Viking Belt Axe by Allan Foundries Review

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Avery P.
Silent Watcher over the Peaceful Lands
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:18 am
Location: Harmony, N.C.

Viking Belt Axe by Allan Foundries Review

Postby Avery P. » Sun May 19, 2013 9:31 pm

Viking Belt Axe by Allan Foundries Review

Allan Foundry Viking Belt Axe
By Avery Pierce
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Stats

Handle length - 18 1/16"
Handle Material - Hickory
Axe Head Length (from back to the blade face)- 5 1/2"
Axe Head Width(top of lug to tip of bottom lug)- 3 1/8"
Blade Face Length -(peak to peak) 4 1/4"
Bevel Width - 3/8"
Axe Material - 4140 steel
Price - $45 US


Introduction

Although I've only recently acquired this axe from my cousin, I've thrown and handled it for over ten years. You see, my cousin is a fellow thrower. And to digress for a moment, I'd like to tell a short story. He and I have thrown against each other in a few competitions. There was one tournament in which we had to face off against each other for first and second place. On the target was stapled a card and on this card a small red dot. Closest to the center with one throw wins. By luck of the draw, he goes first. As he steps up to the line, I notice he's using his belt axe. I'd never seen him throw it in a competition before.
As he drew back to throw, I saw a confidence and a reliance that I'd never seen before. His axe, this axe, sailed to the dot and damn near split it in two.
It was at that moment that I realized 2 things. One, I could never beat that throw. Two, I had to have that axe, no matter the cost. It's taken me the better part of nine years to finally weasel this axe out of my cousin, but now I have it.


Origins and history

This is an Allan foundry axe bought from a trading post located in Hickory, N.C. called "Ledfords Trading Post". Originally it costs around $25US, but in the past few years prices have steadily risen. Now the cost is around $40-45US. Still well worth it, IMO.
The belt axe was used for a myriad of tasks in the day to day life of those ancient pirates. From splitting kindling to splitting skulls. The upswept peak on the edge face coupled with the four lugs or ears on the side makes this axe uniquely Norse. The extending peak acts very much like spatulate tip, giving just slightly more reach during a swing and allows for some limited thrusting as well.

Handle

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The handle is a standard replacement handle. Straight grained
American hickory. No surprises or concerns here.

Axehead

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As I said in the origin, this axe has an upswept blade face and four lugs. I must also point out that this axe, as with all Allan axes, is mold cast. The lower lugs have a more pronounced length than the higher ones. The back of the head is flat, making a surface good for hammering. One of the things about this axe I like is that it accepts a new handle with little or no customization. As you can see by the pictures, the handle seats in the eye with only a bit of the handle protruding above the top lugs. The blade face came unsharpened when it was bought by my cousin. He asked me to sharpen it when he first bought it, which I of course obliged. The steel took and held an edge very easily making sharpening a quick task.

Throwing

The pacings from the target on this one is pretty standard. Five paces for a single rotation and seven for a backwards one and a half rotation. One of the things I really like about this axe is the extended peak. This allows the thrower to go as far back as six paces and still maintain a good target penetration.

The picture below is from a five pace throw.
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This one is from 5 and 3/4 paces.
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The next two pictures are from seven paces.

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Given that I sharpened the axe according to my preferences, I won't delve to deeply into the bevel width. I tend to sharpen my axes so that they have as thin and wide of a bevel as possible without too much risk to integrity. Basically I want the bevel thin enough to enter the target with little effort, but not so much that it chances chipping. If I recall correctly, I simply followed the factory bevel and filed until I reached my desired sharpness. Similar to what I did in my sharpening video, only I used power tools. The result was a blade that bit the target with minimal effort.


1) Upswept tip for lenient throwing.
2) Easy sharpening if arrives blunt.
3)Handle acceptance in the eye is better than most any axes.


Cons

1)Lacking availability
2) Most vendors ship unsharpened
3)Mold cast not hand hammered. (turnoff to some)


Conclusion

In my opinion this is truly a quintessential viking axe. The axe head style can be seen in just about any movie featuring Norse weaponry. Also most reenactors have a style similar to this one, though some prefer longer handles.
As far as throwing goes, you really can't ask for a more versatile axe, which to me is the most important aspect.
If it be a sin to covet honor,I am the most offending soul alive.
- W. Shakespeare

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