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How hard does it hit? A revised study of atlatl and dart ballistics

TitleHow hard does it hit? A revised study of atlatl and dart ballistics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsHRDLICKA, D.
JournalThe Atlatl
Volume16
Issue2
Pages15-18
PublisherThe World Atlatl Association, Inc.
Place PublishedWintersville, OH
Publication LanguageEnglish
Abstract

J. Whittaker: Three variables for comparison: how hard it hits (kinetic energy), how hard it is to stop (momentum) and how effectively it penetrates (sectional density). Calculations for spears, atlatl darts, arrows, bullets. Darts much less kinetic energy (KE = 1/2 Mass x Velocity squared) than bullets, but more than arrows, and plenty to take big game by archery standards. Momentum = Mass X Velocity so darts less than heavy spears or fast bullets, but more than .357 magnum or arrows. High momentum promotes penetration, especially of harder tissues. Sectional density (Weight/Diameter 2) also affects penetration – denser, smaller projectiles penetrate better, so darts very effective, relatively heavy and small. [Improved version of 2002. Good explanations of physics, but I still think a “slug-ft/sec” is a measurement used in slow garden races.]

URLhttp://www.thudscave.com/npaa/articles/howhard.htm