Did you notice the RMJ American Tomahawk?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Daniel L, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    I just got an email from DLT Trading... and there's two American Tomahawk Company hawks, one with wooden handle and one with polymer.

    Clearly forged into the head is "RMJ USA"!

    How did this slip below the radar???
  2. YPR


    Aug 12, 2018
    They showed them at Blade this year but there was a lot to see this year so I can see why it was overlooked.
  3. Anrkst6973


    May 15, 2008
    I am beyond pleased to see these come back to life somewhere, and RMJ is the perfect place for it to happen. I have an Andy Prisco LaGana that I love and use regularly.
  4. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    I picked up one of the 500 run of the Brigade Quartermasters editions with the green stain hickory handle and Eagle sheath from the Exchange - it's the original head design (2.75" cutting edge I believe) and spec weight (16oz). It's awesome but it's a collector piece for me.

    The VTAC heads from ATC had super obtuse edges "armor piercing grind". The head was scaled down slightly too... much smaller than the wooden LaGana model and offered a 2.5" cutting edge, to meet the 16oz target.

    With these new RMJ ones, the quality looks to have stepped up, but it's not the original spec. More like an "inspired" LaGana hawk. I'm sure they had their reasons from a design / weight perspective.

    I'm going to order one (or two) ... just can't make up my mind which one I will get! Polymer (24oz) or Hickory (19oz)... does anyone want to post a review first? :)
    Square_peg likes this.
  5. Storm Crow

    Storm Crow

    Apr 12, 2006
    RMJ purchased the drop forging dies and handle injection molds of the ATC versions. New forging dies were built, with modification, and new texture added to the handle molds.

    I got to handle them at Blade and they are built with typical RMJ attention to design and quality. I'm glad to see Ryan doing this project. :)
  6. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    Thanks Storm Crow - that's good info.

    What did you think of the texture on the new synthetic handles? Are they "glove only" or friendly enough to work on without gloves?
    Any idea what material... I assume they went with Acetal like previously.
  7. Storm Crow

    Storm Crow

    Apr 12, 2006
    Daniel - I'd say they'll work with bare hands. As for the material on the handles, not sure. The later ones were nylon 6/6, so that may be the current material. There were a limited number made for Blade, with more available coming up. I don't think they're on the website yet, so can't look there for specs.
    Daniel L likes this.
  8. ScottB65


    Jul 5, 2019
    The Hickory handle model is hung like an axe? It's obvious from the pictures that it slides on from atop, so I'm assuming it's held in with a wedge?
  9. Storm Crow

    Storm Crow

    Apr 12, 2006
    Picture from their Instagram account:

    [​IMG]rmj by James Helm, on Flickr

    The hickory ones have a wooden and steel wedge, the synthetics use a screw. I had one of the older versions with the screw and it was absolutely solid, never walked on me.
    Bigfattyt, Riz! and Daniel L like this.
  10. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    The quality looks like a HUGE step up from the old ATC days - the American Tomahawk instagram page does have more pics. Granted the price has increased too.

    Looks like the website has been updated too: https://www.americantomahawk.com/
  11. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    Ahh.... the dots connect now and good news in my opinion... from the website:

    American Tomahawk carries on the legacy of Pete Lagana - World War II Marine Corps veteran - and is currently owned and operated by Ryan Johnson and Richard Carmack of RMJ USA, Jeff Kirkham of READYMAN and John Hickman, speed-thinker extraordinaire.
  12. ScottB65


    Jul 5, 2019

    Thank you
    Storm Crow likes this.
  13. luethge

    luethge Gold Member Gold Member

    May 16, 2017
    2A2D3D65-A714-49AA-9719-3036FFE02887.jpeg DFC925EB-B5F4-4B53-8BF7-E0BB04B69A66.jpeg 30952A1D-E1CA-40BD-B53F-0FA35C5B0455.jpeg D9370ECA-5783-4D73-880A-40A31159D3F2.jpeg

    Very similar & very different .

    I haven’t had much of a chance to use the RMJ ( hickory handle) but I can say it’s much more of a “performer” right out of the box.

    The ATC VTAC would be my choice if it was a literal SHTF scenario. The RMJ is much more refined, and comfortable to swing.

    I can’t wait until I can actually get a few days to use the RMJ. All I know so far is that it goes through 2 x 4’s like a champ , where the ATC VTAC seems better suited for concrete.
  14. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    Thanks @luethge - those pics are really helpful. Looks like they modified the top down dimensions quite a lot.
    I'll probably pick one up in a few months.
    luethge likes this.
  15. bbk


    Jun 16, 2019
    Thanks for the photos. Looks Amazing. In the 2nd photo (top) it looks like there is a middle band of metal with outer bands. It looks like 3 layers of steel to me or they just lines from the molding process? Am I seeing this correctly and can anyone explain the middle core. Added Strength and Flexibility like layers of laminated plywood?
  16. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Yep that's a line left from the (drop) forging process. They just didn't grind it off after. Probably so it's method of construction would be obvious as it's more desirable.
    A17 and garry3 like this.
  17. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    I'd pay a few bucks more if they ground off the die lines (purely aesthetics).
    Even though it's a user, this isn't a $30 hardware store hatchet.
    A17 likes this.
  18. bbk


    Jun 16, 2019
    Thanks for all the information. Drop forged die lines. I have a lot to learn. Was the VTAC Tomahawk made with the same drop forged process (middle layer and 2 outer layers of steel) as the RMJ Tomahawk but the die lines have been ground off on the VTAC?
  19. mc5aw


    Nov 6, 2011
    Thank you all for this thread and information. Very excited to see ATC revitalized and running again.
  20. Riz!


    May 5, 2014
    I ordered one of the Nylon handled Model 1s the other day. I have one of the Furhman made VTACs and the thing has been abused and took it all with not even a flinch. The head has stayed solid. I may order a hickory one as well. Im stoked to see RMJ making these. i hope they stay part of the standard product line. Ryan said on IG that he bought the company from Furhman.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019

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