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Old 04-25-2018, 07:03 PM
sixtus sixtus is offline
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Default Crossbows and arrows post SHTF- the realities



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I answer a few questions on crossbows when they come up. No expert myself, only as a high powered crossbow owner one of the things that makes them a non-SHTF option for me at face value is the expense of arrows. These bows running 300fps will often warp, destroy or plain lose your basic aluminium or carbon shaft arrows in the normal course of hunting, and broadheads as well.

At quite a few bucks each its a signficant expense to have anything remotely like a long term supply, many $thousands.

So firstly what are the serious traditional or vertical bow preppers doing regards arrows. My assumption is making your own arrows is part of the game. Also wooden shafts in bulk?

This is probably better on a crossbow specific forum but some related questions would be:

1.what can wooden arrows feed post SHTF. Can wood be driven in a high performance crossbow once your last carbon shaft shatters or aluminium shaft bends.
2. Where does wood max out, 300 fps, 350fps, 380fps?
3. Maybe wood is heavy enough to drop the bolt speed to levels the wood works fine?

Again not interested in the headaches of a crossbow prep plan for myself. I'll stick to guns and bulk ammo for real life. This is more an exercise for those guys bent on taking a crossbow into SHTF. What are their plans for arrows?
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:17 PM
Flinter Flinter is offline
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I wouldn't shoot a wooden bolt out of any crossbow that was over about 120 pounds draw weight. Even at that weight I'd be reluctant to fire a home made arrow. If you ever watch a video of a 60 pound recurve shooting an arrow and watch how that arrow flexes I doubt you would either.

I'm pretty though. I'd like to stay that way.

I made a stand that holds 2 dozen bolts. I also keep 2 dozen broad heads on hand. The initial cost was softened because I bought most of the broad heads (RAGE) after hunting season, so the sale price was half of the normal price.
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Old 04-26-2018, 11:12 PM
sixtus sixtus is offline
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Thanks for the input. I guess this is a strong case against crossbow as high volume SHTF weapon. Wood won't like the high draw weights. So once those expensive arrows fail or get lost, you have a club.

I am wondering if some type of hardware metal tubing might be possible to buy bulk.... Then just buy the other consumables bulk , nocks, vanes etc and fletching jig etc. Again out of my interest levels, too many headaches. The crossbow sites probably have high volume shooters with the best ideas.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:10 AM
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You could use a cross bow for small game, and it is silent. but once you get your game some one with a gun would take it away from you.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:28 PM
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You could use a cross bow for small game, and it is silent. but once you get your game some one with a gun would take it away from you.
YEAH.. but they would have to know you are out there and find you first.
One of the reasons there is an appeal to "primitive" weapons.

although in the crossbows now there is at least one out there that will fire 4" groups at 100yds.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:48 PM
tackleberry444 tackleberry444 is offline
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crossbow bolts are 1.50 at the wally world in our town after hunting season. they still have hundreds of them, aluminum and carbon bolts. I don't think a crossbow or bow is a negative in a bad situation for certain tasks. wood probably could be used in making a bolt but it would be much thicker than a normal crossbow bolt to handle the strain of release. crossbows were used as WAR Bows for a few hundred years where the only material for making a bolt was wood. those guys had to use a crank to wind back their string.
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Old 04-27-2018, 06:13 PM
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What scenario are we talking? Anything short of combat a skilled archer with a compound bow can make 6 arrows last a long time. My dad has boxes of old arrows laying around still in good condition from decades ago, the only reason he buys new is upgrades in technology or upgrade his bow. If you are using it solely for hunting it can last a good long time. Bow hunting takes a lot of skill and if you practice that skill and can stalk a deer, elk, antelope, or any other animal you are hunting you can make those arrows last. One of the biggest problem I've seen is power hungry people with 85# + draws destroying arrows that go clean through an animal or hit a rib. Even a good recurve that you can break down you can make arrows for and put food on the table for years to come. I hear a lot of people complaining about bows and crossbows on the breakage factor and getting new parts. You "could" potentially make a device to use your arrows/bolts after a breakage something like an atlatl or a slingshot and still hunt shorter distance.

My bow is my back up, put food on the table will never be my goto for any true survival situation where I"m bugging out as it is too bulky for what it can do vs any other weapon. Where I live in Hawaii here I'd bug in, water close enough wild pigs, birds, mongoose around. Bugging in I'd go out with the bow if hogs were in the front yard just for the simplicity and silence. As anything it's shooters choice, but bows are a lot more skill and practice involved than firearms.
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:25 PM
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buy you a shop smith, some correct OD 6065, or 7075 alloy rounds, and get used to drilling and milling your own crossbow bolts. not that hard to do. been doing it for my old Barnett Commando 220mag for years. get used to making them now, when you want to, rather than later when you have to.......
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Old 04-28-2018, 02:15 AM
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buy you a shop smith, some correct OD 6065, or 7075 alloy rounds, and get used to drilling and milling your own crossbow bolts. not that hard to do. been doing it for my old Barnett Commando 220mag for years. get used to making them now, when you want to, rather than later when you have to.......
seems rather impracticable for after SHTF.......
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Old 04-28-2018, 02:23 AM
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seems rather impracticable for after SHTF.......
99% of most SHTF is temporary.
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Old 04-28-2018, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Heal View Post
You could use a cross bow for small game, and it is silent. but once you get your game some one with a gun would take it away from you.
Every crossbow I've been around has been loud. Nowhere near a gun shot, but certainly not silent.

