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

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5 posters

    appalachian crossbow trigger mechanism

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    banuvatt
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    Post by banuvatt Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:06 am

    I had a question about what the trigger mechanisms of crossbows of the Appalachians looked like. If anyone has any diagrams or plans that would really help. The crossbow I plan on building is light so I am not worried about trigger pull. But I would prefer rolling nut trigger mechanism, I just want to know my options.
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    Post by kenh Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:16 am

    Appalachians???  I lived there for years and am not aware that there was any history of crossbows being used between Canada and Miami, the Atlantic and the Mississippi.  All native Americans I know of used straight bows or atlatls.  The Spanish left behind a few crossbows in the Gulf parts of Texas and the Atlantic side of Florida, but those certainly are not "Appalachian".
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    Post by Geezer Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:20 am

    It is my impression there is some evidence for rudimentary crossbows used by Native Americans, mostly as bow-traps, or for use of women and children (real men used handbows) I have also seen articles (Firefox books maybe?) suggesting Anglo/Scots settlers in the Appalachians used crossbows for small game hunting.  No, I can't quote a source, and this may be mere hearsay, but I think the subject worthy of further research.  Geezer.
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    Post by banuvatt Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:32 am

    I read they were used because gun powder was hard to come by. Too expensive and hard to produce for them so they turned to the crossbow. These are some pictures of some examples. 
    appalachian crossbow trigger mechanism Cbow3_135appalachian crossbow trigger mechanism Cbow1_988
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    Post by septua Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:24 pm

    Here is some good discussion on the subject.
       https://myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.19560.html   
    I have the book mentioned in the thread and also visited THE MUSEUM OF APPALACHIA twice. It is located in Norris, Tennessee.    
    http://www.museumofappalachia.org/
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    Post by banuvatt Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:33 pm

    I've seen the first link the second one I haven't, thank you though.
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    Post by OrienM Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:42 pm

    Funny...I had seen these before, sort of glanced at the pics and assumed they had some variation of a simple notch-lock action. Looking at them now, they both appear to have multi-stage triggers of some sort. There are some very sophisticated flintlock rifles from the region, so maybe sophisticated triggers are not out of the question for these...?

    I have looked for info about Native American crossbows, and have not found very convincing evidence they were used at all before European contact. I could easily be wrong, and will keep searching.

    A roller lock is a really slick trigger mechanism, IMO...simple, efficient, and easy to maintain.
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    Post by banuvatt Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:09 pm

    I assumed the trigger mechanism of the Appalachian crossbows looked something like this. I don't know I think you are right it being a one piece trigger mechanism. I can't imagine their trigger systems being three or even two piece. I imagine it's more like those cheap chinese crossbow pistols it has a one piece trigger mechanism. 
    appalachian crossbow trigger mechanism 01-How-to-Make-a-Crossbow-Out-of-Wood
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    Post by OrienM Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:00 am

    I'm not so sure, myself scratch The bow in the first photo might be a pinlock action, but it also has a lovely finish and brass inlays...the second has the notch about 6-8" in front of a small, rifle-type trigger, so I strongly suspect it has a multi-stage trigger mechanism.
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    Post by banuvatt Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:42 pm

    What you're describing kind of reminds me of a clap lock mechanism.
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    Post by OrienM Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:29 am

    Agreed, except I don't see the 'clapper' part (over the notch). The pics are pretty grainy...so hard to see detail.

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