Rate of Fire: Moderate
The Javelin is more of a hybrid than a true ranged weapon; it excels at mid to close range and doubles as a reasonably effective melee weapon. The javelin’s damage is velocity based and, as a result, sprinting and then hurling the javelin causes it to travel farther and deal significantly more damage.
Generally speaking, it is an instant kill on all classes (except knight) if a javelin lands in the torso area from a sprinting throw. On the lightly armored classes, the sprint is less needed for the kill, opening up to more versatility.
It's possible to pick up thrown javelins off the ground, though there appears to be a time limit and it only works on certain areas. It most consistently works on ground-level (as opposed to on buildings) and oftens glitches when upon an elevated surface of some sort.
It should be noted that the Javelin type weapons have had their recovery time reduced since the Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Beta. It will take a few seconds to bring up your next javelin or secondary weapon after a throw. You will be helpless against a close-range assailant in the meantime, reducing the effectiveness of the javelin class.
It is possible to negate the long recovery time by quickly switching to your secondary weapon and then switching back to the Javelin.
This may be patched in a future update.