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    Is it a crossbow?

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    Pavise
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    Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Pavise on Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:47 am

    At what point does it cease to be crossbow and become an “arrow launching device”? I am not attempting to stir the pot here but rather hoping to provide some extra food for sober second thought.

    As I have said before: there are those out there who will use every, and any argument to discredit the crossbow. This is most evident when discussing whether the crossbow falls under the definition of “archery” equipment. Regretfully some of those arguments have been very heated over the years as “real” vertical bow archers defiantly defend their definitions of what the sport of casting arrows should be.

    “An ideal poacher’s weapon” is one well-worn negative comment until examined properly. First of all, anyone who has chosen to break the law by the act of poaching will use the most efficient tool available to them. The regular crossbow falls short in many ways and the inconvenient width of the normal prod is but one of them. A crossbow is not easily shot from the window of a vehicle as detractors would have us believe, nor are they an immediate knock down way of killing an animal; like a gun is!

    But as more and more folks explore new ways of moving the bow-string, so we see a departure from what a crossbow ought to be. The defining word in my book is “cross”. This obviously comes from the fact that the prod (bow) part forms a recognisable cross shape where it intersects the stock; thus we have the “crossbow”.

    One of the valuable books in my library is “Crossbows” edited by Roger Combs. ISBN 0-87349-007-X. Chapter 10 in that book speaks of “The Future” and among other things makes reference to the “Linear Bow” once explored by Break-Free, the USA manufacture of lubricants. This crossbow derivative used rubber tubing not unlike a harpoon gun and apparently worked quite well: But was it a crossbow? Since then we have seen where the prod limbs have become simply levers that serve to transfer other spring power to our bow-string. Coil springs and elastic mediums have been tried with varying degrees of success and some so-called crossbows have become almost unrecognisable when compared to what history books and preserved examples provide for our continuing guidance.

    Lest we stray too far.

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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Ivo on Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:38 pm

    Very true Pavise,

    I've seen many such discussions. I must admit, if we ignore all the angry dirt spits that have no ground, those fast paced discussions can be very interesting.

    For example there is a conversation that currently took place on Crossbow Nation forum where people were again comparing bows and crossbows BUT the question was put this way > Would a bow hunter(longbow/recurve) rather choose a modern compound bow(vertical)/Modern materials crossbow ...or... a medieval style crossbow? The question was directed at the retiring/injured "real" bow hunters(some with a traditional feel for a hunt). So I don't know if there are archers seeking to understand and find a more or less common ground, but it seems that the hunt is bringing us together...who would have thought it would be the one thing that separated us that would help us get together.

    Now the question about Sport might be a bit difficult...I personally don't think it would be a problem to organize things for a competition, but we are talking about the Olympics level competition right?

    If my sources are correct then > first there were bows, then there were crossbows, then there were firearms, only then did we begin to notice rifle stocks being used with crossbows...and do on and so forth...crossbows have been taking what was best of both worlds. The best of archery has been adapted and used to propel an arrow and the best of gunsmithing/toolmaking has been incorporated in the stock/tiller to improve the release and accuracy. This is just scratching the surface, but should do as a basic time line.(again...if my sources are correct)

    So sports >>> What is the current status of Crossbow based competitions as opposed to ones based on the use of Bows? An interesting question also pops up in my head...there are biathlon competitions with rifles, recurves, but are there any with crossbows?




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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Pavise on Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:17 am

    Hi Ivo,

    Those who throw such angry dirt only lose ground.

    Yes, it seems as though there is a movement amongst some of the more reasonable thinkers, to at least allow the weak or physically challenged “bow-hunters” the use of a crossbow. Perhaps the ideal being a “medieval” type crossbow, simply reflects the observations of others who have become aware of the oft Rambo appearance in the hunting field. I have had a purist bow-hunter tell me that he ‘with his longbow and quiver-full of feathers, represents a more benign image at the farmer’s door, than someone carrying a modern crossbow’. He didn’t say whether he wears green tights or not. But such is the selective opinion of guys like this man, who, after taking his necessary trophies with a modern compound, has since chosen to shoot the more traditional long bow. When Robin Allen et all formed the Cranequin Crossbow Fellowship, their target shooting by-laws included an invitation to all archers, no matter the bow they choose to use. The sooner we get together on these divisive issues the stronger we will be, and less likely to be individually squashed like flies by the antis who would ban everything!

    Links to your other questions might be found through Robin's website.

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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Ivo on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:39 pm

    Personally I've learned a lot from bow makers on various forums and am thankful for all the great knowledge they had to offer, but being a young guy I was o-so-very interested in more than just bow making...it is the craftsmanship and technology involved in gunsmithing/machine building that got me going further. Bow's are fun, don't get me wrong, and there is so much for crossbow makers to gain from this group. In fact this is what I would recomend to any beginning crossbow maker to do>>>to learn how to properly make a wooden bow because it is the only way to fully understand that simply mounting a leafpring to a 2x4 isn't going to give you the satisfaction you would get from shooting a crossbow with a properly tillered prod. Also as Robin mentions at the end of one of his videos "Oh...and before I build any of the stuff I just showed to you...I first make the Prod"

    As for my questions
    Is it in the links on Robin's Biography page? I would assume www.worldcrossbow.com to be the one, right?




