People who are intrigued about medieval armory would surely appreciate an insight on how to make a Chinese repeating crossbow, also known as the “burp gun.” This weapon was popular during the China-Japan war in 1894-95, known for its ability to shoot consecutive arrows in seconds. When faced with charging enemies, the repeating crossbow proved its worth despite its weak arrows that barely penetrate. Injecting or dipping the arrows into poison solves this dilemma.
- The modern Chinese repeating crossbow is not that difficult to assemble. All you need are woods (measured and cut), glue, bolts, nuts, saw, nails, Duck work, thin rope or strings, drills and safety gadgets such as goggles, gloves, and apron. Power tools make the job easier but if you are not accustomed to using them, stick to hand held saws and cutters. If you want the crossbow to be all wood, it is advisable to use ash, an alternative used by the Chinese for making the repeating crossbow.
- The main body of the ancient Chinese repeating crossbow used to be made of sturdy wood carved into a downward slant. A more resilient piece of wood is affixed across the main body, a magazine on top which holds up to twelve bamboo arrows. A lever is attached to the magazine to work the repeating crossbow. The strings are held in place by a notch which is then pulled and released by the lever.
- Start by measuring wood and cutting them into pieces that would make the body of the Chinese repeating crossbow. There should be a wood big enough to be the main frame of the bow where the magazine and the lever would be placed. Resilient plywood may be steam-bent and this will serve as the cross that should only bend further with tension on the string. Affix this unto the main body.
- The cranks are made of wood cut exactly the same size and drilled at one end and at the center. These will be fastened parallel into the body and the magazine that should hold the arrows of the Chinese repeating crossbow.
- A small incision on the sides of the wood sandwiched between the body and the magazine should hold the bowstrings into place. The bowstrings should slide along the groove between the body and box magazine each time the cranks are pulled. For arrows, you may use chopsticks or pencils to test the repeating crossbow.