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    Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

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    Saxon Violence
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    Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by Saxon Violence on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:06 am

    I was looking at the Bolt Quivers over on "Crossbows.net". They hold 30-35 Bolts comfortably and accessibly.

    I think if I was putting together a Medieval INCH Bag (I ain't Never Comin' Home) the large number of Bolts—compared to a comparable sized Quiver of Arrows might weigh on my Crossbow/Bow decision making.

    But come now, let us reason together...

    Crossbows have the Power and unless you're an accomplished Archer, they have the Accuracy...

    But Bows have the edge when multiple targets at close range are encountered—that would probably be Humans.

    But I have seen some fairly powerful—30-40 pound—"Mini-Bows" with short draws and a strung length of about 30".

    Is it conceivable that a Brooding Archer could contrive to make a—O say, 150 Pound Crossbow for General use...

    Design his Bolts a bit (5" to 6") longer than they strictly needed to be (They'd just stick out the front a bit...)

    Carry a small but powerful mini-bow that could use the Crossbow Bolts to relatively good effect at close (inside 20 yards) range? 

    I don't suppose that anyone ever did it.

    It might not be the very greatest idea...

    {Yes, I admit it, I write Fiction, Damn it!}

    But is it conceivable the system could bee made to work well enough that a determined person might stick with it?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by Geezer on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:35 pm

    A crossbow with an effective bolt-clamp can be made to shoot any length arrow you want.  The problem would be shooting bolts/arrows with nocks in the back.  Crossbow strings tend to be fat whereas bowstrings tend to be thinner.  You could make your bolts with a large-ish crescent cut in the back that would accomodate a crossbow string, but they would be harder to keep on a handbow... not impossible, just harder, with that broad, shallow nock in place of a narrow clip-on one. You'd have to hold your bolt/arrow in place with your fingers... which is do-able, just more trouble, and would probably result in slightly slower loading
    And of course longer bolts are heavier, hence go slower, so there would be some loss in efficiency with an all-purpose bolt.
    The underlying problem is: all-purpose weapons tend to do most everything poorly.  The trick is to make your weapon do some or most things rather well. 
      As for mini-bows, historically there have been bows made in all sizes.  And that's true for crossbows as well as handbows.  Chinese crossbows, f'rinstance seem to have had rather long, recurve prods.  I daresay one could remove such a prod from its stock and use it as a hand-bow when necessary... assuming you had the strength to pull it.  So no, it's not possible... but possible not very practical. 
    As for use of such things in a story... stories don't have to be practical but they do have to be plausible.  That's another kettle of fish altogether.
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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by Geezer on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:37 pm

    Sorry, I meant to say:  Not Impossible, just not very practical.  Geezer
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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by kenh on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:44 pm

    I've seen one action design that allows at least a 100# prod to fire conventionally nocked arrows.  It was designed by Nick T., The Backyard Bowyer, and major proponent of PVC archery.  You can see the design here  http://backyardbowyer.com/  and in his multi-part build-along on Youtube.  The action is quite ingenious and there's no reason it couldn't be ramped up a bit to handle heavier draw prods in the 150#-200# range.  As far as portability, the design could be put on any number of tiller designs of varying compactness.

    I agree with Geezer that all-purpose weapons do many things at best mediocre.  My INCH bag will differ from yours depending on what you envision doing 'out there'; how your outdoor skills compare to mine; and where, geographically, you live. Mainly living off the land?  Living plus combat?  Tropical or temperate?  Deep woods, open lands, or patchy woodlands?  Gotta define your terms somewhat.  I live aboard a sailboat on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  My bug-out bag has a completely different set of gear than your mid-west patchy farmland gear.  I need to survive in a saline marine and estuarian nearly-tropical climate.  You, in Indiana, need to survive in a mixture of woodlands and farmlands where it gets cold enough to freeze water.  I have a LOT more wilderness of varying kinds around me than you do.
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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by hullutiedemies on Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:11 am

    Geezer wrote: You'd have to hold your bolt/arrow in place with your fingers... which is do-able, just more trouble, and would probably result in slightly slower loading
    You mean faster.
    Effectively this is a Comanche/Apache nock.
    Bulbous nocks and finger pinch draw are characteristical for Plains Indian horsebows. They have reputation as rapid shooters.

    One book to look for is Jim Hamms "Bows & Arrows of the Native American". It has build-along instructuctions for buffalo bows that would make decent long drawing medium weight crossbow-prods as such.

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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by War Song on Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:01 pm

    Sorry to bring up an old thread, but has anyone tried gluing/wrapping a small neodymium magnet in the bowstring, and using metal butted bolts? In essence, a magnetic nock.
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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by Todd the archer on Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:23 am

    Already been done. Here is a video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfKwkWrnqoA

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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by War Song on Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:59 pm

    Todd the archer wrote:Already been done. Here is a video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfKwkWrnqoA

    Todd
    Hah, they actually tried to patent a magnet on a string?

    Given what I know about archery, a nock helps increase arrow speed by prevent early release of the arrow from the string before it is fully accelerated by the movement of the limbs. Are crossbows affected by this issue as well?
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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by Todd the archer on Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:10 pm

    If an arrow gets ahead of the string it would be because the string is slowing down and if that is true a nock that is too tight would only slow the arrow more.

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    Re: Hybrid Arrow/Bolts Possible?

    Post by 8fingers on Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:47 pm

    Why not imbed your neo magnet just ahead of the nut,  with a bit of ferrous metal on the shaft.
      What about canting and short stroking your crossbow? Would require a hybrid rest/bolt at the front end. A Penobscot style prod could be a compromise. A long main prod with a shorter prod stacked a few inches in front of the main prod and linked to the main prod tips with secondary strings. Cut these strings and you have a lower power bow you could draw quickly by hand.

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