Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Preliminary results...sword vs Jack Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 11:22 am    Post subject: Preliminary results...sword vs Jack         Reply with quote

Hi all,

In a few weeks I am going to post results from a series of tests of various weapons vs. some very fine historically correct mail by Julio Junco and a 10, 20 and 30 layer linen Jack from Matuls.

I just wanted to post some preliminary results from the jack tests, specifically thrust tests vs 10, 20 and 30 layers. I'm working with 2 pieces of a Jack, a 10 layer piece and 20 layer piece (30 layer tests were of course of the two combined pieces).

So far, here are the results....even a 10 layer jack will mostly stop a flexible sword, such as a civilian dueling longsword like the Brescia Spadona (though the Brescia can sometimes power through the 10 layer jack). What stops it is blade flex.

However, not even a 30 layer jack can stop a stiff war sword such as Albion's Talhoffer or old Regent. However, the new Regent or the Earl, with their thicker reinforced points, have lost their effectiveness against a jack.

The full report will have photos, a lot more weapons and scenarios and of course attempts to cut the jack (which will, I believe, prove futile). I just thought I'd release some info ahead of time, as I'm very excited to confrim my suspicions that an acutely pointed war sword would have made short work of jacks.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 501

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting information. Look forward to seeing your full report.

I think this underlines a point many have made previously - there is no such thing as "the perfect sword". A point narrow enough to pierce a Jack might break when used against other armor - etc.

Clearly from historical examples there were many different approaches to the task of delivering effective weapons.

Gordon
View user's profile Send private message
Felix R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Reading list: 25 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 555

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Give me more! I am looking forward to your full report.
View user's profile Send private message
Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

Posts: 936

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

make sure you have the quilting in effect. i believe just pieces of a jack will yield different results than having a full jack. being that a full jack the material may pull or pull in teh direction and not allow a blade to pass etc. i dunno heheh maybe it will. love to see the tests though.

now remember the writeings about jacks. most jackes under 25 layers had mail under them. and those from 25-30 had a stag skin. that could change yoru test results too.
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 3:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
make sure you have the quilting in effect. i believe just pieces of a jack will yield different results than having a full jack. being that a full jack the material may pull or pull in teh direction and not allow a blade to pass etc. i dunno heheh maybe it will. love to see the tests though.

now remember the writeings about jacks. most jackes under 25 layers had mail under them. and those from 25-30 had a stag skin. that could change yoru test results too.


Hi Chuck,

The jack pieces are large and quilted...Matuls did a good job producing samples. Also, this is not meant as a definitive simulation of medieval combat. I think it's useful to know the results of specific weapons vs specific defenses in isolation.

Also, based on the thickness of the material, I find it hard to believe that anything more than the torso had that many layers...if you wrap the 20 layer piece around your arm you can hardly bend your eblow.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:

Also, based on the thickness of the material, I find it hard to believe that anything more than the torso had that many layers...if you wrap the 20 layer piece around your arm you can hardly bend your eblow.


As long as you are experimenting, could you find out what the approximate maximum number of layers is practical for an arm?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
Michael Edelson wrote:

Also, based on the thickness of the material, I find it hard to believe that anything more than the torso had that many layers...if you wrap the 20 layer piece around your arm you can hardly bend your eblow.


As long as you are experimenting, could you find out what the approximate maximum number of layers is practical for an arm?


It's hard to say...even 10 layers offers resitance to bending an elbow, but 10 layers isn't too bad. 20 layers would be too much for me.

Also, even 30 layers seems to do very little to cushion blunt trauma. I can see why they used this stuff, but I can also see why that use was limited. It's not wonder armor by any means. And if it rains and this stuff soaks in some water, it will be a beast.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael Olsen





Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my research for gambeson patterns, I seem to recall some padded armour designs having holes at the inner elbows. I presumed that these were use to allow increased motion when using thick padding. I'm not sure about the prevalence, effectiveness, or even the historical nature of this construction, however.

This is an example of the design: http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/padded_jack.html
As you can see, the sleeves have a rather large opening at the elbow.

Michael Olsen
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Olsen wrote:
In my research for gambeson patterns, I seem to recall some padded armour designs having holes at the inner elbows. I presumed that these were use to allow increased motion when using thick padding. I'm not sure about the prevalence, effectiveness, or even the historical nature of this construction, however.

This is an example of the design: http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/padded_jack.html
As you can see, the sleeves have a rather large opening at the elbow.



