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Nicholas Allan Wilson




Location: New Orleans
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jul, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Tactical Swords versus historical re-creations         Reply with quote

Just wondering what people's opinions were on the various tactical sword models.

How do you think they perform when compared to more historically accurate designs?

What do you think of the quality and durability? Since the tac models are not mounted with traditional fittings, do you think they are more durable, less, or equal?

~nic
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jul, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think that a tactical sword can have the perform of a historical sword.
A tactical sword can last as a historian. If it built well
The problem is to understand if, it has been built well.
Often the qualities of a sword are hidden and not visible.
The assemblage of the hilt is visible, the finish is visible, the fuller is visible.
If these elements are introduced in summary way, motives have been founded for holding
what rest is also built equally. Happy
Maurizio
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jul, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tactical swords are black and look like they are for video games.

Historical swords are not.

That's the main difference as far as I see it.
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Nicholas Allan Wilson




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jul, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Tactical swords are black and look like they are for video games.

Historical swords are not.

That's the main difference as far as I see it.


While there are some that have a black epoxy on the blade there are others that do not. Check the 'swords you'd take into battle' thread. There you will see two examples of uncoated blades.

~nic
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jul, 2009 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll take a look. . . Thanks. Happy
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Nicholas Allan Wilson




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jul, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the mentioned swords are on pg 10 btw
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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jul, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't comment the practical applications, having never used one, but frankly I've always found the term "tactical sword" to be kinda silly. I mean, when is a sword not tactical? They're weapons; you'd think that part is implied.

Anyway, someone once likened them to fantasy swords, in that they are non-historical swords designed to invoke a specific aesthetic impression - albeit the direct opposite one to regular fantasy weapons. In my mind this is different from making a contemporary sword with a modern perspective. For the most part, tactical swords look more "modern" then they need to be.

That said, I'm sure there are both good and bad examples of this style around, same as with all other swords.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Nicholas Allan Wilson




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 12:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree that the term 'tactical' is unnecessary . All weapons regardless of the time period they represent are used tactically when implemented. However, I wouldn't necessarily use the term 'fantasy'. I think 'contemporary' is more accurate.

~nic
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 3:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always thought they were labelled "tactical" for the simple reason that they look like they would go nicely with a "tactical" assault costume, which I have noticed are usually black, balaclava, helmet, 10-up boots and an SMG or handgun loaded with all the lasers and lights and sights attached.

So, in other words, a sword to raid a drug lab with, or fight terrorists holding hostages or something...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी
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Nathan Gilleland





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That was my impression as well. I always got the impression of a "Splinter Cell" style with swords that are labeled "tactical". Generally speaking, they remind me of a contemporary "ninja sword".
Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
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David Lewis Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

some one on SFI wrote in referance and a warning about safety with swords during practice, 'Never forget that a sword has developed to commit homicide in the most efficient manner possible".

Tactical swords are just another step or branch in this development. Do I think they are good swords? well that depends on how I am looking at them. They are ugly in my opinion, on the other hand they are very hardy blades and will last through abuse and misuse very well.

Nic is right, 'tactical' is redundant as most swords are designed for tactical use. Remember Soldiers Sailers, Airman and Marines in every country clean up their weapons for parades. Bennison, as well in that tactical swords go well with a 'costume'

Having served in the army for the last 20 years or so I also think that calling them tactical, and trying to say that Soldiers should carry them in to combat is just ridiculous. Today's tactical situations do not provide for sword use in close combat situations. I carry a big honking knife, two actually. One is a Cold Steel Recon Tonto that has killed more Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) than I can count, frankly the things are nearly impossible to get into with out a knife. I have used it for any number of things for 18 years. It is a really good knife with a eight inch blade that takes abuse and keeps on ticking. The other is a Model De Argentine with an 18" blade, I use it for shock and aw, that might sound odd but an 18" knife makes a good pointer when you want to 'point out the fact you are unhappy with someone's actions. If you are wondering why that works, most people in Iraq and Afghanistan know you 'cant just shoot them' when they get in your face but are unsure about what you can do with knife. I have found that it just hanging off my kit gets peoples attention.

