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December 16, 2008

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Petzal: More On Axes

Change two, as we used to say in the Army. The maker of the breaching axes is Daniel Winkler who, for twenty years or more has been pre-eminent in the re-creation of frontier cutlery. The upper photo shows the Naval Special Warfare Breaching/Combat Axe; the lower one is the Army Special Operations Combat Axe. But there’s more to the story. Since the services are not fully funded to buy these, Daniel has been accepting contributions from private citizens to defray the cost. I sent him a donation in November. If you become a part of his Donor program, you can buy one. For details, e-mail [email protected] Or you can join Special Forces or become a SEAL and be eligible that way.


Now for part two. In a few months, Daniel will be producing a civilian Combat Breaching Axe and a Hunter Axe (with a hammer poll) that will be available to anyone. He has also designed a pair of fighting axes for the Sayoc Tactical Group, and they can be seen and are now available for order at sayocwinklerhawk.com.



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Clay Cooper

Better get serious here by golly; I love the axe throwing at those Renaissance festivals. Isn’t it grand when you make it stick!


Clay: My wife taught elementary school for 22 years in Wyoming. She was the lady who somehow released the kid's tongue from the pole or the metal wire fence at 5 below.
Also, regarding tomahawk throwing a neighbor of mine became pretty good at it using western frontier type hawks. One day he was throwing the pair of small axes from about 15 feet at the cut end of a log when three of us witnessed him stick one hawk in the center ring of the log. He let loose the second tomahawk which stuck directly under the head of the first one sticking itself into the handle! Sort of a Robin Hood arrow spliting the arrow or two pistol bullets in the same hole. Speaking of the latter my son did stack two .45 ACPs from his Para in the same hole of a dead tree trunk once. We dug them out and discovered that one was slightly offset behind the other but they fit togather nose to base. Enough of my ramblings...good night.


Being a combat engineer( not actually an engineer, but with an engineer Battalion), we did not carry one of those breaching axe, we always had an axe with the tool kit on the Jeeps or one that came with the "pioneer kits "on the hummer or M113A2,. these were the pole axes along with the shovels and etc. I do carry a small axe with my ATV , and like the looks of the axe in Pic..


C-4 doesent take up as much room in a three day pack....


Leave the axe home, carry a couple extra clips, do as everyone else, If you can't breach it, call the engineers forward, Breach the perimeter, take up a mine field, cancel a tank trap,lay a tank trap, lay a mine field for a hasty retreat, .I was attached to thea abrams tank unit from Tenn. once, don't think they fully understand the combat engineer's mission at first, but when the oppisition forces were eating them up at Ft.Erwin, they called us forward and then they understood why most track unit have the engineers attached to them.


Some one spoke of being on a rescue team , the same applies here as with the military, it take everone working together to complete the mission.


Back in the 60's, I used the small, lightweight tomahawk with a pike on the end, instead of a poll, and not only did it throw great, and make good kindling and short work of butchering, but when you ran down a hog and whacked them in the brain with the pike, they folded up like they were struck by lightning....

Dave Petzal

To Just Wondering: The Navy axe has maple handle scales; the Army axe has walnut, and there is a glass-breaker point at the butt. Also, the sheaths are different.


Those look exceptional. Can't imagine what goes through a Jihadi's head when a US soldier approaches with one of these in his hand or even on his belt!
About 8 years ago I left the Rockies for a weeklong trip to coastal Maine and stopped in the LL Bean store. They had several axes in various sizes from Granfors Bruks of Sweden. I didn't care what they cost,I had to have one, I bought the Hunter's Axe for $55 or so. They are around a hundred or so now. Worth every nickel and then some. I've since disassembled several elk, a moose, deer, cut firewood, opened up back country horse trails blocked by downed trees etc. Hand forged, with hickory handles. A superior piece of craftsmanship. Surely someone in the USA could make one just as good.

Milton Burton

Dave, they are wonderful, but if I wanted to read about axes I'd read Ally-Oop. I go to your column because I like guns. Get back on the program.


Don't need to carry axe, Just call for the combat engineers, they will make the breach in the perimeter, take up the mines, lay a tank trap,lay a hasty retreat, whatever.


