Wednesday, 11 February 2015
As requested by Crowbard, a further series of photographs of the English stonebow shown yesterday. The first photo shows the stonebow with the foresight erect (on the left of the picture). This would have had a horsehair tied across the fork, with a lead bead halfway across the horse hair. The bead could be slid to left or right to adjust for a cross wind. The rearsight is also now upright just over halfway along the bow stock. There are three holes arranged vertically in the rearsight to adjust elevation for distance.
In the above photo I am depressing the spanning lever which usually lies in a slot cut in the top of the stock.
In the above photo the spanning lever is drawn about halfway back. When the lever is pushed fully down it clicks into the stock and locks into position.
A lead ball (or a round stone) is pushed into the leather pouch. The weapon is very carefully thought out. As the string is drawn back the leather pouch tightens onto the ball, so there is no danger of it falling out before use. When the trigger is pulled the string is released, and, as it moves forward the leather pouch releases its grip on the ball, which is released and shoots to its target. You will notice that I don't use the word 'fired' which is only properly used to describe a firearm being discharged.
Above is a close up of the lead ball used to give some idea of scale. It is a twelve bore ball (which means that with the correct bullet mould twelve such balls can be cast from a pound of lead to fit a twelve bore gun 'rowling', as a seventeenth century writer puts it.
Hope this helps, Crowbard. If I've still got the weapon when we next visit the Midlands (and I think it likely- it fills a space on the wall) I'll bring it with me to make things absolutely clear (but no popping it off to see if you can hit an elder brother running. The crossbow, and the elder brother have both retired - well semi, anyway, with regard to the latter).