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How to Make a Hunting Crossbow?

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Every hunter once started out as a novice and this involves using easy tools while in the wild. One of the easy tools the newbies always go hunting with is the hunting crossbow.

A crossbow is a medieval bow that is fixed across a wooden pull and has a groove on the bolt with a mechanism for drawing and releasing the string. The same way you train with other hunting tools before you can use them effectively, you should also practice with a crossbow before you can use it efficiently.

Photo Credit: Thomas Quine, Flickr.com

You can find different kinds of crossbows available in the market, but the focus of this article will be on how to make a hunting crossbow.

Before we delve into the actual making of the hunting crossbow, it is important that we get to know the parts.

Parts of a Hunting Crossbow

The parts of a hunting crossbow include the bow, stock, and the trigger. The arrow is also a different component that is released from the crossbow.

1. Bow

The bow is made up of a string and an arched limb. Some people know the bow as a framework. The curved edges of the bow are attached to the stock, and on two edges of the bow, you will fix the limbs. The power you need to release the arrows depends on how the limbs are fixed.  

This shows that with adequate pressure, you will definitely achieve better shooting accuracy. We have two kinds of bows; they are recurve and compound bows.

The compound bow is more rigid than the recurve bow because compound bows are usually stiff. Most crossbows are made from fiberglass because of its ageless and strong nature.

2. Stock  

Stock is where other parts of the crossbow are attached to. The stock helps you to carry and grasp the crossbow very well when you are aiming your arrow at the prey.

Stocks that are easy to use help you to hold the crossbow very well, ensuring that the fired arrow hits the prey. Materials used to make the stock includes wood, molded synthetic plastic and even composite plastic materials.

3. Trigger

The trigger is constructed to help you launch the bolt. The trigger is used to stretch the string and hold it in a position before you launch the arrow.

You have to tilt the crossbow to a particular direction and stretch the trigger towards the rear. By doing this, you will produce enough force that will be used to launch the arrow at a very quick speed.

Make sure that the trigger is produced in a manner that it can grasp the string very well and prevent launching the arrow when you are not aware.

4. Arrow

The pointed part you launch from the crossbow is called an arrow. It is particularly important that the arrows are the same size as the crossbow.

This is because, if the arrow is too light, it will make it difficult for you to have an accurate shot. The same thing is applicable if it is too heavy. You have to attach a notch and feathers to the arrows so that the arrows will move very quickly and in the direction you want it.

Video: How to make a good hunting Crossbow

This video explains how you can make a hunting crossbow.

Various kinds of Crossbows

Crossbows have experienced series of changes since it was invented to become a killer machine that we cherish today as they can be used to carry out many tasks. The initial use of a crossbow was to fight wars in the ancient times.

However, crossbows produced today perform many kinds of tasks like hunting, target practice, tagging marine life and removal of blubber from whales.

Understanding how crossbows function will help you to make your own crossbow for hunting. Hunting crossbow is specially made to launch different kinds of arrows with high-level accuracy when you are hunting. Some of these crossbows include the following:

Recurve Crossbows

It is the oldest crossbow in the market. It is called a recurve bow because of their special curves that indicate the tip of the bow that is moving away from the hunter.

The curves ensure that the string is stable to prevent it from moving too fast. The curves carry out this task by tightening and fastening the string in the curve and also to ensure the safety of the hunter and that of the crossbow.  

The latest crossbows in the market is produced from magnesium, aluminium alloy or carbon fibre which makes it less difficult for you to target the animals.

These crossbows can be stretched more than other crossbows which makes it possible for the arrows to travel at a higher speed.

The crossbow makes a lot of noise when you release it because of the force in stretching the bow. It is very powerful when you use it for hunting big animals because it has a high impact and can take them down easily.

The most significant downside of this crossbow is that it tightens its grip on the string which will force you to be buying new strings always unless you initially bought an original string.

Also, the recurve crossbow is exceptionally large and makes it very difficult for you to move it in the forest.

Buy this CenterPoint Primal Recurve Crossbow on Amazon

Compound Crossbow

This crossbow has strange characteristics when you compare it with recurve crossbow. The embedded features make it totally difficult for you to assemble it when you buy it.

This crossbow is not difficult to use that is why most hunters have it. It comes with small limbs when you compare it with the recurve crossbow but it is very strong and has enough power because of its stiff nature.