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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Ivo on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:45 pm

    Forgot one thing...the compounds vs crossbow link >>> http://crossbownation.com/community/showthread.php?t=6853

    Looks like Lightly's and David's Maximilian crossbow is much favored.




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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Warhammer1 on Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:05 am

    A crossbow by definition has a definite construction, mostly dealing with how the device is powered, and if anything else than "flexion" powered, it would have a different name.

    The same with an archery bow, the same with a slingshot (although sometimes referred to a catapult).

    Then there is the speargun (rifle like slingshot thats shoots an arrow).

    Then is there is my preferred weapon of choice, the manu-ballista (manuballistae)

    Overall, they are all weapons with the ability to shoot sharp pointy things and some can use other projectiles.

    When I first start building them, torsion assist inswinging slingshots, bows and crossbows the initial reaction to even the suggestion of their existance was met mostly with open hostility. It was like if you asked a group of fellows what time it was, they immediately became furious and as a mob attacked you so you had to run for your life.

    It was only through persistant and constant posting, interacting with a few who were open to the idea, that I began to make a small bit of progress and noticed more and more folks were listening (not commenting or posting). I have to admit that at times I was as defensive as they were offensive LOL.

    Now it seems the mindset has gradually changed, and so terms are more liberally used.
    For instance my insistance that the inswinging design was inherently superiour for velocity testing was largely disregarded until the Scorpyd came out.

    Horton seems to have released their version first here in N.America, but they seem to have missed the entire point, using the design only to create a more compact and quiet machine. Like wheres the performance? Horton was not and is not a good example as opposed to the Scorpyd.

    Anyhow, to make this short, a scorpyd is limb powered and so a crossbow. However were you to replace the limbs with levers and make it torsion powered, it would be a manuballista.

    But is what I build and design a true ballista? Not according to definition. Torsion based perhaps, but not true torsion. When I make the shift to true torsion, I expect a bump up in performance.

    What happens to name if I change the steel spring to a set of heavy speargun tubing? Essentially the same as the Linier Bow or crossbow?

    If you look at the Tecnarm design is it a crossbow or an N-levered catapult? In a few more years I dont think the terms will matter much to hunters. What matters most of all is the performance and features, and since there is only so much one can do with a set of limbs that flex to provide power, I suspect these distinctions will become less important
    to safety, performance, and features, providing the innovation falls within the guidelines of local hunting regulations.

    It is no small thing to set out to change the minds of an entire generation of hunters who have been programmed by the crossbow industry and the longstanding and rich history of the limb powered arrow projectors.

    I have yet a lot of work to do in establishing a recognised "alternative powered sports weaponry" category, both in the industry, and in regualatory bodies and organizations. If you look up the North American Crossbow Federation it consists of a group of crossbow manufacturers who just happen to make up the worlds top selling bows (excluding China).

    I hope to be taking on the powers that be for another round or two, as I apply for and obtain my Ontario Hunting Licence. I fully intend to harvest a whitetail deer with my homemade manuballista.

    I plan on building a "bow" for a fellow who hunts the worlds largest legal game, and see what success he has in obtaining permits around the world to legally harvest game, with a hunting weapon that has never been proven to exist (handheld/loaded torsion ballista).

    So, while the dictionary and scholarly types can argue all they want whether its a crossbow or not, it is only important to me that it falls within the current crossbow use guidelines of individual countries, states and provinces in respect to hunting regulations.

    In the final analysis then, if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like one, then its probly not a goose!

    Written from the perspective of both a past hunting addict, and alternative powered sports weaponry designer/innovator.

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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by wpage on Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:43 am

    Crossbow is a form of industrial art...

    Vs ancient device.
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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Regerald on Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:15 pm

    In my opinion, definition of a crossbow should have two criteria:
    1) Energy stored in a tension of a limbs
    2) Energy is transferred to a projectile using a string
    First one excludes ballistas, rubber-powered and coilspring-powered devices. The second one defines that for example leaf spring airgun in not a crossbow. It's all only my vision of defining things. And.. well, many other man powered devices are as cool as crossbows, it's just a classification.

    Sometimes I wonder what makes archers, especially recurve olympic-style archers, to dislike a whole idea of a crossbow?
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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

    Post by Geezer on Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:21 pm

    "Sometimes I wonder what makes archers, especially recurve olympic-style archers, to dislike a whole idea of a crossbow?"
    Geezer here with an answer... not necessarily THE answer, but one that may serve, insofar as there is ever an effective answer to unreasoning prejudice.
    At least in the English-speaking world, the prejudice against crossbows and crossbowmen seems to go back to the early middle-ages when English kings and high nobles hired foreign mercenary crossbowmen to keep the local goobs in their place. Eventually, crossbows came to be associated with arrogance and oppression.
    And as a crossbow-maker, I must admit feeling a sudden urge to go out and arrogantly oppress somebody.... Hmmm, where shall I start?
    Geezer :-)#

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    Re: Is it a crossbow?

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