Ballista Spears

Scott White swhite at
Fri Jan 24 10:09:54 PST 1997

(D'OH! I spent so much time writing my carefully-worded post that I forgot
to fill in the subject line! Let's try this again ...)

Oh no! Gnith has artillery! Run for your lives!

OK folks, Gnith's new ballista will be complete this weekend! She's so
beautiful and I'll have pictures on my site soon. However, I need your help
so we can utilize this baby in the upcoming wars:


I made a couple prototypes, with 2' and 3' long 1" schedule 40 shafts (taped
w. pipe cap on the front end), camp pad fins and built-up camp pad heads of
the same dimensions as a thrusting spear head (3-4" wide, 2" progressive

They're awfully heavy! Not so heavy as to hurt the target, but heavy enough
to impede flight. I'm wondering:

        * Does the shaft really need to be 1" wide? Markland arrow shafts
are considerably smaller ...

        * Does the head need to be so large? It's not going to hit anywhere
near as hard as a hand-held spear thrust.

I was thinking of a dart of these proportions instead:

        * 2' or 3' long PVC taped shaft out of that black, thin-walled
conduit stuff (so it would be light and fold rather than break), 3/4" wide

        * 2 1/2" wide built-up head with 1-2" of progressive resistance.

The back end could be built up with a pipe cap of some such to keep it from
entering helms if it ricochets.

I'd appreciate any and all feedback on this plan and would ALSO like to know
who exactly I have to run this implement by in order to have it
registered/passed/blessed/whatever. I'll be mailing the Estrella and Gulf
Wars powers-that-be today, too. I'd sure hate to build 100 darts, haul the
whole contraption to Arizona and Mississippi and then have the darts fail.


<swhite at>

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