Author Topic: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?  (Read 4826 times)

Offline Economan

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Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:50:12 PM »
Just curious to see if anyone has made an atlatl.  I tried and failed on the first attempt.  I tried using a bamboo dart - WAY too light.  My launcher was an old broomstick with a nail.... anyway, it was poorly hatched.  But I'm curious to know if anyone has experience with these, and can offer some tips or how to.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 10:06:04 PM »
Yeah, I tried making one a few years ago with somewhat disastrous results.

I miss that dog.

The Professor

(just kidding, I just couldn't make it work too well)

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 10:12:01 PM »

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 07:42:07 AM »
Yeah, made a makeshift one some years back and was blasting through 1/2" pine boards without any trouble at all.  Followed instructions from the book "Survival with the Atlatl" which seems to be out of print, but there are plenty of other, newer books on the subject.  And I'm sure you can find a how-to on youtube.

The key tricks to getting it to work are to have a heavy spearpoint of some sort on the dart to stabilize it, and to hold the atlatl between your index and middle fingers so that you can get a straight, consistent flip on the whole contraption.  Seems awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, it feels natural.

Man, do those things work.  I mean, how many wooly mammoths have you seen around lately?

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 09:19:42 AM »
http://www.thunderbirdatlatl.com/

I just picked up one of their Thrower Kits at Flint Ridge.  Even though the thrower is the easiest part to make.

I have heard of people using aluminum arrow shafting to make the darts.

Thunderbird always has a bunch of throwers and darts for the public to play with at Flint Ridge.  The darts they use for this seem to be made of aluminum tubing.  I'm sure this is for durability reasons.

Offline Scottman

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 09:43:17 AM »
Curtis at EOTW taught an interesting atlatl class. I'd contact him, the archer on the hoods woods forum on the subject.

Offline habs

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 09:03:55 PM »
The key to the system is the flexible dart.  It stores energy as you cast it and flings itself somewhat off the atlatl.

Get a set of darts from Thunderbird.  Then you will know how they're supposed to act, and you can improvise based on that.

You can splice cedar dowels together with a piece of aluminum arrow tubing.  I've recycled broken recurve arrows by cutting them down to 24 inches, then splicing them to a 4" dowel.  They fly nicely.

I practice intermittently and my effective range on a deer would be about 15 yards.  Some people are quite good though.

atlatls are fun because you can take them to your archery club and when your bow muscles are tired, throw darts!  Good way to extend your play time.

Offline try_anything_once

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 10:11:42 PM »
My best darts are made from bamboo stakes with oak dowels glued into the ends.  The point need to be heavier than the nock.  Good big feathers help stabilize the flight.  210 ft is about the best i have thrown.  But accuracy is a guess at that distance.  At 30 yrds I could kill a deer easy.  There are a bunch of web site a clubs out there that will help.  The Atlatl is the oldest weapon system know to exist and it has stayed for a reason.  Its easy, fast and it works.         

Offline Texas Sawduster

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 10:48:06 AM »
WOW !!

I did not know of this. This is cool !!!!

Thanks for sharing.

Another tool for TEOTWAWKI


Offline Economan

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Re: Atlatl? Anyone made one of these?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 01:53:18 PM »
I'll check out some of these resources, guys.  Thanks for the info!  I tried using bamboo for the dart, but found it was too light.  I even attached a big lag-screw to the end, but it never made it more than ~20 yards.  I will try again soon - after I finish school.