How hard does it hit?

Author(s): Daryl Hrdlicka

Year: 2002


J. Whittaker: Energy calculations for atlatl dart compared to other projectiles. Force (momentum) reflects how hard it hits target (F = Mass x Acceleration). Kinetic Energy (stored energy in projectile) determines amount of damage to target (KE = 1/2 Mass x Velocity squared). Atlatl darts have more impact force and momentum than most bullets (because more mass) but much less kinetic energy (because slow). “Weaker than modern firearms, but still capable of bringing down largest game.” They rely on penetration rather than shock to damage target. [Very interesting calculations. Unfortunately he uses US measurements - who ever heard of “slugs” of mass! And no doubt some readers will interpret this as “atlatl more powerful than gun.”]

Cite this Record

How hard does it hit?. Daryl Hrdlicka. The Atlatl. 15 (4): 16-18. 2002 ( tDAR id: 423120)

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Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 9910


Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.