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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Nov, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject: Pistol crossbow question         Reply with quote

I recently got interested in pistol crossbows - or so-called assassin crossbows - as they possibly existed in the early 17th century. I found one example of a modern replica made by Denix that states that it is based on a 17th century original, but that's as much as I know.



Does anyone have images of the original or any other images or info about these small thingies from the said period? Their range, accuracy or any knowledge of how common they were?

Is there anyone making working replicas of these things (the Denix version is apparently non-functional)?
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Nov, 2012 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

This bow does not look to me like it is based on an original.

Have a look at this thread and it should answer many of your questions. There are also loads o links to originals.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...allestrino

Tod

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Gene W




Location: The South Of England
Joined: 01 Dec 2010

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed 14 Nov, 2012 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've seen one of those Denix ones. WTF?!
Unless the bowstring is elastic it won't be firing anything. All the metal parts are die-cast pot-metal.
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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Posts: 147

PostPosted: Wed 14 Nov, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Hi,

This bow does not look to me like it is based on an original.

Have a look at this thread and it should answer many of your questions. There are also loads o links to originals.

[url] http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...allestrino [/url]

Tod

Thank you for the link! Looks interesting and I'll delve deeper into that thread tomorrow. Happy

And, yes, I am suspicious of the authenticity of the Denix as a replica since I could find no info on the claimed original anywhere.
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Wed 14 Nov, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I dare say little crossbows like this *may* have existed, but I suspect they may have been just used as novelties, or toys for rich nobles to play with indoors. They aren't really 'practical' weapons..or easily concealable. An assasin of the time would have been far more likely to use an easily concealed dagger, or a small pistol. Just my two cent's worth Big Grin
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Nov, 2012 4:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, the most common description I've seen for this piece says that it was a...

"Belgian Crossbow Pistol (Decorative) from the 17th Century. The crossbow was likely used for target and sporting purposes and not as a serious weapon, but it was able to throw a bolt a considerable distance."

They also seem to have carried an almost similar Italian version of the same weapon and that made me wonder how common weapons like these could actually have been. It is a shame that Denix does not care to offer actual historical information about their pieces...
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Nov, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Did not have time to read up on Leo's link yet, but I did bump into these 19th century pistol crossbows. Not really the era I'm interested in here, but thought them worthy of a share:





Sources:
http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm61...at61_w.txt
http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm65...at65_a.txt
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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Nov, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.todsstuff.co.uk/crossbows/balestrino-crossbows.htm
Somewhat related; pistol crossbows did exist, but they seem to follow the "balestrino" , IE assassin bow, profile. Essentially a small, high poundage crossbow with a internalized cocking mechanism.
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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Posts: 147

PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2012 1:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Have a look at this thread and it should answer many of your questions. There are also loads o links to originals.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...allestrino

Thank you, Tod - that thread was very informative and I trust that you would have bumped into pistol grip miniature crossbows during your research if they had existed. For some reason, the pistol grip appeals to me and the discussion in the thread makes me wonder if they would be (even) more toylike than the ballestrino bows or if they would be about equal in their power and range...
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2012 4:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd normally take the deep downwards curve in the distal end of the tiller/stock to indicate a bow designed to shoot pellets, so it's pretty odd to see one with an arrow. Besides, a pellet makes rather more aesthetic sense for such a pistol-like design, doesn't it?
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