Have I ever used either knife in combat?
Yes, the Recon to cut off a shirt on an Iraqi so we could treat him for gunshot wounds. I used other knife when I was in a small FOB and three wild dogs came in over our berm, one cannot start firing a M4 inside ones own base. If you are up close and personal in a room or city street your not going to have time or to pull or swing a sword. Carry a good knife, pistol or tomahawk. One of my buddies did get in a situations where some one grabbed him and was slam up against him and my buddies M4 was stuck between him and the other guys so it was out of the fight. It got real nasty for my buddy for a second or two but than he did what he needed to do, and no sword involved.

David L Smith
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What are the "standard" dimensions of a tactical sword? I know that there isn't a law, but and idea?

I have see some old pictures of italians Alpini and some of them were carring what, in my opion, where very long knives, approx. the length of a forearm+hand, even if I don't know if they were intended for combat.

Dave is not the first person that I hear speaking of the impression of knives on second and third world people, even if more for the simbolism of a man carring heis weapon than for the pratical possibility of a fight. It's as they don't think to firearms a proper weapons (more possibily as tools): I would like to hear if it's so even in places with a longer gun tradition, like Arabia or Egypt, or it's proper only of places where firearms where only recently widespread... I think that's a cultural thing, like the wastly different judgement on carring a firearm in public in Japan, Europe and USA.
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L. Clayton Parker




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gabriele A. Pini wrote:
What are the "standard" dimensions of a tactical sword? I know that there isn't a law, but and idea?



Leaving aside for the moment the usefulness in modern combat of a "tactical" sword....

Most swords of this type have relatively short blades, 16 to about 24 inches. They are really more of a long, sturdy knife than a sword. The reasoning for this is pretty much spelled out in previous posts, if you do somehow get in a situation where you need this weapon, drawing a three foot long saber is pretty much out of the question. This is going to be close combat in confined spaces. If it isn't, well it is pretty certain that someone is going to have a gun, and the sword is pretty much moot at that point.

Addressing a few other points, yes "tactical" is perhaps a misnomer, but when it comes to marketing such a sword it makes way more sense than calling it a "contemporary" sword or a "fantasy" sword, even "modern" sword sounds ridiculous. However, that is what they are, modern swords. They may have roots in antique swords and even resemble them occasionally, but they are not designed as reproductions of anything, but as modern swords to be used as part of a "tactical" teams kit, hence "tactical" sword.

Yes, many of these blades are black, almost all are NOT shiny, they may be black brown buff, even tiger striped, but not shiny. Again there are logical reasons for that. Modern tactical team members do not place much emphasis on shiny, pretty, or such like. While not denying that sex appeal may play a part, more consideration is given to durability, functionality and things like quietness and stealthiness. None of these were of much use to a medieval warrior. Well perhaps to the Vikings, but not to knights anyway.

One of the reasons that I chose this type of weapon in the "What sword would you take to battle" thread was the range of likely scenarios that were specified. Time travel was ruled out, all the scenarios were some sort of post apocalyptic time where survival was the issue, not chivalry or honor. Bearing that in mind, I would have no intention of engaging in any sort of "duel" or fair fight. In those conditions my rules would be: Shoot them in the back, at night, while they are sleeping, from a long ways away! The tactical weaponry I picked was tough, rugged, dependable and adaptable. The throwing knives in my post easily became spear tips for instance.

They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh, because of fear in the night. -The Song of Songs, Which Is Solomon's
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What would be useful in my opinion in some specialized close quarter fighting or for the intimidation factor mentioned is the
Smatchet made in WWII, it would have weapon and tool usefulness, might be pressed into use as an entrenching tool, useful as an axe or machete.

Not so large as to be difficult to draw up close I think.

On the other hand even in WWII the use of these was more theoretical than practical and many soldiers might have ditched them to lighten their load if they didn't personally find them useful/essential or find some psychological reassurance having a big nasty blade close to hand. Wink Big Grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smatchet
http://www.gutterfighting.org/smatchet.html

Modern version: http://www.elinemerchandising.com/B-A-F578S.html

I have one of these of the original production run and it is scary impressive ! Now a real soldier might have a different opinion about the usefulness of carrying one of these if already overloaded with kit.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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L. Clayton Parker




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:


Modern version: http://www.elinemerchandising.com/B-A-F578S.html



Compare the Smatchet to the throwing knives I posted





other than the handle they are practically identical.

