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Tim Hanna




Location: Midwest
Joined: 29 Apr 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 29 Apr, 2010 6:44 am    Post subject: Falcata         Reply with quote

Hello, first time poster here and I had a question.

The falcata has always been a weapon that has interested me. I was curious who here has handled a real one versus a reproduction.

My question is pretty basic. As I understand it a historical falcata does not have a ground blade on its edge. Instead the falcata's entire blade tapers to its edge so that in cross section the looks like a long thing triangle.

It seems that most reproductions are not made with this much effort. Instead the blade is made as a more standard rectangle of metal and then an edge is ground into it. This creates a triangle sitting on a rectangle effect.

This seems to result in a reproduction being much heavier than an origional. I am wondering how much of a weight difference the two would have and how much of a performance difference this would create. I would expect a historical falcata to penetrate much deeper than one of reproduction design.

Anyone have any experience and can comment?
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Tomas Mihalyi




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon 03 May, 2010 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Tim,

I as writing a work about falcata recently and the best info you can get is in the publication written by Fernando Quesada Sanz called El armamento iberico.....

There might be an english version I suppose..

If you mean the exact falcata used by Iberian tribes from the 5th century BC...the blade does not form a triangle shape. Usually there are channels on the blade of a various type. An other thing is that falcatas upper edge is also sharpened but only in one third of length of the lower one.

An exact triangular blade in cross section is formed in similar sabre called machaira or kopis but this one is a bit longer then falcata.
In the question of weight I have to say that I did not have the opportunity to wield a real one so a cannot tell the difference between the reproduction and an actual find. However it had to be quite heavy because it was probably more slashing than a thrusting weapon....

to coplete the data about the slashing power of the blade, the real falcata was made out of high quality iron and the blade was formed of several layers. One could compare the quality of falcata to latter japanese katana.

for more info try checking this article...http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2729&highlight=falcata
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Peter Johnsson
Industry Professional



Location: Storvreta, Sweden
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

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PostPosted: Mon 03 May, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have documented a falcata in the Deutshes Klingenmseum and studied several originals in museum displays.

The one in Solingen is a fairly typical example, even though several different sub types does exist. A rather small but very hungry and lethal blade. Too big to be called a knife and much more sublte and involved in its design than any currently available modern reproduction would indicate. They are much more than heavy camp knives or recurved machetes.

One thing that needs to be pointed out is that original swords of this type are not heavy chopping blades. They are agile and responsive weapons. All modern "reproductions" I have seen have been much to heavy and even if outline may be somewhat similar, they have nothing in common with the feel of the original sword.

In a simplified way one can say that the cross section is triangular, but there are as a rule sets of groves and fullers that lighten the blade. The back edge is a very important feature that has an effect on both dynamic balance and tactical use.

Sometimes the upper half of the blade, along the back has sides that are more parallel and then an edge section that is a long drawn out apple seed sectioned edge.
The work of Fernando Quesada Sanz gives many good examples of cross sections for different types.

In the hand the Falcata gives you a feeling of a tight, quick and very controllable blade. The cut out form of the grip is very ergonomic and fits the hand like a glove. You do not need to rely on brute strength to wield these weapons and I can see how many quick manouvers and feints would be possible.

To get an idea of function and efficiency, you cannot rely on the commonly available versions that are produced today. They will only be misleading in any conclusions you may make.
A proper Falcata is a supremely efficient and well balanced weapon.
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Tim Hanna




Location: Midwest
Joined: 29 Apr 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Peter. I was talking with a few people how owned reproductions and I had a feeling that any opinions they had on use based upon using a reproduction would be very inaccurate. This confirms that its not just the edge that is wrong on a reproduction but the entire weapon itself.

Any guesses on how much of a difference one is talking about when comparing a reproduction to an origional? Also any suggestions on where an accurate reproduction could be bought?
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Marcos Cantu





Joined: 28 May 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well Peter, maybe Albion could be the first to put out a quality falcata replica...hint, hint.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 770

PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Hanna wrote:
Thanks Peter. I was talking with a few people how owned reproductions and I had a feeling that any opinions they had on use based upon using a reproduction would be very inaccurate. This confirms that its not just the edge that is wrong on a reproduction but the entire weapon itself.

Any guesses on how much of a difference one is talking about when comparing a reproduction to an origional? Also any suggestions on where an accurate reproduction could be bought?


That is a difficult question to answer. Even some of the more well-known custom makers still do not capture all the nuances of the "real thing". But do not be discouraged; there are some makers who have studied originals and capture the essence of the falcata fairly well. I was very fortunate to be able to purchase a reproduction falcata from iron Age Armoury (http://www.ironagearmoury.com/); this falcata is much more representative of the real thing than any mass-market falcata out there. Even down to the blade cross section -- it starts out as sort of that "long thin triangle" shape you mention (and that's a gross oversimplification, but it's difficult to describe otherwise), then turns into an almost lenticular cross-section as the blade curves. It is hard to capture in words -- harder yet in steel! But they did it. The sword is fast, and, to borrow from Peter, "hungry". The guys at Ollin and Iron Age really put some effort into this sword, taking years of Research and Development to get it as right as they did. Of course, with this kind of work put into it, it did not come cheap; but you wouldn't expect it to. And it's more than worth the price of admission.
http://www.ironagearmoury.com/crow_falcata.html
Will they make more? I think Shane could be talked into it..... anyway he's the first guy I'd recommend if you're looking for a high-quality, authentic, historically-accurate falcata that captures not only the physical features but the essence of this fascinating weapon.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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Tomas Mihalyi




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri 07 May, 2010 4:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
http://www.ironagearmoury.com/crow_falcata.html


a really nice piece i must say...this is truly the best replica of falcata I ever did see... the shape of the blade looks very well forged although the exact process of manufacturing falcata remains partly unclear (something is described by Plutarch) so the material used for presented falcatas probably differs from the ancient ones even though it is a very good presentation indeed...
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