Spear throwing

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Pict

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Jan 2, 2005
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This morning in the Dr’s office (sick kid) I was reading an article about the ancient Olympics. There was a drawing of a hand holding a javelin. The illustration showed a leather thong wrapped around the javelin shaft and looped around the index and middle fingers of the throwing hand. It looked like the thong was held by a half hitch then wrapped a half dozen times. This was to impart spin to the shaft as it was thrown.

I’ve never seen this done before. I can’t wait to try it and was wondering if anyone here ever has. Mac
 

Nightfall

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Sep 2, 2004
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Sounds like using a baton de commandent as a spear thrower. There is a good article in the book "Primitive Techology: A book of earth skills" edited by David Wescot. The same book also has a article on using just a cord to throw both arrows and spears.
 

ChrisKavanaugh

Need to contact Admin...
I watched it done by a modern javelin competitor. The spin imparts greater accuracy. There is virtually no energy gained as with a spearthrower. Spears started out as thrusting devises at close quarters. A fire hardened spear requires a great deal of energy to push that full diameter point into muscle mass and close contact. An ancient spear cache in Hiedelburg Germany revealed very sophisticated aerodynamics for still relatively short throws into horses. Edged blades made the whole affair lighter overall with yet more gain in distance. The spearthrower finally gave real useable distance between hunter and hunted, who oftentimes reversed roles. Spears remained as close quarter fighting and hunting tools. The heavy Roman spear with soft shaft was used primarily to disable shield use and boar spears are close quarter thrusting weapons, while the lance became a horseback weapon. I wish there were some decent websites. A search reveals numerous links to the most frightening spear of all- Brittney :shock:
 

Snufkin

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 13, 2004
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I have played around with it but only managed to hit my self in the ear. I really can't see the point in it for spears as an atlatl is so easy to make and so much more efficient. It could be of use in survival situation if you broke your bow and were unable, through lack of materials, to make a replacement. You could thong arrows.
Check out the paleoplanet link that Arctic Hobo posted. A guy on there, Ehkahk, has played around with them.
 

Pict

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Jan 2, 2005
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The cord thing was not an atlatl, it was just a cord wrapped around the shaft at the midpoint. I have played around with atlatl's (atlatli?) in the past but I've never hunted with them.

I picked up a Cold Steel Bushman and Mini-Bushman recently in the States. They have me thinking spears. I once made a pair of fire hardened spears on a survival trip with my daughter. That night a small herd of horses came crashing throught the brush toward our camp. I had no idea they were horses until they got within flashlight distance. That spear felt mighty good. Mac
 

sargey

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Sep 11, 2003
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cheltenham, glos
you could try the old dutch arrows as we used to call them as kids. it has a similar effect to the atlatl launcher.

here's a pic of a dutch arrow slinging session, you have to look really closely for the arrows near the centre of the pic, just below the clouds on the right you can see a set of bolas thrown by the guy on the left.



cheers, and.
 

Paganwolf

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Jul 26, 2004
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Blimy that takes me back, i used to make them as a kid out of a bamboo cane and a 6inch nail from my dads shed, i used to cut the head off the nail and push it in the end of the cane, then i filed a notch in the other end. Then i borrowed :roll: some string from the shed about 3 or 4ft and tied a knot in the end, to throw it you put the knotted end of the string in the notch in the end of the cane (knot holds it in place) wrap the other end of the string around your hand and then lob it, the string acts as the atlatle and they go with some force so make sure theres no dog walkers wandering around :shock: you could put flights in too never tried that though as getting in the shed and making it was a military operation so i didnt get caught by pop's :lol:
 

sargey

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Sep 11, 2003
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cheltenham, glos
yep, now you're talking! :super:

no nails in these, but they do have flights. the flights were simply drawn on copier paper, coloured in, cut out, and stuck through the works laminator :eek:):

cheers, and.
 

match

Settler
Sep 29, 2004
707
4
Edinburgh
This reminds me of a toy I had when I was younger - A bit of wood (just plywood or similar) cut into a rough arrow shape (fortunately with a flat end) that had a small notch cut into one side of it. This was combined with a green bendy branch and some string - hook the string into notch on arrow, pull arrow down by tail end, let go and the thing would fly high into the air, and then come flying back down at speed.

