A crossbow is a weapon that consists of a prod (similar in
appearance to a bow) mounted on a stock similar to a rifle stock, which has a
mechanism to wind and shoot its bolts. These bolts are typically called
quarrels, and do not depend upon lift as arrows do. Crossbow bolts must be made
to have consistent weights as the mechanical process of engaging a bolt forces
a more uniform process than that of using a bow and arrow. It is this
consistent performance which has made the crossbow historically a significant
force in warfare.