How to Make a PVC & Wood Crossbow


A crossbow is the beautiful marriage of firearms and archery, composed of a rifle-esque stock and trigger and an archery-inspired prod. A crossbow is nearly silent and shoots arrows, sometimes called "bolts," yet can be held and fired like a gun. Making your own crossbow won't necessarily save you money, but will allow you to design a weapon tailored to your shooting needs, and will also give you the satisfaction of crafting the device with your own hands.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch diameter PVC pipe
  • 6-foot 2-by-4-inch board
  • Jigsaw
  • Crossbow string
  • Crossbow trigger
  • Tape measure
  • Marker
  • Utility knife
  • Drill
  • 1-inch drill bit
  • Cut the 2-by-4-inch board to the stock length you require. For example, cut a 26-inch piece of wood from the board if you want a 26-inch crossbow stock. Measure the wood using a tape measure. Mark the appropriate area using a marker, then cut it using a hand saw. Discard the excess wood.

  • Draw a rifle stock shape on the side of the board using a pencil, then cut it out using a jig saw. Trace a 1/4-inch space down the center of the stock's top edge, then cut it out using a jigsaw. The depth should be between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch, depending on the vane size of your bolts.

  • Drill a hole through the side of the stock near the tip using a 1-inch drill bit and a drill. Coat the inside of the hole with epoxy.

  • Saw a 24-inch length of PVC from the pipe; this will be the "Prod," which is the part that looks like an archery bow. Measure the prod and mark the half-point. Insert the PVC piece into the epoxy-filled hole in the stock so that the center lines up with the stock's center. Wait for the epoxy to dry.

  • Score nocks into the prod's ends using a utility knife, two on each end opposite each other facing inwards. The crossbow string should fit snugly in the nocks. Bend the prod limbs inwards and attach the string so that it rests over the top of the stock.

  • Decide on the trigger type you want to use. The easiest method is a "Clamp Trigger," which is a spring clamp mounted onto the rear of the crossbow stock. The string is inserted inside of the clamp when drawn, and released when the clamp is depressed. Place the clamp onto the stock with the handle facing away from the prod. Screw it into the stock using a wood screw and drill.

  • Depress the clamp's handle to hold it open. Draw the string back into the clamp, then release the clamp's handle over the string. Place a crossbow bolt onto the stock with one of the vanes inserted into the stock's top groove. Aim at a target, then depress the clamp's handle to release the string and fire the bolt.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never point a loaded crossbow at anyone. Crossbows are prone to misfires that could result in bodily injury.

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