Crossbows

Crossbows

Crossbows: Looking for a 45 lb draw for play of a 150 lb draw crossbow for hunting. Maybe you just want to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse.

Crossbow Aiming and Hunting Techniques

  • Always cock your crossbow consistently in the same place. Failure to do so can lead to off setting of your site. Marking your string while it is at rest with two marks on either side of the stock should remedy this problem.
  • The accuarcy of the arrow is two dimensional. The proper combination of arrow and broadhead is needed.
    • The smaller the broadhead the better the accuracy, in general. 
    • The task for the arrow is to correct any play the broadhead might introduce to the flight. It accomplishes this by spinning. A slight offset with straight clamps works very well.
  • Trajectory is the key to any good shot. Remember most shots are under 20 yards. There's no point in shooting past that because the variation in the shot will vary too much for any regular sized target or game. 
    • Assuming you set your site at 20 yards then your trajectory will be one or two inches high at fifteen yards, and two or three inches low at twenty-five yards.
*Note: Care should be taken when shooting from a tree stand since the crossbow stock will kick in a upward direction. Make sure the area around your crossbow is clear of any limbs or other objects before firing.

History of the Crossbow

Literary and physical evidence suggest that the crossbow originated in China during the 4th century BC, though a type of crossbow called the gastraphetes may have been independently invented in Greece at about the same period. It wasn't until the 10th or 11th centuries AD that the crossbow became a significant military weapon in Europe. It passed from general military service in the 16th century, but its use for hunting and target shooting has continued to the present day. The most of following chronology is abridged from GUIDE TO THE CROSSBOW by Paterson:
  • 341 BC: Earliest reliable record of crossbow use at battle of Ma-Ling in China.
  • 228 BC: Earliest crossbow artifact, a bronze lock mechanism from the tomb of Yu Wang.
  • 0-100 AD: Heron of Alexandria describes gastraphetes.
  • 300-700: Roman carvings of crossbows.
  • 385: Vegetius mentions crossbows in DE RE MILITARIA.
  • 1066: Crossbows introduced to England by Normans.
  • 1096: Anna Comnena describes Norman crossbows.
  • 1100-1200: Composite crossbow lath appears.
  • 1139: 2nd Lateran Council interdict forbids use of crossbow among Christians.
  • 1192: Crusader victory at Jaffa aided by crossbows.
  • 1314: Earliest reliable record of steel lath.
  • 1346: Genoese crossbowmen defeated at Crecy by English longbowmen.
  • 1373: Earliest illustration of cranequin.
  • 1503: First of many English laws restricting possession and use of crossbows.
  • 1550-1600: Firearms replace crossbows in most Weatern armies.
  • 1860: Photographic evidence from Chinese shows repeating crossbows still used there as military weapons.
  • 1939-45: "Arrowspeed" crossbow used by Austrailian commandos in Pacific theatre.
  • 1945-1975: Crossbows employed by Montagnard peoples and US special forces during Vietnam conflict.
  • 1960?-present: Crossbows used to shoot anesthetic darts for capturing and treating wildlife; also used to obtain tissue samples from marine animals for obtaining genetic information.
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