The Big Joe 5 Slingshot Crossbow of World War II,
Developed by the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA) during World War II, the Big Joe 5 Crossbow was a weapon produced for the purpose of covert and silent assassination. Unlike other crossbows, the Big Joe was more of a slingshot, the energy of the weapon being produced by its 300 rubber bands rather than its triangular frame. Light and compact, the Big Joe featured a folding stock in order to make the weapon more compact. The draw weight of the Big Joe was around 550 lbs, far heavier than any person could reasonably be able to cock. Thus the folding buttstock also served as a rack and pinion used to cock the bands. Maximum range of the Big Joe was around 250 yards, with optimum range being around 100 yards. To complement the Big Joe, the Little Joe was also developed, which was a crossbow slingshot pistol utilizing the same concepts.
Prototypes were produced for field units in Europe, and for Alamo scouts and Marine Raiders in the Pacific, but it was most likely never used.