Innately different from the varieties of throwing knives and shuriken, the bulkier throwing axe is best learnt through hands-on experience. By fashioning your own target and employing a daily practice regimen, you can allow yourself the time to gradually develop your skill as you experiment with technique and style. Remember: expect a learning curve. When it comes to marksmanship and the art of throwing, practice and more practice makes perfect.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 8-to-10-inch cross-sectioned tree trunk
- 2 6-foot post beams with edged driving angles
- 3-foot plank of 2-by-8
- 10-inch bolt with matching nut and washer
- 2 10-inch stakes
- Drill gun with ½-inch pilot head
- Rope or hemp cord
- Throwing axe
Assess the area where you plan on constructing your target. Ensure that the ground is even in the space of at least a 3-by-3-foot area. Mark a distance of 10 steps in one direction to make sure you will have space for throwing.
Place one 6-foot post beam in your designated target space, positioning the edge at a 45-degree angle to the ground and hammering the post 2 feet into the ground or until sturdy. Place the second 6-foot post at a 3-foot interval crosswise, and directly behind the fastened post. Hammer it at a similar 45-degree angle until the post has reached a symmetrical depth and is sturdy. You will now have both posts staked into the ground in an X-shape.
Drill a half-inch hole directly where the two post beams intersect, fastening the posts together as you do so. You will now have a pilot hole directly in the centre of your X-shape. Insert a 10-inch bolt into the gap and secure the opposite side with a nut and washer. Tighten the nut with a wrench until the post beams are tightly fastened.
Hammer two 10-inch stakes into the top two arms of the X-shaped posts at a height of 4 feet. Sink each stake at least 2 inches into the wood. Rest the three-foot plank of 2-by-8 on the stakes longways and place your trunk on top of the plank.
Further secure the trunk if necessary with cord by wrapping the edges around the post beams until it is securely bound. Test the sturdiness of your target by shaking it with both hands; if you have done your job well, you will not be able to move your target.
Mark 10 paces out from where the target is facing and place a line upon the ground: this will be your beginning practice spot. Begin throwing your axe from this distance, gradually increasing the distance until you can successfully throw from 20 or more paces.
Tips and warnings
- Though there are easier and less time-consuming options when it comes to constructing a durable throwing axe target, most will be shredded to pieces after a steady half-week of use. This method draws on the traditional Celtic method of building throwing targets, and will last for years.
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