A while ago I saw a site with pictures of how to make this toy online, and information on how these were used by some American Indian tribes as a way of hunting birds such as ducks etc thathat tend to sleep/sit out of reach in Lakes etc. Except they used pointed arrows, and bundles of them - have to make sure your aim was good! :yikes: Then they would swim out and collect any animals that had been hit.

EDIT: Found that link: http://www.primitiveways.com/shingle_dart.html
 

Tvividr

Forager
Jan 13, 2004
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Norway
www.gjknives.com
Pict said:
This morning in the Dr’s office (sick kid) I was reading an article about the ancient Olympics. There was a drawing of a hand holding a javelin. The illustration showed a leather thong wrapped around the javelin shaft and looped around the index and middle fingers of the throwing hand. It looked like the thong was held by a half hitch then wrapped a half dozen times. This was to impart spin to the shaft as it was thrown.

I’ve never seen this done before. I can’t wait to try it and was wondering if anyone here ever has. Mac
I've tried it a couple of times, but my fingers dont think much of it with a javelin. A proper atlatl is better IMO. Doing the same thing with a leather thong and a normal arrow will however give some amazing results once you find the proper technique. Flinging arrows for more than 75 or 80 meters or even 137 meters (my personal record, measured with a laser unit) will not be a problem.
Most of the stuff found in the book mentioned ("Primitive Techology: A book of earth skills" edited by David Wescot) can be found in articles in earlier issues of the Bulletin of Primitive Technology, and the information found on arrowthrowing can also be found in the book "The Crossbow" by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey.
 

Pict

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Jan 2, 2005
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I'm going to have to try this arrow throwing thing. I can't figure out how I got through my entire troubled childhood without hearing of this. My growing up years tended more towards Lord of the Flies than Leave it to Beaver.

I have a 55lb Hoyt take-down recurve and 24 aluminum arrows stored away. Hunting is banned in Brazil but I have to give throwing the arrows a try. Mac
 

pumbaa

Settler
Jan 28, 2005
687
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dorset
sargey said:
you could try the old dutch arrows as we used to call them as kids. it has a similar effect to the atlatl launcher.

here's a pic of a dutch arrow slinging session, you have to look really closely for the arrows near the centre of the pic, just below the clouds on the right you can see a set of bolas thrown by the guy on the left.



cheers, and.
We used to do this as kids as well , but we robbed parts from dart sets , the flights worked well and the extra weight in the front end helped it travel with a bit more velocity
Pumbaa
 

Pict

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Jan 2, 2005
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Woodrat,

Yes the ban on hunting is a major source of consternation and temptation. Every time I go out to this one village I get invited to go hunting. They know I have a bow as I have shot it there on many occasions. They say "Mac we're going hunting for paca, are you coming or not?" I remind them that it's against the law and they say "But its a BOW!" as if that makes it OK.

I do often stalk capibara by the lakeside. You can easily stalk to within ten meters of them before they jump up and present a perfect broadside. Two more steps and they bolt for the water. Their natural reactions make them easy meat for a bowhunter. Easy pickin's for a 55lb recurve and a Zwicky broadhead. Mac
 

R-Bowskill

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Sep 16, 2004
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'Throwing arrows' are a traditional Yorkishire poaching tool, although they probably occur in lots of other places. It's easy to conceal the cord, "Honest gov its just a bit of string holding up my trousers". So it was less risky than being caught with a bow near the kings deer in days gone by.

I grew up making them. A pair of playing cards for the flights and either a point or an old 303 case to make a blunt head. Sometimes weighted with a bit of lead shot for more impact and range because of the greater momentum this gave it.