Monday, July 21, 2008

Bow Sights - Do They Really Improve Accuracy?

Bow sights have been around in various manifestations for many years. Bow hunters and competitive shooters alike swear by their favorite sights claiming that the sights make accuracy rates explode and consistent positive results are a given with the latest advances in sights technology. Accuracy in shooting is made up of two major components. First, muscle memory where you repeat an action until it becomes engraved on the muscle movements. Second is the focus and direction of the shot so that accuracy to the target is defined. Both factors or either are helpful in improving accuracy.


Modern technology is a continual process of improving and refining the products that are used every day. This is true of bow sights as well as other products. Bow sights range from simple peep sights to complex adjustable pin sights and even sights that use laser technology to point at the target. Peep sights consist of a small hole in a ring that allows you to narrow the field of vision so that you are more focused on the target. Laser technology puts a laser beam on the target so that you follow with your eyesight and zero in on the accuracy.


No matter which type of bow sights you choose to use in your bow hunting adventures or your competitive shooting efforts, repeating the actions that lead to better results will make your accuracy continue to improve. Bow sights help you to line up the bow on the target so that you learn through trial and error which actions and moves result in success. Pin sights, for example use a small sight pin attached to the sight ring on either a horizontal or vertical plane. With multiple pins, they are lined up to match the distance to the target, such as 20 yards, 30 yards, or 40 yards.


The purpose of bow sights, regardless of the use you place on your archery equipment, is to improve the accuracy of your shooting. If you are a bow hunter, you depend on accuracy in your shots to provide a clean kill. Of course, a competitive shooter wins the contest when he or she is able to consistently hit the precise targets that are intended. As you use the bow sights in the way they were intended, you improve your accuracy resulting in a higher accuracy rate because you identify the target more precisely so that you can then identify the moves needed to hit the target.


Bow sights are designed and intended to provide convenient methods to improve the accuracy. These devices are easy to use and in most cases fairly easy to install and sight in. The type of sights that you select will depend on the type of shooting that you do. You may need a light weight sight for moving easily across the hunting ground. You may prefer a heavier device to add stability for your competitive shooting. The convenience of the sights is important in improving your accuracy.

Defining Excellence in Bow Sights - Copper John Sights

With nearly a decade of an award winning line of bow sights on the record for Copper John Sights, the company is not resting on its laurels as winner of a quartet of Best Buy Awards from Inside Archery Magazine. Known for the Dead Nuts Hunting Sight and its successor the Dead Nuts 2 design, Copper John bow sights followed up with the Always Normal Target Sights. The product line released meets the needs of any archer looking for consistent accuracy and performance in all types of conditions. Test these quality products from Copper John with your own archery equipment and shooting style.


The design of the Copper John aiming technology is based on the curved sight frame. Because the frame is curved, the lens of the bow sights are alway flat to the eye, or normal, when the scope is in different positions on the frame of the bow. This technology allows the reduction of distortion to the image. It also reduces the distortion of the scope reticle and increases the clarity exhibited in the scope image. The picture in the bow sights will always remain the same in spite of the position of the scope on the bow frame.


Aside from the expected advantages of bow sights in improving accuracy and consistency in your shooting experiences, bow sights lend stability to the bow itself. By adjusting the precise controls the archer is able to zero in on three different planes quickly and easily. Prevent tipping of the bow off the vertical plane and dial in the correct distance and you will have reproducible accuracy in your competition and your hunting archery experience as well. Use the sights with the latest award winning technology, combined with effective practice and you will improve your success rating with this sport.

Unique Features

The unique features that Copper John has implemented in their bow sights include an aiming ring that contrasts with the pin guard. Further, the pin guard is round, thus improving the quality standard of their product. When you are searching for the best quality in bow sights, you want one that is constructed of the best materials available. Depending upon the type of shooting you prefer, the weight of the mechanism is a factor in how effective it is. The ability to see a normal view each time you use the sight no matter what position works for you will help to improve your shooting success score.


Of course, all bow sights are intended for the purpose of improving your success rate in hitting the specified target. Furthermore, the best sights, such as Copper John are made of the most durable and long lasting materials for a lifetime of accurate shooting. Weight is a factor that becomes apparent as you carry the equipment through the rough terrain typically found with bow hunting. It is no less important in competitive shooting when you need the stability of the sights to anchor your shot. Consistency in results is always a factor of practice so that each movement is memorized by your mind and by your body.

