American Tomahawk Company

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American Tomahawk Company
Industry Manufacturing
Founded Ebensburg, PA
1966; 52 years ago (1966)
Headquarters Byesville, OH
Key people
Peter LaGana(deceased), Andy Prisco
Products Tomahawks
Number of employees
Website[dead link]

American Tomahawk Company is a US-based company which manufactures modern tomahawks for use by the US Military. It was founded in 1966 by Peter LaGana to make tomahawks for the Vietnam War and folded in the 1970s. ATC was revived in early 2001 by Andy Prisco and LaGana shortly before LaGana's death. ATC makes tomahawks to this day, primarily for the US Army.


American Tomahawk Company was founded in 1966 by Peter LaGana with the original Vietnam Tomahawk design. This original model featured a wood handle, a unique axe head with reverse spike, and a leather sheath.. LaGana manufactured 4000 Tomahawks for Soldiers and Marines for use in the jungles of Southeast Asia.[1]

In November 2000, professional knife and tomahawk throwers Andy Prisco and Bobby Branton approached LaGana and got his approval to license his design and restart the defunct firm: American Tomahawk Company in January 2001.[2] The Company resumed production of the original design: the "Vietnam Tomahawk", replacing the original wood handle with a synthetic one.[3] In 2005 ATC introduced the CQC-T (Close Quarters Combat Tomahawk): a collaboration with Custom Knife-maker Ernest Emerson of Emerson Knives.[4] In 2008 a collaboration with Custom Knife-maker Shane Sibert resulted in a modern version of the Lewis and Clark spontoon tomahawk known as the "Comanche"; this tomahawk is also produced under license by Fox knives of Italy.

Military use[edit]

American Tomahawk Company's "VTAC" ("Vietnam Tactical Tomahawk") is in use by the US Army Stryker Brigade in Afghanistan, the 172nd SBCT Team based at Grafenwoehr, GE, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division out of Fort Lewis, a Recon Platoon in the 2-183d CAV (116th IBCT)(OIF 2007-2008) and numerous other soldiers.[4][5] The VTAC was issued National Stock Number 4210-01-518-7244 and classified as a “Class 9 rescue kit” as a result of a program called the Rapid Fielding Initiative; it is also included within every Stryker vehicle as the “Modular Entry Tool set”.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Tomahawk Makes Front Page News in San Francisco" (PDF). "Mountaineer-Herald. 1968-01-25. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  2. ^ Tillett, David (2003-04-15). "Lethal Weapon:Historic Tomahawk Returns to the Battlefield with Some U.S. Troops". ABC News. Retrieved 2007-04-21.
  3. ^ "Marines Stuck On Tomahawk" (PDF). The Pittsburgh Press. 1968-02-25. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  4. ^ a b c Emerson, Ernest (2/1/2007). "The Modern Tomahawk". American Handgunner: 15. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ a b Steele, David E."Wedged Edges at War",Blade Magazine,September 2005, page 12-19

External links[edit]