Home / DIY / Camping & Survival / 21 Homemade Crossbows For Hunters And Survivalists

21 Homemade Crossbows For Hunters And Survivalists

A homemade crossbow will enable you to hunt for food and protect your family and livestock from predators without the need for bullets. A diy crossbow can be customized to launch many types of projectiles with accuracy for hunting small or large game.

Hunters and survivalists can create wooden crossbows at little or no cost, plus operate them at no cost, making them an ideal weapon to have for off-grid living. Even if you don’t live off-grid, crossbow hunting is a popular sport and the primitive weapon can help you supplement your family’s food supply during hunting season.

Check out our round up of these 21 homemade crossbows for hunters and survivalists and choose a couple to make so you’ll always be ready when that trophy buck comes within shooting range.

1- Survival DIY Crossbow

If a survival situation ever arises, you will need a few basic things to stay alive – food, water, shelter, and protection. A survival diy crossbow like this one from our list will meet 2 of these basic needs – food and protection – and can help you barter for water and shelter.

These detailed instructions will show you how to build a homemade crossbow by instructables that is strong and effective to help you survive.

Use these free crossbow plans to build yourself a survival crossbow and you will know how to build more in the future without written plans. Having the knowledge and skill to build a weapon is good to use for bartering. The game meat, pelts, and fish you can harvest with a DIY crossbow also make good bartering material.

homemade crossbow
Survival DIY Crossbow, By instructables

2- DIY Crossbow Pistol

The second one we have is a DIY crossbow by instructables that sounds like a lethal weapon but it’s not. The finished crossbow is made to have a little fun with rather than for hunting wildlife like deer. Perfect for shooting wine corks, bottle caps, small rocks, or other small projectiles. But it’s powerful enough to take down a small game.

These detailed instructions will show you how to use a strip of poplar lumber to create a crossbow pistol. It’s a simple project and would be great for the novice woodworker. It would also make a good crossbow for a young hunter to begin target practicing with.

DIY crossbow
how to use a strip of poplar lumber to create a crossbow pistol, Image via: instructables

3- Powerful Crossbow

We recomment this for hunting small to medium sized game, this powerful crossbow will help you put meat on the table.

Follow these free video instructions for building this homemade bow and arrows by instructables so you can live a survivalists lifestyle without a store bought firearm. Replenish your arrow supply as needed with the skills you will learn from this tutorial.

homemade bow and arrows
Powerful Crossbow, Image via: instructables

4- Bicycle Wheel Crossbow

Here is a great idea for making a crossbow from recycled materials on youtube. An old wheel from a bicycle can be used to build a functional crossbow for hunters and survivalists. The weapon is lightweight and the materials for the DIY project are easy to find for free.

Using what you have and being self-sufficient is a trend that continues to grow. Keeping usable items out of the landfill by recycling is good for the planet. This YouTube video will show you step by step Instructions on how to transform a bicycle wheel into a hunting weapon.

Use the DIY crossbow for hunting small game, killing dangerous predatory animals, or for target practice.

5- Wood and Aluminum

This classic crossbow design is made with wood and aluminum to provide the user with lightweight efficiency. This homemade crossbow by motherearthnews won’t weigh you down while on a hunt, and will shoot accurately when a game animal is located.

Get these free plans that will show you how to build this DIY crossbow that looks and performs like an expensive store bought model. The front bead design will enable the user to get an accurate shot on the target every time.

homemade crossbow
Wood and Aluminum crossbow, Image via motherearthnews

6- DIY Wooden Crossbow

Learning how to make a crossbow is made easy with these step by step pictorial instructions on instructables. Every detail of the DIY build is written and pictured, even the instructions on how to fire your new weapon is included.

Follow these instructions and transform some wood and a piece of rope into an accurate weapon that has the power to kill small game.

how to make a crossbow
DIY Wooden Crossbow, Image via instructables

7- Monster Crossbow

This mega sized monster crossbow is not for the novice hunter, even a seasoned hunter should take extra precautions with this powerful weapon.

