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

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» 12th Century Chinese Crossbow Chronographed
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Nov 24, 2023 3:50 pm

» Crossbow Stock
by kenh Tue Oct 31, 2023 6:19 am

» Colletiere a Charavines continuing experiment
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» Cocking - how
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» Questions around heavy crossbow lath buildin
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» Arab Crossbow
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» prod angle, and lever trigger for sale anyone?
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» flexible string
by jasper1978 Mon Mar 20, 2023 1:25 am

» [solved]Skane/Lillohus crossbow thread
by stuckinthemud1 Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:44 am

» jens sensfelder
by jasper1978 Wed Mar 08, 2023 11:58 pm

» 400lb Windlass crossbow bolts weight and accuracy shooting high.
by stuckinthemud1 Sun Mar 05, 2023 2:53 pm

» Codex Löffelholz crossbow
by stuckinthemud1 Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:14 pm

» Digitar prodsc
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» Troubleshooting
by Andy. Fri Jan 06, 2023 12:29 pm

» Wood Prods
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Dec 30, 2022 12:47 pm

» Colletiere a Charavines crossbow
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Dec 30, 2022 8:54 am

» Simplified Löffelhotz speedloader
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:05 pm

» Fiberglass H-bows
by c sitas Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:44 am

» Bad Antler
by drawknife Sat Nov 12, 2022 3:48 am

» Anyone make their own bolts?
by Juniper Mon Oct 17, 2022 8:20 am

» Josef alm in English
by Juniper Sat Oct 15, 2022 4:22 am

» Qin/Han lock drawings
by kenh Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:16 pm

» stirrup dimensions?
by stuckinthemud1 Thu Sep 01, 2022 1:49 pm

» Skane/Lillohus lockbow information needed
by stuckinthemud1 Sun Aug 14, 2022 6:23 am

» need help contacting le musee Dauphinois Grenoble
by stuckinthemud1 Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:22 pm


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    Anyone make their own bolts?

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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue May 26, 2020 1:14 pm

    I want to make my own bolts, anyone able to offer any advice?
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    Post by banuvatt Tue May 26, 2020 1:51 pm

    For what poundage of crossbow though? I made some bolts before but for like prototype crossbows. However that being said I do know how to make my own bolts. I practice archery so the concept is pretty much the same even though bolts don't have a nock normally and are significantly shorter. Make the bolts as long as the track this will give you the best balance of stability. Bolts that are too short will tend to be faster but unstable bolts that are too long are stable but, too slow. I read in Ralph Payne Gallway book that the fletchings are an inch away from the butt of the bolt if I am not mistaken.


    Last edited by banuvatt on Tue May 26, 2020 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue May 26, 2020 2:56 pm

    I have made a target blunt 12 inch long bamboo shaft with a screw inserted through a horn washer,  I'll post a photo tomorrow.  I hardened the shaft and bound the end. Weight is maybe half an ounce, its too light to weigh.  Probably too light for.my 45lb crossbow.  It travels 30 m from a small elastic band pulled back 12".
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    Post by banuvatt Tue May 26, 2020 3:05 pm

    To make it heavier you could insert a headless nail since the bamboo is hollow. That's what JoergSprave did with his carbon arrows I believe.
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    Post by banuvatt Tue May 26, 2020 7:49 pm

    A good way to prevent you from losing bolt heads is to get whatever you are using as points as long as it has a sleeve that goes over the bolt. You can drill a hole through the arrowhead and the bolt shaft. Which then you will rivet in to place with a metal pin.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Wed May 27, 2020 1:58 am

    Anyone make their own bolts? 20200527_0843237680136723921923183


    I have already inserted a 1" long screw. I think I may have to go for a 14" shaft or even (for the first time!) have to buy some screw-in points. Alternatively, I could forget about bamboo and go with a solid wood shaft.
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    Post by banuvatt Wed May 27, 2020 6:37 am

    Or you could make a composite shaft like the Native Americans did the foreshaft was a hardwood the main shaft was cane.
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    Post by MPDVM Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:14 pm

    I won't claim extensive experience, but I make a lot of arrows for my trad bows and have made a small number of bolts.  My crossbow is only 80# pounds, but I am happy making bolts out of wooden arrow shafting.  I use hardwood arrow shafts and standard glue on points.  I have also purchased the 1/2" Ash shafting that is sold for making atlatl darts and hand tapered the shafts to produce  barreled bolts. Purchase shafts made for heavier bows (80# plus)  and cut to length.  Taper one end for a glue on point and glue on a commercial point.  Arrow points are matched to shaft diameter and available in a wide variety of weights.  Ace arrow even produces bodkin points.
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    Post by sydney1942 Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:28 pm

    Hi--  finally got my crossbow finished and went out to test
            A couple of small  problems but easy to fix
            The main problem is that the bolts fishtail badly
             Any ideas  ??
               Thanks   Sydney
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    Post by Geezer Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:58 am

    If your bolts are fishtailing or whirligigging, you have some sort of imbalance.  Most likely causes: either your prod (bowstave) is off-center in its mounting, so it's kicking harder on one side than the other, or you are drawing your bow slightly off-center, (pulling one side more than the other) which achieves the same imbalance.  Check you prod for centering.  If that's okay, stitch a colorful bit of thread around your string- center and make sure it ends up exactly in the middle of your lock.  
    If neither of the above applies, you may have bent/crooked bolts, crooked heads or badly fletched shafts.  I highly recommend going to the trouble of getting a decent fletching jig for making bolts... it's much more accurate than anything you're likely to cobble together inyour shop...even if you have to order overseas.  Good luck and enjoy your shooting.  Geezer.
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    Post by sydney1942 Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:03 pm

    Thanks for the help
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    Post by Juniper Sat Oct 15, 2022 5:04 am

    I make bolt shafts the same way I make arrows. I pick pretty straight dogwood shoots about half an inch thick or slightly less. Let them dry and then heat them over hot coals pretty hot with bark still on to straighten. After straightening hit them with a block plane whilst twirling them on a board with a low stop. Planing will take out all of the tiny irregularities. Plane to desired diameter. That's it.

    For cutting fletching grooves I use a really narrow chisel made from chainsaw file, don't know inches, it's about 2mm wide. Make a transverse cut at both ends of the groove-to-be and connect those two cuts with two long parallel lines scored by a knife. It takes some concentration, clamping the shaft to a table helps. After that "stitch" the wood to be removed between those parallel lines with that same chisel, I make about 10-15 transverse cuts per inch I guess. After that I score those little cut-up bits lengthwise with knife tip to break them up even more. Then I use a small L-shaped pointy scraper slightly less than 2mm wide to clean up the groove, little chips fly right out. It's kinda slow but very tidy and controlled. It is similar to how purfling is done on a violin, but that method is not so easy in tough wood.

    Wooden fletching is easily made with slanted grain if you cut a short wooden strip diagonally and use the diagonal as the base.

    Points - sometimes I forge real socketed bodkins or crescent heads, but much quicker and cheaper is to flatten a nail point and combine it with a common washer. Functions the same as a classic tanged head, washer stops the spread-out point from getting any deeper and splitting the shaft. Perfect for shooting at piles of earth. You can use steel nails if really dedicated.
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    Post by Juniper Mon Oct 17, 2022 8:20 am

    Well I managed to dig out a fancy pic of some of those bolts of mine, along with a dismounted Skane takedown. Fletching tails are slightly twisted to give a spin, I found that to be easier than a curved groove on a thin shaft though it does make the vanes a bit more prone to damage when impacting the ground.

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