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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.
Great spear. PROS: Head is huge and sharp. You do have to attach it yourself, but it is simple attach and screw. Solidly built though. Very long, but if you don't have decent reach already this is definitely only a display item for you. Makes you feel very dangerous, haha. CONS: The length makes it pretty difficult to move indoors, even if you are simply moving it 5 feet. This is the only thing that actually bothers me; the sheath. Once you slide the sheath to the bottom of the head it actually snaps on and over the bottom so you have to try pretty hard to get it off which can lead to, if you pull too hard or in an unsafe manner, cutting your fingers on the spearhead. I cut my finger pretty deep after supposedly having figured out how to get it off without hurting myself. My fault, but still I may start using some leather gloves. The shaft is almost too smooth and makes it slippery and also it could give you splinters. So leather gloves could be a plus for the shaft and taking off the sheath.Even after all that though, this spear is definitely a 5! I highly suggest it, but suggest also that you heed my warning!
This spear is wicked! I personally thought that it was going to be shorter, somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 feet, but this spear is taller than I am, which is perfect for what I'm looking for. And this spear means business. It comes razor sharp straight out of the box. My only complaint would be how the head of the spear connects to the shaft. They don't show this in the picture, but the shaft extends through the head and is visible on the other side. It does not detract from the performance at all, but I wish that Cold Steel had just covered the entire thing. Overall, though, this spear kicks ass!