View Full Version : Up close and personal weapon: The Tomahawk?

January 28, 2006, 09:27 PM
Watching the movie The Patriot earlier today on TNT got me to thinking, that and growing up having watch Fess Parker handle a Tomahawk.

Wouldn't a sort of tomahawk be a good up close and personal weapon to conceal on you if you ever ran out of ammo and had to get up close and personal. Go Mel Gibson on the redcoats.:cool:

Guess this is sort of a sequel to my roll of quarters in a sock thread that everyone seems to love

Denny Hansen
January 28, 2006, 09:55 PM
Wouldn't a sort of tomahawk be a good up close and personal weapon to conceal on you if you ever ran out of ammo and had to get up close and personal.

A good fixed blade knife would be even easier. Some folks have even had the novel idea of carrying a reload or even a second gun!


January 29, 2006, 12:01 AM
Tomahawk?? No thanks. I'll stick with my S&W HRT. I carry it right behind my 2 spare magazines.

January 29, 2006, 12:17 AM
Just google and read a few pages on:
Koppo Stick

January 29, 2006, 03:06 AM
If I was going to carry a non-gun as a weapon, I think I would like something a lil more "stabby" than a tomahawk. Reason is, if the gun is no longer an option, it will be because I am grappling with the BG. I won't be able to swing something very well then either.

January 29, 2006, 11:29 AM
I'm with the knife crowd. The basic disadvantage of a tomahawk is that it requires a swing to build up enough momentum to do damage. A knife is much more convenient, and also more concealable.

Not that you have to conceal a knife.

January 29, 2006, 12:08 PM
Apparently some of our soliders in Iraq second your idea on the use of an ax:

January 29, 2006, 02:56 PM
Here's a link to an interesting article on using tomahawk (in PDF format). It's a small file and worthy of a look, anyway...


The British Soldier
January 29, 2006, 03:12 PM
As a former 'redcoat', as soon as I saw the tomohawk coming out I'd have put a rather large ball straight through your chest courtesy of my musket.

January 29, 2006, 03:54 PM
i use a tomahawk when i go camping. good for cutting wood, throwing, defense. but in the city i carry a spyderco knife.

Hard Ball
January 29, 2006, 04:47 PM
As they used to say in the 1800s "Give me a knife like Bowie;s."

January 29, 2006, 06:24 PM
The guy who runs one of the top shooting schools in the country keeps a tomahawk in his vehicle. If you are ever trapped inside or under water & need to break out the windshield, it's a great tool. If someone reaches into the vehicle, it would also serve to dissuade them if you lopped off a hand!

And, they are "camping gear", legal everywhere. Probably even in Kalifornia!

January 29, 2006, 08:06 PM
Certain groups in Nam like the Gerber model "tomahawk".

January 29, 2006, 08:10 PM
Not legal in Texas

Sir William
January 30, 2006, 04:33 AM
If it is up close, I am a bare handed supporter. "Empty" hand combat inflicts physical damage, pain control points and a palm to the nostrils will be of better effect.

January 30, 2006, 05:24 AM
pain control points and a palm to the nostrils will be of better effect.

Assuming the other dude lets you...Sort of like how all of Jean-Claude Van Damm's opponents just wait, with their hands down, for him to kick them in the face?

:rolleyes: ;)

January 30, 2006, 12:21 PM
Ohhh I can't remember the name of the show on the History Channel, but it was a bald guy with a British accent talking about various weapons and tactics...anyway an axe or a hatchet is a good weapon, however it takes a lot of energy to use it, so if you don't get the BG in the first couple of swings, or if your fighting multiple guys your going to get worn out. Stabbing takes less effort, that why the little Romans did so well.

P.S. Combat...that is the name of the series.

January 30, 2006, 12:28 PM
You guys can have your fu man chu and pocket knives and I'll stick with my CQC hawk.

January 31, 2006, 01:01 AM
Knives are preferable most of the time, but for offensive use, I do prefer a hatchet. 1 1/4lb Plumb Official BSA model. Don't care for a 'hawk, too thin.


January 31, 2006, 08:19 AM
Ohhh I can't remember the name of the show on the History Channel, but it was a bald guy with a British accent talking about various weapons and tactics

The show was called Conquest and the History Channel are too mean to show it again or put it out on video or dvd despite the request of hundreds if not thousands of people. The gits. But they always there with the tripe shows ready on dvd for $25 a pop. Rant complete.

Yes axes make very good weapons if you are practiced in using them and usually have the strength to back up the blow. I used to use them when re-enacting saxon and viking combat. Neat little buggers.

January 31, 2006, 11:16 AM
Limeyfellow...+1 your correct...Good show...they did everything from sword fighting to SWAT tactics. Real interesting.

The axe one was real funny and scary. He basically showed why the Vikings did so well by giving a guy a real sword (probably not fully sharp) and a wooden shield, then he picked up an real axe (again not real sharp) and said "Ready" and he proceeded to attack this poor guy. All the guy could do was cower and soil himself as this maniac literally went berzerker on him until his shield broke. The guy is brilliant but nuts.

P.S I agree...while I love History Channel shows...they are a greedy bunch

gordo b.
January 31, 2006, 08:48 PM
"Certain groups in Nam like the Gerber model "tomahawk"."

