Cocking devices for crossbows – Buying guide, Reviews and Comparison
If you are on the search for the best hunting gear but simply have no time to read the buying tips and reviews our research team has worked on, you should be able to learn just as much with this short paragraph. We studied social media activity and expert review sites for the best crossbow rocking device and found what majority of consumers currently consider a top choice, the Excalibur 2195A. This product enables comfortable loading and unloading of any Excalibur crossbow by lessening the felt draw weight by half while also guaranteeing an appropriate string alignment to help you shoot more accurately. This model uses comfortable T-handles and is made using the finest quality components to deliver lasting durability for long-term use. Because this device offers ease of use, you can confidently place it in your pocket and go hunting. Since there’s a very real chance that the Excalibur 2195A will run out of stock because of its popularity among bow hunters, we recommend getting the second best option in performance and quality, the Barnett 17014.
Our Top Choice
This easy-to-use rope cocking device reduces the felt draw weight by a whopping 50 percent, helping you align the bowstring to ensure remarkable shooting accuracy. It enables you to load and unload comfortably, which makes it the ideal accessory for bow shooters with smaller builds or are beginners in the sport. Constructed using the finest-quality materials, this rope cocking aid goes easily in the pocket.
One user rues that they have a handicap and this makes the rope cocking device a bit difficult to use without assistance.
By far a top-rated cocking device for many users, this model offers superb functionality and effortless performance in the field.
This is a rope cocking device that helps you shoot with greater levels of accuracy by reducing the poundage pull by half, for easier loading and unloading. The T-handles on this rope cocking device generate a higher amount of pull, so you experience less strain while also saving your fingertips from getting pinched. This device is equipped with brass cord rollers that deliver a fluid drawing action for optimal functionality. The aid easily stores in your pocket for ready access.
One user has noted that like all other string pullers, this rope cocking device comes with a bit more line than is needed.
Made to ease up on loading and unloading, this rope cocking device offers an easier way to focus on accuracy instead of draw weight.
Also To Consider
This crank cocking device is designed to reduce the draw weight of the bow to under 10 pounds so you can take aim, align the string, and shoot with greater accuracy and less load on your shoulders and arms for an easier shooting experience. This device utilizes the clamp-on-bracket style and adapts to a variety of popular crossbows including the Crusader, Vendetta, and Ripper. It slides off the dovetail readily at the rear of the stock when not in use, so as not to add more weight to your hunting bow than what is necessary.
One user concedes that this cocking device is ideal for doing multiple shots with a specific bow model but can be tedious to use with others.
If you have to do multiple shots with your crossbow, this crank cocking aid makes it easier to load and unload for greater shooting accuracy.
5 Best Cocking Devices for Crossbows (Reviews) in 2021
1. Excalibur Cocking Aids Cocking Rope
A well-designed rope-cocking device, the Excalibur 2195A offers easy cocking of your bow and enables easy string alignment so you can focus on your shooting accuracy instead of how your projectile is positioned on your weapon. This device reduces the felt draw weight by as much as 50 percent, so all you have to focus on is your shooting stance.
This model enables you to fine tune your shooting technique so you can put greater emphasis on your accuracy instead of worrying about the draw weight you have to be able to use for firing your bow.
Ideal for beginners and shooters with smaller builds, this device helps bowhunters practice better shooting form and stance to propel the projectile toward the target with better accuracy and sharper technique.
This model is made of the finest quality materials for dependable durability and long-term use.
Aligning the bowstring is made easier because this cocking aid takes 50 percent off the felt draw weight for more error-free string alignment.
This product goes easily in the pocket for problem-free storage and carrying in the field.
This rope cocking aid can be challenging for shooters with handicaps to use when unassisted by another person.Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.99)
2. Barnett 170142-SSI Rope Cocking Device 17014
The Barnett 17014 is a rope cocking device that enables you to shoot with higher degrees of accuracy by lessening the draw poundage by half, making the bow easier to shoot or load and unload. With a higher amount of pull from the device, the projectile can be propelled quicker, faster and easier so you can do multiple shots when needed.
This cocking device has T-handles that provide less contact with the string to save your hands from getting pinched. There is less strain on your arms and shoulders when taking aim and firing. The cocking aid features brass cord rollers that enable you to draw fluidly and less effortfully. For greater convenience, the cocking device stores easily in the pocket.
