Okay, I can't be the only lunatic...


Sato Ord
March 23, 2008, 09:13 PM
...who keeps a sword handy in case I can't get to my firearms.

I keep a bastard sword by my writing desk at all times. It's four feet overall and weighs in at about seven pounds. It is good steel and I keep a fine fighting edge on it.

I know, bringing a knife to a gun fight, even a really big knife, is not the brightest thing in the world, but I don't like to wear a pistol around the house and I feel a little silly having to carry the loaded gun to the bathroom with me to keep control of it if I had it sitting in my desk drawer. Therefore, I keep a sword and an ASP strategically located in my home. I also carry my four inch belt knife everywhere.

I'm not paranoid, and I don't live in a particularly bad neighborhood, in fact I live in a nice neighborhood where the worst you usually have to worry about is getting hit by a ball if one of these old farts slices badly on the golf course. But we do have a college less than three miles up the road, and almost anywhere in Florida is nearly overrun with transients during the cooler months when the weather turns deadly outside in the north.

How many others out there feel their skill with a long blade is up the task?

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March 23, 2008, 09:53 PM
I either keep my kopis machete, this: http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n301/sircookiethepurevideo/tsunami%20waki/8e68d555.jpg

or a Mainz close by, just because they're there and they're mean.

March 23, 2008, 10:02 PM
remember, the blood of the vagrant rock-monster that you slice up needs to be treated like poison. HIV, hepatitis, and other things are not worth getting up close and personal with. Not to mention the poor choice of a 48" 7 pound weapon in close quarters.

YMMV, except for the HAZMAT part.

Sato Ord
March 24, 2008, 11:36 AM
You'd be amazed at how up close you can be and still wield a big blade. Like any other weapon, or any other tool period, it's practice that make the difference. Otherwise, you might as well just keep a baseball bat handy and hope for the best.

Between thirty plus years of martial arts training, my military training, and my sword practice in the SCA I've got a slight edge over the average Joe out there.

As for the blood borne pathogens, if you are that close you're going to get sprayed if you use a firearm too. The only weapon you can use up close without that worry is a bludgeon, but only the first hit is free, after that it still gets bloody.

March 24, 2008, 11:42 AM
HIV dies in like 3 seconds, doesn't it?
But hepatitis sticks around for a while. [I think, I'm no doctor, correct me if I'm wrong.]
RE: Sword. I have a cavalry saber in my room, mainly as decoration. It isn't that sharp, it's more of a club with an edge (kinda like using the corners of a 2x4, only made of metal) I'm sure it could hurt and break bones, though.
I also have a Cold Steel Poleaxe, for that matter.

March 24, 2008, 11:44 AM
Oh and im thinking i want a fire-axe in my room....you know, in case there`s a fire...and i can`t break the two windows in my room, that are at 1m upp from the ground...

"Whats the axe for?"
"bumps in th- fires, i keep it here in case of fire...."

March 24, 2008, 12:24 PM
As for the blood borne pathogens, if you are that close you're going to get sprayed if you use a firearm too.

Thats the point! With a firearm, I don't need to be that close.

I can retreat from my target and still engage it.

March 24, 2008, 12:42 PM
For those who want to research the range of potential responses you need only search the previous threads we've had on swords, axes, spears and other lethal self-defense tools in the home when a firearm isn't available.

I don't have a blade instead of a gun available, but because I use and collect bladed weapons there are blades at hand that I'd be comfortable using due to my training.

Library Guy
March 24, 2008, 03:21 PM
Well, there is that Viking sword on the wall over there...

As to HIV surviving its host, viable HIV has been found in cadavers 36 hours post mortem. It has been suggested that HIV continues to be infectious in syringes for up to six days. Of course there is a great deal of variation in these studies and anecdotes.

Rule of thumb: if it's warm and wet it's infectious. If it used to be warm and wet it might still be infectious.

March 24, 2008, 06:04 PM
How many others out there feel their skill with a long blade is up the task?

Yes, but prefer a stick (keep them in several rooms) to a bladed weapon.

For some reason they don't show as weapons to most people, so I've got one or two in every room.

