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Hi,

If you want a more challenging experience the next time you go hunting, you might want to consider using a crossbow for the experience. This is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping and to give you more of a hands on experience when you are heading out to hunt your favorite game.



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Hunting with a crossbow is illegal in our state unless you’re confirmed as a handicapped hunter :sad:

I’ve used them at our R&G club. It was a lot of fun to shoot, but without much practice, I found it took me two or three times longer to nock an arrow than with my compound and three or four times longer than with my recurve bow. I think I’d need some general handling practice to learn to nock and shoot faster before I’d use one to pursue game. They are very accurate though.

I’d have to get way faster at cocking and nocking a crossbow before I would use one in a defensive action (against a man or beast). I can accurately press an arrow every 5-6 seconds with a recurve. At present, I can’t imagine getting close to that with a crossbow. I’m sure there are people who can.
 

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If the SHTF and you were using your bow for hunting -- how many times can you reuse an arrow or bolt before it turns pretty much useless? This is the aspect I find most appealing about bow hunting is that you can reuse your ammunition quite a bit. I'm just curious, in reality, HOW much you can reuse it?
 

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If the SHTF and you were using your bow for hunting -- how many times can you reuse an arrow or bolt before it turns pretty much useless? This is the aspect I find most appealing about bow hunting is that you can reuse your ammunition quite a bit. I'm just curious, in reality, HOW much you can reuse it?
Arrow life expectancy depends on a collection of variables: the composition of the arrow and fletching, the type of terrain you're hunting in, the speed of the arrow, how often you miss and what you hit when you do miss, etc. The most accurate arrows aren't always the most durable. Sometimes you have to choose a compromise between longevity and accuracy. I use carbon arrows on large game (fewer shots and fewer misses) and aluminum arrows for small game (several shots and misses). The aluminum seems to stand up better to glances off trees and rocks, but often aren't as perfectly straight as the carbon arrows… they're cheaper too.

Wooden arrows don't stand up well because they're more fragile. I read where people say they'll just make arrows in the woods as they need them, but I doubt many have actually done that with any degree of success. In my mind that's fantasy thinking that contributes to non-survival. Primitive natives had very specialized stone tools, processes and a lot of practice to make arrows. It wasn't a quick transition from tree branch to finished arrow… and then they still broke fairly easily.

Consistent weight, length and flexibility from arrow to arrow is very important to hitting things reliably. A local archery shop will make arrows (500 & 400 spine) for me at around $5.00 each (in groups of six with field tips and fletching installed). I've had some of those arrows last several years and have used them a lot. You can buy just shafts, tips and fletching in bulk and make your own as you need to if you have the time and patience. If I were concerned about having enough arrows to last a long SHTF scenario, I'd buy very sturdy shafts and go that route.

I've collected about 50 arrows over the years. I really can't imagine a situation where exhausting those would be a concern… maybe heavy combat of some sort I suppose. I would recommend saving your pennies or bottle money and buying half a dozen sturdy custom-made arrows (for your bow draw weight and length) every few months until you have a good quantity (24 - 36). That really should cover regular use for quite some time and give you highly reliable performance... more meat on the table.
 

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Great advice and write up Anvillron.... I think some people think they'll get 2000 rounds and it will last them a lifetime. But, when it comes down to needing it, that stuff will go rather quickly, IMHO. Arrows/Bolts seems to be an awesome route to go if you can.
 

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Great advice and write up Anvillron.... I think some people think they'll get 2000 rounds and it will last them a lifetime. But, when it comes down to needing it, that stuff will go rather quickly, IMHO. Arrows/Bolts seems to be an awesome route to go if you can.
Oh, I agree. Like anything of real value, it takes a little time to acquire the necessary skills and materials, but you start where you can and it seems to come together. I don't think you can put a real count to arrow use… too many variables. I've lost new arrows on the second shot and then a couple weeks ago I broke an arrow I bought around 1992. Not everything can be projected, but you can prepare for reasonable use. Even five ragged arrows and a 30lbs fiberglass bow are better than none. More than likely, you'd get hundreds of shots out of them.

