The "First Book of Crossbows" is the crossbow book and extended catalog that I've been promising my customers for several years. It just took longer than anticipated to write and illustrate. Now we are offering it for free download in PDF format.
There are two good reasons to download this book:
First, the book provides you with a nice basic grounding in the history and operation of medieval European crossbows. It is entertaining and not at all stuffy. It is in short a very agreeable lesson in the history of technology. After you've read it, you can impress your friends with your relatively vast knowledge about crossbows. If you see crossbows in a museum, you can make some educated guesses about the bows without even reading the museum's captions (which are sometimes wrong, even at big name museums).
Second, if you are reasonably sure you want to buy a crossbow anyway, one of mine, or somebody else's, the book will give you a good grounding for deciding what sort of bow you want, as to power, size, and options. You can of course call me and get me to counsel you in your decisions, but many people prefer to read the book and make their own choices.
* -- If you have problems viewing the PDF document in your browser, then right-click on the link, then save the file to your computer. THEN you should be able to view in Adobe Reader, or any other PDF viewer.