Friday, November 26, 2004

Edged Weapons

Because I live in the freedom hating UK I am unable to own a firearm for home defence- in fact, if I even used a feather I’d probably be charged with upsetting an intruder’s feelings and sent to prison. Even at that though, I’m not entirely unarmed as there are a number of bladed weapons scattered throughout my house. While I’d be loathe to get involved in a knife fight, I’ve got my Other Half and two little girls to think of. Anyway, here’s what I’ve got:

Cold Steel Rifleman’s hawk – I’d been planning on buying a Vietnam hawk, or even the lighter Trail hawk, but I got a really good price on this- too good to pass. It’s a fairly hefty chunk of metal with an axe head and a hammer face. With virtually no effort the axe blade has been sharpened to an almost razor edge, but the sheer weight of the head will ensure damage to whatever is being struck. I keep this by the bed and though it has also seen use in the garden chopping at tree branches, it’s my first line of defence should anyone try coming up the stairs. The lack of manoeuvrability caused by the weight shouldn’t be a problem in that position. If you’re thinking of getting a fighting hawk, I’d recommend either the very pricey American Tomahawk Company’s Next Gen Ranger, or the very affordable Cold Steel’s Vietnam hawk- if it’s going to be used in combat, the hawk needs to be light so that you can change the direction of a swing quickly.

Cold Steel Two Handed Machete – This is a dirt cheap, hugely massive blade which weighs next to nothing and costs pennies. I used is briefly during the summer to chop down some overgrown tree branches and, boy, can this thing cut! If you don’t want something so huge Cold Steel have a great range of the most affordable machetes (really, for the product their prices are superb). Part of the sales blurb for the Two Handed is that it can easily cut off arms and legs- I can well believe it. As a weapon this would be pretty formidable. And pretty scary to face. Cool. Speaking of machetes, I’ve just noticed their new Latin machetes. Mmm, have to look into acquiring one of them.

Cold Steel (can you see a trend developing?) Mini-Bushman- This is a really neat concept, an extensive of the Rambo inspired craze for hollow handled knives. I’m not a fan of those types of blade, but the Bushman is a different breed altogether. Made of a single piece of metal with a “rolled” hollow grip, it’s the sort of knife that sits really well in the hand. The handle is open-ended so that it can be made into a spear very easily and the hollow space can also be stuffed with some tiny survival kit items. This is a great survival weapon and the blade can be brought up to a razor’s edge in no time. It also feels a lot sturdier than the usual Rambo knives. Top notch!

Leatherman Wave– Though it’s not a weapon, the knife blade on this most useful tool is wickedly sharp and is easy to maintain. I bought myself this as a treat a year or so ago and it’s proved its utility on many occasions. I’m not the sort of guy to keep a toolbox around and this thing is invaluable around the house. This- or something like it, since the company came out in favour of John Kerry (SOG make some pretty good multi-tools, or Gerber)- is an essential bit of kit, unless you have frequent access to a cumbersome box of tools.

Finally, just inside my front door, should someone be foolish enough to attempt to force their way in while I’m there, is an entrenching tool. It’s a fairly basic wooden handle, folding type, with a choice of either a shovel or pick head. A crack to the head with it should deter most people, and if that doesn’t work, one edge has been sharpened. This is not good quality steel so it’s not a razor edge or anything, but it’s keen enough. Spetsnaz, eat yer heart out.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post on edged weapons. I've been thinking about buying a combat hawk.

European Americans have always had a aversion to CQB using bladed weapons. I remember during bayonet training, that I hoped I'd never have to use one in battle.

Native Americans, on the other hand, seem to have no such aversion, as they demonstrated bravely in battle, and even after battle, when they would scalp and multilate bodies of settlers and soldiers. A higher % of the Indian population has fought in all 20th century American wars, and they make great warriors.

African Americans so motivated have historically used knives in urban areas.

While in the 82nd Airborne, I wore a double-bladed Gerber knife which I kept sharp enough to go through a web belt like it was warm butter.

Now, I wear a knife with a legal 3in. blade and spring-assisted opening on my belt everywhere I go, since my GA carry permit does not permit me to carry a gun into public places such as stadiums, bars, etc. The only time I take it off is when I'm required to check it when entering some public buildings.

There's a standing joke about the effects of bringing a knife to a gun fight, but it's a lot better than nothing but your hands and feet when you can't have a gun.

A guy with a black belt once told me he could disarm me of a knife or a gun before I could use it on him if I was not more than 7 yards (you can do the conversion to meters) away. I suggested he keep saying that (as it probably impressed girls and Democrats), but not actually try it.

I do intend to get additional training in marshal arts intended to be used for defense, as there will be times all I have to defend myself and anyone with me is myself.

I know a guy in Atlanta who trains in one of the marshal arts disciplines. When I asked him if he could help me better defend myself, he stated that was not the purpose of his training, mumbling leftist thinking stuff about it being for self-confidence, peace of mind, and what not. I said no thanks.


Jay.Mac said...

Thanks for the feedback. I think I'd definitely have to recommend the Cold Steel Vietnam hawk for combat- the Rifleman's hawk is a great camp tool but it's a little heavy for me to swing around rapidly.
I'm also interested in learning some unarmed comabt techniques but over here the emphasis is on the art rather than practical utility. From what I've learned eskrima or sambo (Russian military technique) seem like being the most useful in a practical self-defence situation. If you have any suggestions do let me know.
As for bayonet training, it was one of the most enijoyable parts of my own training in the Royal Marines- running and screaming and stabbing targets. I hear now though that because of health and safety concerns Army recruits have to walk the course- in case they fall and hurt themselves! So far the Marines haven't caved in (despite a few recruits sticking their bayonet through their foot- happened once while I was there) but it's probably not far off.
Thanks for reading- hope to hear from you again.

Anonymous said...

I have no direct combat experience upon which to base this, but I'd think the curved blade (eg. as on the more expensive New Ranger by American Tomahawk) with the exaggerated hook and secondary edge would be better for combat situations.

The American Tomahawk site says an updated version will come out in the Fall, so it should be out soon.

I do have considerable experience with the straight edge and flat head for hiking/camping, and it's probably best for that purpose.

BTW, I still have a Sears Craftsman "hatchet" (as we called it in the Boy Scouts) made of one piece of steel with a rubber handle, which I purchased something like 45 years ago. Its blade has a slight curve. It has a large, flat head for hammering in tent stakes, and such. It's actually pretty well balanced. As I recall, it sold for less than $10 back in the 50s.

Well made things can last one a lifetime.

Jay.Mac said...

Been looking for an eskrima club close to my hometown- no luck so far- but I did come across this site- - and I like that weapons systems are taught first. Sounds practical. I'll maybe do a post on the subjetc if I can find out more.

BTW, I like the Am Tom Co. products, especially the Next Gen- it's practically a work of art- but the price is putting me off. I'll maybe start on on the Cold Steel version and see how proficient I can get with that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestion of Eskrima. I'll look for schools in the greater Atlanta area.

I'm not interested in any self-defense school which requires me to wear special clothes. My interest is in something I can use when attacked in the clothes I normally wear.