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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Functional Small Sword advice and information Reply to topic
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Donald Layne




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2007

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 07 Nov, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject: Functional Small Sword advice and information         Reply with quote

Howdy all.

I am new and looking for advice and information. I want to purchase a nice functional "small sword". I have looked at some of the reviews, but none of them seem to highly recommend the "small sword" that was reviewed. Is there a good source for a nice small sword in the $300 dollar range?

I hope this doesn't sound corny, but I would want this to lean next to my bed. I would use it if I needed to perforate an intruder. I have given it considerable thought, and it would work much better for me than most other items outside a firearm. I fenced competitively with foil and epee, and the small sword seems very close to the epee.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Don

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Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 07 Nov, 2007 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On a personal and rather selfish note, I'd rather you not do this. Swords get too much bad press as it is. I'd not like my hobby destroyed due to you running someone through, even if it was self defense. Imagine the field day the media would have.

We have plenty of threads related to smallswords, one that came up very recently. just search for the word "smallsword" in the forum search and you will get more information than you could ever want Happy




Grayson
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Gabriel Lebec
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Location: NY, NY
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Nov, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Donald, and welcome to myArmoury. Happy

As Grayson mentioned, I encourage you to check out this Topic on "The Best Smallsword?" which has obvious overlap (I found it by doing a Forum Search for "smallsword"). There is some fencing talk there as well, which you may find interesting. As to our reviews, I am not sure that I agree that none were very positive. Checking the conclusions of the following, several quotes jump out at me:
    Arms & Armor Custom English Loop-hilt Smallsword - "Not only is this one of the finest smallswords that I have the pleasure of owning, it illustrates another example of the quality of work that the good folks at Arms & Armor produce."
    Arms & Armor Smallsword - "All in all, this is the best reproduction of a smallsword that I have yet come across... Even at the current price, it is a good value."
    Del Tin 5181 Smallsword - "it not only fills the role of a functional smallsword, it is not overly expensive, handles well, and could be used either as a true sword... or a fencing tool.... This sword is really quite a nice buy."
    Phoenix Metal Creations Loop-hilt Smallsword - "The work is so good that if the hilt where aged to match the blade, setting it on a table at an arms show or putting it on display at a museum, it would be difficult to determine that the final sword is a modern creation." (Note - E.S. no longer works professionally).

The G. Gedney Godwin Smallsword only seems to suffer by comparison, really, still being praised as a "perfect sword for the 18th century reenactor limited to this budget." Meanwhile, the only mediocre review I saw was the Cold Steel Smallsword which was considered "only adequate for its price point" but "if found within the $350-$375 price range, ...a good purchase."

While we're on the subject, if you are in the market for something really fancy, there is a Custom Kevin Cashen Smallsword that may still be available for sale in our Marketplace.

As to your stated purpose, well, self-defense is not my strong suit, but I'm sure others will have worthwhile opinions on the suitability for these arms for that purpose. Myself, I would be wary of the various legal ramifications as well as worried about the effectiveness of a smallsword as a deterrent. It's an effective weapon, to be sure, but the stopping power or intimidation factor for a modern criminal? I don't know, and thankfully I live in an area where I don't worry too much about finding out.

Meanwhile, there have been a couple of incidents of criminals wielding cheap "samurai sword" knockoffs in the UK. As a result, Japanese blades have garnered such a bad rep there that they are in the process of being banned - a significant blow to the serious nihontophiles there. Although exemptions are supposed to be made for true nihonto (what, are they going to hire experts to sort them out?), many authentic antiques and modern masterpieces are in danger of being destroyed due to ignorance if this ban goes through. All this just goes to show that major setbacks to scholarship and preservation can occur with just some bad (in this case, indirect) press.

I hope all that helps,
-Gabriel L.

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
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David Lohnes




Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Nov, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If pure self-defense is really your motivation, a smallsword is not the way to go.

I'd suggest a pump-action 12 gauge which can easily had within your budget. Such a gun often bypasses the legal problems associated with pistols, and the hefty "cuchunk" that comes when you chamber a shell can end a confrontation before it begins.

