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J. Johansson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 07 Jun 2009

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 8:18 am    Post subject: Custom from A&A?         Reply with quote

I've been wanting a custom made longsword for some time, and my tax refound will show its pretty face in August (hurr hurr hurr). Been thinking that having Arms&Armor doing my custom piece (basically something similar to their 15thC Longsword). Ofcourse this will take most of my tax refound so it is a delicate question: To do or not to do...

Now this will sound like a stupid question, but how good are the longswords from Arms&Armor? I've been reading some of the reviews on myArmoury and indeed they are often said to be worth the money. But is that all? I ofcourse want a beast that can take loads of cutting and at the same time be a real beater so it wont chip of if I accidently hit a piece of wood (this have happen to some of the cheaper hanwei swords I've had). In short I'm expecting a sword that can cut through the usual tatami mats and still be as fine as if it was a virgin, and also be able to tear up a knights armour (this ofcourse won't happen).

Would a custom from A&A be worth the money?

Cheers
Jimmie
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 738

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I cannot attest to the quality of their swords as I do not currently own any. I do own 4 of their polearms and a dagger though including a custom made axe. All I can say is that they are all well worth it. Craig is very easy to work with and he and the rest of the crew do an excellent job.

I know that there are others here who have had some really nice swords made by A&A. One idea is to have a sword blade they make as a stock item hilted the way you want. I hear they are pretty good about mixing and matching blades with pieces from their other swords.

Go for it I say.


Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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C. Gadda





Joined: 20 Aug 2007

Posts: 135

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
I cannot attest to the quality of their swords as I do not currently own any. I do own 4 of their polearms and a dagger though including a custom made axe. All I can say is that they are all well worth it. Craig is very easy to work with and he and the rest of the crew do an excellent job.

I know that there are others here who have had some really nice swords made by A&A. One idea is to have a sword blade they make as a stock item hilted the way you want. I hear they are pretty good about mixing and matching blades with pieces from their other swords.

Go for it I say.


Scott


I second this. I have many A&A items, and they are all excellent. I have had a custom Gustav Vasa parrying dagger made, which basically swapped the blade from a different dagger, and it came out extremely well. I also bought, second hand, a variation on the classic medieval dagger and it too is an exceptional piece.

Curiously, I do not have a sword from A&A, but I intend to remedy that deficiency in my collection at some point within the next 6-12 months as I have a "mix and match plus a few special things" custom piece in mind
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J. Johansson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 07 Jun 2009

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
I cannot attest to the quality of their swords as I do not currently own any. I do own 4 of their polearms and a dagger though including a custom made axe. All I can say is that they are all well worth it. Craig is very easy to work with and he and the rest of the crew do an excellent job.

I know that there are others here who have had some really nice swords made by A&A. One idea is to have a sword blade they make as a stock item hilted the way you want. I hear they are pretty good about mixing and matching blades with pieces from their other swords.

Go for it I say.


Scott


Very good idea actually! Thanks alot!

I'll think I'll do some corresponding with them and see what we can make of it.
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Hugo Voisine





Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 336

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I know that there are others here who have had some really nice swords made by A&A. One idea is to have a sword blade they make as a stock item hilted the way you want. I hear they are pretty good about mixing and matching blades with pieces from their other swords.


I have one longsword by A&A, of the mix-and-match variety, that I bought when they first brought up the famous muster page.

I have only done dry handling with this one, but the blade is sharp, handles like a dream (in fact, it's one of the best handling sword I've ever seen) doesn't appears to present any obvious flaws that could compromise edge integrity.

Here it is:


« Que dites-vous ?... C'est inutile ?... Je le sais !
Mais on ne se bat pas dans l'espoir du succès !
Oh ! non, c'est bien plus beau lorsque c'est inutile ! »
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 738

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Johansson wrote:
Scott Kowalski wrote:
I cannot attest to the quality of their swords as I do not currently own any. I do own 4 of their polearms and a dagger though including a custom made axe. All I can say is that they are all well worth it. Craig is very easy to work with and he and the rest of the crew do an excellent job.

I know that there are others here who have had some really nice swords made by A&A. One idea is to have a sword blade they make as a stock item hilted the way you want. I hear they are pretty good about mixing and matching blades with pieces from their other swords.

Go for it I say.


Scott


Very good idea actually! Thanks alot!

I'll think I'll do some corresponding with them and see what we can make of it.


Not a problem at all. Like I said, I really like my A&A pieces a lot.

Do not get frustrated if it takes awhile for Craig to respond as the poor man seems to be swamped with inquiries all the time. He is great to communicate with.

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 738

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugo,

That is a greal looking sword. My tastes run earlier but that one just looks great. What are the dimensions of it if you do not mind my asking?

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 6 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,504

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have 2 custom swords made by A&A. Neither one is a longsword. They are both, however, of the highest quality. A&A is a leader in the business not only for their stock items which are fantastic but also because of their ability to make excellent custom pieces. Craig has handled and researched many original weapons and this knowledge shows through in the custom work. The details of the pieces I have are fantastic and so are the handling characteristics. I'm sure any custom you got from A&A would be an excellent piece. I would highly endorse their work and I'm sure whatever longsword they made for you would be the gem of your collection.
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Bryan W.





