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    Barnett COMMANDO Modification?

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    Post by savatreatabvr on Thu May 07, 2015 7:16 pm

    I recently picked up a Barnett Commando crossbow off Craigslist. It's my second one and I love them, yeah they're not the fastest or lightest but ther're just pretty d-mn cool! After shooting a couple bolts the original 175lb limb snapped and I know there's no repairing it! Trying to find an OEM prod/limb for a Commando has been tough so it's either buy a aftermarket one or make one myself. I'd like to make one but not sure if I'm mechanically inclined enough so does anyone have a link to a good aftermarket prod/limb site? 

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    Post by phuphuphnik on Fri May 08, 2015 7:43 am

    I think Thecrossbowstore has them.
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    Post by savatreatabvr on Fri May 08, 2015 1:31 pm

    Naaa, no Commando prods at thecrossbowstore. Looks like I'll try and make one, I was thinking sandwiching something between a bunch of cut hand saw blades. They're spring steel but has anyone ever attempted this before?
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    Post by phuphuphnik on Fri May 08, 2015 2:02 pm

    Oh? I thought I saw them there. Turns out not, sorry.

    as for saw blades, I have used them for small toy marshmallow shooters nothing big. I think it has been discussed before. There is an ongoing conversation about loose laminate prods currently going on here

    https://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t1393-spring-steel-loose-laminate-prod-questions#13260
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    Post by Andy. on Fri May 08, 2015 4:22 pm

    Alchem list a 175lb steel prod to suit the commando....

    http://www.alcheminc.com/crossbow.html
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    Post by savatreatabvr on Sat May 09, 2015 1:56 am

    Andy. wrote:Alchem list a 175lb steel prod to suit the commando....

    http://www.alcheminc.com/crossbow.html

    Thank you sir, you made my day!
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    Post by Andy. on Sat May 09, 2015 4:09 pm

    Good to hear!

    If you end up getting one, I'd love to see a pic of it fitted to the Commando, and how the profile looks compared to the original.
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    Post by savatreatabvr on Mon May 11, 2015 8:51 am

    I'm thinking of using a golf cart leaf spring as a limb. Shape it with a grinder and use a steel cable as a string. 

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    I've got a spare golf cart spring in case I screw up, lol!
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    Post by phuphuphnik on Mon May 11, 2015 8:25 pm

    Steel cable is generally a bad idea. Might not seem like it at the time, but if (when?) it breaks sharp wire bits tend to detract from the fun of shooting. D-50 dacron is more appropriate.
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    Post by Andy. on Tue May 12, 2015 2:55 am

    phuphuphnik wrote:Steel cable is generally a bad idea. Might not seem like it at the time, but if (when?) it breaks sharp wire bits tend to detract from the fun of shooting. D-50 dacron is more appropriate.


    ....Will also tear up the brass deck of this crossbow in no time if not served.
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    Post by c sitas on Tue May 12, 2015 10:21 am

    Yes ,I'll agree with phuphuphnik here . Not a good idea.Strings hurt bad enough, like a sharp whip.
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    Post by savatreatabvr on Tue May 12, 2015 10:41 am

    Could I use Marine Shrink Wrap, it has a glue sealant inside and shrinks tight to the whatever it's used on? That would keep the cable together plus be a cushion barrier for the brass. Then again, it probably won't be shot much, although it's fully functional and quite deadly it's main purpose is being a conversation piece hanging on the wall.
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    Post by c sitas on Tue May 26, 2015 9:35 pm

    I just re read one of your earlier posts, the one about making  a saw blade prod. I've been toying with the idea . I have an old 8 foot by eight inch cross cut saw. I'm looking for some one to shear this into strips. I'm thinking of a loose laminate prod.  It just seems as though I person could stack what ever you wanted. Just keep trying combinations . It could be rewarding    or   just fun.
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    Post by Geezer on Wed May 27, 2015 9:30 pm

