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Tomahawk!

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Max Velocity Max 2 years, 12 months ago.

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  • #19493
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    I was doing a little research. It all started when I was looking online for a comedy warhammer, after discussions at the last CTT class. Something ridiculous like Thorgrim carries in Conan the Barbarian!

    So I was looking online and got to researching the whole tomahawk thing.

    What’s the deal with this? I anyone actually carrying a hawk? Instead of a handgun? As a camping / survival tool or as an intended combat weapon? I was watching a video by RMJ tactical where they declare they design them at the request and for US Special Forces. Is that for real, because I have never seen anyone with one?

    I’m just going to open it up and sit back and see what opinions we get. I want to hear pros and cons, how you carry it and where if you do, what’s your rationale, etc:

    #19494
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    I do. It goes between my gas mask and my camping stove on my LBE. Since I use a 5.11 Rush for my INCH bag I don’t really have a lot of room. I don’t carry it in a sheath, because I never sharpened it after I got it and the only way it will cut anything with the factory edge is if its flying 80 mph, so until I throw it its pretty safe. Yeah, its heavy. But its worth it. And lets be realistic, its not for hand-to-hand combat. Its for passing the time by throwing it at a stump I have next to the front porch, for when the Chinese are in between waves of charges at my homestead and I’ve finished handloading all the ammo I need for the next assault. That’s the only way I can pick them off at 1000 yards, with my handloads.

    But anyways yeah, tomahawks are super cool.

    #19495
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    I have one. They are good for bushcraft stuff. taking down limbs off trees. or splitting some wood.

    Fighting? Well, you could fight with it. But that is a martial art in and of itself. If you are Mel Gibson’s character in the Patriot. It would be good for killing then bludgeoning a dead redcoat after they killed your kid.

    #19496
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    Funny you should bring that up. I just finished a series at my dojo working with alternate weapons. We did some interesting things with tomahawks.
    PRO: masive damage capable. Multitasker. Can be used as a hatchet (duh)
    Cons: Limited use for really close in-fighting. Also tends to get stuck. At least in tatami mats and dummies.

    All in all, I still prefer my kukri but neither is ideal.

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    #19497
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Max it’s bullshit. The Special Forces aren’t running around with RMJ or any other type of tomahawk. Is some motivator out there carrying them? Yeah probably, but it’s usually some conventional forces FOBbit just trying to look like a badass. Frankly, I’ve worked with a lot of “patchless, no insignia, full beard” Army types and not one of them carried freaking tomahawks.

    Here is the historical context everyone misses. Tomahawks and hatchets were very useful tools back in the day. They were used in conjunction with a belt knife to do basic bushcraft. Tomahawks were necessary in the frontier days 16-1850’s because knives were not made to withstand some of the more heavy duty tasks that a good hatchet could do, and an axe was too big to carry. Try splitting wood with a knife designed like those from the 18th century. Between the handle design and metallurgy of the day, your gonna get a broken knife. When it came down to killing in hand to hand, beating someone to death with your rifle or musket turned out to be a bad idea in the long run, so they used the tomahawk instead because they already had it with them for fire, shelter, or abatis construction. NOT AS A WEAPON. THIS WAS SECONDARY.

    Today’s “survival” or “camp” knives however are typically of such good design that they can pull double duty for a belt knife and a hatchet/hawk. The full tang handle construction combined with excellent blade profiles and great tool steels make for a knife that is actually better at bushcrafting than the best of todays tomahawks. Try batoning with an RMJ tactical tomahawk, or any hatchet really. It’s a joke.

    If we really want to get into the melee weapon rabbit hole, large camp knives of say 6 to 11 inch blade lengths also have the advantage that every sword and knife has enjoyed over hatchets and axes throughout history, the ability to kill with a thrust, or even just pressing.

