The Bullet Shooting Crossbow
This crossbow has not, to my knowledge, ever been properly described,
though both Daniel and Blaine in their books on rural sports notice it
in a cursory manner, the last-named author giving a fairly good engraving
Thomas Waring, in his 'Treatise on Archery,' 1824, also gives a small
sketch and a short account of the weapon.
The improved crossbow in question appears to have been of English manufacture
only. I can find no trace of its having been made or used abroad, though
its predecessor the stonebow was a popular sporting weapon in France, Germany
and Italy, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The modern Continental
bullet crossbow has a barrel, Chapter XLVI.
I give below the names of some of the best makers in former days of
bullet crossbows such as here described :
R. Braggs, 43 High Holborn, London ; T. Jackson, 29 Edward Street, Portman
Square, London; Gameson and Co., London ; Parker, Bury St. Edmunds ; Barker,
Wigan ; J. Johnson, Manchester ; Hyham, Warrington.
Hyham (now Daintith) was famed for the excellence of his crossbows and,
I believe, made a larger number than anyone else. The gunmakers of Chester
were also well known for the powerful and accurate bullet crossbows they
I will explain the construction and management of this weapon for the
benefit of those of my readers who may happen to possess one that is out
of repair, and who wish to put it into working order.
Fig. 115, Opposite Page, Is a Bullet Crossbow. Its Parts Are:
A.A. The steel bow (length about 2 ft. 6 in. ; width at centre, 3/4
in. ; thickness at centre, 5/8 in.).
B.B. The bow-string. C.C. The cross trees. D. The pocket for the
bullet. E. The loop behind the pocket which is hitched by hand over the
catch of the lock preparatory to bending the bow.
F. The metal fork across which the skein of thread is stretched that
carries the bead which acts as a fore-sight. This fork hinges down flat
when not required for taking aim.
G. The lock and its case.
H. The catch of the lock which, when the bow is bent, holds the stretched
string secure till it is released by pulling the trigger T, to be seen
beneath the stock.
M. The back-sight with its peep holes. This, like the fore-sight, hinges
down flat (over the top of the lock) when not required for aiming.
N.N. The steel lever. This lever pulls back the lock together with the