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    Crossbow Books

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    Ivo
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    Crossbow Books

    Post by Ivo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:01 am

    Hey Everyone,

    Thought I'd start a little topic on crossbow related books and articles. Smile

    There are some very interesting books out there and I see illustrations all over the net that have been scanned from them. I don't mind different language, be it German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, or any other for the matter of fact. If you know of one, list it here, and if possible a place where one would be able to get the book.

    I have not read this one yet, but will do so in the near future...I found it online over at this website... LINK

    If any one would like to add to the list, please do so. Your efforts are much appreciated.


    Last edited by Ivo on Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Ivo on Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:07 pm

    Big Thanks to Regerald for this great find!


    Another great addition. A nice little article on construction of a Match grade crossbow....LINK ...I believe the article is in Finnish.

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    crossbow books

    Post by Geezer on Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:16 am

    Ivo wrote:Hey Everyone,

    I have not read this one yet, but will do so in the near future...I found it online over at this website... LINK

    Hello everybody Geezer here. I just signed up.

    The book you linked to is Ralph Payne-Gallwey's "The Crossbow" published originally in England @1907 by Holland Press. It's still in print. This is the old standby in English. It suffers from its age... don't believe absolutely everything you see, but it's still a wonderful book, with complete plans for a Flemish Arbalest @ 1500.
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Ivo on Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:27 pm

    This Christmas I became an owner of the new edition of this book with updated and remastered illustrations...many interesting details and plans...thou it is true that not all is truth on these pages, but mostly today the truth is easier to find today than it was back then especially now that we've started to put it together here at the Arbalist...I must agree this book is a great resource despite it's few imperfection. cheers

    If you don't mind me asking...I believe I've heard you are writing a book on crossbows too? I'm always excited to learn that there are authors of crossbow related books....It's ok if you want to keep it a little bottled up for now...just wanted to say that I'm very glad to know that there are people with knowledge and experience in crossbow building and that they are willing to share it with the rest of the world.

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    crossbow books

    Post by Geezer on Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:44 am

    I have two observations on crossbow books. First: You can download my primer on medieval crossbows from my website at www.crossbows.net I wrote it 15 years ago and it needs some updating, but it may be useful to some of our company.
    Second: Payne-Gallwey's "The Crossbow" has a lovely pattern for a Flemish arbalest, but there are a few things I recommend you do differently. The steel-lined lock socket would be a major obstacle for most craftsmen. You can do very nicely by inletting blocks of moose or Axis-stag horn in the stock and cutting the roller-passage between them with a 'Forstner' bitt. P-G makes his roller a bit shallow, at 3/5 below the top edge of the socket and 2/5 above. I recommend you bury the roller 2/3, with 1/3 protruding. That will give you a much stronger socket. If you bury it as much as 3/4 of it's diameter, you won't be able to take the roller out of the top of the socket.
    P-G places the sear-plug, where the trigger/tickler bears against the nut, almost precisely at the bottom of the nut. If you move the sear around toward the rear of the nut by, say 5 mm. You will get a stronger lock, since the trigger takes more load and the upper edges of the socket are stressed much less.
    Last of all, P-G shows a trigger with complex angles within a passage with similarly complex angles. I'm not sure you could really fit the trigger into that passage, without going in the side. If you look at ancient bows, most of them feature a simple Z shaped trigger that is fitted into a simple slot in the stock. If you feel the slot is too large and unsightly when the piece is finished, one can always fill the excess space with a block and then inlet a decorative bit of bone or fancy inlay over all. Remember, if you make a mistake, you can usually repair and hide the fact with a bit of decoration. In my shop, we call it a 'feature'.
    Other recommended crossbow books: Die Armbrust, by Egon Harmuth, pub. by ADEVA press, Graz, Austria, 1986. A Guide to the Crossbow, by Wm. Paterson, privately published by Society of Archer Antiquaries, 1989. Available through Manchester University Museum, Manchester England.
    Thoughtfully yours: Geezer
    I hope this helps. Geezer
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    More crossbow books

