Ultimate Guide for 22 Crossbow Parts: Names Functions & Diagram

crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching device consisting of a bow-like assembly called a prod, mounted horizontally on the main frame called a tiller, which is hand-held similarly to the stock of a long firearm. We can find parts of a crossbow in the various archery shops. It is in high demand as more rifle hunters venture out for the bowhunting season. However, you will find various crossbows if you go to an archery pro shop. You’ll notice a lot of different iterations of this horizontal bow, whose origins are in ancient China.

Compound bows and recurve bows are the two main types of crossbows. But most of the crossbow parts are common. A crossbow looks like a rifle with a horizontal bow affixed to the stock in its basic configuration. Instead of shooting a bullet, it discharges a bolt or arrow from the top of the barrel rail. In this article, we break down the modern crossbow in the following parts to discuss in detail.

Crossbow Parts Diagram

Parts of a Crossbow Names, Functions & Diagram

Crossbow Parts Names

  • Stirrup
  • Stock
  • Limbs
  • Bowstring
  • Rail
  • Trigger
  • Foregrip
  • Riser
  • Cam and Pulley System
  • Quivers
  • Scope and sight
  • Arrow retention spring
  • Cable
  • Latch
  • Sight Bridge
  • Flight Groove

Parts of a Crossbow Bolt

  • Shaft
  • Spine
  • Grains
  • Nock
  • Fletching
  • Head

Parts of a Crossbow & Functions


Crossbows have a far higher draw weight than ordinary bows due to their greater strength. You have to pull the bowstring back with this much effort. So drawing a crossbow requires a lot more leverage.

A cocking stirrup is a remedy. The front-facing metal frame is known as the stirrup. A stirrup is a form of a loop that protrudes from the crossbow’s rail and into which we have to insert your foot.

You can use all your body’s might to draw the rope upward while maintaining control of the weapon with your foot.


The area of the crossbow that we grip while firing a bolt, away from any potential hazards. When in use, it rests against the shooter’s shoulder. Stock is generally of wood, plastic, or other composite materials that are typically molded.

It connects the crossbow’s barrel, trigger, and sight bridge, acting as its structural foundation. There are numerous arrangements for stocks.


A crossbow, or any other type of bow, may be most effective due to its limbs. Traditionally limbs were made of flexible wood, but nowadays, it is from a wide range of materials, such as carbon fiber, aluminum, and wood.

Each limb is connected to one end of the bowstring and branches out symmetrically from the crossbow’s core. When the string is pulled back, the limbs bend as resistance to breaking.

The limbs will then leap forward with all of their accumulated energy when you release go, launching the arrow or bolt at a fast rate of speed.


The bowstring is connected to each end of the limbs. When we pull back the bowstring, it acts as a spring. When we position a bolt and engage the string, the energy in the spring causes the bolt to hits the target.

It needs to be fashioned of a lightweight, flexible material that is still strong and durable to accomplish all effectively. Generally, natural fibers like linen or animal sinew or synthetic fibers like kevlar or dacron are typical materials.

A serving is a component of crossbow strings as well. Frequently, the bowstring is a wrap of some synthetic material with a coat of resin.


The barrel is a part often known as a rail or track. It has a groove on top for placing a bolt in line with the string. Every time you shoot, accuracy will be consistent as a result. Plastic or polymers are frequently barrel materials in less expensive bows.

Higher-grade crossbows are more often available with aluminum barrels. It maintains its straightness and is strong and lighter than plastic. Additionally gaining popularity, carbon fiber barrels lighten the crossbow’s overall load.


Most people are familiar with triggers. You pull this to fire the weapon. Crossbow triggers allow the latch to be released, sending the string and bolt forward.

Although all crossbows perform the same fundamental tasks, different crossbows place their triggers in different places, some directly below the latch and others in front of it.


It is present where your aiming hand rests on the crossbow. With the aid of foregrips, you may better control your shot and decrease the likelihood of firing an erroneous bolt.

It assists you in maintaining alignment with your objective and a steady shot. Some crossbows have collapsible or retractable foregrips.


The crossbow’s limbs are attached to this portion. There are numerous ways to arrange risers. Its primary function is to retain the bow’s limbs at a specific angle.

Cast aluminum or metal are typical materials of the risers. A magnesium riser is a feature of several crossbows. Riser made of carbon fiber is increasingly becoming an option.

Cam and Pulley System

Compound crossbows use cam-based pulley systems to boost power while reducing draw weight and limb length. The bowstring threads through what are essentially just wheels.

