Small, easily concealed and devestatingly stylish, this hand crossbow could have served a dozen different purposes. In the hands of nobles, it would have been an ideal sport weapon, good for target practice or hunting small game. In the hands of a more ... uh ... unscrupulous owner, this crossbow would have been a devastating way to deliver a shock of poison into an opponent. And, in the hands of a deranged fat man wearing tiny angel wings and a white toga, it could have been a way of advancing his fantasy of being the embodiment of Cupid, shooting young lovers around the castle as he cackled and yelled "Ha! Another love connection!!" (I believe I need psychological help. Please. Send a psychologist. They keep me locked here in the dark, pounding out these descriptions with nothing to keep me company but dozens of weapons. Dear God, make it stop...)
Please pay no mind to those rantings. We now continue with the description of this hand crossbow.
Although too small to be used in battle, this type of crossbow could certainly have been a lethal weapon at close range. With the medical techniques of the middle ages and early rennaisance, a bolt wound like this one could easily have killed its target, assuming the aggressor hit a vital area. The spring-taught iron arms would have propelled the bolt deep into an opponent's unarmored body.
Although this crossbow doesn't actually fire, all of the mechanisms work, including the trigger and the hook that retracts, releasing the bow string. The bow was crafted in Spain, with fascinating, intricate carvings on most of the metal. The barrel of the crossbow arches downward in a beautiful half circle, and the arms of the bow have a stylish double-curve.
A curved wooden stock fits perfectly in the palm of the hand and is compact enough to allow concealment. A thin. two-edged quarrel slides easily into a notch at the front of the crossbow and completes the reprodcution.
This is a fantastic and unique piece to add to any costume, and an even better display piece. The craftsmanship is flawless and the orginality of it is unmatched.
Overall Length: 16.25 inches
Barrel Length:7 inches
Weight: 1 lb 4 oz.
The crossbow was the most powerful missle weapon of its day (excluding seige equipment like the catapult and ballista, and the insults of the famed Grunhilda the Shrew).
Usually consisting of a wooden stock (or tiller), long wooden bow arms, a powerful hemp bowstring, a pulley for winding the string, and a stirrup for archers to place their foot while winding the bow. The pulley allowed the cord to be pulled to an insane level of tautness. This crazy tension would hulr the bolts with terrifying force and speed, allowing the bolts to penetrate most armor.
Crossbows allowed all soldiers to become ranged warriors. This was quite different from the past, when longbowmen were trained and drilled for years before becoming proficient. With a crossbow, you merely had to point and shoot. Longbowmen were still used in warfare for many reasons, not the least of which was their capacity for indirect fire (firing over their troops into the enemy troops far off). The crossbow, though, allowed the average warrior to fire one volley at their charging opponents before drawing their melee weapon (one shot was usually all you could get with a crossbow, as they were fairly slow to reload).
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The flintlock pistol was the greatest advance in pirating since the wooden leg. The concept was fairly simple: gunpowder was stuffed into the barrel. A lead ball, usually wrapped in some sort of fabric, was stuffed in. A hammer was then pulled back half-way and left that way until the gun was ready to fire. The pistol technically was not meant to fire in this position, although sometimes they were known to go off half-cocked (and yes, that is the origin of that expression). When the gun was ready to be fired, the hammer was pulled back all the way and the trigger was squeezed. If you're feeling flinty, go check out the Strongblade selection of flintlock pistols, blunderbuss pistols and flintlock rifles.