Master of Arms is a new competition series premiering tonight on Discovery. The show features three hobbyist weapons makers who are pitted against each other in manufacturing guns, knives, and swords.
The catch is that these weapons must also be “fully functional, historically accurate weapons,” to be put through rigorous testing by four judges and the special ops tester. The winner takes home a $10,000 purse.
Tonight the challenge is all about the battle ax.
In our exclusive clip, Purgatory Ironworks owner Trenton Tye, one of the judges, explains the methodology and proper way to size up a piece of wood to make the most important part of the ax, the handle.
Tye is a professional blacksmith with over 20 years’ experience in casting, gunsmithing, knife making, and ancient arms and armor.
Each episode, three of these non-pro builders will face-off in two historical challenges that call upon era-specific weaponry, as the first challenge will eliminate one person, with two remaining in the big winner takes all challenge.
Discovery Channel’s official description:
“…From the firearms of the frontier to the blades of the Vikings, each tool (being) heavily researched and crafted pieces of art.”
In our clip, Tye explains how to make a battle worthy axe: “In this episode, our craftsman we’re making a battle-axe and one of the most important selections to make is actually the wood for the handle. When you’re making an axe whichever way that axe blade is going you want the grain to run in line with that. If it didn’t it have a greater chance to break against the grain.”
Tye continues: “So once I make sure that the grain, and the setting is into place I need to thin it and shorten it to make it about the size of the handle that I want. So once you’re at your sander this is where a lot of that shaping is going to take place. We’re gonna use this wheel to actually come in here and start shaping the handle into the style that we want. Once you’ve been working on it you get it to the shape that you like and then if you’re lucky you can take a nice piece of wood and turn it into something that looks like this.”
Tye is joined by firearms historian Ashley Hlebinsky, currently the Chief Curator of one of the largest firearms collections in the country, the Cody Firearms Museum, in Wyoming.
The muscle comes from Nicholas Irving, a former Sergeant within the Special Operations unit, 75th Ranger Regiment 3rd Ranger battalion, served as an assaulter, machine gunner, designated marksman and sniper. Nick is also a New York Times bestselling author of The Reaper, Way of the Reaper and Reaper: Ghost Target. He takes these weapons crafted on the show out into the field.
Judge Zeke Stout, a certified firearms specialist. He is certified as a higher education professional in leadership, an Armorer in several platforms, including the 1911 and Penn arms grenade launcher.
Tune in tonight to see who wins the battle-axe competition!
Master of Arms airs Friday at 10 PM on Discovery (after #1-rated Gold Rush)