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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Mar, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Small Review: Del Tin 5161 - Swedish Two-Handed Sword         Reply with quote

Del Tin 5161 Swedish Two Handed Sword



Del Tin has been offering their version of this Swedish Two-Hander since the mid-1990s. It's caught my eye for many years, and recently, I was able to train regularily with one. So, I decided to take the plunge and buy one at KoA last week. All and all, I am very excited to have this particular Del Tin in my collection. Big Grin

I wanted something nice and unrefined to add to my late 15th C. mercenary kit. This Del Tin fit the bill perfectly. I'll be doing a scabbard and 3-pt suspension later, but for now, let's spill the beans about this sword!

Specifications

Overall Length: 46.5"
Blade Length: 33.5"
Blade Width (Widest Point): 2.125"
Blade Width @ Guard: 1.90"
Blade Material: Heat Tempered Chromium-Vandium Steel (50 RC Hardness)
Overall Grip Length: 13.0"
Crossguard Length: 9"
Pommel Length: 2.5"
Pommel Width: 2.5"
Weight: 3lbs, 15oz
PoB: 2.0"
CoP: 22.0"

Blade

The blade of the 5161 has a beautifully complex; yet graceful geometry. It's a flattened diamond cross section which begins at the guard being 1.90" wide, then at 2.0" from the guard, it dramatically flares to 2.125" in width. The blade then tapers toward the end, ending in a rounded thrusting point.

The sword comes unsharpened, but when sharpened, it is easy to see that this blade has both attributes - the ability to cut and thrust efficiently. It comes with a 1.5mm rounded edge suitable for re-enactment/WMA en arma combat.

In the last picture, you can see that the central ridge appears slightly off-center at the end. This is an effect of the camera, the ridge is centered on both sides of the blade. The lighting caused this effect.







The Grip

The grip on this is one of this sword's highest selling points. It is a full two-handed grip, being 13" in length. It is composed of thin leather over a spiral corded wrapped wooden core. The spiral riser is slightly uneven in places, but it's not too noticable.

The nature of this grip assures a nice firm grip for one or both hands, yet shifting position of the hands is not hindered. I can easily fit both hands on the grip of this sword while wearing plate gauntlets and have a few inches remaining between my hands.





The Pommel

The pommel is a monster on the 5161. It's a massive fluted Type T, about the size of a small pear. It off sets the blade weight, giving a extremely low center of balance for this large sword. The pommel is an excellent weapon in its own right, acting essentially as a mace in a close-quarters fight.

The tang is solidly peened through the pommel. The sword is absolutely solid, with no rattle and it rings deep like a church bell when struck.



The Guard

The guard is a thick Style 12 guard that widens as it turns in an S-curve, flaring as it ends in rounded finials.



Performance

This is the Del Tin 5161's strongest selling point by far. It's a capable two-handed, but because the PoB is so far back and the weight is not too great, it actually wields well as a one-handed weapon. The point tracks exactly where you want it to track smoothly and easily with little one-handed effort.

The 5161 work effortlessly though the poste of Fiore, offering smooth transitions, working from cover to cover. Blows are fast and powerful, from high, middle, and low positions. The pommel works amazingly well for it's intended purpose, able to smash the helmet of a would-be opponent; changing the course of a fight if you put enough power behind it.

Opinion

All and all, this is a great sword at it's price point. It's great for two-handed training, and sharpened, it would make a great cutter. This is definately my favorite Del Tin of all time! Big Grin

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Mike Arledge




Location: Indianapolis, IN
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Mar, 2009 5:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So you are the one who snapped that up before I could! I hope you enjoy it and thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts.
Mike J Arledge

The Dude Abides
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Tue 03 Mar, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, it was me, sorry about that. Big Grin

I watched it once it got posted like an auction for 6 days until my direct deposit dropped. 5 mins after my money hit the bank, I had KoA paid. I just knew someone else was going to snag it up. Still, ordering at the cheap KoA price and waiting 2-3 months is not bad. I can't say enough how happy I am with this sword at the price I paid. I would have gladly (and almost did) pay $250 more for a 5161.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Mar, 2009 2:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats on your new Del-Tin.....looks to be a nice addition.


cheers,


Bill

Roanoke Sword Guilde

roanokeswordguilde@live.com
"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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Ben Sweet




Location: 831
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 04 Mar, 2009 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats on your DT 5161! This was my 1st and favorite DT that I picked up many years ago when I could not afford the Svante...NIce write up and our stats are pretty different.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Mar, 2009 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes a very nice purchase and like you said elsewhere on the " recent purchase thread " it is a good Svante substitute for the poor. Wink Big Grin
You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Mar, 2009 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicely done review. Are the stats you posted actual or are they from a website?
I would also be interested in your opinion on the flexibility of the blade, in my experience longer-bladed DT's tend to be a bit overly flexible due to the relatively thin stock they are made from (@3/16" on the ones I have owned).
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Mar, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd never thought much about that model, because I assumed it was overweight and unhandy. Glad to hear that I was wrong about that. It's interesting that Ben's much older version has significantly different stats. Does that mean the Fulvio Del Tin has redesigned DT5161?
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Mar, 2009 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben Sweet wrote:
Congrats on your DT 5161! This was my 1st and favorite DT that I picked up many years ago when I could not afford the Svante...NIce write up and our stats are pretty different.


