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The repeater crossbow is another war waging innovation I brought to Anomaly at Jon’s encouragement. This created some personal conflict as I’m a man of science who studies war and not usually involved in conducting it. Still, we’re a part of the nobler cause, and we must do what we can to prevent the slaughter of…well…everyone.
The particular design I drew from was the Manchurian design. The effective firing range averages 55 to 58m, which isn’t great, but their use is to cause pandemonium among the Mutie masses. This particular weapon was originally created as a means of fortress defense, so our use in the field is definitely a departure from its intended mission.
The bolts are typical fare, measuring around 19cm in length. Such estimations are due as much for our rapid build-up of previously non-existent stockpiles, so variances in specifications are to be expected. If we had more time, we could have increased the weapon’s range by using a recursive design. War is, if nothing else, an exercise of improvisation, and The People improvised marvelously. I did manage to improve upon the original design by increasing the magazine capacity to 12 bolts. Another deviation is the ability to fire longer bolts (about twice the length of the standard bolt. These single-shot arrows could be carried by small clips carved into the bow, and fired by hand in case the firing mechanism were to break.
Lir was the one who requested the option, and the modular design allows for the magazine to disengage and clear access to the bowstring to be drawn by hand. The movement would be awkward, true, but The People are a remarkably adaptable lot.
The bow is constructed from the bamboo-like Leimal and mounted to stocks of various wood types readily available. We adapted the bolts as we did the arrows with heavier steel heads and ever-so-slightly curved feathers that cause the bolt to rotate when it leaves the device. This lends a slight boon to the distance, and considerably greater accuracy if one hopes to down a closer range target.
Where the repeating crossbow excels, however, is being able to put many bolts into the air quickly. Once The People were properly trained with the weapon, they could easily fire two to three bolts per second. This was a rather shocking feat on this world, and one The People accepted with the glee of a child receiving a gift on their birthday.