Short Sword?


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ArfinGreebly
March 7, 2012, 01:39 AM
Seeking a sword with an 18" total length to complete the kit,
knowing that when teotwawki hits, I can't/don't want to carry more than that.

Nem, have you considered something like the Buck Hoodlum? It's something like 15 or 16 inches total, with a good 10 inches of blade. Light, tough, versatile.

There are, of course, other large knife (almost-a-sword) solutions out there, but the Hoodlum stands out as being unusually light, very well balanced, and tough (as one might expect from 5160 steel).

Also in that size range is the ESEE Junglas, a little longer, maybe an inch or a bit less, made of 1095 steel -- another well proven tough steel.

The Hoodlum weighs less than a pound (14.6 oz), and the Junglas weighs almost a pound and a half (22.5 oz), so the Junglas is an extra half pound. If chopping is on the menu, the extra half pound works in your favor. If slashing brush is on the menu, the extra weight isn't much help. You kind of have to figure out what jobs you'll most likely need it for.

Their street prices are pretty similar, being up around $150-$165. Careful shopping will shave some bucks off of that.


I don't have any real objections to a "short sword" format, as long as I don't mislead myself into thinking that an actual sword blade (you know, really thick spine, dramatic grind, that kind of thing) is going to be of much use when I have to build a fire to stay warm.

Swords are cool, but they generally make pretty crummy tools.

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Nematocyst
March 7, 2012, 08:00 PM
The Hoodlum looks very interesting, Arf. Just watched a video about it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdby3NvyAYQ). Cool concept.

Thanks for pointing it out. It could take the place of an ax or machete in the kit.

I don't have any real objections to a "short sword" format, as long as I don't mislead myself into thinking that an actual sword blade (you know, really thick spine, dramatic grind, that kind of thing) is going to be of much use when I have to build a fire to stay warm. I totally agree.

I don't see the short sword I'm seeking as that kind of tool, but as a fighting tool. (Yes, I agree, guns are better. But this one would fill a niche that a gun would not, under circumstances that I don't wish to discuss here.)

I'd like to find something like a gladius, but a really short one, closer to 18", the length of my main SD tool, a simple stick.

Cold Steel makes a gladius, but it's crude and too long.

Seeking a shorter one.

Nematocyst
March 7, 2012, 10:10 PM
Earlier, I wrote:

I don't see the short sword I'm seeking
as that kind of tool, but as a fighting tool. Let me explain, please.

My favorite battle films are Braveheart, Gladiator and Apocalypto.
(Matrix is in my top five also, but in a different way.)

But if you want to grok what edged weapons can do -
from knives to battle axes, arrows and swords short to long -
then watch Ironclad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-tpqF-zXuU) repeatedly as I have done (two dozen times)
pausing the action to study strikes, then practice them with sticks.

Pay particular attention to the long sword
that splits a man in half during the first castle battle.

"CLEAR!!!!"

Check.

Swords.

Owen Sparks
March 8, 2012, 12:03 AM
At what length do big knives qualify as short swords?

Nematocyst
March 8, 2012, 12:05 AM
Where's that 'like' button.

Oh, right; it's not here.

But we can do this anyway.

How 'bout we define 'short sword' in this way.

It's got a blade at least 3.6",
but up to, what, 22"? 29"?

Long swords seem to start at 36" and go up to 72" or so.

So, we'll keep this short, and about what we have and what we want.

Thoughts?

Nematocyst
March 8, 2012, 12:06 AM
At what length do big knives qualify as short swords?I'd say somewhere around the length of that Hoodlum,
or maybe as short as my Kabar fighter at 7".

armoredman
March 8, 2012, 12:07 AM
Ok, the only short sword I think I could reasonably use is the exact opposite of the gladius, as much as I admire the old Roman workhorse. The one that was the last civilian sword worn in public during the fading of the sword era, the Small Sword.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=CS88SMS&name=Cold+Steel+Small+Sword

Point only, stiff triangular spine, wish it came in black. :) My wife just saw this over my shoulder and said she'd kill me (figuratively), if I ordered that. Guns, yes, swords, no.

hso
March 8, 2012, 12:08 AM
The traditional definition of a short sword is something like longer than 12" but no longer than 24" ("something like" because you have to deal with various Asian and European/American measures). Think, blade lengths similar to arm lengths with "short" being forearm or elbow to fingertip.

armoredman,

You're thinking European. The Pacific, South Asian and even S. America still see what we'd recognize as swords in use. Parangs, barongs, machetes, ... I have an affection for short swords and have examples of wakizashis, parangs, bolos and other big knives/short swords that are devastating.

The big problem with short swords, in addition to carrying something 18+inches long, is the price. A real weapon of that size breaks $100 immediately and goes up quickly. They must be balanced, quick, durable, hold an edge and not be subject to breakage. OTOH, you can easily use a machete for a short sword if you don't want to invest in all the characteristics of a weapon that would see hard use on the battlefield. There are plenty of solid agricultural blades out there that with little effort can be adapted to serve as short swords (but isn't that what so many of them start out as anyway).

Nematocyst
March 8, 2012, 12:21 AM
Think, blade lengths similar to arm lengths with "short" being forearm or elbow to fingertip.That makes so much sense.

hso
March 8, 2012, 12:35 AM
t'aint rocket surgery.;)

It's all about biomechanics and ergonomics (form follows function).

JRH6856
March 8, 2012, 01:00 AM
Try an 1874 French Gras bayonet (http://www.northirishmilitaria.com/moreinfo.asp?id=196)

Gordon
March 8, 2012, 01:20 AM
Here is the original 19" Mad Dog Saxon Sword made by Kevin McClung for himself as a proto type. 1/4" O1 Starret differentially hardened to 63 on the blade edge and around 54 at the spine and tip then industrial hard chromed. This one is not fancy nor signed as are all the other $3000 Saxons he has made. The handle is two handed although it can be swung one handed as the flat grinding of Kevin's really lightens it surprisingly. I had to trade some good kit to someone to get this. This sword has been thru hell from testing by numerous folks as a demo for years but Kevin resharpened it to hair popping and cleaned it up for me after I got it . It will cut a 100 plus pound goat in half if you swing it right, I know! The Busse AK47 is similar in size but won't pull off that feat IMHO.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/007-6.jpg

Chindo18Z
March 8, 2012, 01:37 AM
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j245/Chindo18Z/P1010003.jpg

The Gen2 Mainz Gladius above has a 20" blade...from Kult of Athena...$199.
This sword is a modern interpretation of the classic Roman weapon...but arguably a better blade than was ever issued to the average Legionnaire. It's heavier than the historical weapon and very sharp. It will chop, stab, or slice through damn near anything. You could quite literally lop off a limb...tree or man.

