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Crisbow Crossbow (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Odd Job, May 28, 2008.

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  1. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    It seems that these crossbows just won't die, although they are not produced any longer. Lately I have been getting requests via email, for information on these bows. I thought I would put down everything I know, in one place. I don't know everything about these, but you know what they say: "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king" ;)

    Background: Crisbow Crossbows were made in South Africa in the eighties and nineties. There was a recurve model known as the Cheetah and then there was a compound version known as the Quadro 2000. Both Cheetahs and Quadros were sold in two styles: a black skeleton design made from glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), and a traditional wooden stock made from imbuia. In all cases the prods (the 'bow') were made from spring steel and you could swap out a recurve prod for a compound prod, just by buying the new prod and a cable guide.

    The crossbow I got was a Cheetah MKIV, in GRP. I got this in 1987 and upgraded the recurve to compound shortly after that. Like a fool, I traded in the recurve to get a discount on the compound prod. That is a decision I regret, especially now that parts for these crossbows are becoming difficult to find. It would be nice to have a different bow on the same frame, for casual shooting at close targets at the archery club.
    Anyway, I don't have the recurve prod, but when I put the compound prod on the Cheetah frame, the crossbow essentially became a Quadro 2000. I also got the 4x32 scope that sells with Quadro 2000s and put that on the bow instead of the 4x20. Here is my crossbow, pictured a few years ago with the 4x32 Crisscope:

    [​IMG]

    I don't have any photographs of the imbuia version, but I have found one brochure in my belongings and a source in SA has scanned some others for me. These are pictures of the Cheetah imbuia version...first two images show the recurve version, this brochure is in French:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here is one in English, showing an imbuia Quadro 2000:

    [​IMG]

    And these are the only documents I have, concerning the GRP version of the Cheetah. They are scans forwarded to me by a helpful lady in South Africa who used to sell these (doesn't anymore):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, these crossbows are no longer produced and the company that used to make them abandoned the crossbow and moved onto other things. The only company I have found that has stocked these crossbows recently or has stocked spares for them, is in Belgium. The company is called SSA archery and I can confirm they are still in business because last week I phoned them and asked if they have any spare Crisbow parts. They have asked me to email them my request, and I have done so, awaiting a reply. Here are the company details:

    [​IMG]

    The additional email I was given was james (at) SSA (dash) archery.be
    I haven't heard back from them, but a few years ago I bought a spare pistol grip for my Quadro and one or two other items from them. A guy at my local archery and rifle club bought an imbuia Quadro from them, and I have used it. That was about three years ago. I don't know if they still have spares for the GRP or imbuia versions or not. I'll let you know when I find out.
     
  2. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Crisbow used to sell cable replacement kits for the Quadro prods. Here is the instruction sheet from one of those kits:

    [​IMG]

    Note that all the compound prods I have seen for the Crisbow range, have had ordinary bolts that you loosen with a wrench, to take tension off the prod. The images show bolts that are loosened with an allen key, but I have never seen that version.
    Here is a sequence of images showing what parts you got in the kit:

    [​IMG]

    (You would get a right hand cable also, not pictured)

    Here you see the cable-holder (slides on the cable guide, which is not included in the cable kit) and also an allen key to loosen the cam bolts, and spare cam nuts and washers, but no spare cam bolts:

    [​IMG]

    You would also get a string:

    [​IMG]

    That string would connect to the cable end as follows:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a fully-assembled compound prod, with string length measurement:

    [​IMG]

    And here is a sequence of pictures showing the complexity of one of the cams, both on the prod and off:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In my opinion, if you have one of these Quadros and you have lost or damaged cams and cables, you are gong to find it impossible to manufacture a replacement. You must either get a spare or resign yourself to trying to find a recurve prod for your weapon.

    You could make a string, a cable guide, a cable-holder and even the stirrup, but if you have no cables and cams you are done IMHO.

    I think the same applies to the trigger housing. Mine is original and these things must have been made very well because I've never had a problem with that trigger despite quite a bit of use. It has a good trigger for a crossbow.
     
  3. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    In my opinion, the GRP version of the crossbow is the one to get, for the following reasons:

    1) Has a central cable-guide, not off-centred like the imbuia version.
    2) Ambidextrous (imbuia stock has thumbhole).
    3) Can be used without a scope because the front end has a rudimentary front sight. The imbuia version does not.
    4) Adjustable pistol grips and butt stock.
    5) Can be used without the butt stock, and can also be stored in a smaller bag if you take the crossbow apart.
    6) Lighter (but not by much).

    At one time I saw metal stirrups being sold for these at a chain of knife shops in South Africa, but I never bought one. I don't know if the metal stirrup was a Crisbow upgrade or another stirrup that just happened to fit the Quadro/Cheetah frame.

    The only advantage I can think of when considering the imbuia vs GRP, is that the imbuia version had a brass track and some people said it had a more traditional look to it. It doesn't scream Evil Black Crossbow ;)

    I'm still trying to get more information from South Africa. It is surprisingly difficult to get. I can't track down the Johannesburg distributor, which was a company called Taylor and Henderson.
    The only information I have found out abut the Crisbow company is that they have moved on to making trailers for vehicles. The Crisbow side of things was abandoned in sometime around 1999 or 2000.

