A crossbow is a device for shooting arrows, used in hunting or as a weapon. It is also called an “arbalest”. The crossbow consists of a bow (often of steel) set on a stock, and fired much like a modern firearm. As an heraldic charge, the crossbow dates from at least 1295, in the arms of Huvell [ANA2 247]; it is by default palewise, bow to chief, cocked and ready to shoot.
The arbalest stock alone, without the bow, is also found in period armory, as in the arms of von Iainsen, 1605 [Siebmacher 185]. The arbalest stock is likewise palewise by default. See also arrow.
Brice Armbruster bears: Argent, a crossbow azure.
Robyn the Sharpe bears: Or, a crossbow palewise inverted sable.
Carl of the Crossbow bears: Per chevron azure and Or, a crossbow counterchanged.
Michael de Multon bears as a badge: Per pale sable and argent, two arbalest stocks with triggers outward counterchanged.