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Hatchets and Hawks and Colonial Scouts

Breach-Bang-Clear took a break from the Illumination Rumination series last week to run a piece on hatchets and tomahawks. In it they featured 13 different chopping implements they carry, use or just prefer.

Hatchets we like - Stagliano

Says Breach-Bang-Clear,

Hatchets and Hawks and Colonial Scouts

 Axes and hacking tools are virtually synonymous with early American scouts, rangers and other colonial era asymmetrical warfare specialists — here we’re using ranger in the historical sense, not referring to the redoubtable asskickers of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Some people say hatchets and tomahawks are antiquated or no longer relevant. We disagree. The only thing bad thing about a tomahawk is it makes it hard to drink from the skull of your enemy after you use it on him.

Hatchets are iconic in this way. Think about the very first order in Rogers Plan of Discipline (often incorrectly truncated and referred to as “Rogers Rules of Ranging”):

I. All Rangers are to be subject to the rules and articles of war; to appear at roll-call every evening on their own parade, equipped, each with a fire-lock, sixty rounds of powder and ball, and a hatchet, at which time an officer from each company is to inspect the same, to see they are in order, so as to be ready on any emergency to march at a minute’s warning; and before they are dismissed the necessary guards are to be draughted, and scouts for the next day appointed.

Hatchets we like - Reeder2

XIII. In general, when pushed upon by the enemy, reserve your fire till they approach very near, which will put them into the greater surprise and consternation, and give you an opportunity of rushing upon them with your hatchets and cutlasses to the better advantage.

Read more and see all the imagery right here. There’s handmade ‘hawks, hatchets from manufacturers you’ll recognize and some you won’t, even some famous choppers. Take a look.

Hatchets we like - Stagliano2


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