If you want to experience a smoother shooting motion, get this tool that carries a simple design for easy setup and functionality.
Made of fine quality materials and a simple design, this rope cocking device is easy to use.
The superior craftsmanship makes this cocking aid durable for lasting use.
You’ll love how the implement decreases the draw weight so you can align the string more easily.
Like most other string cocking devices, this model comes with a wee bit more line than is necessary, according to one user.Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.97)
3. Sa Sports 6305754-SSI Crank Cocking Device 575
Engineered to decrease the pull poundage under 10 pounds, the SA Sports 575 lets you aim and fire with greater accuracy. Aligning the bowstring becomes less tedious as this device positions the component optimally to enable faster and easier release and more precise propulsion toward the target.
You will love that this device dovetails to the rear of the stock for easy setup and installation prior to use. It also slides off the dovetail for hassle-free removal when not in use. This aid eliminates the risk of pinched fingers when the string releases the projectile and goes back to its original position.
The clamp-on bracket style enables the cocking device to easily attach to different widely-used crossbows such as the Ripper, Vendetta, and Crusader. Perfect for use when doing multiple shots, this cocking device eases up on the loading and unloading processes for a much easier shooting experience every time.
This is a solidly-constructed crank cocking device made of top-quality materials for those looking for genuine value for money.
It reduces the pull weight load to under 10 pounds for less strain on the arms and shoulders.
Perfect for executing multiple shots, this cocking aid slides off the dovetail for problem-free removal when not in use.
One user has noted that this crank cocking device tends to be compatible with a specific crossbow model (Desert Hawk) but not so easily with others.Click to see the price on Amazon!
4. SA Sports Rope Cocking Device
If you’re looking for a way to ease up on the loading and unloading segment of aiming your crossbow, make it a point to have the SA Sports 576 rope cocking device in your pocket. This durable device is made of hardy materials from its robust T-handles to the string to ensure years of service to the crossbow hunter.
This rope cocking aid makes it less effortful to pull the string and load a projectile. It enables a smoother draw by reducing the draw poundage by an amazing 50 percent, helping you focus more energy on shooting with accuracy using the proper technique. You can enjoy greater consistency in cocking the bow straight by taking center string alignment away from the equation.
A must for every avid crossbow hunter, this crossbow cocking aid lets you experience smooth draws and greater shooting accuracy regardless of your upper body strength or shooting skill level.
Perfect for those with smaller body build or beginner-level shooting skills, this rope cocking aid helps you shoot with greater accuracy and speed.
This device helps avoid pinched fingers due to the string forcefully slapping back toward your hand after the release of the projectile.
Improving your shooting becomes much easier with this amazing cocking device.
There is no perceived drawback on this product by the registered buyers on Amazon.Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.99)
5. Barnett Vengeance CCD 17450
This bow cocking aid is designed to fully integrate into the crossbow stock to present a low profile so you can have an unhampered view of the target. It reduces the cocking tension to only 17 pounds so you can align the string easily and quickly.
The reduced draw weight also enables you to focus more on your shooting technique than on the strain of pulling the bowstring to ensure a faster and more accurate shot. You can easily adjust the handle to fit either a right or left-handed shooter, so this device can be shared with others in your group.
What is even more fantastic is how the handle is designed to be removable to suit your preference and storage needs. You’ll love the comfortable fit this device provides on your favorite crossbow hunting weapon.
This model integrates fully and seamlessly into the stock of your weapon to provide a low profile for effortless target sighting. (check our recent article about bow sights)
The handle adjusts easily to suit both right and left-handed shooters.
The handle can be removed at your option to provide effortless functionality.
At least two users recommend other buyers to examine their weapons and see which ones will go well with the device and which ones only need minor tweaking to be compatible with this cocking aid.Buy from Amazon.com for ($177.99)
Just like any other crossbow accessory, your crossbow cocking aid has to enhance the shooting capability of your weapon and your shooting skills as well. Although this tool will not make a Robin Hood out of you, it can at least help you refine your technique and cross out poor form or methodology for improved shooting accuracy. Now what aspects are easily distinguishable in the best cocking device?
