If you're wondering how to make a hunting crossbow, we have some tips that are sure to hit the bull's-eye. It's important to note that, before you attempt to make any weapon, you should check your state's hunting regulations to make sure it's built to code. Most states also require you to obtain a license before you can legally hunt game, so make sure to get one before putting your crossbow to use. If built properly, the crossbow is a powerful and potentially deadly weapon. As always, never point a loaded weapon at yourself or at others, and always exercise extreme safety when handling a crossbow. Your crossbow should be used only for target practice or bow and arrow hunting.
The Bow And Bowstring
You'll want to start first by making the bow. Choose a fairly flexible wood, such as hickory or rattan. Make sure the wood is properly dried before working with it. You'll want to carve it down so it's slightly curved in a wide U shape. Always go with the grain of the wood when carving to ensure its stability. The length of the bow can vary, but you can aim for somewhere between 24 inches and 30 inches. Drill a hole on both ends of the bow to fasten the bowstring. You can buy a real bowstring from a retailer, or you can make your own using a few springs and some rope.
You can make the stock, or body, of the crossbow out of a pine two-by-four. You'll want to measure half the length of the bow and mark off this distance on the stock. This is where you're going to put the trigger. Mark off another half foot or so past the trigger to mark the end of the stock. Now you can shape the stock how you'd like. It might be a good idea to stencil a design on the wood first by carving an outline into cardboard.
Once the stock is carved and completed, you'll have to create the trigger mechanism. Drill a hole on the stock where you had previously marked. You'll have to allow enough space for the trigger to be able to pivot. Creating an effective trigger can be a tricky process, so you may have to look up additional information on making a rolling nut trigger.
For a better look at how the trigger mechanisms work on a crossbow, check out a professionally made one, such as an Eagle crossbow. Once the trigger is complete, carve a narrow slot in the top of the stock down to the trigger. This will be the path the bolt, or arrow, travels down. Screw the bow onto the front of the stock and connect a bowstring, and your crossbow is complete. Now you just need some ammunition.
From making the crossbow to taking it out to try, always use caution so you don't hurt yourself or anyone else in your hunting party.
Want to know how to make a hunting bow? These instructions can help you understand how our ancestors hunted for food.