>A bit of trivia: How did one hold an older hand crossbow with
that long
>"butt-less" stock?
>A1 - In the crook of the armpit, firmly keeping the stock
between arm and >body.
>A2 - Resting on the shoulder.

The small early Norman crossbow fits between hand and elbow.
After firing a dozen bolts you cannot move your arm the next day as the
recoil goes straight into your elbow joint. You need a large bicep or
else the more powerful ones can break your arm.