I started with a cast-off youth compound bow and wooden arrows that our oldest son used in middle school competition… 28lbs draw-weight and 26" draw-length. He was into it years ago at the age of 10 (he's 33 now). I shot that bow in the backyard for a few years just for fun. I graduated to a cheap used adult compound and finally to the compound and recurve I have now. Just start somewhere and let the skill and knowledge develop. If I had to have only one, survival-wise, a simpler bow (recurve) is better in my mind, but then everyone has their own perspective.
 

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I will soon be offering both longarm and pistol variants of rapidfire, magazine fed, spring powered dart guns. The pistol version will be lethal to 10 yds or so, the rifle version to 30 yds, and if you give up the rapidfire option, lethal to any range that a crossbow is.
 

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One of the reasons I favor a recurve bow for a survival bow:
 
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Arrow life expectancy depends on a collection of variables: the composition of the arrow and fletching, the type of terrain you're hunting in, the speed of the arrow, how often you miss and what you hit when you do miss, etc. The most accurate arrows aren't always the most durable. Sometimes you have to choose a compromise between longevity and accuracy. I use carbon arrows on large game (fewer shots and fewer misses) and aluminum arrows for small game (several shots and misses). The aluminum seems to stand up better to glances off trees and rocks, but often aren't as perfectly straight as the carbon arrows… they're cheaper too.

Wooden arrows don't stand up well because they're more fragile. I read where people say they'll just make arrows in the woods as they need them, but I doubt many have actually done that with any degree of success. In my mind that's fantasy thinking that contributes to non-survival. Primitive natives had very specialized stone tools, processes and a lot of practice to make arrows. It wasn't a quick transition from tree branch to finished arrow… and then they still broke fairly easily.

Consistent weight, length and flexibility from arrow to arrow is very important to hitting things reliably. A local archery shop will make arrows (500 & 400 spine) for me at around $5.00 each (in groups of six with field tips and fletching installed). I've had some of those arrows last several years and have used them a lot. You can buy just shafts, tips and fletching in bulk and make your own as you need to if you have the time and patience. If I were concerned about having enough arrows to last a long SHTF scenario, I'd buy very sturdy shafts and go that route.

I've collected about 50 arrows over the years. I really can't imagine a situation where exhausting those would be a concern… maybe heavy combat of some sort I suppose. I would recommend saving your pennies or bottle money and buying half a dozen sturdy custom-made arrows (for your bow draw weight and length) every few months until you have a good quantity (24 - 36). That really should cover regular use for quite some time and give you highly reliable performance... more meat on the table.
Plus about a billion , and nice to see someone set folks straight on " making" arrows out of wood and exactly why wood is a bad choice for shafts with a modern compound.
 

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I have considered buying a bow my self. Buying fire arms is very hard in New Zealand - in fact it is super hard to obtain a firearms license - you have to go on two courses and a mountain course - watch a few hours of videos then have two references and then have an interview the police and ontop of that it costs around 200.00 dollars. They are trying to outlaw firearms here so I believe all these hurdles before a firearm is able to be purchased is the first step in the matter.
 

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I have considered buying a bow my self. Buying fire arms is very hard in New Zealand - in fact it is super hard to obtain a firearms license - you have to go on two courses and a mountain course - watch a few hours of videos then have two references and then have an interview the police and ontop of that it costs around 200.00 dollars. They are trying to outlaw firearms here so I believe all these hurdles before a firearm is able to be purchased is the first step in the matter.
Lezyne - There are parts of the U.S. that aren't much different. The only choice here is to move to another state.

Choosing a bow is similar to choosing a gun and there're no all-purpose bows out there. You need to decide what it is that you intend to use it for primarily. A bow for self defense would most likely be a snap shot type of bow… 50" - 60" tip-to-tip for good maneuverability, a short brace height and short draw length for fast cycling and reasonable short-range power. This type of bow lends itself to instinctive shooting styles. In a defensive situation you may not have time to judge distance, draw and anchor or align sights. You want to be able to nock the arrow quickly, draw quickly and release keeping most of your attention on your target.

Hunting would typically require something longer with a smoother deeper draw to maximize arrow velocity and that allows for good solid anchoring. A cut out that brings the arrow closer to the centerline is also a good feature on a traditional bow used for hunting.

