The Bullet Shooting Crossbow
5. Should the bullet go to the left, move the sighting bead a trifle
along the skein to the left by revolving it in that direction round the
cotton on which it is threaded.
6. Should the bullet go to the right, twist the bead along the skein
a few turns to the right.
7. If the bullet strikes a good deal too high or too low, look through
a peep-hole in the back-sight which is higher or lower than the one you
have been using, in order to acquire a proper elevation. A shot too low
will be corrected by looking through one of the higher peep-holes in the
back-sight, and a shot too high by the use of one of the lower ones.
When you have accurately sighted the crossbow for a range of 25 yards,
which is far enough for ordinary rook-shooting and as far as the bow will
kill with certainty, fix the sights beyond alteration.
To do this, wrap a little fine waxed silk on each side of the sighting
bead to keep it from being accidentally moved, and fill in with beeswax
all the peep-holes in the back-sight except that which you find is the
correct one to aim through.
When the sighting mechanism and string of the bullet crossbow are properly
adjusted, you should be able to hit a playing card eight times out of ten
at from 20 to 25 yards.
I have many times brought down six rooks from the tops of fairly tall
trees in six consecutive shots with one of these weapons. The absence of
all noise on the part of the crossbow, will allow you to go quietly into
a rookery and kill a number of young birds before the old ones become alarmed.
If held at an angle of 45 degrees, a good bullet crossbow will throw
a 1/2 oz. lead bullet to an extreme range of 300 yards, and if shot at
a metal target at 20 yards, more than half of the bullet will be flattened.
The weapon can easily be made ready and then aimed and discharged, four
times in a minute.
To preserve the bow-string of the crossbow, be sure to keep it well
rubbed with beeswax. At any part where the string is inclined to fray,
wind some waxed silk tightly round to keep it together. If the bow-string
is properly made it should last for a score of years in frequent use.
The bow of a bullet crossbow being comparatively slight and much bent
when its string is stretched, it should never be kept in this condition
for longer than a few minutes at a time. It is better to discharge the
weapon into the ground (you then save the bullet), than to keep its bow
too long in a state of tension and thus run the risk of straining it.
The best method of taking about the crossbow when chances of shots