The smaller Czech short sword next to it is one I picked up in Prague from a guy who was making them with an anvil and forge.

-------------------------------------

Kult of Athena carries a wide selection of functional short swords from different ages...at generally the lowest prices to be found on-line. They have a good reputation among retailers of edged weaponry, armor, accessories, etc.:

http://www.kultofathena.com/images/IP0232.jpg

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=IP0232&name=Generation+2+Roman+Maintz+Gladius

Review of the Gen2 Mainz Gladius: http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/roman-swords.html

From the same retailer are a pair of modern tactical blades from Hanwei (Katana...$169 and Wakizashi...$120). Next on my to-buy list...

http://www.kultofathena.com/images/SH2432.jpg
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2432&name=Hanwei+Tactical+Wakizashi

http://www.kultofathena.com/images/SH2462.jpg
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2462&name=Hanwei+Tactical+Katana

Review of the Hanwei Tactical Swords:

http://www.woodsmonkey.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=658:cas-hanweis-tactical-katana-and-tactical-wakizashi&catid=34:knives&Itemid=55




For something smaller and lighter, the KA-BAR Zombie Killer War Sword (which comes with a second set of more conservatively colored black scales)...$50:

http://ts3.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=1619204506730&id=44a62ce05409c2420a2493527d19a752&url=http%3a%2f%2fa4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net%2fhphotos-ak-snc6%2f263553_10100316386346057_3620547_53508878_7165006_n.jpg

http://www.knifecenter.com/item/KA5701/ka-bar-zk-zombie-killer-knives-war

kamagong
March 8, 2012, 02:16 AM
I have a Kris Cutlery Gladius. Strong and sharp, I'd hate to face the pointy end of one. But if I had to choose a blade in the short sword class, I'd pick my HI M43.

http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/1410/him43.jpg

The specs are as follows:
- Weight 28 oz.
- OAL 17 1/2"
- Blade length 11 1/2" from cho to tip
- Handle length ~ 5" from buttcap to bolster
- Spine thickness 3/8"
- Handle dimension at the first rivet (vertically and horizontally) 1 5/16" wide & 1 1/8" thick
- Handle dimension at the second rivet (vertically and horizontally) 1 3/16" wide & 15/16" thick

It's not nearly as quick as a dedicated short sword, but because I use it as a tool I am more familiar with its use than I probably would otherwise.

Cosmoline
March 8, 2012, 02:58 AM
I'd like to find something like a gladius, but a really short one, closer to 18", the length of my main SD tool, a simple stick.

I had a very nice Gen 2 Gladius that was very wicked. Too wicked, really. I knew I'd end up losing a digit to the thing with my track record. Plus it wasn't really all that practical. A machete is better for clearing brush and there are shorter, stouter single edged blades that do better on wood. I also found the grip to be simultaneously too wide and too short for my hand. With a Gladius your grip options are limited. But it would certainly work for defense, either slashing or stabbing.

I may just not be a sword guy. An axe or spear suits me better.

I like that small sword idea though. Back in the day those were a standard part of formal attire for diplomats and gentlemen. You can carry it while wearing fmall clothes and drinking fmall beer.

dprice3844444
March 8, 2012, 06:34 AM
check coldsteel.com

lemaymiami
March 8, 2012, 08:39 AM
Don't think I'd ever have a use for a "short sword". I can, however, think of lots of uses for a short, broad machete (the bolo machete comes to mind). I do keep two Forschner breaking knives for fish cleaning duties (a 10" and a much heavier scimitar with a 13 or 14" blade) that are nearly in the short sword category. Most of my knives are strictly working items and see some hard use from time to time. I do enjoy looking at the various collectibles, though....

armoredman
March 8, 2012, 08:50 AM
Cosmo, the Gladius was made for stabbing, not slashing, that was the main "thrust" of the Roman army, step, stab, etc., from what little research I did. Finest heavy infantry for the day. As for ax, the traditional bearded axe was the main weapon of peasants and royalty alike on several continents, and very functional.
Gordon, very nice blade, no way would I pay $3000 for a weapon like that, not unless I won the lottery. :)
hso, what would you suggest, then? I am not a swordsman par excellence, of course, no training, but a blade suitable for use in "emergencies" is always nice to have. That Tactical, (ugh, can we ever get away from that word?), Wakizashi from Kult of Athena looks interesting. BTW, love that website.

Persev
March 8, 2012, 09:08 AM
Although a little pricey you might check out http://zombietools.net/tools/
they have some cool blades in various sizes.On a cheaper note is the Boomslang from Condor Knife and Tool http://www.knifecenter.com/item/CN24411HCM/condor-tool-

JShirley
March 8, 2012, 10:20 AM
I'm not hso, but you can buy a decent Ontario machete for $20. Spend an hour or two to sharpen it up, use it frequently, and you'll be well on your way.

John

jdh
March 8, 2012, 10:21 AM
A properly sharpened and heat treated GI issue machete will take off a leg with ease and is more easily explained away as a garden tool than a weapon.

Cosmoline
March 8, 2012, 12:49 PM
The gladius was primarily used for thrusting attacks in traditional formation, but could also be used to slice tendons with undercuts and to hack off important body parts. The truth is there are scant few detailed descriptions of the Roman legion in battle. There are some descriptions of the *aftermath* of a legion's work, and these describe body parts lying all over. So it wasn't just formation stabbing. Particularly as the gladius evolved into something longer and more wasp-waisted.

Owen Sparks
March 8, 2012, 01:03 PM
jdh said:
A properly sharpened and heat treated GI issue machete will take off a leg with ease and is more easily explained away as a garden tool than a weapon.

Funny how history repeats itself.

Weapons have usually been denied to commoners and reserved only to the oligarchy and their henchmen. When swords were illegal the peasants adapted common tools as weapons such as axes and other farm implements. Many traditional martial arts weapons look exotic and outlandish, NOT because it made them more effective, but because it made them legal. For example, the side handle police baton, the PR-24 is a direct descendant of the Okinawan tonfa which is an adaptation of a mill wheel handle which was legal for farmers to possess while swords and clubs were not.

We are seeing the same pattern emerge here as the Second Amendment has been largely usurped by the courts.

