Browning 231W Camp Axe


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Blade Type Information: 1055 Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is one of the most common choices for the weapon market. It is less susceptible to corrosion, so it lasts longer, and is also easy to sharpen. As carbon steel is harder than stainless steel, it is able to have a more acute edge without the risk of bending during contact with hard materials.

1055 Carbon Steel is commonly used for edged weapons, like swords, machetes, tomahawks, and knives. It is heat-tempered in order to reduce the possibility of breakage. There are only two components to Carbon Steel: Carbon (content being between .50% to .60%) and Manganese (content between .60% to .90%). Depending on the exact carbon content, 1055 Carbon steel has a quenched hardness of HRC 60-64, due to the use of lean alloy and the high carbon content. When quenched, 1055 carbon steel produces a nearly saturated lathe martensite that does not contain the brittleness common of other high carbon metals.

1055 Carbon Steel that has been drop forged means the carbon steel has been forged using a process in which a hammer is raised and then "dropped" in order to deform the steel into the shape of the die. This can be done with an open die, where the die does not enclose the metal being shaped, or with a closed die, where the metal is enclosed, leading to different shapes of completed materials.

Manufacturers who want a long lasting and durable blade often choose drop forged 1055 carbon steel, the result being blades of almost unmatched toughness for axes, hatchets, tomahawks, and other steel weaponry.

Handle Material Information: American Hickory

American Hickory (Carya juglandacae) is a deciduous hardwood tree, indigenous to the North American East Coast and Midwest. The name hickory came into the English language in 1618 from pawcohiccora, the Algonquian word for a food made of pounded nuts and water. Native Americans used hickories for dye and valued them for their strong, hard wood. The wood has been used for hundreds of years in the United States for tools and products and is still used very often today.

Hickory wood was so tough, the expression came to mean something or someone unyielding. President Andrew Jackson was called "Old Hickory" because he was considered such a tough fighter. When hickory was brought to Europe, it was used for walking sticks and golf clubs. In 1826 club manufacturer Robert Forgan of Scotland began to use hickory for club shafts. It quickly became the wood of choice for golfers the world over. By 1900 baseball bat manufacturers were using hickory wood in the United States for bats that were sometimes called hickories.

American hickory is still used to day in the production of many tools, weapons and sports equipment and is especially useful for handles because of its combination of stiffness and durability and shock absorption.

Rockwell Hardness: HRC 60-64

The Browning 231W Camp Axe has a Rockwell Hardness of HRC 60-64

Stanley P. Rockwell inevnted the Rockwell Hardness Test in 1919 while working as a metallurgist in ball bearing plant. Rockwell wanted to measure the uniformity and hardness of inner and outer rings on which the ball bearings rolled. He designed a device that could measure hardness accurately and quickly.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standardized a set of scales for testing Rockwell hardness values. Each scale has been designated a letter and corresponds to a different group of materials. Scale C is used for steel, titanium, deep case hardened steel, hard cast irons and other materials harder than scale B 100.

Knife blades and other steel hardened tools are made from metals that match to the Rockwell C scale. Most blade makers display the hardness number as "HRC xx" or "HRC xx - xx" providing a range, where "xx" indicates a Rockwell hardness number. Not many blades measure over HRC 70. Most functional blades rate somewhere between HRC 56 and HRC 63.

Generally, blades with a lower HRC number don't hold and edge for long under demanding use, but they are easier to sharpen. Blades with a higher HRC value stay sharp for longer, but are more difficult to sharpen. As an example, stainless steel has a HRC higher than carbon steel, but it is also more difficult to sharpen than carbon steel.

Company Information: Browning Black Label

Browning has long been known for quality firearms, but now with Browning Black Label they are also offering quality tactical gear. The Browning Black Label brand includes an expanding line of edged tools and weapons, clothing, range accessories, gun safes, and gear bags. Browning Black Label is designed to be serious, tactical gear for those who accept no compromise.

Black Label tactical blades are designed by custom knife maker Russ Kommer. Russ designed almost the entire line of Browning hunting knives. These tactical knives are recommended by Jared Wihongi, famed edged-weapon instructor. Jared has multiple black belts in martial arts disciplines.

These advanced knives are high quality and highly functional. Every curve, angle, edge, and detail is intentional and designed for a purpose. Each Black Label knife is based on a classic blade that has been proven through centuries of use on battlefields. Black Label blades are intended to be versatile. Blades are honed to the sharpness of a razor's edge, but durable enough for the more demanding tasks that a tactical edged tool might also be needed to perform.

These weapons are also designed with versatility in mind. A four-way, adjustable pocket clip on folding knife models allow the user to carry the knife the way that works best for them. Their Blade-Tech polymer sheath that can be adjusted to accommodate various carry angles. Many Black Label models also feature a glass breaking point made of hardened steel on the butt end to facilitate emergency vehicle entries or extractions.

For those who require the ultimate in edged blade capability, Black Label offers the Shock N' Awe Tomahawk. This tactical tomahawk is designed to handle anything from splitting kindling at a backcountry camp to managing an emergency extraction from a downed aircraft. This tomahawk also features Black Label's Blade-Tech, adjustable angle, polymer carrying sheath.

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