Designed for the serious hunter, these free plans will show you how to build a DIY crossbow by wideopenspaces that has a 1,000 pounds of pull power. Ideal for survivalists or hunters living in regions that have large game animals, like caribou or elk. This powerful weapon is one of the best crossbows for safely taking down a large animal.

Video instructions are easy to follow so you can build this heavy duty crossbow from wood and metal.

DIY crossbow
Monster Crossbow, Image via wideopenspaces

8- Adult Toy

This DIY bow and arrow by woodgears is more of an adult toy instead of a weapon. Designed and built on the same principal as the childhood crossbow toys many of us played with as kids, this one is meant for target practice only.

A simple designed diy bow with large arrows is great for shooting into bales of hay. Use to help improve your hunting aim or when teaching a beginning hunter how to safely and accurately use a crossbow.

DIY bow and arrow
Adult crossbow toy, Image via woodgears

9- Automatic Crossbow

Crossbows were originally designed to have one arrow loaded for shooting at a time. This new homemade crossbow design by popularmechanics has changed all of that.

Fully automatic crossbow is created from wood and can hold several arrows at once to reduce the re-load time. Smooth and accurate arrow shooting will provide you with a weapon that is capable of taking down more than one game animal at a time, or stop an attack of a pack of wild predators threatening you or your livestock.

homemade crossbow
Automatic Crossbow, Image via popularmechanics

10- Repeating Crossbow

This homemade crossbow by vintageprojects will handle as smoothly as a rifle and provide five arrow shoots at once without re-loading. A vintage design that has stood the test of time, and in the hands of a skilled hunter, this homemade crossbow will be able to hit a target 40 yards away.

Free plans are on a downloaded PDF file and will take you through this homemade crossbow build step by step.

homemade crossbow
Repeating Crossbow, Image via vintageprojects

11- Crossbow Made From Scratch

This effective survival weapon can be made from scratch using only what you might find in a wilderness location. An ideal weapon to keep in your survivalist arsenal.

This free video will show you how to take ordinary items and transform them into an efficient homemade crossbow by survivallife that can hit a target with accuracy.

homemade crossbow
Crossbow Made From Scratch, Image via survivallife

12- Crossbow Revolver

When both speed and accuracy from a primitive weapon is needed, then this is the DIY crossbow by gizmodo for you.

This revolving crossbow shoots arrows so quickly you can’t even see them with the naked eye. A slow motion video is needed to watch this homemade crossbow in action.

These free plans will show you how to use a toothbrush to enable the revolving crossbow to accurately shoot up to four arrows without re-loading.

Crossbow Revolver
Crossbow Revolver, Image via gizmodo

13- Crossbow Made From All Wood

Classic and accurate, this all wood crossbow by instructables design will get the job done, one arrow at a time. Whether you enjoy target practicing with a bow and arrow, or need a sustainable hunting weapon, this homemade crossbow made from wood is an ideal weapon to have on hand.

wood crossbow design
Crossbow Made From All Wood, Image via instructables

14- Medieval Crossbow

These free plans will show you how to make a replica of a medieval crossbow by popsci like those used centuries ago in battle.

Crossbows were popular weapons during warfare because they did not require physical strength to use. The crossbow was also smaller and lighter than a traditional longbow and made it much easier to carry into battle.

The characteristics that made the crossbow popular centuries ago are the same ones that make them popular today. Learn how to make a functional medieval crossbow with these detailed instructions.

Medieval Crossbow
Free Plans For Medieval Crossbow, Image via popsci

15- Pocket Crossbow

This small sized DIY crossbow by instructables is meant to be a created as a practice craft and not as a real weapon. Made from popsicle sticks and a paper clip, this pocket crossbow is an ideal craft to create on a rainy day. You can hone your creative skills with this free video on how to build a pocket crossbow.

DIY crossbow
Pocket Crossbow, Image via instructables

16- Pistol Crossbow

A homemade crossbow by instructables will enable you to hunt for food and protect your livestock such as diy electric fence do without the need for bullets. This will save you a lot of money in ammunition since the arrows are re-usable and easy to make.

