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How would I go about making throwing darts? Not the bar kind, but something larger for hunting small game. I have tried doing this in the past, but the dart just tumbled in the air.

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Do you have experience with these types of darts?  HUnting darts that is?

There are a thousand different kinds based on location and time frame..  They vary ever so slightly with location..  My specialty is Japanese but have seen other varieties.. 

I can tell you that bar darts are a different breed and from what I remember started as Bolts from cross bows.. Conceptually.. 

Darts themselves are not thrown like bar darts but are thrown in different manners depending...   If you wanted to see a reference try looking up Ninja bo shuriken..  Most the information will need weeding through and it's not 100% correct but will raise more questions..  This is ideal as it will open more doors to expand what you believe is really being done.. I have no idea of your back ground or skill set.. 

I've hunted with great success using different throwing blades as well as just plain old sticks thrown at prey using proper throwing techniques..  Up to raccoon sized animals.. At this size one must be extremely precise with target acquisition with the right sized "Dart"..  Took maybe 5-6 years of practice to get to this size of animal with practice daily or every other day.. 

Also since the animals are moving the ability to walk, jog or run and still be able to throw accurately is very important.. 

 

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IIRC, bar darts were developed by tavern owners to keep drunken soldiers from throwing spears at random targets as a gambling game.

Hunting darts are typically spears that require a thrower other than a bow. Bow darts became distinguished from other types for some reason, perhaps because they need to be fitted to the bow and shooter for maximum effect. I don't know.

Anyway, If you plan on hunting you probably want to start practicing with the ATLATL and making target darts. An ATLATL darn is a shorter heavy arrow without a nok. Forge an arrow point or small spear point, the process is the same just different sizes. Pattern them after a crossbow bolt, they don't need three fletchings, two is plenty.

For practice I highly suggest a short bodkin point, you WILL miss a LOT till you develop decent aim, broad heads or barbs will just get bent and broken till you do. Something like a target or field point for an arrow.

There are a number of good ATLATL throwing sites on the web, do a search and look around till you find one that'll show you HOW to use one then practice, Practice, PRACTICE. ;) There is one guy with a LOT of content who throws darts overhand, side arm, underhand, virtually any orientation with enough clearance to swing the ATLATL and he's a GOOD shot. I don't have a link though and I'm not going to be sitting here long enough to search it out again. I have a back hoe waiting for enough light to work and my last cup of coffee. I got dirt to move and electric cable to lay to the shop!

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hand darts are most akin to throwing knives but with a ribbon or a tasle for a tail. This streamer resists the air, preventing the dart from tumbling.  To see this in action buy a cheep throwing knife (they ones with a “thumb ring” at the end, go to a sewing store and buy a tasle or a bit of ribbon and tie it to the ring (over hand not works fine for both, gives you to streamers with the ribbon). 

Otherwise you wand a javelin, made much like a small harpoon.

now for small darts, one can buy a box of large cut nailes and forge them a bit flater and punch the big end. As they are medium or beter carbon steel they can be heat treated after a bit of file work. Small tasles made from gutted para cord work well. 

Like our lady J, I hunted small game with everything from a .22 down to a fist sized rock. And i throw tavern darts from the point. 

From a practicle point a sling or rabbit stick are about the best tools up to coon size (tho a lucky shot or a skilled one can bring down a small deer). 3-5 weight bolo are great for ground and water foul and can be turned against medium game. 

Now I grew up in the desert, being from Maine a difrent set of tools may be called for. Slings and bolo are not tools for forests, this is why the bow was developed. Skill saw blades make exelent broad heads.

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Charles I had a hard time both with spear and with javelin with my shoulder.. I would do fine for about 4 throws but it really needs to be very light with work up throws..  I also made long shaft spears for boar hunters.. (those guys were nutty).. They'd jump out of trees 20ft in the air on top of the boars with a 3ft long spear blade mounted on an 8ft shaft.. 

