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Old October 22, 2012, 03:26 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Tactical Tomahawk... tool or toy ???

was chatting with a bud the other day, & he was watching some military show, that they listed the top all time greatest military weapons, & the Tomahawk came up as 4th best military weapon of all time...

I argued, well Ok, it was formidable in the early days... but turns out modern soldiers are carrying them in Afganistan, & there are several military grade units being made... of course a search, mixes them up with the fantasy knives, so you have to sort the made in China from the good stuff...

I'm not much of a "knife" guy, but I do have several little axes... one in my field dress kit for splitting hips or sternum, one more of a camp hatchet, for splitting kindling...

lately I've been thinking of an upgrade to the old fashoned camp hatchet, & had begun to look at heavier Kukries ( a cross bettween a knife & a machette ) with an angled blade that drags the edge across the surface being cut... there are times I could use a machette, but I'm not wanting to strap on some big ol thing...

I'm not sure I'd actually train to fight with one, but it might be cool to have a more versitile tool, than the old camp axe ???

so what are your thoughts of these new Tomahawks, or "big chopping knives"... tool... or mall ninja toy ???
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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While I do not think it a sound "tactical" practice,I have had a lot of fun throwing tomahawks at a cottonwood slab.

In my experience,the buckskinner type tomahawk makes a good,practical light hatchet.It will do small campfire kindling,light shelter work,and some dressing tasks.I don't spend a lot of time pondering brawling with a tomahawk,and have zero experience with that,so,nothing to say.

Another option for a tool is to cut a GI machete to 12 or 14 in,or so.You can put a tanto point on it,or a reverse tanto.It will do about the same jobs as the tomahawk,and carry about the same
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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Ninja mall toy.

I can somewhat see an infantryman using one instead of a bayonet, but the thought of an average joe using one for more than a camp hatchet is laughable. Just my opinion though.
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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http://www.rmjtactical.com/

http://www.americantomahawk.com/products/vtac.htm

if you click the gallery button in the top link, there are several pictures & examples of uses the modern soldiers are using them for...
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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I kind of collect knives and have seen these items in magazines and WEB sites. At the end of the day it is just another tool and only you can decide if they are indeed practical for your situation. I would caution you to pay close attention to the actual steel used and other assembly techniques since I suspect quality can vary greatly.

Also, just because an item is made in Asia does not necessarily mean it is of low quality. Remember those folks have been making some very nice cutting tools for several centuries.
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Old October 22, 2012, 04:08 PM   #6
Magnum Wheel Man
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I have an older Pakistan made Damaskus lock blade knife with real "bone / stag" handles, that is more crude, but a very solid knife, full 1/8" thick blade...

but I am paranoid of the "fantasy knife" market... I tend to look for full length tangs... the stainless hatchet in my field dress kit has a full length, full thickness tang, someting like that makes me feel the warm fuzzies, better than the Gerber hatchets that the handle is separate from the blade
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Old October 22, 2012, 08:21 PM   #7
johnwilliamson062
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I have a cold steel Vietnam Tomahawk. It wouldn't be my first pick in a fight. It doesn't throw well, but then again, neither do I. The handle is not impressive.

The thing about axes and tomahawks is they inherently stick in what is hit. They just aren't fast and they do not have a slicing surface. Not abig fan of slicing, but the more options you have the more your opponent has to watch out for.

If I hit you in the head with it the fight would likely end immediately though.
Same goes for the small hatchet I keep by my fire pit and it was only $12.
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Old October 23, 2012, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
I do have several little axes... one in my field dress kit for splitting hips or sternum, one more of a camp hatchet, for splitting kindling...
I don't know (nor care) about "tactical" but, like you, I do like a little camp hatchet. Sure come in handy if you have to quarter an elk.

As to "tactical".....I'm not taking an ax to a gun fight.
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Old October 23, 2012, 10:17 AM   #9
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For practical applications (many listed already) I can see owning one.

Tactical?

Notsomuch
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Old October 23, 2012, 10:24 AM   #10
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I agree it is more practical; I know Mel Gibson in "The Patriot" made the Tomahawk seem like the poor mans machine gun but as others have mentioned axes get stuck in what they hit generally. As a hobbyist of medieval weapons I know the axe has a couple of advantages vs a sword/blade against an "armored" target but it has too many "dis advantages" vs a sword/blade for "Combat" against an unarmored target.

Get one if you want a practical tool; if you want a tactical killing instrument look at a KA-BAR or other combat styled knife.
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Old October 23, 2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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I am a reenactor/buckskinner and have a collection of tomahawks. One is a spiked "riflemans" style. There is no doubt it would be a serious weapon in a close in, hand to hand, fight. Tomahawks were not generally thrown even though there are a (very) few recorded instances of this being done. Realistically, why would one throw away his last weapon?
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Old October 23, 2012, 11:14 AM   #12
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I was just suprised to see all the pics of our modern soldiers in the middle east carrying tomahawks... reasoning I heard, was that the area is tradition rich with bladed weapons, & carrying the "hawk" adds to the respect... but then my searching turned up Vietnam "hawks" which I'd think jungle fighting might have included machetes... didn't expect tomahawks ???

I'm all for a good quality, thick blade / head, for a life time of use... my little stainless hatchet is only 1/8" to maybe 3/16" head & tang... works fine for field dressing, but probably lacks the muscle needed to actually "work" with it...

been looking at the Browning Shock & Awe tomahawk, or the Eshwing ( spelling ) as a working mans "hatchet" since they make very durable hammers
or one of these...

http://www.lg-outdoors.com/proddetail.asp?prod=52200
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:19 AM   #13
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Oh, it is a FINE tool to have. Actually there was a documentary on the tube the other night about the man who designed the hawk used in Vietnam. Most veterans agreed that its main use was for purposes other than combat. In Afghanistan the culture is one that has always had GREAT respect for edged weapons and the soldiers are treated with more respect if they are seen carrying them. Cold Steel makes some very serviceable hawks for the price but I believe they are made in Asia if that matters to you.

