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If you’ve been interested in archery thanks to Katniss, Gale and The Hunger Games; you may have heard about another type of bow called a crossbow. Although they didn’t use them exclusively in The Hunger Games movie or the books, a crossbow is part of the archery family tree. You just have to be prepared to use one because it’s one of the most dangerous weapons around, even today.



How A Crossbow Works

The crossbow functions similar to a regular bow when it comes to launching a projectile, but it is much more dangerous to use.
The crossbow operator holds the crossbow stock like a rifle. You then operate a crank which pulled the drawstring back and lock it into place. Some models use a special pull cord you hold with two hands to pull the drawstring back. The crossbow bolt, which is like an arrow, is loaded onto a groove along the stock. From there it’s a matter of ready, aim and fire by pulling the trigger.

Check out this crossbow firing demonstration:

What’s dangerous is that crossbow bolts can fire at an extreme velocity because of the stored up kinetic energy that pushes the bolt along the stock’s groove, making it a fast and fierce projectile. Although crossbows don’t have the same range as traditional bows, the extreme velocity makes them effective at short range.  Crossbows on the smaller scale can have 90 pounds of draw weight behind each quarrel, which is twice as much as the average recurve bow! They also take up less space, as a typical crossbow is only two or three feet wide and can be carried in one hand. In fact, many states require a special license to operate a crossbow on  public hunting grounds.

However, crossbow firing is a great skill to have, especially for outdoor hunting on private land or as part of any Hunger Games reenactments. If you use it for gameplay, some of them come equipped with soft darts or suction darts like the Nxt Generation Boy’s Crossbow.

I couldn’t imagine Katniss using a crossbow. She only wanted to kill if necessary. But who knows what trouble the Gamemakers would bring to the Rebellion?

Related articles: Gale’s Compound Bow; Katniss’ Recurve Bow