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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jun, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Any Shashka Makers Out There?         Reply with quote

Hello,

My interest in shashka (shasqua, shaska, whatever... the vagaries of Russian pronunciation notwithstanding) has lately been piqued.

I understand that there are still a good number of people in the Slavonic countries that participate in traditional events and what not, and among them there are some who do the Cossack thing-- and of course there are still actual for-real Cossacks... plus if videos on YouTube are any indication, there is still a traditional form of shashka swordsmanship being taught. Pretty nifty stuff, actually.

So my question is, where are they getting their swords from? One video showed a grizzled, bearded old smith who looked something like a Russian mountain man; wasn't able to pick up his name as the video was of Russian origin, so Cyrillic text... anyway, I was wondering if anybody here knows of European smiths who currently make shashka?

I know of only two... Zlatoust (?), who sell touristy stainless-steel or gilded claptrap, and someone else whose name I've missed but who sell pretty much the same thing. Apparently fancy gilded stuff is quite popular with Russian souvenir swords. I'd rather have something more functional without having to actually travel to Russia, the Crimea, Georgia, or Armenia.

I'm aware of the Windlass and WeaponEdge versions, but they only offer the 'military' version, and a knockoff of the Soviet-made shashka at that. While it's cool in its own way, I don't particularly care for its aesthetic compared to the traditional version. Raven Armoury does make a traditional version, but their prices are... daunting.

The only Russian maker that does shashka in my style that I've been able to find is Kizlyar, and their swords are either stainless steel ("40x13"? What?) or "Genuine Damascus Steel". The prices on the US site are pretty high too-- $520 for their lowest-priced sword, another military-style sword. A more traditional version is $750.

So, any idea where I could find a traditional-style shashka for... let's say the $200-500 range... functional, sharp, and light (I've heard 11 grams being quoted as the ideal weight for the blade?). Am I stuck with custom?

Thanks for the help and input...
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 6:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi jeffery, unfortunately I don't think there will be alot of choices in sub $500 shaskas. As the shaska is a relatively little appreciated form of sword, I think that for a decent one, you would have to either buy an antique, which are fairly easy to find, or have a custom one made by a smith. One place I know that make a nice shaska is Raven Armoury of the U.K. unfortunately their prices are significantly higher than that $500.
Éirinn go Brách
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 852

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The shasqua is indeed an interesting saber, Jeffery. And while a production level blade
might meet your needs ( in that low price range you're looking for ), you might consider
either buying an excellent piece, as this one from OllinSword --

http://ollinsworddesign.com/osd-now.html ( scroll down )

Or look into a custom swordsmith, like John Lundemo of Odinblades ... Quite frankly
I think John could create a beautiful piece for you of functional and aesthetic quality beyond
anything a production-level company could offer.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The OlliN sword would be a quality choice as well as a Lundemo custom one.

But for a very inexpensive one there is this one by Windlass:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...an+Shasqua

Blade heat treat should be good, aesthetics as so-so and it is a cheap version but not a wallhanger in all probability, although have no personal experience with this specific Windlass generally their blades and assembly are sound.

At this price it may be something for you to practice/play with until you have the funds to go higher quality.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

40x13 is 0.4% carbon (so 0.35-0.45%), 13% chromium. My Kizlyar shashka is 65x13 (0.65% carbon, 17% chromium). Either should be OK for use, and for light cutting. The blade comes across as a little delicate, so I'd hesitate to cut hard targets with it. It's about 700g, hollow ground, a nice light sword. It's functional.
"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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Stephen Wheatley




Location: DORSET ENGLAND
Joined: 15 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 3:24 am    Post subject: World Wide Arms         Reply with quote

World-Wide-Arms of the UK sell one for about £180 I think. They look like they might even be ex - issue but I suspect, that as a lot of their stuff is made in India, these could be too. Worth checking out though.
Stephen Wheatley
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen, Jean, thank you, but both of those models are the military type of shashka. As I mentioned in my OP, I'm more interested in the traditional version.

At this rate I may have to look into Lutel.eu's shashka... yikes, never mind, just did the currency conversion and that's still around $1000. Ugh. Time to take either of two methods...

--Save up for a custom, probably Odinblades

--Get very, very creative with my cheap Musashi katana...
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
Stephen, Jean, thank you, but both of those models are the military type of shashka. As I mentioned in my OP, I'm more interested in the traditional version.

At this rate I may have to look into Lutel.eu's shashka... yikes, never mind, just did the currency conversion and that's still around $1000. Ugh. Time to take either of two methods...

--Save up for a custom, probably Odinblades

--Get very, very creative with my cheap Musashi katana...


Compared to $1000, the Kizlyar shashkas don't look too bad.

Antiques of not great quality can be had for well under $1000, too. These tend to have rather crude wooden grips - supposedly re-gripped as tax evasion, when fancy silver hilts would have attracted some kind of wealth tax.

"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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Lewis Ballard




Location: Houston, TX
Joined: 27 Dec 2009

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

However did I miss this thread?