Sato Ord
March 25, 2008, 12:51 AM
highorder, I wish my house was that big, and I've got 1700 sq ft under the roof. In reality most home defense ranges are fifteen feet or less. I don't make the stats, I just report em. In my house the home defense starts with a 110 lb Great Dane. Her barking is enough to send most people back down the driveway before I can get the door open.:) Chances are that anyone seeking to do harm in my home will hear the dog and look for an easier target.

As for the blood and such, that's still a problem anyway. I like the advice that if it used to be warm and wet consider it contaminated and handle accordingly, regardless of what weapon drew it.

I guess I like the sword because of my Celtic/Viking heritage. It just feels good to have it around and I don't have to be as careful of keeping track of it as I do a handgun. However, if you've read my other posts in the other forums you know it ain't a sword that I keep next to my bed when the bad things come out at night.;)

March 25, 2008, 01:45 AM
lightweight polycarbonate head mallet... 30inch aluminum shaft

when necessary, makes a decent bludgeon

The Tourist
March 25, 2008, 02:03 AM
I don't have a blade instead of a gun available

I have to agree. I handle all types of knives and sharpening tools daily. Like any process, practice offers benefits.

In fact, after this many years, you also become more astute at picking out the features of cutlery that are truly of help--and which are meaningless add-ons. Suddenly the "latest and greatest" isn't your focus, but the alloy and info on the heat-treat.

Like most folks, my friends are my worst critics. I get ribbed constantly that I will instinctively "reach for a stiletto" while ignoring a custom pistol also nearby.

I just tell them that foolish aggressors make the mistake of "bringing a gun to a knife fight."

Then I gently twist the bevel so the edge twinkles in the ambient light...

Sato Ord
March 25, 2008, 08:14 AM
"Then I gently twist the bevel so the edge twinkles in the ambient light..."

That's always a nice touch.:)

My brother used to make sure he was sharpening his Nordic battle axe whenever one of his daughters brought a new boyfriend home to meet the parents. Kept them from getting too friendly, and they were never late bringing the girls home from dates.:evil:

March 25, 2008, 01:26 PM
I would spend more time deciding which sword to reach for than would be spent actually reaching for one. I have a homemade hanger crafted from an antique Indian talwar. The steel is so-so but it was crafted in the true spirit of a handy weapon cut down from an older blade, and placed beside the door frame for fast acquisition. Door frames and hallways are narrow and this is just the kind of weapon you would want. A gladius would be nearly optimal.

My second choice would be the Albion Armorers Trafalgar cutlass but it's actually a bit long for use above deck, so to speak. The ATrim longswords, Blucher saber, viking swords, basket hilts, axes, hammers, and that one lonely katana will all have to wait for their turn outdoors.

The Tourist
March 25, 2008, 02:26 PM
Someday before the creek rises I'm going to write a treatise on "short blades" and misconceptions of their use and value. And while that might be a personal prejudice, does the term "dirk" mean anything to you? You know, that shorter blade that came out of nowhere while your focus was on the big sword.

As this is being written I've been putzing around with a Graham Stubby (a tool for work) and an Emerson Snubby, which seems to have a distinct value for defense--and you know how I hate that idea.

Ernest has the handle correct in consideration of the hand sliding up on the blade. It seems ergo in both the saber and ice-pick holds.

The blade is all Emerson, good steel, excellent cutting geometry and it took a wicked edge.


And that uncovers a two part facet to this debate. First, would a sword be a viable weapon in this day and age? Yes, of course, and it is probably is used more often than reported--and that's in this country alone. In other countries it might even still be a major frontline weapon.

But having said that, what length and design benefits the user? We could stay up until the wee hours on that aspect, but my heart is feeling "shorter and shorter" lately and I see no loss in utility.

March 25, 2008, 03:09 PM
...who keeps a sword handy in case I can't get to my firearms.

I've never owned a sword.
Not even as a kid, did I have a toy sword.
Playing pirates, I had another gun...guns make folks walk the plank..
Playing Cavalry, I wanted another gun , or real horse instead of a sword.

Just me, just never got into swords.
Oh I use a machete for what a machete is used for out on the property and all, just like I did a sickle...