And more likely than not, your smallsword, wielded at night in close quarters, won't drop the bad guy to the floor before he gets his hands on you. If he keeps fighting for even thirty seconds, it could well be thirty seconds too long for you.

Safe and effective self-defense requires crystal clear rational thinking; something people who love swords to begin with don't always bring to the table when they envision themselves in action with a blade.
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Matthew D G




Location: Oklahoma, USA
Joined: 08 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Nov, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cold steel has a nice small sword for $424. But I'm not to sure how good their swords are. I have heard some good review on their swords so you may want to check it out. Hope that helps Happy
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Wed 07 Nov, 2007 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Functional Small Sword advice and information         Reply with quote

Donald Layne wrote:

I hope this doesn't sound corny, but I would want this to lean next to my bed. I would use it if I needed to perforate an intruder. I have given it considerable thought, and it would work much better for me than most other items outside a firearm. I fenced competitively with foil and epee, and the small sword seems very close to the epee.

Its not unreasonable to think this way. However, you really do need to consider that getting a smallsword for home defense may not be your most practical choice. Self-defense is a fairly different set of skills than modern sport fencing (or even historically accurate sword techniques). Your best choice is obviously a firearm... and we all know that there are many people who live in places or situations where it is near impossible to legally own, never mind carry, a gun. So what's your next best choice?

There's no doubt that a smallsword is a very lethal weapon. But many experts believe it lacks stopping power, even with a lethal hit. Also, its something that can only be used as a weapon and some places are (overly) sensitive about that, even if you are completely justified in using it. If we're still talking about swords, my feeling is you'd want something more like a small cutlass or short sword. You are not going to be dueling an intruder through your house! Your enemy won't have a sword. He'll have a gun, club, or knife if he is armed at all; no matter what he has, if you make the decision to use force you need to do so as quickly and violently as possible. That means a handy weapon you can cut, thrust, smash, and chop with.

Of course, a $20 machete will pretty much work just as well for this as a $300 sword, and everyone who has a yard or a garden already has a good reason to have one.
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Paul Southren




Location: Adelaide
Joined: 20 Nov 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 07 Nov, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the stopping power may be a real issue. From memory, I recall some historical accounts of fights with small swords that lasted several minutes, with both combatants dying - just one died quicker than the other, leaving the 'victor' to limp away and collapse in a heap later...

The best weapon for home defence, depending on the laws in your area, would always be a firearm if possible. Not just for practicalities sake, but also for the sake of collectors everywhere. No one would appreciate hearing someone was killed by a sword on the news, it makes us all look bad and gives those who want to ban swords more ammo to fire at us (pardon the pun).

Personally, for bedside self defence, I have a really mean African wooden sword and a wooden bokken is never far away. If the threat wasn't all that serious, I would even consider using a rubber larp or RSW sword on them and drive them out into the street. Wink

I'm not a pacifist, but I am not a cold blooded killer either.
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 09 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov, 2007 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to agree with David Lohnes. Get a shotgun designed for home defense. In fact Big 5 Sports has a Mossberg 12 gauge with an 18" barrel advertised for $229.00. Using #4 or #6 shot may not penetrate the assailant and the walls where anything much larger does run that risk. Be aware that the pattern of the shot after being fired will not be much wider in diameter than a quarter at typical home defence (10, 20, maybe 30 feet?) ranges. If you do this, please grab a friend who understands firearms and practices safe handling, and take them out to do some shooting so you know what to expect. A sword is a very effective weapon. But the assailant may have enough time to dispatch you before becomming incapacitated themselves. Buy both...the sword for enjoyment and the shotgun for peace of mind.
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 29 May 2007
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Posts: 337

PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov, 2007 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Lohnes wrote:
If pure self-defense is really your motivation, a smallsword is not the way to go.

I'd suggest a pump-action 12 gauge which can easily had within your budget. Such a gun often bypasses the legal problems associated with pistols, and the hefty "cuchunk" that comes when you chamber a shell can end a confrontation before it begins.



As an EX-police officer, I totally agree on the CUCHUNK of the 12 GA to stop things before they get outta hand! Been there and done that!
Think about it.