    Steel cable bowstrings: please refer to the swaged nocks with steel inserts several entries back:
    STEEL CABLE bowstrings are a bad idea.
    First: those loops with steel inserts, seized by clamps, add boucoups of weight at the ends of the prod.  That's going to kill your efficiency and increase recoil.
    Second: though steel is very strong, its strength/weight ratio is very poor. It wastes lots of power just moving itself. There are plenty of materials that will serve you better (see below)
    Third: steel string will wear out the top of your stock without excellent serving
    Fourth: steel strings actually stretch rather badly with only a moderate amount of shooting, and they can't be twisted to shorten, so you'll either be constantly re-working your nock-ends or the string will fly off the prod in a few weeks.
    Fifth: If the string should break, you have nasssty-sharp ends to put out your eyes. 
    Conclusion:  Steel strings are a wretched idea.  Cut to the chase.  Order a quarter-pound spool of Dacron b-50 from some reliable archery source like 3-Rivers Archery, make your string with that.  Or experiment with waxed shoe-makers flax or silk, or even artificial sinew (that stretches a lot, but otherwise works pretty well)  Okay??? I'm not going to tell you again!
    So there:  Geezer.
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    Post by savatreatabvr on Fri May 29, 2015 8:15 am

    Geezer wrote:Steel cable bowstrings: please refer to the swaged nocks with steel inserts several entries back:
    STEEL CABLE bowstrings are a bad idea.
    First: those loops with steel inserts, seized by clamps, add boucoups of weight at the ends of the prod.  That's going to kill your efficiency and increase recoil.
    Second: though steel is very strong, its strength/weight ratio is very poor. It wastes lots of power just moving itself. There are plenty of materials that will serve you better (see below)
    Third: steel string will wear out the top of your stock without excellent serving
    Fourth: steel strings actually stretch rather badly with only a moderate amount of shooting, and they can't be twisted to shorten, so you'll either be constantly re-working your nock-ends or the string will fly off the prod in a few weeks.
    Fifth: If the string should break, you have nasssty-sharp ends to put out your eyes. 
    Conclusion:  Steel strings are a wretched idea.  Cut to the chase.  Order a quarter-pound spool of Dacron b-50 from some reliable archery source like 3-Rivers Archery, make your string with that.  Or experiment with waxed shoe-makers flax or silk, or even artificial sinew (that stretches a lot, but otherwise works pretty well)  Okay??? I'm not going to tell you again!
    So there:  Geezer.

       Thank Geezer for you long and detailed opinion, I'll keep that in mind! Here are some pics of the Commando prod progress. It still needs some work, I picked up a new belt sander so I'd like to get rid of the surface pitting. I don't think everyone understands that this Barnett Commando is not being modified for hunting, it's basically a fully functional and deadly wall hanger or conversation piece. I'd hate to lug this heavy crossbow through the bush plus it's so shiny it would scare the deer away, lol! Anyway like I said before, the first one I modified got rave reviews so I thought I'd do it again! I'll post more picks once completed.
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    Post by Hermit on Fri May 29, 2015 8:26 am

    I must admit,I admire your patience Geezer.This business of using steel cable for a crossbow string seems to be raised on here regularly,and it shouldn't be.Anyone who is interested in crossbows,and has done the most basic research should have noted that there is not a single crossbow out there either modern or medieval,that uses a steel cable string.A person should be able to conclude from this that steel cable is just not suitable,if it did the job,someone somewhere would have used it.
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    Post by Geezer on Fri May 29, 2015 11:41 am

    When I started making crossbows for sale, I bought aluminum prods from a company called Jayhawk Archery in Oklahoma.  They sold kits that included a steel string.  people who built them discovered the steel strings stretched and flew off the prods in a few weeks. Knowing better than to do that, I recut the nock-ends and strung them with artificial sinew.  The sinew strings worked quite well, but tended to stretch, so you were always twisting up the string to restore the brace height.  After a few years, I gave up on the sinew and started making Dacron strings.  They're better in every way.
    I went to an SCA event 25 years ago and spent 5 days straight, making bowstrings and re-cutting nock ends of aluminum prods.  Turns out some guy in Arizona had bought a bunch of Jayhawk kits and assembled them for his friends.  After we got the prods refitted with sinew strings, everybody shot lots better.  The difference in just replacing steel strings was amazing.
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