A prime example is the walking cane which is legal everywhere yet in trained hands it can be superior to practically anything that does not launch a projectile. There have been a number of posts about that. Shorter sticks can also be carried legally provided that they appear to serve some other function. The best way to carry a weapon in post-constitutional times is not concealed, but disguised. If I have to go into the city I often carry a two pice pool cue in a sheath slung over my shoulder like a scabbard. The small half is just a prop. The butt half is a weapon. I can draw that club and put it into action as fast as any sword yet like the Okinawan farmer, I am still within the paramaters of the law.

rcmodel
March 8, 2012, 01:48 PM
Pay particular attention to the long sword
that splits a man in half during the first castle battle. You do realize that was a movie, right?

Archeology digs have failed to turn up too many solders split in half by broadswords.

rc

blindhari
March 8, 2012, 03:30 PM
In general Romans fought in checkerboard formations almost like the squares. They succeeded because they stood shoulder to shoulder with protective shields. This gave them a man and a half to face one man. The legionnaire was trained to fight the man to his left, while the man to his right covered him. The best of all possible worlds was when the gladius, short sword, could be inserted in his opponent's armpit, hard to armor and uncovered when the right arm of the opponent was raised to strike. This is why the gladius was sized as a short sword. Behind the first row, the second rank generally held on to one of 3 pilum spears that were thrust over and through gaps in the first rank to hold off opponents until they could be chopped up by the first rank. At the time and place of Roman legions a gladius in your armpit was almost universally lethal. A short sword in medieval times was used as a main-gauche to block the opponent's blade. Since gun powder a short sword has almost universally been relegated to use in very confined areas such as action at sea. If all things are equal, training etc.., a walking staff or cane will overcome a short sword. Don't take my word on this, ask any Irish, Filipino,Thai, Chinese, or qualified martial arts instructor.

Madcap_Magician
March 8, 2012, 04:36 PM
The Ontario machete is fantastic. Light and quick. Common weapon of attack and defense all throughout Central and South America. $15-30.

If you want a sweet version, try to hunt down one of Bark River Knife and Tool's custom Ontario machetes. They rehandle them with G10 or micarta, shorten the blade to 14", and convex grind the edge. About $120.

Other short swords would include the Busse (and Swamp Rat and Scrapyard Knives, all the same thing to me) Gladius or Wakizashi models. Also tons more expensive. $500-1000.

The Hanwei Tactical Wakizashi is supposed to be pretty decent. I've heard the edge from the factory is not fantastic. But they heat treat well and the blades are good 5160, so...

zhyla
March 8, 2012, 07:13 PM
I'm not into world-ending prepper stuff but I do keep a machete in my car. As does a friend of mine. Some guy went all road ragy on him, stopped his car in the middle of the freeway, and came walking back to start something with my friend. He got back in his car when my friend produced his machete, thankfully.

Machetes aren't the ideal sword from a fighting perspective, but they're cheap. If I were a prepper I'd rather have 10 machetes than one nice sword.

Nematocyst
March 8, 2012, 10:51 PM
Interesting suggestions here. Will definitely check out the potentials.

Nematocyst
March 8, 2012, 11:23 PM
Pay particular attention to the long sword
that splits a man in half during the first castle battle.
You do realize that was a movie, right?No! Really? That was a movie?!

And I thought sure I was there in the thick of it.
Wow. How could I have been so fooled? :rolleyes:

Archeology digs have failed to turn up too many solders split in half by broadswords.Of course, I overstated the case.

The actor (stunt man treated by special effects) was only split substantially down from the top of his shoulder to roughly the top of his small intestine, not fully "in half".

So let's grant that it was a movie, and that producers/directors are going to take poetic license where they can.

I still suspect that a sword that large (5') and heavy, if sufficiently sharp, could produce something close to that wound when swung two handed from above like an ax splitting wood. At least a large blade could penetrate significantly deep into a torso.

Of course, short swords could not, so probably a moot point.

Still an interesting question: how much wound could a long sword produce?

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=160669&stc=1&d=1331266869

JTW Jr.
March 9, 2012, 12:30 AM
how about this:

http://www.agrussell.com/browning-crowell-and-barker-competition-knife/p/BRW-322580/

Cosmoline
March 9, 2012, 03:29 PM
Still an interesting question: how much wound could a long sword produce?

It would be tough to do the cleave illustrated there. Very tough. That's more like explosive shrapnel or a high speed car accident. Regardless of the weight or sharpness of the blade, humans are not able to generate that kind of force. A limb is one thing, but a downward cleave through a torso would have to go through extensive barriers and the act would require so much force the blade would be bent and twisted like shrapnel. Also, skin when cut produces very slippery fluid. And the person being cut is not a fixed FX dummy. So the force downward will push the person back, the bones will tend to deflect the blade and it will be prone to slipping and skipping across the surface. As a result you're more likely to end up with a flayed skin, broken collar bones and nicked ribs from the strike than actually being cleaved in two.

A heavy axe would have a better chance, but there you'd have the real risk of getting the blade wedged into the ribs. To avoid that you'd go with a thicker profile axe head and a smaller edge to maximize the force delivered--in other words a felling axe or maul. Which is slow, takes lots of times to build up a strike for, and is easily deflected or avoided.

My understanding is that the heavy blades of the later middle ages were used both to cut and to crush. The advantage of weight didn't cleave bodies in twain, but did permit the use of the blade after the edge had been dulled or chipped. It could still brain you or break your bones even after several slashes. And they'd use the things in all sorts of inventive ways. Plus kicks to the groin, kicks to shields to drive them into the defender's face, shoves into the mud, kneecap smashes--that sort of thing. There was no ornate Bushido code.

Looking to recent events in Africa, wounds from machete hacks to live victims can take off digits and limbs, but on the head and upper torso they maul more than remove. The stomach would be the more obvious choice for a "torso cleave" attack, and since the blade would be encountering only soft tissue other than the spine, it could get a lot further. Though even then it would be difficult.

I think in the end the more effective stroke for defense is still going to be the thrust to vital organs. It's much faster and requires far less force to deliver a stopping blow.

Madcap_Magician
March 9, 2012, 04:43 PM
Machetes aren't the ideal sword from a fighting perspective, but they're cheap.

Very true. Mostly because of the blade thickness. However, if you're not worried about people in armor or with heavier edged weapons, it'd probably work great.

Owen Sparks
March 9, 2012, 05:02 PM
The Romans figured out that the best use of the short sword was to stab with it. The African Zulu tribe under the leadership of Chaka developed very similar tactics some 2000 years later using short spears and cow hide shields.

