Crossbows are medieval weapons that were fairly accurate and were capable of causing grievous harm to man and beast. More recently they've been used to hunt game like rabbits, squirrels and pheasants. While advanced woodworking skills aren't necessary to make your crossbow, you'll find it's much easier if you have mastered some basic skills.
If you have not seen a crossbow before, visit your local library and look at books which feature pictures of crossbows as there are more than one type of design, else there is always the internet to check out what a crossbow looks like.
Making a simple crossbow:
- The butt of an air gun
- A trigger
- Strong rubber
- 2 pieces of pipe -- one about a foot long, the other about one and half feet and a half inch in diameter
- A foot-long piece of wood for the arrow
- Beginning: Drill a hole into the front portion of the rifle butt and fix the longer pipe into it, affix the pipe straight into the butt of the gun as this will have an impact on accuracy later.
- Structuring: Drill a small hole into the long pipe towards its end and insert the small pipe into it to form a T. Secure the T-joint so they that they are strongly secured to each other.
- Trigger point: Decide where on the butt of the gun you wish to place the trigger and drill in a hole there and deploying a nut and bolt mechanism adjust and secure the trigger.
- Final step: Affix the rubber to the two ends of the front of the smaller pipe and secure the rubber by securing it to both the ends.
- Firing the crossbow: Load the arrow into the barrel of the cross bow, pull back the rubber and secure it behind the trigger now pull the trigger to fire, the rubber will push out the arrow towards its target.
Now, that you've tested out the crossbow, here are some necessary and important safety tips to follow when you are using it.
- Check your crossbow before and make sure all parts work before firing. Practice on a bull's eye target before venturing into the woods to hunt game.
- Familiarize yourself with your target and what is beyond your target as well.
- Almost all forms of game hunting require a license to hunt so make sure you have consulted the appropriate authorities to acquire one. If you have hit an animal approach it carefully as they may not be dead and their reactions can sudden and unpredictable.
- Let someone know that you are hunting in a particular area. Be aware of the physical locations of your hunting partners at all times. Scope out the area where you propose to hunt and always carry a cell phone or a radio in case of an emergency. Watch out for people who may stray into your line of vision while you're preparing to file the crossbow.
- Crossbows are lethal weapons; hence never jokingly point a loaded crossbow at anybody while the rubber is attached to the trigger. Through practice try to ascertain where exactly the arrow will hit before you pull the trigger.
- Never climb a mountain or a tree with a loaded crossbow which is already cocked to shoot. Never shoot if there is doubt in hitting the target.
- Never allow children near a crossbow nor allow them to use it, unless under close supervision and the trigger should not be cocked.
These few thoughtful and safe actions will ensure that you enjoy your crossbow the way it is meant to be, safely and securely.