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Subject: Usefullness of Bows, Crossbows and throwing knives.
jofredes    6/13/2004 5:43:30 PM
How usefull are bows, crossbows and throwing knives in modern warfare? Crossbows have been in use by warious special forces since WW2, I it's supposedly used by SAS, Spetznas and Taiwanese special forces. The Indian eqivalemt of the SEALs are supposed to have used crossbow darts with explosives and poisonous tips. The swedish army tested some but complained they were to noisy. I seen at least one example of an American police force using a sporting bow for among taking out dogs and light bulbs among other things I think. When it comes to throwing knivesit is suposed to be used by Taiwanese atack divers, and armenian special forces units. The spetznas are suposed to be experts on throwing spades. To be frank throwing knives and spades sounds like its something third world country sf forces do when they have watched to many action movies and want to inpress civilians, does anyone else have another opinion about this? What do you think about bows and crossbows?
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Sam    RE:Usefullness of Bows, Crossbows and throwing knives.   6/13/2004 10:33:11 PM
As useful as a football bat. There are some things a crossbow may be able to do, but they are a one trick poney. Is it worth the weight to hump? I'm ,most likely have a suppressed weapon anyway. Throw my knife at someone ? No. Too much Kung fu theater
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Tracer_Tong    RE:Usefullness of Bows, Crossbows and throwing knives.   6/14/2004 11:55:02 AM
These weapons do have their advantages. Throwing knives would be a lot more silent than a supressed gun and a mini-crossbow with various types of darts would have its own uses. If you want an idea of the niche these weapons fill, you should play Deus Ex which has both a mini crossbow with several dart types and throwing knives.
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Ehran    RE:Usefullness of Bows, Crossbows and throwing knives.   6/14/2004 4:56:03 PM
throwing knives are pretty much useless for modern combat unless you put in enormous amounts of time with them. the problem lies in the fact they spin which means unless bob is at the right distance from the thrower he gets hit with a non sharp and pointy part of the knife. with enough practise you can learn to vary the spin rate to fix that problem and presumably your accuracy will improve to the point where you can put the knife somewhere lethal. it's just so much easier to screw a silencer onto a .45 pistol and pop rounds into the victim till he falls down. that said i knew a fellow one time used to throw a hatchet or camp axe with great skill inside 12 yards or so. never figured it as a combat trick but as a way to pass time and impress noobs.
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Horsesoldier    RE:Usefullness of Bows, Crossbows and throwing knives.   6/14/2004 6:50:34 PM
>>How usefull are bows, crossbows and throwing knives in modern warfare?<< I'd have to agree with the premise stated earlier that they are not worth much in an era when suppressed pistols and other weapons are readily available to the sorts of people who might, alternately, need one of the above weapons for some sort of specialist application.
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stim    RE:Usefullness of Bows, Crossbows and throwing knives.   6/16/2004 7:30:16 PM
excuse my lack of knowledge, ehran, but isn't the spinning throw the way they throw knives in the movies? I thought if you wanted to hit someone with a knife you use a balanced one and throw it without spinning, like you throw a dart or a javelin, exactly for the reason you stated?
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eon    RE: throwing knives- eon to stim   6/17/2004 10:09:27 AM
I learned knife-throwing a long time ago, from a friend who used to have a knife-throwing act in a circus. He taught me a few things. First of all, all throwing knives rotate in flight because they don't have what's known as "arrow stability", like arrows, crosbow bolts (or "quarrels"), or even pub darts, due to their lack of vanes at the rear. It's the combination of a heavy point plus the "fletching" at the other end that keeps such projectiles flying point-first (missiles like the Sidewinder have the same arrangement for the same reason). A throwing knife, according to him, has to be designed to consistently spin in flight at a steady, predictable rate, or it won't consistently arrive at the target point first. Also, yopu have to learn to carefully gauge your range to said target; if, for instance, your knife is intended to take one "turn" in ten feet (the most common rate amongst the knives used by performers, and the rate of the old British Sykes-Fairbairn stiletto when thrown properly), and the traget is fifteen feet away, it will hit sideways unless you vary your wrist-action when you throw it. By increasing or decreasing the amount of "snap" you put into it (rather like varying the spin on a curve ball in baseball), you can make the knife spin faster or slower, thus ccausing it to be point-first when it gets to the target. Yes, the whole business is hideously complicated; he said circus knife-throwers (like him) always worked at a the same fixed distance, usually either ten or twenty feet; he preferred ten, as he felt he could more consistently "call his shots" at that range, and had far less risk of accidentally "pinning" his lovely assistant (who also happened to be his kid sister, age 19). When I asked him what he thought of the movie and TV spies, commandos, Kung Fu fighters, etc., who could hit a man in the eye at twenty yards with a knife, in the dark, every time, he said it was mostly BS. and for the record, in movies and TV shows, when the script calls for someone to "throw" a knife or "shoot" an arrow at anything, the job is done by the special-effects department, with a compressed-air powered "air gun", that shoots the projectile out in front of a sabot-like "pusher plug" that falls away close to the airgun's muzzle so it won't show up "in frame". If you want a silent weapon, there are a lot of good ones on the market today. All firearms. Use one of them, and save yourself a ration of grief in the immediate action..
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stim    RE: throwing knives- eon    6/21/2004 7:28:04 AM
ok, thanks; my reasoning was that even without vanes a knife could stay stable because a javelin doesn't have vanes either, but off course I forgot about the heavy point
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Thomas    RE: throwing knives- eon    7/7/2004 8:04:27 AM
The crossbow took over from the bow, not because it was more accurate or more lethal, but because it was much easier to train the infantryman to use. An archer has to evaluate azimuth, distance and tension (which varies when he gets tired), a crossbow generally does away with tension. a gun greatly reduces the problem of distance (as the trajectory is flatter) and azimuth (as the higher speed reduces the crosswind influence (incidentally the windcorrection is opposite due to the feathers)). Technological progress has made shooting easier to learn and train.
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bunglefoot    RE: throwing knives- eon to stim   7/15/2004 9:53:51 AM
Throwing knives are pretty much useless for any fight. The skill needed to accurately and reliably put a throwing knife on target takes too long for it to be used in any seriousness. Even throwing a knife at an enemy in combat is pretty useless, you are unlikely to penetrate the enemy him with the blade considering that it only covers a penetrating arc of about 20 degrees off the horizontal either way before you are only dishing a flesh wound. HOWEVER, throwing a knife in combat can be a useful endeavor. It forces your enemy to deal with the thrown knife, perhaps buying you time.
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Ehran    RE: throwing knives- eon to stim   7/15/2004 4:42:28 PM
you know that throwing a knife at a soldier is fairly dubious even if he doesn't have some manner of body armour. there is a lot of crap hanging off the web gear which is functionally knife proof.
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