My next edged weapon will be the Cold Steel Gladius.

hso
March 9, 2012, 05:47 PM
Short Sword
Long Sword
Broad Sword
Bastard Sword
2-handed Sword

Long Swords are a class of swords that are one handed swords that are lighter than the Broad Sword and longer than the Short Sword and are not suitable for cleaving.

Nematocyst
March 9, 2012, 06:50 PM
Makes a reasonable hypothesis, Cosmo. Someone should set up a test of hypothesis on a hog carcus to see what happens with a 2-handed sword (thanks for the clarification, Hso).

I think in the end the more effective stroke for defense is still going to be the thrust to vital organs.That's part of why I'm interested - at least conceptually - in a short sword. Ideally, in a pinch caused by social circumstances that we don't discuss on THR, I'd like a sharp edge on an 18" OAL sword so that the strikes I practice with my 18" stick would have a cutting effect, plus I get the benefit that a jab strike becomes a cutting thrust.

Nematocyst
March 9, 2012, 06:58 PM
Closest I've found is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v4j3mvrDyQ).

Impressive, but of course cutting a carcus in cross-section parallel to ribs
is different from cutting in longitudinal section across ribs, clavicle, etc.

But regardless, I'm not going to take up a big sword (long, bastard or 2-handed) but a short.

Owen Sparks
March 9, 2012, 10:27 PM
The major problem with long two handed swords is that it takes a lot of room to swing them. This might not be a problem in the open terrain of the Scotish Highlands but in an urban enviroment it would. Especially indoors where the typical home or office cealing is only 8 feet high. Look at the fantasy movie picture a few posts above. Would you have enough room to make that swing in your house?

Nematocyst
March 9, 2012, 10:35 PM
I agree, Owen. Which, again, is why I'm more interested in short swords.

SOUTHPAW
March 9, 2012, 10:53 PM
I have a Cold Steel Gladius machete in my SHTF gear. It's short/light enough to carry 24/7 and for a machete it's surprisingly sturdy. It would be an absolute last line for defense or for stealth only, both scenarios when firearms can not be used first. Other than that it would work pretty well as a machete to hack thru brush or cut small branches for firewood. (although my Fiskars Brush Axe is AMAZING at hacking even large branches)

http://www.smkw.com/large/knife/CS97GMS.jpg

Gordon
March 9, 2012, 11:15 PM
I have a different take on what a sword CAN do. Remember that the original Samurai swords were "proofed" by hacking either condemned or their bodies at the highest level of manufacture. I have seen original wood cuts showing 2 bodies stacked on each other and were cut in half just below the rib cage and above the hips. Also one proof was the diagonal cut next to the neck and down pretty dang far from the wood cut. Severed heads with one blow were almost nothing.
Now when I was about 40 years old and still strong as an ox and pretty fast I Bought one of those Himalayan Nepalese ceremonial bull beheading Khhukris maybe about 1985 from the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine, also a "issue" enlisted Khukri which I still have (actually I have the giant 30" long Khukri even after my kids beat with it 20 years!) . With the giant Kukri when I was high and tight it after a lengthy sharpening could easily sever a sheep or goats head from it's bodywith a mighty blow! I think those animal's necks are tougher than humans! My son tried to behead a goat a few years back with his Hanwei Katana (after 10 years of Kendo training ) and only got 3/4 way thru with one blow. I seen goats chopped up with the Mad Dog Saxon I now own and believe it could give a pretty deep (like thru the heart) diagonal cut from the collar bone down by a skilled practitioner. Now I have seen Busse AK 47s hacking on goats byt the same people and the Saxon cleaves much better- by design. It weighs one third or less than the giant Khukri which is best swung by a 270 pound pro linebacker type, so us medium size can handle it pretty quickly with it's two handed grip. Just my experience and $.02 FWIW. If the time comes to dispense justice to those who are selling us down the river in a "peoples court" , I am SURE the Saxon would cleanly remove a head .

JShirley
March 9, 2012, 11:22 PM
one proof was the diagonal cut next to the neck and down pretty dang

"Kesa giri". A very traditional Japanese strike, and one of my favorites. My now-deceased friend Byron cut almost all the way through a 200-lb pig using this strike, and a 16th century katana.

John

hso
March 10, 2012, 01:11 AM
ARMA in the U.S. and Art of Mars in Europe are organizations seriously keeping the Wester European combat traditions alive. These folks are very serious practitioners of the sword as a weapon. You can catch their videos on the net and find their schools scattered around.

I studied under Maestro Eddie Floyd in the Swordplay Alliance for a year and a half and if anyone really wants to learn about using the sword in the western tradition they'd be well served to find an ARMA or Swordplay Alliance group to work with.

FMA and Japanese large blade traditions are kept alive in schools across the U.S.

John's studied Japanese and I've studied SE Asian and Philippine and some Chinese sword.

There are groups and schools out there for people to work with.

Gordon
March 10, 2012, 01:35 AM
I'd like to see what simulated body hacking J SHIRLEY or HSO could do with this hated MD Saxon. Maybe a future play date in a pork packing chiller room?
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/007-7.jpg

JShirley
March 10, 2012, 07:37 AM
Well, I think the pic links no longer work, but I did a lot of testing using green bamboo wrapped in matting to simulate tissue and bone when I tested the Razor belt sword some years ago.

The Paul Chen katana made a 1 7/8" cut in green bamboo which was wrapped in matting and then clothing. Any unarmored limb hit would be unusable, at best.

OH_Spartan
March 10, 2012, 08:16 AM
The best demonstrations of edged weapon ballistics that I have seen is Deadliest Warrior on the History Channel. They use pig carcasses, ballistic gel, load cells, etc to measure the effects of everything from bowie knives to swords from antiquity.

I don't think a current season is playing, but perhaps there are replays on history.com or DVD's available @ library, amazon/ebay, etc.

hso
March 10, 2012, 01:28 PM
Deadliest Warrior did provide some great demonstrations of the effectiveness of weapons before the age of firearms. I'd like to have a compilation of just the non firearms "tests" for reference.

Lee D
March 10, 2012, 06:40 PM
i wouldnt call this a short sword...rather a perfect sized knife for heavy camp duties. excuse the pistol, the pic was for another forum, but the LCP does give you a size comparison. LOL
dont get me wrong, it would definitely be a serious blade to have to deal with if wielded properly, but thats not why i bought it at all.