    I see far more actual melee combat in my profession than any other job in this country by far. Literally. A baton needs timing and distance to employ, much as a hatchet/hawk does. This limits where it can be used effectively. It also requires a buildup of momentum to cause penetration. A homemade knife or penetrating “ice pick” style weapon is far more adept for killing as it takes less room to use, causes deadlier and deeper penetrating wounds, and doesn’t even necessarily need momentum to kill. A knife can kill with simple pressure. The Romans understood this as stabbing an opponent is far more deadly than any type of hack or chop and trained the legionaries as such.

    In frontier warfare, smashing the enemy’s face with a hatchet was preferable to risking the destruction of your flintlock rife/musket. A large knife however is a better weapon. We saw this during the Civil war with the advent of short swords and “bowie” style knives as backup weapons to bayonets.

    People wanna take down their enemies with hatchets go ahead. I wouldn’t bad mouth you for it. But today’s large knives are just better tools for both bushcraft and the exceedingly rare instance of hand to hand combat. Tomahawks are just nostalgia.

    #19498
    Profile photo of SeanT
    SeanT
    Moderator

    Hawk
    I have one of these. It came with a free machete ( or the other way around ). It looks cool and will punch a hole in Knight’s plate armor but for anything practical, except entertainment by throwing at stumps, it is pretty useless. A real hatchet or proper camp axe is much better. I do like the machete but it’s a machete… And no way did I pay that price, it bas both for about 20 bucks shipped. I will bring it up and you can chuck it at a tree.

    #19499
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Well, that’s a huge disappointment! I was getting excited by the idea of chopping up some bad guys with a Hawk! Although I would be more partial to beating them with a MASSIVE WARHAMMER as per the photo above…..

    Although, it always aeemed to me that the thrust on the central line was advantageous over a swing. Although if you weren’t ready for it, a berserker blitz attacker with a hand axe could do a lot of damage!

    #19500
    Profile photo of Skittles
    Skittles
    Participant

    I pefer a double headed battle axe personally. But that might just be the dwarf in me.

    "... rainbow colored unicorn farts."

    #19501
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    I think some hawk’s are more suited for bushcraft than others.

    I prefer a Kukri or medium machete myself.

    Now the best use for true Tomahawks that I’ve found is for BBQ’s and other get togethers. I have 6 hawks, three of them have painted bands on handles.

    Imagine playing darts using tomahawks! :yes:

    It’s a lot of fun. :-)

    Although I would be more partial to beating them with a MASSIVE WARHAMMER as per the photo above…..

    I’ve seen Warhammer/Axe combos!

    Might be just the thing when feeling “Medieval.”

    I would rather die with my ideals intact, than be victorious by becoming all that I oppose!

    This why I can never be truly defeated!

    #19502
    Profile photo of Winston
    winston
    Participant

    Here you go, Max.
    :whistle:

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    Yes, yes. I know my way around MVT.

    #19503
    Profile photo of Baldrick
    Baldrick
    Participant

    As I am sure you have observed throughout your time in the colonies, we Americans have a fixation/borderline obsession with nostalgia. This is magnified in the “patriot” movement.

    You have posted about people showing up to your classes with M1 Garands. You can see on forums everywhere where the even the semi tactical FUDDs think that the AR is inferior in every way to their precious M1As. So if people show up at tactical training with Garands, of course people will carry tomohawks!!

    I carry one camping, for hammering in tent stakes. I also keep it next to my sleeping bag. It’s kind of my “something just woke me up” weapon. As Lee stated, there are few things a solid knife can’t do better. If I was actually on a patrol, I would take my Gerber Strongarm (or LMF 2, both are similar). Cause there are no campfires or tents when patrolling…rendering the hawk largely superfluous. Even in a survival situation, I would rather make a spear with my knife than have a hawk for self defense.

