Among the most discussed crossbow accessories is a bowstring.
Bowstrings are strings which keep the two ends of a bow in place and also fire off the arrow. An integral part of shooting with a bowstring is to know all the accessories and selecting the best one for you.
If you’re a novice and don’t have a lot of experience, chances are that you won’t know the difference between mediocre and amazing crossbow accessories. This is also the case with bowstrings.
Patience and experience is required to find the best experience for yourself and since bowstrings can require maintenance, you need knowledge too. Luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place to find out about best crossbow strings so let’s get to it!
What Makes the Best the Best?
In earlier time, crossbows were used to hunt for survival instead of as just a recreational sport like we do now. That still didn’t diminish the importance of bowstrings even in that time. Mass and material was just as important back then as it is now.
The best bowstring should definitely have some key features like having the correct weight, should be durable, strong and have a solid resistance to seasonal elements like water. Another important feature to take notice of is the type of sting to you should choose.
There are three basic types of strings mainly, simple strings, reverse twisted strings and looped strings. There’s still more to bowstring physics if you want to go the whole hog and find out about different types of string materials and how they can affect crossbow performance.
What to Look For In the Best Bowstring?
So what to look for in the best bowstring? Well there are four key factors that have a definite say in performance quality. Let’s have a look!
Obviously, the weight of anything has a lot of weight in determining performance especially the speed part but what people don’t know is that a bowstring’s mass is the most important thing when considering a good bowstring.
The weight has to be absolutely perfect for perfect efficiency. A lot of mass in the center of the bowstring can actually slow down your arrow by a lot.
Strength is also relatively important. Not as important as weight but still quite important when looking out for things that effect your crossbow operation.
Under high tension some bowstrings that are made of flimsier material tend to stretch or creep especially at extremely elevated temperatures. Other strings can stretch and change as time goes on causing a difference in your performance.
3. Resistance to Abrasion
One of the most important things is abrasion. Abrasion is the quality of something to tend to fray or wear out with use overtime.
This frequently happens in crossbows because of the friction present during using them. This erosion can also damage your shooting capability. So a bowstring should definitely be abrasion resistant yet not abrasive itself to avoid further friction.
4. Resistance to Water
Another key feature of a good bowstring is resistance to water. This is important because if the bowstring material gets saturated, nothing works right.
Most bowstrings are not completely waterproof because it is almost impossible to make them like that but usually they are water resistant to an extent. You can additionally use beeswax or linseed oil to make them more water proof.
Types of Strings
Yes there are different types of strings to choose from and most people go by what they feel comfortable with. Here’s the rundown.
Simple strings are basically what their name suggests; simple single corded strings that can be made fairly easily even by a novice.
They can be made from almost any material because they are so simple to make. The down side is that they are pretty fragile and hence more prone to damage when under tension.
Reverse twisted strings a bit more complicated to make and are usually made of linen or hemp material. A reverse twisted string is basically made by creating individual bundles of fibers and then turning them in a single direction first and then twisting them in a different direction the next time. These strings tend to be stronger because of the thickness that the bundles provide.
Looped strings are made fancier than reverse twisted ones but reverse twisted ones are still the best contenders. These strings are made by twisting the fiber again and again into continuing loops. Because of the fewer amounts of fibers at the end part, these are comparatively more fragile than reverse twisted because they tend to fray.
What Kinds Of Materials Are Available?
In the early ages, all kinds of materials were tried and tested to use to make a bowstring. From hemp to linen, roots of plants to silk, cotton, sinew and rawhide were used to create strings.
Since crossbow shooting was about survival basically, a lot of the material used was whatever was available at the time or place. Since then this sport has progressed by leaps and bounds and the fibers used have progressed with it. For some time, waxed linen was used but it was quickly abandoned for strings made from Dacron polyester which has high flexibility.
After a while Dacron was replaced by other more complex polymers like Kevlar and Vectra which offer more speed instead of flexibility. These days Spectra and Dyneema (UHMPE) fiber are used in strings and make them stronger.
- Beeswax is your best friend
- Find out about branded maintenance kits
- Look into good quality restoratives and cleaners
- Use linseed oil on your string to keep it waterproof during rough weather.
Your bowstring can have a great impact on your shooting performance, tuning and efficiency especially if you’re dealing with a recurve bow. So if you’re considering buying a bowstring that has all the necessary ingredients for a hit then having a little bowstring knowledge can certainly go a long way.