    Post by Geezer on Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:31 am

    Hello everybody: Geezer here again, with another peep into my library. Here are two more excellent sources for your perusal. 'European Crossbows: A Survey' by Josef Alm. Originally published in Swedish, in 1947. This English translation is available through British Royal Armouries... monograph no. 3, p. 1994. This is a lovely little book with plenty of interesting details.
    Second is: 'Crossbows in the Royal Netherlands Army Museum' by Jens Sensenfelder, pub. Delft, 2007. Text is in English, Dutch, and German, with stacks of beautiful pictures of medieval and renaissance crossbows, with many diagrams, measurements and informative text. If you want to build repro-medieval crossbows and don't have easy access to a great museum, you oughta get this book.
    That's all for now. In a few days, I'll post another letter with more suggestions.
    Have fun stormin' the castle. Geezer.
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Ivo on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:09 pm

    I would also like to add a very good resource that was written by a Russian author Y. Shokaver, book is called "Bows and crossbows. The history of weapons."

    To get a nice preview of the contents of this resource in case you decide to add this book to your library a Djvu version of it can be found here:

    depositfiles.com 89c3hfbwp

    The book is in Russian, but it does have some nice info on lever calculation and trigger diagrams as well as principals of operation...also worth mentioning that it contains information on more than just medieval crossbows/bows

    Also thanks to Zmeelink and Mr SAM (as well as others on forum.arbalet.info) I found out about this weapons encyclopedia that holds some very interesting information on crossbows.

    Mr SAM wrote:

    All this shown clearly in this drawing from Bekhajms "The Weapon Encyclopedia". The column lever cocks simultaneously a bowstring and a wheellock.
    Zmeelink wrote:
    Ivo wrote:Which weapons encyclopedia did you find it in?


    The book is W. Boeheim Handbuch der Waffenkunde. Das Waffenwesen in seiner historischen Entwicklung vom Beginn des Mittelalters bis zum Ende des 18 Jahrhunders


    Here you find it in Russian http://annals.xlegio.ru/evrope/behaym/behaym.htm

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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Pavise on Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:15 pm

    "The Practical Guide to Man-Powered Bullets: Catapults, Crossbows, Blowguns" by Richard Middleton is a good read and full of well illustrated information. ISBN-10: 0-8117-0156-5

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    crossbow books

    Post by Geezer on Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:45 am

    Another useful book on crossbow construction is George Stevens' "Crossbows, from 30 years with the weapon" Stevens was an early proponent of modern crossbows in the U. S. and started making crossbows in Arkansas back in the 1930's. His little paperback monograph has some useful drawings and information on modern lock-systems. I would post publication information here, but unfortunately, my tattered copy of Stevens book has gone missing somewhere in the library... I think a thorough explorers' expedition through my shop-desk (necessarily complete with gun-bearers, tents and insect repellant ) might turn it up. If so, I'll post the data... but suffice it to say, this book, like Harmuth's Die Arbrust, is long out of print. Geezer.
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    crossbow books

    Post by firensword on Tue May 18, 2010 12:52 pm

    Hey all

    there is a book on crossbows from when they 1st came to b on use the book is called the devils engine u will find it on the internet it might still b on ebay but not sure but it is on amazon n its not expencive either its realy interestin n it helped me out undertanding it form a re-enactors point of view
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by artificer161 on Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:59 am

    After reading through these posts I believe I have a book not listed here. Has anyone else seen Polska Bron by Jerzy Werner? It was printed in Poland in 1974 and seems to be a book on some of the arms and armor in the museums and private collections of Poland.

    Sadly I do not read or speak The language but the pictures and drawings of crossbows and related equipment, Some of which I have never seen any other place. I have some scans of some of these images if anyone is interested in seeing them.
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by basileus on Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:02 am

    Geezer wrote:Another useful book on crossbow construction is George Stevens' "Crossbows, from 30 years with the weapon"

    The correct name for the book is "Crossbows: from thirty-five years with the weapon" So it's 35 years, not 30. This typo made searching for this book a little difficult Smile.
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by basileus on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:17 am

    A couple of other useful books:

    • Sensfelder, Jens: Crossbows in the Royal Netherlands Army Museum
    • Alm, Josef: European Crossbows (a survey by Josef Alm)
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    35 years?

