Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where can I find the string and cable length of my bow?
Based on your bow model and model year, you can find your string and cable lengths in our reference documents listed on the Products page in the String Charts box or, look under the About Us tab for the String Chart Page. This information is also included in the Technical Bulletin shipped with each bow also found on the Tech Sheets page.
2. What module do I need for my draw length?
Your draw length module is determined by the year and model of your bow. See the Technical Bulletin listed for your bow model, and look up your desired draw length. The proper module number for your draw length will be listed. Purchase the appropriate module set from your local dealer, or call Darton Archery’s Customer Service department to order it.
3. Does my bow have a warranty?
All Darton bows come with a non-transferable limited lifetime warranty to the registered original owner (Compound Bow Warranty, Crossbow Warranty). This warranty protects against any failures of the product due to defects in material or workmanship and does not include any damage due to abuse, misuse, or modifications to the bow’s design. The following exclusions apply:
Cable slide, cable and strings, silencing kit, bearings, paint, and/or camouflage finishes.
Damage caused by abuse, mishandling, dry-firing, alteration, or modification to the original product.
Other excluded damages are those resulting from either loose mod screws or shooting arrows less than the five grains per pound of draw weight.
4. I need a warranty repair, what do I do?
Take your bow to your local dealer, preferably the dealer you purchased it from. If no authorized dealer is available, call Darton Customer Service, 989-728-9511, and request a Return Authorization Number. Once you receive an RA Number, you can then send your bow to Darton for an inspection and service using the Returns and Repairs Form. If there is a service fee required for parts and services not covered by warranty, you will be notified before any service is performed.
5. Where is my local dealer?
Find your local dealer through our Dealer Locator.
6. My string and cables need to be replaced. What should I do?
Your local Authorized Darton Dealer should perform any maintenance that requires a bow press. If you can’t find a local dealer to service your bow, contact Darton Customer Service by calling 989-728-9511, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Darton will issue an RA Number so you can send your bow in for service using the Returns and Repairs Form. (Bows will be returned to the sender if an RA# is not clearly marked on the box.) Darton will give you a quote over the phone for this service. If your bow requires additional service, you will be notified of its cost before it’s performed.
7. What is the benefit of using Darton factory supplied strings and cables?
Darton strings and cables are made to rigid specifications. All Darton strings and cables are made from the best choice of materials for your particular bow. Each string set is designed to specific diameters and lengths so they will sit correctly in the cam tracks. This will provide the proper draw length and maintain the speed and performance potential your Darton bow was designed for. Refer to the String and Cable Charts page and select the appropriate year to find your bowstrings or cables.
8. Can I use aftermarket string and cable sets on my Darton bow?
Many aftermarket string and cable sets are only “close” on the lengths and diameters. This can drastically slow down, affect the performance, and significantly reduce the ease of tuning your bow. Use of aftermarket string and cable sets, and failure of that product resulting in further damage, will void the limited lifetime warranty of your bow.
9. How often should I change my string and cables?
String and cable life are susceptible to different factors. The first would be how often you shoot your bow, and second would be how well you maintain your strings. We recommend you regularly wax your string and cables with a quality, silicone-based string wax. Most strings and cables will last thousands of shots. Before each regular practice, inspect your string for cuts, abrasions, and fuzziness. These can be signs that your string and cable(s) may need to be replaced. When in doubt, take your bow to your local Authorized Darton Dealer, and they can assist you in getting new String and Cable(s) set on your bow if needed. If your dealer can’t assist you in replacing your string and cables, contact Darton Customer Service by calling 989-728-9511 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, to receive a Return Authorization Number. (Bows will be returned to the sender if an RA# is not clearly marked on the box.) You can also use the Contact Us form with questions.
10. What should come with my new Darton bow?
Your new Darton bow should include a packet containing your Owner’s Manual, Technical Bulletin, Warranty Registration Card, and additional items to get you started. In some cases, a complete range of draw modules is included.
11. I want to register my bow, how do I get started?
You can fill out the registration form provided with each new Darton bow or you can register your new purchase online at Product Registration.
12. Where are Darton bows made?
All Darton Compound bows and Crossbows are manufactured and assembled in Hale, Michigan.