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov, 2007 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary A. Chelette wrote:
David Lohnes wrote:
If pure self-defense is really your motivation, a smallsword is not the way to go.

I'd suggest a pump-action 12 gauge which can easily had within your budget. Such a gun often bypasses the legal problems associated with pistols, and the hefty "cuchunk" that comes when you chamber a shell can end a confrontation before it begins.



As an EX-police officer, I totally agree on the CUCHUNK of the 12 GA to stop things before they get outta hand! Been there and done that!
Think about it.


I totally agree with both of you! But what if they don't run, or are armed themselves?

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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J. Pav




Location: NJ
Joined: 05 Oct 2006

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R D Moore wrote:


I totally agree with both of you! But what if they don't run, or are armed themselves?


Well if the bark fails, you bite. Plain and simple.
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov, 2007 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, the simplest would be the double barrelled:

[img]

peter[/img]
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Donald Layne




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2007

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2007 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great feedback.

I believe I was being too picky on the reviews. As indicated, they are pretty positive. I believe I am just looking for something perfect, and that doesn't usually happen.

I agree with the pump shotgun talk, but for reasons I won't go into, that is not going to happen at this time.

I want something to use in a worst case scenario that has me facing an intruder in my home. My idea of home defense is to lock my family in a bedroom and call the police while proclaiming loudly that I am calling the police. They are welcome to anything in the house if they leave my family alone. I am not interested in bravado, or skewering/hacking somebody up with a sword. If I cannot have a firearm in the home, I want something that is familiar and will deter, or in the absolute worst case scenario, dispatch an intruder. I believe the small sword has many characteristics I want:

I am skilled with foil and epee (I fenced competitively and taught fencing as a Graduate Assistant teacher while working on my Masters); both thrusting weapons. I have no experience with edged swords or clubs in a combat situation.

It is small, light, and does not have to be "swung". That would lend itself to an ease of use in a somewhat confined environment (bedroom, living room, hallway, etc.).

It gives me the ability to inflict non-lethal (barring an accidental puncture of a major artery) wounds to deter an assailant. I would much rather have an intruder leave before something lethal happened.

It gives me the ability to inflict lethal wounds. I understand what others have said about stopping power, but a punctured lung, neck, head, etc. are not light wounds. They would definitly slow or kill an assailant. If somebody gets too close, any sword or club will become awkward. At that point, it is time to destroy any body part that the intruder puts within your reach. It is amazing how fragile is the human body when pressure is applied just so.

One of the biggest; it has only a point. I have a two year old daughter (one of the reasons no firearm), and if she were to get hold of a small sword without supervision there would be only a very sharp point. Granted a very sharp point can be dangerous, but less so, in my esimation, than a heavier blade with a cutting edge.

Any other thoughts?

I am going to check out that "small sword" thread.

Donald

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Eric Meulemans
Industry Professional



Location: Southern Wisconsin
Joined: 30 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will echo what others have said in that for the purposes of self defense, a smallsword is quite lacking. While you may be familiar with its use, and it is maneuverable, it will, in event of dire emergency, most likely merely irritate an assailant who will have plenty of time to harm or kill your loved ones even if you "perforate" him. I refer you to a couple of articles which will illustrate this point (haha):

http://www.classicalfencing.com/articles/bloody.php
http://www.classicalfencing.com/articles/kill2.php

Since you are quite specific in your needs/desires in such a weapon, I would suggest that your needs may be met with two simple, safe, and effective items. A can (or several in various locations) of OC spray (Mace or similar), and a bludgeon/mace of traditional form. The spray is non-lethal, and if it proves insufficient or further persuasion is required, multiple and rapid head trauma usually does the trick. Bludgeons, in their various forms, don't require much skill, are simple and cost-effective, and aren't going to harm anyone on their own - anything from a stout staff/rod to a bokken or purpose-made mace can suffice.

I believe this represents a viable solution offering increasing levels of lethality to suit your needs - you could even tape up the OC to your bludgeon and make a combo weapon reminiscent of walking cane-guns or gun-axes, etc.


