What is a Crossbow Stirrup?

A stirrup is a metal part ring and it is required for crossbows that are cocked by hand or with cocking devices (such as windlass, cord and pulley or belt and claw).

The stirrup allows to cock the crossbow while keeping the crossbow in place. To cock the crossbow you must place your foot through the stirrup in order to hold its stock firmly to the ground, so that it might resist the strain you apply on the bow string.

The stirrup is usually bound on with a string, bolted or kept in place with bow irons.

Stirrups usually are not subject to many problems and do not affect performance.

Generally Central European stirrups are ovoid in shape, while western ones are normally polygonal. By the 16th century a ring or loop was occasionally used as a leverage point for the cocking device.

Stirrup and Bow Irons drawings

Stirrup and Bow Irons drawings

There are mainly 3 methods for mounting the stirrup on to the stock:

Bolted on stirrups

  • Pros: Usually trouble free
  • Cons: Not very medieval style and can split the stock

String bound on stirrups

  • Pros: Medieval style
  • Cons: Can occasionally work loose in their bindings and may have to be rebound
  • Crossbow Bow String Bond

    Crossbow Bow String Bond

Front part of a medieval crossbow showing how to bond the bow to the stock using a string.

Medieval Crossbow String Bond To The Stock

Bow Irons bound on stirrups

  • Pros: Medieval style and easy to set up
  • Cons: Needs adjustments and fine tuning when applying the first time to the stock

Front part of a medieval crossbow utilizing bow irons for holding the bow in place.

Bow Irons Bonding A Medieval Crossbow


How To Make A Crossbow

How To Make A Crossbow

Continue reading on the following:

Medieval Crossbow  |  Bow  |  Roller Nut  |  Trigger  |  Stirrup  |  Stock  |  Bow String  |  Bolts  |  How To Make A Crossbow

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