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/4162/018zhyyw.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/221/018zhyyw.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

armoredman
March 10, 2012, 07:35 PM
Buck says the Hoodlum isn't available any more. I looked up the Gladius machete, the blade thickness is 2.8 mm. Just a machete, that's all.
Wonder what fits a budget that would work well?

JShirley
March 11, 2012, 01:56 AM
I would be hesistant to buy something that screams "weapon", when something else that doesn't look like it was made to kill people- or for mall commandos- is the same price, and is just as effective.

A machete fits easily into a "BII" bag for your car, along with a small shovel, pry bar, and come-along. Not only makes everything else look more legitimate, but with a blanket and a gallon of water, you're a lot more prepared, as well.

ArfinGreebly
March 11, 2012, 04:40 AM
Buck says the Hoodlum isn't available any more. I looked up the Gladius machete, the blade thickness is 2.8 mm. Just a machete, that's all.
Wonder what fits a budget that would work well?

Actually, the Hoodlum is still available (and at better street prices) through a number of retailers.

The note on the Buck Knives site indicates that it's not currently available, but omits the clarification that it's not currently available from the factory. I was in the factory store last week and asked about new models and stock levels on the shelves there. The gals told me that at this time of year all their production was earmarked for retailers to fulfill first quarter ordering. Generally a certain amount of production will become available both internally and for online ordering within the next couple of months.

Amazon shows it in stock (http://www.amazon.com/Buck-Hood-Hoodlum-Hunting-Knife/dp/B004VS05E8) at $126.15 (nice price).

Cabela's shows it in stock (http://www.cabelas.com/fixed-blade-knives-buck-knives-ron-hood-hoodlum-survival-knife.shtml) for $210.99 (less impressive).

Smoky Mountain Knife Works shows it in stock (http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/products/Buck+Knives%26reg%3B/BuckŪ++Hood+Hoodlum/BU3648.html) for $169.99 (not bad, not great).

I'm sure there are other places that carry it as well. Like Knives Plus (http://www.knivesplus.com/buckknifebu-60bksbh.html) and Blade Matrix (http://www.bladematrix.com/BU0060BKSBH-Buck-BuckHood-Hoodlum_p_23746.html).

armoredman
March 11, 2012, 12:15 PM
That is a nice price.

Black Butte
March 11, 2012, 12:48 PM
Check out Albion's line of Roman swords. Here's an example:

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/nextgen/sword-roman-tiberius-fulham.htm

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/swords-albion-mark-nextgen.htm

armoredman
March 11, 2012, 01:57 PM
Nice, and the prices are a wee bit out of my range. :)

kBob
March 11, 2012, 03:38 PM
Just another voice in the wilderness crying out about the value of the machete. I rather liked the old style cane knifes used in Florida and Central America as well, guess you folks might think of them as a bush ax rather than a sword though. Kept one in a car back in the 1970's with a go pack. One never knew then when the Russkies or Chinese were gonna nuke us!

And what J Shirly said about other tools and water and blankies as well. I still keep my ames folding e-tool sharp on the end and left side just like Uncle Sugar taught me and I can still dig with it do some light brush clearing or maybe some CQC with it.

I will say this topic made me think of the traditional Confederate D handled Bowie right off the bat and then the Marine Raider Bowie. In short (sword) big honking knives.

-kBob

hso
March 11, 2012, 04:41 PM
I'm fortunate enough to live where Knife World is published and to have attended many hammer-ins and gatherings where historical blades are discussed and seminars are presented and have actually had the chance to handle real Confederate bowies.

Confederate bowies got dumped along the march because they were too big and heavy to tote around.

Spec ops Grunt
March 11, 2012, 06:36 PM
Dang! Looked up the Confederate Bowie, what would posses someone to make a knife that big and give it to a soldier already carrying a whole bunch of stuff?

Cosmoline
March 11, 2012, 07:04 PM
Speaking of that era, I remember John Brown and his group used broadswords and spears during the Kansas wars, as well as the well known Sharps.

http://randomthoughtsonhistory.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html

It was a world that still had one foot firmly in the earlier age of sharp steel.

kBob
March 11, 2012, 07:48 PM
Yep and ACW troops were also know to throw away overcoats.....and US troops "Lose" even spare ammo in more recent times.

I was a light Infantryman and am very familiar with carrying everything I am going to have for the foreseeable future on my person. Still the short sword thread made me think of Big Honking Knives. And I am not sure that given a muzzle loading smoothbore musket (which is what MOST CSA and Southern states troops had in the beginning) and a spike bayonet that I would not have made the effort to carry a big honking knife such as the Dhandle CSA bowie until something better came along.

One the other hand a machete makes more sense as to being useful. As a kid from 11 to18 I carried a machete a lot in my "play ground" the Florida woods and swamps. I won many fights to the death with trees and bushes. It was one of the prewar Belgium made ones used by the US Navy rather than the more common Collins. A bit shorter and broader than a Collins and its USN marked sheath was too short for a Collins. It was given to me by one of my Grandfathers friends a war time USN Aviator along with some other stuff I wish I had taken care of. Kids. What do they know?

-kBob

Gordon
March 11, 2012, 09:44 PM
I guess this 13" bladed "Confederate Bowie" as Stephan Fowler calls it is a short sword. It actually has enough girth to the pointy blade to chop things somewhat as shown in the build threads he posted here. I wear it on my Sporran belt when wearing me Kilts at Celtic fairs. A fearsome and gorgous tool I just had to show after all this machete talk!
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/Dagger-1.jpg
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/Dagger-3.jpg
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/Dagger-22.jpg

armoredman
March 11, 2012, 09:51 PM
Now that's what i like right there.

hso
March 12, 2012, 12:52 AM
that I would not have made the effort to carry a big honking knife such as the Dhandle CSA bowie until something better came along.

That's what a lot of folks think, but the historical and archaeological evidence is that the big D-guard bowies and dirks got tossed into roadside ditches after days of marching. There's also little historical evidence of use in combat. As romantic as they seem, and I'm a sword fan, they don't appear to have been used or even carried much. Some of the best surviving examples were never carried and simply abandoned at the depots.

I do admit that the data probably biased by how knives are found during road improvement/construction and how Civil War letters complaining of the things and how they were tossed aside along the march themselves represent a bias in the data since troops who carried them without tossing them probably didn't complain about them to folks at home in their letters.

JShirley
March 12, 2012, 02:29 AM
Confederate bowies got dumped along the march because they were too big and heavy to tote around

The Stone Mountain museum has several on display, with the note that they littered the sides of the paths the Confederate troops marched.

After marching just a wee bit, I can easily agree.

