Crossbow Building Wiki

Crossbow trigger - What's so special?[]

{C Triggers are a fascinating subject on its own, but as soon as word "Crossbow" is put in front of "Trigger" it's a whole other world of engineering.

The difference between Firearm triggers and Crossbow triggers is quite simple actually:

  • Firearms only require the trigger to release the hammer to strike the primer that results in ignition of gunpowder and thus firing a round, so the load that must be overcome to fire the weapon is of the hammer spring and the friction involved in the interaction of the components.
  • Crossbow triggers, however, are not designed to strike the primer, as no such is present in the process (reason why it is incorrect to say "firing an arrow"), but actually retain/release the load of the spanned bow - allowing it to transfer its energy to the arrow.

To fully understand what makes crossbow triggers unique from firearms we need to look closer at what demands the crossbow assembly presents in front of this mechanism. This can be done easily by viewing the role of the trigger from the original and point - traditional (vertical) archery.

Just as with vertical archery, crossbows utilize a bow that must be drawn, energy stored in the drawn bow - retained to allow archer to aim, and released the arrow when ready. In vertical archery the bow is drawn by the archer and the bowstring is retained by the archer's fingers until he relaxes his hand - releasing the string and sending the arrow on its way towards the target. In crossbows the archers arm that holds the bow is substituted with a stock and fingers that retain the string are substituted by a release mechanism (trigger).

So, Firearms use a "Firing Mechanism", Bows/Crossbows use a "Release Mechanism". Now that we know the difference we can proceed to the components that make up the Crossbow Trigger.

Typical components[]

Utilizing leverage[]

Reducing wear[]

Details on specific types of crossbow triggers[]

There are several articles discussing different types of crossbow triggers: please take a look at the locks category in this Wiki.