Friday, 30 November 2012

Paper Crossbow Bolt

There was some discussion about the spine of arrows cut down for use as crossbow bolts.
I offered the opinion that it didn't matter as there is no archers paradox and the mechanical release exerts no sideways force on the bolt.
One guy Joe said this was 'Dangerous advice' which rather incensed me so I set to and made a crossbow bolt from a sheet of A4 printer paper!
It's ordinary printer paper rolled up to be a tube 3 layers thick glued up with UHU glue.
My first attempt was just 2 layers and only glued along one edge, it was too delicate to handle and stick a point on.
A short plug of 5/16 wooden arrow shaft is glued in each end and my usual 50gn crossbow point glued on, the nock end is carefully shaped to sit into the trigger mechanism correctly. The whole bolt weighs 117gn I haven't bothered with flights as it will be shot at about 5 yards into a small foam target suspended so it will swing and hopefully absorb the impact without damaging the bolt too much (assuming the bolt ever gets that far)
I asked Joe what he thought the failure mode would be and he said buckling, well in my opinion it would take a huge force to accelerate a tubular aluminium arrow fast enough to buckle it.
I think we would all agree that a full length arrow made of 3 layers of paper wouldn't survive being launched from a 50# longbow.
Will the bolt survive being shot from a 50# crossbow?
Watch and see!


  1. Last time I looked at this the google vide was down... so for the record. Yes it survives, no prob'

  2. I've re-posted the video... it works now :)