Firstly let me introduce myself, my name is Anthony and I have been an avid fisherman since I was 9 years old (I’m now 42). I have also been into various Bushcraft, Survival and outdoor activities from about the same age.
When I was in my teens you could regularly find me on my friends farm shooting rabbits, pheasant and pigeon both as pest control but also as a sustainable source of food. I never shot anything I didn’t plan on eating as I don’t agree with shooting for the sake of it. (This was in a time before health and safety went mad)
I think my love of shooting stemmed from that time in my life, of course archery and crossbows also became an interest although you can’t hunt in the UK with bow and arrow or crossbow.
Although I did archery for a good few years, I never really got round to giving crossbows a proper try having only used them for about six months. It wasn’t until recently when my wife suggested looking into it again that I really considered having one of my own. The first thing I found was that there was a very divided opinion on crossbows with a lot of archery clubs looking down on them and a lot of clubs even banning them or restricting the power down to below 100lb.
Okay so it was looking more and more like an archery club was going to be out of the question (check with your local clubs as not all clubs are anti crossbow) so it was time to look into the law within the UK and find out exactly what I could and couldn’t do.
Ignoring the law in the UK can and will result in serious consequences possibly even imprisonment especially relating to weapons which, at the end of the day is what a crossbow is.
So having spoken to several helpful police offers and researched the internet I found out that you can purchase or hire a crossbow with no special licence needed as long as you are over the age of 18. No-one under the age of eighteen can possess or use a crossbow, if the police believe a person is committing or has committed an offence then the police officer can search the person, persons property and seize the crossbow and/or detain the person in question. (Crossbow act 1987)
Although certain hunting is allowed in the U.K. on private land and with the landowners permission, hunting with a crossbow (or bow and arrow) is completely illegal. You may fire a crossbow using bolts that have target points only as long as you are on private land, have the landowners permission, are only shooting at dedicated practice targets or target bags and are shooting where there is no risk of injury to others.
You cannot simply walk down the street in public with a crossbow unless it is in a dedicated crossbow bag which preferably has a lock on the zips and even then the weapon cannot be cocked and/or loaded ready to fire. Anglo Arms do a superb bag that fits their crossbows.
It isn’t illegal to own a crossbow as long as you are over 18 but I would advise using common sense when it comes to not only owning but using a crossbow. At the end of the day it should be a hobby and something to look forward to using, not having to keep looking over your shoulder for the police because you have been an idiot.
I had found out the law regarding the ownership and use of a crossbow, I had even found a local friendly farmer willing to let me use his land to shoot the crossbow (I’d even found a club considering letting me use a crossbow in their club as long as it wasn’t a pistol style crossbow). It was now time to start having a look around at the various types of crossbow that were out there and see what took my fancy…
I looked around at the various styles and types available and as with most sports there are some that you will need a mortgage to purchase and there are some that are that cheap you wonder if they are of a good enough quality to be safe. I decided to get in touch with www.springfields.co.uk as they carry a range of crossbows and have given me plenty of sound advise in the past, having used a lot of their products I also trusted them to give me something of good quality but at an affordable price for the average person.
After several conversations I decided against the club root for now because although the full size crossbows were amazing, the club I was looking at was telling me I could only use a crossbow with a maximum 80lb draw weight and that is quite weak for a full size one and they didn’t allow pistol crossbows.
So I was now back on the option of either a really powerful full size or a reasonable power pistol crossbow. Having used full size crossbows before I decided that I wanted to try a pistol crossbow, there are a huge selection ranging from £10 right up to silly amounts.
The one that I decide on was the Anglo Arms Aluminium Komodo 50lb Pistol Crossbow. There were a couple of reasons I went for this the first being that it was aluminium, I personally don’t like the plastic ones although I’m sure they are very good.
I also liked the fact that I could store 5 bolts along the underside of the crossbow, the final reason I opted for this particular one was that I wanted to see what the quality of a cheaper pistol crossbow was like.
Waiting for it to arrive I was like a little kid at Christmas and when it arrived I was very impressed with the build quality although I had ordered some extra aluminium bolts as I don’t like the plastic ones that seem to come with most pistol crossbow kits these days.
The instructions for building the pistol crossbow were printed in easy to understand instructions on the back of the box along with a cut out target. Once you have the crossbow limb in place, it is time to attach the string, now this is no easy feat to do as there is good tension on the string and it is very strong.
The best way I have found to attach the string to the limb is to place the limb along two carpeted steps, put one end of the string on the string retainer on one end of the limb, next place your knee on the section between the handle grip and the cocking lever. Apply pressure with your knee until you can put the other end of the string over the other string retainer on the limb then slowly take the pressure off your knee.
That is your pistol crossbow now built, please remember that these are not toys and although it isn’t as powerful as a full size crossbow it is still a dangerous weapon if used incorrectly so BE RESPONSIBLE!!
Looking after your crossbow is fairly easy, buy either a specialist crossbow wax or some pure bees wax and make sure you wax the flight groove (where the bolt sits) and also the string after about 10-15 uses. This will help to prolong the life of the string and the pistol crossbow.
I was very impressed with the safety lever included on the pistol crossbow which helps prevent accidental firing, the bolt retainer (keeps the bolt in place) was sturdy and well positioned, the rear sighting was easy to adjust and allowed for correct lounging up of the front sight. All in all an extremely well built entry level pistol crossbow that will give you hours of fun if used responsibly.