The cams then store kinetic energy besides the bowstring and have a circular or oval form. In addition to the bowstring, cam systems need additional wires to keep the cams synchronized and transmitting energy.


The quivers are containers used to transport bolts. It comes in a variety of configurations, sizes, and forms. A quiver is mounted either underneath or on top of the bow.

Additionally, some quivers are set parallel to the bow or the barrel. The usual quiver can contain three to four bolts and has a plastic helmet to prevent damage to broadhead blades.

Scope and Sight

A scope’s function is to increase aiming precision. Although there are various sorts (pin, peep, red dot, and range) and do not make the vision blur and require batteries to function.

Arrow Retention Spring

A metal bar keeps the bolt in the flight groove until the release of the latch by the trigger. It prevents the bolt from falling out so you can move the crossbow from one place to another while keeping it primed and ready to shoot in case an animal bursts into view.

It won’t shake loose if you flip it over or aim it straight down. Most frequently, steel or plastic is used to shape the retention spring.


Having cable is another feature that is unique to compound crossbows. Connecting the cable to the cam increases the crossbow’s strength and firing power. As the string is pulled back, cams function like pulleys to maintain the cable taut underneath the barrel.


With a conventional bow, you must pull the bowstring back with your strength before letting it go. Crossbows make it easier by using a device known as the latch to hold the string back. Pulling the trigger releases the latch, allowing the string to advance.

Sight Bridge

A sight bridge is where you attach a crossbow sight and secure it in place. It is an essential component of any crossbow. A robust sight bridge is vital for a stable foundation and accomplishes consistent accuracy.

Some crossbows had a connection between the trigger housing and the sight bridge. To the stock, others use bolts. A robust, lightweight metal like aluminum is necessary to construct sight bridges.

Flight Groove

The arrow may sit perfectly aligned with the string thanks to the barrel’s top-mounted grooved track, ensuring constant accuracy.

Parts of Crossbow Bolt & Functions

Hunting arrows called crossbow bolts are made especially for use with a crossbow. A classic compound bow cannot fire a bolt. They only use crossbows for their work. The design is similar to hunting arrows, but the bolts are short due to the crossbow’s different power strokes. The majority of bolts are between 16 and 22 inches long. It is usually 20 inches long.


A bolt’s main body is this. Typically, carbon fiber or aluminum make up the shaft. Unlike wood or low-quality plastic, these materials are lightweight and do not split. They are also quite flexible resistance-wise.


Each shaft gives a different level of stiffness or bending resistance. The shaft’s spine is the name given to this stiffness. A shaft has more spine if it is more resistant to bending.


It is the measurement scale used to determine the shaft’s weight. Manufacturers will either list the number of grains in the bolt’s overall weight or its grains per inch (GPI) figure.

Simply multiplying the GPI value by the length of the shaft yields the overall weight of a bolt. The weight in grains can be converted to grams by adding 0.0648.


Nock is the attachment of plastic or metal that snaps onto the shaft’s rear. While you are lining up to a fire, the nock serves to hold the bolt in place.

Various types of nocks are available; the half-moon or flat nock is common. Other possibilities include Omni nocks, Capture nocks, and multi-groove nocks.

The prerequisites for various nocks vary. For instance, to fire a bolt from a half-moon nock, you must line up the groove with the bow’s string.


The back of a bolt’s known as a vane or wings. It is present near the arrow fletching. It aids in keeping the bolt steady while in flight.

The fletching maintains the bolt moving straight toward its intended target while preventing it from tilting or wobbling in the air. It increases stability by causing the bolt to spin on its axis after being released from the bow.

Usually, bolts are pre-fletched with a variety of length plastic-molded vanes. Longer bolts require longer fletching.


Field points and broadheads are the two types of heads present on crossbow bolts. They have a sharp tip but no other edges.

Field points are not recommended for hunting anything other than small game because they lack the power and destructiveness to kill larger wildlife quickly.

The majorly, field points fit into the front of the bolt shaft and weigh between 125 and 150 grains. Broadheads are used for hunting and have razor-sharp blades.

Fixed blade, removable blade, and expandable blade broadheads are the three types of broadheads that can be attached to crossbow shafts. These field points weigh between 125 and 150 grains.

You can use standard compound bow broadheads, but the best results will come from these.

Related Posts-

What is Crossbow?

crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching device consisting of a bow-like assembly called a prod, mounted horizontally on the main frame called a tiller, which is hand-held similarly to the stock of a long firearm.

What are the parts of a crossbow?

Cam and Pulley System
Scope and sight
Arrow retention spring
Sight Bridge
Flight Groove

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