Crossbows for survival and... ?

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by JMcDonald, May 6, 2008.

  1. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member

    I don't really know anything about crossbows, and can't find much on the web other than information about hunting with them. But, does anyone know about using a crossbow as a general weapon?

    Baalistics? Minimum pull force requirements?

    Don't laugh, but I was intrigued by the idea of a crossbow after (again) reading the Zombie Survival Guide... (specifically the hand crossbow as maybe a tertiary weapon).

    Realistically in a "hide out away from the chaos" type situation that we commonly refer to as "SHTF," one thing that I never really see mentioned in the ability to hunt (or even kill?) silently. I mean, if you are out in the woods and want to grab yourself a squirrel, but know there could be people within a mile in any direction, you would be kindof screwed.

    I was looking at some 100lb and 150lb crossbows just because that is about all Id be willing to spend, and they would be cheap ones at that.
  2. doktor

    doktor Guest

    I have a 150 pound pull crossbow, here in South Carolina they can be used by anyone over 62, and by any one else that can get a statement from their doctor that they are incapable of shooting a conventional bow, long, recurve, or compound, for hunting in the archery only season. I won't swear to it, but I believe anyone can use one during rifle season for deer. Every state has different laws relative to their use as a hunting tool. Although they are quiet, they aren't totally silent.
    There are a couple of types to choose from, straight, generally less expensive, and compound, very much like a compound bow. 150 pound pull, and perhaps a mechanical cranking device, (these are pretty high dollar, about $125-150) These really make it easy.
    A good idea might be to check on Ebay (I know, not friendly) for a used crossbow, I picked up a $300.00 plus value Barnett, with bolts, case, and extra strings for about $60 including shipping, they are not all that popular so good deals can be had. Just make completely sure that the limbs have never been dryfired, that can be totally destructive to a crossbow. From what I can see about the "pistol" style crossbows, most are just toys, but the full size crossbows have been used for centuries as a defensive weapon, ask any Viet Nam veteran that has seen what the Viet Cong have done with their primitive crossbows. The pistol style would be fun, but most likely wouldn't be very lethal to anything but maybe a squirrel or a rabbit.


  3. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member


    If I were going to get one I think Id get something like this:

    From what Ive read around the web, your average 80lb Xbow can be effective on even relatively large things (maybe small dear, but definately 'coons and such), and also still probably badly injure someone. Also, from what Ive read it seems an xbow of this size would be about the largest Id want to carry around secondarily (or tertiarily) for both its ease of cocking and light weight.

    As for this model in particular, there are variations sold ALL over the web for prices from that to $30+shipping. Overall it gets pretty good reviews for what it is supposed to do, and doesn't seem to have any major quirks from what Ive seen.
  4. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    My father had that same hand crossbow and it was fun, but pure junk. It lasted maybe 100 shots before it fell apart. He purchased another one and it did the same thing, than again they are crazy cheap and fun to "plink" with.

    As far as using something silent for small game hunting in a SHTF scenario I would use a pellet rifle. Fairly inexpensive, silent, effective, and light weight.
  5. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member

    I was also beginning to wonder about that. How fast do the pellets (.17) need to go to be effective on small game?
  6. Learn to set snares if you are really that worried about making noise taking game.

    Or you could fashion some sort of silencer. Speaking of which, a friend of mine told me about someone who used a condom over the end of a .22 rifle to manage some Coyotes in his neighborhood...I know what you all are thinking: "my uncle's daughter's boyfriend's dad's greatgrandfather...." the whole "friend of a friend, etc. thing...
  7. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    Theres also a Coke bottle and tape, One Quiet Shot.
  8. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member

    That coke bottle idea is very interesting, heh.

    And yeah, snares could take all day to get something. If I had enough time to sit around all day and wait for snares to catch something, then Id probably have enough time / comfort / safety to just wander out of hearing range and shoot something.

    I suppose I was really just looking for an excuse to tell myself so I could buy one for shooting behind the house, hah. But, I guess I won't bother with one.
  9. True about traveling out of earshot...snares are usually best when you have no ammo left, or are caught (god forbid) unprepared in the wilderness.
  10. SharpsShtr

    SharpsShtr Member

    .22 CB ammo (priming compound only) in a rifle is virtually silent, try a box. Would work great for shooting rabbits & squirrels at short range.

  11. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    I have taken small game with a cheap $30 Daisy that I don't think shoots over 600fps. If I had to guess it would be 400-500fps. However you can spend between $100 and $250 and purchase air rifles that push 1200-1800fps that are of higher quality and quiet. In fact I have been looking at GAMO lately for rifles, they have one that has a built in "silencer".

    However once you start breaking the higher velocities the noise level climbs quickly.
  12. SteveD

    SteveD Member

    One thing is you are going to spend a lot more(300-500) for a good hunting crossbow than a 995.
  13. griff30

    griff30 Member

    Then there's the Coke bottle, a strip of Aluminum Foil and "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner, but thats far, far, far, from silent.
  14. boyjoe

    boyjoe Member

    i love my cross bows. I have an #80 pistole type with a fiberglass prod that works well for rabbits, squirrels etc. but i haven't tried it on any thing bigger then a rabbit.i don't know if it would have the power to take a big coon and definitely not a yote. i rigged a line feed and got barbed bolts for fish but with the angle difference in the water i've never got one i think with more practice it would work. I have taken a deer with my #150 cross bow and a good broad head and it worked very well. the great thing with a small cross bow in a survival situation is you could easily make bolts so you have a virtually endless ammo supply. if you are looking in to them stay away from steel prods (harder to draw and less power then fiber glass) any thing less then an #80 draw, and plastic frames.
  15. Thorn 242

    Thorn 242 Well-Known Member

    one thing you might consider is learning how to make a bow yourself.....been doing that for eight or nine years now and have made several farley serviceable bows that are far more silent than even a pelet rifle.....just a thought
  16. condition1

    condition1 Member

    Crossbows may be less noisy than a rifle, but they still put out some sound. Primer only 22 ammo is really pretty quiet. True survival? deadfalls, snares, fishing.
  17. Primus

    Primus Guest

    I went out and got some primer only .22 ammo to give it a try and see how quiet it really is.
    About as loud as a pellet rifle I have. Definately not silent, but still very quiet. I didn't shoot any animals, so not sure how well it works against small game.