First of all, congrats on a very cool forum all of you regulars who post here. I've been peeking in here and there, and I've seen a lot of talented crossbowyers already. I'm a longbow archer. I shoot both English longbows, and modern fiberglass-wood laminate longbows in competitions - mostly field archery. I love traditional archery. I guess it's the archaeologist in me, but I just love old bows, but I can't manage to drum up an interest in modern compound bows. I think a lot of folks in my shoes also tend not to be that into crossbows, but I had a really interesting field archery shoot last year that made me look at crossbows in a whole new light.
In field archery, you're required to have a minimum of three shooters in a group to record a score and make it count (to prevent cheating). I was the only person (let alone the only girl) shooting a trad bow, and there was one girl in the unlimited division, and there was this old guy with a crossbow. Well, we were all stuck in a group, as the odd ducks of the shoot, and so I got to watch this guy shoot his Ausbow target crossbow for 28 targets at various distances, and I just loved it. The way he operated it, it just made me think of a medieval crossbowman at work. And the arc of the bolt through the sky wasn't any different from that of a recurve arrow (the NFAA crossbows are limited to 95 pound prods). And he couldn't have a scope, so he was using what amounted to iron sights on the thing. It just looked like fun!
I'm interested, at some point, in getting into using a crossbow in target archery. However, I'm a bit perverse when it comes to the way I do archery. I like shooting old English longbows, or old Howard Hill style longbows, and so I think my dream crossbow would be one styled after a 16th century German sporting bow, but decked out with sights and things - not modern sights, but maybe adjustable medieval-looking sights. Something like that. Either that, or just shoot it barebow. I think a medieval-esque target crossbow would be a heck of a lot of fun to play with in NFAA and IBO tournaments. I know about New World Arbalest already, but if anybody has any recommendations as to where to come by a killer medieval crossbow with a 95 pound prod and possible sight mountings, I'd love to hear about it.
Otherwise, I've come on here to soak up crossbow information for when I finally take the plunge and am able to divert funds away from shiny new longbows.