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 Crossbow - The History of the Crossbow 
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Post Crossbow - The History of the Crossbow
Crossbow - The History of the Crossbow
by: Grady McGraw

A crossbow is a modified bow and arrow system. The bow sits sideways on a frame and the limbs can be pulled back mechanically by a trigger. Because of its riffle like body, the shooter can carefully aim short arrows. This type of bow is extremely accurate because it can be held in its loaded position longer than other types of bows. In addition, the bow is capable of traveling extremely long distances. It is said that the bow has a range of 380 yards. They are also perfect for those who aren't strong enough to efficiently pull back other bows.

The origins of the crossbow can be traced back to 600 BC in ancient China. Although 600 BC is said to be the time these bows were invented, there are remains said to be from 5th centaury China. The ancient Chinese people used crossbows against each other in times of warfare. During the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the bow was used as a weapon and toy. During the Han dynasty, the bow became the main weapon used in battle. The ancient Chinese utilized the bows during infantry and cavalry engagements. It was during this time the repeating cross bow was also developed.

The crossbow was also used during the Middle Ages. William the Conqueror brought use of the weapon back to England in 1066. Back then the bow had a wooden stock that was coated with glue or garnish. Wood, iron or steel constructed the 2 or 3 foot bow. The strings were made of hemp and soaked in glue to protect against moisture. The string was drawn back by pulling a level or winding a crank. Little skill or training was required to use the weapon. Because an untrained man could easily take the life of a knife in plated armor, the bow became regarded as an inhumane weapon. Despite this, it was widely used during battle. Because of constant invasions from foreigners, leaders happily handed their citizens crossbows. The bow was deadly and could be used by the young, elderly, and weak to defend themselves and their country.

Today, it is rare to see a crossbow used in warfare. Although the bow is powerful, possesses a long range, and requires little training, armies have opted for more powerful killing machines. Sniper rifles and other types of guns can kill greater amounts of people at a faster rate. Despite this, the crossbow is still around. Instead of killing others, people are now using the bow to hunt animals.

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Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:04 pm
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