Interested in Burmese crossbows? Read on for facts & information about this traditional weapon from Burma…
Although the crossbow is largely redundant now, it was once a fearsome weapon. The animal or man made the victim of the crossbow would either die due to the shooter’s accuracy or the poisonous dart. The Burma crossbow was no different and was once a major weapon used by the Burmese army.
Burmese military crossbow
From 500 AD-1526 AD the Burmese army consisted of bowmen who had become experts with the Burma crossbow. They used the crossbows to defend themselves from the Mongol army, although they were not very successful. It is believed that Burmese armies also obtained Chinese repeating crossbows later.
What is a Crossbow?
A Burma crossbow consists of a bow that is mounted on a stock. This weapon is used to shoot projectiles. It is constructed in such a way that the bow can be held ready to be shot until the trigger is pulled. The ancient crossbows were designed in a way that relied on the strength of the archer alone to pull the bowstring, while the modern ones relied on mechanical ways to pull the bowstring.
The mechanism that keeps the bowstring pulled is called a nut. In the olden days it was made of bones, ivory or metals, while the trigger and its mechanism was always made of metal.The fact that the bowstring could be kept drawn for a few minutes, gave the shooter a chance to aim more accurately.
Uses of the Burma Crossbow Today
The crossbow is still used in places like Burma as a weapon against wild animals and to defend territories against enemies. However, the crossbow is rarely used as weapon anywhere else in the world. The crossbows’ uses are now limited to being a hobby, as a part of modern archery and many people indulge in target shooting using these weapons of the past.
Also the Burma crossbows have been modified to aid the friendly giants of the sea that is the whales. These modified crossbows are used to collect blubber samples from whales, without harming them. Biopsies can then be conducted on these blubber samples so that the wellbeing of the whales can be looked after. In some parts of USA, crossbows are also used for hunting but this is not due to necessity and depends highly on the hunter’s personal preference.
Difference between a Crossbow and Bow
Unlike the bow, the crossbow offered more control and greater power, while also increasing the accuracy of the shot. However, with the pros follow the cons. As the crossbow is bigger than the normal bow, it has additional weight. This requires more balance when using the crossbow and it also has a slower firing rate. This leads to lower efficiency especially during combat.