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Survival Crossbows - What type?

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posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 12:22 PM
Hi there all,

I have just started putting some survival kit together (BoB/BoV etc.) but was wondering about weapons. I live in the UK so a firearm is not really an option per se, however I have been giving this some thought and for long term use what do you guys think about a good crossbow?

I have seen some video's on the net and even saw someone take down an elephant with one !! In respect of power, I guess without a hard to get firearms / shotgun certificate a crossbow may be the best I could hope for over here.

What type of crossbow would you guys recomend? Compound or Recurve? What type of bolts?

I have had some limited firearms experience in the past and through my career however I am a total novice when it comes to crossbows...

Anyone offer some advice?

posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 12:28 PM
i dont know what the legality with crossbows is in the UK anymore, the law seams to be a bit strange, i used to have a small 75lb draweight pistol one years ago that i used to use to shoot pumpkins and mellons and stuff.

they are very powerfull weapons, a big 150lb draw in my opinion would kill a large animal easy so from a survival point they are probably very effective.

in reality though i think they are illegal to hunt with in the UK now, and unless you know of an archery range i dont think your going to get much safe practice with one, youll probably be ok with a small draweight pistol in your garden providing its big and secure, and you are sensible with it.

id recomend a full legal limit air rifle instead with no lead pellets to use for killing rabbits/birds if you think you need one from a survival standpoint.

they have the advantage of being easyer to maintain, allthough the disadvantage of power.

posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 12:37 PM
Cheers mate,

I did debate the air-rifle v's crossbow scenario...

If the wheel did really fall off and you were forced to actually hunt for food then the law would be a secondary consideration !!! I am certainly not advocating illegal activity while the status quo is maintained, just that if things really did deteriorate to a point where I was forced to get out and had to find food to survive then the the fact that crossbow hunting may be illegal would not be forefront in my mind (if you get my train of thought)

Anyway, a good hunting air rifle would need ammo, and that would be limited to the amount I could take with me. However the crossbow bolts would be reuseable, to an extent, and if really necessary I may be even able to make some of my own...

Anyway for the reasons above I have kinda discounted the air-rifle idea...

What do you think?

posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 12:48 PM
thats true, but you could fit 10,000s of rounds of air rifle ammunition ina small bag, the same cant be said for bolts, wax for the bow, ect.

crossbows need to be maintained alot more than air rifles, im not sure on big bows as i have only experience of using small ones, but im sure you will need to treat the bow with wax after every couple of dozens shots, and its not advisible to reuse the bolts, and even if you do and you want to make your own shafts for the arrowheads, you going to need a sharp knife to strip branches, ammo, the bow, maintinace tools and a knife, how are you going to move around all that and a backpack with food and supplies in.

personally i think it would be much better with an air rifle, and some snares, lower maintinance, which would be important in a survival situation.

the amount of space and weight a large but power bow takes you could swap out for some books, a fishing rod, a carbine air rifle and some snares, not to mention alot of ammo and some oil spray for the barrel.

unless you absolutely need a bow to kill large game like boars, deers ect, i would advise against it, id want to be a mobile as possible in a survival situation i wouldnt want big heavy gear slowing me down.

posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 12:54 PM

Originally posted by boyznblue999

If the wheel did really fall off and you were forced to actually hunt for food then the law would be a secondary consideration !!! I am certainly not advocating illegal activity while the status quo is maintained, just that if things really did deteriorate to a point where I was forced to get out and had to find food to survive then the the fact that crossbow hunting may be illegal would not be forefront in my mind (if you get my train of thought)

hehe, the legallity issue was more wondering how you are going to gain practice using the crossbow.

if you plan to be in a big group of people, and by big i mean say 5+ or so, a crossbow would be very advised, as it would allow you to hunt large animals, but like i echoed in my previous posts, in a small but highly mobile party either yourself or 1 or 2 friends a rifle would be better because you could survive long enough on small game, to find a stable base of operations, ie a costal area for fishing, snakes, rabbits, birds ect.

posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 01:02 PM
Nice one mate....some good food for thought there....

