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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Looking for a single handed 16thC sword design Reply to topic
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Nathan Johnson




Location: Australia
Joined: 05 Apr 2008

Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 1:17 am    Post subject: Looking for a single handed 16thC sword design         Reply with quote

I have gotten to a point in my collecting where I can only justify a purchase if I really need something to complete my kit, and
its nearly done but after nearly 15 years in the hobby I still don't have a sword thats truly comfortable for me to use for reenactment fighting.

I have many late 15th/16thC swords, mostly MRL, windlass and other cheap makers, my problem is most companies put hand and a half grips on everything, and with heavy gauntlets(wich I have to wear ) one handed use is painful and tiring.
My only single handed choices are side swords and katzbalgers.( these complex hilt designs dont help weight much!) and I have a few of each.

But what I really want Is a single handed arming sword of 16thC origin that doesn't add unnecessary weight to my already heavy hands. I know alot about armour but Im only just learning Oakeshott's terminoligy from this site Big Grin

So using Oakeshott's terminoligy, Can anyone give me some examples of blade and hilt combinations that would make for a light ( and styleish Cool ) 16thC sword, then I can pass on the details of what I want to someone who dose custom work

Also as this may be the last sword I purchas I would like to go for somthing quite flashy.
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Sean Flynt
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oakeshott's typology breaks down in the early 16th c. There was great variety in blades, hilts, pommels and grips in this period, so if you already have a kit, it would be good to know exactly what period the kit represents. A simple diamond-section single-hand sword with plain cross and large pommel (round or cylindrical) would cover the broadest range.

Sounds like you want something blunt for training/sparring, so that rules out many possibilities. Lots of folks in your shoes like what Darkwood does. If you want something more authentic-looking you could add some detail work. They have a good selection of pommels and blunt blades. Or, you could buy or scavenge the parts you need wherever you can find them (Darkwood, Alchem, Windlasss, Hanwei-Tinker, etc.) and build yourself something perfect. Since you have a few Windlass swords, I'd look at those first and see what you could scavenge (then you could sell the blade and leftover bits to a vulture--I mean, "sword slipper"-- like me Big Grin) Tell me what you already have and I can tell you what I'd make if I were in your position.

The generic early 16th c. sword below is a sharp Hanwei-Tinker longsword blade (~$109 shipped from Kult of Athena) cut to single-hand size, with a modified Windlass "15th c. Longsword "guard ($?) and modified Alchem pommel (~$13 shipped). That blade comes in a blunt version as well (cheaper) but you'd probably be happier with the cheaper "bastard sword" blade, which is a narrow Type XVIII and also available as a blunt. It's a bit heavier and blade-forward than the longsword, but also more historically appropriate. It's a very nice blade, and what you'd see on many common infantry swords from ~1550-1650.

I think you could get all of the parts for a plain infantry sword within a couple of weeks if you started buying/asking around today--sooner if you can cannibalize one of your Windlass swords. You'd need to have some skill with drill and files, maybe some woodworking skill, but it isn't too difficult and you have this community to help. Happy



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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