A sling is also excellent.. All good suggestions.. 

For bo shurikens  about 30ft is about max distance unless the weight is upped.. I had a few that were in the 1lb mark..  but were a pain to carry.. 

We also use a tasseled dart but to a lesser extent and because of the easy of mfg I stuck with straight single or double edged bo (straight type)..  being easy to make meant not caring if I lost em.. 

Some of the more fancy ones can take a little while to forge out.. Normal carry count is 9..  

I had a cat I used to go squirrel hunting with..   He was an excellent retriever.. I'd knock um out of the tree and the cat (Splat was the cats name.. He was black so at night i'd step on him once in awhile) would grab um for the fatal..  He was more dog than cat..  He'd stay on command and while sit stalking would sit in my lap looking if I missed one he'd point it out to me..  Really just a good cat.. 

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takes a bit more skill with the bo surikin and as you point out they are easy to lose. 

Another trick with the tasked darts is an over hand throw holding the ribbon. This is esentualy the same maneuver as using a sling. Start with the ribbon in hand and arm down besides your leg. Drop the dart and rotate the extended arm in an overhand throw releasing the tasle when the dart is forward and on target. Be carful as it has range, energy and a sharp edge/point. 

Yes I know “every one” twirls a sling over head. That’s only for long range, not for getting supper. Drop and overhead is the game. Make a sling and buy a bag of cheap golf balls. After you get good make a sling with a smaller pocket and buy the biggest egg shaped slip weights you can find (paint them day glow orange) again be carful the Romans acualy had surgical tools for the removal of sling glands) forget about broken power bands, a sling is the way to go.

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JLPSVCSinc,

Straight shuriken = shaken?

Have you met or even studies with master Stephen Hayes?

SLAG.

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YUP..  And yes, I've worked with Stephen Hayes and some of his direct students in the USA..  I am no way in the upper eschalaunds of his organization. Back in the 80's and 90's I was really heavy into training.. 

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JLP - ever tried an atlatl?  I can hurl darts pretty far and accurate with this ancient tool.  

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I never knew what they were called,  so called them a stick slinger..  it's a great survival tool and I handed down students how to make one as well as bow and arrows,  blow guns,  but never got serious with it.  Close quarter or heavily wooded areas was my primary area of interest..  The only back ground came from seeing it in a documentary on the TV.. 

The potential was/is there..  I've never had to hunt for survival just more of a training scenario and back when I was much younger I ate meat, skinned and tanned hides.. trapped. That kind of thing.. 

MC Hammer,  I still call them spears vs darts..  3ft long is how long i've made the spears..    

Got a picture of your kit? 

@SLAG Are you a practitioner?   Way back in the day.. Mid 70's..  The only martial arts stuff that was really known in the area were Judo, karate.. Kung fu while shown in movies, there were no schools..  and the other martial ways didn't make much sense.. It wasn't till Stephen came on the scene that I had seen there was a different way or approach to a threat or a better way of being..   It was pretty cool..   My brother used to make fun of me and used to say Ninjas really can't jump up 20ft or hold their breath or slow down their hearts..   I was the one who ended up being able to laugh when well.... :)  

 

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I'll have to take a picture of my atlatl and send you a PM JLP.  I do it for fun every now and then but a bunch of my friends compete worldwide with other atlatlists.  One pretty neat thing happened at one of our big knap-ins one year, a discover film crew came and filmed guys trying to pierce modern made Spanish armor with atlatl darts.  Most dented it pretty badly but I do not believe anyone was successful in penetrating the armor as has been said historically.  

The spear was actually much longer, probably like around 7 feet or more tall.  The dart is around 6 feet and is a little thicker than an arrow shaft.  The spear replicas I make are pretty thick and hold quite a large clovis point while the dart points are more of a medium to small sized point.  I know from making all of those that the shaft was much more valuable than the projectile point that tipped them - way more work goes into making a shaft of any kind.  

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