A lot of evidence suggests that crossbow archery was actually founded in China. This was during the 4th century BC, so you can definitely say that crossbow archery has been in the circuit for quite some time now. At the time, another type of crossbow was also invented in Greece. However, this was an independent invention called the gastraphets. The crossbow was more prominent in China than in Greece during this time. In fact, it was not until the 10th or 11th centuries that crossbow archery became prominent in Europe, in terms of weapons of war. In the 16th century, the use of crossbow archery in combat receded significantly due to the development of swords and guns later on. But the use of crossbow archery in hunting and target shooting persisted to this present day.
There are actually a lot of designs in the bows used for crossbow archery. The first one is the single-shot crossbow, which has one type of mechanism for its latch or trigger. This was used roughly around 3rd century BC. This crossbow had three moving parts and no springs at all. The wooden stocks of the bow actually finish off in a pistol grip.
In 210 BC, another type of crossbow was used. This type had a repeating design with a box magazine operated by gravity. The magazine could be found right above the bolt track. Raising then lowering the lever would move the box forward, which would then catch the string in a wooden recess, and would then be drawn into a full cock. A bolt is then dropped into the track and the string is then released. These crossbows were not that precise and accurate when it came to shooting targets. However, the points of the bolts were dipped in poison, to make every shot lethal otherwise.
Over the years, the design of these bows for crossbow archery has improved significantly. This is especially true at the turn of the 17th century. This was when aperture sights and set triggers were added to the design of the bow, making the sport of crossbow archery much easier to master. Bullet crossbows, for starters, are quite popular when it comes to hunting small game and informal target shooting. A double bowstring is used for this type of crossbow, and it comes with a leather pouch for the balls made of stone, clay, or lead. Today’s gear and equipment for crossbow archery have indeed improved. To see these improvements, it would be better to go through the illustrations featured on the web. You would better appreciate these with the illustrations.