    #19505

    JLP and Duane have it right. Tomahawks are not the greatest. Killing blows have to be well timed but in those “killing” places the an axe or ‘hawk tends to get stuck… (especially in the skull or face…even the sternum and c spine). Damn damn hard to pull free. Ice pick and dagger style knives are much deadlier….although hawks and axes are scary …Lizzy Borden style

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    #19507
    Profile photo of Skittles
    Skittles
    Participant

    Ive seen some that could be useful for extrcation or breaching, depending on the back end setup. Could help with bushcraft for extended patrols etc. Im going to have to get one now just to be that guy at the next class.

    "... rainbow colored unicorn farts."

    #19514
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Im going to have to get one now just to be that guy at the next class.

    Had not seen one on a student yet. I had hope. God damn you skittles.

    #19516
    Profile photo of Former Sapper
    Former Sapper
    Participant

    Well, that’s a huge disappointment! I was getting excited by the idea of chopping up some bad guys with a Hawk! Although I would be more partial to beating them with a MASSIVE WARHAMMER as per the photo above…..

    Although, it always aeemed to me that the thrust on the central line was advantageous over a swing. Although if you weren’t ready for it, a berserker blitz attacker with a hand axe could do a lot of damage!

    Always been partial to a morning star personally B-)

    Aut inveniam viam aut faciam

    #19520
    Profile photo of cynikal
    cynikal
    Participant

    Sure it is psychological but they look way cool … if we get the chance to meet with ISIS in America I keep telling my team that I will bring the scalping back – it can be messy, but is easier to transport than a whole head.

    #19521
    Profile photo of Mike H
    Mike H
    Participant

    True story…a couple of years ago on my anniversary weekend the wife and I were walking thru Gander Mountain and she’s pestering me..”What do you want for our anniversary?” Well I said “it’s the “steel” anniversary” and I grabbed one of those SOG tomahawks and said “I want this!” She bought it and it’s just laying around. I’ll bring it to WV in December and the first person that can do this to a tree with it can have it! A Challenge! :yahoo:

    "These are not men, but devils" --Colonel Francisco de Paula-Milan, Mexican Army, Camerone 30 April 1863

    #19522
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    ISIS in America I keep telling my team that I will bring the scalping back

    Scalping is done with knives. A hatchet would not be very effective. Nor would scalping in today’s day and age be an effective tactic in of itself. You would destroy your own support base.

    #19523
    Profile photo of cynikal
    cynikal
    Participant

    yeah i know, but that native american stuff it sfun to play with – scalping is what one of the best uses the KBAR was designed for (in my ideal).

    As Hawks go i just like to carry a real old hatchet that I can shave with. Pound with one side and cut with the other. i once seen some old man that could work wonders with just a hatchet – just about do anything with it.

    #19528
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    Max it’s bullshit. The Special Forces aren’t running around with RMJ or any other type of tomahawk. …..Tomahawks are just nostalgia.

    What he said. See also: tactical shemagh.
    *Most* of the tomahawk crowd are also the “shuh-mog” obsessing type.
    :scratch:

    Now as far as carry/use…. in my research, the average tomahawk is just to light/not so great blade profile to do any serious wood work with. If you need a woodchopping tool, the small camp axes like the Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe/Wildlife Hatchet type seem to be ideal for both camp use and carry-ability.
    I personally bought a Fiskars X7 hatchet. Super light, and chops/splits like a motherf***er. Perhaps as a longer term camping/patrolling/bugout tool. I don’t see why anyone would want to lug the extra weight around short term if they didn’t have to.
    I suppose you could probably give someone a pretty good chop with it too, if it came down to it…
    YMMV

    Are people seriously carrying T-hawks instead of a handgun? :unsure:

    Now, if we’re getting medieval, I’m sort of personally a fan of the warhammer…..As a backup to a longbow. Gotta have that standoff range and AP ability. :good:

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #19530
    Profile photo of Winston
    winston
    Participant

    Yea, but Max wants Thorgrim’s Hammer. So, here it is for only $329.00.

    http://www.toledosword.com/pr/Hammer_of_Thorgrim.html#MACONAN044

    Thorgrim Hammer

    Yes, yes. I know my way around MVT.

