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O.K. A dumb Hawk question?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by rcmodel, Jun 5, 2013.

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  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Never having owned one in my life?

    I fail to see how they could do anything as well, or more importantly, as well as a real hand ax or hatchet?

    Other then throwing, where I can see the wrong way, slip fit handle would be easier to replace with a broken tree limb in the back woods with a pocket knife?

    What's the big draw that keeps the hawk crowd coming back??

    It seems to me their claim to fame was because the village unemployable kid could make them after his first day of OTJ blacksmith training. :D

    rc
     
  2. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    I always wondered the same thing RC, I just never had the guts to ask the question.
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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  4. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    For me, I took to the hawk because the size, weight, and balance went better with my shtf kit than my Arms and Armor Viking War Axe. It was easier to pack around for just woods bumming, and I like the extra length and velocity over a standard hatch. The tomahawk is a fighting tool, not a just for kicks thrower, that is also a valuable woodcraft tool. It allows for techniques that I knife type weapon simply cannot perform the same way. For example, tomahawk throwing took the place of the backup pistol in its heyday. It is the speed and ease of use that separate a real tomahawk from a hand ax, and it takes a non-production modern piece to really see the difference, as well as having examples of each type to hand.

    A problem that I have had, over and over, is that when performing martial techniques with a non slip fit handle is that the blade flies of. The slip fit makes the ax head fit tighter the more you use it, which is particularly important if you are swinging it through the air, fight style, versus almost always connecting with a solid, meaty object.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Mmmm?

    That right there is a non-issue if a conventional handle is properly fitted to the head.

    Lumberjacks built America with timber ax handles fitted to the head from the back, and wedged in place with wood and double steel wedges that could potentially let the head get loose and fly off.
    But they never did.



    A single bit hawk being easy to make, fast & light as a weapon, and having a more easily reparable handle in the field I can understand.



    But for pure utility, I still don't get it.
    What will a single bit hawk do that this or this won't do better??

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  6. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    For utility? It slips in my belt easier, has more reach, and is purely a personal preference. You are correct about it being easier to replace the handle in the backwoods. The tomahawk is much more a frontier tool than a city tool.

    As to the wedged in bits, it was them I was referring to. A point you may not know about, it tomahawk/axe fighting, you are often using the heel of the blade to pull against a weapon or body part to lever it out of the way. The wedged in bit is much more likely to pull off, under those circumstances..
     
  7. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    I also like the grip that I get with the tomahawk. I can adjust it easier to the myriad of tasks I like to get myself into when in the woods with an ax.
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Did Vikings use Tomahawks? No. Did they essentially rule the world? Yes. lolz
     
  9. RLTW

    RLTW Member

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    I carried one for fifteen months in Baghdad during the surge. I brought it over thinking it would be good for breaching but it stayed on my assault pack right up until the end. I used it one time to shatter a car window to look inside. It was however worth every penny. I used to hold it when I would talk to bad people. People in war zones have guns pointed at them all the time and almost never get shot. Everyone has been cut by a knife and remembers it hurts. Mine never drew blood nor needed to.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I doubt there is any directing you have pulled on an ax I haven't pulled on it the same way over the years.
    We used to cut & split firewood to heat the farmhouse all winter when I was just a little bitty ax & hatchet wielder!

    If your fighting ax head got loose & came off?
    It wasn't properly fitted with a dry seasoned handle & wedges in the first place.

    rc
     
  11. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Personal preference.

    Handle change as mentioned before, easier to change grip as needed (choke up or move to the end for more power), lighter, head can be removed to use more as a knife, usually longer. I'm sure there are a few things I'm missing.

    They have become a bit of a fad lately and the prices of some are just crazy in my mind. The Cold Steel Trail Hawk is a great one to try if you want to give it a shot for under $50.
     
  12. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    Actually, the Vikings used the same handle design as the tomahawk, and the standard hand ax was little bigger than one. The tomahawk is an evolution of a contemporary of the Viking raids, the Francesca, a Frankish throwing ax that helped create France. It was drug back out of history and employed in the new world as a throwing and camping ax to go out with the voyageurs.
     
  13. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    Your wood ax has never dealt with shields and other weapons moving at velocity in the opposite direction. I can say that my experience in this field will outweigh anything you have to argue against those facts.

    Wedges also weaken the wood around the impact area.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Then sir, I bow to your years of gaming experience. ;)

    But the fact remains, you can't beat or pull an ax head off a properly fitted handle with a pneumatic jack hammer without breaking the handle off the head.

    rc
     
  15. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    well that eastwing has a steel solid tang the head sure ant gonna come off, you will never need to change a handle and you can split with it so ill take that over a hawk anyday.
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    All Vikings used shields and opposed weapons that moved. What on earth are you talking about? Perhaps you'll tell us that "oh, that's a 'wood'" axe' ". lolz.. yea, they'd sure chop wood too. And about everything else.
    Perhaps many here "have an axe to grind" or are trying to selling tomahawks
     
  17. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Well...sometimes.

    Historical Norse fighting axes of the viking era were frequently wedged.
     
  18. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    I believe that ax handles may have been one of the caliber debates of their day.
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Another point to ponder.

    Almost all blacksmith, carpenters, shingler's hatchet, and machinist hammers built in the last several hundred years used a wood handle fitted from the rear with wood & steel wedges.

    If those hammer heads continued to get loose and fly off because they were pounding plow shears, peening rivet heads, or pulling nails with them??

    We would all be living in mud huts and riding barefoot horses, without steel horseshoes, nails, and a pick-up truck to pull the horse trailer to the job-site..

    Because all the innocent apprentice bystanders would have been killed by flying blacksmith, carpenters, shingle hatchet, and machinist hammer heads!!

    A handle fitted from the rear and wedged in place from the front has proven over century's to be a superior method of doing it.

    I believe you are right.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    And sometimes looked like this..

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Tomahawk vs. Hand Axe is a mostly a marketing thing anyway.


     
  22. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    It's easier to produce the wedged in type with machinery. The slip over are fitted to a particular head, harder to model. The wedge type also take better to making a more sculpted handle, thus there use in specialized tools, such as those you named.
     
  23. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    That looks like a slip over type handle to me. Note the wood looking balls above the head, between the upper lugs.
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well, they certainly didn't slip that handle down the front side of the head when it wasn't looking, now did they!!

    rc
     
  25. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    From what I have seen and felt, a tomahawk is a small, typically single handed fighting/throwing ax designed to be used against un- or lightly armored opponents, on the velocity over mass principle.

    The hand ax is older, and more Old World, designed ranging from tiny, close melee quarters fighting to almost two handed size, with a focus on defeating armor, shields, and battle mounts, on the mass over velocity principle.

    Think 1 pound versus 2-4 pounds.
     
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