Apache Throwing Star Build & Testing (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Primitive Tools' started by Sheepdog13, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Sheepdog13

    Sheepdog13 Tracker

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    I recently tried building an Apache throwing star for the first time. It was one of the first primitive tools that I learned about on this forum. Its sheer simplicity meant that it was something I could gather materials for, construct, and test all in my backyard, so I was convinced to give it a go. Here's a picture of the finished result, along with one of the ill-fated targets!

    [​IMG]

    Since cutting up the trees in my backyard was a no-no, and no pieces of firewood were in the right dimensions, I was forced to settle on a thick vine/root from the vegetation that covers our property wall. I cut off the straightest portions.

    [​IMG]

    The throwing star was very easy to make. I sharpened the edges to a point, whittled down the rough edges as best I could, cut some rough notches in both pieces where they would be lashed together, and then secured the whole thing with some tightly wrapped cord. I skipped using paracord just so I wouldn't have to waste any on a casual experiment. Point to point, the star was approximately 16 inches across both ways. The wood was still pretty soft, so I waited a few days for it to harden. It was nice and resilient at testing time.

    My targets. The volleyball net served as a good backdrop and prevented the throwing star from cartwheeling away to the other side of the yard, which happened often when I threw it at the ground targets.

    [​IMG]

    After a few misses and glances, I connected. I was throwing in an overhand fashion at this target.

    [​IMG]

    Another solid hit. The cord is becoming unwrapped here, but the fault lies with me. I thought I would try to salvage the cord afterward so I didn't tie it down thoroughly.

    [​IMG]

    After taking enough beating/pummeling/impaling, the first cardboard target broke and fell to the ground. I then moved onto the watermelon!

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    Some good hits on the watermelon nemesis!

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    The watermelon took a lot of frustrating glancing blows

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    With the watermelon, I was throwing the star in a side-hand fashion (so the star would fly horizontally). I found that throwing overhand would often result in the star landing either too early or late, and it would cartwheel away, well past the target. It was considerably harder connecting with the watermelon than with the cardboard target. Although I'm sure it's been used for both, I would see the Apache throwing star being used in warfare more effectively than being used to hunt game. I surmise that a throwing/rabbit stick would be more appropriate for game acquisition.

    To compare the throwing star's damage against that of a throwing stick's, I summoned a slightly curved piece of firewood (I don't have the proper-length wood to build my own throwing sticks, but I'll definitely get my hands on some in the future). When I did manage to connect, the throwing stick substitute hit the target with substantially more force. Here's the target after just a couple solid hits.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ranger

    Ranger Guide

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    Cool! Any plans to try these on rabbits?
     
  3. solocanoe

    solocanoe Bushmaster

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    I played first base for my whole career...largely because I was tall and lefty...
    but from that I never developed much of an arm, lol.

    thanks for sharing - it's a great project!
     
  4. 1Jesster

    1Jesster Guide

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    There was a western movie when I was a kid were the main character took a rabbit with one of these from horse back. Wish I could remember what that movie was and link to it. Good build and thanks for the review. I'm pretty sure I will be making one in the next few days
     
  5. randyt

    randyt Guide

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    Marlon Brando in The Missouri Breaks
     
  6. OnTheLambWildman

    OnTheLambWildman Scout

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    I forgot about these thanks for reminding me. I think they are a great fast field expedient weapon to have.
     
  7. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

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    Very cool post
     
  8. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    Pretty damn slick!

    I gotta make a few of these now!
     
  9. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Supporter Supporter

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    right on.. great stuff...
     
  10. Buckskin

    Buckskin Guide

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    I have made a few of these, but I have not gotten them to stick as yet. Like all things, practice, practice, practice.
     
  11. piney

    piney Bushmaster

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    Looks like great weekend fun. Great post.
     
  12. 1Jesster

    1Jesster Guide

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    Thank you. I was sure someone would know it.
     
  13. shumanlives

    shumanlives Scout

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    Haha love the pics! You look so happy!
     
  14. Trekon86

    Trekon86 Guest

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    Holy shat...hope you didn't eat that melon!
    Looks like poison ivy vine:eek:
    PMZ
     
  15. Sheepdog13

    Sheepdog13 Tracker

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    Thank you everyone!

    Not necessarily, but if I ever find myself near a rabbit when I have one of these, then who knows? I think a throwing stick would be more effective at getting a rabbit, and I'm actually in the process of building a couple.

    Are you referring to this guy?
    [​IMG]
    That's actually R. Lee Ermey, a retired drill instructor and host of the show Mail Call. A recurring joke on the show is that watermelons are Ermey's enemy, and he always ends up destroying them with various weapons. So I thought a picture honoring him would be appropriate here :4:

    Definitely was not poison ivy. Just some sort of nontoxic plant that covers our wall. And I actually did feast on the watermelon after the test - didn't want anything to go to waste!
     
  16. OzaawaaMigiziNini

    OzaawaaMigiziNini Guide

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    I love seeing results like this brother, way to go!
     
  17. Trekon86

    Trekon86 Guest

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    Mebbe Lianas?
    Sorry, the "hairiness" of it threw me off:eek:
    PMZ
     

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