It was a crossbow which ended the life of Richard the Lionhearted. He was surveying a castle under siege, riding well outside bow range. Not, sadly for him, out of crossbow range. A bolt struck him in the neck, easily penetrating his armor.
In the Vietnam war, the Viet Cong were using gigantic crossbows to take out helicopters. No kidding. US forces also used crossbows in Vietnam, as they were silent, accurate and deadly, and allowed one to pick off the last guy in line without alerting the rest, maybe taking out three or four before anyone was the wiser.
They are phenomenal weapons. Formidable. A person of moderate strength can cock a 200 pound pull crossbow. That weapon will easily send a bolt through both sides of a steel 55 gallon drum.
Prior to the advent of firearms, they reached an astonishing level of sophistication. There were mini crossbows which were worn on the wrist, concealed in a shirtsleeve, a sort of crossbow derringer. There were crossbows with barrels that fired projectiles similar to musket balls.
I had a inexpensive pistol type crossbow for several years. If anyone is considering getting one there excellent small game hunting weapons. And one larger then the 50lbs one i had would do well with larger game. But the main and only serious drawback of a crossbow is that there use has so many legal restrictions that its far more simple just to use a hand gun. Its been a while since i have had mine but i remember reading laws saying things to the effect that i couldn't take it off my property or transport it to or from a area where i could hunt with it and weird odd things like that. If your wondering how i got around rules like that it was because i took the thing apart to move it threw areas where it would be illegal to have it. And on mine all it took was loosening a hex key and pulling the bow off the stock. And i imagine that most other modern crossbows have some kind of easy way to make it not a crossbow for transportation.
And if your wondering mine had about the same penetrating power as a high power pellet gun but made a ever so slightly audible "thump" wen shot. So there good weapons. Just do some homework about where and wen you can have them.
posted 8 years ago
I can't see a crossbow having more range than an English long bow.
Wm. Brookover~ Opinion's given at no extra charge
posted 8 years ago
blackpowderbill wrote: I can't see a crossbow having more range than an English long bow.
The advantage of a crossbow over a traditional bow in that area lies in the fact that you do not have to hold it drawn while aiming and shooting. You just cock it and you're ready to go. So you'd have to have some serious strength to use an english longbow with say, a hundred pound pull. But with reasonable strength, you can cock a 200 lb pull crossbow by placing your foot in the stirrup and using both hands to pull on the drawstring. If you use a goat's foot lever or a windlass, you can cock a crossbow with a crazy pull, perhaps 500 lbs or more. That's what gives it the power and range.
crowsbow's could be made with draws that even the welsh bowmen who were seriously deformed by practicing their art could handle, but because of the more complicated design they never had the accuracy that a good bowman with straight arrows could produce.
interestingly the reason that crossbows did not have more of a presence in Europe was that the catholic church objected to using them on anyone but infidels, but crusaders were welcome to use them and many of them refused to give them up when they came back from the crusades
funny, i recognize a lot of those crossbow vids from youtube, i was researching bçto build a repeater in my shop as a fun lil sideproject. that dude at 2;ç:25 has a whole channel on slongshots "the slongshot channel" as well as a pretty smokin' wife