VTAC Lagana Review – an American Classic
Now for the original, the Vietnam Tactical Tomahawk by American Tomahawk Company. Founded in 1966 by Vietnam soldier Peter LaGana, it produced over 4000 of the original design VTAC tomahawks that were used by soldiers in the Southeast Asian theatre. The company closed its doors after the war but it was reopened in 2001 by Andy Prisco and Peter LaGana.
They started with the original VTAC design, apply some new technology and materials to the classic and now present a formidable tactical tool for the military and civilians. Certain Army units in Afghanistan (Stryker and recon units) are issued this very model for combat use. The fact that this design has stood the test of time, with few refinements, is a testament to its superiority and proof that it is the seed that all modern tactical tomahawks have grown from.
The design hasn’t changed much since the original but this 21st century version begins with a Drop-Forged 1060 hardened steel head that is 8.25 in overall. Like its predecessor, the head is a narrow design with multiple hardened cutting edges including a 3 edge poll and a sharpened backside beard edge that allows for cutting and tearing on the backstroke. The edge angle and hardness produces one of the toughest and most resilient edges that stands up to enormous abuse. Reports from the field are excellent on the durability of this hawk and soldiers love them.
The VTAC is a two piece tomahawk that uses a “super tough” modified nylon handle with an oval design and finger grooves. When wet the handle can be a little slippery in bare hands but the simple low profile design makes it a very easy hawk to handle. It’s on the short side at 14 in but is made to be carried on-person and the short length and light weight allow that. What you might lose in leverage at this size you more than make up for in practicality.
Since the VTAC is made for the military it’s natural that the nylon sheath is LBE/LBV and MOLLE, compliant and can operate in a sling or belt loop capacity. The two buckle design keeps the tool snug but isn’t exactly quick-release. It would be nice if there were a quick release sheath option but the included sheath is durable and effective.
No list of the best tactical tomahawks would be complete without inclusion of the formidable original, the American Vietnam VTAC. It’s the originator, the inspiration for dozens of others and its modern version stands tough with the best of them. Some may question the nylon handle and two-piece design but it has been thoroughly tested and performs excellently. If you are after a solid hawk that is small enough to carry in your pack and tough enough for anything, you can’t do better at this price point. You also can feel good about supporting the true original.
Length: 14 in
Weight: 16 oz
Handle: ST modified nylon
Edge: 2.5 in
Poll: Narrow flat spike
Base: Drop-Forged 1060
If you have any reason to doubt the toughness of that modified nylon handle,
take a look at this video.