OTOH, if you didn't have far to go, they'd be fearsome in hand-to-hand combat. One of the beauties of the machete is its relatively light weight for length.

John

SOUTHPAW
March 12, 2012, 01:01 PM
Back to the Brush Axe. I think its severely underrated and overlooked as a survival tool. The blade effortlessly hacks through thick branches, and I dont think bone would be an issue. Even the blunt side could easily crack skull. The brush axe can also be effectively thrown with practice. Its versatile, deadly, and lightweight. Oh and it's cheap. I think I paid $25 at Walmart for one without a sheath... and I think I'll be buying another one too...

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c83/turb0_t0m/f7cbfb3c.jpg

http://www2.fiskars.com/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Axes-and-Striking/Brush-Axe

Owen Sparks
March 12, 2012, 01:16 PM
My grandfather ran the local water and light department in the 1930's and his crew found an old Civil War sword while repairing a water line on (you guessed it) the side of the road. He bought it from the man who found it for a dime and gave it to my Dad to play with when he was about 10.

Cosmoline
March 12, 2012, 01:34 PM
Back to the Brush Axe.

It's pretty similar to the bill, which was itself an agricultural tool.

Some folks calls it a sling blade ;-)

Nematocyst
March 12, 2012, 08:53 PM
Far behind reading here. In organizational dev mode.
(Translation: the future of many depend on my work here.)

Will read tomorrow or Wednesday, and report back.

Scanning tells me this: interesting discussion. Please continue.

<Best Schwarzenegger voice>

I'll be back.

Nematocyst
March 12, 2012, 09:05 PM
I guess this 13" bladed "Confederate Bowie" as Stephan Fowler calls it is a short sword. It actually has enough girth to the pointy blade to chop things somewhat as shown in the build threads he posted here. I wear it on my Sporran belt when wearing me Kilts at Celtic fairs. A fearsome and gorgous tool I just had to show after all this machete talk!Gordon, that's exactly what I'm looking for.

Contact info? PM if you wish.

armoredman
March 12, 2012, 09:52 PM
Or are there good repros available?

hso
March 12, 2012, 10:28 PM
Cosmo,

You're thinking bush axe.

This is a sling blade when you go digging around the garden department.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/public/F7QCYA3_PF1qTkBTkCN6wfBVA2DEjeUTFwGTBmfoXfsOZRR4rVZaCtyFkqKNAwYqUW2ShiAWXZmUVKOne0SuEnwkKpDKOH2OOWBMUO_2sdF55Khd7kmIbMdTFsIyo7ekA0gL67udIJiA_gqlvt3MOe1a_QaFULqKs0-8TXlsftMX=s90-c

blindhari
March 13, 2012, 12:33 AM
hso,
hate to correct a moderator, but brush hook is proper usage. It is a modern adaption of a bill or bill hook used throughout Europe as a weapon and agricultural tool. Sometimes known in Britain as a "Bill" It was the way you cleared hedge by taking out the base of the plant.

blindhari

Owen Sparks
March 13, 2012, 01:08 AM
Or for taking a mounted knight off his horse.

JShirley
March 13, 2012, 05:22 AM
blindhari,

I'd hate to correct a member, but hso was referring to the "sling blade" quote.

content
March 13, 2012, 07:40 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // My choice years ago was the Buckmaster Lite 185.

Folks called it my Rambo knife but it is very versatile and became the M9 Bayonet.

At 12 11/16" it barely qualifies as a "sword" but functionally the 185 has been spectacular.

I wove para cord along the spine of the hilt to aid my grip and give a little more padding when chopping. With the cut outs in the hilt it is easily turned in to a spear.

The plastic sheath ( no way this knife is poking me through the sheath in a fall) has a retention spring clip inside and safely contains the knife. The sheath has a wet stone imbedded in the back too.

Hope you find what works for you.

blindhari
March 13, 2012, 10:54 AM
hso, JShirley;
Please accept my apoligies. reread this morning and I was absolutely wrong. New rule for living I have just adopted, "Always read it three times late at nigh and again in the morning before posting reply".
Again my apologies,

blindhari

JShirley
March 13, 2012, 11:08 AM
Hey, no problem. It happens.

John

tuj
March 13, 2012, 02:22 PM
I have an affection for short swords and have examples of wakizashis, parangs, bolos and other big knives/short swords that are devastating. The big problem with short swords, in addition to carrying something 18+inches long, is the price. A real weapon of that size breaks $100 immediately and goes up quickly.

You got that right. I read a long time ago in I think it was Combat Knives about a guy in Washington state who made his own wakizashis and they were extremely popular in Japan, but also *extremely* expensive. We're talking like high-4 to 5-figure range. But if you think that's just decoration, it ain't. The guy said that his best short swords would cut *free-hanging* steel cable, the kind they use to stabilize telephone poles. He said not all of his swords would cut it clean through, but the best ones would.

I was blown away.

Lots of cool info here: http://www.toyamaryu.org/index.htm

blarby
March 13, 2012, 02:50 PM
While it sounds like the OP may have found what he's looking for, I'd like to throw one more design into the mix :

http://www.got-kilt.com/sitebuilder/images/Mongolian_short_sword-317x229.jpg


If the stories are correct ( Hso may know this lore better than I ) Horseman had a lot less use for long pliable swords than shorter stout ones that could reliably double as effective tools.

This design is fairly indicative of such a tool, and combines a great handle length for the two-handed jobs with a wide tipped cutting edge for the "meatier" work.

conw
March 13, 2012, 04:01 PM
The guy said that his best short swords would cut *free-hanging* steel cable

I'm skeptical... did he substantiate this? Obviously (if he is talking about a fairly thin blade cutting it in a single swipe) this would be exceptional to say the least, and he could make millions of dollars sharing his techniques with us dumb Westerners with our silly reliance on science, instead of just selling knives in Japan. The ability to produce tools that could do this would potentially be a major leap forward in a lot of fields other than bladecraft.

tuj
March 13, 2012, 04:12 PM
I'm skeptical... did he substantiate this?

Unfortunately this was in a long-lost copy of a knife magazine I had back in the 90's. He claimed he used some sort of "L" motion swipe that was traditionally used in cutting bamboo. I too was skeptical of the claim, but this guy was well-respected by the editors of the magazine (if I recall correctly, one of the editors was Massad Ayoob, or at least he was a contributor) and not only did this guy make his own blades, he made his own STEEL in his own kiln/blast furnace. I forget how many times he said he folded the steel, but I want to say it was at least 100 per sword. He talked about covering the edge of the blade in clay to get the curve the traditional way. Seemed like he knew what he was talking about, but IANASM (I am not a sword maker).

