Just because sledge hammers exist, doesn’t mean a pin hammer won’t hurt. In fact, that pin hammer, small as it may be, could quite easily prove lethal under certain circumstances.
The same is true of compact, pistol-like crossbows such as the AR-6 Stinger II. Yes, there are any number of firearms that are significantly more powerful. Same with full-size hunting crossbows. Any of them could do far more damage than a Stinger II in standard trim. But that doesn’t mean the Stinger II is harmless.
People let relative power cloud their judgment about actual potential. A Stinger II can still grievously injure or outright kill another person. For context, one of the new premium, hybrid, bodkin arrows designed for high penetration on hard targets travels at 50 m/s if shot with the 90 lb Pro limb! Even faster with the new 120 lb or 150 lb limb Steambow is launching. With those figures it starts to become clear that, although someone may buy for recreation, they are not buying a toy. A Stinger II should never ever be treated as one.
Academia and police reports
Thankfully, accidents and, worse still, crimes involving bows or crossbows are pretty infrequent, particularly with crossbow pistols closer to the size of the Stinger II. And with that lack of coverage in the media, many people think only guns or knives should be taken seriously.
A little digging also shows that there is precious little in the way of scientific data. At most there are medical cases reported within the scientific community to outline what successful procedures saved a life or a limb, but these give virtually no information on what the weapon was beyond being a vertical or crossbow.
Further digging around online did bring up one concerted 2009 effort to measure the efficacy of pistol crossbows using a 50 lb crossbow pistol and a pork belly. There, penetration depths of between 4 and 7 cm were recorded, with the variation depending on range.
That may not sound like much, but that’s vital organ depth and really not something you want to experience. Add to that the fact this crossbow dates back to a time when limb tech was not too great, crossbows were inefficient, arrows were not very sturdy and lost their energy to flex and poor aerodynamics.
Current day results
Put those results in the context of a modern day Stinger II with carbon fibre/fibreglass composite limbs that release their energy very efficiently. Throw those far stiffer limbs (such as the 90 lb Pro limb or stronger) and Steambow’s hunting broadheads (or Steambow’s carbon bodkins) into the mix and those 7cm of penetration seem positively easy to achieve.
Still not convinced? A short YouTube search of hunting videos involving a pistol crossbow yields one example of a US hunter taking two boar with a first generation, weaker Stinger. Both the animals succumbed very quickly, running no further than 50 meters, with massive internal injuries. Those were small to medium hogs, so we’re not talking squirrels.
What’s the take-home?
The underlying message is quite simply these are dangerous objects and should be handled with care and respect for others, personal property and oneself. If common sense prevails, and thought is applied, all should be well. But, when people start to forget or ignore their potential, the undesirable or even the unthinkable could be just around the corner.
So, shoot safe and have fun.