Becoming an arbalist

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Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:38 pm

Folks,

I am in the process of becoming an arbalist. It is a pleasant learning curve. After using various types and calibres of modern guns, arbalism seems to be a true connection with ancient ways, going far back in time.

After much struggling with stringing a powerful crossbow (using the bastard string method) I have before me a completed bow. Even at rest, the prod is under stress, maybe a third of its 200lb draw weight. The energy in the thing is palpable.

One feature I like about the crossbow is it's political correctness. Before the invention and promulgation of the crossbow it was almost impossible for a peasant to kill an armoured knight on his horse. Once crossbows were in the hands of every man, fear was struck into the ruling classes, prompting the Catholic church to ban crossbows with a threat of excommunication. Such nervous reaction is always a good sign for the lovers of freedom.

Today, gun control in the UK is strict, but crossbows have escaped the eyes of the lawmakers. A yeoman over the age of 18yrs may possess and shoot a crossbow of any available power. This includes a bow capable of taking down substantial game at 200 yds and well beyond.

I don't know how good an arbalist I can be, but so far the feeling is right. The bolts are falling cleanly, and the 'thwack' of steel into woollen bales is most comforting.

What's not to like?

Alex.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:20 pm

How do you cock the thing? Post a pic.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby noddy » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:47 pm

i did archery for a few years when i was a youngen, it was quite fun, i obsessed over distance shots more than short range accuracy ones.

crossbows are now banned in australia because of a single death, the wet-people with a fixation on government legislating all the danger out of life are rabid over here despite our image to the contrary.

a proper powerful crossbow would be a satisfying thing for target shooting, i can see the appeal.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:47 pm

Good for you alex. sounds like fun. enjoy it before it is illegal.

good to know you got some right wing crazy in you that surfaces from time to time.. :P

Typical human. ;)
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:08 pm

Simple Minded wrote:Good for you alex. sounds like fun. enjoy it before it is illegal.

good to know you got some right wing crazy in you that surfaces from time to time.. :P

Typical human. ;)


SM,

As often mentioned, I am a social libertarian. The foundation word is the noun, modified by the adjective.

I don't think crossbows will become illegal over here, and the key is the OP word 'Yeoman'. Somewhere in Magna Carta is mention of a freeman having the right to defend his home with a bow. It is no stretch to see the similarity between this and the US 'second amendment'. This may be the reason why centuries of politicians have stayed away from the topic. Also, bows and crossbows can be easily made at home with wood, metals and plastics. Very difficult to legislate on DIY.

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:17 pm

noddy wrote:i did archery for a few years when i was a youngen, it was quite fun, i obsessed over distance shots more than short range accuracy ones.

crossbows are now banned in australia because of a single death, the wet-people with a fixation on government legislating all the danger out of life are rabid over here despite our image to the contrary.

a proper powerful crossbow would be a satisfying thing for target shooting, i can see the appeal.


nod,

I've never done archery and this crossbow is my first. It is exciting stuff. :)

Sorry to hear about the laws in Oz. Agreed that the 'Crocodile Dundee' image doesn't fit with a ban.

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:28 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:How do you cock the thing? Post a pic.


Nonc,

What I have is similar to this, but slightly more power. Also now have a pistol bow which is very cute at 80lb draw weight.

http://outdoorhobbies.co.uk/jaguar-blac ... 3087-p.asp

Cocking is a simple pull on the string with both hands. You put a foot through the stirrup at the front and pull the string evenly on both sides. A pulley device can be used but I haven't got one. The real bitch was getting the string on in the first place. Very difficult - You tube helped as always.

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:42 pm

Looks like fun!
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:09 pm

manolo wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:Good for you alex. sounds like fun. enjoy it before it is illegal.

good to know you got some right wing crazy in you that surfaces from time to time.. :P

Typical human. ;)


SM,

As often mentioned, I am a social libertarian. The foundation word is the noun, modified by the adjective.

I don't think crossbows will become illegal over here, and the key is the OP word 'Yeoman'. Somewhere in Magna Carta is mention of a freeman having the right to defend his home with a bow. It is no stretch to see the similarity between this and the US 'second amendment'. This may be the reason why centuries of politicians have stayed away from the topic. Also, bows and crossbows can be easily made at home with wood, metals and plastics. Very difficult to legislate on DIY.