Types of Bow Sights - Advantages and Disadvantages

The accuracy of the shot is important to both a bow hunter and to the archer shooting in a competition for prizes or the honor of winning. Each can take advantage of the use of bow sights to improve accuracy and consistency in hitting the target regardless of the conditions, distances and elevation. Some sights will work better than others, but most all will improve your shooting score to some degree. The type of sight you choose should be matched with the use and the type of bow you have. Some of the more common types of bow sights that are found in today's products are listed below.

Pin sights

Pin sights are probably the most commonly available of all the bow sights. The simplest pin sights consist of one or more sight pins mounted to a circular ring either on a horizontal or vertical plane. The pin sights are lined up on the target. If there are multiple sight pins, the accuracy for various distances can be locked into the sights without continual estimates and adjustments to the sight. The pin sight is usually the least expensive and certainly is easy to use.

Peep sights

Peep sights are even simpler to use. They are bow sights that consist of a ring placed in position between the bow strings so that when you draw back the strings, the hole in the ring lines up with your eye and you can center the ring around the target you are trying to hit and let fly.

Scope sight

A scope sight is much like a scope for a gun. You just look through the scope where you can see fine crosshairs. The bow sights center the crosshairs on the target for great accuracy. The scope sight is easy to mount on the bow. It is more common for use on high powered bows such as crossbows. Accuracy and consistency of results are excellent.

Laser Sights

Laser sights were very popular at the time they were first launched. The laser bow sights project a small laser on the target and you can use that in order to aim the bow and increase the accuracy of your shooting. The feature of laser sights that makes them less than wildly popular is the fact that if there is an obstacle between the bow and the target, the laser beam doesn't reach the target.

Red Dot Sights

The bow sights known as red dot sights work just like rifle scopes work, except that instead of cross hairs, the red dot bow sights use a red dot to line up with the target. You will need to review these different types of sights and perhaps even try one or two in order to decide which one works best for you. If you shoot in more than one type of archery, you may even need more than one type of sight. What is indisputable is that the use of a sight coupled with consistent practice will make you a better shot.

Additional Bow Sights Features

Many bow sights have additional features to help in various aspects of bow hunting or target shooting. For example, tuning and accuracy can be improved by the additional leveling bubbles. These help to eliminate torque. Unless the regulations and laws in your hunting jurisdiction prohibit them, you can add sight pins that are lighted or small sight-body mounted lights to illuminate the pins when the light level is low, thus adding to shooting accuracy. Each of these features has benefits for particular types of shooting and the key is to match the type of archery to the appropriate equipment.

Personal preference

Before deciding on one of the bow sights for yourself, you should take the time and make the effort to consider how you shoot, what type of bow that you have and what your requirements for shooting are. Bow sights that work perfectly for another may not be a good choice for you and your style of archery. The bow itself may require a different style of sights than that of your shooting friend. Even a strong recommendation in favor of a specific sight should not be accepted without reviewing the options and if possible trying out the product in various shooting situations.

Bow hunters needs

Since bow hunters tend to move around through sometimes rough terrain, they more often than not will prefer a bow that is light in weight and perhaps more compact than the bows used for competitive purposes. The more recent designs in hunting bows are shorter from axle to axle and thus carry less weight to get hung up while moving after the target animal. bow sights intended for these bows also tend to be lightweight and do not require that the hunter carry tools through the brush in order to adjust the bow sights.

Competitive shooting

In contrast to bow hunters, those who shoot competitively need a different type of bow sights. Because they may be required to shoot longer distances, and may require heavier equipment in order to add stability to their equipment, they are more likely to prefer heavier bow sights. A sight that requires time to adjust and dial in is not a problem, in fact--it may be an advantage in competition. The competitive archer has the time to set up his or her shot carefully in order to be absolutely accurate and win the competition.

Combination shooting

If you are one of the growing number of archers who participates in and enjoys both bow hunting and competitive shooting, you may be better off to purchase two different types of bow sights--one for each of the major uses you make of your bow or bows. Sights are made so that they can be easily attached and removed when you choose to participate in a different type of archery activity. You could also purchase two or more sights and leave them permanently attached to two or more different bows. Since the bows are likely to be different, the sights should be too.

How to Select Bow Sights

If you are really interested in the sport of archery, whether you choose competitive target shooting or whether you are hunting big game with a bow, you must rely on the accuracy of your ability to send the arrow to a specific point at a specified distance each and every attempt. Choosing and using bow sights correctly allows you to improve your accuracy and performance. there is some variance in the design and effectiveness of the various types of sights. Most can be resolved through consistent and dedicated practice with the archery equipment you choose.

