Chinese Crossbows are the oldest excavated based on archaeological evidence dating 600BC. (may change in the future if we find excavations elsewhere) These crossbows were different to European steel crossbows since they had a longer powerstroke. I am hoping to recreate a 400lb@25" Chinese crossbow, which has similar power to a 1200lb@8" Windlass Crossbow.
Keep in mind these long draw length crossbows mentioned above were a lot larger so it was more comparable to a small ballista, practical for sieges and wall defense. Multiple people were often used to span the crossbow with legs. The smaller Chinese composite crossbows were more compact for infantry use, but their draw weights are often heavier than what a man can pull with their back muscles. For example, 200lbs@26" would be a reasonable number for a Crossbowman in Han Dynasty China. These composite prods are made of a variety of materials, such as hardwood, horn, sinew, and bamboo.
The following documentary takes weeks to make and I hope you can support me by liking and sharing my video. Thank you!
Asian Traditional Archery Research Network. (2020) Retrieved from http://www.atarn.org/
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