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Old October 24, 2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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If you've done any LE/Security work and have any training with the collapsible baton, you'll see that translate pretty well with a hatchet/tomahawk. The question is why would you? CQC techniques with your handgun will serve you better for defense. Your gun is easier to retain, for starters. But, for camping/hiking I love them. I find many uses for them. I have an old Sears/Craftsman hatchet I use. It's a bit thick and a little heavier than the "tactical tomohawk" but is infinitely easier to use.
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Old October 24, 2012, 10:03 AM   #15
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Don't know tactical, but

the Archeologist Hammer wasn't awful for some camp use. The hammer part on a hatchet was some better.

We were more likely to use the hammer end to drive tent stakes and hurt thumbs than anything else.

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Old October 24, 2012, 10:58 AM   #16
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The tactical tomahawk is useful as a weapon, but unlikely to be used as one. The place where the RMJ Tactical tomahawks and similar designs shine is that they are primarily breaching tools and crash axes, where they get used frequently. Tactical tomahawks are typically poor woodcraft tools, though woodcraft tomahawks or hatchets make effective weapons.

To the kukri- I prefer a kukri to a light hatchet. I have a very small kukri from Khukuri House in Nepal. It's a solid 1/4" thick and 8" long- and it's a "mini." The convex grind is good, and it tears through light brush, roots, etc.
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Old October 24, 2012, 05:36 PM   #17
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If including all small axes under the heading "tomahawk" There can be little argument of it being one of the best weapons of all time.

Remember that the Frankish Fransisca was one of the most formidable weapons of Dark Age Europe.
Hand Axes were used in nearly every age and on almost every continent since before time.
The Tomahawk was a very common Native American tool/weapon used for centuries and then adopted by European fur traders and mountainmen for it's simplicity and multi-usefulness.

Would I rate it #4? Probably not, but it would be on the list
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:55 PM   #18
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Tactical tomahawk is like a tactical tire iron.

I was thinking of getting some tactical aglets for my boots as well.
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Old October 25, 2012, 08:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
The Tomahawk was a very common Native American tool/weapon used for centuries and then adopted by European fur traders and mountainmen for it's simplicity and multi-usefulness.
If you consider stone clubs and chipped 'axes' as tomahawks that statement might be correct.
But the iron and steel tomahawks arrived with the white man. In war they were given to the indians as were many knives.
Frontiersmen from the east who became mountainmen and Rev. Riflemen knew how to use a tomahawk both as a tool and weapon. They didn't need to learn from the indian.
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:09 AM   #20
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A stone age war club that has an edged chert rock tied to the end of a stick isn't exactly a tomahawk, maybe. Neither is a razor blade in the handle of a plastic toothbrush. Meanings change.

Anyone know the origins of the term 'tomahawk'?

Thanks,

salty
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:14 AM   #21
Magnum Wheel Man
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from my impression of my looking at this stuff... it looks like the most practical tactical use of the "modern" tomahawk, is to chip out shooting access holes in the soft mud concrete they have over there... I doubt I'd want to chip a hole big enough to shoot out of, on the new concrete I poured this summer, or even the 100 year old foundation of my old farm house ( which I did some repairs on this summer, & a concrete saw, electric jack hammer & sledge, & was an all afternoon project )... so I'm assuming the concrete there is much much softer than what we use around here...

chopping your way out of an aluminum downed air craft maybe... but that's nothing I need to train for, with any stretch or reality...

but I could see buying a Kukuri
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:40 AM   #22
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Salty,
I found this source, but it seems as full of lore as it is of fact, making it less than reliable...
http://home.comcast.net/~burokerl/tomahawk.htm

The term is from Ojibwe, which is a variant Algonquin language.
http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/dict...laces&letter=t

However, to suggest that it was the primary fighting implement of Native Americans in the first link above would be a gross misrepresentation. It was used for fighting by some groups in some areas, but in the SW, for example, war clubs (aka 'rabbit sticks') were more common for the task and even then not necessarily the "primary" fighting weapon.

It should be pointed out that many prehistoric "tomahawks" were not particularly sharp and were more along the lines of weighted clubs and mauls than of hatchets. Construction of prehistory Native American tomahawks often involved materials other than chert, depending on what was available.
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Old October 25, 2012, 10:14 AM   #23
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Cool. Thanks. I have a cousin who is a Corrections Officer. He brought me up to speed on current definition of 'tomahawk'.

sd.
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Old October 25, 2012, 05:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifleman1776
If you consider stone clubs and chipped 'axes' as tomahawks that statement might be correct.
But the iron and steel tomahawks arrived with the white man. In war they were given to the indians as were many knives.
Frontiersmen from the east who became mountainmen and Rev. Riflemen knew how to use a tomahawk both as a tool and weapon. They didn't need to learn from the indian.
You are correct Rifleman. My sentence was perhaps not worded correctly. What I was trying to get across is the fact that the early European woodsmen saw the utility of carrying a tomahawk (whether it be stone, antler, bone or steel.) And the obvious advantage of steel was not lost on the natives.

It's the dual utility as both a weapon and tool that puts it on a list of "great weapons" Now, whether that ranks it as a "military weapon" is up for debate.
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Old October 26, 2012, 06:28 AM   #25
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If you have to ask if it's a toy, then you know the answer.

They are pretty handy in general for camping and hunting but wouldn't make my top ten of defensive tools.
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