This almost just a link with a comment, but I thought the post on the use of crossbows in survival-fiction versus survival-reality was well done.
subtitled: Unless you're fighting zombies, skip the crossbow.
(from Alloutdoor.com, 2 December 2013)
So, can a crossbow be considered a viable option as a SHTF survival weapon? It’s probably better than a rolled up newspaper, but if you’re considering the crossbow for a long-term survival situation then you should seriously look elsewhere. Under most situations during a SHTF it should be thought of as a one-shot affair, so if you choose to use it then you had better make that shot count.
The author obviously does not think much of the odds of someone with a crossbow who is dueling it out with someone who is armed with a firearm. I would probably agree with that.
I would offer a couple of points however.
- Since we don't use crossbows in warfare very often, so it is likely that firearms are much more effective.
- You cannot compare the weight of the bolt-head with the pistol, nor is the muzzle energy particularly relevant. The key difference between arrows/bolts and bullets, is that one is a pointed edge weapon, and the other is a blunt/trauma weapon. Historically, the blunt/trauma firearms have won the battle when involving rather tough creatures like humans who need to be put down quickly, but the bleed out aspect of edged weapons is not to be discounted. Since a 22LR does not have much blunt/trauma to dish out, I would be hesitant to qualify it as inherently more damaging weapon at short ranges. A silenced weapon require a limiting speed to the projectile (`1050 fps), so they also have limitations.
- Crossbow projectiles, particularly practice rounds, can often be reused as is.
- Finally, the one area where crossbows are sometimes the preferred weapon over firearms is in poaching. They are not silent, but they are cheap to use, and the noise does not carry a particularly long distance.
So while I don't agree with what the author is saying, I do feel that he has set the crossbow up as a zombie-based straw man. Life is not about one on one dueling comparisons between different tools. Different tools are use appropriately in different situations with availability, and experience in the use of the tool often being a critical factor in deciding what gets used.