I currently have two bows… one just for hunting using a sophisticated sighting system and one with a smooth deep draw (for 'Become the Arrow' style shooting), but lends itself to faster cycling if necessary.

Still, I'd like to acquire a short 30# self bow (using bodkin tipped arrows) for close quarter use and practice on targets in the 15' - 30' range in motion. While you can't really carry three bows around, I think there'd be value in cross training techniques. The different designed bows could be strategically placed based on their attributes and use.
 

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In addition to hunting with rifle and shotgun, I'll be extending my deer hunting this year for the first time with crossbow. A wrist injury from the military keeps me from using a recurve bow, but the crossbow will allow me some good exercise, time in the woods and meat in the freezer. Not to mention an added dimension to survivability in a SHTF scenario.
 

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Pistoleer Pastor - Crossbows definitely have their niche in the hunting/survival mix of options, particularly if there are physical restrictions involved. I hope you find them to be a good and enjoyable alternative. The relative silence of archery seems to change the whole hunting experience for me. With firearms, you have this ‘Bang!’ right in the middle of an otherwise almost meditative focus of sighting. The gun sort of comes between you and the game. With archery, when you release, you remain quietly focused to watch the arrow take its path, bring down the target. It’s more of a continuous flow without the interruption of the gun forcing itself into (and abusing) your senses.

Regrettably, both compound and traditional bows place a great deal of demand on the joints and muscles of the upper body. As I have accumulated years past 50, I’ve found that my elbows and shoulders are less tolerant of the draw weight and release shock of both bow styles. I’ve had to drop about 15lbs off the peak draw weight of my compound bow and I’m replacing the limbs on my recurve take-down bow with a set that have 10lbs less draw. Fortunately, both are still well within the range of permissible large game draw limits, but I can foresee a time when I’ll be limited to small game capacity bows.
 

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..Regrettably, both compound and traditional bows place a great deal of demand on the joints and muscles of the upper body. As I have accumulated years past 50, I've found that my elbows and shoulders are less tolerant of the draw weight and release shock of both bow styles..
Me too, my shoulder and upper arm muscles are not what they were, so I could never draw a hunting bow.
Crossbows would seem a good alternative provide they can be cocked with a windlass system as I could never do it manually by brute force.
An interesting sequence from the 'Survivors 1975' TV series:-
Dear old Hubert the shepherd may be getting on a bit, but with a crossbow in his hands he's not to be sniffed at.
Thinking he's harmless, the petty tyrant Brod forgets to watch his back, so Hubert lets him have it.
Brod took it sportingly though, "I always knew you'd make a good hunter Hubert" were among his dying words..







PS- for the interest of survivalists let me say that Brod ran a small primarily meat-eating post-Apocalypse group where skill with bows and crossbows was highly prized; They lived in railway carriages in a siding out in the country, and took Hubert and a few of his chums prisoner.
So I suppose Hubert was morally entitled to kill Brod in cold blood like that. (a man's gotta do...)
Incidentally the bolt wasn't barbed but still did its deadly work, maybe it severed Brods spinal cord or something..
 

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My 165# crossbow sends an arrow so fast that unless you hit soil (even if it passes through your prey) it will wreck the broadhead. If you wreck the broadhead you normall wreck the tip of the bolt too. This can be repaired if you take a small saw and spares but in my opinion crossbow bolts dont last too long as compares to a lower speed recurve or longbow.

The other thing with crossbows is that they travel so fast that if you dont have a good backstop you may not always find them. They move quick and far.
 

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My 165# crossbow sends an arrow so fast that unless you hit soil (even if it passes through your prey) it will wreck the broadhead. If you wreck the broadhead you normall wreck the tip of the bolt too. This can be repaired if you take a small saw and spares but in my opinion crossbow bolts dont last too long as compares to a lower speed recurve or longbow.

The other thing with crossbows is that they travel so fast that if you dont have a good backstop you may not always find them. They move quick and far.
OK "Darrel" My bullet ravels faster than your bolt. This thread is 6 years old you Retard!
 
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