    My impression of the bow (considering the compound GRP Quadro):

    It is very accurate up to about 40 yards.
    Has no loading assist and therefore is not for everybody, unless you manage to fix a winch onto it. I have tried all sorts of manual load assists and none of them helped take any strain off my back while loading. I therefore load without them, and make sure my chest doesn't come off the butt-stock (try to use arms only). I have good traps from this crossbow, it is a 140 lbs dead lift.

    A piece of trivia: only one woman has ever managed to load that crossbow on her own, and a fair amount of dudes have failed to do it. This must have turned a lot of people off the bow, when it was still being sold.
     
  4. gshock300

    gshock300 Member

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    Hey Oddjob,

    Ive got the same crossbow as you and ive noticed that the bars that hold the string back when you cock the string to full draw is getting stuck and wont allow me to pull the string back past the bars to full cock.
    I have to use a screwdriver and push and jiggle the bars so they loosen off and click back. once ive loosened it up and it clicks back to allow for backward rotation.. I can then draw the string back past the bars and let it catch onto the rear of the bars.
    Have you seen this happen before and got any advice?

    thanks
     
  5. mckutzy

    mckutzy Member

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    i beleve i have one of these with the wood stock, it also has a aluminum track with a single metal bow(aluminum?) and no string, what is the string length for these bows?
     
  6. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    gshock300:

    I haven't had that happen to me.
    Unfortunately I don't think you can get into the trigger mechanism to check it out.
    Does your safety catch work properly? I would check that out if I were you.
    Otherwise I don't know what you can do, sorry.
     
  7. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    mckutzy:

    Unfortunately I don't have the recurve prod anymore. I still regret handing that in as a discount for my compound prod.
    I don't know what length it is, sorry.
    All of those wood models that I have seen have been fitted with a brass track. All the Crisbows I have seen have had steel prods.
     
  8. sm

    sm member

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    Odd Job,

    Thank you sharing all this information with pictures!

    A most informative and educational thread indeed!
     
  9. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    It is my pleasure, sm.
    Unfortunately I am not an expert with this crossbow or any other, but there is very little information out there about these bows.

    You know what they say: "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king"
     
  10. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    gshock300

    I X-rayed my crossbow today, hoping to find out more about the trigger assembly. Note that it has a different scope and rings on, from the one that it was sold with, seen in the earlier post.

    Here is a closeup of the area, on the X-ray cassette:

    [​IMG]

    This is the default position, after firing. The safety is forward and the rear central post from the trigger mechanism is forward. I'm sure there are proper terms for these items, but I don't know them, sorry :eek: Here is the X-ray:

    [​IMG]

    The next two X-rays show the trigger components in two stages.

    First, the string has been pulled back so that it has engaged the rear central post from the trigger mechanism, pushing it backwards and bringing the forward string retainers (two posts on the sides) rearward into view. Note the safety is not engaged yet:

    [​IMG]

    And here, the string has been pulled all the way back so that it pushes the safety backwards to the 'on' position:

    [​IMG]

    Here is an oblique view of the trigger mechanism in the same condition (photo is at a different angle from the X-ray beam):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More on this later...
     
  11. give

    give Member

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    live in pa. little too close to trenton for my lik
    love cross bows,had one as a kid,long hours of fun,just dont make the same mistakes i did,lol,get something good to shot at,trees dont work well if you ever plan on reusing the bolts
     
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Nice Odd Job ! I have an old (mid 80s) Horton Commando 175 pound recurve made on the Scottish Isles. I load it on my chest. It has shot hard and straight for 25 years being a siple piece of green molded plastic!
     
  13. chevman

    chevman Member

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    crisbow

    I have a crisbow mark Iv it is still origanal will send pics later but need some info as I just got it.What are the arrow lengths for the cheetah?and what is the swithch for just above the rear pistol grip?It looks like a saftey but it has a saftey switch above the trigger.Can this crossbow be used for hunting deer.150 lb pull.
     
  14. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Hello Chevman

    Nice to see these Cheetahs surfacing.

    1) Minimum arrow length for your Cheetah is 16". Be advised that it is better to have the bolts custom made for this crossbow, so that you can have the fletchings set lower on the shaft so that they don't touch the trigger housing. The alternative is to buy ordinary crossbow bolts but then refletch them yourself (you'll need a jig, spare fletchings and a good adhesive). In both cases you should have the rear ends of the fletchings set 45mm from the back of the bolt.

    2) The thing that looks like a safety above the rear grip isn't a safety at all. it is the release bolt for the buttstock. If you turn it anti-clockwise you can unscrew it. The nutcap on the other side can then be pushed out and then you can remove the buttstock. The buttstock has a two position adjustment, this is how you adjust it. Check pics in beginning of thread for more info.
     
  15. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    As for the question about hunting deer, I reckon the max humane range on the crossbow is 40 yards, with a proper broadhead. But I am basing that on speculation on whether it would work with two-legged goblins, not deer. I can only say I suspect it will be good enough for smallish deer at close range, but if I was in your position I would get a compound crossbow or an appropriate rifle.
     
