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B. Pogue
Industry Professional



Location: VA
Joined: 30 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 5:24 am    Post subject: ID that Sword contest         Reply with quote

Hey guys, Here's a quick one just for fun on a Monday morning. It's simple, be the first to correctly ID the sword on the right in the image below on our facebook page and win a Rock Creek Mesa Lockback folding knife (MSRP : $270!)

Here's the image:



Again, to win you've got to respond to the contest posting on our FB page here: CAS Hanwei FB Page

Have fun!
Blake
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: facebook         Reply with quote

Hi B.,
by the time I logged on the facebook, at least a dozen answers were in, a good number of which pointed to the russian cossack style shaksa , which I also think it to be.
Will you be posting the answer ?
Cheers,
Jean-Carle

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I too would have guessed it's a shashka .... I'm hoping this is right, not because I would win (too slow ha) but because I would be very intrigued by Hanwei offering one, particularly if it was 18-19th century and not the somewhat cruder "soviet style".

My sword instructor has an old one, and I was very impressed by the handling characteristics, and I have been curious about them ever since.

So... is Hanwei coming out with one? Big Grin
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B. Pogue
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Location: VA
Joined: 30 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 3:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spot on guys.

To be honest, I was surprised how fast the Shashka was identified!

Yes, Hanwei is working on one. We've been testing a few here of late and I'm pretty excited about it. Not ready to release full details but I don't think fans of the style are going to be displeased.

Blake
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 4:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If it is based on a Russian military shasqua, i prey for a good prototype choice. There were both good and bad models.
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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 7:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
If it is based on a Russian military shasqua, i prey for a good prototype choice. There were both good and bad models.


Indeed! Take your time, get it right.

I remember reading a few years ago about a windlass reproduction of a Shashka feeling "dead" in the hand and I was quite disappointed - I know little about their use, but from my limited experience, they are *very* lively. I once saw this video (russian with subtitles) where they interviewed an old smith. He said that a good Shashka was sharp as a razor, light as a feather and flexible as a vine. The blade only weighted about 350 grams...
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Aleksei Sosnovski





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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A 350g blade is not very strong and requires great skill to be able to deflect incoming blows without breaking the weapon. It's a weapon of a warrior who trains from childhood. Military issue models were heavier. Some were too heavy.

If my memory does not fail me blade for one military issue model weighed around 550 grams (1lb 3.5oz ) and handle weighed around 5.5oz. However such shasqua probably had POB quite far from the handle. Again AFAIK one military issue model had POB around 21 cm from the handle (that's over 8") while another had POB 15cm (6") from the handle but was heavier.

I have blueprints for one military issue model. It is 0.2" thick at the base of the blade and 0.1" thick 3" from the tip. The blade is 29" long. Another model for which I saw blueprints was 0.3" thick at the base of the blade!

I was thinking about buying Windlass shasqua and then regrinding and sharpening the blade to make in lighter and improve balance, but now I will wait for Hanwei to announce their model. Will see how good it is.
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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What I read is that the sword wasn't really meant for parrying blows - note the lack of quillon - but rather the warrior was supposed to dodge blows instead. The Cossacks wouldn't stick around to trade blows and cross swords - they would move in, strike a blow or two, and then retreat before the enemy could get its bearings.

Of course, it would require a lot of training to get that speed and grace, I'll fully admit to that! Maybe the military developed a more "conventional but easier to learn" style that required a thicker blade?

I've also read that there is apparently two types of shashka: the Caucasian shashka and the Cossack shashka, but I haven't been able to find much on the differences.
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Aleksei Sosnovski





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PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2011 2:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shasqua is well-suited for deflecting and beating aside blows due to its nimbleness. There are evidences in literature that support this statement (funnily but unfortunately literature is now considered to be the best source for shasqua usage techniques as there seem to be no surviving schools of shasqua fencing and no manuals except military ones that are overly simple like having just 3 cuts. But people are trying to recreate the art). Because of lack of crossguard shasqua doesn't work well in the bind. Well, it probably wouldn't work well in the bind even with crossguard simply because of its forward point of balance and often very thin and flexible blade.

Avoiding a "light as a feather" sword moving at full speed... Some blows can be dodged, but some are almost impossible to dodge without stepping backwards thus being unable to counterattack immediately.

Here is one video that shows usage of shasqua. Seems to be more or less realistic to me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uvJyEhdkb8

Here is another one. Some moves seem to be not very practical, but there is quite a lot of blade-to-blade contact which some people claim to be impossible with shasqua: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=6GVy7lScOwA

And the last one. Slow speed and again some moves to be impractical in full-speed combat, but a lot of blade-to-blade contact. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qy7LxBHjPs&feature=related

My personal experience with messer and single-handed swords shows that it is possible to use flat of the blade as well as back back of the blade for many different parries from beating aside or deflecting attacker's blade to hard blocks that are likely to damage or even break opponent's weapon without attacker's blade ever touching the crossguard of the defender's weapon.
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