What is a Bow Sight?

Bow sights are small devices which are affixed to the riser of the bow in order to assist in accurate measurement and reference point for the flight of the arrow to its intended target. Bow sights often consist of a circular ring containing one or more sight pins that can be set to sight in to a target at specified distances. The bow sights may also contain a peep sight which further defines the target area and makes it easier to light up the sight pin(s) on the target. Modern sights may be either for left-handed or right-handed people.

Fixed Pin Sights

Fixed pin bow sights are the most common and most popular of all the archery sights sold today. Sights are fastened to the bow either by attaching directly to the bow riser--known as a hard mount--or by a dovetail system. This system is a two part mounting where a metal bracket is affixed to the riser and a sight bracket holding the sight body can be quickly mounted by sliding the equipment into or out of the main bracket. The bow sights are formed of durable and rugged materials such as polymer, aluminum, polycarbonate or other substances.

Adjustable Pin Sights

Both bow scopes and adjustable pin bow sights have just one sight pin. The adjustable pin sights are movable and must be adjusted to the correct yardage immediately prior to taking the shot. The yardage is marked on the mounting bracket of the bow sights so that the archer doesn't need to estimate distances. Although the adjustable pin sights are preferred by many since they don't require estimating distances, hunters often prefer the fixed pin type so that they can follow the target as it moves rather than trying to adjust the sight for the specific yardage while on the fly.

Pendulum Sights

Pendulum type bow sights are a single pin sight that swings inside the housing of the pin. They are typically sighted in from a ground location at twenty yards distance. Some automatic adjustment is done so that the hunter may be in a position above the ground or may be at longer distances from the shooting target. By using the pendulum sights, the hunter needs only to focus on the target rather than on the sight adjustments. The disadvantages arise when shooting from an above ground position or further distances, since the accuracy deteriorates.

Technology in Modern Bow Sights Design

Bow sights are are different than rifle sights, for instance in that there are at three different components to the trajectory of the arrow when fired. The distance from the target is one factor that must be considered, as well as the horizontal and vertical planes of the arrow flight. Placing all three components in the field of sight so that the archer can sight in the bow at different distances is not only a help to the accuracy for the archer, but it is a disadvantage in that part of the field of vision is blocked by the very thing that assists in accuracy calculations.

Basic design of sights

The basic design of many current bow sights includes one or more sight pins on a single plane attached to extend from the side of a viewing ring. The pins or fibers are often composed of fibers sometimes with the capability of a movable elevation bracket so the number of components can be reduced, thus opening up the field of vision while still providing multiple distance settings. Fiber optics design for the bow sights gives maximum brightness with the most compact size. The sight assembly can be attached so that it is usable by either left handed or right handed users.

Recent developments

The major new developments what have occurred in the design and construction of bow sights include the creation of a rotating shaft so that the fewer sight pins are located in the field of vision while sighting in or using the bow for either hunting or target shooting. Modern, light-weight materials make possible the construction of thinner sight pins in the bow sights which is even more helpful in the reduction of obstructions to vision. Fiber optics technology means the visibility is improved during both the sighting and shooting processes.

Advantages of sights

Bow sights have the obvious advantage of allowing the archer to fine tune the accuracy of their shooting. The use of the sight pins, elevation checks and visual corrections to the act of locating and hitting the target helps to train the eye hand coordination so that success in hitting the target is reinforced because of learning the feel of the bow itself. Bow sights take advantage of the link between sight and the body stance and position to make accurate shooting a total body experience. The use of the sights provides a visual accuracy check.

Disadvantages of sights

The major disadvantage to bow sights is that in order to use the older versions of sights, you either had to sight in your bow at one fairly narrow distance range, or you had to accept multiple sight pins which tended to obscure your vision of the target you were trying to hit. More recent technology has made use of changes in design to utilize lighter, thinner materials which increase the field of vision, and of changes in the way the bow sights pins are attached to the sighting ring--again providing a clearer field of vision while still allowing for accuracy in pinpointing the target.

Set Your Sights on the Best in Bow Sights

For those who are really into archery, finding bow sights to complement your bow can be an important choice in the success of your archery practice. As its name indicates, bow sights help you to sight in the arrow so that you will hit the target each time you shoot. Sighting in the bow correctly depends on the distance from the target. You will need to check the accuracy of the sight at 10 yards, 20 yards, 40 yards and so on. This determines the optimum accuracy at each distance that you typically shoot.

What are they?

