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Tenpoint Crossbow Firing Issues

Tenpoint crossbows stand out for their precision and reliability. However, like any sophisticated equipment, they may occasionally encounter a hiccup - notably, instances where the crossbow fails to fire. This issue, while not common, can be a source of frustration and concern, particularly when you're out in the field, relying on your gear. Crossbows, by their nature, are powerful and demand respect and caution. This involves ensuring that the crossbow is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction, especially during troubleshooting.

In this post I aim to arm you with practical troubleshooting tips that can help you diagnose and, hopefully, resolve issues related to your crossbow not firing. The approach is to be direct and clear, providing you with actionable advice that's rooted in a deep understanding of crossbow mechanics and maintenance. 

Voluntary Product Recall

In 2015 TenPoint, in collaboration with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, started a voluntary product recall to self-test and, if required, repair specific models of TenPoint and Wicked Ridge crossbows.  If you are the owner of one of these models simply perform a straightforward self-test to find out whether your crossbow is subject to this recall and needs repair. Note -You need to register your Tenpoint Crossbowwithin 30 days of the purchase to activate the warranty. 

Tenpoint crossbow failing to fire

Understanding the String Latch and DFI Lever MechanismA common issue with crossbows failing to fire may involve the string's position relative to the cocking mechanism. Sometimes, the string may not be properly seated in the cocked position on the string latch, instead, it could be resting on the Dry-Fire-Inhibitor (DFI) lever, located at the front of the trigger box. This usually happens if the trigger safety was set to the SAFE or WHITE position before the crossbow was cocked, preventing the string from engaging correctly with the string latch during the draw. Correcting the String PositionThe process of correctly positioning the string depends on your crossbow's specific model and the type of cocking mechanism used. Here's a general guideline, for those using an ACUslide system:
  1. Ensure the Crossbow is Unloaded: Safely remove the arrow from the flight rail to unload the crossbow.
  2. Positioning: Point the crossbow downward, resting the front end on the ground, while securely holding the buttstock.
  3. Crank Handle Engagement: Detach the crank handle from the stock and insert it into the cocking device’s square recess hole. Extend the handle fully.
  4. Adjusting Tension: Turn the crank handle forward (clockwise) for about 2-3 full turns. This should be just enough to ease the tension on the trigger lock-latch.
  5. Releasing the Lock-Latch: Press down on the trigger lock-latch with your finger. Start to backwind (counterclockwise) to lower the trigger box down the barrel. Avoid pressing the lock-latch button while de-cocking.
  6. Securing the String: Once tension is relieved, firmly press down on the charging handle. You should see the safety knob move from “F” (FIRE) to “S” (SAFE) and hear a click. This indicates the bowstring is now engaged with the string latch.
  7. Complete the Cocking Process: Follow the remaining steps to complete cocking your crossbow.

Post-Cocking Inspection after re-cocking your crossbow and firing, inspect the center serving on the bowstring. Look for any broken strands in the bowstring or center serving. If any damage is observed, it's crucial to replace the string and cables before using the crossbow again.

Following these steps helps ensure that your crossbow is properly cocked and ready for use, preventing issues related to the bowstring not being correctly engaged with the string latch.

Useful Videos

Tenpoint has developed an excellent series of instructional videos to assist crossbow users in addressing common issues, such as being stuck on the Dry-Fire-Inhibitor. These videos are tailored to different cocking methods, ensuring that you receive guidance specific to your crossbow model and setup.

  • For Manual Cocking: If you cock your crossbow manually, there's a video specifically addressing manual remedies for this issue, providing clear, step-by-step guidance.

  • Using ACUdraw 50 or ACU52: Tenpoint offers targeted instructions for users of ACUdraw 50 or ACU52 systems, helping you resolve the issue with ease.

  • For ACUdraw with Reverse-Draw Crossbows: Those using an ACUdraw with a reverse-draw crossbow will find a video that deals precisely with this combination, offering practical solutions.

  • For ACUdraw with Forward-Draw Crossbows: If you use an ACUdraw system with a forward-draw crossbow, Tenpoint has created a great video to guide you through the troubleshooting process.

  • Using Dedd Sled 50 with Reverse-Draw Crossbows: And for users of Dedd Sled 50 with reverse-draw crossbows, there's a dedicated video how to fix Being Dry-Fire-Inhibitor Using Dedd Sled 50

These videos are not only instructive but also easy to follow, ensuring that you can safely and effectively get your crossbow back to optimal working condition. Tenpoint’s commitment to customer support through these videos demonstrates their dedication to ensuring a great experience with their products.

Crossbow Safety

We forget that crossbows are not just tools of the trade for hunters and archery enthusiasts, they are potent, high-tension devices that demand respect and careful handling at all times. The gravity of this cannot be overstated.

Always Treat Your Crossbow as if It’s Loaded

This is a fundamental rule in handling any weapon, including crossbows. Even if you are certain that your crossbow is unloaded, treat it with the same caution as you would a loaded weapon. This mindset helps prevent accidental misfires and promotes a consistent safety culture.

Crossbow Unloading

Before you start any form of troubleshooting, ensure that your crossbow is completely unloaded. Remove any bolts or arrows from the device. This is a critical step to prevent any accidental firing that could result in injury or property damage.

Safe Direction

Always point the crossbow in a safe direction. A safe direction means that even if the crossbow were to discharge accidentally, it would not cause injury or damage. This is especially important when you are inspecting or working on your crossbow.

Mind Your Surroundings

Be aware of your environment. Ensure that there are no people, pets, or any valuable items in the potential path of the crossbow. Even an unloaded crossbow can cause harm if mishandled or dropped.

Keep Your Fingers Away from the Trigger

While inspecting or troubleshooting your crossbow, keep your fingers away from the trigger until you are ready to test-fire it in a controlled and safe environment. Accidental pressure on the trigger can lead to unintended firing.

Regular Crossbow Maintenance

For optimal performance and longevity of your crossbow, regular maintenance is essential. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for each step. Pay special attention to accessories like the scope and cocking device, ensuring they are in top condition. It's advisable to check all parts of the crossbow, from the limbs to the trigger mechanism, regularly. Don't forget to inspect the string and cables for wear and tear. For those who are more visual learners, many manufacturers provide crossbow maintenance tutorialsin video format. These videos can be incredibly helpful, offering step-by-step guidance on everything from how to properly cock your crossbow to ensuring every component is in working order. Remember, a well-maintained crossbow not only performs better but is also safer to shoot. So, take a moment to check each side and aspect of your crossbow regularly, ensuring that your next hunting trip or target practice session is both successful and safe.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, understanding your Tenpoint bow is the solution to resolving any firing issues. The scope of potential problems may vary, but the answer often lies in knowing your product well. If your crossbow won’t fire, consider it an opportunity to learn and grow in your crossbow expertise.

Remember, not every issue can be fixed at home. Reading the manual, learning about your crossbow's specific needs, and considering the option of professional repair are all part of responsible ownership. Contact us or Tenpoint if you have any issues that you can't resolve. Keeping your crossbow in top condition is possible with the right approach and a commitment to ongoing learning and maintenance, to make sure you are ready for next season. 


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Tomas Deksnys

Tomas Deksnys