That would seem to help, but it is telling that such cutouts were deemed necessary on even an 8 layer jack.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,146

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 9:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
George Hill wrote:
Michael Edelson wrote:

Also, based on the thickness of the material, I find it hard to believe that anything more than the torso had that many layers...if you wrap the 20 layer piece around your arm you can hardly bend your elbow.


As long as you are experimenting, could you find out what the approximate maximum number of layers is practical for an arm?


It's hard to say...even 10 layers offers resistance to bending an elbow, but 10 layers isn't too bad. 20 layers would be too much for me.

Also, even 30 layers seems to do very little to cushion blunt trauma. I can see why they used this stuff, but I can also see why that use was limited. It's not wonder armor by any means. And if it rains and this stuff soaks in some water, it will be a beast.


Would sleeves with more layers on the outside make sense or thick sections of 10 layers be attached to short section of fewer layers in some sort of pattern just at the elbow: Something looking like an accordion ?

Also looking forward to your other tests. Cool

With cutting tests you could try using what is a normaly sword sharp blade, a still sharp but slightly blunted edge and for contrast the scariest of razor sharp hair popping edges just to see how sharpness affects the results.

The super sharp blade would be much sharper than what any sword would normally be but a single edges fighting knife might be this sharp.

My theory is that when a blade is razor sharp textile or leather armour is easily cut, but that even a small amount of dulling will make an enormous difference in increased cut resistance: Now I'm curious to see if tests can confirm or contradict this.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 9:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,

I can guess how the cutting tests will go, because I previously performed them with denim...blue jeans, to be exact. I folded them to form 16 or 32 layers and tried to cut them or thrust through them. I could not cut even 16 layers with anything, not even a razor sharp katana (nihonto, not a production imitation), though that sword was the only one to cut through half of the layers.

The tests were criticized because it was stated that linen is tougher than denim, which is what prompted me to ask Matuls for the sample. However, judging by the thrusting results, linen is NOT tougher than denim, in fact the opposite is true. However, I still anticipate that I will be unable to cut through the jack at all. I'm certain that the only difference will be how many layers a particular sword will cut through before being stopped.

But only the actual test will tell...

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot would depend ont he acutal quality of the linen used, as a cloth linens come in very varying thickness, open or tight weaves, soft or stiff and so on. A quick look at my main supplier of living history quality linens reveal a cloth that weigns any thing from 0,18 kilos/meter to 0,6kilos/meter
A very stiff linen in an open weave would have rather diffrent defensive capabilites than an soft linen in a tight weave. Furthermore many Jacks were made of fustian, a linen/cotton blend, not linen.

Softness seems to be a key factor when making a jack, The ordinnace of Loius XI clearly states that "the best cloth that has been worn and rendered flexible is best for this purpose" and goes on to lay to the guidelines for a jack that has 25 or 30 layers of cloth in the arms. The 1483 description of jacks from Enlgnad states "The softer the tunics the better do they withstand the blows of arrows and swords"
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The burgundy ordinance is 10 layers with mail and 25 with the last layer of buckskin and 30 alone.

You have to be careful with how the ordinances describe the defensive capabilities. These men are trying to maximize the amount of armour worn for the least amount of cash hoping more will be armed with the option B being no armour on their men which is clearly worse. They usually also say things like 'hardly a man has been killed by a sword in such a jack as 30 layer'...... Then you have the crushing blows of pole weapons as well.

The ordinances in england seem to increase its use for sure but there is always that question if if some, most or all actually did it as in musters you find huge numbers without harness, which means with no armour at all...

I still have a hard time thinking most were over 20 or even 15 really for the average man. The expense would have to be great even for used linen which often is advocated as Daniel pointed out. The problem is most Jack sold used would be more than even used waste linen would allow in 15 plus layers. Something to also be considered is the howard inventory. The only jacks of such huge layers are for the lord and his sons, commoners get a much reduced version. I doubt such a military involved lord like Howard would be thta out of sync for his men.

Poor jack... everyone is always picking on him.

Look forward to the results.

A person I know made a similar test but when he made the jack alternated the weave of the layers and he said this increased the strength. Not sure with such an acute point how big a difference it would make.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,042

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fascinating thread.

Regarding the expense, how expensive would a jack of this type be compared to say, a sword, a munitions grade cuirass, mail corslet, a helmet, a wisby coat, or a bringatine jack?

