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The assegai as a long shaft throwing spear developed in ancient Africa and spread into Spain with the Berbers in the 11th century. Spanish Christian warriors became very adept in its use, and it was a popular weapon during the Reconquista period. However, the increasing use of gunpowder marked its demise in Europe and North Africa, while the development of the short staff stabbing assegai by the Zulu tribes ended its use in southern Africa. The 17 1/3"spearhead is constructed from SK-5 steel, then heat treated and drawn to a tough spring temper. This process enables the spearhead to flex or bend under impact stress rather than break. This spear stretches 5 foot 9" when attached to the premium ash shaft. Cold Steel, 95E.
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I like my Assegai long-shaft. The blade is wickedy-sharp, so you have to handle this spear sensibly. It throws nicely from 10-20 paces, but is definitely heavier than a Greek javelin--you can clearly feel the difference when casting. Whereas the Greek javelin can more easily break where the socket ends, however--especially on a longer (25-30-yd.) cast if it sticks in a tree-trunk or root--the Assegai (though thrown from a shorter range because of its greater weight) has not yet broken. It easily penetrates a hay-bale and lodges in a tree-stump behind it. I would have preferred for both sides of the blade to have been convex; but having said that, the blade-shape on this one is still geometrically beautiful, & the spear throws well. Not a toy, however. Mine came originally with an overall length of about 7', but I found this a bit cumbersome--both for casting & just hauling around; so I cut it down to about 6'. I like this much better--less awkward going through doorways, & feels better (to me) when casting. I'm happy to have it.
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