Bow sights are designed in various ways, and can be used in daylight or low light periods to help to focus your vision so that the arrow flies straight and true to the target. The style of the sights depends to large extent on the type of bow, but the type of archery that is being contemplated is also critical in choosing the design of the bow sights. Some of the sights include optic fibers to provide light assistance. Bright colors and other highly technological aids to target seeking are quite common nowadays. These have been added to the best of the traditional bow designs to ensure a modern marvel of accuracy and strength.

Why do they help you?

Whether a bow is being used for target shooting or for hunting purposes, accuracy is critical. Bow sights assist in the accuracy of both types of shooting. Many bow sights have an adjustable setting so that they can be set up for either left handed or right handed shooters. The Truglo Tru•Site Ultra Xtreme Series sights for example, have the above features and also include a large diameter ring measurement to give the widest possible field of view. Precision markings in each part of the sighting instrument provide a quality instrument in assisting targeting efforts.

A brief history

Bow sights are an invention which has existed either successfully or unsuccessfully for years. The device itself is generally a level platform affixed to the bow which holds sight pins allowing the archer to align the bow with the target. There may be as many as six or eight or even more sight pins that the archer can utilize depending upon the estimated distance from the bow to the named target to give the proper trajectory to the arrow. The sight pins that are an integral part of the bow sights also typically block the full view of the target at some level, which is the major disadvantage to the design of most sights.

Setting records

Because of the widespread use of bow sights both in competitive archery and hunting type archery, more accurate shooting is possible. However, nothing can take the place of practice in the use of the bow sights to fine tune one's ability to zero in on any type of archery target. These tools improve the competitive nature of target shooting. The ability to improve one's accuracy is what gives the archer the challenge of competing against oneself.

Crossbow vs A Compound Bow

Learning the Crossbow

The major difference between the compound bow and crossbow is the difference in the speed with which an archer or hunter can learn to shoot. The crossbow can be mastered in under an hour. The biggest difficulty is making sure the bow is cocked perfectly straight so the shot does not go off kilter. A few minutes spent talking with a bow dealer will provide all the shooter needs to know in terms of purchasing an arrow and a broadhead.

Learning the Compound Bow

Mastering the compound bow can take quite a bit more time than learning to fire the crossbow. Perhaps the hardest facet of this type of bowhunting is getting within 20 yards of the prey. With a crossbow, the shooter can be further away from the animal and still make an effective shot.

Shooting the Crossbow

One of the major complaints about shooting this bow is that the projectile fires off more like a gun and that it maintains a flat straight course instead of bowing or arching like other bows. However the compound bow also has about the same trajectory; more flat than arched.

The Kill

Crossbows behave like all other bows when it comes to taking down the target. The shot can be ruined just like the compound bow if the arrow deflects off of bone or hits some brush on the way to its target. In addition all bows kill by bleeding out the animal. There is no difference in the “how” of any bow.

The Weight of the Crossbow

Unlike the compound bow that has its weight distributed fairly evenly, this bow is heavy at the front of the weapon. As a result you cannot hold it in position at your shoulder ready to shoot for a very long time. After a minute or two your arms will start to tremor from the strain and you will be forced to lower your weapon.

Cold Weather Hunting

When hunting in frigid weather the advantage goes to the crossbow. It is very important to bundle up to prevent frostbite when hunting in the winter. However, so much clothing limits movement and the compound bow requires physical steps to cock, aim and shoot. In addition most compound bows work best while sitting up in tree, subject to the wind and cold. With a crossbow you can cock the weapon and prepare to fire. You can get down out of the tree and away from wind and hunt on the ground. When you see your target all that needs to be done is a quick aim and fire. There is no cocking of this weapon as it as already been done ahead of time.

Handicapped Hunting

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of the crossbow is the ability of those with physical ailments to hunt. The work perfectly for archers or hunters in wheelchairs as the vertical length of the bow is not an issue. In addition the cocking aids that can be purchased and attached to the bow to help get the weapon cocked and ready for firing. This type of bow is also advantageous for people with bad back, arthritis or neck injuries.

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The Perfect Crossbow Shot

When shooting at game with your crossbow, you want to be able to make the perfect shot. To do this you need the correct equipment that is effective in bringing down the target silently so as not to frighten the animal away. There are several accessories to look for to help you make the perfect shot.

Choosing the Correct Sighting

For hunters there are 3 main types of sights that can be used. These are the peep sight, scope and red dots.