    Post by Geezer on Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:23 pm

    basileus wrote:
    Geezer wrote:Another useful book on crossbow construction is George Stevens' "Crossbows, from 30 years with the weapon"

    The correct name for the book is "Crossbows: from thirty-five years with the weapon" So it's 35 years, not 30. This typo made searching for this book a little difficult Smile.

    Oh dear, is it 35 years already? My how time flies when we're having fun. Geezer
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Ivo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:11 pm

    Good Day Ladies and Gents! Sorry for my absence, fear of losing a job due to working slow(fractured hand) kept me in the overtime...Feeling much better and can free some time now that it seems to have healed.

    I would like to link to a topic on another forum where you can find some of those hard to find books books you were looking for.

    http://forum.arbalet.info/viewtopic.php?t=8049

    You might need to use a translator to get around those pages, you can use your own or simply open up a new tab/window and just throw it in the one we have on the side of the page.

    Also some of these books are in different languages, so if you don't speak it you might want to run the files to some OCC programs like ABBYY Fine Reader and then drop it into the translator. Have fun!

    PS: Big Thanks to MR. SAM, Igora, and others for their contributions.




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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by jopsa on Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:20 pm

    The best book in the world about crossbows history in my opinion is "Die Armbrust" (The crossbow") by Egon Harmuth.
    I have scans in my computer too; if forum rules allowed - I can send scans by e-mail. Sorry, German language version - but a lot very interesting pictures.
    regards - Robert
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Ivo on Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:28 pm

    If I'm not mistaken, the book is now out of print and all that's left in question is the copyright. If that copyright has expired then we can go and freely distributing the book in our group...guess it's worth having a look at. Wink

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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by jopsa on Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:10 pm

    I'm sure - the copyright has not expired. For this reason is not allowed public distribution, especially selling . But is allowed private transfer to one person, without payment. So, if You want I can send on Your private mail.
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Ivo on Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:56 am

    Yeh, we're probably not going to be able to post a download link on the forum...our host doesn't allow that. pale

    However... on occasion I hang out at the Russian forum and they were so kind as to upload some of the books(including Die Armbrust) in PDF. Much smaller than scans and still grat quality, so check it out...I think Mr. SAM also uploaded a really nice Polish crossbow book,so definitely take a look through the those pages. Smile

    http://forum.arbalet.info/viewtopic.php?t=8049




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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by jopsa on Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:29 pm

    Thanks! Russian forum is great!! Well, they learned Russian...
    Большое спасибо!

    Wallace Collection online - crossbows:
    http://tiny.pl/hcbjt

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    good crossbow building book?

    Post by blades7558 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:15 pm

    I have all the traditional bowyers bibles in my collection and I'd like to add some crossbow references.

    any suggestions? I would prefer if I could get them off of amazon. thanks!
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:58 pm

    The four volumes of the TBB don't I think cover crossbows at all, but there is a wealth of info...but you knew that Smile A standard reference is Ralph Payne-Gallwey's The Book of the Crossbow. Dover had a reprint for 22 bucks. Others will chime in on other books, no doubt. But that is a volume you need. Ignore the nonesense on seige engines, however. Ralph tended to make up stuff if he didn't know. Smile
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Regerald on Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:31 am

    At first I was wondered why there isn't any list of useful crossbow books on this forum. But there is, maybe just not in a first place you'd be looking at..

    http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t27-crossbow-books

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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by stratboy on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:13 am

    There are only 3 books printed that are worth anything Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey book of the crossbow and European crossbows a Survey by Josef alm I got my book from the tower of london you can try amazon in the UK and the last book is Die Armbrust Printed in Germabn There is one copy on amazon for 300.00 used very hard to find all other books are worthless hope this helps
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    Re: Crossbow Books

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:06 pm

    Geezer here, concerning crossbow books. One of the best books you can find for general medieval crossbow info is. William Paterson's "A Guide to the Crossbow" published by Society of Archer Antiquaries, and available from the Manchester University Museum in England. Go to their web page... go to archery collection, down load the mail-order list. Find Paterson... it's less than ten pounds.
    This little jewel is 100 pages chock-full of excellent information, and for most of us mono-glots, it's written in English. Order it for yourself for Xmas. You'll be very happy!
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