13. Do I have to use a special press for the DS-3800?
Most bow presses that work with a parallel limb design bows will work with the DS-3800. The way a bow press is set up has as much to do with how it will work without damaging the bow as the bow press design. To minimize the chance of damaging your bow, it is recommended that the limbs be backed out 4 turns. The rollers that make contact with the limbs should be adjusted as close to the cams as possible. The Limb Savers that are mounted between the limbs need to be removed before the bow is placed in the press as they could interfere with the proper use of the press. Most bow presses allow you to service the bowstrings and cables only. They will not allow the limbs to relax enough for complete disassembly. Do not remove the axles from the cam and limbs unless the limbs are completely relaxed. Damage to the bow and possible injury could result otherwise.
If your bow requires the use of a bow press to service it and you are not confident that you have access to the correct bow press, see your local Darton dealer. If you can’t get the service required, call Darton Customer Service and arrange to send your bow in for inspection and service.
14. Can I use the STS system that is mounted to the cable rod on my older model Darton bow?
Darton’s STS can be adapted to any bow with a 3/8” diameter cable guard rod.
15. I am just starting out in archery; which Darton bow would be best suited for me?
To determine the best bow for yourself, visit to your local Darton dealer. To find the Darton dealer nearest you, go to the Dealer Locator page.
16. How many turns can I back my DS-3800 out?
Loosen all bolts that secure the side of each limb pocket to the riser and any set screws that lock the limb bolts in place. Tighten each limb bolt clockwise until tight, first the top limb than the bottom limb, 1 turn at a time. Count the number of turns so you can readjust your bow to the same peak weight if desired. Next, back each limb bolt out, one turn at a time, to a maximum of 4 turns. More than 4 turns will result in damage to the limb pocket and possible damage to the limbs. Be sure to re-tighten all limb pocket bolts and limb bolt set screws when you re-adjust to your desired shooting weight.
17. How can I get information about my older Darton bow and determine when it was manufactured?
Darton Catalogs are archived on the website showing bows manufactured back to 1965. In addition to the information shown in the catalogs, there are charts included in the ‘Support’ section listing string and cable specs and related info going back to 1975.
18. How can I adjust my draw length on my Darton bow?
There are many different ways to change the draw length on Darton bows. Please refer to the label on your bow to determine the correct model and then go to our website to review a copy of your Tech Bulletin.
19. What arrow does Darton recommend for my bow?
Nowadays, there is a greater choice of quality arrow shafts to choose from than ever before. The important thing is to get a shaft that is matched to your draw length and the weight of the bow you are shooting. We recommend that you go to the website of the Shaft manufacturer of your choice, and review the information that is provided to help you determine the correct size for your specific needs. Darton doesn’t recommend shooting an arrow under 5 grains per pound.
20. What length arrow should I shoot with my bow?
The length of your arrow will depend on your size and style of shooting. The best way to determine your correct arrow length is to go to your closest Darton dealer and have them help you determine what length arrow fits you best. After you determine your correct arrow length, you can go to the arrow shaft manufacture of your choice and use the arrow charts provided to help determine the best arrow for you.
21. Why does my Darton bow not shoot as fast as my friend’s Darton’s of the same model?
There are many factors that affect your arrow speed. Draw length, arrow weight, peak weight, and the tuning of the bow will affect your arrow speed, as well as bow accessories such as string loops, kisser buttons, string silencers, etc.
22. Can I take speed nocks off my bowstring?
Yes, but it’s not recommended. The speed nocks that were installed on your bowstring when your bow was built were added to optimize the speed potential of your bow when shooting a light arrow. The lighter the arrow you shoot, the more it’s influenced by the weight and position of the speed nocks on your bowstring. Eliminating them could result in a decrease in arrow speed as much as 10 fps. Not all bows require nocks to be installed on the bowstring to optimize speed.
23. How is draw length measured?
Draw length is measured when the bow is at full draw. Measurement is taken from the point where the nock is attached to the string to the pivot point of the grip plus 1 ¾ inch.
24. What is the Brace Height, and what does it accomplish?
Brace height is the measured distance between the pivot point of the grip where the bow hand fits and the bowstring is at rest. The lower the brace height, the longer the power stroke and potentially the faster the bow will be. The higher the brace height, the slower the bow and more forgiving it’s apt to be.
25. How much can I adjust the weight of my Darton bow and still be safe?
The amount you can adjust the peak weight of a Darton bow will vary from model to model. If you don’t have the tech bulletin that came with your bow, you can check the Darton website and find the information. You can adjust most Darton bows a total of 5 turns CCW from their tightened position and not have a problem. With the Pro Series bows, no more than 4 turns are recommended. Be sure you turn each limb bolt the same exact number of turns, so your bow stays in tune.