Last edited by Eric Meulemans on Fri 09 Nov, 2007 7:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Stephen Murray





Joined: 16 Feb 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please don't gain a false sense of confidence from your fencing experience. While I'm definitely not speaking as the best foil/epee fencer out there (C rating in each), I think that I can safely say that what we learn has a whole lot to do with modern sport fencing, and very little to do with "street fighting." Epee would be closer than foil. Historic short sword would be closer than epee. But, I can't see how any of them would be good preparation for dealing with an assailant, hopped up on adrenaline (or worse), and coming at you with the sole intent of ending your life quickly.

In the worst case scenario that you envision, your opponent will likely be armed either with a firearm, or something short and nasty. In the former case, a shortsword would be worse than useless. I say worse because without it you might hide someplace where you wouldn't be shot until the police arrive, or instead of the sword you might rely on something more effective (such as a dog or one of the other suggestions people have made here).

In the latter case, you have basically one chance to poke your attacker before he gets too close for effective use of your sword. At that point, you need good bare hands combat skills, or a knife in your off hand and good knife skills. Even if you do poke him on the way in, you might well still need the other skills, as others have pointed out.

While I sympathise with the aversion to having firearms, I do believe that you would put yourself in a terrible situation by relying on a smallsword in the scenario you describe (though I'm quite fond of them otherwise).
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Donald Layne




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok. I like the mace or pepper spray idea. If the intruder persisted past taking some in the face, they would be at a decided disadvantage. When that stuff gets in your eyes, it is really hard to see clearly. It would also be good to spray through a door if somebody were trying to force it.

I read the articles, and I like the Physiology detail. It seems hard to believe you could be run through and keep going, but I have a Master's in Exercise Physiology and I found nothing to dispute in the Physiological details of the articles. A lot of it actually makes sense, but I had never thought about it being applied to deep stab wounds. One thing I can't argue with is the ability of quick succesive blows to the cranium to end a confrontation quickly. I posted because I was open to advice, and I have seen a lot. War hammer anybody? I saw a Cold Steel "War Club" made of injection molded Polypropylene the other day. It looked nigh indestructible, and I personally wouldn't want anybody to hit me with it (in the head or anywhere else). Maybe I should be looking at something like that. Not the beautiful piece that a nice smallsword might be and not as familiar, but it could be very effective for home defense.

The firearm is not going to happen until our two year old is older. I have gotten that word straight from the other half of the decision making loop in our house. When it does happen, It will be a pump shotgun. Until then....

Donald

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Stirling Matheson





Joined: 12 Jan 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I would want something with alot of stopping power for home-defense.

While, historically, thrusts were more likely to kill the recipient, often times they did not incapacitate in the way that a cut would. Cuts have more impact on the body, as well as being much more likely to render a limb useless.

A large sword would be intimdating to an intruder, but possibly difficult to manuver indoors. Whereas a shorter sword would loose some of the intimidation factor. I think a basket hilted backsword would be a good bet. It's big enough to look scary, fast, but still is small enough to be used indoors. If you go that route, pick up Paul Wagner's book on highland broadsword... might as well know how to use the thing.

A shotgun probably would work better, but if you can't have one for whatever reason a sword sounds good to me.
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Matthew D G




Location: Oklahoma, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Donald

Thought I'd throw in my 2 bits...I agree with almost every one on this topic that a small sword may not have that much stoping power. But thats just my opinion...i dont know much about small swords they may have more power to them then I know of. This is my opinion..I'd go with a sword with a little more meat on it but is still meant for stabbing like Albion-swords Poiters

Pick a sword that you like and more importantly one that you know how to use

Hope that helps you Happy
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll put in an extra nickle in.....
In a house where things can get tight and close, there is only one ideal weapon...



17" of unstoppable blade!
http://www.kultofathena.com/product~item~5010...+Sword.htm

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Mon 12 Nov, 2007 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd just like to point out that I like this idea of his. Smallswords can be damaging without nesseracily being deadly, so even if worst comes to worst, he doesn't have to have a life of his conscience. (Which is more the likely if he resorts to a shotgun.) If he is skilled enough to use one efficiently, it's as good a weapon as any.

Furthermore, I strongly distrust guns, and do not belive they can be used in a defensive manner at all.
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