Posts Tagged ‘Dart’

Of Dragon Tails and Tigers claws

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Konnichiwa! So I thought I’d try and come up with some clever title for this post, since both tigers and dragons are subjects, (in a matter of speaking) of this post. But, as you may probably have guessed by now, the only thing that kept popping into my head was  “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” Yes. So I took the easy route. Pathetic isn’t it? I have no imagination. *sigh*

Anyway, today I thought I’d show you more great stuff from the site of NineDirections.com, as Matthew was kind enough to send me more pictures of his work. The first item on the list today are more pics of the Ninja Shuko (Tiger Claws) from the last post on the topic. First we have a really cool pic of the Shuko hand hoop being forged.

Shuko - Forging the Hand Hoop

Shuko - Forging the Hand Hoop

And here we have a couple of cool shuko just hanging out and acting all cool…

Ninja Shuko (Toger Claws) - Just Hanging Out

Ninja Shuko (Toger Claws) - Just Hanging Out

A pair of Shuko with their battle faces on… >: (

Shuko - Claws Out!

Shuko - Claws Out!

Enter the Shuko! LOL… OK, ok… I get it. Enough with the Shuko.

So how about… Dragons? Specifically Dragon Tails? Yeah, I thought so… Dragon Tails, also sometimes called Rope Darts or Dragons Tongues, are basically a small blade attached to length of rope anywhere from five to who-know-how-many feet in length.

Dragons Tail

Dragons Tail

They can be spun at great speeds, and controlled via cord or chain, can be used to cut or penetrate hard targets at distance. A rather intimidating weapon, indeed. I’ve always loved the rustic feel of raw sharpened steel, and Matthew at Nine Directions has, as usual, replicated the look beautifully.

Dragons Tail - Edge

Dragons Tail - Edge

So what we have here, folks, is a heavy slab of steel, with sharp edges, on a rope. You can’t beat that with a baseball bat. Yet another example of some excellent work by NineDirections!

Dragons Tail – [Nine Directions]

Ninja Shuko – [Nine Directions]

Anyone know where to find human dart boards?

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Why? Because I have some unique darts I’d like to try out…

Cold Steel Urban Dart

Cold Steel Urban Dart

This is the Cold Steel Urban Dart. Now to be honest, the name is a bit of a mystery to me. Why call it a dart? And why an urban dart? I dunno. But it is certainly one cool looking dart. And it’s design has a lot of merit as a concealed tactical bladed weapon.

Sporting a 5.75″ Aus8 blade, attached to a 2.25″ kraton handle with a small lanyard hole, all put together in a trim, slim form factor, this dart has all the makings of an easy to conceal little knife. Could easily be used as a neck knife, though I would not recommend you rely on this for something like outdoor use, since that I think 2.25 grip is waaaaay to small for a good wilderness knife. No, this looks like it would really be best used for things like an easily concealed defensive tool. Perhaps that is where the “Urban” part of it’s name comes from.

The design does have some interesting characteristics. About an inch or so above the kraton grip, on the ricasso of the blade, we see a grroved depression, clearly intended to be used as a thumb grip area. This would suggest the blade would be best held in a form of full handed pinch grip, with the ricasso held between thumb and folded forefinger.

The swell of the kraton base should fit in the closed palm of the hand, giving it a decent grip. And the flat kraton pommel should also allow it to be used as an impromptu punch dagger, with the blade held between the fingers, presuming Cold Steel has put enough Kraton down on that pommel to prevent the steel from pushing through.

And, of course, it is also very nicely shaped for throwing. perhaps where the “dart” part of the name came from, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you get one of these and start throwing it like you would throw a dart. Certainly not at another human. Unless, of course they started it first.  🙂  But either way, it ought to be a rather nimble little defensive blade.

And, funnily enough, I think I have just solved the riddle of why they decided to call it an ‘Urban Dart”.

Very cool idea. I like it.

Urban Dart by Cold Steel – [True Swords]

Atlatls and Spear Chuckers and Bows, Oh My…

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

As requested, (CapnPervy, this one’s for you… 🙂 ) today I’m going to talk a little about a very old and not so well known projectile weapon called the Atlatl. Yes, A-T-L-A-T-L. No, it’s not a slang name for a happenin’ town in the stated of Georgia, in the good ‘ol  U. S. of A. Nor is it a giant, four legged, imperial armored transport from Star Wars. Nope. It’s actually a really cool weapon that just happens to have a funny name:

An Atlatl

An Atlatl

This here weapon is called an “at-lattle”. Or something like that. Yes, I know that’s not how to write phoenetic pronunciation… Eh? Look gimme a break here, I’m a Balrog, not an English teacher. Just for that smart alecky comment, I’ve decided to drown you in technical atlatl minutae. Yes… What?

Ok, yes, you’re right, that’s a baldfaced lie, I was gonna drown you in atlatl trivia regardless. What can I say. I tend to get long winded when I am talking about things that i find interesting, so I need every excuse I can get to justify my rambling. Just humor me, OK? It’ll be fun. Really. Go grab a cup of coffee, tea, whatever your slow poison of choice is, and get comfortable…  Mua ha ha ha ha ha ha… *wheeze*… heh…. Here we go…

More Atlatl Information

More Atlatl Information

An atlatl is essentially just a stick, usually around 2′ in length, with a peg, or pin at the rear end, sometimes set in a pocket, designed to hold and cast darts that can be anywhere from 4′ to 6′ in length. Some modern atlatls are also made with dart rests, integrated finger slots, unique grip designs and so on, like the ones below, however these are all contemporary designs that did not exist in traditional atlatl.

