First Weapons: July 14

Phil learns how to source, craft, and throw the Amerr - once one of the fastest weapons on earth.

This week on First Weapons, host Phil Breslin visits Alyawarr country in the Northern Territory to discover a weapon that was once one of the fastest weapons on earth – the Amerr.

Spending time with weapon makers Donald Thompson, John Duggie, Casey Holmes and Frank Holmes, Phil learns how to source, craft, and throw the Amerr.

In Brisbane they unpack the scientific principles that make this weapon so special, revealing how the ingenious design supercharges the spear’s distance, speed, and accuracy. The expert team reveals how Phil interacts with the weapon before Dr Adam Griffin demonstrates just how lethal the combination of spear and Amerr can be.

The challenge tests historian Eric Wilmott’s statement “that until the invention of the selfloading rifle, the woomera and spear were the fastest weapons on earth”.

7:30pm Friday on ABC.

3 Responses

  1. What with this need to first, fastest and best at everything, why not just fast enough that you wouldn’t want to be standing in front of one. A woomera isn’t weapon, it’s a lever extender that travels 1m. They will assist you to throw a light-weight spear at Hominins have been making stone tools for 3,300,000 years. A 14th Century longbow fired at 50m/s and was lethal at 300m, smaller bows also date back to the Paleolithic. A medieval trebuchet fired boulders hundreds of metres at a similar speed. A 16th Century flintlock musket fired at 250m/s which is nearly 900 km/h.

    1. Not fastest at everything. Returning boomerang did not beat the drone in first ep, but only by a small margin. Earlier story indicated the show was happy to add a sense of fun to its history.

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