Sourcing

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Some of you may opine that I’m going mad under quarantine, and I’m not saying that you’re wrong… and…

This may strike you as a strange request, but I’m trying to source a quality poleaxe. There are different varieties. They were widely used about a thousand years ago primarily by dismounted knights and men at arms. I plan to mount one in the rear window of the pick up truck or on the rack behind the rear seat in my Toyota FJ. In both cases, under a shotgun (rifled barrel, SST rounds).
I can anticipate your question. “What in the world would you want with that?” It’s more of a statement than anything else. The weapon would need to be fully functional, the blades sharp. There are several different steels that would work fine. A D2 or even a pattern welded steel (Damascus) would suit my purposes. 
I’ve cast about on the Internet, but most of what is available is made in India (no-bueno) of pot metal. Or they are decorative, which doesn’t work either. 
The people who drift past this blog are often well informed of such things, so I’m casting out into the blogosphere for sourcing suggestions. 
boar spear
And if you ask, these sorts of weapons are legal in Arizona and most states. Poleaxes haven’t made their way onto prohibited lists. Likely because progressive people don’t consider them to be dangerous. For me, they only have demonstration and education value, not as a weapon…
The obvious question is whether or not I’d accept a puncheon or boar spear instead. There is nothing wrong with either tool, but they’re not quite poleaxes, are they?

48 thoughts on “Sourcing

  1. Not sure how long a pole axe is, I would say longer then the width of a pick up truck cab or on from a Toyota. A cant hook pole is 4' to 6' long. It does look like a formidable weapon. Myself, I have looked recently into edged weapons as rifle, shotguns are nice, we won't have ammo to spare in the long run and edged weapons are almost forever, only needed to be sharpened and oiled every so often.

  2. I was involved in medieval recreation and competed in live steel sport combat for a long time. I trained with many different weapons but specialized with the axe and poleaxe. A quality weapon that will withstand actual use will have to be custom made or modified if you can find a good quality axehead.

    Therion Arms therionarms.com/reenact/weapons_western.shtml
    used to carry good quality reproductions and may still do so. They could serve as a base to modify/customize to your use. The stuff out of India was always suspect but some of the weapons made in Korea were good. For production line weapons look at those that make competition grade weapons, Paul Chen/Hanwei and Tinker Pearce used to be good quality in their higher lines. But I have been out of that world for a long time and can't speak to their quality any longer.

    I'm sure there are some good custom bladesmiths in America these days You might check around on Sword Forum International swordforum.com/vb4/forum.php for info.

    FYI – hunting game with a spear is illegal in Arizona. Back in my medieval days we wanted to do a javalina hunt with boar spears and found out it wasn't allowed.

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    DanH

  3. Beans might know. I think he's into the sword fighting and armor stuff.

    Or contact the guys at "Forged in Fire". I'm sure there are bladesmiths out there that could make you exactly what you want.

  4. You might also check the various HEMA group sites and the HEMA Alliance for info.
    hemaalliance.com/

    DanH

  5. Scroll down to "modern reproductions" and see if any are still in business. It is a very esoteric weapon and few make them that I am aware of.

    myarmoury.com/feature_spot_poleaxe.html

    Below are close to what you want

    arms-armor.com/poleaxe-detail_14

    arms-armor.com/hammer-axe-detail_82

  6. Honestly. I read this and then resumed binging The Saint on Amazon.
    A fire occurs and Templar runs into the house and grabs a pole axe off the wall to chop through a door.

  7. I ran a startpage search for sca polearms, and found one site called scaleatherarmor-dot-com, that listed several steel polearms. As to what type of steel, I guess a call to their number would answer that.
    Frank

  8. You don't need a poleax to make a statement. I would be glad to send you a copy of a hand written recipe for Aunt Sally's guacamole dip, just scotch tape it to your rear window and that will send a chill through any sane minded soul that reads it.

    Who needs a poleax?

  9. You sure want some interesting weaponry. Yes, Cold Steel lists one but the picture doesn't match the one you posted.

  10. Rick Harrison of Gold and Silver Pawn (Pawn Stars fame) shop had a few last Sept when I was there. Check his website or give him a call.

  11. They had a glaive that looked interesting but not quite what I had in mind. I have a friend in the SCA and may reach out to him. The armorers may be slow because of the Chinese Plague. Maybe I could obtain a customized piece.

  12. Historically they ran somewhere from 4' up based on the person using it and based on the actual vision. They were often carried up siege ladders on slings. Now, walking up a siege ladder in armor is not in the cards. But I mentioned it for reference.

  13. Made in India. The war axe referenced isn't a pole axe. Different thing, except that they both have axe heads.

  14. It's not a matter of need. What does anyone actually need? Look at the goodies that you make (and you do a superb job). Who needs one? It's more a matter of want.

  15. See, they have uses, even if only on the silver screen. I haven't seen that one on TV, but they are robust tools. And who doesn't need another tool?

  16. I didn't know that you couldn't hunt javalina with a boar spear. Who wrote THAT law? Some progressive snowflake, I'd imagine. I'll check out your sourcing suggestions.

  17. Walking up a siege ladder in armor is easy. As long as the armor is properly fitted and hung. It's that 40+ lb assist on the way down from jumping off at the top that sucks and makes me nuts hurt.

    Yes. I have climbed a siege ladder and jumped in armor, and ran up a siege ramp to jump off at the end.