This crossbow uses artificial materials which makes it ageless. Because of the way it was made, the compound crossbow is efficient in taking down animals and withstands adverse weather conditions.

There is a string attached to a pulley system in the crossbow and it is strapped to the second limb through the same system. If you pull the string backward, it makes the pulley to rotate and the cables ensure that the limbs are bent, conserving enough energy for you to fire the arrows.   

One merit of this crossbow is that it is easy to use because of the small stretch length. These crossbows are very tight, limited in size than recurves and this makes it possible for you to use in small places.

Because of the way it was created, it reduces quivering and drawback which ensures that the crossbow hits its target without unnecessary noise.

The downside of this crossbow is that it is heavier than recurve. If the string is damaged, you have to look for a special device to repair it. This crossbow loses its accuracy when it is hit by something strong.

Because of the various parts of this hunting crossbow, it is difficult to keep it fresh. This crossbow experiences wear and tear when you use it for a short period of time.  

Buy this CenterPoint AXCS185CK Sniper 370 Crossbow on Amazon

Rifle Crossbow

This crossbow has the characteristics of a bow and the features of a rifle which makes it the best tool for hunting. Typical of rifles, this bow’s most important asset is its ability to hit the animal without any difficulty.

This crossbow comes with higher technological improvements such as greater sights and the ability to carry out different functions because of fiber and a foot-pull.

It is also made to travel long distances and with a correct shot as it travels 250 feet when you fire it. These crossbows are smaller than other crossbows available in shops, it is just six inches wide.

The implication of this is that you can use to go to the smallest places in the wilds with it and you will not alert the prey of your presence.

The metal feature of this crossbow is the best in the market. It ensures that the crossbow fire bolts without any friction at a very high speed that has never been seen in any crossbow in the market.

The demerit of this wonderful crossbow is that it needs a large energy level to release them without missing its target. The reason is that they store large amounts of energy more than other crossbows. This crossbow’s cocking system is also difficult to operate.

Buy this Manticore 150lbs Wood Crossbow with Scope on Amazon

Crossbow Pistol

This is a small crossbow but has a high precision. It is also easy to move around when you are hunting in the forest. This crossbow is easy to make and the trigger you find on the pistol ensures that you take your time to track your prey.

So, when you release the arrow from the bow it will definitely touch the prey. They are also tight and can gun down its target without any difficulty.

Buy this BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow on Amazon

Monster Crossbow

This crossbow is noticeably big and is not meant to be used by those that are new to hunting. Experienced hunters should also be careful while using this dangerous hunting tool.

It is mostly used by those that see hunting as an occupation and have one thousand pounds stretch power. It is also used by hunters who target big animals like caribou or elk.

Automatic Crossbow

The initial design of a crossbow is to put an arrow and fire it one after the other. However, this crossbow is entirely different from this design. Automatic crossbow is made from wood and can contain many arrows at the same time thereby decreasing the time you will use to reload the arrows.

This crossbow has a seamless and perfect arrow firing system that will give you an ammunition that can kill many animals at the same time. Automatic crossbow also helps you to curtail an onslaught from a pack of dangerous animals in the wild.

Wood and Aluminum Crossbow

This crossbow is made from wood and aluminum which ensure that the bow is not heavy. This crossbow is not difficult to carry while you are hunting and can perfectly kill the game when you track it down.

You can make this bow by yourself and it will function like the ones you buy from the market. The front bead makes it possible for the hunter to have an accurate view of the animals before he/she fire. 

Buy this Prophecy 80 Pound Aluminum Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow on Amazon

Crossbow Revolver

This crossbow is very fast and perfect in targeting animals as it fires arrows at a very fast pace that you will not see the arrow with your eyes. This crossbow can be made at home. With a toothbrush, you will be able to fire four arrows correctly without reloading the revolver.

Check out these other detailed articles

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How to Make a Hunting Crossbow

There are steps involved in making a hunting crossbow and they include:

To make a hunting crossbow, you need some materials. Some of these materials include strings, knife, a sharp saw, hardwood planks, wood glue, sandpaper, wood rasp file, chisel, and a measuring tape. When you get all these materials, you are sure to proceed with the steps outlined below.

