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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a new Buck Commander for my wife for an upcoming trip to Africa. Got the whole package from Barnett including bolts, scope and rope cocker. Assembled it, all went well, and began to shoot. Things seemed pretty good at first, it would group field points to my satisfaction out to 40 yds, which will be max. for her off a rest.

Then came sighting in fixed blade broadheads. I've tried Tricks, Ramcats, Wasp Boss, Strikers, Shuttle T's and 2-3 more of my tried and true broadheads I shoot in my compounds. Can not get any consistency??? At 40 yds I'll get one shot dead center, then one 3" right and high, then one 2" left and low, etc, etc. Occasionally a real wide flyer. All off a sand bagged rest with a 3 power scope, breath control and squeezing the trigger (as well as you can squeeze one like that).

I've installed a bubble level to make sure my hold is consistent, and to the point of numbering my bolts and broadheads, interchanging each to try and get a couple of consistent bolt/broadhead combinations. Have used lube/wax on the string and flight rail religiously. Loc-tited the scope rail and check the scope every 3-4 shots for tightness.

It just doesn't seem it should be this difficult. I can tune a compound fairly well, but don't have a clue what to do here to get some consistent groups. The only thing I can think of is possible the scope is shifting point of impact.

Then the string broke with less that a hundred shots thru it...crap! I'm to the point of pulling out what little hair I have left!
What is the odds of the limbs being damaged? They are covered in rubber so I can't see anything...
What is "realistic" hunting accuracy at 40 yds for a crossbow? Three to four inch consistent groups would tickle me at this point. I believe it will shoot much better with mechanicals, but I don't want to chance mechanicals on African game...white tails ok.

Help/suggestions/tips are most welcome here! Leaving in 3 weeks and don't have a lot to time to figure this out.
Thanks
 

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One problem we diagnosed with my father in laws crossbow was consistantly having the string centered when drawn back. He was having the same issue, one dead center the next one flying wild high. We took a marker and marked his string inline with both sides of the rail before cocking. After it is cocked make sure those marks are lined up with the rail on both sides. Granted they will not line up perfectly due to the "v" in the string but you should be able to tell if it is centered. Good luck!
 

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Try turning your bolts with field points first. By turning the nocks and shooting with a diff. fletching down. See if you can get all bolts to group this way first. Each bolt may require to be shot with a diff. fletching down, so make them if needed.

Then I would try to index the broadheads on the shaft, making sure the blades line up with your fletching. You may need to add a oring to the broadhead to do this.

If all else fails try a mechanical broadhead like the Schwackers or Spitfire.

Hope this helps.
 

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2" groups ... at 40 yards are pretty common. 3" is pedestrian and to be expected. Did you go back to field points during this hellacious experience? Have you tried shooting ONE arrow repeatedly? Tried another brand of arrow? My guesses would be Scope Zero shifting or arrow spine problems. Package deal scopes are notoriously suspect. Another possibility; "how are you cocking the bow? If it isn't drawn straight & equal on both sides, you'll get significant group expansion. As to the string break/dry-fire ... me personally ... I'd send the bow back to Barnett and have it checked out. BUT ... that's your call under the time constraints you're under.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did go back to field points to shoot waht I called a "control group" and it was acceptable 3" or so.
What do you do if the string does not line up consistently? How do you get it to line up the same? I used the rope cocker and tried to be as even as possible because I had read about possible issues as that, but I did not think to mark the string.
If it si off center, whatta ya do...shoot and arrow in the dirt and cock it again?

I have a friend loaning me his to check out as a possible back up, and searching to find a string locally. Printing all of the comments to check everything someone mentions.I'm no quitter and eventually I will figure this out...just need to do it quickly as possible.
 

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If you ... shoot 3" groups with the field points after 6" groups with broadheads ... it's not the scope and not the way you're loading. Leaves me thinking it's your arrows. You might want to try "Spitfire" mechanical broadheads.
 

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I would definatly try spitfires/reapers ect... and report back.
 

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If you are not centered after cocking, with the safety on, grab the string as if you are cocking it by hand and move the string to center.
 

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My initial thought is that the arrows you are shooting do not have enough FOC and the broadheads are steering the arrows. You probably need more weight up front which can be accomplished by using a heavier low profile broadhead or using brass inserts. An offset or helical fletching will also likely help.

Have you contacted vaguru on this forum. He is a Barnett rep?

For the trip of a lifetime to Africa I would not be taking a compound crossbow. I would take an Excalibur or a Tenpoint recurve. With either of those you can replace or fix anything that goes wrong in the field yourself without the need of an xbow press which might be hundreds of miles away. I personally would never consider taking a Barnett on that trip based on their history. JMO

Bob
 

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I would definitely take an Excalibur crossbow and a couple of backup strings. No way I'd risk getting over there only to have a string break or some other problem occur. You can change the string on an Excalibur in a minute.
 

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I would definitely take an Excalibur crossbow and a couple of backup strings. No way I'd risk getting over there only to have a string break or some other problem occur. You can change the string on an Excalibur in a minute.
This.
 

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Doubt he is seriously looking at buying a new crossbow at this point. But if you are, buy an Excalibur or higher end compound, Parker/TenPoint.

Must you shoot fixed heads? If not give the spitfires a try.
 

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I use a very strong helical fletching on my arrows which allows me to shoot any hunting head consistently.

If you're using straight fletchings....that is your problem.
 

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A problem I had was the scope was tight but I had a loose trigger assembly. I would try a 150 grain fixed head like the Excalibur fixed blades.
 

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More FOC or possibly cams out of sync. Cams being out of sync will be more noticeable with broadheads.
 

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If I had a trip planned to Africa, I'd buy whatever it took to have reliable, consistent equipment. That's what I'd suggest for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the reply guys, it will take a while but I will get it figured out. Where I'm at right now is:

I have contacted Barnett via e-mail, and left 2 messages on their service dept voice mail (have not been able to actually talk to anyone yet) I want to be sure the limbs were not damaged when the string broke, and no way for me to determine that for sure since I can't visually inspect them because of the rubber coating. Also did not mention before that the safety no longer engages when the string is cocked. I can manually engage it, load a bolt and then dis-engage it, but that just increases the chance for a possible accident.
Will most likely have to send it back to their service dept for piece of mind.

However I have discovered a backup! A friend of mine has a Horton HD 175 he bought 3 years ago (I was with him), sighted it in and put it way for 3 years. Never hunted with it. He's offered to sell it at what I think is a more than fair price, with a dozen bolts, 6 new broadheads and a case.

I'm beating him over the head with $200.00 for it all.

Just to be clear, the cross bow is for my wife to shoot on our trip. I will be taking a Reezen with an X-Force as back up. Backed up again by a Winchester 1885 High wall chambered in .45-70 with 405 gr. JFN Buffalo Bore ammo.So if by some chance, something else go's wrong, she has options.

I don't have much experience with crossbows, but think they are kind of fun to shoot and have. I'm not knocking any brand or type at all cause like I said, I'm a newbie, but if I had to start from scratch again it would be with a recurve crossbow, probably excalibur, just for the simplicity of it.
 

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When your xbow is at rest, mark your string close { white nail polish or white out} on each side of your frame that way you will know your coming back straight. When your off you will shoot all over the place.
 
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