Maybe the guy was telling a tall tale, I don't know. But I do know that the wakizashi-length sword is/was very popular in Japan amongst high-end businessmen not so much as a decoration or status symbol, but a legitimate self-defense weapon. Makes sense when you consider the lack of firearms ownership combined with the potentially devastating results a quality short-sword can unleash.

One of the things that I saw emphasized in both Combat Handguns and in some of the knife magazines, was that it doesn't take a big blade to do a lot of damage. There are a number of places on the body where a 1" blade like a scalpel can inflict grievous damage. The moral of the story was to take every blade seriously, no matter how big or small.

According to this site (http://www.katsujin.org/usntk/shinkendo.htm):

What is unique about the Japanese sword is its awesome cutting ability. Japanese swords have been tested on steel cable, blocks of wood, steel helmets, nails, sheet steel, and, in the old days, the bodies of condemned criminals. The record for a sword cutting through bodies is seven!

Gordon
March 13, 2012, 05:15 PM
Phil Hartsfield made a hell of a short sword, but just to "polish" one he got $100 per inch ! :eek:
RIP Phill .
http://www.phillhartsfield.com/gallery.php

hso
March 13, 2012, 10:32 PM
Yes, you can cut mild steel cable with a sword...once...if the sword is reallllllllly good...if you're really realllllllly good with it, but that isn't the point of this thread. The practical limits of what can be purchased remove such art and artistry from the discussion.

armoredman
March 13, 2012, 11:27 PM
My question remains - any place to get a good working repro pf that Confederate bowie pictured a page back? That's an excellent looking short sword style of blade I would love to own.

Gordon
March 13, 2012, 11:35 PM
Stephan Fowler might make you one but it will cost, after what it took to make mine. Ask him.

armoredman
March 14, 2012, 12:21 AM
Was hoping for something a bit less pricey, but thank you very much. :)

Gordon
March 14, 2012, 12:27 AM
Armored man, here ya go. Very nice but of course not the best in the world!
http://laforgeweapons.com/?wpsc-product=dagger

malo
March 14, 2012, 09:04 PM
This is a particular favorite subject and

I have a list :

Macdonald Armouries : Fairbairn Cobra
Cold Steel: Magnum Tanto XII
CRKT : Hisshou
Only on Facebook, Pekiti Tirsia Kali Organizer : Dahon Palay
Kiku Matsuda : KM-910 Wakizashi

The criteria for this selection is, a useful short blade that doesn't weigh too much
and that's long enough.

The last is pretty custom (expensive)

carpettbaggerr
March 23, 2012, 04:21 PM
I'd like to find something like a gladius, but a really short one, closer to 18". This sounds like what you want: http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=401392&name=Roman+Wood+Handled+Dagger

Browsing their site hadn't seen this one before:http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=AH6251B&name=Bone+Hilt+Gladiator+Dolch

This one is longer than you want but would be easy to cut down. And hard to beat the price: http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=400164&name=Qama

Check out http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/sword-forum.html for lots of reviews and an interesting forum. They focus on swords under $200.

Dr.Rob
March 23, 2012, 05:59 PM
Those kindjal and qama style blades have long interested me. Historical qamas I've seen don't always look so gladius like.. the blades aren't as wide and they are pointier.

http://www.atlantacutlery.com/p-1323-windlass-cobra-steel-kindjal.aspx

http://www.atlantacutlery.com/p-1162-russian-kindjal.aspx

http://www.trocadero.com/stores/101antiques/items/916258/item916258.html

Fred Fuller
March 24, 2012, 11:56 AM
Dang! Looked up the Confederate Bowie, what would posses someone to make a knife that big and give it to a soldier already carrying a whole bunch of stuff?

Frankly I think there were a lot of folks in the early 1860s that just didn't know what they were getting into as far as that particular war was concerned. And when the reality finally dawned on them, they found out that their pre-war expectations were about as out of touch with reality as those big heavy knives. More than just knives got tossed in those ditches along the routes of march, a lot of naivete went with those blades. How much good would a big dirk really do you, when pretty much everyone on the battlefield had a rifle about as long as they were tall, with a couple of feet of pointy steel affixed to the end of it to boot? You'd need arms longer than an orangutan for even a big knife to do any good against a bayonet or a clubbed rifle.

And it wasn't just Confederate rank and file soldiers who had unrealistic ideas about what that war would bring, either. The best military minds of the day had not properly allowed for the effect of the rifled musket plus the Minie' ball on the battlefield formations and tactics of the day. While the older smoothbore musket - many of which were still in use in the early days of the war - was hard put to hit a man sized target at 70 yards, the rifled musket/minie' combination could get hits, especially on area targets, out to about 600 yards.

The infantry manuals in use at the time tried to make up for this significant increase in effective range of the common infantry weapon by increasing the length of the pace of a marching soldier, and increasing the number of paces per minute. It took a surprising amount of time for senior leaders on both sides to figure out that moving a formation of men only 50% faster (which is probably generous) across a beaten zone that was up to 600% longer was a tragedy in the making. Wikipedia's entry puts it like this-

Many generals, particularly early in the war, preferred to use Napoleonic tactics, despite the increased killing power of period weaponry. They marched their men out in tightly closed formations, often with soldiers elbow-to-elbow in double-rank battle lines, usually in brigade (by mid-war numbering about 2,500-3,000 infantrymen) or division (by mid-war numbering about 6,000-10,000 infantrymen) strength. This large mass presented an easy target for defenders, who could easily fire several volleys before his enemy would be close enough for hand-to-hand combat. The idea was to close on the enemy's position with this mass of soldiers and charge them with the bayonet, convincing the enemy to leave their position or be killed. At times, these soon-to-be outdated tactics contributed to high casualty lists. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infantry_in_the_American_Civil_War

Last time I was home, I passed by the grave of the author of one of the more popular of those manuals on both sides, William J. Hardee. While I read his tombstone, I couldn't help but think of the thousands of men who died in that war, in part because of the tactics of the time. You can see a short biography and pictures at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8762 if you wish.

KodiakBeer
March 24, 2012, 12:55 PM
I like to follow these blade threads, though I don't often contribute since I'm not much of a collector.

