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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Thu 23 Sep, 2010 10:00 am    Post subject: English Civil war Weapon/armor questions         Reply with quote

Hello
How thick, and wide, were the tangs, on Mortuary hilt swords, used in the English Civil War?Would the, breast plates, of the day,stop a musket ball, of the day?

Thanks in advance
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Sep, 2010 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No clue about the tang, but from my understanding at least the breastplates were suposed to be 'proof' from musket shot, but because of this they were alot heavier than breastplates in previous centuries, which is why by that time usually only cavalry wore breast plates.

I cant give a refference or anything for this, it's slightly after my main period of interest, but I know breastplates were usually shot proof in the 16thc.

Hope this helped you a little bit. Happy

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Sep, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

17th century was about when firearms beat armour. So, there were breastplates that would only resist pistol shot at long range, breastplates that were pistol-proof, and stop musket balls except at short range, and siege armour that would stop almost everything man-carried.

A reasonable guide is that you want 3mm to stop 1000J. From the limited figures I've seen, it wasn't unusual for a 16th century musket to only deliver about 1000J at point blank range, 2/3 of that at 30m, 1/3 of that at 100m. An end of the 17th century musket would give over 3000J, maybe 2500J or so at 30m, and still over 1000J at 100m.

Would 6mm stop a musket ball?

Some tests of relevance in S. Leever, "For show or safety?", Arms & Armour 3(2) 117-125 (2006); musket energy figures from there. Energies measured by Krenn (1990) as cited therein (I've not read this). Krenn's powder was apparently too good, so the energies are over-estimates. This is discussed more in Williams et al, Gladius 26, 175-209 (2006). This last paper has more - examination of real dents in real armours. From this, armours of thickness of 4.5-9mm have dents where bullets of energies over 700J were stopped.

So, to answer the above question, yes, 6mm will stop a musket ball, sometimes. Not something to depend on at very close range. Also not something to depend on at long range, since your 6mm breastplate doesn't cover all of your body.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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E.B. Erickson
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Location: Thailand
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 24 Sep, 2010 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Karl,
Tangs on Morts are the same as any other blade of the 1600s, which to our modern eyes, would appear to be thin and flimsy! 1/2 - 5/8" broad at the blade, and about 1/4" thick would be about the "normal" range. Once you leave the blade shoulder area, tang width varies according to the person who mounted the hilt. One of the things that you often see on antique blades is that the tang is thicker a little ways up from the blade. This is because the tangs were usually of softer steel/iron than the blade, and they were hammer welded onto the blade shoulder. This also creates the situation where the tang hole of the guard is bigger than the dimensions of the tang itself in order to allow the tang to pass through!

--ElJay
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