Liang Shi Bing She Lian Fa Nu (兩矢并射連發弩, lit. 'Double-shot rapid fire crossbow')
|Earliest surviving example of a repeating crossbow, excavated from a Chu tomb. Currently kept at Jingzhou Museum.|
|Internal workings of the Lian Fa Nu. Early restoration attempts created a model that does not have crossbow prod, but this was fixed in later models. Image taken from 《戰略‧戰術‧兵器事典》 vol. 1.|
|Replica Lian Fa Nu alongside the original fragment, Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution (exhibition).|
Lian Fa Nu is actually more advanced than repeating crossbows of later period. Its box magazine, large enough to hold twenty bolts (for ten shots, as it shoots two bolts at once), is fixed on the stock and therefore more stable. Its pistol grip and spanning device also allow the user to shoot the crossbow with a "slingshot" stance, making it easier to aim. Nevertheless, Lian Fa Nu does have several drawbacks, as it require a complex metal trigger mechanism (making it too expensive for a civilian home defense weapon), is prone to jamming, and is weak even by repeating crossbow standard.
|Drawing of a Zhu Ge Nu, from ''Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.|
Sometimes romanised as Chu-Ko-Nu, this well-known repeating crossbow only dates back to Ming Dynasty. It is a rugged design that is cheaper (as it does not require any metal parts) and more reliable than ancient Lian Fa Nu, and serves as the base model for later derivations.
|Components of Zhu Ge Nu, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.|
The design of Zhu Ge Nu reflects a mindset that favours rugged reliability over pure performance (which might be the reason why powerful but delicate composite recurve prod was not used), a mindset shared by many militaries in the world. Nevertheless, Zhu Ge Nu was still considered ineffective as battlefield weapon.
Qing Dynasty Repeating Crossbow
|Training manual for repeating crossbow, from 'Bing Ji Zhi Zhang Tu Shuo (《兵技指掌圖說》)'.|
Note that the term "Zhu Ge Nu" was rarely used during the Qing period. Repeating crossbow was known as Nu Gong (弩弓, crossbow), as it was the only type of crossbow that saw regular (albeit still extremely uncommon) military service in the Qing army.
|An eighteenth century Qing Dynasty double-shot repeating crossbow.|
|An eighteenth century Qing Dynasty Lian Zhu Nu. It can still shoot normal bolts.|
Korean Repeating Crossbow
|Drawing of a Sunogi, from 'Hungug Sinjo Gigye Doseol (《훈국신조기계도설》 or 《訓局新造器械圖說》)'.|
|Replica Sunogi in cocked position. The prod is tilted upward.|
|Replica Tanno, Young Jib Bows & Arrows Museum.|
|Replica Samsisunogi, Young Jib Bows & Arrows Museum.|