    Both times hurt my nuts far worse than getting whacked down there while wearing a cup.

    As to edged and mass weapons making a comeback, what? They've always been around. Machetes, Bowie knives, various fighting knives, shovels and other entrenching tools, hand axes and tomahawks and various sword bayonets have been popular in the last 200 years. And many, like the shovel, machete or 'hawk, are still fashionable.

    A decent short blade or baton or mace or axe-like object is a good backup to your gun. A lot of people fear being hacked and smashed far more than fear being shot.

    And you can use them as a rescue tool for getting into a crashed car, or getting into a burning building or something.

  18. Idiots wrote that law. Stupid it is.

    Here in Florida, the crackers (FL white natives going back to FL cattle days) hunt wild pigs and boars with dogs and knives (small boars, big hogs, but NOT big boars.) Dogs pull down pig/boar by the ears, hunter jumps on top and slits throat.

    Not my cup of tea, though I'd be willing to try it with a boar spear, as long as a trusty second is standing near by with a 12 gauge or a decent rifle.

  19. Cederq – I'm fond of edged weapons. To include archery, which was light artillery in the ancient and not quite so ancient world. And I have liked them all my life. I own war hammers and other tools. But what I don't have is a poleaxe.

  20. Their weapons are quality, but theirs is really a poled axe (without the butt and head spike) and not a pole axe.

    coldsteel.com/products/axes-tomahawks/pole-axe.html

    They are very good weapons, the poled axe, but not being able to thrust with the head and stab or rake with the butt-spike denies the user of some of the best attacks possible.

    The premier pole axe move against an opponent is to use the axe or hammer to grab or smash the opponent's weapon or shield or arm out of the way, bringing your arms down and close to your body. Then step forward and thrust with body and arms the spear or spike point into the enemy. Whack Whack Thrust. Whack Thrust. Thrust Whack.

    One attack merging into the other. Whacks merge into thrusts, thrusts merge into whacks or hooks, hooks merge into whacks, and if one is close, push the bastard back with the haft and punch straight into his face or chest with the butt-spike.

    Without the butt-spike and the spear on the head, you just have a small hammer-axe on the end of a big stick. You'd do better getting an Anglo-Saxon battle axe or a two-handed Viking axe, as both have hammerable surfaces on the back and better, larger axe heads.

  21. Javalina are feisty but they're not a Texas Hawg. A boar spear should work nicely (backed up, of course). I note that the State of Arizona allows you to hunt Javalina with bow and arrow (flying spear).

  22. Most pole-axes you find are crap from India, wall hangers, not real weapons. Crap wood, cheap steel. You want one with decent attelles or straps coming off the head down the shaft, to keep the head from just snapping off at the base of the head where it meets the shaft (anyone who's snapped a hammer head off a handle knows what I am talking about.)

  23. He makes 18th and 19th Century weapons…but I'll give him a call next week and see if he's up to making a poleaxe.

  24. Already covered, above, what Cold Steel offers.

    Swords of the Forge offers both pole axes with a back spike( swordsoftheforge.com/pole-axe.html ) though you'll want a decent butt-spike or talon, and bec-de-corbins ( swordsoftheforge.com/bec-de-corbin-pole-axe.html )

    Don't know the quality, both styles are currently out of stock, so, yeah…

    If you don't mind spending money, Alec Steele runs a company that does a lot of custom order work, and his stuff is darned beautiful and useful alecsteeleshop.com/ The pages mostly cover the shop stuff he sells, like grinders and ppe, but contact him with what you want and see what he says.

    He's got a goofy YouTube presence, but he does good work. He bailed on the UK and is now in Montana. Worth a shot to see what he will charge and turn-around time.

    If you do buy one from off the internet, I'd seriously check the warranty. If they don't have a decent warranty, don't buy. If they do have a decent "refund or rework" policy, and you buy it, go whack a tree and chop up an old car and see if any damage occurs.

  25. If you're fighting unarmored opponents, some sort of sword-on-a-stick is the way to go. Like a glaive.

    Armored? Pole Axe or Halberd. Both will do a number on medieval, Rennaissance, post-Ren and modern body armor.

    My preferred 2-handed weapon in the SCA was the glaive, simply because it was more like a long mace. Smash and poke, poke and smash… Ah, the good old days. Still have dreams of those times.

  26. Not any more (good source that I've actually touched product of.) More's the shame.

    Check down the comments for a possible source of custom weaponry.

  27. Bows and crossbows have always been useful in combat. Semi-silent killers, usually not overly regulated by scared socialist politicians and the public.

    Heh. You need to get a reproduction Girandoni Air Rifle. 33 shots on one tank of air.

    And get someone to make you a hand gonne… Hehheh.

  28. Thanks for the recommendation, drjim. I have splattered this page with my ideas and other comments.

  29. Actually, check out Cold Steel's halberd. Might fit what you want, unless you really want a hammer head on the back of the axe blade.

  30. I have no intention of buying crap. And if I buy one (pandemic be damned) from a craftsman, I'd likely drive to wherever and pick it up in person.

  31. Yeah, gonna have to get a smith (SCA or otherwise) to make you a custom one.

    Seems like there's a lot of us old or former SCAdians around these parts… and other, related hobbyists.

    They are pretty sweet, but I expect it'll cost bad-used-car money.
    -Kle.

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