The Crossbow - Opinions?

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by Dillinger, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    So, I was leafing through some of the pamphlets that I got from the SHOT show this past year. I was actually looking for an article I knew I had on the KRISS, but I found a couple of crossbow mags and started leafing thru them.

    That got me to thinking about the practicality of a crossbow, and possible uses in a hunting small game should SHTF application.

    I was wondering what some of your thoughts were - Do you like them? Hate them? What ones do you like? Do you prefer a long/compound box, or do you see an application for the crossbow?

    Ten Point makes a model that will generate 343fps and 109.7 ft lbs of energy, although they don't disclose the weight of the projectile used.

    Horton has a really cool, reverse compound crossbow with 175lb of pull, but will generate 325 fps, but no energy transfer is listed in the brochure.

    So, what do you guys think about the crossbow?

    Thanks,

    JD
     
  2. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Currently in most state's they are illegal for hunting, unless a physycal disability exists. The majority of "traditionalist" bow hunters despise the thought of crossbows becoming legal hunting implements. This to me is ridiculous considering the crossbow's history and significance in historical events. It also creates animosity among hunters and sportsmen at a time when the sport should be united. The debate is similar in fervor to that which preceded the legalization of inline non-traditional black powder rifles. I am not an inline afficionado, nor do I own a crossbow (I would like to), but I certainly do not object to hunters using them. That being said, however, I do not consider inline black powder rifles with improved ignition, sights, and powders to be consistent with the one week "Primitive" hunting season that occurs at the close of the regular season. Hunters that embrace the thought of spending one week a year attempting to bag a deer with the sidelock percussion or flintlock rifle they have practiced with and become proficient with, should not have to compete against people with scoped black powder rifles that almost match the accuracy, range, reliability, and ease of operation of a centerfire rifle. Many bow hunters feel the same about crossbows because they accept scopes, are easier and more accurate at longer ranges than traditional bows, and because of their stocks are more similar to, and as easy as a rifle to shoot. I disagree - mainly because the bow season begins almost a month earlier in most state's than the rifle season, and a bow hunter can still use his bow (if he chooses) during the rifle season, thereby allowing a bowhunter to be in the woods enjoying his craft for the entire season. The Muzzleloader has only 1 week where he has the woods to himself, and that week occurs after the regular season has closed, and all the deer are wiser, have become even more nocturnal in their habits, and are considerably more spooked. Crossbows are capable of better accuracy and therefore cleaner kills IMO, and that's never a bad thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008

  3. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    Always thought a crossbow would be cool for deer hunting until I found out the Conservation Department only allows them in rifle season . I'm not that good of a hunter to limit myself to it when I can use a gun .

    From the articles I have read over the years the restrictions on them are due to simple prejudice as they aren't significantly more powerful than the typical bow just easier to shoot for most people .

    O JD FYI if you get one don't overpay for specialized "Bolts" you can use typical Aluminum arrows cut to the correct length with the proper spine/stiffness of course .

    An Easton arrow chart will help you pick a good shaft to make a Bolt out of .

    This will help you understand arrow sizes , they come with a 4 digit number say 2117 , 2213 , 2215 etc .

    The first two numbers designate the outside diameter of the shaft 21/64 , 22/64 the second number designate wall thickness in thousands of an inch 17/1000 etc .

    For a crossbow bolt Easton has two sizes they list at 20 and 22 inches using a 2216 and 2219 shaft , and you buy your nocks and inserts seperately "The nock is what attatches the bolt to the string and the insert is what a broadhead or prectice tip screws into at the other end" the 2216 would be the faster "arrow" because it has thinner walls and thus is lighter in weight than the 2219 .

    This site will be helpful

    www.eastonarchery.com

    Go to company and the FAQ in the dropdown .
     
  4. DFENS

    DFENS New Member

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    In a SHTF, anarchy, situation, shoot yeah.

    Barring a screwed-up shaft or mechanical failure, it'd likely out-last all but the largest gun/ammo stores.

    I don't remember the guy's name, but someone wrote a book called The Zombie Survival Manual (or something like that). Interesting read. He also brings up the point that a crossbow would be near-silent. Whether it be a single deer or bag-headed evildoers sneaking in the night, that silence offers some tactful differences from a gun (unless you have a dedicated, suppressed gun loaded with subsonic... but again, sustainability comes up down the road).

    I'd be more inclined to the crossbow, if for no other fact than I'm a bit lazy and would rather take the easy way of learning a crossbow, similar to a rifle, than having to learn to shoot a bow. I'm assuming both are equally available.
     
