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The Crossbow   >  Chapter 35   >   Crossbow with Steel Bow   >   Bent by a Wood Lever   > p.166
Table of Contents List of Illustrations Index Appendix

The Crossbow

The length of the handle of the lever is 2 ft. It tapers from a diameter of r in. at its rounded end, to a width of 1 1/4 in. and a depth of 1 1/2 in. at its fore-end.

The wide hinged piece pivoted to the handle, is 9 in. long to its swivel-pin, its total length being 10 in.

This piece is 2 1/2 in. wide and 1 in. thick. It is slightly curved, fig. 106, opposite page.

The 1/4 in. swivel pin by which the hinged piece is attached to the handle of the lever, is 6 in. from the fore-end of the latter.

The metal hook to be seen in the fore-end of the handle, swings loosely in a small cavity. The 1/4 in. pin for this hook is 4 1/2 in. from the pin on which the flat piece is hinged.

This form of lever for stretching the strings of small crossbows with steel bows, was no doubt suggested by the ancient goat's-foot lever. It is, however, in some respects a more convenient device than the goat's-foot lever, as it pushes the bow-string of the crossbow to the catch of the lock instead of pulling it there, and also works without friction.

Levers on this principle, made of metal, are used with Continental target-crossbows at the present day. See fig. 156, p. 217.

How to Use the Lever to Bend the Crossbow, Fig 106, Opposite Page

The metal hook of the handle is slipped into the small iron loop fixed at the fore-end of the crossbow. The rounded notches in the short props of the swinging part of the lever are then rested against the centre of the bowstring, fig. 106.

The left hand grasps the crossbow near its fore-end, and the butt of the stock is placed upright upon the ground.

It will be easily understood that by now pressing the handle of the lever downwards with the right hand (fig. 106), the bow-string will be forcibly pushed along the stock, till it reaches and is gripped by the catch of the lock.

The lever being then removed, by unhooking it from the fore-end of the crossbow, the weapon is ready for use.

The bolt is arranged on the surface of the stock as shown in fig. 89, p, 137, 


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