5 Ancient Weapons and their SHTF Uses


This article dedicated to A Arizonian: 360 24/7!

ReadyNutrition Readers, we wrote a piece on the warrior mentality in a previous article, and this was to return you to the basics that covered skills and a mindset that has enabled our species to survive throughout the ages.  We’re going to add onto that by mentioning there is a time for technology and a time for the primitive.  Well, there have been a number of comments suggesting such weapons, and we’re going to run with the ball here – mentioning a few weapons besides the standard bow and arrow, and the knife – and then suggesting how to go about using them in your arsenal.  Let’s do it!

5 Ancient Weapons and their SHTF Uses


Yes, a spear.  There are several different kinds, depending on the function you want to use it for.  My personal preference is to make your own or have it forged to your specifications.  You want to be sure of a head that is sharply-pointed and well-bladed, preferably three or four blades, and the base is about twice as wide as the shaft.  This will permit the head to penetrate with a larger hole than the shaft.  What use, you may ask?  Hunting on the QT, and also defense in like manner.  A heavy spear will penetrate deeper brush than an arrow shaft.

These had heads that tapered to a point, as you can see, but a middle grip with two formidable ends that enabled it to be thrown or used here in close-quarters.  Watch the movie, and you’ll see how effectively it was employed.


A matter of preference here.  The Scottish Claymore, the German or Viking Broadsword, the Arab Scimitar, or the Roman Gladius.  All swords have different techniques for their use.  Someone is bristling at my leaving out the Japanese Katana.  There it is.  Each sword must be trained with differently, as they perform quite differently in battle and require practice in varied methods to be effective.  If you’re going to pick up a sword, you need one that is fully-functional and either comes edged or can take an edge.  Pay particular attention to the type of steel offered in it and research it for its hardness and tempering.  Such weapons can be worn strapped to the back, to the belt, or carried in its sheath and attached to a rucksack or backpack.  Remember this: cheap you buy, cheap you get, to coin a tried and true phrase in the vernacular.  If you’re going to a Halloween party, then it’s your call, but if you may use it to fight?  You don’t want one manufactured in Pakistan for $20.

Morningstar, or Mace

The ones attached to a continuous handle are a little easier to use than the ones on a chain.  Yes, these are the weapons you saw on Bugs Bunny as a kid employed by Yosemite Sam and friends.  The ones on the chain can propel and swing the actual ball of the mace with great force; however, you need to practice with them, as you can seriously injure yourself if you don’t have control over the swing and arc.  Purchase the ones with the spikes, made out of steel or heavy iron…they leave a lasting impression!


The “Feral Boy” in the movie “The Road Warrior” used one made out of metal.  Once again, you need to practice with this to be effective, and in this, you need two of them…one for practice and one to use when the “S” hits the fan that is in mint condition.  Give yourself a wide open area such as an uninhabited field as a practice ground.

Throwing Knives

Throwing knives are also considered an ancient weapon and if your accuracy is on point, they can be deadly. As well, the Chinese throwing star, also known as “Shuriken” are a part of any Oriental Ninja’s weaponry…a must-have for villains and heroes alike!  Seriously, these things can be highly effective…if you practice with them and make yourself an expert in their use.  I’ve heard plenty of comments about “How are you going to use that if you come under fire?” or “You’ll never be able to use that to hit a moving target in combat conditions,” yada, yada.

You are the warrior: you pick the time and circumstances of the encounter, and employ a weapon in the manner you’ve trained with it at the optimal time.

What we’re talking about here is the use of weapons after the complete breakdown of society, the complete collapse.  You’ll want to save that ammo unless you know how to make your own smokeless powder, your own primers, mold your bullets and have a lifetime supply of brass.  Even then, you’ll want to use weapons such as these in times that their silent employ could very well mean the difference between life and death.

Please keep this in mind: They can be just as dangerous to you (and others whom you do not intend them to use against) if you do not know how to use them properly and practice with them to acquire expertise in their employ.