I never got into bayonets either, most likely as I had mentors that served in wars and had been bayoneted and lost a hand or lower arm...
I saw the wounds and all...
Tough lessons for a kid, but my mentors cared and shared.
It was neat seeing this stuff, and hearing about it, messing with it, just I never got into some things.
Maybe some of this is respect, or reverence or something for me.

Oh I have a lot of respect for those that can Fence.
I have seen folks do this and it is a discipline!
Then again I respect dancers, and those that can do Ballet to.

My take on self defense is shaped by how I was raised, what all exposed to as a kid, the times, mentors and elders.

Just raised to prevent trouble from showing up , not go where trouble is, evade if trouble shows, and if I cannot evade, then deal with it.

Having more than one gun allows me to access a gun or other defensive tools instead of a sword.

Distance is my friend.

The Tourist
March 25, 2008, 07:23 PM
Oh I have a lot of respect for those that can Fence. I have seen folks do this and it is a discipline!

Ahhh, that explains it, perhaps. I had two years of fencing in high school and one season in college under Coach Archie Simonson.

Foil and saber. I never cared for epee. Too slow.

Once I was in an epee match, and I fell asleep. When I awoke I found that I had scored two points.

Kidding aside, I believe this is the reason why some people are more comfortable around knives and swords. I've carried a knife since the age of eight. I rotate EDC's and my favorite one is the one I'm carrying that moment (or is the newest).

I do know one thing, people fear being cut, almost more than being shot. I truly believe that the one thing that has kept me out of some scrapes is the possibility that I will come up slicing--not in MA prowess.

Eh, who knows? Now that I heal slower, maybe I will.

March 25, 2008, 08:02 PM
your not a lunatic. i dont favor the sword style myself but there are many other forms of protection in my home and car incase the gun isnt handy

March 25, 2008, 10:50 PM
Before I got into guns, I used to collect swords and knives. I have a small collection of hand forged Samurai swords. I'd only actually use them in a last ditch effort to survive if I can't get to my guns. I know it sounds crazy, but people do crazy things when threatened.

March 26, 2008, 07:14 AM
HIV dies in like 3 seconds, doesn't it?
If ithe HIV virus survives for long periods of time in refrigerated blood, I'd say it will last a long time elsewhere.



March 26, 2008, 07:48 AM
Isn`t that the reason they refrigerate it? so it survives longer.

doesnt mean it will survive long when hot...but i don`t know much about this.

missouri dave
March 26, 2008, 07:59 AM
I keep a katana that I have trained with for several years by the bed along with several firearms. At say 10 feet or less (pretty much the distance in my bedroom) IMHO the guy with the sword (a real sword not a wall hanger AND he really needs to know how to use it) has a distinct advantage over the guy with the gun. How many firearms will literally remove an appendage? The sword properly wielded will indeed. Wonder what the one shot stop percentage is on beheadings?

March 26, 2008, 01:20 PM
I know people whom have their boats outfitted with custom Katana's for sailing through waters that are un-friendly to the gun owner. My Katana resides in the same room as my gun safes (Just in case I cannot get the lock open in time).

March 26, 2008, 02:33 PM
I can't comment much on swords, though I have an A-trim bastard sword that weighs less than 3 pounds, so I wonder what the OPs sword is made from.

But HIV is more hardy than 3 seconds. Cooling a body for 24 HOURS will kill most of the virus. Oxygen is toxic, but droplets of blood in the air would have some infectious potential. But HIV is relatively wimpy in the world of virii so unless you get copious blood into your own open wounds or have a lot of mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) contact, you should be ok. Splashes on your skin shouldn't be an issue. Plus there is a prophylaxis for HIV that is very effective if taken a few hours after exposure. I had a needle stick when doing a spinal tap on a guy dying of AIDS, not just infected with HIV. Still here, so it isn't as infectious as some would think.

Hep C is much more robust and has a higher contagious rate, but then then skin exposure shouldn't be a problem.

Another consideration is tuberculosis if you smash through some guys chest and dissiminate his pulmonary TB into the room. That WILL be infectious, though only about 5% of those exposed develop a persistent infection. I HAVE seroconverted to TB after opening a guys lungs when he was infected (whoops, where was my N95 mask?).

