Object Title

Repeating crossbow - chukonu Repeating Crossbow

Repeating crossbow - chukonu Repeating Crossbow



Object Number



Acquired before 1859.

Physical Description

The bow is of bamboo. The stock is fitted with a magazine, bound in silver at either end, and pivoted on a pump-action lever. The stock is horizontal, so that the weapon can be braced against the hip when firing. The stock, body, magazine and pump-lever are all of dark wood. On either side of the magazine is a decorative iron rivet shaped like a lotus flower. A reenforce is bound to the centre of the bow. Two iron ears project upwards from the front of the crossbow body, acting as retaining lugs for the magzine and firing mechanizm.



OverallHeight164 mm
OverallLength670 mm
OverallWeight1670 g
OverallWidth555 mm

Inscriptions and Marks



Places China/Asia

Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.441, p. 112; Viscount Dillon, llustrated Guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.529.


See also R. Payne-Gallway, 'The Crossbow', London, 1903, pp. 237-42; 'Zhongguo bingqi shigao', Beijing, 1959, pp. 310-12, which names all the parts, and calls it a 'tan nu' (bullet crossbow); W.F. Paterson, 'A guide to the crossbow', (London), 1990, p. 140, where it is called 'lian nu' or 'cai lian'; G.C. Stone, 'A glossary of the construction, decoration and use of arms and armor', Portland, 1934, pp. 180-1, fig. 229; H T Horwitz, 'Die Armbrust in Ostasiens', 'Zeitschrift fur historisches Waffenkunde', 7, 1915-17, pp. 155-83.

See also examples in the Museum fur Volkekunde, Vienna, Horwitz abb. 37-8, nos ID.16859 and ID.15476.