Let's say a character is nine feet tall (proportioned like a normal very fit human) with ten times the strength of a fairly strong man. How could a bow be created with medieval technology to handle that force (draw length, material, and other details appreciated)?

P.S. This does obviously take place in a fantasy setting so any other ideas you have that use magic I would be glad to hear but is not required in answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Check this link: thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/… $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ This question shows a lack of basic research. Medieval 1000-pound bows (crossbows and siege crossbows) existed and that would have been discovered with a single Google. $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Jan 18, 2018 at 5:36
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    $\begingroup$ Yes obviously those siege crossbows existed and i knew of them, but as i stated i wanted a bow not a crossbow. However i do see where the misunderstanding, i should have clarified. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 6:22
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    $\begingroup$ So use the same material as the bow part, is that not obvious? $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Jan 18, 2018 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ Well their would be a lot of variables, for example the arms of the crossbow are much to short to be used, the draw length would be much different, and the acceleration of the arrow would vary greatly because of this. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


Relatively easily!

Even during the western medieval period ✳here✳, steel crossbows were made that drew at about 1000 pounds. Just give your nine-footer one of those, sans stock, and show him where to shoot! I'm guessing you could make it longer --- obviously, a longer bow can shoot a longer arrow.

This is a totally realistic scenario not requiring any magic or anything other than well known military technology.

The record for a human is a 200 pound draw at full length. I daresay your very strong giant might be able to pull more than 1000 pounds, but that's neither here nor there. In a fantasy setting, I guess you could equip him with a small to mid-sized siege crossbow and let him shoot that!

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    $\begingroup$ Re "I guess you could equip him with a small to mid-sized siege crossbow...": Already been done. Detritus the troll, in various Discworld books. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jan 18, 2018 at 3:10
  • $\begingroup$ I have thought about the cross bow before, but after some consideration i decided on making a longbow style weapon instead, so could one be made of steel and operated? $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 3:14
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    $\begingroup$ @ChristopherVoid The idea of a crossbow is to make drawing (and aiming) the bow easier. There is nothing special about the bow itself that I know of. But there is one issue you probably should think about : How much pull can the fingers of your giant handle? I'd recommend using a simple crossbow with some sort of a simple (and fast) lever based drawing aid. It would still be slower than a long bow but ease of aiming and convenience should make it worthwhile. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ You make a good point and i should have been more clear that he could withstand any forces of the bow (fingers included) I simply wanted a bow from a stylistic standpoint and for, based on what i have heard, a faster rate of fire. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristopherVoid A repeating crossbow might be an option. It uses the extra strength to operate the mechanism so its performance would be pretty close to what you want I think. Of course it looks nothing like you want. I think there were gloves and rings and such designed to protect fingers from bow strings, so it probably is not a big problem if you just remember about it. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 3:46

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