I am new to crossbow shooting, though I am an archer of many years. My first love is the English warbow and longbow which I make, and I have quite a few of these as well as some other types of bows.
I am fascinated by all archery though - with the possible exception of the modern hi-tech stuff. All trad and historical archery does it for me. I recently made my first crossbow - although I have had a go with the odd modern crossbow, it is a side of archery I have never got into - until now. In truth, shooting sports are my main sporting interest and I have done rifle, air rifle and shotgun before, so crossbows deserve some attention.
This year, I made a generic early medieval type crossbow - all wood, pin-action, Skane lockbow type thing. The prod came from the centre of a longbow that suffered a 'problem' with the outer limbs (so I sawed them off) - leaving me with a viable prod which is laminated hickory, ash and ipe set on an oak tiller. I will post some pics when I work out how.
It shoots OK - acceptable for a first effort. It will lob a 1/2" x 15" oak, ash or poplar bolt with a reasonable lump of steel on the end about 200yd - which I am quite pleased with considering. Consistency and accuracy seems ok - can manage a group of about 3"-4" at 20 yards and I'm sure this could improve with practice. Draw weight is about 150lb.
I am wondering if there is anywhere where anyone shoots historical crossbows seriously in this country. Shooting it down my GNAS club is out of the question (I have been told in no uncertain terms). I have only so far plinked in my back garden and taken it for a good blast over the fields where I usually practice warbow shooting. I know on the continent there is much more of a tradition of crossbow so it is more popular and catered for across the Channel. I have been to a Medieval Siege Society clout shoot in this country and seen crossbows there.
I can see myself getting into this and running it alongside my longbow interest. I would like next to do a later medieval steel-prodded weapon, about 300lb with a rolling nut lock etc. I live on the fringes of civilisation on the SE England coast.
Anyway like the site, and look forward to chatting with you guys (and gals) more in the future.