Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Black Powder and Primitive Weapons

Roman plumbata darts - interesting ancient weapon

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Made two "plumbata" darts, more will follow. These were late Roman throwing weapons and most of the originals had barbed points. However, customer asked for leaf point for easier pulling from the target. As you can see, these darts had a lead weight cast around the head's socket, which  is what gave them the name. They were carried on the inner side of a shield, making each soldier capable of causing damage to enemy on short range distance. I doubt the darts were immediately deadly (although I'm sure some lucky hits occured now and then), but with the barbed points they surely were annoying and could cause nasty infected wounds, excluding the wounded from next battle, which was likely the point. A couple hundred of these hitting an enemy formation at short distance might have also caused quite a mess and chaos. With the lead weight, they have surprising impact and penetrating power with just a lazy, untrained throw. Even untrained individual (aka me, testing them after they were finished) was able to hit a 40x60cm target at about 25m. I'm used to throw axe and trench shovel, so I may not be so completely untrained, but this is somewhat different, as you need to consider sort of ballistic curve to your throw, it's not just straight flight. Considering this weapon was rather ment to be thrown unaimed into enemy ranks in large quantities, I think it was quite effective for what it was and what it cost.
I'll make a set of these for myself and train with them some more. Not a bad thing to know for a survival situation I think. 

those are cool. just like ancient lawn darts..


--- Quote from: archer on August 03, 2015, 05:08:27 PM ---just like ancient lawn darts..

--- End quote ---

I knew they reminded me of something. Pretty cool project.

The difference is, these were thrown like an axe or a knife. Not like a current bar dart. (not sure how a lawn dart is thrown, never saw those). They rotated before the weight and fletches stabilized them and aimed the point forward. It's flight is unlike anything I ever saw. Sort of like a 5,45x39 bullet flight and impact completely reversed. A 5.45 bullet flies straight, then rotating once it hits a target. Plumbata rotates at start, then flies straight and hits straight.

Lawn Darts, not safe for kids.  :o


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