- Cock the bow. You can do this step manually or crank-operated. A crossbow crank will much easier to use.
- Load the bow. This is the easy part—simply load an arrow in the barrel of the bow. Make sure it is securely in place.
- Aim the bow. When aiming, make sure your thumb is NOT wrapped around the crossbow forearm. You can aim through the optical scope or the mount scope.
- Take your shot. Just like a gun or rifle, squeeze the trigger and keep your target aligned.
Especially since your child will probably outgrow the crossbow in a few years (unless they have a huge growth spurt) or they may even change their interests at the drop of the hat, you’ll definitely not want to go spending a huge chunk of change on your crossbow.
Investing in a quality crossbow that is targeted at the youth level will not only be good for your kid to grow quality-wise, it will also be beneficial for your budget.
Consider the following features to choose the ideal youth crossbow
Before you choose and buy, consider the following features that each youth crossbow may have:
Size and weight
Especially since your child is probably not a professionally-rated bodybuilder, they might not be able to hold the crossbow, which is over twice the weight of a conventional bow.
A great tip would be to have your child hold random household objects and see how heavy the various objects are and how comfortable they feel. Your local bow shop that also stocks youth crossbows can be of assistance, as well. See if they will let your child hold one on a target without an arrow. Your child should be able to hold the bow steady for at least eight seconds.
Especially since your children are involved, you will want to invest in the safety of the product more than the quality. Safety is generally pretty high on the priority list with crossbows—but it is especially for those which are more for children than anybody else.
These crossbows will have a built-in firing mechanism which makes it so that the crossbow has to be physically disengaged before firing.
When it comes to safety, however, you’ll definitely want to educate your children on the proper protocol and safety precautions before letting them use a crossbow.
Draw weight and power
On a child’s crossbow, the most important thing on it is the weight. You have to make sure that the bow fits the child and he or she is able to draw the weight (normally around 150 lbs).
String and speed
The string of the crossbow has a direct correlation of the speed. You can either choose your strings to be customized, stock bowstrings, cables, and so much more.
The speed is normally measured in FPS, which stands for feet-per-second.
When you want to get a crossbow to hunt, this will help your child reach certain arrow speed and power that you just can’t get with a regular bow.
With the mechanical advantages available in the crossbow, your child will be able to use his or her strength and draw a ton of power in the crossbow.
Most of the crossbows on this guide are backed by a warranty of 5 years. It’s great to have a few years warranty guaranteed in the crossbow because of a few reasons.
For one—it’s for your kid. With children, you can never be too careful (because they usually are not). Another great reason to have a quality warranty is the fact that the crossbow should grow with your kid—and with his or her evolving skill level.
Crossbow maintenance tips
Since you already made an investment, you might want to make sure that you know how to properly maintain your crossbow.
Here are some tips that you should follow:
Make sure the string and cables are waxed
. With the package, you’ll normally have access to a tube of wax. Waxing the string and cables should be done on a regular basis—however, if you have questions about how often, check the instruction manual.
The wax should be applied length-wise to the string.
Make sure the rail is lubricated. You’ll be able to have smoother traction of your bolt, which will help in the accuracy of your shot.
Always give your crossbow and arrows a thorough inspection before shooting. Look for cracks, twisting, splintering or bending in the arrows, shafts, and limbs. You can also clean the scope lens from time to time.