A crossbow can be a highly accurate, fun to shoot weapon. However if it is not maintained properly it can quickly lose its accuracy and even become dangerous to the shooter if a critical part should fail. To avoid any problems there are several simple maintenance tasks which should be performed regularly.
The first task is to keep the strings and cables lubed and waxed. The center serving section of the string should be treated with rail lube every few shots and the flight rail of the crossbow should also be wiped with the same lube. The rest of the string and cables (skip this step for steel cables) should be treated with bow wax by globbing it onto the string and rubbing vigorously with your fingers to warm and melt the wax into the string fibers. Strings and cables are expected to wear and need to be replaced as soon as they show signs of fraying. By waxing and lubing often, you will extend their life to several times that of untreated ones.
The second task is to clean and lube the trigger mechanism of your crossbow. Dust and debris have a way of collecting in trigger assemblies causing them to fail or become hard to pull. Remove any grime from the trigger with a compressed air can, cleaners made for firearms, or both. A few drops of gun oil should then be squirted into the clean mechanism.
The last task is to give the limbs, axles, and cams (if it is a compound crossbow) a visual inspection. The limbs should be inspected for any cracking or splintering along the edges and front and back sides. If any are found the crossbow should not be shot until it has been returned to the dealer for warranty repair. The axles should be examined for any worn, cracked, or missing bushings. Most crossbow bushings wear over time and this shows up as excessive cam lean. If the cams appear to lean or you can see a cracked or missing bushing return the crossbow to the dealer for further inspection and repair.
Crossbow archery is a very fun and safe sport when practiced properly. By performing these simple steps before each shooting session you will keep it that way.