Crossbow vs Longbow (Nov-21)

Intro: Crossbow vs Longbow

The use of a bow as a weapon begins during the period of hunter-gatherers. The dating of these arcs, which have an archaic design, is determined by the type of arc. Crossbow vs longbow varies according to many factors such as size, weight, historical development, shooting time, and speed.

Crossbows and longbows are the most commonly used bows in history. Both types of bows appeared in different centuries and were used in different geographies.

crossbow vs longbow in battlefield

In the history of archery, Longbows have come forward with a faster rate of fire on the battlefield, on the other hand, the crossbows were preferred as a defensive weapon especially when it came to defending castles.

Quick Answer: Crossbow vs Longbow

The crossbow is preferred by its ease of use and convenience of transportation and the longbow is preferred because it makes successful shots at very long distances. Crossbows are easier to aim than longbows. Because the archers using crossbows don't have to use a hand to hold the string while aiming.

Because the draw length and the limbs of crossbows are much shorter than longbows, crossbows are inefficient when compared to longbows.

For the use of a longbow, it is necessary to have certain physical characteristics. But on the other hand, a specific physical feature is not required to use a crossbow.

The biggest advantage of the crossbow is to be the first hand-held weapon that could be even used by an untrained archer to injure or kill a knight in plate armor. Against this, longbowmen must be generally highly trained soldiers. That means, to keep-handy longbowmen in the army is so expensive and they could not be replaced easily.

History of Crossbow

The crossbow was first seen in the 5th or 6th millennium BC. The first crossbow is estimated to have originated in East Asian China. The earliest hand crossbow was found in soldiers’ tombs in the Shandong region. 

crossbowman in battlefield

Then, the Crossbow and its derivatives, which began to be used in Europe, continued to be used for many years. This became frightening as bows usage increased. Pope Urban II banned the use of crossbows in 1096. The reason for this is the possibility that a lower-class person could kill a vanity fair person with this weapon. But they still used this weapon in the Crusades.

Therefore, decreasing crossbow use in the West still continued to exist in the East. On the other hand, England preferred the longbow during this time.

The most terrifying form of the crossbow is seen in Italian cities. Crossbows made with wrought iron and mild steel have fatal power. Depending on the design, the crossbow varies decidedly between regions. 

At the beginning of the 16th century, the use of crossbows almost disappeared because of the invention of firearms. But crossbows are still developed and become better with add-ons today and used by many hunters.

Crossbow Design

The crossbow consists of a spring fixed diagonally on a wooden gunstock. Also, it stays on an arrow as stock. Crossbow, which has a transverse design rather than a longitudinal one, is a shorter design than traditional and known bows and arrows.

bow hunter with Ravin crossbow in the woods

In the following centuries, the system made of wood was also made of iron and steel. 

Learning to shoot with a crossbow is much easier. It systematically provides a more comfortable flow of an arrow in the air. For this reason, it has also been a more frequently used system. He is also much more successful at close-range shooting.

The crossbow was generally a short bow that sat transversely on a wooden log. The arrow moves in a cavity on the body, and this makes it stand much more steady.

History of Longbow

Longbows also known as English bows are very popular in the 1300s and the British continued to use the longbows for centuries, while the whole world used crossbows at that time. For this reason, it is also quite natural for longbows to be identified with the British.

historical English Longbowmen

The first examples of longbows are seen in Europe in 3000 BC. However, the clearest evidence for the use of longbows is in 2690 BC. In 15. centuries AC, the use of longbows have begun to increase in England. The reason for this is that crossbows were banned during this period.

It has taken this name because it is a very long bow. the bow, which is almost equal to a human height, is set at 6 feet. This equals around 1.80 meters in the metric system. The longbow, which is the most common tool of the British, continued to be used increasingly until the 16th century.

It is possible to base the longbow history on a very old one. But it is possible to say that it achieved its most important image in the late Medieval Ages.

This type of bows, which have been found in deciduous traces since the Neolithic deciduous period, is attributed to Wales. Although the longbow has been known for centuries since its existence, it is entirely up to Wales to use it as a weapon. Especially King 1. Edward's role in this is considered important. But there is no conclusive evidence.

The use of a longbow is not as good as thought. It is difficult to shoot arrows from this bow as well as to carry such a longbow. It requires an 80-pound force. Only in this way will the right shot be possible. The Welsh people, who used such a heavy and large tool, also had these physical characteristics. Longbows also require a sharp eye in addition to these physical characteristics.

Longbow Design

The longbow design consists of wood. Although this makes bow production easier compared to other bows, the length and angles of the bow must be adjusted correctly.

African Tribe using Longbow

 The longbows, known as the English bow, are usually produced from yew wood. A cross-section is taken from the radius of the tree. But 16th by the end of the century, there was not much left of the mature yew trees. At this stage, the mulberry tree has become a suitable choice for a longbow.

Longbows have to be more flexible because of their size. At the same time, this flexibility should also have a mathematical ratio. Its compression strength should also be tested. Yew tree is preferred because it meets all these.

Is a crossbow more powerful than a longbow?

