Primitive Technology: Spear Thrower

Primitive Technology: Spear Thrower

A spear thrower is a simple tool that allows the user to throw a spear further than by hand alone. It is a small length of wood with a hook in the end that fits into a notch in the back of the spear. The extra power and distance gained by the thrower is due to the extra leverage it gives.
I cut a small branch with a minor branch coming off the side. I shaped the minor branch into a spur to fit into the end of the spear. The thrower was about 65 cm long.
For the spear, I cut a thin sapling approximately 2 m long and about 1.5 cm thick. I carved a cup in the end of the spear for the spur to fit into. Then I bound the back of the spear with bark fiber to prevent the wood from splitting. The head of the spear was simply charred in the fire and scrapped against a rock to sharpen it (during practice the head regularly breaks so only a sharpened tip is used to save work).
To use the spear thrower, the spur of the thrower is inserted into the cup of the spear. The spear and thrower are held at about shoulder height. The thrower is quickly flicked forward and the spear propelled towards the target. As the spear leaves the thrower it bends slightly storing energy until it jumps of the spur. During flight, the flexible spear wobbles and oscillates paradoxically giving the spear some stability in flight.
The throws in the video show what can be done in one afternoon of practice (my arm got sore and I wanted to start on other projects). I hit the target a few times at a distance 15 m. It is more powerful than a spear thrown by hand alone but is difficult to learn. The spear I made could have been a fraction lighter and so would have greater speed. Another improvement would be to add flights to the spear so it would be more accurate and fly straighter (like an atlatl).
The extra energy gained from a Woomera’s (Australian spear thrower) use has been calculated as 4 times that of compound bow (Wikipedia). It’s easy to make (this took less than a day) but requires lots of training to become accurate.

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20 Responses

  1. Akt says:

    You know it’s a special day when Primitive Technology uploads

  2. Hoody says:

    In before a million views and front of trending page #5kviews

  3. mtzandonadi says:

    *1:11** Why didn’t you use that cord drill you’ve made before?*

  4. darthnihilus1608 says:

    do you not give a shit about mosquitoes?

  5. Tattersail says:

    Does the spear come with a red dot sight?

  6. Nikolas Gaffron says:

    better aim than with any of your improvised weapons so far. this is your
    best hope at a rabbit by far.

  7. Ijaz Ahmed says:

    Imagine camping out with Bear Grylls and this guy

  8. script0r56 says:

    For the next episode you should make yourself a pair of shoes.

  9. TotallyRandom says:

    Give this guy a TV show god damnit

  10. Joel Hine says:

    Clay houses, furnaces, iron, a heated bed; what’s next a machine gun

  11. TheWtfnonamez says:

    Im always slightly embarrassed when I watch this guys videos. I have a
    fantastic bug-out bag, a great set of knives, and the skills to survive.
    However, he just needs to show up, in his shorts, with no tools, and he can
    build a village. Im carrying 20kgs of equipment to survive, and hes wearing
    6 ounces of shorts, and he can rebuild civilization. wtf.

  12. Primitive Technology says:

    Beware imitation channels in the comment section. My channel is verified
    (has a tick next to it) the fake ones don’t. Don’t click on their links as
    they lead to malicious websites. Instead report them as spam and I’ll deal
    with them. Thanks.

  13. Life says:

    He’s going backwards. I was expecting him to have reached rocket technology
    by now. lol just kidding, great video.

  14. DevinGaming says:

    Next time on Primitive Technology, man builds village.

  15. Laughing Man says:

    Your Atlatl wasn’t dried and cured properly. It will warp as it dries. You
    should have skinned the bark and let it cure and straightened it as it
    dried. Also, adding a streamer to the tail would have given you far better
    accuracy. Finally, hardening the tip does not require charring however I
    don’t believe you charred the wood too deep and the blackness was
    superficial. Finally, adding a downward curvature to the atlatl handle
    would give you greater strength and control in aiming.

  16. Hedgpig says:

    When will he invent language?

  17. Viraj Nagre says:

    I hope he finds redstone and diamonds really soon

  18. Tom V says:

    I wonder if there’s any clowns watching him in the forest

  19. HyperU2 says:

    Ancient UK warriors had a similar device they used to target their enemies
    legs at the midpoint. It’s said there has never been a more horrible noise
    on a battlefield than the wails of their victims. You can still hear the
    sorrowful shrieking to this day, of those Brit knee spears.

  20. AnonymousRevealer says:

    In 20 videos time he will be making thermonuclear weapons