A pistol crossbow can also be used to launch many types of projectiles, not just arrows, for hunting and protection. It’s an ideal weapon for an off-grid lifestyle and will enable you to hunt for food without spending money on ammunition.

Learn how to make a crossbow pistol with these free plans. Even if you don’t hunt for game or live off grid, a crossbow pistol is good for target practicing.

homemade crossbow
Pistol Crossbow, Image via instructables

17- Wooden Crossbow

A crossbow is basically a horizontal piece of wood or metal mounted on a stock that shoots projectiles. These free plans will show you how to build a DIY crossbow by wikihow from wood for hunting or hobby.

A crossbow like this one can be used to hunt small game and to supplement the family food budget. The crossbow can also be used by the hobbyist for target practice.

However, you want to use a crossbow, this wooden one will meet your needs and it’s easy to construct.

Wooden Crossbow
Wooden Crossbow, Image via wikihow

18- DIY Mini Crossbow

Having the skill to make a weapon is a huge asset. No matter what the circumstances, you will be able to hunt for food, protect yourself, and barter for goods and services. Knowing how to make a mini crossbow by survivalsullivan like this one is a valuable skill set that will serve you well as a survivalist.

These free plans will show you how to make a crossbow with any type of material that is strong and flexible. Paracord or dental floss can be used to create the bowstring and a large nail can be fashioned into the trigger.

When you’re living off grid or a survivalist lifestyle, making do with what you have is vitally important for survival. Check out these detailed plans and learn this skill today. Check the plans out even if you already know how to make a crossbow and pick up some tips and tricks.

how to make a mini crossbow
DIY Mini Crossbow, Image via survivalsullivan

19- Homemade Crossbow Fishing

Make this homemade crossbow to harvest fish to supplement your diet. Watch this video and discover how to make a crossbow for fishing on youtube and how to use it for fishing.

Crossbow fishing is a great way to add variety to the diet. It will allow you to harvest fresh fish from any lake, stream, or river you may be nearby.

A DIY crossbow is lightweight and is easy to carry along with you when you’re backpacking or camping. Fresh fish is rich in nutrients and protein and is plentiful throughout the year. This strong crossbow built for fishing will let you harvest large or small fish. Ideal for areas where fishing with a net or rod is not a good option.

20- DIY Longbow Transformation

If you have a longbow, you no longer need or use, transform it into a DIY crossbow. This YouTube video will show you how to take an unused longbow, cut it down and change it into a shorter, lighter diy crossbow on youtube.

A crossbow is easier to carry when going out on a hunting trip and when it’s strong like this one, it will be just as effective for harvesting food. Hunt small game or use a crossbow to protect your homestead. It’s a valuable and versatile weapon to have.

21- Crossbow Pistol

The last one we have is small but accurate, this crossbow pistol by instructables is easy to carry along with you when hiking through the woods. This DIY build is made simple with the free plans included on this website, and a video of how to shoot this crossbow pistol is also on this website.

The trigger on this crossbow pistol enables you to time to get a good aim on the target so when the arrow is shot it will hit the desired target. Compact in size, yet powerful enough to kill small game.

Homemade Crossbow Pistol
Free Plans For Homemade Crossbow Pistol, Image via instructables


Homemade crossbows help you in any survival situation where you need three basic necessities of life i.e food, shelter and water. You can build from any of these diy crossbows that help you hunt for food or living off the grid.

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

Check Also

DIY camper trailer

17 Cool DIY Camper Trailers To Enjoy Your Outdoor Trips

A DIY camper trailer will provide you with a mobile home at a very economical …


  1. I recall when I was in high school, I was in a wood shop class. One of the projects was for a crossbow stock made of oak. The teacher ordered a kit for us which had all the metal parts and three bolts. The bow was made of some alloy like stainless steel. All three of my bolts ended up in the ground, and I could not find them. I never found any more to shoot so I sold the crossbow at a garage sale.

    I regret it now. I wish I could find the company which sold those kits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *