Primitive Pentathlon Variations

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We took advantage of some early spring nice weather this past Sunday by playing a round of the “Primitive Pentahlon.” We were not at the main TomahawkGuys range where we have archery targets so we had to substitute more ‘hawk throwing in place of bows and arrows.

The events we contested yesterday were:

  • 1 rotation tomahawk throw
  • 2 rotation tomahawk throw
  • 3 rotation tomahawk throw
  • 1 rotation axe throw
  • 1 rotation mini ‘hawk throw

We each have 10 throws per event and score by using the concentric circle markings with 5 points being maximum for each throw. So, 50 points for each event or 250 points maximum to get a perfect score. We started with the 1 rotation hawk then 2 and 3, then the axe and finished up with the mini-‘hawk. This is the first time we used the mini-‘hawk for any serious throwing at a usual target block. I wasn’t even sure I could use the mini for throwing at a wood target until a couple weeks ago. Turns out to be kinda’ like throwing darts except with a rotation! Lots of fun indeed.

Extracting the Mini
The Axe Man Cometh

 

 

Mini-Tomahawk Outdoor Target Test

Today, I decided to test the Mini-Tomahawk in a real wood target. I had previously tried a few attempts in the wood target right after I got this hawk, but it just bounced off. Of course, it was in January and the wood targets were rather frozen and hard. I was thinking that maybe this hawk just didn’t have enough mass to penetrate the wood. Now that the targets were thawed out and in better condition I tried to stick this hawk again. The results were slightly different from my earlier attempts.

Flying Tomahawks!

Hi all you TomahawkGuys. I thought I would share a really cool video that I just came across recently. Maybe some of you have seen this. Anyway, this guy builds all kinds of boomerangs including ones that are shaped like TOMAHAWKS! Yes that’s right and axes too, several designs like these. Check out the video below to see how well they fly. Check out his website HERE.

Snow Bound

This winter, 2014, has been  a rough one around most parts of the USA. Some of you may be tempted to stay inside and cozy up to the fireplace but I want to remind you to get outside any opportunity you have to get the ‘hawks out and let them fly. This past weekend wasn’t quite so cold around here, OK it was still below freezing but I am getting used to it by now. We went to visit the big tomahawk range and though the snow wasn’t real deep we knew we wouldn’t be able to get back the driveway so a little hike was in order. It turns out that the targets were in pretty good shape and the tomahawks were sticking rather well. Fortunately the snow was rather crusty so the hawks didn’t bury themselves in case we missed(!) the target.

Mini-Tomahawk

Mini-Tomahawk

This past Christmas I was surprised by a very appropriate gift that my son-in-law gave to me. He asked his brother if he would be able to make a custom “mini-tomahawk” that he could give to me as a present. His brother is very talented when it comes to building things and thought that would be a possibility. You see he already had been making his own throwing knives, so this wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. What he came up with is very cool and I was pretty excited about it.  I just needed to figure out what to do with it. It doesn’t quite have the mass to stick in wood, well it might stick in a very soft wood such as cottonwood, but I thought it would be perfect for throwing indoors. The best thing that I have come up with so far as a target is a 2 inch thick piece of pink foam insulation panels. These do work great but are not very durable and the mini-tomahawk can do major damage to the target after just a couple hours of use.  For the time being though it is my target of choice and throwing the mini-tomahawk is great fun, especially with friends! I may be able to convince our builder to make more of these to offer for sale if there is enough interest. Let me know if any of you would have an interest in getting your own mini-tomahawk and I will pass along the information!

Mini_Hawk-compared to full size hawks

Winter Fun

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Even though most of the USA got a nice blast of wintery weather this past week, the ‘hawks have been continuing to fly. The above picture was sent to me by my friend Steve, one of the original TomahawkGuys. He tells me that one of his children decorated his target block while they were out sled riding. He noticed however that the face was missing a nose and  quickly decided to play “pin the tomahawk on the smiley face.”  I think it completes the look rather nicely.

Another 8 Rotation Throw

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Standing by my 8 rotation throw

It was a good weekend throwing for the TomahawkGuys, we hope you are out there having as much fun as we are with the ‘hawks! We are continuing to field test the new Beaver Bill Mighty Mouse Hawk. NightHawk (Patrick) was using the only  MMHawk that we have and came away feeling pretty good about it by the time we were finished. He wanted to test it out for distance throwing and worked his way back through all the rotations up to his current 7 rotation personal best. He then successfully stuck a nice 7 rotation with the Mighty Mouse Hawk, the only time he has ever stuck a 7 using something other than his favorite BB Thin Line hawk. I was also throwing for distance and we worked our way back through the rotations simultaneously since we have 2 target blocks set up together. NightHawk was using the “production” Mighty Mouse Hawk so I used my 2 Mighty Mouse prototypes that I have. I wasn’t really planning on doing a lot of distance throwing but I was feeling pretty good about my throws and sticking all the rotations in relatively few attempts even sticking the 6 on my first attempt. Got through the 7 and decided to give the 8 a few tries. I missed the first four attempts and was ready to give it up but decided to give it a couple more throws. I was throwing 2 attempts at a time since I have the 2 prototypes and I threw and missed the fifth attempt but managed to get a nice stick on the 6th! I was pretty happy about that since NightHawk was there to witness the throw and it ended up being a technically better stick than my previous 8 rotation throw just not quite as close to the center this time. We measured the distance and it came in about 108″ 3″ almost the same as my other 8 rotation.

8rotation-triptych
Throwing from 8 rotation distance 108′ 3″
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Clean Stick from 8 rotations

 

 

Mighty Mouse Hawk

The Beaver Bill Mighty Mouse Hawk

The TomahawkGuys are happy to announce a brand new throwing hawk model that we think you will really like. This new tomahawk is a collaborative project between us, the TomahawkGuys and Beaver Bill Forging Works. I briefly hinted about this ‘hawk in an earlier post. They are now ready to go. For a limited time they are only available right here on the TomahawkGuys site by following the special link. (Now on Beaver Bill’s web site also)

Click here to visit the Beaver Bill Mighty Mouse Hawk page.

The Mighty Mouse Hawk is based on Beaver Bill’s Standard model Throwing Hawk whereas the regular Mouse Hawk is based on his Thin Line model Throwing Hawk. This means that The Mighty Mouse Hawk blade could be up to twice as thick as the regular Mouse Hawk. The handle length is 16″. The cutting edge is about 3.25″ long. The blade edge to handle is about 4.25″ and the weight is roughly 17 ounces with the handle. The Mighty Mouse Hawk is slightly larger than the regular Beaver Bill Mouse Hawk. It is very well balanced and feels great in the hand.

First Batch of The Mighty Mouse Hawk

The Mighty Mouse Hawk started out as a “happy accident” so to speak. We were at Beaver Bill’s forge looking over some Standard Model ‘hawks to purchase as I had yet to own one of his “Standards”, I thought it was about time that I did.  I saw one that was noticeably different from the other ‘hawks. It was somewhat smaller and had a look about it that intrigued me. When I questioned Bill about it he said that it was the last one of a particular batch he was working on. Basically the sheet of steel that he had left was not big enough to cut out a full size blank so he used what was left and the resulting tomahawk was a bit smaller.  I decided that I would get this particular tomahawk. I took it that same day to the range to give it a try and like all of Beaver Bill’s ‘hawks it performed just fine. Other than it’s unique size and shape it didn’t really stand out from his other ‘hawks. It was the following day when I decided to cut the handle shorter. After all it was similar in size to my other Mouse Hawks but it had a full 19″ handle. I cut it off to 16″ which is an inch longer than the regular Mouse Hawk’s 15″ handle. Suddenly the ‘hawk just felt “right.” I took it out in the backyard to give it a try and immediately I could tell this was a special tomahawk. The weight and the balance of this hawk felt really comfortable in my hand. Throwing it was much better now with the shorter handle. It stuck really well and I seemed to be able to throw with a high degree of accuracy. I can throw up to 3 rotations in the backyard range at my home and this tomahawk was performing nicely at the 1, 2, and 3 rotation distances. I was anxious for the weekend to come when I would be able to go to the main TomahawkGuys range in South Eastern Indiana about 25 miles from my home in Cincinnati. There I would be able to try out some distance throws. I just had a feeling that with this tomahawk I would be able to set a new personal best long range throw. My old record was 7 rotations from 98.5 feet thrown last year. Although, as a joke, I made a New Year Resolution that I wanted to break 100′ in the tomahawk throw this year, I wasn’t too confident that I would be able to do it due to some nagging shoulder issues. I had been working on altering my throwing style to a bit more sidearmed release to take some pressure off my shoulder and that seemed to be helping although it wasn’t as accurate as my straight overhead throw. This new release combined with the Mighty Mouse’s slightly lighter weight and balanced feel gave me confidence to try throwing the longer distances again. When Saturday came, I had an opportunity to talk with Beaver Bill again and I mentioned to him that I shortened the handle and that I thought this tomahawk would be the one that would allow me to set a new mark in the distance throw. Once at the range I worked my way through the one, two and three rotation distances as anytime we try to do distance throws we always work our way up to keep track of where our step is and the number of rotations. Then on to the four and five and six. Four and five can become somewhat consistent but starting at the six rotation distance things usually become somewhat “dicey” as we are just heaving the tomahawk and hoping that it will come in contact with the target block to verify our step. Some days we can’t stick even one at the six rotation distance, others we might stick several. This day however I was able to stick the six on my first attempt, I was in the groove. The seven rotation is pretty much the cutoff. We might go weeks or months between sticking a seven. My previous distance record was a seven rotation. Depending on the length of the handle and weight of the head, the step from where the release is could vary significantly. Even though I was on a roll recently with having managed to stick seven rotations several times this summer, none was from a farther step than my first time sticking a seven at 98′ 6″. I knew it was going to have to be an eight rotation throw to take me back over the 100’ line. I tried a few times to get the seven rotation but couldn’t stick it. I was starting to get tired so I decided to skip back and try a few eight rotations before I quit. The first two attempts miss the target but are fairly close so I decide to continue on. On the very next throw, as it is flying through the air, I am thinking that this could be the one. Then “Thunk” it sticks! I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t a perfect stick, a little over rotated in fact, but it was in the center of the target. I thought to myself “I knew this was a great tomahawk!”  Well I couldn’t wait to tell Beaver Bill and thank him for that “accidental” tomahawk. Due to this achievement and the fact that I really liked the feel of throwing this hawk, I urged him to consider making more of these since there might be other people who would like it too. He agreed and we worked together on refining the design. I suggested a couple of minor performance improvements and  he created a nice looking profile with an upward curving arc in the bottom edge as it comes away from the handle to reflect somewhat the Premium Model. The TomahawkGuys really like The Mighty Mouse Hawk and think you will too.

Mighty Mouse Comparison

Mini Throwing Hawk

I was looking over some of the photos that I took over at the Friendship Rendezvous this year and found this image of a mini-‘hawk. I somehow managed to control my urge to buy one of these, very tempting. This is hand forged from the folks at H and B Forge. It is not something that is listed on their web-site but more of a curiosity that they brought along to see if anyone would be interested. I believe they sold out of the few that they had rather quickly. They make a nice variety of interesting tomahawks and axes, check ’em out!

Mini Tomahawk
Mini Tomahawk

You can’t have too big of a target

That is pretty much the motto that the TomahawkGuys live by. Especially true if you like to throw for distance but also for closer in as it keeps from having too many errant throws. When I am introducing ‘hawk throwing to a newbie, a large target is very handy also. In general, size matters! Recently, when we moved our target blocks to their winter range we switched out one of the older targets with a new, even larger block. I remember when we first started out we were using a small pine log section maybe 18″ in diameter. We really didn’t realize how pitiful this was as we were having fun learning to throw. We were maybe sticking only 40, 50 or 60% of the throws! How times have changed. We have since gotten very serious about finding good targets. This is maybe the most overlooked aspect of tomahawk throwing. It is easy to find and buy a tomahawk to throw, but finding a large target is a serious quest. We have spent a lot of time and effort in searching out and acquiring a stash of nice targets. It is actually an on-going process but once you have a nice target it should last awhile depending on how often you throw. The picture below shows one of the targets we are using now compared to the actual first target that we had. Quite a difference.

Size Comparison

Another picture shows just how large this target is. That is a yard stick trying to stretch all the way across the face. I would say the average diameter of this section is about 37″. It is a piece of Sycamore that we acquired when another friend noticed that his neighbor across the street was cutting down this massive tree in his yard. We told the guy what we wanted and he agreed to save a few pieces of the trunk for us. We were able to get 4 target blocks from him. The sad thing is that many people consider Sycamore a junk tree with no timber value so the whole rest of the tree was hauled away to a dump!!

The VLT (Very Large Target)

Also notice that we have our standard TomahawkGuys markings on this target. As much fun as randomly throwing and sticking a ‘hawk in the target block is, everyone agrees that actually playing games or competing amplifies your enjoyment of ‘hawk throwing. With these markings we can use the circles to score accurate throws from 2 or 3 or more rotations away. We use the squares to play “Around-the-World” or “Tic-Tac-Toe.” You can also download our “Paper Targets” to staple on the target face too. When you get a target block make sure to mark it up or use the paper targets and start keeping score!