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A crossbow, also known as horizontal bow, is a type of weapon based on the bow and consisting of a horizontal bow-like assembly mounted on a stock. It shoots projectiles called bolts or quarrels. The medieval crossbow was called by many names, most of which were derived from the word ballista, a torsion siege engine resembling a crossbow.
Historically, crossbows played a significant role in the warfare of East Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean. The invention of the crossbow in ancient China caused a major shift in the role of projectile weaponry. The traditional bow and arrow had long been a specialized weapon that required a considerable training, physical strength, and expertise to operate with any degree of efficiency. In many cultures, bowmen were considered a separate and superior caste, despite usually being drawn from the common class, as their archery skill-set was essentially developed from birth (similar to many horseman cultures) and was impossible to reproduce outside a pre-established cultural tradition, which many nations lacked. In contrast, the crossbow was the first projectile weapon to be simple, cheap, and physically undemanding enough to be operated by large numbers of conscript soldiers, thus enabling virtually any nation to field a potent force of ranged crossbowmen with little expense beyond the cost of the weapons themselves. In Europe, crossbows became widely used in the Early Middle Ages, and this led to the ascendancy of large mercenary armies of crossbowmen (best exemplified by the Genoese crossbowmen), and the eventual demise of the heavily armored aristocratic knight, as armies became progressively dominated by conscripts equipped with increasingly powerful ranged projectile weapons.
In modern times, crossbows have been largely supplanted by firearms in most roles, but are still widely used for shooting sports, hunting, and when shooting in relative silence is an important consideration.

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  1. h4344

    Crossbow Storage?

    Quick Questions related to the storage of crossbows. Is it preferable to remove the string for extended storage duration or is there no harm in storing one while its strung? I thought it would be acceptable seeing how they come strung in the box (Atleast mine did). Any input from someone with...
  2. h4344

    Laws relating to crossbow shooting?

    So I am probably gonna pick up an entry level crossbow here in a few weeks and was wondering if there were specific restrictions on where you could target practice with them here in Washington?
  3. gun.deals

    SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package, 235 FPS - $98.99 (Free S/H over $49 w/code)

    SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package, 235 FPS - $98.99 (Free S/H over $49 w/code "SH2735")
  4. gun.deals

    Barnett Quad Edge Crossbow - $199.99 (Free S/H over $99 w/code)

    Barnett Quad Edge Crossbow - $199.99 (Free S/H over $99 w/code "97FREE")
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