I just re-read Bell Irvin Wiley's, The Life of Johnny Reb, for the 3rd or 4th time. He discusses at length this early war phenomena of the big dirks, daggers, Bowies and even "scimitars" carried by Confederate troops. As Fred mentions above, those implements were sold or thrown away in the first campaigns. They also threw away their bayonets and sold off their revolvers to any cavalryman who wanted them, along with canteens, cooking pots and anything else not absolutely necessary for day to day survival.

Throwing away the bayonets was infuriating to officers, but as it turned out bayonet charges were pretty much a thing of the past and both sides preferred swinging their rifles like clubs instead of sticking people with the bayonet - or a Bowie for that matter.

Gordon
March 24, 2012, 02:14 PM
"You'd need arms longer than an orangutan for even a big knife to do any good against a bayonet or a clubbed rifle."

The only time I got into a serious knife fight wuz with a crazed 300 pound Islander with an m-14 with sharpened bayonet and me armed with an 8" Randall # 1 which I always carried at the time. By stepping to the inside and parrying the rifle with the left hand push I wuz able to slice the left arm off the rifle , the almost severed left arm caused the drunk out their mind agressor to drop the weapon, grab the dangling appendage and sit on the floor and howl. Now I suppose a bayonet thrust from a sober person on the run at you would be more difficult to parry , but with technique a large knife like a Confederate short sword or Bowie would come in real handy even as a make do entrenching tool. I think all the discarded stuff wuz due to shell shocked and defeated troops in retreat. Yes a knife or sword or pike sure doesn't help against arty or rifle fire !

KodiakBeer
March 24, 2012, 02:32 PM
I think all the discarded stuff wuz due to shell shocked and defeated troops in retreat.

Not according to Wiley, who wrote the book after 40 years of interviewing the remaining Confederate veterans. Those troops just spent so much time marching and counter-marching that everything not needed right now just became superfluous weight. The most prized treasure found on the field was not a sword or revolver, but a pair of boots pulled off a dead union soldier.

If you think about it, an unloaded Springfield or Enfield was a five foot long, nine pound club. You're not going to throw that down to draw a Bowie in a melee.

Fred Fuller
March 25, 2012, 12:33 PM
Ever since I first saw then-MAJ Art Alphin deliver his Components of Firepower series of lectures at West Point* through the good offices of the video camera back in the early 1980s, I had a more basic understanding of the degree to which technology drives tactics.

Well, eventually anyway, especially where stodgy military organizations are concerned ;). See http://bowieknifefightsfighters.blogspot.com/2011/11/sword-or-pistol-for-us-cavalry.html for one more example.

What Johnny Reb didn't understand when he marched off to war with the huge dirk the local blacksmith had forged for him were the realities of that war. The new realities of the technologies that were either fully realized at the time, like the caplock rifled musket/minie' combination, or being developed, like fixed cartridges and breech-loading single shot or magazine-fed repeating rifles, would make big 'side knives' pretty much useless weight. And the evolution of tactics eventually driven by those technologies would only contribute more to the abandonment of big knives for the average foot soldier.

In more modern times of mechanized infantry or airmobility, 'the soldier's load' works out somewhat differently than it did in times when most movement to, from and on the battlefield was on foot. Remember what Hardee's answer to the increased effective range of the rifled musket was - take longer paces, faster. The manual states in part:

114. The double quick step may be executed with different degrees of swiftness. Under urgent circumstances the, cadence of this step [33" pace -f] may be increased to one hundred and eighty per minute. At this rate a distance of four thousand yards would be passed over in about twenty-five minutes. -- http://www.drillnet.net/1862/1862SotS.htm

Remember that this is for a formation of several hundred to several thousand infantrymen, not just one soldier. There are sufficient diaries and letters from individual soldiers describing what life was like to allow drawing reasonable conclusions, and by far the most of them stripped down their gear to the minimum possible weight (http://www.wtv-zone.com/civilwar/soldier.html ). There just wasn't sufficient need or use for the big side knives to warrant keeping them, once soldiers experienced the reality of war.

*Now available on DVD - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013LPRQM/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=vifrthpo-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0013LPRQM

Gordon
March 25, 2012, 02:21 PM
LTC Art Alphin made me this .358 Norma Hannibal in the mid 80s. I think now he makes ammo only in Montana. He certainly knows his military history! I could see that the soldiers would strip down for 33" double timing for 25 or more minutes!
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/081.jpg

Cosmoline
March 26, 2012, 02:32 PM
I've read a lot of primary source accounts of combat from the CW over the years, but I come up blank trying to remember any account of short blade use. Other than in the surgeon's tent, that is. Those guys hacked off hundreds of thousands of limbs.

I forget how many times he said he folded the steel, but I want to say it was at least 100 per sword.

OK, let's say he did this. Is he *really* going to take such a blade with so many hours of work in it and use it to hack steel cable? Because even if this is some Hanzo razor that can cut through the cable, physics is physics and it will leave some nasty nasty scrapes across that pristine high end Japanese blade.

hso
March 27, 2012, 09:39 AM
Cosmo,

That's exactly the sort of thing a maker might do just to prove a point. They'll also polish it out again after doing so. They wouldn't do it with an ancient piece (although I know some that would), but they'll treat their own work as if it were a working tool. You have to hang around with these guys to understand their absolute dedication to their craft and the extremes they'll go to. I've seen some things at forges and Hammer-Ins that I marvel at and I've been around the community for decades now. You probably have plenty of extremely dedicated folks that you know that others would think of as more than a little crazy for the things they do.


For those of you looking for a "authentic" Confederate Bowie, check with Ron Claiborne at 423-524-2054 and ask if he'll build one for you and what it would cost. The historical pieces I've handled had simple iron furniture and steel blades and simple oak grips and were blacksmith finished. I've also handled some fancy pieces that more well to do individuals had made by better cutlers, but that's not what you want to pay for (unless it is).

Nematocyst
March 28, 2012, 02:56 PM
Those kindjal and qama style blades have long interested me.
Historical qamas I've seen don't always look so gladius like..
the blades aren't as wide and they are pointier.

http://www.atlantacutlery.com/p-1323...l-kindjal.aspxWhoa. Mikey likes it.

Would rather it be 18" OL, but still ...

hso
March 28, 2012, 03:14 PM
Museum Replicas has a whole short sword category (http://www.museumreplicas.com/c-24-short-swords-cutlasses.aspx) to entertain ourselves with.

Of course you could just hunt for antiques. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Civil-War-Confederate-Union-Artillery-Short-Sword-Sabre-w-Scabbard-S-K-/270944130044?_trksid=p3284.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D21%26pmod%3D310359425131%26ps%3D54

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