The Bullet Shooting Crossbow - English
The Bastard String
Fig. 119. - The Bastard String and Its Clamps.
As the bowstring of a bullet crossbow is the part of the weapon that
is usually in worst repair, it most needs description.
How to make the bowstring of a crossbow of this kind has long been forgotten.
I am not, indeed, aware of anyone except myself who can now make and fit
one properly. For this reason there are many fine bullet crossbows without
bow-strings which might otherwise be a source of much amusement to their
Before describing the bow-string of a bullet crossbow, I must explain
the construction and application of its bastard string, for without the
assistance of the latter its bow-string could not be fitted.
The bastard or false string of a crossbow was a necessary part of its
equipment, though no doubt in the case of a company of crossbowmen one
bastard string formerly served many crossbows, when new bow-strings had
to be fitted to them or when old ones had to be removed for repair.
The bastard string was used to bend the steel bow of a crossbow sufficiently
to allow its proper bow-string to be fitted on the bow. As the bow-string
was always shorter than the bow, the latter had, of course, to be bent
to a certain degree to enable its string to be put in position.
The bow of a crossbow, when its string was fitted, was always slightly
bent so that its string might fit tight and true.
In the case of a wooden bow such as a longbow, it