Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pretty Durn Impressive

Watch what a modern crossbow can do to equally modern level IIIA body armor:

Granted this is $1450 "Tactical" crossbow, but cutting through soft body armor and then getting 14" penetration into ballistic gel is nothing to laugh at.  Even though it's only 150-ish ft. lbs, it's very effective when a single, well-placed shot will do. 

The only drawback to this bow is the long cycle time to reload, but you won't have too little penetration; the same guy shows the same crossbow putting arrows through a car door, too.   It's interesting that the first crossbows were used to cut through the first soft body armor (leather and chain mail) and today's crossbows can cut through modern Kevlar body armor. 

Years ago, an older guy I worked with told me that if you're ever shot with a crossbow, you were going to wish you were really shot with a gun.  He went on to tell a story, I have no idea if it's true, of a homeowner who heard the proverbial bump in the night of a burglar in his home, and armed with his crossbow, literally nailed the perp to the wall, like a bug in a science lab, and left him there until the police came. 


  1. Pretty cool, but I think naming it a "Tactical Assault Crossbow" is a BIG mistake.

    Those first two words are bound to draw attention, and then the sh1t storm will start.

    My best buddy back in Illinois was a serious bow hunter, and he had a crossbow of 1980's vintage. We were screwing around in his house one day, and he shot it at the kitchen wall from about 10'.

    The bolt went through TWO plaster and lath walls, across the yard, and buried itself into the outside wall of his garage.

    We were both stunned at the penetration it had.

  2. No surprise here. Modern Kevlar armor is not designed to stop sharp objects like knives or arrows. Soft body armor worn by most law enforcement officers is designed to stop most pistol caliber rounds. It is ineffective at stopping rifle (including 22lr) rounds unless the wearer is using a trauma plate that is designed to stop rifle rounds.

  3. "Medieval crossbows wouldn't penetrate the armour of the day" Really? Is that why Continental European armies had lots of crossbow armed men? Just to annoy the armoured knights and men at arms?

    No - they were WAY more powerful than 150 pounds (I can draw a 150 pound crossbow by hand using a stirrup) but the ordinary Medieval ones that used a windlass could (and often did) exceed 500 pounds. The strings of those brutes were 1/2 inch diameter ...

    Phil B

  4. Years ago, there was a guy around here who had a Demo:
    He'd dress up a bale of straw in an old Kevlar vest, back off, and shoot it with a .357, then go dig the deformed bullet out of the front of the vest.
    Then he'd shoot it with a longbow. Through the front, through the straw, and out through the back.
    And rate of fire is pretty good with a longbow, too. 'Course, there are the years of training and the regular practice required to develop and maintain proficiency, so maybe there's a reason firearms became popular.

  5. 'Course, there are the years of training and the regular practice required to develop and maintain proficiency, not to mention a lack of magazine-fed longbows. Yeah, I know that came a couple of hundred years later.

    The longbow was the most terrifying weapon of its day. I remember reading an old piece somewhere on how longbows could lead to extinction, they were so efficient at killing the other side from far away.

  6. I wanna see that thing go through a vest w/ a chicken plate.

    1. I'd like to see him try, although I'm pretty sure "going through" ain't gonna happen.