Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Scottish Hand-and-a-halves "Halflang" Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Scottish Hand-and-a-halves "Halflang"         Reply with quote

I've posted before about Scottish swords, but this time I'm not interested in the two-handers.

The first sword I ever bought was the blunted armour class highland hand and a half. A sword I still like to use for longsword drills because although it's weighty and has a small handle, it's very agile, tracks well, and is fun to handle.

Also, when going into some forms of ochs and vom tag, it has a habit of locking my drilling partner's point between the cross and the blade, rendering him unable to wind and letting me slide up his blade to deliver a thrust almost unopposed. I still find this trait of the spoon-cross amusing. (if anyone wants a picture of what I mean, I can take one). Depending on the guard, there are some work arounds, but they require dramatic shifts of position (steps really far to the side or backwards) to disengage.

I was wondering if their was historic mention of this, the few halflang's I've seen pictured all have the right taper by the cross towards the point to work in this respect. Essentially I wanted to know if that was the intended purpose, I've seen few type XV or any completely thrust-oriented blades from the highlands (although this could be because of little plate exposure), and was wondering if this hilt type was a cause of dearth of thrust-oriented medieval/renaissance blades in the highlands.

It would also make sense for this to not be fully accepted by the lowlands or other areas where plate was prevalent, because locking the opponents blade gives you a small range of movement for your point, which would be almost useless if who your fighting is decked out in plate armor. (Nope can't reach your armpit, or behind the knees... uh...)

Apart from the cross guard, I know little about the halflangs hand1/2s. From what I've read, all I know is that they tend to have a mostly hexagonal cross-section (sometimes changing to diamond or lenticular), the pommels are hollow(?) and semi-pointed, blades have wide bases but tend to taper to serviceable points, almost always have a single fuller of varying length, and have relatively small handles compared to their continental counterparts.

I have virtually no measurements for length or width, this has all been qualitative, and have no experience with originals or even other reproductions other than the one I own. I want to know what others experiences have been with hand and a halves, and whether what I know is correct, not-quite true, or expandable. Because at the moment, all I have a inferences generalizations and assumptions, and I'd like to know more that's actually concrete.

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,908

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FWIW, some of us have speculated about a connection to the distinctive Swedish sword types of the 15th c.

The high grip-to-blade ratio makes these handle more like short polearms, which would lend them to the kind of high-leverage binds you describe. Some types have the down-sloping spatulate quillons like those shown here.



 Attachment: 19.21 KB
-1.jpg


 Attachment: 12.99 KB
GM_28815_132.jpg


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wonder about this too, because a friend and I noticed this while trying some techniques. I usually used my Hanwei Practical Bastard Sword with the curved crossguard, which did what you describe here. We didn't really try to do it with my straight crossguarded Hanwei Tinker Pearce Blunted Longsword, but it didn't seem to be able to do it that way, whereas I was doing it by accident with the Bastard.
"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
View user's profile Send private message
Andrew J. Leslie




Location: California
Joined: 09 May 2012

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: armour class halflang.         Reply with quote

I've been interested in getting an armour class halflang but I have heard all about the unbalanced or heavy trait to it. I've been planning on getting a custom halflang from them and adding a couple inches to the grip and blade. When I emailed them before telling them what I want and that I want it to be light and balanced at around 1 or 2 inches off the guard. Would you recommend their halflang? If so where would you suggest it be balanced at if the blade is around 37 inches, grip is 8 inches and pommel is around 2 inches???? Also, how does their steel hold up as a blunted blade? Your opinion means a whole lot to me as no one I know has ever handled an armour class sword before and since I cant test one out myself being that I'm from the states.
View user's profile Send private message
William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

so vincent those instances of trapping your opponents point i assume is kind of like how rapier based parrying daggers, and japanese sai specifically have quillons pointing towards the tip SPECIFICALLY in order to try and trap the opponents blade, correct?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Fri 14 Sep, 2012 2:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Funny. I find that the trapping effect works with just about any steel sword as long as the cross is long enough--but not with wood, since wooden waster blades don't give/bend as much in the bind. A cross curved towards the blade makes the effect more pronounced but the difference isn't all that significant.
View user's profile Send private message
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
A cross curved towards the blade makes the effect more pronounced but the difference isn't all that significant.


Depends on both the degree of bend and length of the cross. The cross on my halflang "curves" (more of an angle than curve) about two inches toward the tip. It doesn't take a huge angle to trap the blade, and happens accidently quite often. I took a picture below.

Quote:
so vincent those instances of trapping your opponents point i assume is kind of like how rapier based parrying daggers, and japanese sai specifically have quillons pointing towards the tip SPECIFICALLY in order to try and trap the opponents blade, correct?


That's my assumption as to why they're shaped the way they are. I don't actually know if that's the purpose, but they can certainly be used in that fashion quite effectively

Quote:
I've been interested in getting an armour class halflang but I have heard all about the unbalanced or heavy trait to it.


It's not unbalanced, the blunt one I have has a balance point 4 inches from the cross and perfect harmonic balance. It is heavy for its size though, at about 4.1 lbs. I can tell you that 1-2 inch balance point on a sword with this kind of blade is going to feel a little off. The edges of the pommel dig into the hands at times, but gloves help that. After getting used to a small grip, longer gripped weapons felt kind of weird for a while. The steel holds up quite well to the albion meyer, ATrim I-beam, and A&A spada do zogho and fechterspiel, only has surface scratches. Unless you're reenacting or using it for something else requiring costume, I recommend any of those instead, they're a little more dynamic and safer to your opponent.

Most of the halflang's I've seen dimensions for didn't have blades quite that big, though there were a few that did. If you want a sharp custom halflang longsword(ish), I recommend putting A&A's bohemian broadsword blade (or something similar) to a halflang hilt configuration. A little light and long, but otherwise a pretty good example of the type. You do not want a low balance point on this kind of sword, it will remove much of the liveliness of the blade for cut control and most halflangs didn't. You could also use an unfullered diamond cross section, two of the larger ones I saw had them, so it would still be appropriate.

Quote:

FWIW, some of us have speculated about a connection to the distinctive Swedish sword types of the 15th c.

The high grip-to-blade ratio makes these handle more like short polearms, which would lend them to the kind of high-leverage binds you describe. Some types have the down-sloping spatulate quillons like those shown here.


I've wondered about that too, there are quite a few danish swords that are similar as well. The early 16thc two-handed swords from the highlands, denmark, and sweden had variations that also seemed to compliment each other in those aspects.



 Attachment: 48.3 KB
bind.jpg
I really liked this one because you can also see the other angles where it would be possible to trap.

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Scottish Hand-and-a-halves "Halflang"
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum