It is hard to express how important it is for a hunter to have good equipment that fits them right. Shotgun enthusiasts measure the length of pull, and a proper fitting scattergun always collects more birds. A rifle with the proper eye relief behind the scope makes it easier to find a target when time counts. I couldn’t imagine trying to shoot a vertical bow with the wrong draw length, or with more weight than I could pull. Having the proper fit not only makes a crossbow more effective, but it also makes it safer.
Most crossbow manufacturers offer youth models to not only ensure a good fit, but to make the bow manageable for a smaller-framed shooter. There simply isn’t enough adjustment in a bow designed for an adult to fit a small-framed shooter properly and the market has worked hard to include anyone interested in crossbows.
TenPoint has gone out of its way to ensure shooters, of all shapes and sizes, have a custom fit and feel with their crossbows. Models like the Nitro RDX have a carbon stock, with adjustable cheek piece and butt plate, so you’re never straining to find a target and line it up through your scope. An adjustment with a few screws allows you to move the butt plate for individual length-of-pull. Being able to fit the crossbow to the shooter means more consistent groups downrange and less chance of fingers getting in the path of the string. Consistency in shooting comes from mounting, holding and squeezing the trigger the same for each shot, and if you are mounting the stock to the same place in your shoulder every time, you will see positive results, making it more consistent to use and safer.
The safety features built into almost all modern bows are easy to find. The forestock on a modern bow flares, or has an actual finger guard, to protect your digits from contacting the string. The finger guards may seem trivial, but even seasoned shooters can make a mistake. When engineered properly, they make it impossible to hold the forestock and get your fingers above the rail. At the same time, the weight of the bow isn’t increased, leaving it easy to maneuver and handle.
TenPoint, WickedRidge, and Horton have made cocking a bow safer than ever. With the trigger-blocking safety off, you cock the bow, and as the string latches in place, the safety automatically engages. Before you even take the cocking aid off the string, the bow has the safety engaged. Not only does it help prevent dry firing the bow, it drastically reduces the chances of an accidental discharge.
Speaking of dry fire—in the old days if you dry fired a bow it was likely unusable and in dozens of pieces. The anti-dry-fire technologies used by manufacturers today prevent accidents that could injure the shooter or destroy the bow.
The crossbow industry has taken safety to new standards, without being mandated to do so. Bows today are finely engineered instruments that make hunters more successful and stay safer without even knowing it.