Peep Sight

The peep sight is the cheapest and easiest of the three choices. This is the sight that is usually included when you purchase a crossbow. When the light is good, this type of sight works just as well as all the others. However you can only use light coming through the small hole in the aperture to set this sight. Needless to say in bad lighting this sight is almost worthless.

Red Dots

Red dots are great to use in all kinds of lighting. They provide an easy-to-see well lit spot for aiming and they weigh less than the heavier scope. In addition rain does not ruin their effectiveness. However, as they run on batteries, there is the chance of the batteries running out of power leaving you sightless. In addition red dots do not gather light.


Scopes are the most popular selection of crossbow hunters. They gather light by using magnification so it is easier to see your target in dim lighting. Some scopes also come with crosshairs to make up for crossbow trajectory. Unfortunately their range of vision is limited. This can cause serious problems at close range. Do not use a scope that has more than a power of 4X or all you will see a piece of blurry fur. In addition a scope is heavy and will fog over in the rain.

Proper Projectiles for your crossbow

Now that you have your sight set consider the type of ammunition you are using. You want the edge of the projectile’s blade to enter your target effortlessly and cause maximum amount of damage for a quick kill. Therefore what really matters is how sharp the edge is.

A dull blade will not cause much damage. Instead of slicing blood vessels it will push them away. In addition a dull blade causes too much tissue damage resulting in a decrease in blood flow. This will cause your your blood trail to stop and you might not be able to find your kill.

Of all the blade heads to use the 3 bladed head is the most effective.

Keeping it Quiet

When a crossbow is shot in the woods it does make a sound and the deer does hear it. So the trick becomes not quieting the crossbow but getting the projectile to the deer before the deer can run from the sound. To do this, the arrow must be faster or the deer must be closer. In addition never shoot a deer when it is looking in your direction as light travels faster than sound and will react much faster. You are sure to miss the shot.

The best thing you can do is know the range where string jump becomes a problem and be sure to use the fastest arrow your crossbowcan safely handle.

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Consistent Crossbow Shooting

One if the biggest problems crossbow hunters have is maintaining the shot again and again. The first shot might be perfect but the second and third shots are a bit off while the fourth shot was right on target. There are a few steps the archer needs to take to help maintain the perfect shot.

Practice, Practice, Practice

To begin, set up a bag target in a safe place during the summer months. Using 100-grain field tips practice shooting your crossbow at the target. If it seems the same arrow is to be shooting inconsistently over and over again then get rid of it. It is nice to know in this case that the fault is probably with the arrow and not with the shooter.

Using the Broadheads

A few weeks before hunting season begins replace your field tips with fixed-blade broadheads. Make sure these are the exact same broadheads you will use during hunting season. Check your sight on your crossbow, as it will probably need to be adjusted now that the broadheads have replaced the field tips. Shoot your crossbow into a broadhead target and keep adjusting the sight until your arrow is making a bull’s-eye. Then shoot all the arrows you plan on using during hunting season. You will probably find a few more arrows that do not fly straight. Try using another broadhead on them just to be positive. If the arrow is still veering off course discard it. When you have approximately eight arrows that hit the bull’s-eye every time your hunting quiver is now full. As a vital last step be sure to sharpen the broadhead blades. They must be razor sharp if they are going to kill effectively and cleanly.

Expandable Broadheads

If you use expandable broadheads keep in mind they tend to act more like field-tips. However, you should still shoot them into a broadhead target with your crossbow. This way you will ensure they are not causing your arrows to fly off course. You will also have to adjust your sight as well with the expandable broadheads as you would with the standard broadheads. Once again, when your sight has been adjusted so all your arrows are hitting the bull’s-eye, shoot them all one more time into the broadhead target to ensure straight and accurate flight.

Adding New Arrows

As hunting season progresses arrows will be lost hopefully as a result of a good kill. When adding new arrows to your quiver, test each as you did the previous group of arrows. Use the same broadhead target and crossbow and, after testing, be sure to re-sharpen the blades you decide to add to your quiver. Don’t assume a new arrow will fly straight and hit the target with precision. Always test all your new arrows with broadheads on a broadhead target. And, do not forget to sharpen the broadheads so they will cut like a scalpel after testing.

Follow these simple steps and you will find your crossbow shooting will be more and more consistent. And when you do make a bad shot you can be sure it was not a fault of the arrow but rather the fault of the crossbow shooter.

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Tips on Crossbow Hunting

Dressing for the Hunt

Much of the crossbow hunter’s success in the field begins with the correct clothing. For example, if you are hunting whitetail deer you want to dress for the cold. Wear layered clothing. Begin with underwear that will wick moisture away from your body. This should be followed with a fleece layer that will keep you warm. Finally your outer camouflaged layer should be wind-proof and made of thinsulate. Be sure to try out your camo before purchasing, as some brands are too noisy when you move and should not be used for hunting.

