Pistol Crossbow - Cobra 80 lb assembly and test

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posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 01:18 PM
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There's a bit of talk on the crossbow vs firearm in SitX or general hunting.
Being a UK-based kinda guy I went and bought a couple to play with and get trained up on.

Just picked up the first one - A small 'pistol' sized xbow. (Still waiting on the full sized one)

Now it's a bit larger than a pistol and the cocking lever increases its size somewhat. But for someone in a confined space (like a car etc) this isn't as bad as you might expect.

Anyway, here's the low-down:

Came packed in a polystyrene case and everything was in order.



The pistol bolts are nice and small, I think one of these will be excellent for small game and even fresh-water fishing.

Assembling the xbow.
You just slide the 'prod' through the gap, pack it with the tiny slip plate and rubber grommets then tighten the screw with an allen key to fix the 'prod' into place.
Next comes slipping over the two tabs on either end so the string can 'sit' comfortably.

The tricky part comes when you come to stringing it. Now for ordinary bows/longbows it is easier as you can curl your leg around one then 'kneel' down slightly to use your entire body to bend the bow for stringing/unstringing.
For a crossbow you don't have this luxury due to the more compact nature and the fact that the arms are now installed.
So it becomes a more in-depth task.
The instructions say you should use a friend to help you, all well and good but all my buddies are miles away and I ain't calling them up on a whim, besides which it is always good to know what you're capable of.
With no 'tiller' device (what Xbow/bow makers of old used to test the pull on the device) to bend the 'prods' arms i started by pulling down by hand, no dice.
It's also an 80lb Xbow meaning it's a lot tougher than the usual 50lb ones...
I then used the carpet itself as a brace and me gripping the pistol grip and pushing down on the right-hand prod with as much body weight as necessary to get the string hooked over left-hand prod-end tap.
After carefully checking the fibre glass prod wasn't going to explode under the strain the third attempt had it hooked on and adjusted.



It has a neat retainer so with a bolt in place and it cocked and ready you can move it about without the bolt dropping out.



It's raining outside and this might affect the performance but it might rain in the field and in the 'can do' spirit of ATS and survivalists out there I began running the tests in the pouring rain.
Besides which I was itching to see what this baby could do!

The first test was at near-point blank range of about 1 yard. Obviously, you really don't want to be using it this close unless you really are caught unawares but knowing what it can do is wise.



The thickness of the wood was *about* an inch & a 1/6. I would of used a measure but the rain was coming down relentlessly.

On shooting it, hardly any recoil and fairly quiet, you'd notice the sound but not so much that you'd equate it to being a crossbow.



Not bad, the result is better than I expected from such a small xbow. It nearly pierced the wood.




The next was a more manageable 10 yards distance, at the 5-10 yard bracket range I reckoned the bolt would have time to be at peak power for a kill.



It was, going completely through to the other side:



Now it was time for the 25 yard test.





Not bad here either, the powers dropping off but it still would have the power to bring down or severly wound small game.



Handily the bolt has an end-cap which could be easily crafted to attach a mono-line for retrieval if you're fishing with it.



The size of a bolt (pistol) with a pair of pliers for size comparison.

The string itself isn't bad, but it does show signs of wear. This is mostly due to the cocking prongs that pull it back more than the friction of the rail though:



The accuracy was very good, I was aiming using the iron sights and was getting within 2 inche groupings most of the time.

So overall, not a bad little thing given that it only cost about $50 plus an extra $20 for 2 x pack of bolts.


I might add a sling onto it later but its early days yet.

[edit on 5-9-2008 by WatchRider]




posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 07:28 PM
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Hey mate nice review!

If you thought that was hard to string wait till you get a full size one! damnn its hard an extra arm would come in real handy, they way I finally done it was to put each arm on a raised ledge then put my full weight on the butt, its pretty easy doing it that way


So would you recommend a pistol xbow?



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 07:39 PM
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Nice bit of kit there WR
...I'll definately be putting one on my 'toys' list

I notice in the first pic that you have a set of slightly longer red-shafted bolts, and two sets of mini-bolts...how do they perform against the bronze bolts that came with the kit you used in your fence-test in performance terms?

Would slipping on a section of rubber sling-shot tubing over the cocking prongs reduce wear on the string on cocking? how many shots did you fire before the string started to show signs of wear?

Would coating the bolt shaft/head and guide rails in a PTFE/Teflon compound reduce friction during release and improve target penetration?

I think what's needed is a PROPER test...something like 'The Chicken O' Truth' and use a shop-bought cooking poultry as a game-based target for that real extra added touch of gore!



