War Clubs

Anything to do with sword, axe or staff fighting.

War Clubs

RedWolf
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Joined: 25 Jul 2013, 06:54

09 Aug 2013, 19:28 #1

Howdy all. I am now an article writer for another forum, one that makes use of zombies as a framing devise for SHTF preparedness. In being asked to come up with articles, I asked for some idea of what the other members would like to see a researched article about. They wanted a discussion on clubs.

All of that said, it seemed to me to be a worthwhile topic for this forum, especially seeing as it seems to be lacking a non-European weapons section. War clubs have been around for a long time, probably one of the first weapon/tools that mankind came up with. In most native cultures, the club has been used as both a thrown hunting tool, and a hand weapon of war. I would like to start a discussion about them, with observations about design or usage, and any experiences with making or using them.

Hoping this is not out of place.
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RedWolf
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09 Aug 2013, 19:39 #2

Personally, I have recently discovered a fascination with the Gunstock War Club. For those not familiar, the Gunstock War Club is an indigenous design for a two handed club, crafted out of a straight gain hardwood in the 32"-38" length region, depending upon weight an personal preference. At around 2/3 of the way up the club bends off at an angle, typically in the 45 degree range, and flares outward, with the uppermost portion having a rough crescent shape. The striking surfaces may be either flattened or tapered to provide a focused striking point. One or more blades are typically inserted into the handle on the side away from the bend, typically at the point where the club begins to bend in the opposite direction.
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Leon
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Joined: 01 Jul 2012, 02:51

11 Aug 2013, 22:12 #3

The gunstock club used in the movie Last of Mohegans is a copy of a known I believe Sioux club it was designed for fighting on horseback NOT on foot,But it did film well!
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RedWolf
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11 Aug 2013, 23:27 #4

The design originates in the Eastern Woodlands, not the Plains, and was used on both foot and horse. Did not know that the one in the movie was a copy, that is pretty neat. One can never tell with Hollywood. It may have been foam!
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Yeoman
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12 Aug 2013, 16:07 #5

Am I right in thinking that the gunstock club was developed as a result of natives seeing the guns carried by early settlers and crafting clubs in the same shape?
Ever yours,

Yeoman
"Forrard!"
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RedWolf
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13 Aug 2013, 04:58 #6

That has traditionally been the "white mans" view on the subject. My understanding is that the native view is that it is an indigenous design. Unfortunately, I cannot say.

One argument, by the largely ignorant masses, is that the natives took the barrels off of the muskets that the Europeans brought with them. For those who know how a musket is stocked, however, you are aware that the stock is too thin to be an effective club, and well as being cut out to receive the barrel and the action of the piece. Both of which make it unsuitable for a clubbing instrument.

The Native American argument is that Europeans saw the club, thought "Hey, that looks like a gun stock," and have since expressed it as such.

From what I can gather, the consensus is that they were first seen in the early 1600's, give or take, along the East Coast of North America. The region is also know for the ball headed war club, as well as the composite tomahawk. It should be reasonably common around the time period of which this group is reenacting. The gun stock war club was used by Plains Indian tribes at least into the 1840's, where it seems to have migrated from the East.

I can say that the shape is more refined in terms of balance and agility than its seemingly copycat nature would at first make it appear. I have seen the smaller, less historically correct for the time period versions thrown as if it were a tomahawk, spike end towards the target. I believe that they were a primarily two handed weapon, sort of like the Aztecan Maquital and similar types from that area. I am intending to study up on the matter more, as time and funding allows.

Hope that helps out somewhat.
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Leon
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13 Aug 2013, 05:04 #7

RedWolf wrote:The design originates in the Eastern Woodlands, not the Plains, and was used on both foot and horse. Did not know that the one in the movie was a copy, that is pretty neat. One can never tell with Hollywood. It may have been foam!
That particular club was a copy of a known original Plains Indian club and was for use on horseback it was larger than the typical Eastern Indian clubs used on foot. I have a write up here someplace about the making of the edged weapons in the movie and they state they copied the club and what tribe it was known from. Eastern Woodland Indians at least here in the North East didn't have much use for horses they rather travel and fight on foot. Horses had problems traveling the " Indian paths" here. I have read the account of the settling of the next town over to me (Woodstock Ct.) before the Revolution and the first 13 settlers from Boston bemoan the fact that even traveling single file on the "Indian trail " they had to cut trees and brush most of the way for their pack horses to be able to pass along it there were no roads to the area then.They walked leading a few pack animals.
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RedWolf
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13 Aug 2013, 05:07 #8

I can attest to that statement. I have some woods that I trek through on occasion, and it would be a pain to bring anything else across them. It happens when you rely on shifting yourself and not the environment to get where you are going.
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RedWolf
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13 Aug 2013, 05:11 #9

http://www.kingsforgeandmuzzleloading.com/page11

Some replicas of some original pieces. Thought this may be nice.
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Le_Loup
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15 Aug 2013, 06:16 #10

Here is two out of three I have made. I can't find an image of the first ball headed club I made.

Image

Image
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost.

Captain, Armidale NSW Australia chapter.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/
http://australiansurvivalandpreppers.blogspot.com.au/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHEOMS ... _as=public
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RedWolf
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15 Aug 2013, 15:15 #11

That is pretty sweet LeLoup. How do you like how they turned out? Any suggestions?
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Le_Loup
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16 Aug 2013, 02:37 #12

RedWolf wrote:That is pretty sweet LeLoup. How do you like how they turned out? Any suggestions?
I think they turned out as good as can be expected. Both ball headed clubs were chosen for the shape of the limb. The rifle stock club I copied from an original including the size. Both were enjoyable projects.
Keith.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost.

Captain, Armidale NSW Australia chapter.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/
http://australiansurvivalandpreppers.blogspot.com.au/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHEOMS ... _as=public
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RedWolf
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16 Aug 2013, 05:22 #13

Having read up a little on the forum here, how would you rate there effectiveness against the sword? I seem to recall you mentioning cutting down a Scottish basket hilt to make it more maneuverable.

Did you cut the Gunstock club from a board? I'm trying to ascertain how wide I should make one on the overall width, for trial purposes.
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Le_Loup
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16 Aug 2013, 06:12 #14

Yes I cut it from a board. I just went to measure it for you but its not there, I think my youngest must have borrowed it for a film shoot, he borrowed my sword too.
The ball headed clubs are very maneuverable, more so that the rifle stock club. Not sure how you would go against a sword. But the ball headed clubs can be thrown quite well too.

Here is a shot of the first one I made.
Image
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost.

Captain, Armidale NSW Australia chapter.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/
http://australiansurvivalandpreppers.blogspot.com.au/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHEOMS ... _as=public
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RedWolf
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Joined: 25 Jul 2013, 06:54

16 Aug 2013, 15:53 #15

Very nice.
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