FIELD MADE WEAPONS
A club is a weapon or tool that you hold. It is not for throwing. A club serves to
multiply the force of a blow without injuring yourself.
A simple club is one of the quickest weapons you can make in a survival situation. A club basically mimics a baseball bats properties. Smaller at the handle and larger on the business end where the added weight carries many more foot-pounds of energy to dissipate in the enemy or object hit. The longer the club the more damage it will do. But the longer the club the more difficult it is to hit your objective if your objective has any dodging ability. So these characteristics must be balanced.
A weighted club is basically just a simple club with added weight to the end. The added weight allows the club to strike with more force than one that is unweighted but still allows for a shorter club.
This weight could be as simple as a stone tied to the end of the club.
When selecting a wood for a club a hardwood with tight close rings is best. Open grown trees will grow faster than one growing below other trees. So open grown trees will have less dense wood and should be avoided if possible but this isn't a huge concern.
A sling club is another type of weighted club. A weight hangs about 5 inches (13cm) from the end of the short club. The weight is connected via a piece of strong string, rope or leather. When swung the velocity of the stone when it whips around is increased and the damage inflicted can be much higher than a regular club.
A knife has three basic task it can perform. It can puncture, chop or
cut. A knife is also an must have tool used to construct other survival
items and not just for hand to hand combat. Hopefully you will have knives available when the end comes but eventually they will be lost or will break. So you will need at some point the ability to make a new knife.
You can use stone, bone, or metal to make a knife. Scrap metal should be readily available for many decades after our world comes crashing down so even though other option are available it just makes sense to use the best material and metal trumps the others.
First find a suitable piece of metal, one that most resembles the desired end product. The closer the match the less work it will take to convert it into a usable knife.
You will need to rub repeatedly the edge of the metal with a rough stone or hopefully a grinding wheel. A hacksaw blade can be used to shape the knife but since hacksaw blades are not being made anymore you will want to conserve any you have for jobs that can't be done without it.
It will take much longer but using a stone to cut and grind away unneeded metal from the knife but conservation of you irreplaceable equipment makes it worth the time and effort.
If the metal is soft enough, you can hammer out one edge while the metal is cold. Use a suitable flat, hard
surface as an anvil and a smaller, harder object of stone or metal as a
hammer to hammer out the edge.
Glass can be used as task specific knife. Glass could easily be used to clean an animal as well as scrape the hide if the hide is going to be tanned.
Plastics won't really take an edge but they can be fashioned into puncture weapons.
To make spears, use the same procedures to make the blade that you
used to make a knife blade. Then select a shaft (a straight sapling) 5 to 7 foot long. The length should allow you to handle the spear easily
and effectively. Attach the blade to the shaft using rope, string, leather or some other available lashing. The best method is to split one end of the spear and then insert spears point into the split. You then need to wrap it tightly.
A useful spear can be made without adding any blade or point to the shaft. Find a suitable hardwood shaft and shave one end to make a point. Then use a technique called fire hardening to harden the point of the spear. Fire hardening is the process of removing moisture from wood by slowly and lightly charring it over a fire. This makes the point harder and more durable.
Bamboo also makes an
excellent spear. Select a good piece of bamboo and starting 5 inches from the end shave it down at a 45 degree angle. To sharpen the edges, shave
only the inner portion.
To make an arrow point use the same methods described above for knife making just on a smaller scale. For a stone point, Chert, flint, and shell-type stones are best for arrow points. You can fashion bone just like stone by flaking it into shape. Broken glass makes excellent arrow points.
OTHER EXPEDIENT WEAPONS
You can make other field-expedient weapons such as the throwing stick,
archery equipment, and the bola.
A throwing stick is probably one of the best pieces of hunting equipment that you make/find quickly. Also called a rabbit stick for now obvious reasons. A throwing stick is just what it sounds like is. A stick to throw at animals. The rabbit stick
itself is a blunt stick, naturally curved at about a 45-degree angle. Select
a stick with the desired angle from heavy hardwood such as oak. Shave
off two opposite sides so that the stick is flat like a boomerang.
You must practice the throwing technique for accuracy and speed. When practicing throw at soft objects not rocks and trees to avoid damaging your stick. First, align the target by extending the non-throwing arm in line with
the mid to lower section of the target. Slowly and repeatedly raise the
throwing arm up and back until the throwing stick crosses the back at
about a 45-degree angle or is in line with the non-throwing hip. Bring the
throwing arm forward until it is just slightly above and parallel to the
non-throwing arm. This will be the throwing stick's release point. Practice
slowly and repeatedly to attain accuracy.
The bola is another field made weapon that is easy to make but really performs its job quite well. A bola is very good at capturing running game or low-flying
birds in a flock.
To make a bola you will need a length of strong string or cord of some sort. You will need two pieces of string. One will be half the length of the other. The shortest string will be two feet long and the longer string will be 4 feet long. Find the center point of the longer cord and you make a very loosely tied simple knot at that point. Then run the shorter string through that knot and knot it to the longer string.
This will give you basically three strings of equal length knotted on the ends. The three loose ends you tie some sort of weight to each one. Not to heavy, about 1/2 pound per weight.
To use the bola, hold it by the center knot and twirl it
above your head. Release the knot so that the bola flies toward your
target. When you release the bola, the weighted cords will separate.
These cords will wrap around and immobilize the fowl or animal that
you hit. Small game will sometimes be killed outright by the weapon.