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 07:39 PM
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I would, but only because it has a good punch compared to a 50 lb one, good for small game and it's very light.
If nothing else they are easy to use inside a car and if you get into any sht and as a back-up if your main one fcks up.
It will be going into the loft for now, when I am out and about I'll take the main Xbow (yet to arrive) as that's a proper beast, 180lbs of Twang ready to be tested!

I'll have to make sure no-one is out the back drive when I test it! The beast will probably rip straight through the wood and into some poor sod If I don't


PS check your VM I'ver sent you a message



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 07:52 PM
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Think I'll stick one of these on my xmas list


The full size xbows are insanely powerful, go for soft targets...it takes a few mins to fire 10 bolts and about half an hour to get them out of a piece of 2x4, its a complete b' especially when its pouring.

How long does it take to load that one??



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:48 PM
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It takes approx *about* 3 - 5 seconds if your ninja quick and the adrenaline is pumping. Otherwise *about* 6 - 10 seconds.

I was scouring the net for the density of wood and it's comparison with flesh for an idea of how dangerous and effect it would be against an attacker.
I couldn't find anything using the normal net searchs until I found this crazy clip:

www.break.com...

Obviously, if it were a bigger Xbow he'd be on the ground but you get the picture


Thanks for the tip on the bolts, I'll probably keep re-using the one bolt and re-crimp the bolt-head when it gets loose.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by citizen smith
Nice bit of kit there WR
...I'll definately be putting one on my 'toys' list

I notice in the first pic that you have a set of slightly longer red-shafted bolts, and two sets of mini-bolts...how do they perform against the bronze bolts that came with the kit you used in your fence-test in performance terms?

Would slipping on a section of rubber sling-shot tubing over the cocking prongs reduce wear on the string on cocking? how many shots did you fire before the string started to show signs of wear?

Would coating the bolt shaft/head and guide rails in a PTFE/Teflon compound reduce friction during release and improve target penetration?

I think what's needed is a PROPER test...something like 'The Chicken O' Truth' and use a shop-bought cooking poultry as a game-based target for that real extra added touch of gore!


Not many, after the first shot the wear set in, but the underneath is resiliant compared to the outer layer.
I will look into getting some tube wards set up, thanks for that tip, a 1* buzzball on it's way to you.
I have a spare string in case the first one breaks.

The chicken of truth would speak volumes but I can gauge that it'd go straight through due to it being a pre-cooked and non-living thing. With all the giblets and internals, lack of fluids the test would be biased. A live rabbit will be the real test, or perhaps a big fish finning about.

The teflon compound is definately key. I had the wrong mindset when I was thinking about an oil-based one.
I'll need to find where I can get the stuff first though, any ideas?

The larger bolts are for the full sized crossbow I have on order which will probably be capable of bringing down a rampaging frenchmen in plate armour!
That one is 180lbs of Twang! I will give out more on this when it arrives.

the minibolt packs are identical to the three bronze bolts EXCEPT you can't remove the end cap (as its tied into the flights) for tieing in mono-line easily.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:10 PM
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You can get the lube at Merlin Archery.

www.merlinarcherycentre.co.uk...

Its a bit pricey though so it might be worth looking for a cheaper alternative.

The pistol xbow would be great for fish/rabbits etc where as a full size one would be major overkill for anything smaller than a deer lol trust me you'll know what I mean


And dont forget some goggles, if that 180lb string snaps you can bet its gonna take an eye out!



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:40 PM
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I used to have one of those, they're great fun to use. The bolts are a bit flimsy, and can break after repeated use so you might want to stock up on them, and extra strings too. The cocking mechanism can also come loose over time, but its easily tightened. I replaced the standard sights with a cheap red dot sight (about £20) which made aiming a lot easier.

As for the worn string, use some string wax, which you should be able to get from any good xbow supplier. In an emergency, you could probably get away with using lard or other animal fat.

I also had a full sized xbow, and used to have great fun firing bolts through a disused sofa. I eventually sold it as it wasn't get much use, then a month later I saw it on the news... who ever bought it handed it in on one of the weapon amnesties. I knew it was mine, it had my ID markings on the stock


I do hope you have as much fun with your purchase as I did with mine



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by WatchRider
I was scouring the net for the density of wood and it's comparison with flesh


I've seem numerous clips of ballistics tests done on Discovery shows where all that was used to accurately simulate muscle was blocks of pottery clay...wood will split along its grain pattern so wouldn't be an accurate comparison.