Joined: 27 Oct 2007

Posts: 198

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have 2 small swords from A&A and both are top notch. One is a custom (the double loop hilt you can find on their website) and the other is their standard smallsword with a diamond cross section practice blade (swiped it before it made the muster page!). Both handle exceptionally well and the quality of the actual work is perhaps the best in that price range or even a little above it from my limited experience and research. In addition Craig is very good with communication and A&A seems to care quite a bit about the quality of their end products. If there's any recommendation I can give its that Craig and I are talking about a mid-higher end custom project for the fall. I'll be honest though, I don't like using my expensive custom pieces for cutting exercises or anything more than dry handling no matter how much faith I have in their durability.

I believe it's hard to go wrong with A&A overall given their pretty fair prices, quality, consistency, customer service and capability but if you do start thinking of really expensive projects, you probably should at least look at some of the other high end custom makers out there before deciding if A&A is the right provider for you.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,803

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I generally like my trio of medieval swords from them a great deal. Two were second hand and one bought direct. My Black Prince with bronze fittings was a request direct and I was a little miffed that the guard was a little ragged in the blade to guard fit and the grip remains a bit off center. I had thought to maybe make a request for return but within minutes, realized neither of these issues were something I noticed in use and it was some years later when someone was noticing the faults, even though they had handled these swords several times in the past. Another and actually my first A&A is a pretty standard German Bastard sword and it also showed a little raggedy in the guard opening. That was second hand to me and I have enjoyed it immensely, again with never really given the guard opening a second thought and it is a sword that has stayed tight as a drum through a great deal of use. The third was once again from the secondary market and the best fit, possibly as it was specifically a bit out of the norm. An Edward III blade with Duke of Urbino bronze fittings.

The two bronze fit swords have needed tightening over the years but the threaded faux peen blocks have made that a simple maintenance chore. I'm sure Craig can do the fit either way, simply peened or with the threaded tang. I have thought to maybe send my Black Prince in for a grip update at some point, or maybe tackle it myself. As mentioned in use, I have never really dwelt long on the faults I first saw in fitting when it arrived.

Cheers

GC
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Thom R.




Location: Tucson
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Reading list: 30 books

Posts: 630

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have two custom A&A swords, a rapier, and two percussive weapons. They are all top shelf. I recommend A&A highly. Their heat treat is excellent and the swords are very well put together. As for Type XVIIIb longswords, the Durer is a very nice weapon. One could imagine a variety of hilts being mated with that blade. Also note that the dimensions published by Oakeshott on the German Branch sword were found to be inaccurate and A&A has corrected that - so now that blade is 35 inches long and also qualifies as a longsword imo. I have handled the English longsword and I liked that sword a lot too, but to me that is more of a hand/half bastard sword or an XVIIIa than a true longsword. Depends on what you are looking for. I am sure if you are interested in a Type XVIIIb longsword with a diamond cross section blade they will be able to make you a really nice one for a good price compared to the other options out there. Don't be shy about talking to Craig, he is a very nice guy and contributes here a lot and has always been very eager to answer any questions I have. I do want to point out though that Tinker Pearce is selling a Type XVIIIb longsword (sharp) right now for a good price http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=16732
and he makes really nice XVIIIb longswords as well! tr
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Custom from A&A?         Reply with quote

J. Johansson wrote:


Would a custom from A&A be worth the money?

Cheers
Jimmie


Yes...yes they would be worth the money.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Douglas G.





Joined: 30 Mar 2004

Posts: 156

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 9:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jimmie,
I have two custom pieces by A & A that I like very much. One is a copy of a custom Type XX that I saw profiled
here, the other one of their 12th Century swords that I sent back to Craig to be made into a two hander. If my experience
is anything to go by I would also say you should go for it.


Good luck with your dilemna!

Doug Gentner
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C. Gadda





Joined: 20 Aug 2007

Posts: 135

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

C. Gadda wrote:


Curiously, I do not have a sword from A&A, but I intend to remedy that deficiency in my collection at some point within the next 6-12 months as I have a "mix and match plus a few special things" custom piece in mind


Doh! I am an idiot.

I have a German Bastard Sword hanging right next to the fireplace...

There's a sign your collection is too big, when you lose track of something like THAT...

It is an excellent piece, beautifully balanced and striking in appearance.
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Chris Artman




Location: USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I submitted a custom sword request to A&A, I am waiting to hear back about it...
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Gordon Clark




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 501

PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2009 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris -

I have two custom swords from A&A, as well as a custom glaive, and a custom rondel dagger, and a couple of their regular swords. The workmanship is great, but not necessarily any different than the stock swords. One thing - based on my experience, a "regular" A&A sword will get to you much more quickly than a custom sword (even if it is not in stock). That is to be expected of course, since the pieces are all in place to make the production swords relatively quickly. Add to that that A&A won;t ship you something unless they are sure it is good, and you have possible unexpected delays. When you are making the same blade or hilt pieces many times a year, you get the quality control down to a science. Depending on how different you are talking from their regular line, they may have to try something a few times before they feel it is "just right". This is the way to do it of course, but something you may not have thought about. I have had at least 8 custom orders (from A&A and others). In 3 or 4 cases, the first blade was basically tossed for one reason or another - heat treat, just did not look right, etc). Every time that happens there is another delay of weeks or more. Now your mileage may vary, as it is really the luck of the draw, but it is just a bit of friendly advice to you and other contemplating custom weapons. It takes as long as it takes...

With a custom sword, you will get something "just for you", but you will pay more, have a longer wait time, with a chance of a MUCH longer wait time if things go that way. In short, my advice is be sure that you "need" custom when the existing line already has so much that seems to fit your desire - English Longsword, Durer, etc.
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