Best Answer
For practical purposes, yes, a crossbow is really a bow. It uses a short arrow, technically called a bolt, by means of the spring action caused by releasing the tension on the crossbow's limbs. The "bow" of the crossbow is called a "prod".

It differs from a traditional bow however, in that it can be drawn before it is needed and kept ready to use for a considerable period of time. Holding a "regular" bow, such as a self-bow, longbow, recurve, or compound bow at full draw for any length of time may not be feasible, depending on draw weight. Traditional bows (recurves, longbows, etc), unlike modern compound bows, often do not have sights while modern crossbows do; this, coupled with the fact that it doesn't cause a lot of strain on the shooter to hold the crossbow at a full draw, makes it easier for an unskilled individual to use the weapon. The crossbow can be cocked either manually by simply pulling the string back, or by mechanical means - which means handicapped persons can use crossbows in those states which allow their use. Most crossbows sold today have about the same arrow speed as compounds: about 330 - 350 ft/sec.

While the crossbow is a bow, it offers a great advantage over Traditional bows. It should also be noted, so does the modern compound bow. In the 1970's there was a debate whether or not compound bows should be allowed for hunting. State-by-State, compound bows were allowed, and today more than 80% of all bow hunters use compound bows; this is an approximation, of course, as the use of Traditional bows (and arrows) has been increasing. Overall, the acceptance of compounds has been good for Archery. Now with more and more crossbows being sold, crossbow hunters are asking why they can not also be included in the archery season, because compounds and crossbows have such similar performance.

The answer to that question is that the modern crossbow is so easy to use; some claim that it is more like using a rifle than a bow. Modern crossbows tend to incorporate the camming (the "wheels" at the ends of the bow-limbs) which makes the compound bow easier to use than Traditional bows.

The Chinese developed a repeating crossbow, where a new bolt would drop onto the rails of the crossbow each time the string (called a "cable", due to its thickness) was pulled back to the "ready" position (cocked, ready to use). The real trick would be to keep the bolt-hopper loaded - and have each bolt facing the correct direction in the hopper.

During the Middle Ages, the crossbow was taken to sometimes extreme designs. Weapons such as the Arbalest and the ballista are basically over-sized crossbows. Of course, crossbows were also slightly simpler in design back then; see the weblink ("Torneo della Balestra") under "Related Links" for some photos of (possibly)the oldest-surviving Crossbow Society in the Modern World.

Persons interested in hunting with (modern)crossbows should contact The American Crossbow Federation, Box 251, Glenwood, MN 56334
User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2009-12-13 11:51:56
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: Is a 'crossbow' really a bow?
Write your answer...
Related questions

What is the difference between a crossbow and a regular bow?

you hit higher with a bow you hit low with a crossbow

Magic shortbow or rune crossbow?

rune crossbow is a good crossbow. and dark bow is the best longbow.

What is the difference between a crossbow and a compound bow?

a crossbow is sideways and a compound has multiple strings.

What is a good material for a crossbow bow?


What is a compound word with the word bow?

Crossbow, longbow.

What is another name for a mechanical bow and arrow?

A crossbow is another name for a mechanical bow and arrow.

Can you use compound bow arrows for a crossbow?

You can, but they're too long. Crossbow bolts are shorter and easier to carry.

What is a crossbow?

A crossbow is essentially a upgraded bow. it uses a string that pulls back a bolt with a lot of stregnth so it can fly farther, go faster, and hit harder. The Crossbow was invented in ancient China, but the Greeks and Romans used the crossbow design when making ballistas and scorpions. or a bow with a cross!!

How do yu put on a crossbow string?

to put on a Crossbow string you need cross bow limbs and a stock to combine these you need a hammer once you have made a crossbow unstrung you use the string on the crossbow.

In runescape is a magic short bow or a rune crossbow better to train range fater with?

A Rune Crossbow is better to train Range with than Magic Short, Long or composite bow.

How old do you have to be to take a bow course?

Crossbow or archery? If crossbow, I think 14+, and if archery- as young as 6 (starting age)

What is a triple bow crossbow?

It is a very big crossbow. I hope this helped you. ~Rachel~ *A video-game playing girl and proud of it*

What is another name for an arrow fired from a cross bow?

a BOLT is SHOT from a crossbow, you FIRE a GUN, you SHOOT a bow

Can you get the crossbow on assassins creed?

there is no cross bow it was subed by the throwing knife.

Are a crossbow and a bow and arrow the same thing?

No, a crossbow and a bow and arrow are not the same thing.a crossbow fires bolts not arrows, the string is drawn back using a winch, and is fired by pulling a trigger to release the stringa bow fires arrows, the string is drawn back by hand, and is fired simply by releasing the string from your fingersCrossbow bolts will penetrate plate metal armor while arrows fired from bows cannot.

Can a convicted felon bow or crossbow hunt in Michigan?

Can a felon that is no-longer on parole deer hunt with a cross bow in Michigan

Is a crossbow and bow and arrow the same thing?

No, a bow and arrow is held vertically and the arrow has to be pulled to shoot the arrow. A cross bow is held horizontally and doesn't need to be pulled, you just pull a trigger. The Crossbow has more power but a Bow and Arrow can reload faster. Just pick the one that suits you the most.

What is the origin of the word crossbow?

The frame that the bow was mounted on was cross-shaped. Simple

What type of bow has a rifle like stock that shoots short arrows?


Since a Crossbow is like a rifle combined with a bow does a Crossbow have recoil or kick?

No. A crossbow is more like a bow mounted onto a stock with a trigger for firing. The stock is the only similarity to an actual rifle. Even the largest variation of a crossbow, the ballista, doesn't have any form of recoil. The force of the release of the string is apparent but negligible even in a large ballista.I am an historic re-enactor and have used both crossbow and ballista.

Is it hard to cock an 80lb crossbow?

80 pounds is a very low draw weight for a crossbow and a very high draw weight for a standard bow

How effective was the longbow for the intended purpose?

After the invention of the bow was the long bow. The long bow had the loading rate of a ordanary bow. It also had the power and force of a crossbow and a greater accuracy and shooting distance.

Type of bow that is used for hunting?

The most commonly used bow in hunting is crossbow, next you can use a recurve bow. To know more please check here.

Is there a difference of draw weight on a cross bow compared to a compound bow?

Crossbows are usually a higher draw weight because a person of the same strength can wield a stronger crossbow because they can use legs as well as arms when bracing a crossbow, wheras a bow uses only the arms to draw.

What is better for xp in rs dark bow or rune crossbow?

The rune crossbow is probably the best way to go since its faster it would be a lot cheaper