1. Prepare all the materials

2. Construct the limb

3. Make the stock

4. Make the trigger

5. Construct the bolt

6. Assemble the parts

Step 1. Prepare All the Materials

If you are out for hunting and you have a sudden need to make a crossbow, make sure that you are with a quality knife and a rope. After that, you have to look for a wood which you will use to build the crossbow.

Make sure that the wood is very hard and at the same time flexible. A good example of a wood you can use to make a bow is bamboo.

If you do not know what a bamboo looks like, here’s a guide. Bamboos are green, just like a tree, and have narrow leaves with hollow jointed stems.
Now, you can select the bamboo that has a stem diameter of one or two inches and severe three stems, which is like 1 meter long each.

Ensure you have a string with you, but in case you don’t, you can search for a fibrous plant that can help you to make a string. Such plants include cattail, yucca, agave, basswood, maple, cedar, etc.

If you are going to make a crossbow when you are at home, then then it will be made from a wood plank and PVC pipe and other materials that are necessary for constructing the crossbow.

Step 2. Construct the Limb

When you are making the crossbow in the forest, you might not have any other option than to use a bamboo stem. The bamboo size must be 1 meter and you have to cut it into half of its normal length.

Make the inner part to be smooth with the knife. The next step is to bend the bamboo in such a way that the inner arc will become the outer part of the bamboo. You can achieve this with the help of your knee pinning it down.

However, you have to carry this out very gently so that you will not exert high pressure on the bamboo and break it. You have to make two grooves that are facing each other and also one inch away from the edge of the limb.

You have to do this at both edges because this is where you will secure the string.

Step 3. Make the Stock

When you are using bamboo to make a crossbow, use one-meter bamboo and create an opening that is about 1.5 inches away from the edge of the bamboo.

The opening must pass through the bamboo and should be wide enough to accommodate the limb you have already made.

How this opening can be made is by making two-angle slashes that will produce a “V” shape at the two edges facing each other on the bamboo. Furthermore, create a square opening that will pass across the middle of the stock which should be very large to accommodate the trigger.

But if you are making the crossbow at home, then you have to use a wood plank to make the stock. You have to buy a wood plank of about 2 inches wide, 2 inches tall, and 38 inches long.

You have to cling it as if you are clinging a crossbow and spot the place where the trigger will be located. After that, create a rectangular opening that is about 3 inches long and an additional three that are over four-inch-wide with the help of a drill, chisel, and wood rasp.

Furthermore, locate the middle of the stock and create an opening that is four-inch-deep. This will run from the anterior-edge of the stock to the opening that was made for the trigger. The opening should be very big so that the arrow will not be stopped when you shoot it.

Similarly, make another opening that will be just an inch away from the anterior edge of the stock. This opening should be the measurement of the PVC pipe limb.

There is also a possibility for you to make it the crossbow handle. This can be done by sealing a plank of wood at the edge of the stock using gum.

Step 4. Make the Trigger

If you are using bamboo to make the crossbow, create a wood that is in the form of a “T” shape. Ensure that the horizontal area is 1 inch long while the vertical area should be 2 inches long.

You have to make the horizontal area to be very strong so that it can hold the string and the vertical area should also be strong to keep the force coming from the string.

Also, when you are producing the crossbow at home, all you have to do is to cut out a very small amount of wood plank and use it to produce the trigger.

With the help of a saw, create “L” shape from the wood that is about 1 inch wide and less than three over four inches thick. The highest point of the “L” is about three to four inches.

Furthermore, create an opening that is about one over eight inch in the middle of the “L”, along the width of the exterior part. At this stage, you have to make another opening at the intersection of the “L” the place you will put the screw in order to secure the trigger to the stock.

Step 5. Construct the Bolt

To produce the bolt in the forest, you have the option to make it with the bamboo by dividing the bamboo into a smaller piece of about three-inch-wide, while making one edge to be needle-like.

Detach the arrow and attach a notch at the edge. Some people also attach feathers to the back of the notch to increase the arrow movement.

Also, when you are producing the bolt at home, then make it with a dowel. The expanse must be farther than the space from the trigger to the edge of the bow.

Make one edge of the dowel to be pointed like a needle and attach a notch to the other edge. Use gum to attach feathers at both edges of the notch.

Step 6. Assemble the Parts

When you are making a crossbow with bamboo, put the limb inside the anterior opening you made before and ensure that it is secured in the middle.