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Yeah, I wasn't so much looking for the ability to hunt with it now, but more the ability to procure food, with a decent hit to kill ratio and minimal noise later on should chaos & anarchy rule.

    Max Brooks was the author of the Zombie Survival Guide - great read. Definite junk food for the mind, but entertaining. I picked it up before a 6 hour plane flight and couldn't put it down. I got his follow up World War Z, which is supposedly after the world is attacked, and repels, the Zombie hordes. Max Brooks travels the new world collecting stories from the survivors. It's supposed to be made into a movie for late 2009 or 2010 release. Should be entertaining....

    JD
     
  6. DFENS

    DFENS New Member

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    Movie? Woot.

    I'm no physicist or whatever one would be, but it seems to me that a lighter bolt would have greater initial velocity, but further downrange would slow faster than a heavier one... also, wouldn't the heavier bolt carry more force? I'm pretty sure this is the case with bullets (barring aerodynamic designs and wizardry), just wanting to make sure for my own knowledge.
     
  7. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    You're 100% correct but , the thing is whether it is for hunting or eliminating a sentry the trick is to get an arrow or bolt that is heavy enough to absorb as much of the bows energy as possible to make as quite a shot as you can yet keeping it as light and as fast as you can .

    The reason is simple the speed of sound is far "Approximately 1,100 vs 350 FPS" greater than an arrow and a bolt can travel and few rigs "even crossbows" can reach the 350 FPS mark .

    If you've ever hunted with a bow or even done much reading on the subject you will hear what is called "Jumping the string" in which an animal will hear your shot and instinctively jump in one direction or the other causing a complete miss . This is especially true with nervous high strung Whitetails that have been hunted heavily .
     
  8. DFENS

    DFENS New Member

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    I've seen "vibration absorbers" for tennis rackets, little plastic-looking clips.. would those aid in the sound suppression?
     
  9. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    No, but there are "silencers" for the strings.
     
  10. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    String silencers come in all different designs but the most popular are the "Puff Balls" that make it look like you have a wad of yarn on the ends of your string .

    A few tips for silencing both a compound bow and modern compound Crossbow .

    1) set it as close to it's peak draw as you can handle comfortably , you adjust the weight by loosening the limbs up and giving them more flex . Loose limbs make more noise then tight ones .

    2) use cable slides to prevent them from rubbing together

    3) use some type of string silencer or simply add a few string nock sets to each end of the string the weight is what helps dampen it by stopping the movement faster

    4) use a weighted stabilizer they do make a stabalizer for crossbows try looking at bow accessories at the Ye Olde Archery Shop's site , they also make Limb dampeners that replace your limb buttons on both limbs for a regular compound bow They might work with a Compound/crossbow also .

    5) cover your arrows contact points with moleskin " I use a prong rest with Teflon arms"
     
  11. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    That's some good information BigO - Thanks for the intel download!

    JD
     
  12. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    You're quite welcome JD glad to be of help with some info bouncing around in the old noggin .

    I started out shooting archery as a wee lad with those toy kits with rubber tipped arrows and went and found my brothers 25# recurve from his boy scouting days at about 10-11 .

    Since he is 10 years older than me he was well into the adult stage of life and didnt need a 25# bow "Or any bow since he wasn't actually into it" so it became mine , by 13 I was taking lessons at an indoor range shooting a 35# bow and reading about the adventures of Fred Bear and was soon given a better recurve for Xmas .

    Not having any hunters in the family it went dorment for about a decade when I started working/driving /dating and was resurrected in my 20's .

    I've built my own arrows and have a couple of compounds sitting around and done enough reading and shooting to have a fairly broad knowledge of it despite not keeping up with whats hot and whats not . Most of it should apply to compounds as all they are is a bow mounted on a rifle stock .
     
