How to fix a dry fired bow (Foolproof way)

You should not fire an incorrectly-sized arrow attached to the bow string. Because here, the energy that would have been stored in the arrow must be dissipated as vibration and noise, which in turn often leads to severe structural damage to the bow. Damage by dry fire may include broken cables and string, bent cams, and limbs. 

But what if you accidentally dry-fired. So, how to fix a dry fired bow? The first step is to assess the damage and determine the extent of the damage. Then you will need to decide what needs to be fixed. Finally, you will need to assemble the materials necessary to fix the bow.

If you are unluckily facing this problem. No worries, today I will share some tips to solve this problem. Let’s start!

Table of Contents

What is dry firing? (What happens exactly)

Archery dry firing occurs when the bowstring is released without an arrow being thrown. Or the arrow is not knocked with the string properly. 

When a bow is fired, usually, they experience up to 75 percent of the kinetic energy. When no arrow is present, the bow absorbs up to 100 percent of the total energy, posing a substantial safety risk.

Some people think that dry fire is shooting the bow without an arrow. But if the string is damaged or the arrow is too weak, submission to this idea may occur.

Can a bow be fixed after a dry fire? (Be sure before attempting to fix it)

Some believe the wood could be damaged, while others claim it is not a big deal. However, there is no clear answer. The best option may depend on the bow and the material used.

Bows can be damaged beyond repair by misuse or neglect. One of the most common issues while bow hunting is a broken bowstring. 

Bow hunting has several dangers, such as injuries. Injuries can occur when a bow is not correctly adjusted or the archer misses their target. Accidents can also happen when a bow is fixed after a dry fire.

But no worries about that. You can fix your bow after a dry fire. You have to follow some tips. Or, in case of significant damage, you must go to any professional service to fix the problem. 

How to fix a dry fired bow? (Step by Step)

Dry fire can damage the bow in a variety of ways. I will demonstrate how to repair a dry-fired damaged bow.

Few things are as frustrating as a bow that won’t shoot properly. Compound bows and crossbows are no different and can be costly if not treated right.

First, Inspect the condition of your bow’s limbs by looking for nicks, dents, and other damage. It is suspected to dry-fire. And this inspection will help you determine which parts need to be fixed first.  

A dry-fried damaged bow fix involves repairing or replacing broken bowstrings on compound bows or crossbows. If it is a compound bow or crossbow with a cable system, disconnect the cables from the limbs and inspect them for wear or damage. 

Change out any damaged parts of the bow with new ones to make the necessary repairs. Reattach the wires if necessary and test your bow to see if it works properly now that it’s repaired. 

Several steps are involved in this process, and it can be challenging to know where to start if your bow is broken. Here are the steps: 

Before starting the process, you need to buy a bow stringer. Get this one for compound bows. And this one is for traditional bows.

  • Step 1: Pull down the string loop to your bow’s top to reveal its string grooves. Reach down to the string loop and repeat the motions for the string groove near the bottom of the bow.
  • Step 2: Attach the bow stringer saddle to the bow stringer loop from the top pole. Next, position the stringer’s pouch on the lower limb’s tip and secure it with a pouch holder.
  • Step 3: Lift both feet from the bow case to string your bow. Grip the bow, bending the limbs. Slide the top loop of each string into place on the limb tip while you grip the draw weight of your bow by applying the bow stringer.
  • Step 4: Pay attention to ensure that all components of the bow stringer are securely attached and tied.
  • Step 5: Then check the limb. Sweep a cotton roll onto the limb to inspect any tiny fracture on the limb. If you have fractures, you should not use this bow again before fixing it.
  • Step 6: If the cam becomes damaged, then replace that one.  

The six quick steps above will enable you to restart any bow in your house. If you don’t have the skill required to do it yourself, we recommend hiring a professional to complete this task.

Always use a safe platform and be aware of your surroundings when practicing with a bow. Finally, always have someone knowledgeable about archery nearby in an emergency.

Is dry fire worth fixing?

Sometimes dry fire bow damage is worth fixing. Because it causes bad things, usually the string will derail, limbs can break, cams can break, and peeps fly off. It’s a bad deal!

Even though dry fire bow damage is usually not life-threatening, it’s still worth fixing. And, it should be fixed, let’s face it; otherwise, how could you use the bow?

Also, the cost of repairing dry fired bow is not that much, so fixing it is totally worth it.

How to Avoid Dry firing a bow?

Dry firing is bad and it might even damage your bow. So, to avoid dry firing a bow, ensure you get it examined by an expert in case you find problems. If you don’t have the time or money to fix it, at least be aware of the damage and take proper precautions before shooting.

You can cut the chances of further damage and keep your bow in top shape for future use.

The right way to avoid this is to carefully shoot an arrow and NEVER fire a single arrow that you thought had been fired until you’ve done a thorough inspection. Shooting a bow with a damaged tip will injure you.

Be sure you are releasing an arrow from above to hit a target. And don’t pull a bow and arrow unless you are aiming it at a target.

If you can follow these tips, you can avoid dry fire in a bow.

How much does it cost to fix a dry-fired bow?

The cost of repairing a dry-fired bow can be based on the type of bow and the degree of the issue. However, most repairs cost between $50 and $250 approximately. 

There are two essential things about how much it costs to fix a dry-fired bow? one is the component cost, and another is the labor cost. Here’s an estimated price list of each item:

Cost TypesPrice Range
String CostLocal brand $30-$50, International brand $80-$150
Limb Cost ( compound bow)For beginners $210-$250 
Limb Cost ( Recurve Bow)For beginners, $100-$400, For professionals, $500-$1000
Cam Cost$50-$60
Cam Cost$20-$250
Cost of fixing a dry-fired bow


Does dry firing a bow break it?

Yes. Dry firing a bow is not recommended because it can break the bowstring. The repeated dry firing of a bow will cause the bowstring to stretch and eventually break. So, if you’re considering dry firing your bow, use a prop or a rubber band to keep it from breaking.

Why is a dry fire destructive for a bow?

A bow is a precision instrument that should be handled with care. A dry fire, or firing without an arrow in the bow, can damage the bow’s components and accuracy.

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