Be sure to examine where all the snaps, zippers and buttons are on your outer clothing layer. If there are any metallic or wooden pieces on your chest or shoulder that might click when you hoist your crossbow to take aim this could end your hunting day.

Finally you want to choose both footwear and gloves that are designed to protect against frostbite. Make sure your boots are sturdy and made for hiking. Don’t forget to break your boots in before taking on that long hike or all you may bag is a bunch of blisters.

When choosing gloves be sure they do not make too much noise when rubbed together. Any abnormal sound in the woods will send those deer running away from you. Oh yes…don’t forget a hat. A simple baseball cap should be enough to keep you warm.

The Proper Equipment

It is only natural when you first begin crossbow hunting to want the biggest and best crossbow. However, don’t purchase more than you can handle. Cocking a crossbow can be a very strenuous act. Before purchasing the bow consider what you will be using it for. Most hunting shots are made at less than 25 yards. Any arrow shot at this distance is going to penetrate the target regardless of the size of the game. So instead of struggling painfully trying to get your crossbow cocked, find one that suits your strength and physique as well as your hunting needs.

Prepping Your Skills and Equipment for Hunting Season

As summer rolls in it is a good time to start thinking about hunting season. One of the biggest causes of a missed target is misjudging the distance of the target and the trajectory of the projectile. It is a very helpful to start honing these skills well before you start hunting.


Grab you laser rangefinder and take a walk in the woods. Pick a tree or rock or some other object and try to guess its distance. Verify your guess with the rangefinder. Repeat this exercise a few times a week. You will get better and better at determining distance.


It is also a good idea to get to know your crossbow trajectory. If you have a scope that marks off trajectory in ten-yard intervals then you are all set. Just guess and shoot. If you do not have this accessory you will have to guess the holdover at different distances. It is a good idea to simply write them on a card and attach the card to your crossbow. For more great information on archery and bows, make sure to check out

Monday, July 14, 2008

The History Of The Crossbow - back in time...

History does not exactly tell us where and when the crossbow made its way into our civilization. However there is clear evidence this weapon was used during wartime as early as the end of the 4th century B.C. The first evidence of its use can be found with the Greeks followed by the Eurpoeans. China was also using this weapon as early as the 5th century B.C.

The Greeks

In the Greek world the crossbow emerged during the 5th century as a much larger version of the crossbow. It was called the gastraphetes or “belly-bow” because it was built to placed against the stomach of the archer. The manner of loading this bow resulted in more stored energy than the standard bows that were currently being used.

The gastraphetes ws improved upon. This led to the introduction of the ballista. Its use in war and against the enemies infantry resulted in very powerful bolts and larger ballistae. There was a smaller version of this crossbow called the Scorpio. This was used by snipers.

The Use of the Crossbow in Europe

Crossbows were evident in Europe during the battle of Hastings around 1500 AD. As a matter of fact, they replaced the standard longbow as the primary archer’s weapon because their use could be learned in about a week vs. the longbow which could take years to master. In addition, the crossbow released a faster and deadlier bolt than the standard bow’s arrow. It was also the favored weapon of the peasants.

Asia and the Crossbow

The first indication of crossbows in China comes from documents dated the 4th century BC. These scripts state followers of Mozi used a crossbow catapult in the 6th-5th century BC. In the well known book The Art of War written by Sun Tzu, there is a description of the crossbow and its uses between 500-300 B.C..

Islam and the Crossbow

The Islamic armies adopted the use of this bow after first seeing and experiencing its effect first hand during the crusades. Muslims preferred the footstrap version of this bow during the wars in Spain.

From the Saracens, the Crusaders discovered a composite bow that had layers of different material glued together to increase the strength of the bow. The Eurpoeans adopted this idea for crossbow prods.

America and Africa

Crossbows in Africa were used for hunting and as scout weapons. Africans captured by slavers brought the knowledge of this weapon with them to America. The crossbow became popular in the south and was used extensively for hunting. The Inuit of North America also used lighter versions of the bow for hunting.

The Use of Crossbows in Modern Day

In today’s world the crossbow is used mostly for target shooting. There are still societies however that use it for hunting including Australia, Africa and America. The smaller crossbows are used for harmless blubber extraction in whales. And there are some special forces in the military who use this weapon instead of the noiser firearms.

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