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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 3:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

Luke Zechman wrote
Quote:
I like how it would be easily reset from the top of the exterior. Would the trigger be actuated with the thumb? I feel like this weapon is designed more for close quarters fire, with the bolt ramp being angled upward. Very beautiful weapon! Congratulations!

After having looked at it closer in the picture, I am not so sure now that the bolt would be angled upward...


As you slide the trigger block forward it engages with the string and rotates the nut back into the 'flat', at this point simply push the trigger forward and the central section of the trigger pops into place and the system is set. The screw is then turned to draw the trigger block back and to shoot the trigger is pulled back by the thumb.

The bolt groove is angled upward (as per some originals). This is to allow the nut to seat low in the stock at the right height and to allow the bolt guide to pass over the bow. All crossbows lift the bolt when they shoot so that you get a rise on the trajectory so I think this will make little difference.

Danny Grigg wrote
Quote:
Great looking bow, any chance you can post a pic of the bow cocked with a bolt in the groove ready to shoot?

Do you have final dimensions and weight on the bow and bolt?

How firmly does the bolt sit in the groove? For example does the bolt dislodge / fall out if you are running with the crossbow cocked?


I have attached some pictures below showing the bow cocked and uncocked from roughly the same angle.

The bolt rests in the groove rather than is held by it. I have made the bolt fit well in the teeth but is not held by them. You can shoot a bow down off a battlement by either having a bolt that sits well in the teeth or by resting a thumb on top of the bolt but you could not run with a bolt like this and expect it to be there at the other end. If the bolt is very tight in the teeth it will cause problems on loosing. So you could not run with the bolt in place on this bow unless you held it with the thumb.

I thought of adding a bolt clip and there is no practical reason not to do this and they existed at the time these bows existed, but none seem to have one.

The bolt weighs 12g (just under 1/2oz) and is 125mm (5") and for reference a war bow bolt for a 800lb bow would weigh about 65g and be about 380mm long (15")

The bow itself weighs 960g (2.1lb) and is 250mm long (10") and 250mm wide

Tod



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Aaron Schneiker




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Tod,

I had a question as to how the loading works with your design. The other originals that I have seen in pictures look like the screw runs through a threaded hole in the bottom of the trigger block and is contained under the trigger block in the stock. I assume your screw is contained in the handle and pinned to the inside of the trigger block through the hole furthest to the rear in the trigger block? If this is so, I am wondering what the last pin you have pictured in the disassembled photo is for. The trigger block has 5 holes. 3 I see for the three components of the trigger mechanism, 1 to pin the screw to the trigger block, what's the last hole and pin for? Very nice design by the way. I like how you made it sleek and less bulky without loosing functionality.

-Aaron
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Mar, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schneiker wrote
Quote:

I had a question as to how the loading works with your design. The other originals that I have seen in pictures look like the screw runs through a threaded hole in the bottom of the trigger block and is contained under the trigger block in the stock. I assume your screw is contained in the handle and pinned to the inside of the trigger block through the hole furthest to the rear in the trigger block? If this is so, I am wondering what the last pin you have pictured in the disassembled photo is for. The trigger block has 5 holes. 3 I see for the three components of the trigger mechanism, 1 to pin the screw to the trigger block, what's the last hole and pin for? Very nice design by the way. I like how you made it sleek and less bulky without loosing functionality.


The originals are all a little different to each other and most seem to have a 'Roman' style trigger as used on some of the Ballista type weapons and these could allow the screw to go under the trigger, but still most have a tube as I have done or a wing nut so they seem to have the thread fixed relative to the trigger block in all or most cases.

In this bow the screw is pinned through the block with the rear most hole. You very astutely spotted the extra hole; this is simply a stop for the central trigger component to stop it falling down too far and being hard to reset, so as the central piece just clears the nut it comes up against the stop.

Thanks for the kind words.

I am still tinkering with the bolts and have met two guys over the weekend who may have enlightened things a little. One guy says Norwich museum has one that they took off display (it used to be labelled as a childs toy) and that has a 5 bar chain for the string - looking for more info but it does back up my thoughts.

The other guy only spoke Polish (of which I speak none) but he was quite insistant that the bolts were solid at the front and tubular at the rear with metal flights if any at all. I will have another try at this route out of curiosity but unfortunately he couldn't give me any reference to where this knowledge came from.

Both were also insistant that they really were for doing harm. I thought making this bow would answer some questions and it has, but it has still left so many unsettled.

Tod

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Nov, 2010 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I sold this bow back in March (to a forumite; so I am sure he will surface at some point) but it has only just been collected. This allowed me a little more time to play, but alas being busy, not enough.

I have not done a penetration test into flesh or a distance test so maybe he will be able to do these at some point.