Actually it was from a company called W.A.K. and they were 1/4" thick stamped out and hardened blackened spring steel with a riveted slabbed brown grip material. I brought one back from Nam in 1970. My kids eventually destroyed it in mid 80's. I rewelded back together and gave it away in mid 90s.
An all steel small Swedish fire axe is actually the hot hook up for mayhem,and Yes as a safety device they ARE legal in your vehicle in Kali.(unless you are a bad guy).The court defense on using one to defend yourself, if you had held your mouth right, would be MUCH more defensible than a knife or gun, actually. It being a convienent safety tool and all you were lucky enough to have at hand!A proper axe attack is very hard to defend against(ask Jason's victims!) it knocks away knives and such.:cool:

January 31, 2006, 09:12 PM
I have a last resort edged weapon stashed in the house that combines the benifits of knife and tomahawk.

The Kukri.


Mine isn't as pretty but is equally no-nonsense


January 31, 2006, 11:22 PM
I don't know, I'd have to say I'm more of a pike kind of guy.

Hard Ball
January 31, 2006, 11:41 PM
How about a halbred? Now theres an Axe!

February 1, 2006, 05:15 AM
gordo b;
I went to a military reunion of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade and asked all of my brothers about hawks. In three bus loads of grunts none of us were issued, had one or even saw one. Most of us at the reunion were home (one way or the other) by the end of 68. I was there May 67 to May 68.
What year were they issued? We were in I Corps and were beyond most of the Army supply channels.

February 1, 2006, 02:35 PM
look up a guy named Master at Arms James Albert Keating. I have attended two of his knife fighting seminars. This man knows his business inside and out. He is associated with Comtec. Great guy too. You can purchase videos with him walking you through what you will need to know. OH, and hollywood is just that Hollywood. Seek out good instructors, train like you fight, and the more you sweet in training the less you bleed in combat. sorry for any misspellings.

Mark Milton
February 1, 2006, 02:47 PM
My uncle always says that if a weapon will kill somebody it's not really obsolete at all. I guess tomahawks, bowie knives and even short swords could come in handy for up close and personal defense.
I seem to recall something Jeff Cooper said about the original army .45 auto. He said it was designed to save your life by stopping somebody in a trench at arms length.
That would also apply to a good edged weapon, I figure....

February 1, 2006, 03:18 PM
I would think a good tanto would work quite well.

February 2, 2006, 12:16 AM
A couple of my guys wanted to take about 10 American Tomahawks over to Iraq to scare the crap out of people with, Patriot-style. Would have been SWEET.
Never did it, though. Woulda coulda shoulda...

February 2, 2006, 01:29 AM
As crazy as it sounds, I would probably draw my knife against a gun in really close quarters. My first move would be to fake submission and put my hands up. The IF the opportunity presented itself, I would try a gun grab with my left and grab my knife with my right. It always rides on my waistband (unless I am on an airplane). I would then slice the attacker's wrist (the side that is holding the gun) and then slice the upper arm on the up stroke to try and sever the brachial artery (razor sharp Benchmade 710S with nasty serration pattern shouldbe great for this). The left hand would still be trying to control the attacker's weapon hand. If that is not enough to disarm (almost literally) or stop the attacker, your knife hand should be set up for neck slice (after the arm slice). I don't care what kind of adrenaline or drugs you have coursing through your veins. A deep slice to the neck will pretty much take the fight out of anyone... especially if you nail the carotid artery. I wouldn't make that last cut lightly since that could be viewed as excessive force and earn you a murder or at minimum man slaughter charge.

Most folders are designed for slicing rather than stabbing. If you nail a bone on a slice, the blade coud slip and you will end up with some nasty cuts (mixed in with your attacker
s blood.)

February 5, 2006, 03:48 PM
Being nonskilled w/edged weapons i believe I would be much more effective w/hatchet/tomahawk or better yet a 18in GI issue machete,or even a sharpened old fashioned wood handled E-tool.I wonder how effective the average skilled knife fighter would be against those types of 'edged weapons'

February 5, 2006, 05:40 PM
My vote - fine for open carry for concealed I think I could do better.

No question that tomahawks and even war hammers have done the job. If I were a buckskinner type I might expect one to carry over as a serious weapon - the closest I've come myself is practicing with a McAvoy Bowie Ax at lumberjack days kind of targets.

Edged weapons will do it close quarters - I'm reminded of a witness statement that the guy went from a white T-shirt to looking like a Star Trek red shirt and just as dead instantly.

Considering the mention of mixed arms I might be part of a team these days but I wouldn't expect to be part of a formation and I think formation is where the Romans slaughtered people? - not dueling mano a mano. I'm not sure how well an ax man will survive against a shield wall that can attack his backside when the ax commits - he might open the shield wall as a sacrifice but not penetrate himself?

To an individual a good winged/bearded ax has a lot to offer but since Modesty Blaise I've thought the quarterstaff the most romantic of close quarter weapons.

gordo b.
February 5, 2006, 10:35 PM
106 RR:
I was in Nam 68-69(just in time for TET 68!) and returned for 70-71 and briefly (30 days in country ) in 1972. It was in 1970 in II corps in 'the highlands' that I got all kinds of good stuff from 5th Spec Forces people . I was flying into their Team bases in a 'Loach' and was smart enough to bring JohnyWalker for trade goods;) ;) They got all kinds of trick goodies to try out from companies looking for contracts.
One thing I got was a Swedish K, which I sold a few months latter to a crew chief in Da Nang who got in pretty famous trouble with it. The Tomahawks were, along with the folding "Attichson Hunter" cross knives just worthless items to give to the montgenards according to my best friend (to this day ) Capt. Worthy from the 5th.