Allan Foundry Bearded Viking Axe Jul 17, 2009 21:48:10 GMT
Post by Avery on Jul 17, 2009 21:48:10 GMT
Allan foundry Bearded Viking Axe
By Avery Pierce
Handle length - 17 7/8"
Handle Material - Hickory
Axe Head Length (from back to the blade face)- 7 3/8"
Axe Head Width(top to tip of lug) -1 5/16"
Blade Face Length - 4 1/8"
Bevel Width - "( varies) Widest 1/2", narrowest 1/4"
Axe Material - 410 steel
Price - $45US
Even though this has been reviewed before, I thought I'd do one any way.
There is a lengthy story attached to me and this axe. I've been trying to snag one of these for over 5 years. Every time I find one in stock, I'm broke. Every time I have money, the axe is back ordered! I've recommended Allan axes and Ragweedforge as a great buy countless times. The torture of seeing others buy the axe I longed for was almost unbearable. Finally the stars aligned, Odin smiled on me, or took pity. For what ever reason everything happened in perfect unison.
Fellow sbg forumite, Wambo, dropped me a PM telling me my favorite vendor(Ragnar) had them in stock. I had the money and jumped at chance to grab one while they're in stock. The ever fleetingly Allan Bearded Axe was mine. ( BTW, +1 Wambo!)
As I've said, I've recommended Ragnar many times. His packaging was exactly as expected. I placed the order over the weekend. He shipped it out Monday and I received it the following Thursday. It arrived in a well taped, well secured box.
Added to which was a very sharp blade wrapped again in cardboard.
One of the biggest reasons I've wanted this axe for so long is that it's very closely based on a historical find seen here
"A Swedish axe developed during the 7th century. The broad axe originally came to the Nordic countries from Western and Central Europe and was subsequently developed into two basic axe types: the two-lugged and the four-lugged. The two-lugged broad axe is characterized by two lugs below the eye and was often quite big and heavy. It had a short handle and a long extended edge. The beard axe was used primarily as a tool for woodwork and for cutting and smoothing planks, for example. This type of axe was an essential tool used for boat building and in the construction of Viking buildings (skiftesverkhus) which were built using horizontal planks. This replica by is based on an 11th century axe found in Gothem on the island of Gotland. The original axe is exhibited at the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm." ( Taken from Gransfors ancient axe collection.)
The handle is tight grained American hickory. It's of regulation length and shape. Tear dropped shaped and tapered to friction fit in the axe eye. Nothing surprising here, it's as expected.
First, this head is cast, not hand made. You can see the mold lines in the picture below.
Having said that, as throwing axes go, this is one of the most unique and coolest axes you can get.
The taper leading from the eye down to the blade face, alone, lends itself to great target penetration. Coupled with the weight and presence of the axe head and you have a very deadly handaxe in your' hand.
Ragnar sharpens all the axes before he sends them out, and does an excellent job of it. The edge is paper cutting sharp.
I haven't anticipated throwing an axe with this amount of excitement for years. After looking at the axe and dry handling, I knew how it would throw. I have handled and thrown these axes before, but never my own. The pacing from the target is five steps, pretty standard. The thin cheek of the axe transitioning into the long beard makes this axe a great thrower. As you can see by the pictures below this baby has some penetration power.
I'll try not to be too biased here, but I gotta admit it. This is the best bearded thrower I've handled yet! I wanted to do a video of the throwing so folks could see the throw and know I wasn't just walking up to the target and burying the axe, but the camera died on me. I'll try to get some video up in the near future.
2)Tough hickory handle and a normal tear drop axe eye.
(which makes finding replacements easy)
3)A longer than average blade face
4) I could go on, but I'll stop here
1) Mold cast, not handmade.
2)Hard to find lately.
3)Honestly, I'm struggling on the "cons"
Even though the prices on Allan axes have increased in the past year or so, $45US is still a good price for this axe. These can be found elsewhere for less, but I've never dealt with those vendors. I've dealt with Ragnar in the past and his customer service is great. Whether you're looking for an axe for costuming, reenactments or for throwing, you really can't go wrong with this one. At the moment it is my most prized axe!
Also, I've heard from several credible sources that Allan Foundries will stop production on their axes in the next few years, so add collectors item to the list of pros.