shoot one's bolt
- (idiomatic) To use up one's resources, especially a singular one or one not readily restored.
- We were playing checkers and, although I'd started off well, I seemed to have shot my bolt too soon.
1968, Kim Philby, My Silent War, page 34:
- The war situation was going from bad to worse. The Greek army, facing the Italians in Albania, had shot its bolt by spring. The Yugoslav revolution of April, for which SOE claimed some credit (our people had been there and post hoc, propter hoc), was followed by the prompt invasion of Yugoslavia and occupation of Greece.