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796re: Crossbow Questions

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  • Chris Nogy
    Sep 28, 1999
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      Yes, the crossbow pistol is period, but not at all common. Of the six assasins
      bows studies by the Society of Archer Antiquaries, 5 were traditionally prodded
      with a very early 'one hand grip' and the sixth was a skein driven machine like
      a ballista which used the handle/crank as a pistol grip.

      There are other examples of smaller bows, but none that have a modern style
      full grip, though these bows had to be fired one-handed (not big enough to be
      held with two hands). These were mostly excercises in the skill of the
      armbruster - showing off by building fully workable mineatures - and not really
      useful weapons.

      Some of the fox-bows, meant to be shot when a fox tripped the trigger-wire,
      were stub gripped, could have been fired pistol style, but the stub grip was
      meant to fit into a holder which was fastened to a tree or rock or structure,
      so the bow could be braced, readied, then set in place in high-traffic areas
      for foxes.

      The Chinese had some bows which were about the size of a standard pistol-grip
      riot shotgun, without any butt. These had an integrated frigger guard and were
      probably officer issue.

      The Romans brought the crossbow from Asia in the 1st century, the remains and
      pillar carvings all depict a short, carbine style bow.

      There is also a possibility that a bow loosely resembling those seen in "First
      Knight" might just be 16th century - I am awaiting some word from an
      independant collector in Switzerland now for confirmation. I have already built
      a copy, though, and it has a neat reset mechanism.

      But if you are looking for the standard pistol grip on a bow that would have
      been powerful and accurate enough for our use, you probably won't find it. At
      least I haven't. Not until the end of the 1600's.

      What is referred to as the classic 'pistolenschnepper' (auf Deutsch, bitte) was
      created in the late 1800's in England for limited sporting use, then adopted by
      Whammo and Barnett this century.

      Hope this helps


      > From: Chad and Erin Wilson <chaderin@...>, on 9/27/99 10:46 PM:
      > From: Chad and Erin Wilson <chaderin@...>
      > Greetings.
      > Please bare with me, I'm new at this archery thing.
      > Is the Crossbow Pistol period?
      > Is the pistol grip period?
      > Please give me an answer other than yes or no. I would like something a
      > tad more informative.
      > -Caeman of Unicorn
      > > This list sponsored by House Wyvern Hall
      > of Barony Beyond the Mountain, East Kingdom
      > [SCA-Archery-unsubscribe@... to leave this list]
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