They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh, because of fear in the night. -The Song of Songs, Which Is Solomon's
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

L. Clayton Parker wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:


Modern version: http://www.elinemerchandising.com/B-A-F578S.html



Compare the Smatchet to the throwing knives I posted

other than the handle they are practically identical.


Agreed about the shape of the blade but the Smatchet is huge for a knife with the blade around 3" at it's widest and is more like a short sword than a knife but not long enough to be a swordlike in handling.

In many ways would work like a double edged Kukri, and the Kukri is certainly considered effective in the right hands as well as the Gurka's reputation giving cold sweats to anyone targeted by them. Wink Big Grin

Basically we have a leaf shaped blade not that far from Bronze age weapons except that there is no narrow recurved waisting nearer the guard.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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David Lewis Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

if I were going to go medieval on some ones body I would use one of the new tactical tomahawks with the small cutting edge, 3" edge about 6" from the haft and a nasty little back spike about 2" long.

down by the grip if you grind just right you can put a handy bottle opener as well.

By the way I have one of Gus' tactical blades I am working on, i bought it off Ebay as an unfinished 'sword' it still had the flat edges. Gus has couched me along a bit in finishing it but I am doing it for the fun and challange of the build rather than using it. I actually intend to make it a La Tene "short sword" out of it, the hilt seems to fallow those lines well enough.

David L Smith
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Nicholas Allan Wilson




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It would seem that the tactical varieties are stripped down to be as light weight as possible. This is probably done to make them easier to carry by military personnel. Due to their light weight nature I have a difficult time seeing them outperform re-creations mainly because re-creations generally have more mass. Swords of past eras were seen more as primary weapons instead of as backups. Any other thoughts on this?

~nic
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Daniel Sullivan




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In reference to swords; seems to me that the term "tactical" would be applied to how a weapon is wielded during use rather than how it appears. I learn new thing every day, but frankly never heard of a tactical sword until this post.

Bill Gandy....maybe you can chime in on this??

Dan
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2009 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Sullivan wrote:
In reference to swords; seems to me that the term "tactical" would be applied to how a weapon is wielded during use rather than how it appears. I learn new thing every day, but frankly never heard of a tactical sword until this post.

Bill Gandy....maybe you can chime in on this??

Dan


Actually, I can. Happy Though my "chiming in" is actually not based on sword knowledge... its based on having friends who are Special Agents in both the FBI and the State Deptartment, and I've asked them about the term "tactical" before.

According to my friends, the term "tactical" is used in the military and law enforcement term to describe items meant to be carried on the modern field. So a tactical vest is different from a military uniform in that it has certain design aspects meant for use, and meant for use in the modern world. So just because a uniform is worn in combat doesn't mean it is specifically designed for specialized purposes, and therefore it wouldn't be called "tactical".

Therefore a tactical sword, theoritically, would be designed with modern materials and with specialized designs for the needs of a modern soldier or law enforcement agent. And it seems that the makers who create tactical swords would design them with that theoretical framework. Hence why so many tactical sword makers would use poly-carbon scale grips and why so many of them have black oxide coatings, and why they have designs that are more along the lines of a Benchmade tactical knife than a historical sword.

Anders Backlund wrote:
Anyway, someone once likened them to fantasy swords, in that they are non-historical swords designed to invoke a specific aesthetic impression - albeit the direct opposite one to regular fantasy weapons.


I don't know if you're thinking of me or not, but I'm certainly a person who has said that. In my mind, tactical swords are kind of cool in the same sense that Lord of the Ring swords are cool: They appeal to the "what if" side of the imagination. Personally, I think if someone is looking for a weapon for modern military or law enforcement, there are smarter options that are also more cost efficient. Nonetheless, there is still the appeal of being creative and thinking, "What if we still used swords, how would we need to design them?" While I myself am drawn to historical designs, and therefore would not be in the market for modern tactical swords, I certainly understand why many would be drawn to them.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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