I realize prices would vary considerably country to country and year to year of course... but some kind of frame of reference on the cost of this surprisingly effective armor would be helpful in understanding the context.

I know ther was a recent article here comparing the various forms of cloth armor and padded garments worn over and under mail armor... but I'm still very confused by the differences between a jack, jupon, aketon, gambeson, points etc. etc.


Seems like, if I'm undertanding correctly, a jack of this type would constitute almost as effective armor as a mail byrnie or a brigantine, but perhaps be more ablative or easier to destroy from attrition. Does that sound reasonable? It seems like it's probably considerably more effective than any kind of leather armor including cuir boulli.


I think it's very likely the holes inside the elbows and the often seen holes in the armpit would be there to enhance flexibility, I wonder if also in some cases simply much fewer layers might be put in these places even when there aren't holes.


I remember being amazed in reading Bernal Diaz that most of the original Conquistadors of Cortez had only cloth armor of some kind, yet they seemed to endure nearly an endless shower of javelins and missiles of all types as well as numerous blows from effective if non metal weapons with surprisingly few casualties.

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,042

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Olsen wrote:
In my research for gambeson patterns, I seem to recall some padded armour designs having holes at the inner elbows. I presumed that these were use to allow increased motion when using thick padding. I'm not sure about the prevalence, effectiveness, or even the historical nature of this construction, however.

This is an example of the design: http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/padded_jack.html
As you can see, the sleeves have a rather large opening at the elbow.


If you were going to make armor like that, how do you sew the layers together and what is the best way to cut it? Do you use like a carpet needle? Is there any way to sew something like that with a machine?

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Michael Olsen wrote:
In my research for gambeson patterns, I seem to recall some padded armour designs having holes at the inner elbows. I presumed that these were use to allow increased motion when using thick padding. I'm not sure about the prevalence, effectiveness, or even the historical nature of this construction, however.

This is an example of the design: http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/padded_jack.html
As you can see, the sleeves have a rather large opening at the elbow.


If you were going to make armor like that, how do you sew the layers together and what is the best way to cut it? Do you use like a carpet needle? Is there any way to sew something like that with a machine?


The machines used in the equine harness industry would have no trouble with that. Quilted layers of harness leather and felt up to an inch thick don't even slow them down. Check out machines like the Ferdinand "Bull" or old Puritan stitchers. Sewing it by hand in the cushion style (think futon) would be easy with mattress needles or with a harness makers' collar awl. I tinkered with a padded jack stuffed with metal plates for a while but it was just too tedious. That and I've got no one to play Border Reiver with over here, so it would never see the light of day even if I got it together. Interesting home armouring project in period though.


Kel
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael Olsen





Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you were going to make armor like that, how do you sew the layers together and what is the best way to cut it? Do you use like a carpet needle? Is there any way to sew something like that with a machine?[/quote]

Honestly, I have no idea how one would go about actually stitching the fabric - I would think that some heavy duty sewing machines may do the trick when fitted with a proper needle, but I really don't know enough about it right now to be able to say something with any degree of certainty.

Michael Olsen
View user's profile Send private message
Eric Myers




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 214

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:

I remember being amazed in reading Bernal Diaz that most of the original Conquistadors of Cortez had only cloth armor of some kind, yet they seemed to endure nearly an endless shower of javelins and missiles of all types as well as numerous blows from effective if non metal weapons with surprisingly few casualties.


My understanding is that they had at least some metal breastplates, but abandoned them after a few fights against obsidian weapons, which shattered on impact with the steel, sending dangerous flying shards into other exposed areas.

Eric Myers
Sacramento Sword School
ViaHup.com - Wiki di Scherma Italiana
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just finished the tests and am going to try to compile them as soon as possible.

Want a teaser?

A Brescia Spadona cat a 3" gash in a 20 layer Jack.

A katana (nihonto- signed: Chounsai Emura Saku) can devastate....absolutely devastate...a 30 layer jack. As in cut to ribbons.

I was shocked!

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:


Also, even 30 layers seems to do very little to cushion blunt trauma. I can see why they used this stuff, but I can also see why that use was limited. It's not wonder armor by any means. And if it rains and this stuff soaks in some water, it will be a beast.


This has been my experience as well. For practical, but less historical, armour I've started using felted wool instead of cotton batting. The felt is much better padding. But the batting or layers are probably more cut cut resistant.

And in medieval armour the cut resistance is more important.

-Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Preliminary results...sword vs Jack
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum