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Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows (Read 384 times)
ianr
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Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
May 31st, 2020 at 6:11am
 
This drawing of the massively powerful Chinese triple bow crossbow was associated with a 17th century book, but I’m not sure if it was contemporary with the book, or a later addition. So many drawings of ancient mechanisms are fictitious! But this weapon is reputed to have have had awesome power and range. But how were the string(s) arranged? I made an effective working model using pulleys. But would they have used pulleys?
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Kick
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #1 - May 31st, 2020 at 6:16am
 
That looks a lot like some the stuff Jörg Sprave has been making using a second bow to help with pulling a heavy bow to full draw.

https://youtu.be/xH2uVMJTt2s
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #2 - May 31st, 2020 at 6:17am
 
Here’s my model made from carbon fibre kite rods, a wooden garden stake and some boating pulleys. It has a draw weight of 14 pounds (~6.5kg) and shoots a light dart very fast.
My first attempt used metal loops instead of pulleys but the friction made it unworkable.
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ianr
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #3 - May 31st, 2020 at 6:23am
 
Here’s a modern illustration of a stringing method which I don’t believe would work.
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ianr
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #4 - May 31st, 2020 at 6:43am
 
Kick wrote on May 31st, 2020 at 6:16am:
That looks a lot like some the stuff Jörg Sprave has been making using a second bow to help with pulling a heavy bow to full draw.

https://youtu.be/xH2uVMJTt2s


Thanks! Thought provoking. But Joerg’s bows are back to front and arranged to assist loading rather than to increase the power of the weapon. However, I suspect the answer to this mystery may be totally different to the various ‘artists impressions’.
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Kick
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #5 - May 31st, 2020 at 6:51am
 
Now I see your model I've got a better idea of it. Yeah that other illustration really doesn't look like it would work. Interesting design Cheesy
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #6 - May 31st, 2020 at 6:58am
 
Reminds me of my first crossbow made from fiberglass tent poles. Although yours is infinitely cooler! Any possibility of a video of this bad boy in action?
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #7 - May 31st, 2020 at 7:13am
 
Morphy wrote on May 31st, 2020 at 6:58am:
Reminds me of my first crossbow made from fiberglass tent poles. Although yours is infinitely cooler! Any possibility of a video of this bad boy in action?


A video wouldn’t show much more. The dart is 5mm dowel and very light. It flies fast and easily penetrates several sheets of strong corrugated cardboard carton.
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #8 - May 31st, 2020 at 10:25am
 
the point of this design is to have long power stroke by bending each bow very little?
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #9 - May 31st, 2020 at 11:32am
 
Morphy wrote on May 31st, 2020 at 6:58am:
Reminds me of my first crossbow made from fiberglass tent poles. Although yours is infinitely cooler! Any possibility of a video of this bad boy in action?

No video, but this is what it did to an empty lager can.
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #10 - Jun 1st, 2020 at 11:28am
 
The painting, I think, is of an object that the painter has no idea how to work, so he used the line drawing and his imagination. 

Yes, the Chinese had pulleys, they are way older than those weapons and date to at least the bronze age.

I think the bows would have been composite and the tips super recurved to keep the strings on.  The faster the bow tips move, the faster the projectile, which usually translates to longer range.  Pulleys would have added weight, which would have slowed the tips down.

The backwards bow would have also acted as a shock damper to keep the recoil from shaking the weapon apart and from over flexing the bow at the shot.
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #11 - Jun 13th, 2020 at 10:38pm
 
I'm not an expert in this at all but this guy in Washington has made one that you might be interested in seeing:  https://www.facebook.com/100004290976178/videos/1138198456333176/
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #12 - Jun 14th, 2020 at 8:49am
 
That thing looks beautiful. Real craftsmanship.
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #13 - Jun 14th, 2020 at 9:01am
 
don't really see the point of the reversed bow behind the main cord.
Won't that simply pull power away from the cord ?

I can see  how sevaral bows can work with just simple connections - that's ingenious Smiley

But what's the purpose of the rear bow that looks to be pullling the cord back. That just doesn't make any sense.

Love the one you made with the rods !
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Re: Chinese double and triple bow giant crossbows
Reply #14 - Jun 14th, 2020 at 11:00am
 
The back bow is the shock.  There is actually a lot of recoil when you shoot a bow or cross bow.  You can see the muscles of the archers forearm ripple if you look at an extreme slow motion arrow shot.

The rigid frame can't flex, so all that energy goes back into the bow and frame.  Bad things happen then.

When shooting a modern compound bow, they come with all sorts of shocks and dampeners to control the recoil to keep from shaking the bow apart.  Or breaking it.

On a wooden or composite bow, if the arrow is not of heavy enough weight to absorb the force, either the arrow or the bow can break when it is shot.  Or both.  It will also be unpleasant to shoot, the shock to the shooters' hand and arm can be painful.
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