The crossbow of today that is being used for hunting and shooting targets had its beginnings during the fourth century B. C. Previously, it was used as a weapon and was prevalent during the East Asia warfare in the 4TH century. ‘Ballista’, a derivative word of the weapon, is an engine with torsion, looking like a crossbow. The popular hunting equipment of today exist in several varieties and are classified according to the system of acceleration, energy, size, as well as projectiles. The simplest of the systems of acceleration is the so-called straight prod and is probably the earliest version.
Some of the more common kinds of the shooting equipment are:
· The recurve bow
· Multiple bows
· The compound bow
· The pistol type
· The arbalest bow
The ‘recurve bow’ has tips, which curves from the archer. It has limbs that are long compared to the bows that are straight-limbed. This enables more acceleration power to the projectile, eliminating some of the shock to the hands. Peculiar to this bow is the sound it makes during a shot.
The system of multiple bows is special as it has a pulling sinew consisting of several bows. This kind is likened to the modern system of compound bow. It makes use of a number of diverse bows rather than a single bow composed of a tackle system. This allows for a more highly accelerated sinew with a multiplied pulling effect of the bow.
The compound bow is the modern generation bow. The limbs of this kind of bow are stiff, as compared to the ‘recurve bow’; this stiffness translates to more energy. Its pulley has a string directly attached to it with one or more of the cables attached to the other end of the limb.
The pistol type is the smallest kind of bow. Some are the long stocks with the bows directly mounted on over the stock. This kind of bow could be shot and used under the arm. This led to the advancement of the rifle-looking stocks allowing for better aim for the archer.
The arbalest bow is of the heavy type. With its heavyweight construction, a special kind of mechanism is required to pull the sinew, the windlasses.
History points in the direction of the cultures of ancient China and its neighbours as the first proponents and origins of this type of weapon. During said period the bows were merely regarded and used as traps and were generally made out of lumber.
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