We know that the crossbow existed back in ancient times in China around 600BC. In the Middle Ages the crossbow was officially referred to as the Arbalest. The crossbow range was 350-400 yards but could only be shot at a rate of 2 bolts per minute. It did not take a lot of training or strength to shoot the crossbow. A Knight in full armour could be killed by a crossbowman. The crossbowman were often peasants without any training or status. The disadvantage of a crossbow was the time and expense along with the slow firing rate. The main disadvantage to the crossbowman was the reloading time. This put them in a vulnerable position so therefore they needed tall shields to protect them while reloading. For this purpose the Pavise was invented. Throughout the Middle Ages the crossbow was regarded as inhuman requiring no real skill to use and so there was no honour in being an expert crossbowman best crossbow for the money.
The construction of the crossbow has changed and does not look anything like it did in ancient times. In ancient times It was constructed in a manner in which the bow was mounted across a wooden tiller or stock. When it was fired the bolt or arrow would move down the stock or tiller. One common device was the stirrup which was built on the front of the crossbow. The archer would then brace the crossbow with the foot and draw the strings with both hands. Some archers used a hook to pull the string back. The improvements to the modern day crossbow is that it is made of with better materials and effective shapes and this makes it much more accurate and powerful. The crossbow is basically a bow and arrow that operates by spring action. The spring action propels the arrow at a high rate of speed. Today it is primarily used for hunting big game. So it is very fast, powerful and produces high energy. The crossbow should not be used without understanding what safety measures should be taken. The crossbow is used by big game hunters and recreationists but before using a crossbow you need to be sure and research the laws in your state that govern the crossbow.