Just a few suggestions, here, to get you started.  There are plenty of armorers and arms manufacturers that specialize in authentic, fully-functional ancient and medieval weaponry.  Do your research and find quality weapons and equipment, and train.  Don’t buy that mace for $20 and then be surprised when the spiked ball comes off and goes through the windshield of a parked car.  Don’t buy the $1,000 Katana, on the opposite end of the spectrum, and succeed only in cutting off one of your own feet while practicing.  If you can, practice with “dummy” weapons until you have the motions and fluidity down, and master the weapon fully before employing it in a real-world situation.  Be safe, stay in that good fight, and embrace “I can” as your core focus.

Oftentimes, the “I can’t/naysaying” crowd are telling you that you can’t do it…but they themselves have already done it…they just don’t want you to succeed with it.  Or, they tried it and didn’t succeed, and therefore don’t want you succeeding when they failed.  Either way, they’re not contributing to your success or survival.

The “I can,” is stronger than their “you can’t.”  The “I can” will enable you to survive and succeed where others fail.  If you conceive of it, study it, practice it, master it, and believe in yourself, you can do it: in anything in life.  You can!

Train intelligently, and train without ceasing.  Fight that good fight, and win it.  JJ out!


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Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 15th, 2017
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26 Responses to 5 Ancient Weapons and their SHTF Uses

  1. Jason says:

    Don’t forget the sling! A stone is twirled in it and released at high velocity. Absolutely deadly in skilled hands. It’s the weapon that killed Goliath.

  2. Sure. Wait... what? says:

    Brilliant. A shuriken? Really? You’re going to poke someone with a 3/4″-1″ knifeblade and they’re going to do what, exactly? Fall over dead? Those were intended for use with toxins. Regardless of the weapon that you chose, understand what it was designed for first.

    • abinico says:

      A 1″ knifeblade will work just fine on the nose, eyes, under the mouth, or if fatal wound is warranted, the jugular. HINT: a readily available 1″ blade weapon can be found in any HW store – get a box opener knife. And this type of razor sharp blade can be used on any part of the body.

      • MARCUS says:

        Youre making his point: 1″ handheld blade (close quarters) is a completely different animal than the shurkin (ranged) .Flinging a star at someone is just going to irritate them and lose what element of suprise you had.

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ says:

      Death of a Thousand Cuts.

      There are a number of arteries and veins within an inch of the skin’s surface.

      Don’t really have to aim to hit one or more.

  3. A Arizonian says:

    JJ thanks for the dedication . . . . “Ancient Weapons” are you implying something my snake eating brother. Good stuff to learn how to use, a spear and a Katana are indeed useful.
    Tight 360 24/7

  4. gato felix says:

    Something as simple as a baseball bat, can cause a lot of damage!

  5. MARCUS says:

    A morningstar mace? you must be joking. an offense-only, single use item that rapidly wears down the defense of the weilder as he uses it and must be used in an open area has LESS THAN ZERO post-SHTF value.

    No mention of slings.
    No mention of clubs.
    no mention of pff never mind this guys is a joke.

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ says:

      I could hold a hallway for a day-and-a-half with a morning star or mace.
      Granted, I’ve had years of training. . .

      It’s not all about the broad strokes.

      • MARCUS says:

        I’m realistic about my own abilities. Other than for shock value or as a first strike weapon, I would not be able to deal with a morningstar. I doubt most people have your training or endurance so suggesting it to the masses is somewhat silly. I could see a straight-up mace, but not a chain-and-ball morningstar

  6. ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ says:

    Also, the atlatl – a short rod with a cup on the end where a spear-butt is inserted. . . the extra leverage allows for longer spear-casts.

    For home defense, allow me to recommend the Springal.
    A rack of spears launched by a laminated plank smacking them in the butt.

    Throwing axes are also a good addition to any low-tech arsenal.

    Flail and short sword make a good combination if you’re going to carry.


