Thursday, September 28, 2023

Colonial Williamsburg’s ax-throwing, musket ranges return for another season

Interpreters Justin Chapman (left) and Ian MacDougall (right) both scored bulls-eyes with their axes. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
Interpreters Justin Chapman (left) and Ian MacDougall (right) both scored bulls-eyes with their axes. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

Colonial Williamsburg’s ax-throwing and flintlock musket ranges are back for another season.

After safety lectures and a history lesson, visitors at Colonial Williamsburg can experience the centuries-old thrill of ax-throwing and musket firing this spring, according to a Colonial Williamsburg Foundation news release.


From spring to fall 2018, the Colonial Williamsburg ax-throwing range will be open to the public — meaning guests have the chance to follow in the footsteps of historical figures, from Vikings to the American colonists.

Contrary to fictional depictions, they were not thrown in combat, but they were during downtime, at wooden targets, as entertainment,” the release said.

Programs are 20 minutes long and begin with a brief interpretive presentation on the history of ax-throwing. Following the history lesson, guests will receive safety information, then move on to the individual ax-throwing lanes.

Guests must be 18 or older, unless they are accompanied by a “legally responsible adult,” the release said. If accompanied by an adult, children 12 and older can participate.

The range will be open for scheduled sessions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day of the week. Guests must purchase a special ticket to go to the range, which costs $10 for the general public and $9 for military members.


For seven days a week this year, Colonial Williamsburg guests can fire reproduction flintlock muskets, just like the colonists who fought Britain in a battle for independence.

The program includes an educational sessions about 18th-century Brown Bess Muskets and its “domestic counterpart,” the fowler.

Those visiting the range must be 14 years old or older. Guests under 18 must be with an adult.

Participants must also have a valid photo identification.

The range is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Through April 30, admission to the program is $76, saving $43 per person compared to the regular price.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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