(interested in reading more? Check out our article on arrow rests)
The best crossbow cocking device can be one of three styles
There was a time when the only option for cocking your crossbow was to bend over the weapon, grab the string with your bare hands and then puff yourself up with enough strength to draw the string back to its ready-to-shoot position. However, thanks to how technology has come a long way in crossbow cocking, that manual technique has been relegated to only the hardiest hunters.
Nowadays, there are two generally accepted methods to cock your crossbow. You can now opt for either a rope cocking device or a crank style cocking implement. Each cocking system has its own advantages.
The rope cocking aid is the most popular among crossbow users. Some crossbow manufacturers even specify them as a standard accessory for some of their models. The action of a rope cocking device is pretty straightforward. It reduces the amount of force you have to use to draw the crossbow by up to 50 percent, or half of what would normally be needed for manual cocking.
Lightweight and compact enough to fit in a hunting coat or jacket pocket, a rope cocking aid is way better than just leaning over your crossbow, pulling the string manually, and hoping that the bowstring does not slap back painfully against your fingers upon the release of the arrow or broadhead.
This type of cocking aid enables you to cock the bow uniformly and with a higher level of consistency, which is highly important if you are to achieve ultimate accuracy when shooting. It offers exceptional functionality considering how, in the hand-drawn cocking method, the bow string easily gets pulled to one side or the other of the barrel or stock during the drawing stage.
This improper drawing form leads to inaccurate arrow groups.
A rope cocking device, on the other hand, prevents that from occurring. Rope cocking aids are cheaper than the second type of device, the crank cocking tool. Some crossbows even ship with a rope cocking device as a freebie.
A rope cocking device may be difficult to optimize by hunters with limited physical strength. Those types of hunters may have weak arm strength to pull the string fully toward the trigger box. Weapons that have no foot stirrup can give hunters precious inches of drawing power to make a rope cocking device more practical to use.
For hunters with a physical disability or reduced arm strength, a crank cocking device is the better choice. The reduction gears in a crank cocking device coupled with a winch-type system reduce the needed energy for crossbow cocking to just a few pounds, with some models doing that to under 10 pounds while some offer levels to 17 pounds only.
A crank drawing device is best used by young hunters or ladies or those with a smaller body build. A crank cocking device helps you draw evenly and accurately every time, just like a rope cocking device.
That said, not all crank cocking devices are created equal. Some models are permanently installed on the weapon, but others are detachable. Take note of the weight of a detachable crank cocking device, as the additional heft may completely offset any reduction in draw poundage to make zero difference in your shooting accuracy.
The third type of cocking aid is available on the market, the sidewinder cocking device. It is not as popular as the other two but may soon catch up because of its own merits.
A good-quality cocking device for crossbow should be easy on you
There’s no use having a crossbow cocking device if it becomes more of a burden than an actual aid in shooting. The whole point of a cocking device is to enhance or improve your shooting accuracy. Rope cocking devices are popular thanks to their easy storage and pocketability. You can just slip them into your coat pocket and retrieve them when needed.
The cocking aid should not hamper your vision of the target, and this is especially important for crank-style cocking devices.
A sidewinder cocking device is designed to provide an easy crossbow cocking experience. It simply slips over the recoil pad of the crossbow stock, attaches via its hooks to the string, and then winds up. This type of device enables uniform string alignment for multiple shots plus extreme accuracy.
Installation of the device should take seconds, as time is always of the essence in crossbow hunting. It should not alert the target to your presence, so the more vibration-free the cocking aid is, the better it will be for the crossbow hunter.
When looking at products like a cocking device for Barnett crossbows or any other brand, you will need to ensure it is made of top-quality materials
The T-handles on a rope cocking aid should not feel flimsy or cheap when you grab them. Crank cocking devices are more expensive, so you can pick whichever brand you want as long as you are getting one from a reputable manufacturer and source.
The device should boast top-tier craftsmanship for guaranteed performance in the field. If you invest in a top-quality crossbow, the accessories that go with it should also be beyond reproach in terms of overall quality and functionality.
Getting the best rope cocking device should never be about picking one that helps you pull the string up just like hunters did in the old days. Instead, the multitude of choices symbolizes the need for some analytical process before a purchase is made. With that being said, while we have given you product choices, we’re yet to help you figure out which one is right for you.
