How to Fix a Compound Bow Derailment?

While compound bows look strong, they are not invincible. One of the common and sometimes extremely problematic issues faced by compound bow users is compound bow string derailment. This string derailment can cause injury to the user and can be devastating for the bow.

In this article, we’ll talk about what string derailment is, why it happens, and how to fix a compound bow derailment. It is important to learn how to prevent this disaster from happening both to ensure your bow’s longevity and your safety.

What Is Compound Bow String Derailment?

The bowstring is one of the most important parts of the compound bow. It holds the bow together, and damage to it can cripple your bow.

String derailment is when the string becomes displaced from its tracks, leaving it misaligned and can affect the bow itself. Since the bowstring holds the bow together, it getting derailed or displaced can alter the shape of the bow and can render it unusable.

Aside from the risk of derailment, another common issue that can happen with compound bow strings is string breakage. These two are often linked, and sometimes string derailment can lead to breakage. There is very high tension in the string of a compound bow, so string breakage can be very dangerous.

What Causes Compound Bow String Derailment?

Since we now know what bow string derailment let’s look at what can cause this and also look at how to avoid string derailment in a compound bow. Knowing this is important as the best thing you can do is to prevent derailment or breakage from taking place. Let’s look at compound bow derailment cause:

Dry Firing

The primary cause of string derailment is dry firing. Dry firing refers to releasing the bowstring without nocking an arrow.

Usually, the energy built up in the strong is transferred to the arrow, which causes it to fly a certain distance. However, when there is no arrow, the energy from the bowstring is instead dispersed through the bow.

Dry firing is often followed by a loud boom. This is usually the sound of the bowstring snapping or being sharply displaced. The limbs of your compound bow can also be damaged or snapped due to sheer force. Horrible cases of dry firing can break a compound bow.

So, remember to never fire the compound bow without nocking an arrow first. Dry firing is quite easy to avoid, but the consequences can be quite dire.

Lack of Bow String Maintenance

As has been mentioned, the compound bowstring is subject to high tension. Although high-quality ones are made to last for 2 to 3 years, a lack of proper maintenance can reduce that time and lead to an unexpected demise for your bowstring.

Resin or wax is used to keep the tensile strength of the bowstring at a decent level and prevent it from breaking. Many compound bow kits come with extra resin or wax, which you can apply to the string to increase its longevity.

High temperatures can also cause the string to collapse sooner, so don’t keep your compound bows out in the sun.

A properly maintained bowstring shouldn’t feel dry to the touch. Make sure to inspect for any loose strands since they are a good way to spot a string that’s about to tear apart. This can help you avoid injury.

Improper Shooting Form

Firing an arrow properly requires good and proper posture. If you do not maintain the required posture, you can both hurt yourself and the bow.t Constantly firing using a poor posture can put unwanted stress on the cams of your compound bow.

This can slowly cause your bowstring to get displaced and suddenly snap if you do not correct your form.

If you’re unsure about your posture and experience back or shoulder pain, you might want to enlist the help of an expert to try and fix your form. This will help immensely in the long term. The basics of a good form include — making sure you don’t bend, your arms are straight, and your legs are properly spaced.

How to Fix a Compound Bow Derailment?

Accidents do happen, and sometimes bow string derailments happen even if you take measures. What do you do then?

If you are an expert regarding it, you can choose to inspect and try it fix it on your own. But that’s a very tricky thing to do on your own and may do more harm than good.

The best option is to take it to a bow shop and let them inspect it. The damage caused by derailment can vary, which is why it’s important to take it in for inspection.

Sometimes the solution is simple enough, and you only need a change in the bowstring for the compound bow to be back in form. Other issues could be severe, especially if you happened to dry fire. Displaced cams and broken limbs are very rarely fixable and often require you to buy an entirely new bow.


We hope that this article has illustrated the causes of compound bow string derailment and helped give you an idea of what to do to prevent that.

In the case of a derailment, it’s better to take the help of a professional who knows how to fix a compound bow derailment.

However, fixing a compound bow derailment isn’t always possible, and sometimes the damage can be too great to do anything about it. The best option is always to prevent the derailment or string breakage from taking place.

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