It is in the nature of a torsion engine that its best shooting qualities are arrived at by progressively perfecting the balance between the two spring bundles that comprise its power plant.

The start of this torsional balancing act is often accompanied by some pretty wild shooting.    At this stage, power levels are low and I only have a vague idea of where she is going to hit.    For example, I didn’t really want to sink a bolt into this stump of wormy old pine.   Things won’t get any better until the bundles are properly tuned.   In the mean time I seem destined to skewer a bunch of logs and stumps.  I suppose I am going to have to get all athletic now to dig this thing out.

Honestly! Two little lumps of pine in my big sand pit range,  and my two shots have to strike them both.   I fear the Catapult Gods are toying with me again.   I guess I’d better buckle down and make some more bolts.

The above photo depicts  the second shot in these Mk. VIII trials.    No velocity reading because this time we actually did have a flashing error message.  The extra 7 1/2 degrees of rotation all around has made the bow string noticeably more taut.  Flight of this bolt appeared to be faster than yesterday’s that was clocked at 204 fps.  Target medium rates as spongy.    (No,  Firefly didn’t shoot a bolt through a foot of pine.  She shot it through a foot of rotten pine.)

5 Responses to “The random shot.”


  1. Captn harpoon says:

    To save yourself some time and effort, use this chart for arrow trajectory for varying speeds. Since gravity dont care much how much an object weighs, it might prove helpful.

    http://www.excaliburcrossbow.com/content/arrow_ballistics


  2. Nick Watts says:

    Marvy. How kind and thoughtful of you. I am still not disposed to conversing with you, however.

    Firefly is not a team effort Joel. Other peoples breathless plans for how I might improve Firefly don’t much interest me. Never have.

    This buzz you were manufacturing about doing something whoop-te-do with the Discovery Channel. Knock that shit off. Also, please stop using the appellation “We”. There is no we Joel.


  3. Nick says:

    “I doubt I will have much time or inclination to pester you with suggestions, as my most basic designs have attracted licencing interest from two manufacturers who build the worlds fastest crossbows in both compounding and recurve.”
    Bully for you. Our prayers have been answered.


  4. Captn harpoon says:

    Its nice to assume the ancient romans who were barely out of the bronze age could go down the street and pick up tempered steel, and have a place they could send it to for proper tempering to withstand the stresses you inflict upon your machine. That it was too expensive and you did it yourself has little to do with it.

    Its not me that lives in a pretend world, I have real world results driven research I’ve been trying to share with you, and in doing share it with the wider international audience you have, advancing or correcting past assumptions or knowledge.

    I shouldnt have to point out the obvious to you, yet you insist on ignoring little things like a proper string will net you a gain on bolt velocity.

    400fps was always within your grasp. You didnt need me or any advice. Stronger steel and more power – yeah. I engineered my stuff with mild steel and it works just fine.

    So continue along with your own way to rock and roll. Fine with me, just dont pretend your build has anything to do with the ancient builds of two thousand years ago,or that they shot any so sissy as the tooth picks your using on a full sized war machine.

    I’ll still follow along, make my comments which you can delete with a keystroke, and still wish you the best of luck.

    I still say Firefly will now do at least 425fps, properly tuned and with less than 90 degrees of full rotation.

    Have at it and prove me wrong!!


  5. Nick Watts says:

    At least we agree that this will be your last comment on this web site.

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