    #19533
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    I guess I will bust a few bubbles here. Yes they are being carried by different people while deployed. But not for hand to hand. They can make a pretty good breaching tool. How do I know? I carried one of the SOG tomahawks my last tour. Several guys that I know also carried them and still do. They worked really well on those cheap Afghan locks and doors. Quicker and lighter than carrying a hoolie tool around. Not every breach is going to be explosive or ballistic.

    I never even thought of having to use it as a weapon. If my M4 had gone down and my M9 and my sheath knife was broke, I was already in a world of hurt. We all joked about using one, but deep down we knew that if ever came to that you were fucked.

    Now I use the same SOG for bushcraft. I also have one of the military issue Woodsman’s Pals that come in handy for a lot of things.

    As to shemaghs that were mentioned above, I guess myself and everybody that I knew that wore them as padding for armor, neck protection from the sun/chaffing and having something to use during dust storms were all just tactical dumbasses and just wanted to look cool. Were there idiots that did it just to look “operator”, yes. Does that mean that everybody that used them are complete fucking idiots, no.

    My whole point with this? Don’t make blanket statements about who uses what kit or doesn’t. You just might find someone using it for reasons that you never thought of.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #19534
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Get a set of these ‘warhammers’ and then in down time you can have a game for R&R. :-)

    #19537
    Profile photo of SeanT
    SeanT
    Moderator

    I guess I will bust a few bubbles here. Yes they are being carried by different people while deployed. But not for hand to hand. They can make a pretty good breaching tool. How do I know? I carried one of the SOG tomahawks my last tour. Several guys that I know also carried them and still do.
    [\quote]
    I hadn’t thought about breaching, it is a sturdy Fukker.

    I also have one of the military issue Woodsman’s Pals that come in handy for a lot of things.
    [\quote]
    Those things are the shit. I used to sell them to surveyors. Serious every day use tool.

    As to shemaghs…
    [\quote]
    I like them, they look useful and have some comfort use. I’d like to know where to get a quality one but not for show, because clearly if you know me, that ain’t me.

    #19542
    Profile photo of nonconformist
    nonconformist
    Participant

    I purchased a ‘hawk($400) from RMJ several years ago as a gift for a nephew who was joining USMC. Very high quality; at the time they were giving a discount to military and marketing primarily as a breaching tool but the martial possibilities are there with proper training.

    Interestingly, RMJ started as a maker of historically correct ‘hawks which were such pieces of art I would never have wanted to actually use one. When the war in Afghanistan got cranked up their market for tactical hawks took off.

    I’m actually in the middle of a Robert Rogers(Roger’s Rangers) biography. The French allied Indians preferred the ‘hawk anytime they could, not only to save powder but as an immediate action CQB killing tool that was highly effective in trained hands.

    #19543
    Profile photo of nonconformist
    nonconformist
    Participant

    P.S. I recommend the Rogers book, War on the Run, John F Ross.

    #19549
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    As to shemaghs…
    [\quote]
    I like them, they look useful and have some comfort use. I’d like to know where to get a quality one but not for show, because clearly if you know me, that ain’t me.

    [/quote]

    SeanT,

    PM out to you.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #19550
    Profile photo of Skittles
    Skittles
    Participant

    Now im getting a hawk wrapped in a shemagh. Just to be a fucker.

    "... rainbow colored unicorn farts."

    #19551
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    I’m actually in the middle of a Robert Rogers(Roger’s Rangers) biography. The French allied Indians preferred the ‘hawk anytime they could, not only to save powder but as an immediate action CQB killing tool that was highly effective in trained hands.

    Roger’s himself, and most Rangers that could afford them, preferred a Cutlass over the Tomahawk.

    #19554
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Winston!

    How did I miss this? Thorgriums actual hammer. Only $329!

    I’m gonna save up, buy it, and it will be known as ‘THE HAMMER OF WOE’ – otherwise known as the ‘muscle memory hammer.’

    B-)

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