To be fair there isn't much "big game" here in the UK anyway other than some deer or sheep !!, so I take your point on the air rifle....

Just a matter of interest, in respect of air-rifles, what would you recomend? I guess it would have to be a spring gun (break barrel/underlever)....any suggestions for a good hunting carbine?

posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 03:11 PM
im not really an expert on bows and rifles, as i have not really used them for years, but for the money you would have spent on a deccent bow, you should get an amazing carbine rifle, and a scope.

probably be a multishot that has a cylinder you pump, or possibly bolt action

im sure another member can recommend a nice air rifle.

i have only used webley rifles some rifles from china, barnett crossbows, so im not sure what the latest models are like.

sorry i couldnt be of more help.

posted on Mar, 9 2007 @ 03:35 PM
From gun crazed America, here's my 2 cents worth. I did live in Suffulk County,UK back in the mid '90's. I would have both on hand if possible. Hares,rabbits, woodies and squirrel are plentiful in your country but would be very difficult to take down with a crossbow and you'd probably ruin meat even if you killed them. Use the airgun for those. If you get a precharged gun, get a .22 or .25 caliber gun even if it's not an FAC gun. These guns are very easy to upgrade to 20-40 foot/lbs energy. A 30 -40 bullet shaped pellet will take fairly large game at close range with a brain shot. A friend here in Texas regular kills wild boar up to the 200 lb range with .22 caliber precharged airgun using a 40 ft/lb level using heavy Korean pellets.

Check out this site:

The crossbow would used for much larger game such as deer and full grown wild boar.

posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 09:19 AM
I have a gamo hunter sport, I bought it mostly for shooting into a pellet trap in the basement, but I have killed many a squirrel and rabbit with it. Something like that would be more versatile for getting what meat you need to survive. If the SHTF, everybody and there brother is going to be going after the big game. You would be wise to learn the habits of small game, and definitely look into trapping, a man that knows how to trap is going to survive when all the big targets are gone. As far as cross bows go, personally I think they are fun to shoot, but I would go with a good compound or recurve bow. You will get a little more punch with a cross bow but a compound is easier to deal with, and what killing something comes down to is shot placement. If you get a compound bow get a matthews solo cam, they are by far the quitest and smoothest bow I have ever shot. Out here we hunt whitetails and they are wily buggers, I have had them jump the string with other bows, they hear that string slap and duck and run. After switching to a matthews the only thing they hear is that arrow crushing their rib cage. That is just my opinion on what I would do, it is too bad you cant buy a good rifle over there in the UK.

posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 07:35 AM
Cheers for that everyone....some good suggestions and food for thought....

posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 09:29 AM
If the "wheel is going to fall off" then I'd be thinking of an "all round" weapon. Something you can fabricate and the ammo for it. It should have a power range that can take down anything you're likely to run into. Including marauders.

I'm presently engaged in just such a conversation here in Canada. Most folks aren't considering defence as an aspect of survival. I'm thinking a 150lb, scoped, takedown crossbow. You can fabricate autofeeders for up to five bolts.

Other things rarely considered are access to drinking water, fishing and other seafoods available year round. I'm lucky to live in a naturally, bountiful region of eastern Canada.

It's funny. Until 8 years ago, I wouldn't have imagined such a topic would be receiving such intense discussion in the western world. What does it mean?

posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 08:47 PM
How will you teach your grandchildren the craft of the crossbow, if you buy it from sears?

It will not last, someone will need to relearn the art of crafting with natural materials ,or it will be lost when the one bow fails.

You need to learn, so you can teach. Get a book, build the bow.
You can buy a bow for an engineering example, but buy the simplest least technological one you can. Repair and maintenance are important factors too.

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 05:36 PM
I am thinking about making purchase of the Excalibur Equinox 225Lb Crossbow.

Although it might be a little bit of an overkill on a bunny

[edit on 30-1-2009 by ANTHONY33]

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 06:51 AM

Originally posted by boyznblue999
Anyway, a good hunting air rifle would need ammo, and that would be limited to the amount I could take with me. However the crossbow bolts would be reuseable, to an extent, and if really necessary I may be even able to make some of my own...

