Choosing the right cocking mechanism is just as important as choosing the right hunting crossbow. There are three main styles of cocking mechanisms available for crossbows today: the standalone rope cocker; the stock-integrated rope cocker; and the stock-integrated crank cocker. Each type of cocker carries certain advantages over the other styles, and, knowing more about each of these different types will help you to make the best decision for your crossbow set-up.
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Standalone Rope Cocker
This type of cocker is made up of a rope, hooks, and handles. It is the most basic of all cocker designs and it does not mount in the stock. It works by leveraging the cord in the back of the stock or trigger box, attaching the hooks to the bowstring, anchoring the front of the bow to the ground, and pulling upward on the handles until the string is latched by the trigger mechanism. Because the cord is leveraged in the back of the stock, a rope cocker will reduce the force needed to pull the bowstring by 50%. In other words, if your crossbow has a draw weight of 180 pounds and you use a rope cocker, you only need to exert a force of 90 pounds to cock the string. Most people who do not have physical impairments or weakness in the upper body should be able to use this type of mechanism to cock most modern crossbows. For crossbows that have extremely narrow bow assemblies, some rope cockers may have a horseshoe-shaped sled instead of hooks.
Stock-Integrated Rope Cocker
The stock-integrated rope cocker is like the standalone type in that it uses a rope, hooks/sled, and handles to cock the crossbow. It differs from the standalone cocker because it has been designed to mount in the stock – the ropes retract back into the mechanism when not in use and the handles and hooks/sled mount neatly and securely. This type of cocker also reduces the draw weight of the bowstring by 50%. The stock-integrated cocker is easier to use because it is always attached to the crossbow and there are no exposed cords that can get tangled up with other gear in your pack. This type of cocker also allows you to cock the crossbow faster. Again, most people who do not have physical impairments or weakness in the upper body should be able to use this type of mechanism to cock most crossbows.
Stock-Integrated Crank Cocker
The stock-integrated crank-style cocker utilizes a rope-mounted sled that engages the string, but it also features a separate crank handle that, when inserted into the device and turned, pulls the string up the flight rail and into the trigger mechanism. This type of cocker features an internal gear system that reduces the draw weight of the bowstring by 90%, making it much easier to use than the standalone or stock-integrated rope cockers. The crank-style cocker allows people of all ages, strengths, and physical abilities to cock a crossbow. Since the mechanism draws the string back in the same exact position every time, the crank cocker is the best type for achieving the most accurate shooting results.
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So – which one is the best for you? If you are budget conscious, you might want to purchase the standalone rope cocker, because it is the simplest and most cost-effective. If your goal is to be able to cock the crossbow in the fastest way possible and you do not have any physical limitations, you should consider the stock-integrated rope cocker. If multiple people will use the crossbow, some of which may be young or have physical impairments, then the stock-integrated crank cocker would likely be your best choice. Ultimately, you should visit your local archery dealer to learn more about these different types and try them out to determine what is best for you and your crossbow.
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