I, too, suffer from the "shashka fever," and I think I've seen the same video as Jeffrey. I tracked down a copy of it, with English subtitles, here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8339...amp;emb=1#

Jeffrey, I'm actually trying to "get really creative" (as you say) with a pre-existing sword, although not a katana. I'm using a (ahem) Windlass American Revolutionary War saber as my source, since it comes with a suitably thin blade to begin with. Once I've gotten past the grip issue, I'll do up a DIY post on the subject.

The smith's name is Madin Pchigatluk, fairly evidently not an ethnic Russian name, and almost certainly from the Caucasus. Dagestani, perhaps? Circassian?

I particularly enjoyed his comment that a traditional shashka should be "light as a feather, sharp as a razor, and flexible as a grape vine."
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Michael Ekelmann




Location: Seattle Metro Area, USA
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jul, 2011 1:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
I too have suffered from shaska and khinjal fever, ever since read R.E Howard's Oriental pulp stories as a middle-schooler.
I had never seen that video before, thanks! I had though the shaska was a kind of saber, but I can see now, given the flex of the blade, that it is a big knife, like the yatagan. Cool stuff!

“Men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes!" Sean Connery as Mulay Hamid El Raisuli in The Wind and the Lion
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Lewis Ballard




Location: Houston, TX
Joined: 27 Dec 2009

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sat 09 Jul, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Ekelmann wrote:
Hi,
I too have suffered from shaska and khinjal fever, ever since read R.E Howard's Oriental pulp stories as a middle-schooler.
I had never seen that video before, thanks! I had though the shaska was a kind of saber, but I can see now, given the flex of the blade, that it is a big knife, like the yatagan. Cool stuff!


Michael:

If you liked R.E. Howard's pulps, may I recommend Harold Lamb? I only discovered him recently, when several volumes of his collected works were republished. Apparently he was a major influence on Howard, and frankly I enjoy his works more. (Heresy, I know!) Several of the volumes are available through Google books and the rest through the usual suspects (Amazon, B&N).
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Michael Ekelmann




Location: Seattle Metro Area, USA
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jul, 2011 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lewis,
I may have to do that, you're the second person to recommend Lamb after I mentioned I like REH's pulps.

“Men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes!" Sean Connery as Mulay Hamid El Raisuli in The Wind and the Lion
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Hal Siegel
Industry Professional



Location: Austin, Texas
Joined: 30 Aug 2003

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jul, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Off-off topic, but I'll third the recommendation of the Harold Lamb collections. I read through all four volumes this spring.

(hint - if you want Mostly Cossack stuff, read volumes 3 and 4 first - in volumes 1 and 2, our Cossack hero "travels southeast for Adventure in the Lands of the Tartars and Rajput" - but all of the books are true gems and word reading!)

Hal Siegel - TherionArms
http://www.therionarms.com
http://www.facebook.com/TherionArms
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Mikey M




Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Joined: 08 Mar 2015

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just became a member. I am from NY and had a couple friends who were Ukrainian and we always would talk about Cossacks and one of my friends Uncles would do all the dancing. SO hearing about all these books and being a huge Conan fan I put them on the wish list thanks for the info guys. I also would love to get a shahska and a kindjal one day myself
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Florian G.




Location: Austria
Joined: 28 Aug 2015

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 28 Aug, 2015 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marat Ahmedov (Марат Ахмедов) is very good sword smith for custom made shashkas. He has a youtube channel. Here
one of his works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGI8f7Yp35s

And here the birth of a shaska:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvBLjW0YcpI

He also makes amazing kindjals.
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 852

PostPosted: Sat 29 Aug, 2015 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Florian G. wrote:
Marat Ahmedov (Марат Ахмедов) is very good sword smith for custom made shashkas. He has a youtube channel. Here
one of his works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGI8f7Yp35s

And here the birth of a shaska:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvBLjW0YcpI

He also makes amazing kindjals.


Beautiful work in that first video ... not so sure about that couch, though ... B-)
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Encho Yakovchev




PostPosted: Sat 29 Aug, 2015 9:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey,
If you haven't found anything yet you may want to consider this:
http://traditsia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3382
Just go through the pages of this thread and see if you like a model. I can try and get you the contact details of the maker.
From what I understand they are functional and sell for about 150 Euro - but you will have to verify that. Judging by the responses in the thread, the craftsmanship seems very good.

Good luck and let me know if I can help more.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2015 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Encho Yakovchev wrote:
Jeffrey,
If you haven't found anything yet you may want to consider this:
http://traditsia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3382
Just go through the pages of this thread and see if you like a model. I can try and get you the contact details of the maker.
From what I understand they are functional and sell for about 150 Euro - but you will have to verify that. Judging by the responses in the thread, the craftsmanship seems very good.

Good luck and let me know if I can help more.


This is a very old thread! But thank you for your input Happy

Alas, it seems to be a Bulgarian language forum and I do not read Bulgarian... also, the thread apparently requires membership to view? It keeps bringing up a log-in screen before I can read it.

If you could give a direct link to wherever they are making these, I would appreciate it.

Thank you very much!
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