Crossbow Academy Pt 2: Loading a crossbow safely

This is a short blog but an important one if you’re new to crossbows. Learn about the considerations in loading a crossbow safely.

A while back, we did a blog piece on general shooting safety and another on good trigger discipline (although that latter one was more about helping improve your shooting accuracy). So the whole realm of safety is no new topic on here. However, this blog looks at a specific feature of shooting safety that is more of a crossbow thing.

If you’re new to crossbows, regardless of how much experience you have in shooting, it does you no harm to take a step back and look at all those precautions from a crossbow perspective.

Risks in crossbow shooting

The risks are much like any weapon. The notion of not pointing a crossbow (or any projectile weapon) at someone seems fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised what people do when they have something in their hands but are focused on something else. And it’s this awareness of where your weapons is directed that is the goal: whatever you’re doing or talking about, some part of your conscious mind needs to think about that weapon and make you act accordingly.

Better still, put it down only uncocked until you’re actually ready to use it.

However, one aspect of crossbows means you inevitably point a crossbow in a dangerous direction at one point in its operation.

Stirrups and feet

Most crossbows (except the magazine crossbows) have a stirrup where you place your foot to have adequate resistance when pulling the string back to the cocked position. When that happens, the crossbow is pointing at your foot. The good news is that there is no realistic way of seating an arrow while cocking a crossbow. So you can be sure that you would never have a situation where you risk shooting yourself in the foot while cocking the bow.

Steambow does have a stirrup for the AR-6 Stinger II. It is designed for use with the single-shot Survival. And herein lies the core message of this short blog: only use the Steambow AR-6 Stinger II stirrup for the Survival. No matter how cool it might look to you on the Tactical or Compact, resist the urge to fit it. Why? Read on.

A recipe for disaster

The answer is quite simple. The key feature of the Tactical and Compact is the 6-shot magazine. The very design means the arrow is already in place, waiting for the bow to be cocked with the cocking arm system. So what happens if you decide to cock your Tactical manually, using a stirrup? Your foot will be directly in the arrow’s path that will seat itself on the rail as soon as the string is cocked.

Any mishap; any accidental brushing of the trigger, any knock that throws the string out from its recess will send one of Steambow’s arrows straight into your foot. So you’d now have your foot in a stirrup, with an arrow stuck in it that you cannot reach without removing the magazine assembly. Who needs that in their day?

It’s just far too risky.
For that reason, our advice is simply don’t.

Leave the stirrup to the Survival and use the in-built cocking system for the Tactical and Compact: it’s what it’s there for. Meanwhile, if you are a Tactical owner and want to experience the Survival, you can buy the stirrup and scope rail separately in our shop: for a fraction of the cost, you can enjoy a whole new crossbow. That’s the beauty of Steambow’s modular system.

Click here for part 3: Crossbow Academy Pt 3: What is “sighting in”?

Did you miss the first part? You can find it here: Crossbow Academy Pt 1: Crossbow parts and what they are for

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