  13. Righteous

    Righteous New Member

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    I have used a crossbow and i sell crossbows and its not rocket sience, you put limbsavers on the inside of the limbs as close to the strings as you can get but not touching them, all they do is stick on, if its a split limb they make one that comes in 2 pieces and you just screw them together between the limbs. String sliencers can be many things such as yarn which is not the best or rubber bands that you tie around the string then they will break apart into many pieces after you shoot it a few times.The best kind is what they call sting leeches, you have to put the bow in a press to ease up on the string and they will go inbetween the strands and are very good at keeping it quiet. All crossbows will have a set weight for broadheads and you need to stay with that weight as well as the arrow length. Another thing to remember....you can use fixed blades or mechcanical either one but if the bow shoots really fast ..300+ fps you run the risk of a mechcanical blade popping open when it is shot, get the ones with the small rubber bands that hold the blades closed untill impact. Some fixed blades will catch to much air and will drift on you a tad more also. You also need to wax the strings ALOT..about every 5 shots,use lubewax they give you , it looks and feels like chapstick. string life for a cross bow is usually 300 to 400 shots before replacement. Also wax the track the bolt rides in but dont get it into the channel where it gets on the fletching.A s for the draw weight most will be at 150 lbs or more and use any where from 16" to 22" bolts, longer the bolt...harder its gonna be to pull it back. No need for a crank, your pulling with both hands and its a short pull, Just put your foot in the stirup at front of the bow and go for it. They make rope cockers which will cut the pounds you pull in half for under 10 bucks....well worth it. Its not worth it to try to decock one better just to shoot it, keep you a pratice bolt with a bunt field tip on it and when you get ready to decock it just shoot that at a tree or ground.

    Now...as for a SHTF ...get a recurve...things go wrong you can always make your own arrows ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  14. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    Righteous correct me if I'm wrong but you're saying that if you are hunting with a Broadhead tipped bolt in the crossbow , you can remove it and replace it with a Blunt tipped bolt safely and without pulling the trigger ? How ?

    As far as shooting the blunt into the ground or a tree doesn't that ruin bolts pretty quickly ?

    What is the best way to decock one , string cocker , crank , what ?
     
  15. Righteous

    Righteous New Member

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    you dont put a bolt in the bow when you cock it, you cock the bow then slide the bolt in so to change it just put the broadhead back in the quiver and put the pratice one in, dont shoot anything really close that would damage the bolt, dont matter if the fletching or whatever gets messed up a bit, just dont shoot anything close that would damage the bolt. I have seen decockers that people have made, most were a mouth piece that they could hook to the trigger with a string, pul the bow string back and then release it with ya teeth but i find that to bothersome. Remember most bolts will be carbon ones so bending aint gonna happen . Also remember when you cock these things the safety needs to be in the OFF position, when the string slides back into the catch it will lock it and flip the safety on then. If you put the safety on then cock it you will be pulling it back and it wont catch. Cranks do work but they are heavy and expensive and most attach to the bow permanty. There great for somebody disabled.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  16. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Decocking.

    Back in the day,I purchased a foot sturup.It was quite compact and folded up under the front stock.As far as bolts,the liter bolts had better velosity but less penatration.Depends what you`re shootin at.
     
  17. CARNUT1100

    CARNUT1100 New Member

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    +1 for the foot stirrup.
    I have used a crossbow with no cocking aids whatsoever and it was a pig!

    I have made a couple of crossbows before they changed the laws here so youneed a permit to have one, but I still make a lot of crossbow strings for people..........

    the last one I made I did the action as well, filed out of bar stock and the angles set on a jig I made.
    It worked great but was a lot of work.
    I am working on a next generation action which will have an adjustable trigger and auto safety catch which should be nicer to shoot, but I need to get a crossbow permit before I can go beyond a 3D CAD model and into steel and those permits are not easy to get more's the pity......

    The ones I make are a bit different, in that they don't use a groove for the bolt but have a nock and an arrow rest which cuts friction and gains speed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  18. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Yo Down Under!

    Love you`re work,it`s art! With out the groove,you gain string life to,it`s just a matter of prod alignment,but you know that.Good luck with the self employment venture,It`s good to be thr king!:)
     
  19. CARNUT1100

    CARNUT1100 New Member

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    Yeah, self employment is a while away yet, until then I will keep on earning my paycheque as a CAD draftsman and playing with my projects.
    But I am building up tools and experience and right now trying to get a loan to buy a 100 acre bush block which is off the grid with solar power, andhas sheds I can use for workshops and so on.
    If I can set something up and make a living from it I will quit my day job and go for it!
    First up I am going to apply for a dealer's licence..........if I can get that then I can start making crossbow actions among other stuff, and maybe even sell some overseas, even over to your end of the world......
    Would be nice........
     
  20. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Yo Down Under!

    My wife and I got tired of the rat race in 2004.We purchased some acerage in a fairly remote area.The place had every thing we needed,a 3000 sq.ft. heated work shop,beautiful veiw,ample wild life,but the main thing it lacked was the ability and accessability to co-exist with the out-side world.Even simple tasks such as on line access was difficult.It is difficult to maintain a bussiness.I love my home and the personal freedoms it offers but it can be very incoveinient at times.Persue you`re dreams,make it real,but know what is possible and what is imposible,the out-back seems to pose quite a challenge.Post more "Pics" and ideas. LOVE YOU`RE WORK and hang tough.