Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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    New Michigan Cross Bow Hunter Here

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    DScott
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    Post by DScott on Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:35 am

    Hey everyone!  I just came across this forum and love it.  I can't believe the craftsmanship that I am seeing.  I'm interested in building a cross bow because I think it would be fulfilling to build something that is powerful and functional.  I have been looking around and I'm interested in some advice.  My only requirement is the crossbow has to be powerful enough for deer hunting.  I have seen some pretty cool plans at http://www.alcheminc.com/crossbow.html.  What would be the minimum threshold in terms of draw weight, I am looking at a model 1732 prod with 190-224lb draw weight at 11.5".  Will this do the trick? 

    I have a basic shop with access to tools that I don't have.  I'm interested in building as much as I can but I do not have advanced metal working tools or knowledge.  I would like my stock to be similar to a rifle style with either a standard rifle trigger and grip or a pistol style grip.  Any other thoughts, concerns, or specific resources would be great.
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    kenh
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    Post by kenh on Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:24 pm

    The problem with Alchem has been delivery of product - they promise and promise and maybe a year from now it'll show up...maybe.   There are other sources, and other materials.  The prod in my avatar picture has well over 200# draw at 13" and is made from two lengths of fiberglass chainlink fence tension bar that cost a whopping $7.  Actions run the gamut from dirt simple to ornately complex, and in many ways the type of action defines the type of tiller (stock) and trigger mechanism you can have.

    Power for deer hunting is in part defined by your state Fish & Wildlife people; they will have some minimum specifications.  Contact them for exact specs.  A 200# prod should be more than adequate to kill a deer with a well placed shot. 

    As a rule of thumb, crossbow draw weight equates to half or a bit less as a conventional bow -  200# crossbow is roughly like a 75# longbow/recurve/compound.
    Hotspur
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    Post by Hotspur on Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:43 am

    I built a 250# steel prod bow for deer hunting.  Its basically the Alchem plan.  The performance is about 190 fps with a 600 gn bolt.  It will shoot just over 200 fps with a 450 gn bolt. That will kill a deer without question.  The steel prod was from slobow.

    My next bow for hunting will be fibreglass.  Glass is much more efficient at transferring energy to a bolt. With steel you will max out at 200 maybe 220 fps regardless of draw weight.  Not that speed is everything, but a fast flat trajectory will be your friend in the field.  That will mean a longer power stroke than achievable with steel.  Depending on your shop skills you can buy a ready made glass prod or build one from the fencing stays or if get the purpose made glass billets from Bingham Projects.
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    Post by DScott on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:35 pm

    Great info guys, I really appreciate it. I haven't seen anything on building something from fencing tension rods, I'll look it up. I'm also going to check out slobow. Any good suppliers of ready made glass prods?
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    kenh
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    Post by kenh on Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:15 am

    Offhand I don't know anyone building ready-made crossbow prods.  I'm in the process of learning how to make regular wood-and-'glass bows, and have some leftovers that I might turn into a prod or two as an experiment.  

    Here are the two threads where I've written about the chan=inlink fence prods:

    http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t740p15-loose-laminate-prods?highlight=loose+++%2Blaminate

    http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t945-loose-laminate-pinlock-build

    Hotspur
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    Post by Hotspur on Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:34 am

    There is this cheap Chinese prod that some members here have made successful builds with,  I think this is an example:

    http://www.ebay.com/bhp/150-lb-crossbow-limb

    There is a lot of info on this site that you will want to look at as well.  The medieval crossbow, such as the Alchem plan is a good first bow with its nut & tickler trigger.  Relatively easy to construct with basic shop tools.  You end up with something that looks like it dropped out of a museum that is fun to shoot and you will learn a lot.   After that you may find that you will want to look at modern triggers.  Next to the fibreglass prod the modern trigger was the biggest crossbow advance in 600 years.  Lots of info here about triggers.

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