At any rate, I would think something like the Roman Galdius or greek hoplite sword would be more effective inside. Add a shield while we are discussing it :)

electric wombat
March 26, 2008, 03:41 PM
...who keeps a sword handy in case I can't get to my firearms.

I have a nice 38" leaf blade sword hanging on the wall near my bed. It's more for decorative purposes but I still keep a good edge on just in case. Better safe than sorry.

March 26, 2008, 05:28 PM
I have an obnoxiously green plastic yardstick that I picked up at Comdex many years ago. It's about an inch square in cross-section, and one end is rounded to make it more hand-friendly. It was handed out for free as a "yardstick walking stick" by some company that had its slogan printed on the side.

Like this

Over the years I've used it for all kinds of stuff, from reaching things on high shelves, to shooing cats from behind furniture, to securing a sliding door.

I keep it handy, despite the wife's protestations of how ugly it is.

Darned thing is endlessly useful, even though (in spite of its being ruled as a measure) in all the years I've had it, I've never once measured anything with it.


It's not a sword, but it's light and tough and has four impressively abrupt right-angle corners along its length.

Oh, and I used to fence.

Helps a lot when tormenting cats.


March 26, 2008, 08:26 PM
Helps a lot when tormenting cats.

I'm sure it does, but I think I found the solution to all cat problems.

Sato Ord
March 26, 2008, 08:54 PM
Did you know you can make a gatling gun out of Legos that shoots rubber bands. I saw a video on you tube about it. Now there's someone with entirely too much spare time on his hands, but boy it was still cool.:D

March 26, 2008, 09:06 PM
A blade has one major advantage over a firearm, especially when used indoors. It makes no loud bang and no bright flash. I think many people are overestimating their ability to hit a target when they are scared and epinephrine is pumping through their veins. When you fire a gun indoors, especially at night, you will be left blinded and halfway deaf. If you miss, you have essentially just taken away your advantage of a firearm (being too stunned to effectively use it). Granted the BG may also be stunned. Remember also that blades will never run out of ammo, jam, or fail to fire.

So there is some merit in getting a good blade. If I was planning to use it indoors I would most certainly skip over bastard swords, longswords, arming swords, and even katanas for they are all too long to be used effectively in cramped quarters. I would instead pick a good short blade-a gladius, xiphos (if you can find one), dirk, or wakizashi (for those who prefer Asian blades).

There is definitely no harm in getting a good blade and learning how to use it. I think that melee weapons are too easily discounted nowadays. After all, the sword, spear, and axe were the weapons of choice for more than 5500 years (longer for the spear and axe), which has to mean something.

March 26, 2008, 10:47 PM
After all, the sword, spear, and axe were the weapons of choice for more than 5500 years (longer for the spear and axe), which has to mean something.

it means that gunpowder hadn't been invented yet. ;)

I'll take a firearm, blunt object, and knife; in that order for home defense.

March 27, 2008, 09:38 AM
True, but what was the first thing people did to the gun after they invented it?

They stuck a blade on it.

I agree that a firearm is most likely the best choice for self-defense but it doesn't hurt to have a good blade and know how to use it.

March 28, 2008, 11:28 AM
I would not say a sword is my first choice "go-to" home defense weapon, but I do keep an Angus Trim single hand cut and thrust at the foot of my bed. ;)

That is in the house - well defended by easy to reach firearms.

In the carriage house, where I have a dojo where I train and teach Japanese Sword Arts, I have a single firearm, a dozen katana, an Albion Vinland Viking sword (w shield and ax), a baskethilt broadsword (w/ targe, pattern welded dirk and sgian dhu), a couple of Himilayan Imports kuhkri, a dozen or so hickory bokken, similar number of shinai, a number of custom knives, okinawan weapons such as bo, sai, tonfa, nunchaku, eku, etc.

Hard to avoid having an impact or edged weapon at hand. :D

April 2, 2008, 04:33 AM
I have a Paul Chen katana sitting decoratively in my house when it's not being practiced with. It looks great and I know its cutting power.

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