Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,
As some readers know, I enjoy science fiction. The genre allows writers to explore various aspects of our society.
One series of short stories, that I have enjoyed in the past, involves a bartender and his experiences tending a bar visited by many different alien species. One species, a quick and deadly predator, invites the bartender to lunch. (It's not what you think)
During the story, the visiting aliens easily catch their deer-like prey with sharp claws and quick reflexes as the human bartender always misses his prey until he picks up a femur (the long, thick, strong leg bone of an animal) and uses it to kill his prey.
As the bartender roasts his lunch over an open fire, he ponders the differences in evolution between humans and the aliens. The aliens evolved claws, speed, and quick reflexes to kill their prey while Humans evolved a brain with the ability to improvise or build something ...
to kill you.
You as a Weapon
Teeth, nails, fingers, elbows, knees, forehead, and ... are some of the weapons we carry with us every day. If you can reach someone, you can hurt them.
Remember though! That's true about them, too.
In a fight for your life, you have failed if you allow an attacked to get this close to you.
The "Things" Around You
On our most recent plane trip (We visited my partner's mom and dad) we went through security. Well, they had changed the signs from our last trip, and I wasn't paying attention, so I forgot to take off my belt. This caused an enhanced pat down and a search of my carry-on bag.
The security agent started going through my bag. As he looked through my bag, I started to realize all the weapons that I was carrying. Things like newspapers/magazines that could be rolled up and used as a blunt weapon; sharpened pencils/ball-point pens that could be used as stabbing weapons; and a thick heavy book in the carry-on bag itself that could be used as a club. (I almost forgot my key ring with the three big keys)
Needless to say, they let me on the plane with everything I was carrying and my belt, too (a garrote)
Most folks are familiar with close weapons such as knives, swords, and spears. These weapons give you a little more reach then your hands and feet. Plus, they are sharp or pointy or sharp and pointy.
There is also another close weapon called a club. These weapon can be blunt or pointy and sharp.
If manufactured knives, spears, and clubs are unavailable, these weapons can be improvised. An improvised club can be as simple as your young daughter's baseball bat. To add to it's lethality a few nails pounded into the end turns it into an improvised morning star. (Watch the 1981 film Escape from New York or do a web search for "Nail-Bat")
An improvised spear is easy to make. Just find a stout tree limb (about 5 feet long) and sharpen one end. To make the point more durable fire-harden the sharpened tip by holding over a fire and slowly rotating the spear. Don't let the tip catch fire, though.
You can also improvise a metal tip for your spear using discarded metal. After you fashion the spear tip, split the end of the spear, insert the metal tip, then wrap the split end with cord.
To learn how to make an improvised knife, all you need is a little research on prison knives or improvised knives.
Primitive Projectile Weapons
Most of us know about bowes and arrows, but we forget about the others such as blowguns, Atlatl, slings, spears, and a multitude of other projectile weapons.
Modern Projectile Weapons
So many other writers have written about firearms (Which ones to buy, how to use them), but they have failed to make an important point.
It's funny to be writing about indirect fire until I remember a story from the troubles in the Angola/South Africa area during the '60s and '70s. A family of farmers were attacked by terrorists. The terrorists used mortars in the attack. The farming families had to harden/strengthen their homes' roofs with sandbags to protect themselves and their families from mortar attacks.
Lastly, The Important Points?
We will never get rid of weapons because humans are too imaginative.
The availability of weapons are limited by your inventiveness
Weapons are used to keep our friends close and our potential enemies as far away as possible
Judo: Information Site - U.S.M.C. MCRP 3-02B: Close Combat
Global Security - U.S.A. Fm 3-25.150: Combatives
Wikipedia - Knife
Wikipedia - Bowie Knife
Wikipedia - Sword
Wikipedia - Mace (Club)
Wikipedia - Morning Star (Weapon)
Wikipedia - Pike (Weapon)
Wikipedia - Spear
eHow.com - How to Fire Hardened Wood Spears
eHow.com - How to Make a Spear
Sling.org Forum - General: Other Primitive Weapons
Primitive Ways - Home
Storm the Castle - How to Make a Spartan Spear (Hoplite Spear)
Note: Yes, this link uses paper to make the spear tip but it gives you an idea of how to fabricate one out of metal.
Instructables - Prison Knife
Don Rearic.com - Street Weapons from Romania
KK.org - The Dangerous Beauty of the Shiv
FAS - Indirect Fire