Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
If my humble french doesn't betray me
The 'barrel' would be the 'deposit/drum' for the rope hank; the orifice to tie the end of the rope.
Such was the suggestion given by the original person; that this could be a fishing crossbow. The interpreation of the member quoted in the (here) posted images is a bit 'distorted'.
I have lurked into this forum; several members giving wings to their imagination, like suggesting an incendiary crossbow, boar hunting crossbow and so on. One of them even made a draft on how it should have worked. The idea of a fishing crossbow with a rope (string) seems to be the more consensual (to them).