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This nut has a perpendicular centre slot for the bolt, and an intersecting axial slot for the string, along with a lower face or slot against which the internal trigger sits.
One way to classify them is the acceleration system, while another is the size and energy, degree of automation or projectiles.These roller nuts were either free-floating in their close-fitting hole across the stock, tied in with a binding of sinew or other strong cording; or mounted on a metal axle or pins.Removable or integral plates of wood, ivory, or metal on the sides of the stock kept the nut in place laterally. Bows could be kept taut and ready to shoot for some time with little physical straining, allowing crossbowmen to aim better without fatiguing.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.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.
The workings can be compared to a modern compound bow system.
The weapon uses several different bows instead of one bow with a tackle system to achieve a higher acceleration of the sinew via the multiplication with each bow's pulling effect.
This limb stiffness makes the compound bow more energy efficient than other bows, but the limbs are too stiff to be drawn comfortably with a string attached directly to them.
The compound bow has the string attached to the pulleys, one or both of which has one or more cables attached to the opposite limb.
Furthermore, the thick prods are a bit less efficient at releasing energy, but more energy can be stored by a crossbow.