  16. chevman

    chevman Member

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    Thanks odd job for the info.I have been doing a ton of reserch about the crossbows and it seems to be a strong enough pull as a single recurve to do the job of getting deer for the hunt.I have bought new arrows(bolts) and a new set of 125 grain 3 blade broadheads yesterday (not cheap I might add) for this crossbow.I bought 2018 style not the 2117 style.I understand exactly what you mean about the flretching they should be lower on the shaft.1 last question is the arrows I bought have the moon style knock as I thought it would be like the Horton & barnett.Is this correct or do they use the flat knock like the excaliber?Can I also use a slightly longer arrow ?Or only 16" bolts.I love all the reserch you have done on these crossbows I really like the feel and grip styles with the adjustable but stocks etc.Even the new bows dont feel like these.Only the fact that the compound style is a nce option maybe down the road ill go to the quatro.Will send some pics after for any info on the whole bow as mine is still origanal Feel free to ask.Thanks again keep these crossbows alive they must be good or they would all be gone after this many years.lol.
     
  17. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Hi Chevman

    I think you can go to 18" on the bolts for that recurve, not sure if you get benefits from going longer. I don't know enough about shaft weights and optimal lengths. All I know is the bows were sold with Eagle 2117 and that these were 16" in length.
    The back end: must be flat. Don't use half moon backs on there, you'll have problems if you do.

    One more piece of advice: over time the rear pistol grip will drift rearwards. DO NOT be tempted to tighten that bolt with a pair of pliers gripping a coin. I did that and ruined the nut. I had to find a spare grip in Belgium, it was not easy!
    You should find the optimum position for that rear grip and apply a bit of wood glue to that (or something else not as permanent as super glue) to stop it drifting back. If it drifts back it will be uncomfortable because the plastic rail will interfere with your index finger. Check the second last X-ray to visualise what I mean.
    Front grip isn't so serious because the rail is longer and you have the fore-end to grip in an emergency.
    Also: get the scope rings on there nice and tight. If you don't have the original Crisscope on there, make sure you get an air-rifle rated scope because that bow shakes up those scopes something terrible. Mine has wrecked 3 scopes so far!
     
  18. chevman

    chevman Member

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    I will get some flat knock bolts then I thought it would help to use the moon style knock as the chances of having a dry fire would decrease as the sting has a better contact.Can and or have you left your crossbow cocked during a hunt for any amount of time? I always leave my crossbow uncocked but would like to know if you could leave them cocked for a short period of time say a few hours a day when you are in the bush hunting.As you know its kinda hard to cock them and bye the time you do whatever you are hunting would hear you and be gone lol.Ps without a bolt in it of course.I dont mind loading a bolt I would have time for that just another dumb question I guess but thought it was important.
     
  19. chevman

    chevman Member

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    Please remember Im still new to this lol.
     
  20. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Chevman, see if you can just change the nocks instead of buying another set of bolts from scratch.
    A tip about unintentional dry-firing: this happened only once or twice to me and it was because the bolt wasn't all the way back to the string. The string sits very snugly between the track and the scope mount, it is unlikely to ride above the bolt.
    If you want the string to last longer, apply one layer of extra serving to the existing center serving. Don't put too much or you won't be able to draw it up into the trigger mechanism (I did this once, after spending an hour redoing the serving, I was pretty sour about it).

    Hunting: I don't know diddly, my friend. I'm sorry about that.
    I've never kept the bow loaded for longer than a few minutes to take photographs. Mine is a four piece spring steel compound prod also, so I don't know if I could comment anyway.
    I can only guess that a few hours loaded won't hurt it. If you are going to keep it loaded, you might as well have a bolt inserted and then treat it like a firearm: finger off the trigger and have it pointed in a safe direction always.
     
  21. Bob Conrad

    Bob Conrad Member

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    Need Parts

    hi,
    i was just wondering if i could still get parts for a crisbow MK lll, and where from if i still can i have a friend who is gunna sell it to me if i can get parts i need new limbs and string he dropped it from his tree stand and it bent one side
    thanx
     
  22. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Bob I would be wary of buying that, because there could be more damage to the crossbow besides the prod. I don't know how it fell and I don't know what forces were on it, but there is a good chance that the prod screw is bent or that that there is damage to the frame that you don't know about.
    You might be able to get a prod from SSA (see above) but so far they haven't replied to my emails asking them what stock they have.

    Is the bow you are looking at single or compound? Have you seen it, do you have pics?
     
  23. Bob Conrad

    Bob Conrad Member

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    Re: Need Parts

    thanx its a single bow it looks like the pics of the RF, 75 and 85 but i dont know which one it is the guy who had it before me said it was a 150 lbs pull if that means anything im not sure im just getting into crossbows and stuff im just a rookie at this the side of the bow just says Crisbow MK lll with the serial #0301
     
  24. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Can you get pictures of the front end (with the prod off)?
     
  25. Bob Conrad

    Bob Conrad Member

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    um idont own it yet so i dont really wanna tear it all apart in case i break it ill get sum pics of the prod and how bent it looks and stuff will that work
     
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