Introduction: Simple Pistol Crossbow Tutorial (no Expensive Machinery Required)

Picture of Simple Pistol Crossbow Tutorial (no Expensive Machinery Required)

Hello everyone! In this instructable i'll be showing you how to build a pistol crossbow without the use of expensive machinery.  The design is very simple and basic, so feel free to make any changes or variations. This tutorial is mostly focused on the crossbow body, and the trigger mechanism works extremely well. I am not going to include a tutorial for the prod because i am not good enough at making them to be teaching others :p. Here is the list of items i needed to make this crossbow, but you can change the size of the wood to your personal preference. 

-Some bolts and nuts
-1/2 inch pressure board (or ply wood)
-8 mm pressure board (basically a thinner wood)
-Handsaw
-Drill
-Small screws
-Ruler
-Small springs (not required, but makes the trigger mechanism so much better)
-White glue
-Super glue
-Sandpaper (optional)
-File (highly recommended but optional)
-Pencil

Step 1: Step 1: Drawing and Sawing the Body Pieces.

Picture of Step 1: Drawing and Sawing the Body Pieces.

Measure and draw the basic shape of the pistol crossbow on the thick ply wood. You can change the design, but i designed it like this for the sake of simplicity and because I only have a old handsaw. Cut out the body piece twice. I have included the dimensions in the picture.

Step 2: Step 2: Making the Trigger.

Picture of Step 2: Making the Trigger.

To make the trigger, you will need to use your thinner piece of ply wood. Lets start with drawing and cutting out the two pieces of the trigger mechanism. The two pieces are simple shapes so they can be easily cut out of plywood using an ordinary handsaw.

Step 3: Step 3: Assembling the Trigger and Internal Parts.

Picture of Step 3: Assembling the Trigger and Internal Parts.

Ok so this is maybe the most difficult part to explain, because everything here in this step can be done with your personal preference. However, ill just show you how i did it to give you an idea.

We will first start by placing the two trigger pieces. Start by drilling a hole in the place shown in the picture. Then drill a hole into one of the body pieces similar to the hole drilled into the trigger piece, i drilled the hole about 4 cm away from the handle ( black line in picture), also let about half of the trigger piece be "out" of the crossbow ( as shown in the picture).

Next,  align both pieces so they fit almost snug fit together ( as shown in the picture).

Now cut out a rectangle from the thin ply wood with the dimensions of 17x4.5 cm ( or you can make it 22x4.5cm). Glue that piece infront of the trigger piece as shown below in the second picture. Glue another one on the handle. This will prevent the lock piece from being pulled by the string, it will also make the groove for the bolt to sit in. Make a small distance from the top of the body piece to the top of the thin rectangle to make a groove for the bolt to sit in. I made this groove 2mm deep, but make it deep enough to suit your bolt size. Make the groove deep enough so that almost half of the bolt sits in.

After the glue dries, put 3 small screws as shown in the third picture in order to keep the trigger pieces in place. Attach one end of the spring to the screw to the back of the trigger, and super glue the other end to the trigger. This will help the trigger pieces go back into position after shooting.

The last thing left to do in this step is to remove the wide trigger piece that the arrow rests on. 



The trigger works by pulling the lower piece, which then drives the upper piece which the string sits on down to release the string and shoot. 

Step 4: Step 4: Finishing the Trigger and Putting Everything Together.

Picture of Step 4: Finishing the Trigger and Putting Everything Together.

Lets start by superglueing a small spring to the trigger piece we took out in the last step as shown in the picture.
 
Now bolt the two sides together as shown in the second picture. Remember to drill a hole in the side of the other body piece for the nut of the trigger to go through.

Now cut a square out of plywood that has the side length equivalent to the width of the entire crossbow. 

Superglue the other end of the spring to the top of the square. Then put in the trigger piece. Super glue the square piece under where the trigger piece goes ( shown in the third picture). This will return the trigger mechanism back to its original shape after shooting. It will also prevent the trigger piece from falling out.


Step 5: Step 5: Making the Bolt Holder.

Picture of Step 5: Making the Bolt Holder.

This step is optional, and it is not required for the crossbow to operate. However it makes the crossbow much better.
 
Start by cutting out two rectangular pieces with the dimensions of 5x2 cm. (shown in the picture)

Now cut a piece of wood that has the dimensions of  5x(width of whole crossbow) cm. Also make it have a 5 cm piece of wood thing sticking out in the middle as shown in the second picture.

Now get a toothbrush and cut off its head.

Superglue all the pieces as shown in the fourth picture.

The bolt holder will sit on the crossbow as shown in the fifth picture. I wouldnt recommend superglueing it to the crossbow yet.

Step 6: Step 6: the Prod

Picture of Step 6: the Prod

Here is the prod. It is basically a piece of flattened 1 and 1/2 inch pvc pipe with recurves that has a string attached to it. I didnt make a tutorial for the prod because i am not good at making them, and i dont want your prod to snap in half because of me. 

Step 7: Step 7: Finishing the Crossbow.

Picture of Step 7: Finishing the Crossbow.

The crossbow is already full functional, but here before you go ahead and shoot it, it is better to file and sand the crossbow to make it more comfortable and have a nice look to it.

ALSO, i extremely recommend that you file the top trigger piece as shown in the picture so the string can go over it to lock into place.

Other than that thank you for viewing by instructable, and i hope this tutorial helped you build a pistol crossbow. If you have any suggestions or ideas please tell me, thank you.

Comments

JethroIV (author)2017-02-05

Where do you get the springs....?

Marco_Hawk (author)2016-06-22

Finally a project with cm instead of inches. Nice one!

noahcrips (author)2016-03-08

I love this DIY project. but i was wondering if you could help me out with step four just a ittle bit

MakeShiftMaker (author)2015-03-06

how long is the prod before u bent it?

kostasmaniakis (author)2014-01-13

very good job my frend

l8nite (author)2013-07-20

very interesting read. How much distance do you get and how much penetration ? What kind and size of bolts are you firing? I believe the part you are calling a prod is called a limber or at least that is what Barnett calls them

clusterflop (author)l8nite2013-12-11

Prod is the correct term for the bow regardless of what Barnett chooses to call them.

l8nite (author)clusterflop2013-12-11

a little research and it appears that you are correct, I apologize, I have only had barnett crossbows so I guess my knowledge has been more limited than I thought. When I need a new bendy thingy for my crossbow I went to barnett and searched all kinds of keywords, head, bow etc, it wasn't until I looked at a parts list that I found they called what I was looking for a "limber". Being an amateur philologist I was happy to have another word to throw around, now thanks to you I have expanded my vocabulary once again

crossbowman151 (author)l8nite2013-07-25

Sorry for taking too long to reply, it was because instructables wouldn't let me. The limbs have about 20 pounds of draw weight, and is not that powerful so i recommend that you use your own limbs if you want to make the crossbow more powerful. The crossbow can shoot all kinds of projectiles, and it can shoot a pencil halfway into a cardboard box from about 3 meters away. Thanks for viewing my instructable!

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