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An Ancient Spear Thrower (Atlatl)

What is an atlatl?
It is an ancient weapon made of a long dart or spear with a separate hand held propelling device on which the dart lies. This spear thrower was probably the first long range weapon of the stone age. Proof of the spear thrower goes back 400,000 years ago. The word atlatl is derived from the Aztec language. The native Aztec people used it as a weapon and hunting tool throughout regions of middle America .

Hunters and warriors had the possibility of using the spear in prehistoric times for throwing long distances. The spear weighed about 100g-150g, depending on the material and type of point. It had a considerable penetrating power ideal for huning big game. In comparison, a typical hunting arrow weighed 30g and 60g and may have taken longer to mount and shoot while on the hunt. In todays day and age arrows and spears still have almost all of the characteristics which they had thousands of years ago.

How does it work?
The atlatl gives the thrower more leverage and power through its given length. Whoever has concerns about shot arrows being lost and not found, can now have a peace of mind because the atlatl is the appropriate size for them. This large "arrow" cannot be lost so easily!

Naturally, you can also practice throwing at 3D targets and with practice, kill strikes of 20m-25m are not a seldom occurrence.
(see my Video-Clip under Information-You Tube-Atlatl)

The Modern Atlatl:
The Atlatl, that you can order here, has no pretence of representing an authentic replication from a certain time period. It is in principle an enjoyable sporting device that funcions well, looks good and is challenging.

Each uniquely hand crafted atlatl is being offered in a two part laminated hardwood combination with a horn piece setting. The horn is used to set the tip of the spear into. It helps to steady and aline the dart just before throwing and propelling it into the air.

The long dart is fitted with a metal shaft point that has been proven to be effective many times over in installations with wood arrows.

For the repair of darts or for the mounting of shaft points, use the Arrow-Fix tool to support this type of work.

The necessary items to create the central drilling in the dart in order to insert the shaft points are:

  • Arrow-Fix
  • Socket for a 13mm dia. dart
  • T-Tip drill 4mm
  • T-Tip(tang point 125gn)

A dart can break just like a wood arrow, therefore you will be able to reliably repair the damage with the Arrow-Fix tool. The necessary items are:

  • Arrow-Fix
  • Socket for a dart
  • T-Tip drill 8mm
  • A piece of a 5/16" wood shaft

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Arrow-Fix, click to enlarge Arrow-Fix, click to enlarge Arrow-Fix, click to enlarge Arrow-Fix, click to enlarge Arrow-Fix, click to enlarge Arrow-Fix, click to enlarge