Atlatls with a dart rests

Atlatls with a dart rests

A custom atlatl with dart rest - showing unique grip style

A custom atlatl with dart rest - showing unique grip style

The atlatl is sometimes called a spear chucker, however I don’t think this is technically accurate, since, as far as I can tell, Atlatls do not actually cast spears. Almost every atlatl projectile I have seen are technically darts, or over sized arrows. And while it may seem like an inconsequential detail, there’s actually one very important difference  between a dart and a spear. Yes. Seriously. And if you just hold your horses for one second I’ll tell you what the difference is. Yes. Thank you. Let’s continue.

Preparing to throw an atlatl.

Preparing to throw an atlatl.

What really sets a spear apart from an arrow or dart is that a spear has no tail fletching or fins. All arrows and darts have fins/vanes/fletching to aid in aerial stabilization. Spears do not. This is why an atlatl is technically not a spear chucker. In fact, spears have more in common with crossbow bolts than either arrows or darts, as bolts are also generally stiffer than arrows. But I digress, as usual.

An Atlatl Dart

An Atlatl Dart

Many traditional atlatl darts also had a very unique point feature. unlike arrow tips that were usually permanently tied in place, atlatl tips were removable. The employed an interesting double socket design, with the hard atlatl tip attached to a secondary wood atlatl tip dowel, (sometimes called a foreshaft) using a tongue and groove design. The tip assembly was then mated to the atlatl dart by hollowing out the front of the dart, wrapping it with cord, and press fitting the foreshaft and tip assembly in place like a plug. Rather ingenious.

Atlatl Dart Tip Design - Double Slot

Atlatl Dart Tip Design - Double Slot

Atlatl Tip Design - Fully Assembled

Atlatl Tip Design - Fully Assembled

Alternate Atlatl Tip Designs

Alternate Atlatl Tip Designs

An atlatl can be used to cast a dart much farther than it could be thrown by hand. Some have finger straps, slots or voids in/on the grip to aid in retention, and many others have stone weights attached, about which there is a lot of debate. More on that later.

Parts of an atlatl

Parts of an atlatl

The atlatl works by extending the effective range of motion of your arm, from the wrist joint outwards. This allows you to use a much larger throwing arc than you would have been able to using your arm and hand alone, and you are able to impart much more energy to the projectile as a result. FORE!!

Using an Atlatl

Using an Atlatl

As I mentioned earlier, the atlatl and dart has a lot in common with the bow and arrow. However the similarities do not end with the fletching of the dart. An interesting property of properly constructed atlatl darts, are that they are designed to flex, and can be tuned, much like an arrow, for specific amounts of spine (flex) during launch, so that they straighten just before the socket leaves the peg, thus transferring all of that stored energy to driving the point towards the target

Atlatl Dart Flex

Atlatl Dart Flex

I also mentioned before that many traditional atlatl designs have weights attached to them. The purpose of these weights is a point of great contention. Many historians claim they are purely cosmetic, or religious/ritualistic in nature. However there are also those who argue that they are there to aid in the tuning of the atlatl.

Atlatl Weights

Atlatl Weights

The idea being that traditional weighted atlatls are designed to flex a little during launch, much like a bow, and that the weights are there to help fine tune the amount of flex and when return occurs. theoretically this would mean that one could tune both the Atlatl and the dart to flex, and release their energy at exactly the same time, in order to maximize the amount of stored energy that gets transferred to the dart, propelling it downrange.

Atlatl Flex

Atlatl Flex

I am personally inclined to believe that these weights do serve to help fine tune the atlatl for better throws, and this has been verified by actual atlatl record holders, however exactly what they are doing has not been definitively proven. However there is a lot of good information about them from veteran atlatl expert William Robert Perkins (aka “Atlatl Bob”), who was able to show scientifically, that these weights did in fact affect the balance, noise levels, and flexion characteristics of the atlatl.

Atlatl with stealth weight

Atlatl with stealth (aka Banner Stone) weight

Atlatl stealth weight noise levels comparison

Atlatl stealth weight noise levels comparison

Science applied towards the analysis and improvement of medieval weaponry. My kind of weapons expert. 🙂

Some Beautiful Contemporary Atlatls - Richard Lyons

Some Beautiful Contemporary Atlatls - Richard Lyons

The atlatl is just an absolutely fascinating weapon. So elegant and simple, and yet, as we’ve seen, there are so many complex facets to it’s operation. Amazing really. Quite an interesting read if you’re a weapons nerd like me. Otherwise you are probably nodding off about now. Which is OK because I’m pretty much done with the atlatl waterboarding session.

More Beautiful Contemporary Atlatls - The Takoch's

More Beautiful Contemporary Atlatls - The Takoch's

I’ve included some links below for those of you who have not yet drowned in my deluge of atlatl info. Sorry, there are no life rafts or flotation devices aboard this vessel. You will just have to swim for it.

Cheerio!

Atlatls n More
List of atlatl manufacturers – [Flight Toys]
Atlatl Design – [World Atlatl Association]
Atlatl weight and function – [BPS Engineering]
Tools of the Stone Age – Atlatls – [Dons Maps]
Walnut and Rosewood Atlatls – [Ray’s Atlatls and Darts]

Log In

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 159,095 bad guys.

Your Weapon Sir?
The Raiders Almanac
March 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
Surf the Sands of Time:
Phyreblades Site of the Month!