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Great American Outdoors


Have You Ever Wondered Just How Lethal A Crossbow Is…Let’s Find Out

If you are an experienced bow hunter, this might be a little too boring for you. After all, you already know the answer to the question right? But for those of us who have never even fired a crossbow, I think that you might find this particular video rather stimulating in it’s content. After all, shooting at a zombie torso is far more interesting than shooting at a paper target.

Since I am NO EXPERT when it comes to archery, I went to a couple of different sources to flesh this article out, they are: Wikipedia and Pro-Tracker Archery, so all of the information below comes from those two sources.

This paragraph comes form Wikipedia:

A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching device consisting of a bow-like assembly called a prod, mounted horizontally on a main frame called a tiller, which is hand-held in a similar fashion to the stock of a long firearm. Crossbows shoot arrow-like projectiles called bolts or quarrels.

This next bit comes from Pro-Tracker Archery:

There are most definitely some great pros and some serious cons about using a crossbow. So, let’s check them out:

Pro: No Draw Time
Unlike with a traditional or compound bow, there is no need to concentrate on making a full draw while maintaining your aim to make your shot. Once a crossbow is cocked, a mechanism maintains full draw until the trigger is released. This not only conserves energy for the hunter, it allows him to focus solely on his or her target and properly aiming their shot, increasing overall accuracy. Though it is always good to consider the potential for a poor shot, or for nature to rear her head whenever you’re on a hunt.

Con: They Can Be Heavy
Traditional and compound bows are generally relatively light-weight, making it easier to carry them while you hunt. Unfortunately, while there have been many advances in overall construction to make crossbows lighter, the reality is they are still quite heavy. While all the complex parts and pieces give the crossbow quite a bit of power and make aiming more accurate, it also makes it significantly heavier than a traditional bow.
The increased weight also tends to make crossbows much louder, and in a sport where stealth is your friend this is a big disadvantage. Luckily, we noticed at the ATA show this year that manufacturers have been hard at work improving the overall designs and decreasing the weight, making them much quieter. A great example of this can be seen in Ravin Crossbows.

Pro: High Velocity
Thanks to the mechanical systems in the crossbow, these guys are little, but mighty. While a traditional or compound bow will have a draw of around 70 pounds, crossbows often have draw strengths of at least 100 pounds with some of the newer models slinging arrows with up to 200 pounds of draw strength. This increased strength also means an increase in velocity, allowing your arrows to fly at up to 450 feet per second. Higher speeds and more power also means deeper penetration, increasing your odds of a kill shot. However, you should always be prepared in case you have a poor shot or nature decides to rear her head.

Con: Long Reload Time
With traditional and compound bows, a good hunter will have an incredibly short reload time, allowing them to send off several shots within 1 minute. Since the only requirement to reload a bow is to slip the knock onto your string and draw, you are not only able to maintain aim while reloading but can reload with just one hand. Reloading a crossbow has many more steps. You must set the shaft, pull the draw until it locks, raise your crossbow, sight in your target, correct your aim, then you are able to let off another shot. This more involved process can easily cost you your animal.

Alright, now that we have all that out of the way, let’s see just what kind of damage that Scott can to to that zombie torso!



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