What I did look at was the bolts themselves. I was not entirely happy with the bolts I originally made and I used wooden flights because these were the norm for bolts at the time but due to the two front supporting pillars of the stock it restricted the size the flights could be. I always felt the bolts could do with more stabilisation and so I had a go at fletching them with feather and it transfomed how they flew. Thye now shoot very cleanly, spin on exit quite rapidly and seem to have improved the delivery power so that at about 8meters/yards it will penetrate 6mm ply wood and you can even feel the kick. The bolts are exactly the stats I gave before but with feathers.

Were these assassins bows? I just don't know, the evidence to me conflicts all over the place, but my instinct does say executive toy. However these bows could certainly penetrate quite deeply thouh not reliably fatally, but of course what has not been mentioned so far is both the Italian and Spanish predeliction toward poison.

Could they be assassins bows? Yes

Are they fun toys? Yes

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Martin Francis




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Nov, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Well I sold this bow back in March (to a forumite; so I am sure he will surface at some point)


You called Tod ?

Yes, I am now the proud possessor of this little gem. That's along with the Latchet Bow (by Tod) and the Windlass Bow (from Tod). Anyone detecting a pattern here ? For the record, no, I don't have much money - I had some before I met Tod......

Joking aside, I will be setting aside some time to have a go at a few more tests along the lines suggested previously such as cloth/flesh penetration and accuracy/distance so bear with me for a little while if you would and I'll report my findings. I have fired it a few times to get the feel for it and confirm that there is a discernable "twitch" on discharge.

Within the group of reenactors at the Fair it provoked a fair few responses, mostly variations of small whimpers and whines and the occasional bit of obvious drooling. The pincipal problem that I can see with it will be removing all the sticky fingerprints.....

Those of you fortunate enough to have items by Tod know the standard of his work; I have a few examples myself and the functional elegance and operation of this piece are superb. As to its employment and use, I tend to agree with Tod about the term "Assassins Bow" as being something of a flight of fancy.

There are less dramatic and more reliable methods of poisoning to my mind and, subject to my findings on penetration through cloth in due course, I do not see that it has the range to allow for a reliable escape and would hardly have been an "off the shelf" item at the time. To my mind, effective practitioners of clandestine death would not normally wish to stand out in their purchases or actions.

I might extend the executive toy concept a little however, perhaps arming your visible close protection team for sheer show or intimidation purposes or, if you were say a money lender or a banker keeping one to hand behind a ledger for those interviews with "difficult" clients..... Oh and I can't say that I haven't considered the concept of having a matching item to sling on the other side of the belt, but that would be a step too far perhaps.

Whatever the explanation, I thank Tod once again for having scratched an itch I didn't even know I had. Go on, indulge yourselves, Go to Tod's website and dream - and then get on the email and order.

Martin
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Christopher Treichel




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Nov, 2010 5:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting... just read a "historical" fiction novel about a murder plot concerning the architect of the Kologne Cathedral called "Tod und Teufel" by Frank Schätzing in which the murdered uses such a small crossbow to dispatch quite a number of folks...
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Johan K





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PostPosted: Tue 16 Nov, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting to see; I came across one of these things in the weapons exhibit of "Het Gravensteen" (castle in Gent, Belgium).
Never really knew what to make of it: feasable weapon or fancy junk.
Are there any historical accounts on the use of such items?

Would iot be possible to make a video of firing one of these things Martin? How are they in reloading etc?
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Martin Francis




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 2:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan

I presently know of no contemporary accounts that describe the use of such a weapon "for real" as an assasins weapon. There is of course the problem of translation and description in that our attempt at a precise terminology may not represent common descriptive practice at the time - rather like the way we all tend to wince when newspaper or TV reports totally mangle the descriptions of items that we know intimately.

On balance I suppose I would regard the use as "unproven" rather than "never happened" although as i said originally I don't find the idea convincing that it would be a suiable "assasins bow"

I'll see what I can do about a video, not ocurred to me before. May need to borrow some kit since none of my current systems will provide suitable output. This will take a little time since I only got home with it on on Sunday night and the perils of work and home life have to be dealt with first.

As to reloading, spanning it by the use of the screw is way slower than my longbow; slower than my stirrup or latchet bows but faster than my windlass bow. I'd put it on a par with or slightly faster than most cranequin spanning that I've seen. Lets see how things develop with practice.

For what it's worth, my opinion is that if you are using it as a weapon as opposed to a diverting "executive toy" then it's a bit of a last ditch holdout concealable weapon, as much used for surprise intimidation as opposed to firing - something like the percussion single shot Deringer pistols. This view is however coloured by my upbringing and experience and could be completely wrong.

Martin
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Nov, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just looked back through this thread as someone had asked me about it and realised I had never posted a video as requested of it being used and as I since made a video using another one I thought I would post it here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se_N8CrooPY

Enjoy.

Tod

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sat 23 Nov, 2013 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting the video. It definitely looks like a fun toy! I'm impressed by the technical sophistication. As an assassin's tool, I imagine the bolts would have to be poisoned for any reliability.
Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Gregg Sobocinski




PostPosted: Sun 24 Nov, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In spite of viewing the images and stats on your website, the size of this bow was hard to understand until I saw the video. Thanks for posting it!
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