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SHTF bow talk
#1
I have an old ~300FPS compound bow with a couple arrows and good tips that I've had around for years. I've never done anything with it than destroy hay-bales and paper, so I know very little about taking care of it beyond knowing that pulling it back without an arrow and letting it go is a very very bad idea. It was given to me by a friend who was going to trash it because he got a new one. If the food distribution system ever completely collapsed and I might need to go hunting again it seems like it would be a very good SHTF weapon in an absolute worst case scenario so I've kept it around. It's powerful, accurate (relatively speaking), silent, you can retrieve the arrows and re-use them and save a bullet. My question is how do you go about maintaining a weapon like that in a SHTF scenario? The bow I have had a pretty new string when I got it so I've never had to get it restrung. For any of you bow guys out there.... is it possible to restring a compound bow without one of those special rests/vises or what about making your own vise? What about replacing cams and limbs? Has anyone thought about how to maintain a modern compound bow without the special tools and devices? Do any of you keep a bow or a crossbow as a SHTF weapon?
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#2
I don't know how to maintain a bow, but i know to keep the string waxed, and have a few exploding arrows on hand also.Ninja Those you cant reuse though..
Shrug Ive got my eyes on you
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#3
I cant help you with long term maintenance. I can tell you that trying to retrieve an arrow in the woods can be harder then expected. They tend to blend in with the foliage after being shot. Hoping to get a nicer bow after I graduate and start archery hunting again myself.
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#4
The Hobbit;53468 Wrote:I cant help you with long term maintenance. I can tell you that trying to retrieve an arrow in the woods can be harder then expected. They tend to blend in with the foliage after being shot. Hoping to get a nicer bow after I graduate and start archery hunting again myself.

Use the florescent fletching. I spotted a bolt at 60yrds 15ft in a tree. And i cant see for shit..
Shrug Ive got my eyes on you
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#5
First of all, GREAT topic.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:I have an old ~300FPS compound bow with a couple arrows and good tips ... If the food distribution system ever completely collapsed and I might need to go hunting again it seems like it would be a very good SHTF weapon in an absolute worst case scenario

Yes, today's bows are far better than yesterday's bows...obviously a quantum leap over yesteryear's models.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:It's powerful, accurate (relatively speaking), silent, you can retrieve the arrows and re-use them and save a bullet.

And these are all assets, particularly the low noise signature. Further, I'd like experienced hunters to weigh in on this comment, but I doubt we need really high draw weight to take down deer. 50-60 lbs?

Also, don't forget...you'll need game to hunt. If things get ugly, you might not be he only hunter in the woods. You'll need to follow the game, wherever it goes. Which means learning hunting skills...which I lack.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:My question is how do you go about maintaining a weapon like that in a SHTF scenario? The bow I have had a pretty new string when I got it so I've never had to get it restrung.

I have a 50 lb compound bow that failed to interest buyers at a K-Mart decades ago, I recall negotiating it down to $30 with the manager. It still has the original string. It's also the best bow I've used to date, and forever answered the question whether it's possible to hit small targets past 50 yards (yep!). And I'm certain today's bows are better.

Speaking of strings, I've found it's easier to make crossbow strings than hunt them down & buy them. Here's how I do it (link), except I use Kevlar thread instead of Dacron or fishing line. As you might imagine, a Kevlar string is the last string the bow requires. [8^)

If you choose to make your own strings, please consider these two tips learned from experience - with the bow properly strung, measure the string length and the fistmele! Making a string without a pattern or dimensions will require several efforts before you get it about right.

Arrow straightening (metal arrows only) is fairly easy with a straightener. I used a cheap dial indicator and a pair of V blocks, I could easily get the runout on aluminum shafts down to 0.001"-0.002" easily. I never tried straightening wood, and I understand carbon graphite doesn't require straightening.

And don't forget learning how to re-fletch arrows. And keep an array of different style arrow heads for different functions.

Maintenance falls under several areas, from what I've observed:
  • Bow (limb inspection, string, etc)
  • Arrow (straightening, fletching, heads, sharpening broadheads, etc)
  • Shooter - PRACTICE

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:.... is it possible to restring a compound bow without one of those special rests/vises or what about making your own vise?

I suspect it is. I had a crossbow restrung by an archery shop, I watched the process carefully. The bow press supports the ends of the bow while compressing the center down. This reduces the distance between the limbs (correct term?) thus loosening the string. This looks like something easily fabricated from 2x4 studs and a $20 trailer winch (example).

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:What about replacing cams and limbs?

I haven't done this personally, but it should be possible after removing the string.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:Has anyone thought about how to maintain a modern compound bow without the special tools and devices? Do any of you keep a bow or a crossbow as a SHTF weapon?

As above, I have a crossbow and a 50 pound compound, but they're strictly recreational. And, should I discharge either one in my backyard it shouldn't result in a man-with-a-gun call to the local constabulary. Our local High School still has archery. It should be more along the lines of "Cool-he's got archery! Let's see if we can shoot it too!"
Subject matter expert on questions no one's asking.
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#6
PA Rifleman;53555 Wrote:First of all, GREAT topic.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:I have an old ~300FPS compound bow with a couple arrows and good tips ... If the food distribution system ever completely collapsed and I might need to go hunting again it seems like it would be a very good SHTF weapon in an absolute worst case scenario

Yes, today's bows are far better than yesterday's bows...obviously a quantum leap over yesteryear's models.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:It's powerful, accurate (relatively speaking), silent, you can retrieve the arrows and re-use them and save a bullet.