Try wrapping a block of clay 6-8" thick in several layers of old clothing and you should have a good comparison to a 'live prey' hit...failing that, the same thickness of compressed layers of corrugated cardboard seem to be a good comparison, and was what I used when testing my improvised 'sling-bow'

As for the 'Chicken O' Truth'...try a raw chicken carcass and fill the torso cavity with gelatin...with added balloon-blood-bags for a true gore-factor



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 03:22 PM
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For initial stringing you need to make a stringer.
Go to the local hardware store and buy some really thin steel cable and binding clamps and bolts. Set it up so it looks just like your original string but a couple inches longer. It should just barely fit on the crossbow.
Pull it just hard enough so you can get the original string on. Once the real string is in place remove the bolts holding the steel cable together.
Now your ready to kill rats for food.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:26 PM
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Those bolts are too short for good accuracy and power conversion. You'll have to experiment with various lengths of arrow shafts to get the best accuracy. You should be able to shoot arrows with 2" of accuracy at 40-50 yards with 80 lbs of draw weight. If those are 8-10" bolts, try 12-14' length shafts. Most of the cheap crossbows use short bolts to meet their velocity claims. A longer shaft will have lower velocity but will retain it's energy and penetrating power much better than the short bolts. If your fairly handy, I'd make a shoulder stock and turn the pistol into a carbine. A cheap crossbow scope will also improve your aim greatly.



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 03:49 PM
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Good replies here bro's keep 'em coming.

I'm putting a scope on my 2nd Xbow and leaving the iron sights on the short Xbow.
I'll use the long Xbow for my long range sht and leave the small one for snap shooting and close-in work for tiny game. A scope and stock conversion is all good but you lose space and aquiring a sight picture takes longer plus it's less rugged for crawling about and moving through foiliage.
For the bolts I'll keep the same too.
Nice comment about the stringer aid. I never thought of that way. Good thinking out of the box there


1 * for you buddy.

The 2nd Xbow is ordered and it's on the way...



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 06:36 PM
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WR, if you're thinking of using the pistol-xbow as a CQ self-defence weapon, then how about grinding notches at 45* to the shaft at various stations (without affecting the shafts rigidity integrity) behind the bolt-head as after watching the vid of the fool getting shot thought the leg, would mean that the bolt would have to be pushed forward all the way through the entry wound to extract, rather than just pull out...perhaps even a few notches at the reverse of the others so to pull out the bolt either way would be an agonising process?

ps: apologies to mods if i'm thinking too 'violently' out-loud again


[edit on 7-9-2008 by citizen smith]



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 02:05 PM
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Good try but that wouldn't work unless the diameter is bigger, in such a case the 'catch effect' would be minimal, ideally you need barbed bolt/arrow heads to start playing at that.
I have 3 broadhead arrow heads and they are mean looking things. 3 broad triangular pieces, you'd really be in the sht if that was stuck in you!



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 09:22 PM
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Any updates on range tests and random item destructability-by-xbow data?

I found a neat little compound pistol-bow at this Finnish site




posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 07:06 AM
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I really like your posts mate.

Personally I am not too keen on bowed weapons in general. I have a real affinity towards firearms and so in a Sit X I would be using a 10 ft/lb .22 cal airgun. This thing would take out any small game within about 20-50 metres, if not more.

I suppose it really comes down to what you're comfortable with. I would be too nervous using a xbow as a primary, in case the string broke or the bolts broke etc. With an airgun, I know that I have 1000 shots before I need to improvise with ammunition. Wear on the gun is hardly noticeable, and Ive put about 10k shots through it.

Have you considered different bolts? Using one with a smaller diameter might give better penetration for big game.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by 44soulslayer
I really like your posts mate.

Personally I am not too keen on bowed weapons in general. I have a real affinity towards firearms and so in a Sit X I would be using a 10 ft/lb .22 cal airgun. This thing would take out any small game within about 20-50 metres, if not more.

I suppose it really comes down to what you're comfortable with. I would be too nervous using a xbow as a primary, in case the string broke or the bolts broke etc. With an airgun, I know that I have 1000 shots before I need to improvise with ammunition. Wear on the gun is hardly noticeable, and Ive put about 10k shots through it.

Have you considered different bolts? Using one with a smaller diameter might give better penetration for big game.


Have you considered fitting a theoben gas strut to your air rifle? , I had one in my Webley Vulcan its was impressive. the manufactuers ppoint out in their adverts to choose the piston you want very carefully, cos if you fit the wrong calibre piston it can increase the power of your gun to a point its becomes illegal IE well over 12 ft lbs



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 07:29 AM
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reply to post by Northern Raider
 


Hmm intriguing suggestion. I think there may be a workaround... I could always buy the gas strut and not fit it to the rifle. If SHTF, I could install the strut and modify the gas release rate/ piston to go over the 12 ft/lb limit. After all, needs must.

At the moment my rifle gets 10 ft/lbs. I think any supping up would send it north of the 12 ft/lb limit.

Thanks for the idea though, I'll definitely consider it.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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Surely these are illegal, aren't they? Where in the UK would you be allowed to buy anything like this?





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