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These composite bows made of several layers are much stronger and more efficient in releasing energy than simple wooden bows.As steel became more widely available in Europe around the 14th century, steel prods came into use.
They often also have some form of strengthening internal sear or trigger face, usually of metal.This rod is usually attached perpendicular to a rear-facing lever called a tickler.A later design implemented a rolling cylindrical pawl called a nut to retain the string.A recurve crossbow is a bow that has tips curving away from the archer.The recurve bow's bent limbs have a longer draw length than an equivalent straight-limbed bow, giving more acceleration to the projectile and less hand shock.A compound crossbow is a modern crossbow and is similar to a compound bow.
The limbs are usually much stiffer than those of a recurve crossbow.
Very light crossbows can be drawn by hand, but heavier types need the help of mechanical devices.
The simplest version of mechanical cocking device is a hook attached to a belt, drawing the bow by straightening the legs.
Recurved limbs also put greater strain on the materials used to make the bow, and they may make more noise with the shot.
Multiple bow systems have a special system of pulling the sinew via several bows (which can be recurve bows).
The traditional bow and arrow had long been a specialized weapon that required a considerable user training, physical strength and expertise to operate with any degree of practical efficiency.