In my experience messing around with crossbows, I found that you couldn't rely on reusing the ammunition.

Firing bolts into straw of foam targets decelerates the bolt relatively gently, however if they hit anything harder than that, such is the power of the thing, that the hollow tube tends to deform under the stress of the impact.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 07:16 PM
reply to post by The Blade Runner

do you know what the maximum caliber airgun limit is in the UK, because if there really isn't a limit in size, i know there are some nice 50 cal pneumatic guns that can really do some damage.

I would think that a full sized crossbow would be a bit annoying to lug around. Maybe you should look into folding crossbows if you intend to carry it with you for any great distance.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 07:54 PM
dunno, .69 cal biggest I gots around 2200 FPS 250 grains, due some math

the crossbow thing all I can say is go to your local "bow shop" see how many ppl shoot cross bows.... "none"! except for the handicapted!
TOO much mechanical advantage loss.......
besides they are extremely noisy'most sound like a 45 going off"
not near as accurate " as evan modern long/recurve bows most noticably @ distance! 50-80 meters
this I am prepaired to debate, hince I am an olympic long bow shooter
lots more bulky\
lots more maintanence
story in short Cross bows stink! cut a hegde apple sappling and make a homemade showstring flinger! at least it will hit the same spot"over and over"
unless you have a majical crossbow that shoots 4" groups @ 80 meters
yes "you can use glass" your scopes....and such, your aiming device is only as good as the propelled object!
They are just very impractible!

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 05:36 PM
I have lots of experiance with bows and crossbows. For a real life survival situation i would want a recurve bow or a long bow. Easy maintenance and will last a long time.
Compound bows and crossbows have too many moving parts and dont last as long. Plus cross bows are noisey and some animals will jump from the sound and your arrow will miss.
For small game i would recomend a high end slingshot. There is ammo laying all over the ground so you will never run out. You can kill rabbits and birds all day long and they are plentiful. Larger game is always harder to find. You can spend all day looking for a deer to shoot and in about 10 minutes have a few squirrls and birds.
I would take a recurve bow over a crossbow every time.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 05:56 PM
I believe a crossbow would be ideal. I hunt using a Horton Summit 150 crossbow. Price is very reasonable (approx. $200 USD). No problem in the ability to take down whitetail deer. I searched for a light weight model crossbow (approx. 7.5 lbs.) and the Summit 150 is it. And yes, the bolts will be deformed if not fired at a suitable target. A crossbow is an ideal option for the hunter that is familar with rifles/shotguns.... similar shooting mechanics.

The next issue is what to use as a bolt tip. There are hundreds of broadhead designs. Seems the current "in" style are mechanical. The blades on the broadhead deploy ans they hit the intended target (up to 2" cutting pattern). The theory is the blades in the folded/closed position help insure an accurate trajectory of the bolt to the target while in flight. Can't argure as they have done the job for me.

At any rate.. good luck in your search!

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 06:10 PM
I have a 150lb draw weight crossbow fitted with a 4+32 scope. It's accurate up to about 65 yards (195feet) at which distance the bolts hit home with 60lb force. I use the 17 inch bolts rather than the 14 as they appear to be more accurate and hit home harder. I chose the crossbow because, like a lot of people here on ATS, I believe a SHTF moment is just around the corner and I want to be carrying something which will scare the jesus out of anyone wanting to mess with me. You just wouldn't get that fear value with an air gun.
Plus, it is a great sport to get into.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 06:45 PM
hi there, im after a crossbow myself and am looking at the barnett predator - at £575 its not cheap but it is powerfull

I also want a decent air rifle but im still trying to figure out how to get one thats powerfull enough.
The UK laws now restrict them to 12 ft lbs, yet in the USA they make them upto 120 ft lbs in .22 cal off the shelf & custom ones upto 500 ft bls at .50 cal

I want either an Air Force Condor

or a Daystate Ranger but with US specs.

Im still unsure how to go about this as they wont import them! You can get them here but why pay up to a grand for the same power that £50 will get me!

Any info on how to get round this would be greatly appreciated.


[edit on 2/2/09 by cropmuncher]

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