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Dinwiddie father-son duo find nationwide success with unique skill

Dinwiddie father-son duo find nationwide success with unique skill
Posted at 11:29 PM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 10:50:38-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- A father and son business working out of a small business in Dinwiddie County is finding success around the world.

"It's great working from home. It's great being able to make a living doing this and it's what I love to do," Dylan McCoun said. "It's great working with dad and everybody wants to grow up and do what their dad does."

What the two do at their business is a skill that few people have.

"We started making tomahawks in 2012," Dylan said.

The tomahawks are shipped all over the world. Dylan believes they have also been sent to each of the 50 states.

All of the tomahawks are made to be used and all are made by hand.

"So, we take a piece of one-inch square stock, 4140, about five inches long and we'll start with the drift and we'll get that drift through there for the handle and then we forge out the blade," Dylan explained.

The practice is hot, time-consuming and takes a good eye and great skill.

The final phase itself requires a lot of patience. In order to get the finished product, it takes years.

Mike McCoun, Dylan's father, said that making tomahawks has been a hobby of his for years.

"I was probably 14. Well, it started out as a hobby and it was a hobby for decades," Mike said. "Actually, I was a mechanic most of my life and then I was an insurance agent."

In 2012, Mark and his then 14-year-old son Dylan were at the hobby full time. As they got more into the craft, they gained some loyal customers.

"The special forces and a lot of military contractors carry them," Dylan said.

"My first military contractors that I hooked up with were through eBay. My first Army rangers were through eBay, my first Navy Seals, my first, Recon guy were all through eBay. And what they said was, there was no good place to find a handmade tomahawk and they had heard about our stuff then on eBay," Mark said.

The two offer a wide variety of blades for customers.

"We have ones that are more geared towards camping, hiking and that sort of thing. We have ones that are made to be carried into combat and we have some that are specifically designed for throwing," Dylan said.

While many businesses suffered when COVID-19 shut everything down, the two had a different experience.

"My sales doubled the first three months of COVID," Mark said.

Father-son duo are already looking forward to their next business venture.

"I want to start a line, McCoun and Axe, where you will have kitchen cutlery, maybe carving knives, full-size axes, things that aren't considered weapons," Mark said.

The two said that these aren't bought to just be hung as decoration.

"They're made to be used and abused," Dylan said.

The McCouns only use hickory and curly maple for their handles because of their strength.

Dylan and his father are also big supporters of the U.S. Military. Every month, they donate one tomahawk and knife kit to someone on active duty as part of their "Hawks For Warriors" giveaway.

You can contact McCoun Tomahawks here.