holding it and must be avoided by all means.
Studies show that dry firing ruins the limbs, cams, string and causes much serious damage, ultimately rendering them useless. However, it’s common for even professionals to dry fire their bows accidentally. If you have this habit of dry firing, understanding its detriments on your bow might help you change your mind.
Why Is It Bad To Dry Fire A Bow?
The mechanism of bow and arrow works on the principle of tension and Newton’s law of action and reaction. When you pull the string of a bow, the sting is charged due to the tension created in the string. This tension/energy is transferred to the arrow, traveling a distance when released. In simple terms,
it works on Newton’s third law of action and reaction. The distance covered by the arrow is directly proportional to the force applied to the string. However, by stretching this string without an arrow, the tension of the string is transferred to the bow’s body.
This energy is dissipated in the form of heat and vibrations through the bow’s body. Depending upon the frequency of these newly generated vibrations, the intensity of the damage done also varies. You can also possibly cause some damage to your wrist, shoulder, and even the person standing nearby.
Modern bows are made within a compound structure with lots of moving parts thus making them really complex. Dry firing with one such compound bow can cause more harm. The worst part, you will not be able to find the place where the damage is done. So rather than suffering from damage, it’s better to avoid such damage.
How Dry Firing Will Damage Your Bow?
You might think that you are practicing by dry firing, but you are doing no good to anyone in reality. From damaging the body alignment of your bow to hurting yourself, dry firing has many drawbacks. Apart from the damages mentioned above, there are other reasons for dry firing hurting your bow.
- It damages the alignment of your limbs and can even cause cracks on the limbs. In extreme cases, it can even damage all the moving parts of your bow.
- Also, if you dry fire without any arrow in your hand, it will significantly weaken the string. So eventually, it will fail to carry out proper function due to poor quality of string and friction.
In the long run, dry fire can also affect your string. This is especially true for a bow that is not too well built. Ultimately, this will lead to its breakdown with some time. Since dry firing damages the bow’s body and limbs, it’s better to avoid it if you have one at your disposal.
What Happens When You Dry Fire A Bow?
The string is stretched, and recoil, the energy transferred through the bow, is created. In the end, this energy gets dissipated in the form of heat and vibrations in your bow. Here’s what happens when you are not careful and try dry firing with your bow:
- Bending of bow cams
- Warping of cam tracks
- Derailing and braking of bowstrings
- Splintering of limbs
- Damage to cable guards
In a nutshell, almost every single part associated with your bow can face critical damage by dry firing. This ultimately results in the breaking down of components like limb and string materials. Furthermore, if someone takes extremely powerful dry fires, it may even cause the bow to explode. Simply put, dry firing a bow is dangerous and must be avoided in every case.
How Dry Firing May Cause Injury To The Archer?
You might have pulled the string of your bow so many times without realizing the side effects of this act. While many things can go wrong with just a single dry firing, there are still some more dangers to look out for.
- While dry firing, the roaring vibrations produced by the string will travel to your muscles through the body and cause bruises in the first place.
- A sudden impact from dry firing causes severe damage to your bones. As a result, you may have a crack in both your body and the equipment.
- In some cases, when immense force is applied to a dry bow, it even leads to an explosion of the bow. This leads to a situation where you face serious threats from these broken pieces of your bow. Small pieces of this bow can catch up with your face, skin, or even eyes.
Apart from these issues, you might also experience back pain due to long hours of dry firing. It will lead to poor posture and degrade your performance and aiming capabilities in the long run. So if it causes so much damage and pain, why do you still want to do it? By dry firing, you are also posing significant threats to people around you.
How To Avoid Dry Fires?
Now that you know fry firing your bow is dangerous, it’s time to learn some measures to avoid it. Whether you have cultivated it as a habit or you are struggling with other people dry firing your bow, there is the measure you can take to safeguard against it. Few such tips include:
- Never leave your archery gear lying around. This is an instinctive behavior of almost every person that they start dry firing straightaway after holding it. Instead of giving moral lectures to everyone, keeping your archery gears in a safe space is better.
- Learn to control your instincts whenever you see a bow and keep your dry fires under your control. Once you know how damaging it can be for your bow and your body, you will be able to overcome such practices.
- As much as possible, avoid letting other people handle your archery gears. Even with good intentions, they can be a cause of trouble when they ask you to let them try it out.
- If you are using a short or tight arrow, it may also lead to dry firing. In the meantime, you will also lose or damage the nocks of your bow. Therefore always make sure that nocks are up to the mark in the best shape.
One of the best methods to avoid dry fires is to stay vigilant about them and avoid unnecessary stretching. In case you cannot overcome such urges, you can still lower the noise of your bow after its shot. To avoid dry firing, the bow should be drawn back slowly.
Now that all possible risks have been looked out for, everything is up to you! If ever you are worried about any possible repercussions of doing so, then simply ask yourself, ‘What’s in it for me?’
How To Fix A Compound Bow Derailment?
A derailment on your compound bow is an embarrassing thing to have. It’s even more frustrating when you are shooting with a group of your friends on a hunt. This is because you will lose your confidence, which can affect the performance of others involved in the group. Here are some tips to fix derailment on an individual level:
- Use a sharp and hard arrow to fix derailment
- Never dry fire your bow
- Learn to control your urge of pulling back with barely any weight on the bow
- Practice with a stabilizer
- Lower down the noise of your compound bow
These pointers will help you fix and avoid the derailment of a compound. If you are a beginner in archery and have little knowledge of compound bows, it is best to take your bow to expert repairing shops. Many critical parts require delicate handling from experts only.
The knowledge of compound bow is a complex topic to understand for the beginner. If you are involved in archery for the first time, you will find yourself at a loss when understanding the bow and its working. It may take time, and sometimes, some tips may not work in your favor. But if you keep trying, you will certainly achieve better results and the chances of bow derailment will decrease eventually.
Many archers out there are not aware of how detrimental it is to dry fire and they commit a huge mistakes. This is especially true for youngsters who love experimenting with their bows. So just make you are not randomly shooting out some dry fires with your bow. Instead, learn these tips and maintain your bow in the best possible shape.