The ballistics of most vertical arches are superior to most crossbows. The mystical ingredient is the power stroke. Even though a crossbow has a heavier draft weight, the power stroke is much shorter. Crossbows have long range and more damage.
If you want to stay safe and at the same time attack enemies, then look for a crossbow. But if your survival strategy requires less charging time, then the bow is for you. Compound crossbows are generally more powerful than compound crossbows. They can stay cocked for hours once you load them, and you don't have to unload your crossbow until the end of the day.
This means that the crossbow is ready to fire, only when you. Bows are generally treated as much less powerful than crossbows and are therefore more likely to receive the Annoying Arrows treatment. In contrast, leaf springs tend to show up as having adequate stopping power when they hit and are generally shown to be more lethal. One of the reasons for this disparity probably has to do with movie props.
Prop crossbows can be made with high-stretch weights closer to historical crossbows, as their extension devices allow virtually anyone to draw them. Prop bows, on the other hand, tend to have little shooting weight, like most target and beginner shooting bows, since they have to be usable by actors who lack specific muscle development and form training to draw heavy bows. As such, the bows seen in movies tend to be much less powerful than most historical hunting and war bows. Also note that medieval European crossbows were less mechanically efficient than the long crossbows of the time due to factors such as their short power stroke (~6 in.
for a long bow) and the energy wasted by moving their heavy limbs and strings instead of just the bolt; in particular, crossbow prods made of steel made it easier to manufacture heavy crossbows compared to those using a horn-tendon compound, but the high density of steel caused a loss of efficiency, and steel tips cannot flex as much as wood or composite without risk of breakage. Therefore, to achieve as much projectile energy as a longbow of a given draft weight, a crossbow needed to have a draft weight many times greater. Note: These energy comparisons do not necessarily apply to all non-European crossbows. For example, Chinese crossbows were more like a normal bow mounted on a frame and had a long force stroke.
Modern crossbows are much more efficient than their medieval ancestors thanks to improved materials and design, note such as a long power race, compound or reverse traction mechanisms, and lightweight bolts, ropes and limbs, so they achieve higher projectile energy than old crossbows despite having a lower draft weights. The biggest advantage the crossbow has over the compound bow is the ability to maintain a loaded and ready to fire condition, while the compound bow, although faster when loading, can lose the shot at the crossbow. Crossbows were the first of the two to disappear from the European war, since in the 16th century the arquebus had stolen its place as a massive point-and-shoot weapon from the battlefield; crossbows continued to roam as recreational and hunting weapons. When I took out my new PSE crossbow to practice for the next archery season, crossbows are legal means for regular Virginia archery seasons, it got in my face and told me that crossbows were not allowed on the archery range.
To make things more confusing, just as there are compound bows and recurve bows, there are compound crossbows and recurve crossbows. You may have heard that crossbows are better than a compound bow, but you may have also heard that a compound crossbow is not as good as a compound bow. This has become especially evident with the development of reverse draft crossbows that allow a crossbow to have an even longer power stroke along with high shooting weights. Based on the fact that men are stronger than women on average, fictional stories sometimes depict men wearing crossbows and women wearing bows, the idea is that crossbows are utilitarian and brutal, while bows are elegant and based on finesse rather than brute force.
Another aspect that is often seen in fiction treats crossbows as sneaky weapons because they are marginally more concealable than bows, and because of persistent cultural ideas that the possibility that large numbers of serfs armed with crossbows could pierce aristocratic knights who own land is of some unjust and contrary to the natural order of things. However, the traditional archer snob was right: a crossbow has a little more energy than the average compound bow, but his argument that crossbows will destroy targets more than any other bow is highly questionable. . .