Self Defense Hammer Time

By Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Cold Steel War Hammer
Cold Steel War Hammer
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Wisconsin –-(  There is a farm supply store just a few miles from my home in Milwaukee County.

When you first walk in you are right in front of the hand tool section. As you approach you spot the greatest hammer I have ever had in my hands.

It is made completely of titanium by the Stiletto tool company ( and it retails for $263. It is large, 17½ inches long with a massive steel head and nail ripping claws that just say “manly”. And the best part is it weighs only 15ozs.  If I had one at that price it would never be allowed to touch a nail, I would not what to scratch it, but it would be with me all the time.

Yeah, that one is a crazy price, see the Cold Steel War Hammer above and below, much better price and just as effective.

A while back a friend / reader of my column sent me an e-mail that directed me to read an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Soft-on Crime Roots of the British Disorder.”

I am sure you saw (back in August of 2011) in the news, the video footage of the street violence in England. The dirty little secret of Great Britain is that government has worked extra hard over the past 50-60 years to completely disarm their citizens.

Shotguns are the only type of firearm a Brit can own and Lord help you if you every use it to defend yourself.

Pocket knifes must be less than three inches. If you are attacked by 4 or 5 assailants and you use the “wee” knife to protect yourself, you will be the one going to jail. So what are you supposed to do if you live in England and the police cannot and will not stop the riots with the force needed? You buy American baseball bats on-line and carry them for protection. Sales went up over 6000% during those riots.

Both the good guys who want to defend their families and the bad guys who need something to smash out windows were ordering the bats.

I am lucky I live in the only country in the world where a citizen has a RIGHT to own and bear arms. The liberal thinking problem (or maybe catch-22) is they believe the 2nd amendment right is to own and bear firearms. Arms-for-protection does not only mean something that you put a bullet into and pull a trigger.

Point of fact when the 2nd amendment was written the average weapon a person carried was a knife. Lots of people could not afford a muzzle loading firearm, but a sharpened piece of steel with a handle no matter how crudely made, could be used to defend a man and his family.

What about other workman’s tools used in defense? Remember the old horror movies where the people of the village stormed the monster’s castle? They had tools of their farming and work-trade in their hands to smite the evil being, not an assault rifle.

They used what they had at the time. What will you use to defend your family if you failed to acquire a firearm? How about a $263 hammer that is only 15ozs and would strike a blow against evil? Look up war hammer or fighting hammer on-line.

There is a company called Cold Steel ( that makes a current production version of a Fighting Hammer similar to the kind my relative Charles “the Hammer” Martel used at the battle of Tours in France on 10 Oct 732 AD stopping the Muslims cold. Cold Steel also makes a number of other non-firearm types of weapons you can buy legally on-line that can be used to defend and protect. I am sure they cannot ship them to England. OK so this sounds all violent and so un-green and maybe even a little creepy.

Hollywood shooting scenes have the person hit by a bullet, fall to the ground and die with little or no blood showing. The old swash-buckling sword fighting movies only showed Errol Flynn make a quick stab with the sword and the bad guy dies. Go watch the movie Braveheart and see what non-firearm fighting is really like. Even the most “green” leaning-pacifist will on instinct seek out a weapon of a rock, a stick, a purse or a latté mug to defend with when that fight or flight reaction kicks in and you can’t run away.

Road trip to the hardware store to find tools that can do more than fix things anyone? Why can you carry a concealed handgun in your State, but a crow-bar or knife gets you arrested for having a weapon? So what if it is a weapon, you have a right to bear it and use it to defend?

However in some cases you have to hide it in plain sight from Officer Friendly. A hammer is just s hammer, right?

Major Van Harl USAF Ret
[email protected]

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret. , is a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. Now retired, these days he enjoys camping, traveling, volunteering with the Girl Scouts and writing. [email protected]

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Apologies for the double post, but here's the site for that hammer manufacturer.


I used to work on a framing crew, and one of the more popular hammers with other framers was one called the death-stick. It was large, had a serrated face on the striking side, and the nail claw was formidable, to say the least.

I wouldn't want to be hit with one, that's for sure.


Have you considered a sheet rock knife? Think about it.

<img src="; alt="sheet rock knife" />

jerry sweet

lets razor sharp bowie knife.claw hammers,machete,hand made battle axe,spear,lock back knife and of course the toys that go bang.yep pretty much covered

Eric Swanner

I'm with you on this Major. I see absolutely no difference what weapon I choose for defensive purposes. It's simply none of the government's business how I go about the responsibility of defense, so long as that defense is lawful applied. Well, I suppose that is the conservative point of view per the COTUS. Somehow a more liberal interpretation deems my selection of methods too harsh and cruel to those who aim to cause me and mine physical harm. Piggy-backing on your comments about English law, they are, or at least were, attempting to develop a beer glass that doesn't… Read more »

Rosen Otter

A steel E-tool with one side sharpened is still a fine thing to have in the back of the truck.


I concur with Randy on the drywall hammer, or perhaps a masonry hammer with a handy hatchet backside, Estwing makes both. Also several companies make wicked demolition tools, no recoil, and you pull a nail out most anything.


You might also would want to consider a drywall hammer. These hammers have a large head and aren't very heavy, but the one difference is they have a small 2" wide hatchet on the back. That could be sharpened as well.


$263 sounds a little high to me for a hammer that looks like that one does. Yes, it may be titanium, but for most people, I would just as soon have a good framing hammer with rip claws. They can be obtained in different shaft lengths and weights of heads from about 16oz to 24oz. The shafts may be found in fiberglass, wood, or steel. I like steel shafts the best myself. The rip claws are straight and could be sharpened, if necessary. They can be found most places from $15-$35. Framing hammers have larger heads, but getting hit with… Read more »


Wow, you had me right up until $263. I think a roofing hatchet will have to do.

Silas Longshot

Interesting idea. A NASA budget priced battle hammer, that still looks like a fairly common hammer.