26. How important is kinetic energy in bowhunting?
Kinetic Energy is very important in bowhunting. Kinetic Energy translates to knockdown power, which means it is the amount of energy in foot-pounds that is delivered to the animal. It is generally accepted that 50-foot pounds of Kinetic Energy is satisfactory for hunting any North American animal.
27. Do you know what my Kinetic Energy is for my bow, and how can I figure it out?
You have to know the speed of the bow and the weight of the arrow. The formula for calculating Kinetic Energy is (Arrow weight) x (Arrow speed) x (Arrow speed) / 450,240
Assuming an arrow weight of 400 grains and an arrow speed of 250 fps.
(400) x (240) x (240) / 450240
The above results is 23040000 / 450240
Which gives us 51.17
This means that the Kinetic Energy of a 400-grain arrow shot at 240 fps will result in 51.17 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy.
28. When should I change my string and cables?
When to change your string and cables depends on how much shooting you do. You should inspect your string and cables, looking for frayed strands or damaged servings, each time you use your bow. If you notice any damage to the bowstring or cables, you should replace them. Regular use of a good bowstring wax will extend the life of your bowstring and cables considerably. If you shoot 3 to 4 times a week then you should change them once a year even if you don’t see any damage or wear. Your bowstring or cables can fatigue under the servings and not be noticeable to regular inspection. It is recommended that if you do a lot of shooting, you should keep your old string and cables or have a spare set on hand for a backup.
29. Where can I purchase or get pricing for Darton bows?
Visit or call a Darton authorized dealer. To find the nearest Darton dealer, just click on our Dealer Locator, and enter your zip code, and your nearest dealer will be displayed. If there is no dealer available, use the “BUY IT NOW” button offered on the product page to enter the STORE and view the options for the Darton bow of your choice.
30. How do you determine IBO speed?
IBO speed ratings are based on a 70lb peak draw weight, 30-inch draw length, and an arrow that weighs 350 grains (5 grain per peak weight). You will lose speed if you shorten the draw length, reduce your draw weight, add weight to your bowstring or your bow gets out of optimum tune. Using a different weight arrow or any other deviation from the formula will affect the rating velocity.
31. Can I upgrade my bow with newer cams?
In most cases, it is not a recommended procedure. Each Cam System is designed to be used with a specific limb design on a riser with a specific limb angle and a certain amount of pre-stress in the final assembly. Each riser is designed to accommodate a certain amount of stress and energy which can be exceeded by a new cam design. There is the danger of exceeding the safety limits of your old riser design and compromising the cams. You would need to purchase new limbs, string, cables, wheels, and cams. Your money would be better spent on a new bow that incorporates the new technology you are looking for.
32. Why is nock travel a concern?
Nock travel controls the launch path of your arrow. The smoother, straighter and more level your nock travel is, the easier it is to tune your bow for good arrow flight, and the less critical your bow is to shoot accurately. All of Darton’s CPS/DS bows have straight and level nock travel. Darton’s power stroke is also designed to create a smooth transition of power to the arrow for enhanced shootability.
33. What does CPS stand for?
CPS stands for Controlled Power System. With all Darton CPS bows there is a direct link between the lower Cam and the upper Cam/Control Wheel. The First Generation (G1) CPS bows used the Control Cable to accomplish this link between cam power and nock travel. The 2nd Generation (G2) CPS DualSync bows use the power cable on each cam linked to a 2nd let out groove on the opposite cam as a positive means of coupling the power of the cams and nock travel control. With this positive link between cams comes an increase in Dynamic Efficiency for faster, easier to tune and easier to shoot bow.
34. How hard is it to tune a Darton bow?
There are 2 different issues to address when discussing how to tune your bow. One issue deals with optimum tune for stored energy/performance and nock travel, the other issue deals with arrow flight.
Tuning your bow for optimum performance is very easy with a Darton bow. The first thing you need to do is check the axle to axle dimension to be sure it’s correct and be sure your limbs are adjusted evenly. Be sure the limb bolt locking set screws and limb pocket screws are loose. Next, count the number of turns it takes to tighten the limbs to the riser. Back your limbs out evenly to the desired adjustment you want, and re-tighten all screws. Next, check to see if your bow needs tuning. This is done by checking the axle-to-axle measurement to see if it matches the specs for your bow. Next, visually check the alignment of your power cables with the tune marks on the cam. If the cables are centered between the tune marks and the axle-to-axle measurement is correct, nothing needs to be done. If the axle measurement is off or the cables are not centered correctly, you will need access to a bow press so you can adjust your cables and/or bowstring accordingly to achieve correct bow tune. A more detailed procedure is included on the Tech Bulletin included with your bow, and is also shown on this web site. If the cables are correctly aligned with your tune marks, the stored energy is optimized and nock travel is straight and level.