Alex.


You say po-tay-to, I say po-tat-o..... lots of common ground there bro. When Big Bro denies one access to their inner right-wing-crazy/libertarian, people get agitated.

If we can ever get people to agree on the similarity of projecting labels and observing labels, or even defining labels, that will be a great trick. ;)

You would probably also like motorcycle trials riding, excellent balance (no pun intended) of physical exertion and mental focus/concentration. Also produces very Zen like rewards for precise control/behavior.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:20 pm

Simple Minded wrote:You say po-tay-to, I say po-tat-o..... lots of common ground there bro. When Big Bro denies one access to their inner right-wing-crazy/libertarian, people get agitated.

If we can ever get people to agree on the similarity of projecting labels and observing labels, or even defining labels, that will be a great trick. ;)

You would probably also like motorcycle trials riding, excellent balance (no pun intended) of physical exertion and mental focus/concentration. Also produces very Zen like rewards for precise control/behavior.


SM,

Trials riding used to be very popular here, surpassed these days by off road racing (Enduro). Agreed about the Zen rewards.

One thing I'm struggling with just now is getting the bolts out of my target. It is a shop bought one, like a heavy black rubber, maybe 3 inches thick. It stops the bolts fine, but they are through up to the fletches. The plastic pistol bolts are stuck fast, but the aluminium ones can be twisted out. I'm thinking of smearing some wax on the bolt shafts to make sliding easier. Also, tight grouping of the bolts mashes them up as a bolt is hit by another one coming in. Quite different from target shooting with a gun.

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:43 pm

manolo wrote:
SM,

Trials riding used to be very popular here, surpassed these days by off road racing (Enduro). Agreed about the Zen rewards.

One thing I'm struggling with just now is getting the bolts out of my target. It is a shop bought one, like a heavy black rubber, maybe 3 inches thick. It stops the bolts fine, but they are through up to the fletches. The plastic pistol bolts are stuck fast, but the aluminium ones can be twisted out. I'm thinking of smearing some wax on the bolt shafts to make sliding easier. Also, tight grouping of the bolts mashes them up as a bolt is hit by another one coming in. Quite different from target shooting with a gun.

Alex.


You need leverage and friction. Get yourself a broomstick or other rod about 2-3 feet long, some rope or rubber cord, and a block of wood. Wrap the middle of the rope/cord around the bolt several times, hold the broomstick at a right angle to the bolt, then wrap the rope/cord around the broomstick several times. You may or may not need the block to get the angle correct. Then just pry it out like pulling a nail. Experiment. Trick will be to find rope/cord that will grip the bolt. Maybe the stretch rubber bungee cords.

I would bet that there probably is a manufactured product out there already. This has to be a common problem. Good luck.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:19 am

Thanks, SM.

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:55 pm

manolo wrote:Thanks, SM.

Alex.


You are welcome. Always go redneck before retail.

You'll have more cool stories to tell and at your funeral, your friends will have more cool stories to tell....

Remember when Alex used the Estes rocket engine to pull the crossbow bolt out of the target.......;)

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:37 pm

Simple Minded wrote:
manolo wrote:
SM,

Trials riding used to be very popular here, surpassed these days by off road racing (Enduro). Agreed about the Zen rewards.

One thing I'm struggling with just now is getting the bolts out of my target. It is a shop bought one, like a heavy black rubber, maybe 3 inches thick. It stops the bolts fine, but they are through up to the fletches. The plastic pistol bolts are stuck fast, but the aluminium ones can be twisted out. I'm thinking of smearing some wax on the bolt shafts to make sliding easier. Also, tight grouping of the bolts mashes them up as a bolt is hit by another one coming in. Quite different from target shooting with a gun.

Alex.


You need leverage and friction. Get yourself a broomstick or other rod about 2-3 feet long, some rope or rubber cord, and a block of wood. Wrap the middle of the rope/cord around the bolt several times, hold the broomstick at a right angle to the bolt, then wrap the rope/cord around the broomstick several times. You may or may not need the block to get the angle correct. Then just pry it out like pulling a nail. Experiment. Trick will be to find rope/cord that will grip the bolt. Maybe the stretch rubber bungee cords.

I would bet that there probably is a manufactured product out there already. This has to be a common problem. Good luck.

