For example, Sun Tzu writes, “Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of the trigger.” He refers in chapter V to the traits of the weapon, and in chapter XII to the use of the crossbow in warfare.Additionally, there is undoubted evidence that the weapon was used for military purposes during the Warring States period in the second half of the 4th Century BC and onwards. Archaeologists have located bronze crossbow bolts that date back as early as the mid–5th Century BC in Yutaishan, Hubei, and a Kingdom of Chu burial site.It shoots projectiles that are sometimes called bolts or quarrels.
The bow string for the Zhuge crossbow consisted of animal sinew twisted into a cord of suitable strength, often reinforced with quills from bird feathers, preferably from swans or ducks.
Wondering what the range was of these early crossbows?
The Zhuge crossbows, also referred to as the Chu-ko-nu or lián nǔ, were crossbows where the separate actions of stringing the crossbow, placing the bolt in the rail, and then firing the crossbow could be accomplished with a simple one-handed motion while keeping the crossbow itself perfectly stationary.
Allowing for a higher rate of fire than a normal crossbow, the Zhuge crossbow utilized a bolt-containing magazine on top of the bow with a rectangular lever moved forward and backward to work the mechanism.
I never realized how many of you were history buffs, or at least wanted to be history buffs.
However, one of the most requested articles I’ve received was a piece on the origins and history of the crossbow.
The Chinese repeating crossbow had a range of approximately 360 feet, and an effective range of 260 feet.
A miniature guard wielding a handheld crossbow from the top balcony of a model watchtower, made of glazed earthenware during the Eastern Han era (25–220 AD) of China, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Virtually any nation could enter the field of projectile weaponry using a crossbow, because adequate training on the weapon could be accomplished in a matter of weeks, instead of the years required for a bowman.
The earliest mention of anything related to a crossbow that I could find actually comes from the Bible, in reference to the ballista.
This particular reference makes mention of the use of a giant crossbow in the 6th to 5th Centuries BC, which is right around the late Spring and Autumn Period.