As to the OP, look up a Montagnard crossbow. Very primitive weapon that can be used to very good effect.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:12 AM
sixtus sixtus is offline
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What scenario are we talking? Anything short of combat a skilled archer with a compound bow can make 6 arrows last a long time.
Well the scenario we are talking is crossbows for a start, not compound bows. Crossbow bolts are thicker and shorter to handle the string forces involved. Even then you aren't getting a long time out of 6 bolts. On the fastest xbows you might only be getting 1 shot out of them each.

As you said later in your post, the folks using the really high powered compounds also have this problem.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tackleberry444 View Post
crossbow bolts are 1.50 at the wally world in our town after hunting season. they still have hundreds of them, aluminum and carbon bolts. I don't think a crossbow or bow is a negative in a bad situation for certain tasks. wood probably could be used in making a bolt but it would be much thicker than a normal crossbow bolt to handle the strain of release. crossbows were used as WAR Bows for a few hundred years where the only material for making a bolt was wood. those guys had to use a crank to wind back their string.
Those prices are interesting, are they quality bolts including broadheads at that price?? I'll run this by the North American crossbow forums I visit if so.

As to medieval bows , despite the heavy poundages for the big ones, they had low elasticity and much lower velocities than what modern synthetic limbs can manage. What worked for them doesn't apply to a modern 300-400fps xbow.

Back to the general thread and wood, did some asking on an xbow forum and consensus its seen a bad idea... the string forces for crossbows are far higher than vertical bows. Worst case split arrows and cause injury, also cause dry fire effect of the bows limbs.

Tougher wood could be used I am thinking, but it was pointed out if thicker than normal, the string will be contacting the bolts base below central. Being the string is designed to skim along the rails at a certain height pushing a certain diametre bolt, pushing too low on a taller( thicker) bolt, may have problems with accuracy...

No one appears game to test it out anyway with $1000 bows and eyesight currently functioning.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:10 AM
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I used to make bow fishing bolts for my crossbow. I decided to make them inexpensive enough that If I hit a carp and it swam away with it I wouldn't care.In other words "no strings attached". I wanted them light enough so if I missed they would float.

I made them out of lumber yard dowels. To keep the string from splitting the end, I wrapped the end with thread for about 1/4 inch and then coated the wrappings with epoxy. To keep the points light enough that the bolt would float I had to use a small dia nail with the head cut off. I seated it in a hole in the shaft and then tapered the wood down to a point and coated it with epoxy. I used standard fletching.

I also made decocking bolts much the same way, so I didn't have to struggle lowering the string after hunting, or take the risk of loosing a good bolt. I think I used a 38 special empty for the point.

I didn't use either very much except for testing because a couple of seasons hunting with a crossbow convinced me that it wasn't for me, so I sold it.
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Old 04-28-2018, 03:25 PM
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seems rather impracticable for after SHTF.......
a battery bank if your solar with a inverter. the lil ones are only about 1/4 hp motor.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:47 AM
sixtus sixtus is offline
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So options so far are stocking up on post-season bargains, custom made metal shafts(possibly finding a guy with the right setup if you don't) and there is possibility of wood working as well.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:13 PM
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First thought in my head:
Native Americans were doing fine long after the crossbow was essentially forgotten for a while.
Crossbows are cool but give me a 50# longbow or recurve and there wouldn't be anything you really couldn't do...am sure nobody would have wanted to play manhunt with Fred Bear...
Now I want to break out one of my boys and go for a short walk
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilmac View Post
I used to make bow fishing bolts for my crossbow. I decided to make them inexpensive enough that If I hit a carp and it swam away with it I wouldn't care.In other words "no strings attached". I wanted them light enough so if I missed they would float.

I made them out of lumber yard dowels. To keep the string from splitting the end, I wrapped the end with thread for about 1/4 inch and then coated the wrappings with epoxy. To keep the points light enough that the bolt would float I had to use a small dia nail with the head cut off. I seated it in a hole in the shaft and then tapered the wood down to a point and coated it with epoxy. I used standard fletching.

I also made decocking bolts much the same way, so I didn't have to struggle lowering the string after hunting, or take the risk of loosing a good bolt. I think I used a 38 special empty for the point.

I didn't use either very much except for testing because a couple of seasons hunting with a crossbow convinced me that it wasn't for me, so I sold it.
Bilmac, have you ever tried using a Judo tip with a cross bow? I use em on recurve and have with a compound before, never thought to try em on a crossbow for small game, in tall grass.........damn, got something to do tomorrow, zwickey's claim is you can loose one, so i will put that to the test they list em for 100gr to 145 gr, and i have some 125 gr. their claim to fame is unloose-able and stump shot survivability www.zwickeyarcheryinc.com
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:07 PM
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Seems that a longbow would just be a better choice.

Although, Darryl never seems to run out of bolts with his silent laser guided super cross bow in Walking Dead.
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:42 PM
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Seems that a longbow would just be a better choice.

Although, Darryl never seems to run out of bolts with his silent laser guided super cross bow in Walking Dead.
He always seem to have manufactured bolts that's for sure. But several episodes you see him carving them. And he is always retrieving them from where's he's shot. And a couple times throwing bad ones to the side.
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