How To tell if your Bow has been Dry fired? (Inspection Tips)

So, you accidentally dry-fired your bow, and now you are not sure whether it has been dry-fired or not. So, you are looking for ways to tell if you have been dry-fired?

There is a simple tell sign, like if it does not wet to the touch then the bow has been dry fired. But I prefer more research to reach the solution. Pull apart all the parts, cables, limbs, axles, and cams and inspect everything to be sure that it’s dry fired or not. 

Sadly after dry fire bows get damaged sometimes, they may not survive long. How would you fix this? Let’s get answers to all your dry-fire curiosity. 

Table of Contents

How To Check The Bow After A Dry Fire?

Let me clear you first, what is Dry firing? Dry firing or dry losing a fact is when you draw your bowstrings back but release them without knocking an arrow. In short dry firing is firing without an arrow. If arrows are too light may also cause dry firing.

If you suspect that you accidentally dry fire your bow already, then you may be wondering how to inspect a bow for dry fire.

Well, the procedure is simple. Follow these instructions step by step- 


Open up the string parts first as stings are usually bent down or get twisted after a dry fire. 

Also scrutinize them and examine each strand.  Check if there is any sign of cut, burn, or damage. 


Inspect all the limbs this time because limbs are often burned after the dry fire. 

As they are so strong that they don’t break apart but notice if there are any burning signs. 


After pulling out all the inserts check the burns and cranks everywhere. Because replacing a damaged part again, will cause more dangers.


Now check the serving for a final examination. As the serving area is too tiny to check, the winding gaps in the serving can be a sign.   

All these steps are enough to check the dry fire issues of your bow. 

How To Tell If A Compound Bow Has Been Dry Fired?

Whether it’s a compound bow or a crossbow it can be dry fired. 

Once you checked all the parts, how can you be sure about dry firing? 

What symptoms of these parts will indicate the compound bow dry firing? 

Well, Let’s talk about the signs-

There are some common signs in compound bows and crossbows that ensure dry firing. Like twisted strings, burnt limbs or broken strings, etc. 

But the two unique symptoms that are only seen in the compound bow-

#1 Cam alignment

If your compound bow has been dry fired then the cams must be twisted or damaged. 

Cams absorb huge energy from the sudden release. As a result, they become titled.

In the case of big cams, you can see the damage by the eye. But in small cams place a straight edge in the cams for a better view. 

#2 Derailment

When the strings come out right after the fire it’s an obvious sign of dry fire. It’s called derailment which makes the strings agents separate dates.

The string will be damaged visibly in this case, so you will not need to check either. 

How To Tell If A Crossbow Has Been Dry-Fired?

Dry fire can happen in your crossbow if your arrows are not properly locked. 

Sometimes you can lose the balance of your fingers and they accidentally slip on the string.

To be sure if your crossbow has been dry fired or not follow the inspection procedure first. 

Here the visible symptoms will be-

  • Broken or bent down strings 
  • Twisted strings 
  • Gaps between the serving 
  • Burnt limbs and broken limbs
  • Jammed trigger with broken string parts
  • Sensor device failure for sudden release or auto release

What happens to a bow if you dry fire it?

When you dry fire your bow the plastic and woody particles will fly in the air and metal pieces that are shrapnel and tightly coiled can lash back at your face. 

Here your bow parts will get damaged, especially the strings and limbs. You may lose your bow if it fails to survive. Or you can reuse it after a costly repair. 

Can you tell if a bow has been dry-fired?

Yes, you can. In a regular crossbow, the strings will be damaged and broken, and limbs will get burned by overheating. 

In compound bows, strings will come out or cams are twisted so that you can detect them easily. 

Can A Bow Survive A Dry Fire?

Yes, they can survive in some cases. But they must need to be repaired. 

It’s extremely dangerous to throw a dry fire that damages the bow and causes serious injury to the archer.

But can a bow be ok after a dry fire? The damage and survival depend on the bow’s power. The damage will be more if the bow power is high. 

In the case of low-power bows, they can survive and be reused after repair. 

How Much Is It To Fix A Dry-Fired Bow?

Fixing your dry fired bow can cost you almost $200-$250. But it depends on which parts are damaged. 

Whether they can be repaired or you need to replace them with new ones.

Like in the case of cam alignment you can fix it within $100 or less. But I’m afraid replacing all the inserts will cost you more.

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