In order to fix this, we want to first let you know that choosing the right type of mechanism will be very important in your level of satisfaction later. Nowadays, there are three main styles of rope cocking devices and while each of them helps you draw weight one way or the other, they also have their own things that make them special.
Standalone rope cocker
This type of item is made up of a rope, hooks, and handles. In a nutshell, it is the most basic of all rope cocking devices out there but that does not mean that it’s not effective. This one does not mount in the stock but instead works by leveraging the cord in the back of said stock or trigger box.
The process continues with the hooks being attached to the bowstring, the front of the bow being anchored to the ground, and then the handles being pulled upward until the trigger mechanism launches the string. Because the cord is leveraged in the back of the stock, this awesome device will reduce the force required of you by 50 percent.
Therefore, let’s say your crossbow comes with a draw weight of approximately 180 pounds. If you use this rope cocking device, you will only need to exert a force of 90 pounds to be able to cock the string, which is a number that most people who do not have a physical impairment should be able to achieve.
Stock-integrated rope cocker
This cocker is quite similar to the standalone one in the sense that it uses the same parts and mechanisms. The difference comes from the fact that this one has been designed to mount in the stock instead.
When not in use, the ropes retreat back into the mechanism while the handles and hooks are fixed quite securely in place. While this type of cocker also achieves the 50 percent reduction in draw weight, it is also easier to use because its permanent attachment to the crossbow means less of a risk when it comes to exposed cords that can get tangled with other parts of your gear.
Stock-integrated crank cocker
Now, this is a rope cocking device if we ever saw one! This baby comes with an integrated crank-style cocker that makes great use of a rope-mounted sled in order to draw back the string. Furthermore, it also has a separate crank handle that the user is able to insert into the device and turn, pulling the string up the flight rail and further into the trigger mechanism.
Due to this process, the product is able to reduce the draw weight of the bowstring by an amazing 90 percent, making it a lot easier to use than its other two counterparts. It allows people of all ages and strengths to experiment with it and the effective part is that the string will be drawn into the exact same position every time, increasing shot accuracy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is a crossbow cocking device?
A crossbow rope cocking device is a very neat tool designed to help people who enjoy shooting through the difficult process that once was pulling back the crossbow string. This type of item usually comes with a rope and creates a sort of pulley system, allowing the user to only pull about half of the poundage weight so that they do not become exhausted from the get-go.
In the old days, pulling the string back could be a very difficult thing to do, especially if one owned a heavier and stronger crossbow. The hardiest of hunters still like, to this day, the challenge of doing it with only their own bodyweight as a helper.
For the rest of us regular folks, we’ve got three types of cocking devices that we can choose from: a stock-integrated crank cocker, a stock-integrated rope cocker, and a standalone rope cocker.
Q: How do I use a crossbow cocking device?
When it comes to the way we use them, the basics are pretty much the same for all three crossbow cocking devices: they’re there to help pull the string back so that we can shoot a dead-accurate show with our weapon.
There are certain differences, however, hidden in their mechanics. If a standalone rope cocker works in a very basic way by attaching the hooks to the bowstring and leveraging the cord back with the front of the crossbow pointed toward the ground, the stock-integrated rope one has been designed to have its ropes retreat back into the mechanism and allow more flexibility.
The stock-integrated crank cocker, however, comes with a trustworthy separated crank handle which means the draw weight is dramatically reduced and even a child should be able to handle the simple task of pulling back the string and readying the weapon.
Q: Based on what criteria should I choose a cocking device?
While cocking devices come in all shapes and forms, deciding on one can be a difficult decision if you don’t know what to base it on. For the most part, you’ll want to look at ease of use and improved efficiency as your top factors in making a purchase.
The first part means simply what type of help do you enjoy more: Having to manually carry your cocking device around and shooting with a lighter crossbow or getting an “integrated” one but obviously increasing the weight of the weapon as well?
When it comes to accuracy, you’ll want to remember that the stock-integrated crank cocker makes sure that the string is pulled back in exactly the same way every time, which obviously increases the hit ratio as well. This type of device is built for a family of hunters so that everyone, regardless of age, strength and physical ability can enjoy shooting a crossbow.