Crossbows - Anatomy of a Bow

Crossbows through the ages changed styles and indeed there were different styles within the same period and so the components differ and these pictures will help identify the components. Descriptors for crossbows use different words in mainly Italian and German as well as English and so to simplify things I will use English terms or descriptors.

All Tods Stuff crossbows are fully functional, working bows of comparative power and are made to the same broad range of sizes and proportions as medieval bows. We also supply a full range of spanning devices and bolts.

As with all the items Tods Stuff supplies, our crossbows look real, because they are real, just newer.

Glossary of Terms can be found here.


15th/16th Stonebowimg - 15-16thc stonebow

  • Foresight (two pillars and string at the front of the bow)
  • Rear sight (horseshoe shaped metal loop just behind the curve of the stock)
  • Pillars (upright bars on the double string)
  • Pocket (leather pouch on the string)

15thC Windlassimg - 15thc windlass bow

  • Stirrup
  • Windlass

15thC Hunting Bow img - 15thc hunting bow

  • Hanging Ring (ring on the front of the bow)
  • Lashing (cords used to tie the bow to the stock)
  • Cheeks – (horn plates on either side of the stock near the trigger)
  • Butt Cheeks – (horn plates on either side of the stock near the butt)

15thC Munition Bowimg - 15thc munition bow

  • Wedges (pins used to clamp the irons to the stock)
  • Irons (curved plates used to lamp the bow to the stock)
  • Reinforcing Plates (iron plates on the sides of the stock)
  • Doubler Pulley (pulley and cords)

14thC Munition Bowimg - 14thc munition bow

  • 'Composite' Bow
  • Antler Nut
  • Spanning Hook
  • Stock

Black and White Hunting Bow img - black and white hunting bow

  • Bolt Bridge (bone fingers at the front of the stock)
  • Leather Braiding (braiding on the front of the bow)
  • Serving
  • Spiral Binding (twist around the string)

Chequer Bowimg - chequer bow

  • Cranequin lug (lug toward the rear of the stock)
  • Pom Poms
  • Nut Cords
  • Nocks
  • Trigger

14thC war bow img - 14thc war bow

  • Goats Foot Lever
  • Gots Foot Lever Lugs
  • Nut
  • Socket Reinforcing Pin
    (pin just behind bow socket)

Hunting Bow Detailimg - hunting bow detail

  • Metal 'Cord' Binding

15thC Hunting Bow 3 img - 15thc hunting bow 3

  • Hanging Hook
  • Painted Linen Covering

Bavarian Hunting Bow img - late 15thc bavarian hunting bow

  • Bolt Clip
  • Cranequin