The Crossbow and Bow

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‘THE CROSSBOW AND THE BOW. An Ancient and Modern Craft. A Do-It-Yourself Guide”                    


The book is a result of 28 years of my activity as a craftsman.  It is a compendium on the construction, design, and use of string weapons – both bows and crossbows – historical and modern.

In 2002 my first book was published (“Drewniany łuk średniowieczy” –  “Medieval Wooden Bow”). This was the first book on bow-making in Polish language – sold in about 10 thousand copies. In 2008 I published first edition of here presented book on crossbow and bow – making. Preparation for the  second edition of the book took additional more than one thousand hours of work (making new items, description on how to make them, technical drawings and photos). Between the first and the second edition I gained formal craftsman’s education – in profession of gunsmith (both the first step and master’s diploma) and entitlements of firearms combat shooting instructor so you can also find typical gunsmith’s knowledge in the text – where it’s necessary. The second edition was published in 2021.  The book has been sold up till now (in both editions) in about 9 thousand copies. The here presented English language version was published this year – in October. 

The DIY-guide is mostly intended for beginner craftsman, however with a few exceptions. Among more advanced projects are  laminated fiberglass bows – ‘Hunter’ model and deflex-reflex model – along with photos, descriptions and drawings of gluing jigs’ shapes to be copied and information on the core thickness for a given draw weight. The competition crossbow (visible on the book cover – designed by me according to regulations of IAU and WCSA, hence entitled to enter competitions organized by those organizations – including World Championship) is an advanced project as well. The description of how to make the crossbow is provided with detailed hand-made technical drawings and photos of all the elements.  In the book a reader will also find description on how to make early – all wood crossbow, medieval crossbow with steel prod (according to WCSA formal regulations), stone-bow (ballester) , English sporting crossbows of 1950s and 1960s, traditional wooden bows and wooden arrows (including footed – two-splice and four-splice).  

The book has got 330 pages of B5 format with colour inset for those photos that wouldn’t look good black and white. The English text has been thoroughly revised and corrected by British English native speaker – physicist by training, and author of published novels, so the quality of English language is very good, I believe, accessible as well so that it content can also be understood by readers with little or no technical background. Those who had read the original language version, have found the book an interesting and vast and very useful compendium on string weapons construction. If I am not wrong, there is no other such a compendium – both on crossbow and bow-making (excluding very old publications).
                                                                                                         Jaroslaw Jankowski 

Jaroslaw Jankowski (b. 1969) - a master gunsmith by training, firearms combat shooting instructor, philologist, and manager - has been involved in historical reenactment and the construction of string weapons, both historical and modern, for many years. He is the author of three book publications on the craft.
This book is a culmination of over 25 years of work devoted by the author to the science and craft of making string weapons. It is a compendium on the construction, design, and use of such weapons - both historical and modern. The reader will find here descriptions of the making of medieval and modern crossbows (both models for recreational and competition use), wooden and laminated fiberglass bows, and traditional wooden archery arrows.  On the basis of this guide it will be possible to make the items described here yourself. This study is written in accessible language so that its content can also be understood by readers with little or no technical background.


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