I want to be a bit more creative in my design of medieval weapons, and have begun looking into the creation of an Arbalest that instead of shooting traditional crossbow bolts, shoots metallic cylinders. At the moment, I don't have a set size for these aforementioned cylinders, and the material can change too. If those help, please feel free to work outside of what i have had set originally. The intended goal of this weapon is to be a short range, high impact weapon that can hurt someone with plate armor on.
The armor in question would be of a high quality, nondescript steel, lets say 6.6 mm thick (What seems to be the upper echelons of armor thickness for most breastplates generally.)
How could I make my dream weapon, this handheld device that shoots miniature rods of gods into armor wearing foes? Or are my dreams of crushing armor like tin foil with very heavy pringles cans just that? A dream.
The constraints are as follows: Mid 1750s technology, no gunpowder, no magic or any otherworldly force.
If any clarification is needed, my timezone is PST just so I don't keep you up eagerly waiting for my response.
For the armor thickness numbers: http://www.allenantiques.com/Breastplate%20Thickness%20Study.html My original inspiration of this design. https://kenshi.fandom.com/wiki/Spring_Bat
The following are responses to various questions / concerns.
@Kepotx - Yes, it would be in the long run more expensive as a design, though the cost isn't much of a concern to the specific group im tailoring it towards. I also said you can always use a different material if you believe steel to be unsuitable.
@Guran - Its a bit of a complicated setting, one of which isn't entirely of my own design. Gunpowder in all forms and aspects haven't been invented in this alternate 1750, though things like clocks, boats, ballistas, fashion styles, materials and all other inventions are more or less available for my use. Unfortunately it isn't steampunk so I can't just retconn a big ass motor on my project and say "boom, done!"
TLDR: A bit of a tropey technology level where you have boats and architecture and styles of the mid 1700s though with a notable lack of gunpowder in all its forms.
@AlexP: I was thinking the projectile look more like this than a normal arrow. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/27/d6/45/27d645c8c43ae65db85d5872614f58ee.gif Its really just a good ol metal tube.
@Starfish Prime - I apologize, I should have been a bit more clear on what was just me making a jab at my own invention and what was actually serious. I don't have an intention to launch a supersonic steel beam using medieval technology.
Though I do acknowledge the fact that more likely than not, this little design I have constructed is far inferior to crossbow bolts in most, if not all regards, would you believe there be something that could be made (excluding artillery) that would reach near/at the speed required? While proofreading this, the first thing I thought would a beefed up medieval nailgun, however merely by saying those words it already sounds far-fetched.
Once again, thanks for the overwhelming response from everyone, I appreciate it.