Monday 4 June 2012

I am Daryl Dixon’s Crossbow

There are many like me, but I am his.

Daryl Dixon's Crossbow in The Walking Dead

I am Daryl Dixon’s Horton Scout HD 125 compound crossbow.  That may not mean much to you, but just my name tells you a lot about Daryl and a lot about our relationship.

If I was single (i.e not with Daryl), I’d enter the following information on a person/crossbow dating matchmaking site so you could tell if we’d be a good match:

My measurements:

Model Number: CB721 (but everyone calls me “Scout”)
Weatherproof synthetic stock and barrel, MicroFlight™ arrow groove (tight)
Talon™ CUSTOM field-grade trigger with ambidextrous safety (up for anything)
ToughBoy™ wide-body limbs with CamoTuff™ Limb Shield (toned and buff)
Precision aluminium riser, Machined aluminium alloy wheels (I drive fast)
ICAD cable system, Dial-A-Range® trajectory compensator, steel stirrup (kinky)
Draw Weight: 125 lbs,  Total weight: 5.5 lbs (zero percent body fat, built for love)
Length: 29 in,  Width: 25 in (36, 24, 36)
Power Stroke: 10 1/2 in,  Arrow Length: 17 or 20 in (let your imagination run!)
Velocity: 250 fps,  Energy: 250 ft lbs (I go all the way, every time)

Extras I bring to the relationship:

25-mm Red Dot Sight, Hunter® Elite Lite 3-arrow quiver (look into my eye)
3 practice arrows, 3 practice points (practice makes perfect)
So that’s me.  Well, the boring details anyway.  There’s a lot about me that’s subtle, and those little subtleties explain why Daryl takes me everywhere, and we are never apart for more than a moment.

One of the things you may not know about me is that I’m a “youth” model.  See, Daryl and I met when he was younger.  We fit together better than any other pair-up, and we know each other’s moves so well by now that we’re almost a part of each other.  Daryl knows to expect one of my bolts (what he calls my “arrows”, and that always makes me giggle because we both know he knows they’re bolts, but he always says “arrows” just to get a rise out of me) is going to drop about 5 inches for every 10 yards of distance to the target.

There are two styles of a crossbow, the “recurve” and the “compound”.  The recurve is the simplest type, with just a string, stretched between the two ends of the bow.  Recurves are easier to maintain in the field but more difficult to cock since you are fighting the full weight of the string’s pull.

Cheap, slutty recurve that Daryl DIDN’T choose!
Compounds, like moi, employ a pulley system where the string is leveraged using a block-and-tackle cable arrangement to minimise the cocking effort and give maximum speed to the arrow with the least amount of bow energy.

About My “Arrows” (tee hee)

Daryl used to have several of my original Horton Carbon Strike bolts with practice tips:

He even had some broadhead hunting tips which can replace the practice tips, but he never really used them once the Walker plague hit.  I think I know why, too.

Broadhead Tips (razor sharp!)
Practice Tips (tough as nails!)
See, broadhead tips are meant to penetrate the flesh of living game (like deer and hogs) and create a significant blood channel so the game animal will bleed out quickly if it doesn’t drop immediately.  Well, walkers don’t bleed out, and they don’t even respond to flesh hits.  And since my practice tips are considerably stronger and lower maintenance than the razor-blade-edged broadheads, Daryl just uses those.

He’s even made some new bolts from some ash tree limbs he whittled down and chicken feathers he made into “fletchings” at the back of the arrow (tee hee).  I don’t know if those will last more than 1 shot, but 1 shot to the head is all it takes, so we’ll see…

Daryl Dixon makes his own crossbow arrows

Nock Nock, Who’s There?

For improved accuracy, Daryl uses “half moon nocks”.  These are the string-contact part of the bolt and attached to the rear end of each bolt.  The half-moon style allows the string to engage the arrow at a very consistent angle, making for very accurate shots.  Before everything went to hell, these were made in green, orange, and even illuminated models

I’m All a’Quiver

Since more than one bolt can often be required in a hunting or fighting situation, I have a quick-detach quiver which holds 3 bolts.  This is mounted perpendicular to my stock so the arrows are parallel to my limbs.

Daryl giving me a piggy-back ride – see my quiver with 2 arrows?
I Only Have Eyes For You

Sighting a target is done using my illuminated 25mm diameter red dot sight.  If you’ve never used a red dot sight, you’re in for a treat.  First, you keep both eyes open.  Second, select the intensity of the red dot illumination (from 1 to 10) that makes the most sense for your current lighting conditions (evening or night, 1, dusk maybe 3 or 4, daylight, 10).  Finally, place the dot where you want the bolt to strike, and squeeze me gently until that moment of sweet release…

Aiming the Horton Scout crossbow
This pic is a little fuzzy and the dot is a little arc because Daryl was moving when he shot it, but you get the idea.  See the quiver, 2 arrows, cocked string, and limbs?

Our relationship

Daryl and I have known each other since long before the zombie apocalypse.  See, that’s why he chose me.  Like I said earlier, I’m a “youth” model, with all the power and smarts of a full-size crossbow, but less weight and size. Daryl knew that when you’re hunting for meat to save your life, you feel every ounce you’re carrying out in the field, and every inch of something sticking out makes you that much more likely to snag a branch or otherwise get caught on something.

So I’m everything he wanted, and I give him everything he needs.  Sure, there was that one incident in front of Hershel’s barn where he was flirting with that shotgun, but it meant nothing to him.  It was a one-time thing, and I know it won’t happen again.

Scout and Daryl, walkers, him, and me, S H O O T I N G

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