Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by SharpDog, Oct 22, 2020.
Tool or weapon all depends on the task at hand.
Estwing comes to mind. I don't know if there are other similar ones out there.
So, one piece instead of head and handle.
Head and handle gives more uses.
How so with a tomahawk?
I can remove the head from mine and use it like a knife. I can also use it to scrape a hide.
I'm really into Bushcraft and Backwoodsman skills. A good hawk is hard to beat.
I rehandled a roofing/shingling hatchet. Works for me on the over night woods. Longer stays ise "Michigan" style axe.
A plumb roofers hatchet holds a fine edge.
I think a lot of psychological conditioning would be required before a normal person would be mentally prepared to split someone's head open with an axe. Much more conditioning than simply shooting. I doubt if there's much psychological resistance involved in shooting. The gorier forms of combat take some really hard men.
None of these have been used in battle. But some have been used to hack up horse carcasses. And all have seen some general field use, yard work, camp chores, etc.
The Gransfors Bruks 'Forest Axe' is by far the best workhorse of the group. Whilst the smaller knife (Fallkniven A1) is barely a chopper at all, and whilst it could be pressed into service for multiple roles, it's best feature is that it is compact with a 6.3" long blade.
That leaves us with the 9" blade of a Swamp Rat 'Battle Rat' knife; a Gransfors Bruks 'Wildlife' Hatchet; and that giant tomahawk thingy that I had custom made by the guy who started Ranger Knives back before it was a mass manufactured brand.
Guess which one doesn't ever go anywhere with me. That 'hawk is huge, heavy, and poorly balanced. The hatchet is the best chopper of the three by far because not only does it cut well, but it's not too heavy to repeat that action dozens of times. And it will certainly cut through bone better than the large knife. The knife would be great for a place that has coconuts and bamboo, but could be and has been pressed into service for chopping and batoning wood in the rocky mountains. It's just not ideal.
Small to medium sized fixed blades (4-6") are very useful. For any task a knife that size won't handle easily, it's straight to a hatchet or axe for me. More steel isn't always the answer. The right steel in the right place is far better. Between the small hatchet and the larger axe, I have another which is a Goldilocks size when trying to find a balance between function and portability. It can still be swung with one hand, of with two if you want to get some weight behind your swing. Length is about 19" and it's designed to chop stuff, not to look cool. But trust me when I say, it would spilt skulls if called upon to do so.
Basically, I think sharpened prybars (large knives) have limited utility and only excel at splitting long pieces of wood via batoning, as a shovel when you didn't bring one, or as a makeshift paddle for a canoe. And I think tomahawks are not made for working. As I plan on using a chopping tool for work far more than as a weapon, they seem pretty silly to me. Just my two cents.
Guns run out of bullets a sharp hawk on the other hand....But I get what you're saying.
True, but the will to use a weapon like this is what he's talking about not the cleche' ammo trope.
In a panic defending their own life people will use what is at hand.
Enjoyed this thread - but still it sure would be nice to have the tool that suited the job (but there are so many jobs - and many of them quite different from each other...).
My last thought reminded me of the movie "Goodfellas" and that years later I heard reports that now... Wise Guys knew how they were supposed to act - just like what happened after the Godfather movies...
What's really needed is an operator type movie where one of the guys on the ground uses a 'hawk...
Did note the one writer who said that he figured that most would be highly reluctant to actually use a 'hawk in battle... That, in my opinion, speaks to all of us - until you've been blooded in real life - after that it's all just a matter of degree as far as extreme violence goes. That first time though... most will hesitate - but not all...
As a weapon??
I agree. The US military still issues a bayonet.
The military has bayonets, but do they still train with bayonet drills? I've seen comments on sites that say the Army doesn't, but Marines do....
I found the head (broken handle) lying in the road about 25 years ago. Now it's one of the best tools I have. Rides in the truck full time,
I think when it comes to hand to hand combat, of any kind, it's important to realize that it's not a zero sum game for every situation. As a soldier, if the enemy is jumping face first into your foxhole, brain 'em. That's the situation. You are both there engaged in mortal combat.
In a defense situation, with skill and a very, very narrow set of circumstances, fighting off an attack with a tomahawk or knife or club (much like a lawful shooting) doesn't mean that you are going to bash in the attackers head or cleave into his neck. You certainly could and you certainly may HAVE to to end the fight, but it is possible to do a lot of damage and defense without out and out killing the other person, even if some of it will live a lot of permanent damage to the attacker. Now, what that does to you legally is another story, but my natural instinct when confronted does not immediately peg to the kill shot.
I was actually going over some of the old James Keating logic chains with my daughter yesterday. She is studying Taekwondo and has gotten to green belt where they start sparring. It's blowing her mind to try and use what she knows from muscle memory to block and attack. While I have no training in the martial art, I was able to explain to her that the human body only moves in so many ways. Once it makes to one position, there is only so many ways it can withdraw or move. I was explaining this using some of Keatings bowie techniques with a Cold Steel Norse Hawk that she uses for backyard throwing. A lot of the moves are parries and jabs, nothing that would end an attacker. Lots of cuts and thrusts and traps that would not only deflect damage but would also wound someone pretty significantly. Just like using a firearm, using a tomahawk to end the fight may not require the loss of life...but it sure isn't going to be a basic point and click interface like a firearm.
Body armor and helmets are common place in modern armies. The spike on the back of a typical tactical axe should go right through a composite helmet or kevlar body armor. The so called "Vietnam Tomahawk" was designed specifically as a combat weapon by a Vietnam veteran during that war. IIRC, one thing he was concerned with was opponents "armored" with multiple ammo belts strapped across their torso.
I've heard of tactical tomahawks being use in the mid-east, but primarily as a breaching tool when doing house to house searches. I'm not sure if there are any real life examples of their use as weapons.
Yeah, I was back in the middle ages with that post.
Peter LaGana was a WWII vet.
Really? I thought I had read he was a Vietnam vet, but that article was many years ago, so I may well have misremembered.
Separate names with a comma.