And these are all assets, particularly the low noise signature. Further, I'd like experienced hunters to weigh in on this comment, but I doubt we need really high draw weight to take down deer. 50-60 lbs?

Also, don't forget...you'll need game to hunt. If things get ugly, you might not be he only hunter in the woods. You'll need to follow the game, wherever it goes. Which means learning hunting skills...which I lack.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:My question is how do you go about maintaining a weapon like that in a SHTF scenario? The bow I have had a pretty new string when I got it so I've never had to get it restrung.

I have a 50 lb compound bow that failed to interest buyers at a K-Mart decades ago, I recall negotiating it down to $30 with the manager. It still has the original string. It's also the best bow I've used to date, and forever answered the question whether it's possible to hit small targets past 50 yards (yep!). And I'm certain today's bows are better.

Speaking of strings, I've found it's easier to make crossbow strings than hunt them down & buy them. Here's how I do it (link), except I use Kevlar thread instead of Dacron or fishing line. As you might imagine, a Kevlar string is the last string the bow requires. [8^)

If you choose to make your own strings, please consider these two tips learned from experience - with the bow properly strung, measure the string length and the fistmele! Making a string without a pattern or dimensions will require several efforts before you get it about right.

Arrow straightening (metal arrows only) is fairly easy with a straightener. I used a cheap dial indicator and a pair of V blocks, I could easily get the runout on aluminum shafts down to 0.001"-0.002" easily. I never tried straightening wood, and I understand carbon graphite doesn't require straightening.

And don't forget learning how to re-fletch arrows. And keep an array of different style arrow heads for different functions.

Maintenance falls under several areas, from what I've observed:
  • Bow (limb inspection, string, etc)
  • Arrow (straightening, fletching, heads, sharpening broadheads, etc)
  • Shooter - PRACTICE

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:.... is it possible to restring a compound bow without one of those special rests/vises or what about making your own vise?

I suspect it is. I had a crossbow restrung by an archery shop, I watched the process carefully. The bow press supports the ends of the bow while compressing the center down. This reduces the distance between the limbs (correct term?) thus loosening the string. This looks like something easily fabricated from 2x4 studs and a $20 trailer winch (example).

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:What about replacing cams and limbs?

I haven't done this personally, but it should be possible after removing the string.

Emoticon;53366 Wrote:Has anyone thought about how to maintain a modern compound bow without the special tools and devices? Do any of you keep a bow or a crossbow as a SHTF weapon?

As above, I have a crossbow and a 50 pound compound, but they're strictly recreational. And, should I discharge either one in my backyard it shouldn't result in a man-with-a-gun call to the local constabulary. Our local High School still has archery. It should be more along the lines of "Cool-he's got archery! Let's see if we can shoot it too!"


Thanks for the info and links! +Rep All my arrows are aluminum shafted. I've heard before where wooden arrows should only be used with recurve bows and that you should never use one with a compound bow. I was told that they snap from the added force they are subjected to when loosed and have a tendency to bury themselves 6" deep into your forearm longways. Is that true as well?

With regards to sound, I was just thinking that if you did successfully take an animal in SHTF scenario it wouldn't attract others to come try to relieve you of your prize and possibly whatever other weapon you happen to be carrying.
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#7
Emoticon;53366 Wrote:I have an old ~300FPS compound bow with a couple arrows and good tips that I've had around for years. I've never done anything with it than destroy hay-bales and paper, so I know very little about taking care of it beyond knowing that pulling it back without an arrow and letting it go is a very very bad idea. It was given to me by a friend who was going to trash it because he got a new one. If the food distribution system ever completely collapsed and I might need to go hunting again it seems like it would be a very good SHTF weapon in an absolute worst case scenario so I've kept it around. It's powerful, accurate (relatively speaking), silent, you can retrieve the arrows and re-use them and save a bullet. My question is how do you go about maintaining a weapon like that in a SHTF scenario? The bow I have had a pretty new string when I got it so I've never had to get it restrung. For any of you bow guys out there.... is it possible to restring a compound bow without one of those special rests/vises or what about making your own vise? What about replacing cams and limbs? Has anyone thought about how to maintain a modern compound bow without the special tools and devices? Do any of you keep a bow or a crossbow as a SHTF weapon?

If it's not shot alot then the only basic maintnance is the strings and they will last for a while. There may be a portable bow press out there but a regular bow press is what you need.

Remember a bow is nothing like a gun, they require setting up to a specific draw length, tuning etc to fit the one shooting it.

Arrows need to be properly splined and cut to the right length for the draw weight and length being used, also the arrow tip should be correct weight as well. If all this is done correctly the bow will be a very accurate weapon as far as you are capable of shooting it. Bows are very complex and my advice would be to go to a archery proshop and let them help you get it set up.
arjohnson, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#8
I can see on a recurve bow not needing a press, but I don't think it's possible to restring a compound without a bow press.

I've owned two Excalibur crossbows and I know you can restring it without a press.
aubie515, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#9
I'm not a big archer, I have a recurve that I can shoot rather well. I never heard of a bow press before until this thread, never gave much thought to restringing a compound bow until this thread, but I did find this, might help out a little bit: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/show...-Bow-Press
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