Fasten the string at both edges of the limb where you made the grooves and tight them properly. You have to bend the limb a bit when you add the string.

Put the trigger inside the square opening and stretch the string in a way that allows you to glide it into the trigger. Ensure that it is grasped properly to stop the unwanted firing of the arrow.

Then, put the bottom of the arrow in contact with the string and shoot when you are ready. When there is no string, then use the fibrous plants by distorting them.  

When you are using the PVC pipe and wood to make the crossbow, put the PVC pipe inside the opening at the anterior of the stock ensuring that it is at the middle and tight it properly.

Fasten the string on the two edges of the limb, the place that there is an opening and tight it properly. You must bend the limb slightly.  

Then, put the trigger inside the rectangular opening in the stock and tighten them ensuring that it is flexible, so that you can stretch it. Stretch the string till it touches the trigger and glide it over the groove of the trigger.

The last step is to put the bottom of the arrow on the string. The arrow should be suitable for the opening in the crossbow without anything obstructing its flight. You are good to go from here.

Hope you can easily make your personal hunting crossbow now? You can also check out how to make a hunting slingshot here.

How to Make a Hunting Crossbow — Related FAQs

How many FPS does a crossbow need to kill a deer?

It takes a crossbow 300 FPS at 50yards to kill a deer. This is so that the bow will produce adequate kinetic energy to kill the animal. When you are hunting deer, keep a distance of at least 65 ft-lbs. away from the animals.  

Deer hunters should be at a distance of three hundred FPS or beyond but whitetail deer hunters cannot reach this distance. Deer hunters should start from 250 FPS or more. This is a good distance to hunt a deer successfully. But you cannot achieve 250 fps while hunting elks, even 275 fps at ten yards out will not still be enough to kill elk. 

What is an advantage of hunting with a crossbow?

The advantage of hunting with a crossbow when you compare it with a normal bow is that the crossbow can be cocked at a full length and you will not need extra effort or energy to sustain the crossbow. 

At this point, you will put all your attention on targeting the animal and squeezing the trigger if you want to fire the shot. Because of this, disabled or young hunters who find it difficult drawing the normal bow can fire the crossbows without any difficulty.

What is the effective range for a crossbow?

The most effective range that can kill any animal for crossbow hunters is 40 yards. Any hunter that is within this distance can shoot the crossbow perfectly and kill the animal he is aiming at. The most important factor in all this is kinetic energy. The trajectory of an arrow is downwards, if the hunter is very far from the animal, it means that the arrows will lose extra kinetic energy before it reaches its target. 

When the arrow is bigger, it will reduce the speed of the bow but it has the capacity to sustain the kinetic energy until the arrow hits the animal. When your hands are steady and you are working with a bigger arrow, you can fire your shots from about 50 yards. This is the highest distance an arrow can cover when you are using crossbow. 

Can you kill a deer at 100 yards with a crossbow?

You can kill a deer at 100 yards with a crossbow if it is a modern hunting crossbow. Modern crossbows blow past 400 feet per second (fps). For example, an arrow of 400-grain moves at about 400FPS when fired from the crossbow goes down at about 93 inches-which is over 7 feet away from the 100 yards. The implication of this is that your arrow will not be obstructed by anything when you fire it from a distance during hunting.

Can a 175 lb crossbow kill animals?

A 175lb crossbow can kill animals. Bigger animals like bears, elk and caribou with high fat density and thicker hide can be gunned down by crossbows that have 175lbs or higher as their draw weight. These big animals are not fast enough to escape the fired arrow or bolt; this means that what you need to kill them easily is power not speed. 

Additionally, most hunting crossbows are very fast with a few topping over 200 pounds. Good hunters always go for these crossbows.

What is the minimum FPS to kill a deer with a bow?

The minimum FPS to kill a deer with a bow is one hundred and seventy FPS. A 400grain of arrow travelling at a speed of one hundred and seventy FPS possesses good energy to kill mature deer. 

If you are in the forest to hunt a deer, you will not require a high amount of FPS to kill a deer. The most important thing is for you to fire a great shot. There are some kids that fire bows beyond 170 FPS which makes the arrow to go through the deer. The most intriguing thing is that you can kill bigger animals with smaller kinetic energy than regularly recommended. 

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