In general, crossbows can produce more kinetic energy than the average longbow. Kinetic energy also means “power,” so the answer is yes, it’s evident that a crossbow is more powerful than a longbow.

hunter on the field with ravin crossbow

The longbow is divided into layers within itself. These layers are placed in such a way that the tension is from the outside to the inside. This strengthens the longbow. At the same time, different materials can be used together according to decency.

In other words, it is possible to obtain an arc from two different trees. According to the bow, this number may increase or decrease. It is also determined according to the advantages and disadvantages of woods. But the woods must be processed no matter what. In some cases, the laminated support is also stretched to the sides of the bows.

Crossbow vs longbow are divided into different areas both in terms of image and function. Although there are different types of bows, especially the crossbow vs longbow have been one of the most important combat weapons for many centuries, unlike all bows. Especially in the Medieval Ages, the English bow and crossbow became almost deadly.

The Difference In Geography Between the Crossbow vs Longbow

carry a crossbow in the woods

Unlike longbows, crossbows are used on more than one continent, while longbows have generally taken a place in British geography. Crossbow has been used in Greek, Chinese geography, and many other areas.

Using crossbow has influenced all of Europe for a period and also made progress. This development in the crossbow was both geographically and visually. On the other hand, the long arc has not shown serious change for centuries. Although the design material has changed and add-ons, it has generally remained the same image.

Although the material has changed and add-ons, it has generally remained the same design. A very deadly tool, the crossbow has been used in many wars over the centuries. The longbow, on the other hand, was used in distinctive geography.

Since the use of longbows was difficult, it was made compulsory for men to take bow training once a week in England in the 13th century. Only in this way was it possible to establish a combat-ready longbow group. But such great power is not required in the use of a crossbow.

The Difference in Height and Weight Between the Two Bows

It is more difficult to use a longbow. Even height and weight are important while a long spring is used. A long spring with an average length of 1.80 cm should again be used by someone of this height. It is also recommended to be above 70 kilos in weight.

The training process is longer for an arrow thrown from a longbow to hit the target. But in the crossbow, this time is short. The crossbow was especially given to the inexperienced soldiers. It is easy for inexperienced soldiers to learn the crossbow. Crossbow has a system, and in this system, the arrow goes out of the field and can go more steadily.

The Difference in Material Between the Two Bows

Longbows are made of yew wood. For the crossbow, the material has been diversified according to geography.

There was also a production difference. The difference in production between these two products is also reflected in the cost. The longbow production is much easier. The construction of a crossbow is more complex.

The crossbow vs longbow are also made of wooden material. for many centuries, wooden material has been the most preferred. These bow systems, which are usually used in wars, are preferred for wood in order to be made at the front during the war.

Although wood samples are still preferred today, synthetic material samples are also common. In the same way, polyplastic material is also common. However, the most preferred material is still wood.

The Difference In the Shooting Time Of the Crossbow vs Longbow

The main difference at the time of the battle was that the crossbow fired fewer shots. The average shot per minute is 4 or 5, while the number of shots with a longbow is much higher.

It is also known that the crossbow is shot 1 time in 10 seconds. But these numbers are the number of the most successful soldiers who use these tools. You can lose yourself with a crossbow loading while your opponent is shooting his 5th shoot with a longbow.

Because of the longbow firing distance, it is more often preferred in open field battles. On the other hand, the crossbow is especially preferred for defense.

Which Bow Is More Suitable Today?

The longbows are the best option in field battles while the crossbows are better for situations that need close quarters such as city defending. The crossbow is a faster shooter on the first shot. But it has a quite long reload time. During this time archers are vulnerable. The longbows are a great choice for cover fire for the troops in the field battle while they’re attacking.

The main advantage of longbow over the crossbow was its high rate of shot. A trained archer could easily shot approximately 10 arrows in a minute. On the other hand, 5 shots per minute can be count as a success for a crossbow.

Although, crossbows slow loading time, it didn't require the same physical strength and shooting skills as longbows.

Both of them served different purposes, while bows were previously considered to be used especially during the war period. The crossbow was able to shoot well from a short distance, while the longbow was able to shoot fast, especially at a long distance. Bows, the use of which has changed depending on the need for combat, are preferred for different purposes today.

The longbow is much more common, although it requires more technique than the crossbow. A longbow is shaped according to weather conditions, the length of the bow, its weight, the height and weight of the person using it. It has a long educational process. Despite this, compared to the crossbow, the usage rate is higher today.

A crossbow is a bow that everyone can use easily. There is not much need for technical knowledge at the initial stage. It can be used conveniently with short training. For this reason, the rate of use over the centuries has been higher than a longbow.

Crossbow advantages:

  • A crossbow can be aimed for any length of time at full draw without any physical requirement.
  • Having a mechanical release on a bow is more consistent than a finger release. So accuracy is better than a longbow.
  • Crossbows also shoot flatter. Higher bolt speed also helps accuracy.
  • Crossbow bolts are about 2/3 the weight of an equivalent longbow arrow and have two fletchings compared to three on a normal arrow. Bolts have also been simpler design, needing only to be stiff enough to withstand the high forces applied to them.
  • Medieval combats are mostly siege warfare. Sieges are a battle of supply and having crossbows that shoot much cheaper bolts is a huge advantage. The slow rate of fire doesn’t matter for sieges. accuracy is much more important.
  • Crossbow doesn’t require A physical strength.

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