  7. idontknow says:

    Rome conquered the world with a short sword…

  8. Remember rubber deteriorates especially synthetic … and there won’t be a local tire shop selling genuine rubber tubes …

    The best I ever saw, was a sling made out of chain 1/25″ to 3/8″ or thereabout … looked like either monel or stainless with a shallow metal half-egg pocket – available at virtually any hobby shop – This 13-14 year old kid took the headlights out of a moving truck at about 250 feet with ordinary stones!!!< The grill-work proved worthless …

    Later I asked him what ammo he was using, he showed me a handful of reasonably round rocks (all picked and prepared) … then laughed when he unpacked about 12-15 1/2″ steel balls from junked bearings, “These I use for killing!” (1) His sling wasn’t going to rot or rust away; and (2) ammo is on the ground free-for-the-picking … junked vehicles have scads of bearings, just takes a little time to get them …

    Such a sling, even made of leather, canvas or any good woven material, can throw a 2+ inch rock one hell of a distance and take down anything on feet – body armor isn’t much protection from someone who knows what they’re doing and targets head-shots …

  9. wdmca1720 says:

    There are many deadly weapons from way back in the day! However, the most deadly weapon ever used by humankind…is the human brain itself.

  10. Billy Sharpshooter says:

    I clicked on a link in the Daily Sheeple and got directed to a site which seems to incite violence. Feeling not good. I suggest this place stop the war talk and promote peace.
    If you want my input on weapons I observe that technology marches forward never backward. This means that the weapons of 1000 years ago are obsolete.
    But it would be irresponsible to omit to say that possession of offensive weapons of any type can get you into serious trouble with the Law.

  11. Billy Sharpshooter says:

    Join a martial arts group which have a licence to use nunchucks and all dear to the late Bruce Lee. If you want my later opinion, a missile guided by GPS is useless during SHTF. I would favour the chucks and a toilet chain. They look more legal and favourable.
    But still, don’t go to no prison by putting into practice the science and practice of weapons you are not allowed to have.

  12. With all due respect the weapons you mentioned are all very impractical there are much better choices for the survivalist. Being a survivalist and martial artist I can speak on this somewhat authoritatively. Boomerang was never used as a self defense weapon by the masters and creators of it, the Australian Aborigine. It was a distraction device in a hunt at best. There are accounts of them throwing them over a flying flock of ducks, the ducks see the shadow of the boomerang and think it is a hawk, the ducks fly lower where they are netted and beaten to death. They used heavier non-returning throwers for killing. How it was used in Mad Max is Hollywood krap. I also see nothing to lead me to believe you have any experience in any of the weapons mentioned that always bothers me when someone writes about something they can’t validate. I am sure you meant well but my suggestion, if you want it, rethink this type of article before writing similar ones.

  13. Are you using the pseudonym Jeremiah Johnson because you relate to the movie character of the same name? If so what are your credentials that you would do so?

  14. Frank says:

    Interesting article. Whatever one knows or doesn’t know, there are books, videos, clubs and schools that still teach people how to use so called “ancient weapons” and of course the whole gamut of martial arts weapons. I get annoyed when people scoff, but if you have never tried something, you probably can’t truly appreciate or understand it.
    And right now there seems to be an explosion of swords, sword machete hybrids and modern swords designed for actual fighting with better materials, less decoration and thus minimal maintenance. I have one myself of this type and the first sword I have ever owned. So nobody should think you’re “way off” or not at least consider these weapons.

    I think that shuriken are more practical than throwing knives, since one only has to learn how to throw them and not worry about distance and spin. And they are easier to pack, cheaper to buy or make. And they double as caltrops or a hand held blade. Knives work well too, but the shuriken option might work better for some. It’s just an observation.

    For those who say they are ineffective little trinkets, you are unaware or ignorant about them. Like any other weapon one might buy, there are junkie samples and then there are quality made versions. They can be made from two flat or round sections of metal welded into a cross or flat squares with the sides made concave or you can make them with fancy points if you wish. They will hurt if they are made thick steel and sharpened well. Forget about a quick kill, not even a knife, spear, or bullet ever guarantees a quick death of your enemy.

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