I must be woefully old-school, for I see a definite niche for a modern-day tomahawk in today's military, as does my 22 yr old veteran from Iraq who is being deployed to Afganistan soon. He has always admired the old forged 'hawk that I keep over the mantel with my flintlock, and absolutely drooled over the tactical tomahawk shown on the History Channel. He wishes they were issue. Maybe they should be. These two are as functional and as beautiful today as my old one was 300 years ago. Perhaps I should get him one.

Del in KS

Did you mean Poulan? Never heard of a Poland saw.

Jim, click on the link between the pics and the website has more hawks with finger grooves. They are really neat but $650 is out of my range for a blade.
When I was in Australia back in '75 an Aussie soldier gave me one of their bush knives. Kind of like a Kukri but with a straight blade. I really liked it but lost it down in the Ozarks back in '88. Wish I could get a replacement.

Jim in Mo

Thanks, didn't click on that link but that first one with the wood and slight grooves is what I'd choose as a soveighneir.

The Man

You would think of a axe as ugly, but these axes are beutiful, espsially the bottom one. Does the military use these axes? You would think the dont use wood handles as they dont use wood gun stocks on the m4/m16. I have a gerber lmf 2 that is used by the army pilots i think but it is not wood and ugly, but it has a half serrated blade that works really good for splitting the pelvis and cutting the chest bone. if you forget to pack a saw and need to cut shooting lanes, it works good for that too. the regular blade is very sharp and very high quality and is good for all around gutting. the only thing is that it is to big to cut out the butt so i use a different knife for that. If the blade dulls in the field it has a sharpener in the handle that works great and it has a glass breaker butt cap for the army pilots to break through the glass on a helecopter if they need to and the hande is a rubbery type grip so that if you cut hot electrical wires it wont electricute your hand. I bought this as a hunting knife but soon after realized the benefits as a survival knife and military knife. God bless the troops risking there lives in iraq

Duck Creek Dick

Standing Orders, Rogers Rangers 1759
No. 19 "Let the enemy come till he's almost close enough to touch. Then let him have it and jump out and finish him up with your hatchet."

That's what you mean by "closing with the enemy".

WA Mtnhunter

There is a good reason axes and hatches are not welcomed in remote camps. An excellent opportunity to end up in a Darwin Award.

A friend of mine has a hatchet he calls 'battle axe' that is very similar to the ones pictured, but the grip only goes halfway up the handle. Fairly thin blade/shaft, but great for splitting a backbone, sternum, and pelvis. Would probably do a great job on a cranium, too. I've been trying to get one made for myself with no luck so far.


While I can see the use for a breaching tool, and these hatchets look like a first rate tool for the job, I prefer a machete for general field use for hunting fishing and camping. They can do everything a hatchet can and more.


well, i can tell you that if a product arives on the scene that will make our military's or law enforcements life easier, quieter, or safer, i am all for it. if each of these cost several hundreds of dollars, so what. how much is each of these mens life worth! they are on the front lines, making our lifes easier and safer to live. so if i have to pay an extra $20.00 a year in taxes to save JUST one of our guys lives, i will GLADLY hand it over. rght now, my concern is oBlama is going to cut defense spending so much our guys wont have the tools they need.


also, as cool as these are, i am suprised that they do not have any checkering. i would think that a nice 3/4 length checkering job would finish these off very nicely.

Dr. Ralph

Bella where did you find an Estwing knife? According to their web site they're made in Illinois not Sweden and they don't make knifes... I have a 30 year old hammer with a leather handle that says Estwing on it and if you wanted to you could use it to break up anvils. It's a bad sumbitch.

Those handles on Winklers' tommyhawks are down right beautiful. I wish the stock on my Ruger #1 was half that pretty.

Jim in Mo

What I'm wondering about the handles is you stated in your last blog they're made of a combination fiddle back maple and black walnut. Does that mean they are laminated?


Think he meant either one or the other.

Del in KS

Oops, that was me.

Jim in Mo

No, he said fiddle back AND black walnut on blog from 'touch of home'.

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