While you can use the Woox Thunderbird Throwing Axe for general “axe activity” like chopping and carving, as the name implies, it’s optimized for flight. The handle is smooth to allow a predictable and hang-up-free release. There’s no discernible palm knob at the base of the handle. On a utility axe, you’ll almost always have some handle mass (palm, swell or end knob) designed to prevent your hand from sliding off the end of the handle. For throwing, you want the Thunderbird to slide right through your fingers as you release each toss — hence no palm knob.
Some people are naturally observant. I’m not one of them. My wife can sprint through a crowded airport on a holiday weekend wearing noise-canceling headphones and then proceed to describe everyone there, who has middle seats on their next flight and which of their kids are taking violin lessons. On the other hand, I could trip over Jabba the Hut playing “I Am the Walrus” on a set of kettledrums and not notice.
What’s the moral of the story? I have to work at situational awareness. No, I mean it. I deliberately have to “switch on” when I’m out and about or the world will pass me by while I remain blissfully unaware. As a result, I’ve had to learn and develop some techniques and hacks to help me spot potentially dangerous anomalies and lifesaving opportunities during my daily travels. Maybe some of these strategies will help you too.
A few years ago, the engineers at Mantis launched a training tech revolution with their MantisX sensor. When paired with a companion smartphone application, the rail-mount device could show you exactly what’s happening when you break a shot. Motion sensors track the most minute movements of the gun, allowing you to see muzzle movement before, during and after the shot break. That’s impressive stuff, and it’s a great way to improve hold and trigger technique, especially since the system works with dry, live and airgun firing modes.
We can’t always get to the range to shoot our fire and brimstone guns, and frontyard ranges tend to upset the neighbors — at least some neighbors. That’s where Air Power saves the day. Modern air pistols and rifles are technological marvels and offer realistic and accurate performance. Better yet, they can be safe for backyard, garage, or even indoor — if your spouse isn’t home — use. Or better yet, get her involved in the shooting! Here’s a few “must haves” and “wish I had thems” to get you going.
Tom McHale is an author and Editor of American Handgunner magazine. He’s published seven books to date, most of which focus on Second Amendment-related topics, concealed carry, personal defense, and guns and shooting. During the past 10 years, Tom has published nearly 2,000 articles across a variety of publications.