Gerber Downrange Tactical Tomahawk
First of all, let me get one thing out of the way. This is my favorite T-‘hawk. There is a lot to like about the Gerber Downrange and let’s start with the fact that it’s made by Gerber. The Gerber Company has been around since the 1930’s and most red-blooded American boys can count a Gerber as their first pocketknife. I think I still have my first Gerber knife around here somewhere. Gerber gear is made just south of Portland, Oregon (you can see them from I-5) and this tomahawk is truly American made. That should be important you. Not only that but it comes with a lifetime warranty and Gerber has been making equipment for the military for many years so they know a thing or two about tactical gear.
The Gerber packs a lot into its medium-ish size and weight. It’s based in a one piece 420 HC steel construction with Cerakote™, a ceramic hybrid epoxy-like coating that is often used on guns or on high temperature equipment that requires a tough, impact resistant surface.
The Downrange has a unique head design; it’s got a medium beard cutting edge on the front and a hammer on the poll. The only one in this bunch that uses the hammer poll, and the fact that the open head with finger grips is used as a handle for extra prying power means this hawk definitely leans toward breach and extraction. The head cutout may reduce the weight to a detriment for chopping but I feel the added ‘handle’ more than makes up for it in overall utility. The front edge design is typical of this type of hawk although a few users have complained of the brittle nature of the 420 HC.
The steel handle of the Downrange again belies its primary calling; breaching and extraction. Its pommel end is a respectable pry tool that is actually angled up from the horizontal just like a typical pry bar and the Desert Tan G10 Scales are intentionally biased up toward the head to spare plenty of length for sinking the tool into a doorframe or other breaches and the traction grooves are spread for easy two-handed operation. This angled tool end is one of the things that really defines this hawk as a breach tool and sets it apart. At the top end of the handle is a curved grip stop and a print of the very cool Gerber logo.
The a MOLLE-compatible sheath that is included is a nice touch and they thought enough about it to leave the center open so the tool could be easily carried or transferred when sheathed up. A pommel cover is added as well and the MOLLE setup gives you plenty of mounting options.
Including the Gerber Tactical Downrange on the top 10 tactical tomahawk list won’t sit well with everyone, there are complaints that Gerber chose 420 HC steel and the price is certainly a concern for some. But the Downrange has some unique features that really define it as a breach, force-entry tool and I like that. This tomahawk from Gerber may not look as deadly as some of the other hawks but overall it’s probably more practical for most folks especially military, police, and first responders and if I had to choose one tomahawk to have in my truck as a utility tool it would definitely be the Gerber.
Base: 420 HC