The size of a crossbow is not standardized. Some have dimensions of 37 x 22 (W x L) inches but others are smaller. Many string lengths are around 38 1/2 inches. The draw weight varies. Some are 60 lbs but others are well over 175 lbs. There are many other sizes available.
The basic design is as follows. The bow is connected to a stock. This keeps the device loaded even if not utilized. The lever is connected to the stock. This helps in loading. The arrow will fire after the lever is released. Some variations to this fundamental design are available.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Regardless of the size of a crossbow, the weapon is very precise. The device also has a longer range compared to the traditional longbow. The average longbow has a shooting distance of 280 feet (255 meters). The crossbow meanwhile, can span 380 yards (360 meters). If the arrow is properly made, it will penetrate plate armor.
They are also easier to use. This makes it a suitable weapon for those who lack physical strength to use a longbow. The biggest drawback is the loading time. Six longbow arrows can be fired for every single crossbow arrow that is loaded.
The device is basically a redesigned bow and arrow. The weapon originated in China sometime around 6 BC. But it did not take hold in Europe until almost a thousand years later. There is evidence the Romans knew about it but they preferred the longbow.
Legend has it that William the Conqueror introduced the crossbow to Europe during the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is a fact that Richard I’s armies brought the weapon with them at the Crusades. It would become the assassin’s favorite weapon.
Eventually, usage of the weapon became widespread in the UK and the rest of Europe. The weapon remained in use until the 15th century. After the 15th century, the weapon was limited to hunting duties. Today, it is still used in target practice and hunting.
Currently there are many styles available. Some are designed in the traditional manner. Others have a pistol grip. The biggest are the military size models. The larger models are more powerful, but they are not suited for beginners and novices.
The size of a crossbow is not the only thing people should look for. They should also determine what material is used. The most popular are polymer plastics, metal and wood.