How big is yours? (sword Wink )
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Ben Sweet




Location: 831
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Mar, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mine is now I think 11 years old...

53 1/2" overall,
39" blade
14 1/2" hilt
2" wide at hilt
2 3/16" widest point
pommel & guard are the same
PoB 2 1/2"
CoP 24 3/4"
I need a scale
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Thu 05 Mar, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It does seem that Ben's is larger. I took my own stats, so they are accurate. My stats are nearly identical to what is posted on KoA for the sword as well. Very interesting.

Funny enough, though my WMA instructor and I both have this sword, we have yet to side-by-side compare them. I seem to remember his blade being longer than my ATrim Practical and Hanwei - which have 34"-35" blades. When I got mine, I looked at the stats online before I purchased and thought to myself "Is that blade really only 33" long?". It also seemed like it was a little bit shorter than his just from memory and feel as well, as mine seems to be a bit faster than I remember his. Last practice, we compared my instructor's 5161 to a Svante, and his 5161 was longer by 5"-6" inches at the least. WTF?!

We will compare his older 5161 and mine this Sunday and get back to you on this. I'll wager than it was shortened given the information because that was my first impression when I got it. I'd not be suprised if Del Tin shortened it to be more on par with the historical sword or to cut the weight.

We will see this weekend and I will repost.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was able to compare both my model and the older model 5161 yesterday:

Yes, the older model is larger.

The older model 5161 has a 6" longer blade and 1" longer handle. It also has a noticably larger pommel. It seems that Del Tin down-sized the 5161 to historical dimensions. My instructor bought his new in May of 2008 and it was still the longer size, so its a recent change.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did a comparison between different-dated models on another Del Tin, DT5156, a big old late 15th century shortish type XIIIa. I bought mine back in the year 2000. I recently saw specs and a picture of the new version over at KOA.

In inches:

Overall length-- Mine- 44 --- KOA - 48
Blade Length -- Mine - 33.75 --- KOA - 37.5
Hilt Length -- -- Mine- 10.25 --- KOA - 11.5
Weight --- ----- Mine- 4 lbs. --- KOA- 3 lbs, 5 oz

(the table didn't work out, but you can still read it)

Those are the only specs available at KOA.

The pommel has been changed. Mine has a heavy type J, KOA's has an H or an I. The blade also looks a bit thinner, but can't say for sure.

Those are significant differences. They are very different items now.

I wonder how many older models have been redesigned. It would be great if more distal tapering was used on blade thicknesses now.
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
,,, It seems that Del Tin down-sized the 5161 to historical dimensions. My instructor bought his new in May of 2008 and it was still the longer size, so its a recent change.


Sorry if this is too off topic, but it did make me think of something that has played on my mind for a while. Lets just say for the sake of argument that these swords historically had blades of about 33inches, but were used by swordsmen with an average height of 5'5 (don't know if that was the case, I know the "they were shorter back then" idea is less true of nobles, but average swordsman? I really have no idea) so a 33inch blade weilded by a 65 inch man. Now, the average height these days, for a well fed westerner is around 5'11 or 6 foot, which is right on a 10% increase.
This being the case, which is more "historically acurate", the 33 inch blade that matches finds, or a 36 1/3 inch blade that is closer to the relative proportions?
Again, I admit I may be wrong about the height thing, but assuming I'm not, not are your thoughts?
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting post on height...more since historical examples quite frequently differ in length. I am sure this played into the design of some swords, but I feel that perhaps more of a standard was established though the centuries for different sword types - as it was easier to make one sword en masse rather than tailor make them to the length of individual warriors.

As for the 5161, I find my 33.5" version nice, which keeps the weight down and the PoB near the guard. Comparing the older and newer models, mine is noticably faster in the hand and tracks better - which could be expected since its about a pound lighter. I still prefer the shorter version to the longer one in the end and remain quite happy.

But, I have to question why that it was just changed and the a new model number not added (ie - the two different lengths of GBS DT offers). The sword is significantly different and it could make up a person's mind of they wanted it or not. In my case, I had seen the older model 5161 and liked it; which made me decide to get it. Mine is shorter than I had expected it to be (I read KoA specs, but never trust posted info), but I don't mind. This could set someone off if they prefered the larger one.

EDITED: Comparison photos added below...








J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Tue 10 Mar, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Updated with pictures added for visual comparison between new and old 5161 models.
J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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