Tuning for best arrow flight is very easy once you have your bow tuned for optimum performance. With straight and level nock travel you set your arrow on your rest and nock it perpendicular to the bowstring. Some archers prefer to nock their arrow high because this is what they have had to do with most other bows, this could cause a problem when trying to get a bullet hole paper tuning. If you decide to nock your arrow high, it’s recommended that you don’t go more than 3/16” high. Once you have your arrow nocked on the bowstring, adjust your arrow rest so it lines up with the bowstring when viewed from the shooting position, with the bowstring approx. 3/16” to the left of the center of the grip (right-hand shooter). This should give you good arrow flight. If you prefer to paper tune you will find there is very little left to do.
35. What is a DualSync Cam bow?
Darton has effectively eliminated all of the problems associated with the earlier 2 Cam bows by creating a positive link between the 2 Cams using a second let out groove on each cam to attach the power cable from the opposite cam. This link maintains positive synchronization between the cams and eliminates the tuning issues associated with earlier 2 cams bows while improving dynamic efficiency and shootability at the same time.
36. Can I use any style scope on my crossbow?
Most rifle scopes will not stand up to the type of shock that is experienced when shooting a crossbow. The best choice is a scope that has been designed for a crossbow or air gun, visit our Store Accessories section to view our sites.
37. How can I tell when my crossbow is fully cocked if it does not click?
If it doesn’t click into place, it probably isn’t cocked. Let the bowstring down. It will either continue to decrease its length of stroke or be retained by the string catch or dry fire mechanism. A visual will tell you if it’s cocked and retained by the string catch. If it’s retained by the dry fire mechanism, you need to manually re-cock it by hand from that position.
Sometimes the string catch will rebound back into the cocked position after an arrow is fired. This is usually caused from using an arrow that is too light. If this occurs, use an allen wrench placed behind the string catch in the position the bowstring would normally be positioned. With the safety “off”, put pressure on the string catch to simulate the crossbow being fired. This should put your crossbow back in shape to be re-cocked, refer to the crossbow manual, page 17.
38. If my bow or crossbow needs repair or warranty work what should I do?
If your local dealer can’t provide the service required, please call our Customer Service department at 989-728-9511, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If it’s determined that you need to send your bow in for repair, we will give you a Return Authorization number, RA#. Remove all accessories from your bow, Darton is not responsible for any accessories inadvertently left on your bow. Use a box with stuffing in it so your bow does not move around or get damaged during shipping. Write the RA# on the outside of the carton. (Bows will be returned to the sender if an RA# is not clearly marked on the box.) Include a note attached to your bow with the RA#, your name, address, phone number, and details about the repair issues of returned Ship bow via UPS or U.S. Postal Mail to DARTON ARCHERY at 3540 Darton Road, Hale, MI 48739.
39. What is the best arrow to shoot in my Darton Crossbow?
The arrow you use in your Darton Crossbow should be a 2219 shaft or be of equivalent diameter (.343” diameter). The length of the arrow depends on the crossbow power stroke. Most Darton Crossbows require a 22” arrow. There is a minimum arrow weight that is recommended for each model crossbow that is based on the peak weight and amount of energy produced when shot. If a lighter arrow is used, damage to the crossbow and injury to the shooter could result.
40. How do I release my crossbow without firing?
There is no good way to release your crossbow without firing. You should fire your crossbow into the ground or a target using a practice arrow. If you are in a tree stand or blind, you can fire it into the ground before you leave your stand or blind.
41. How do I release the dry fire mechanism on my crossbow?
It depends on the reason you want to release the dry fire mechanism. If you have mistakenly dry fired your bow, re-cock the bow by hand. Doing so takes the pressure off the dry fire mechanism, and you are now able to load your arrow. If you fired your bow without an arrow to unload it and want to un-cock the bow, there is not a recommended way to proceed. It is recommended you re-cock the crossbow, put an arrow back in, and fire it into soft ground or a target.
42. My string catch will not go back up and prevents me from being able to cock my crossbow.
There is a diagram on page 17 of your crossbow manual showing how to address this situation. You can also reference a manual at under About Us / Manuals, see the manual with 17 pages.