By Alex Gouthro
It was obvious after one step; that’s all it took. The new models were in and the old models were out. These, most definitely, are not your daddy’s crossbows. A visit to the 2010 Archery Trade show in Columbus, Ohio, showed the crossbow market is expanding rapidly and, like their compound bow counterparts, modern crossbows come in a wide variety of models and draw weights.
Some crossbows use traditional-style bows with straight or recurve solid limbs. Others use compound bows, which can have split limbs (called quad limbs by some manufacturers) or solid limbs, with a wide variety of cam designs. More recent compound crossbow models use inverted cams and/or reverse-limb technology to gain increased power strokes, with the manufacturers claiming benefits such as increased speeds and lower noise.
Other improvements on some models are evident with improved ergonomics. For example, parallel limbs allow the use of shorter bows that improve balance and maneuverability. Better strings with little stretch or creep help deliver more stored energy to arrows. Anti-dry-fire devices make triggers inoperable if no arrow is loaded on the flight deck. And inhibitor devices immediately catch strings if dry fires occur, thereby preventing damage. With crossbows having anti-dry-fire devices, it is usually necessary to fire an arrow to uncock the weapon. Now let’s look at the various types of crossbows. Continue reading