I think the original arbalists used villagers for targets. Does the UK have any left?
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:18 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:I think the original arbalists used villagers for targets. Does the UK have any left?


Nonc,

There was a photo in the paper today of a dog with a crossbow bolt through it's head. Responsible arabalists do not need this kind of media coverage.

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:49 pm

manolo wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:I think the original arbalists used villagers for targets. Does the UK have any left?


Nonc,

There was a photo in the paper today of a dog with a crossbow bolt through it's head. Responsible arabalists do not need this kind of media coverage.

Alex.



welcome to America.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby YMix » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:35 am

The obvious answer is that every citizen and most dogs must be issued crossbows and bolts. Aside from guns and bullets. A well-armed society is a polite society.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:02 pm

YMix wrote:The obvious answer is that every citizen and most dogs must be issued crossbows and bolts. Aside from guns and bullets. A well-armed society is a polite society.


YMix,

Don't be so short-sighted. Only hunting dogs and police dogs should be allowed to buy weapons. ;)

Extend the right to liberal dogs and democrat dogs, and the result will be killing fields.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:15 am

Folks,

Arbalist update.

The target (sticky bolt) problem is solved. Simply smear string wax on the front part of the bolts before firing and they slide easily out of the target.

But sights? The bows come with open sights, and I am an old guy needing reading glasses. With the glasses on I can see the sight but target is blurred; with the glasses off I can see the target by sight is blurred. Maybe need a red dot or scope?

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:28 pm

Red dot for an arbalist? Try flaming arrows, Manolo.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:15 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:Red dot for an arbalist? Try flaming arrows, Manolo.


Nonc,

I've got those in my computer game 'Far Cry 4' and a very similar virtual crossbow. Can't beat the real thing. :D

There is a field archery venue not far from here (shooting 3d game targets in woodland) and they allow a X4 scope. Scope will let me see something of the bolt impact - drool drool.

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:11 pm

manolo wrote:Folks,

Arbalist update.

The target (sticky bolt) problem is solved. Simply smear string wax on the front part of the bolts before firing and they slide easily out of the target.

But sights? The bows come with open sights, and I am an old guy needing reading glasses. With the glasses on I can see the sight but target is blurred; with the glasses off I can see the target by sight is blurred. Maybe need a red dot or scope?

Alex.


I have a similar problem, one eye focuses close, one is good at distance. So I can choose between seeing the target clearly, or the sights clearly, depending upon whether I shoot right or left handed.

I like Nonc's idea of tracer rounds...... I think if you get too high tech, crossbowing will lose some appeal....... chainmail undies should restore the authentic feel....
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:59 pm

Simple Minded wrote:I like Nonc's idea of tracer rounds...... I think if you get too high tech, crossbowing will lose some appeal....... chainmail undies should restore the authentic feel....


SM,

Just took delivery of an archery 'boss'. This thing is 12" thick and the bolts are still going through it! There is a youtube video of a guy firing a 45 automatic into a bucket of dirt and the bullet gets half way through. He does the same with a compound bow with carbon fibre bolts and they go in and out the other side.

I think the thing with the medieval crossbow is that they could penetrate chainmail undies - ouch. :shock:

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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby Simple Minded » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:39 pm

manolo wrote:There is a youtube video of a guy firing a 45 automatic into a bucket of dirt and the bullet gets half way through. He does the same with a compound bow with carbon fibre bolts and they go in and out the other side.


Alex.


.45's are designed for very low penetration (war on women?). These two sentences alone would be enough for a few thousand professional crusaders in the US to "take up arms" against crossbows.
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Re: Becoming an arbalist

Postby manolo » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:14 pm

Simple Minded wrote:.45's are designed for very low penetration (war on women?). These two sentences alone would be enough for a few thousand professional crusaders in the US to "take up arms" against crossbows.


SM,

At least 45s are safer.

I had a very scary time today with my big crossbow. I got it strung,using a pulley device which reduces draw weight by 50%. Once cocked I couldn't get it uncocked!! Just not strong enough to hold back the poundage (without the pulley) whilst pulling the trigger with my third hand. :x The wife won't touch it, or even be in the same room.

Anyway, I made up some safety device with parachute cord and kind of 'rapelled' the bastard string gradually down, inch by inch. Phew! These things are blinking dangerous.

http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/in ... /19191991/

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