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Joe Wolowicz




Location: Massachusetts
Joined: 01 Sep 2012

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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: 1340 12th C Medieval Sword         Reply with quote

Hey all, I'm new here and I am also fairly new to the sword business. Recently I have been looking to buy a sword from http://www.darksword-armory.com and i have been looking at the weapon that is in the subject box. I have the specs for the weapon they are

Sword Specifications
Total length: 46.5"
Blade length: 36"
Blade width at base: 2"
Weight: 4 lbs 7 oz.

The armory states that it is either a XA or XI type weapon and I was wondering on some clarification. Simply put what type of sword is it, how accurate is it, and is it a one handed, hand and a half, or a two handed sword?

There is also a picture that it attached, so please everyone give me some insight on the weapon at hand.. anything would be amazing.



 Attachment: 38.23 KB
1340-templar-medieval-sword.jpg
This is the picture of the sword!

Joe
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe,
Hello and welcome to myArmoury.com. Happy That sword is based (more or less) on a surviving example. Though DSA says it's based on one in a Swiss museum, it looks more like it is based off a famous example in Glasgow. Perhaps there is a sister sword in Switzerland, though it wouldn't surprise me if this were another case of this maker mis-attributing a sword.

Glasgow Type XIIa:



With its length and grip length, it's at least a hand and a half sword. With the posted weight of almost 4.5 pounds, call it a two hander.

In terms of accuracy, etching in a fuller wouldn't commonly be done in the era this represents. More likely would have been inlay of a contrasting metal or pattern-welded steel. Of course, expecting that at this price would be foolish.

It's not a Xa or XI, simply because those types don't include swords of greater than single-hand length. It's closest to a Type XIIa. The diamond cross-section of the tip era would be better as a lenticular section, but diamond sections are common at this price point (and even sometimes above), even when they historically shouldn't be used.

My biggest concern is the weight. It's more than a full pound heavier than another maker's replica of the Glasgow sword. Perhaps the blunt edges add to that weight problem, but it sounds awfully hefty.

Plenty of ink has been spilled about Darksword on this forum. The search function should help.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Joe Wolowicz




Location: Massachusetts
Joined: 01 Sep 2012

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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, thanks a lot, it's actually kind of daunting looking through the droves of useless websites online trying to find out decent information, I can't thank you enough, and I will be sure to look up darksword armory on the forums. Thanks so much for your hasty reply!
Joe
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arms and Armor makes a version of that sword, one that has been in their product line for many years . Look Here and Here - It costs considerably more than the Darksword does, but it is also a much better sword. It would be interesting if the distal taper on the two different versions could be compared. The A&A one goes from a 5.2 mm thickness to 2.2 mm. The Darksword - ?

Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sat 01 Sep, 2012 12:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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William Swiger




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

I bought that one awhile back and sold it. The pommel has a fake peen block and is one piece. The false peen block was crooked on the one I received. The blade on mine thickened the last 4-5 inches at the tip and could not be sharpened. Sharpening on the sword was rough and required some work to smooth out.

Other than the above issues, it was alright.

2-handed and the weight was right at 4 lbs.
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Ryan Renfro




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
The A&A one goes from a 5.2 mm thickness to 2.2 mm. The Darksword - ?


4 mm - 4.5 mm on KoA: http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+%2D+Brown
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reverse distal taper?! Thats a new one for me. They must just grind a uniform thickness billet into a diamond section and then fuller it, obliterating the medial ridge. I can imagine what kind of poor handling characteristics such a shape would give: high polar moment, pivot points close together and near middle of the blade, excessive flexibility near middle of blade and excessive stiffness near point. Probably gives one a lot of vibration and hand shock on hits connecting anywhere outside the middle of the blade.
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Joe Wolowicz




Location: Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the input guys, it's my first day and there are already so many people commenting and whatnot it's very exciting. The majority of what everyone is talking about however goes right over my head considering no more than a month ago, i couldn't tell you what a fuller was if you payed me.

I posted about this sword, and yes i figured that the inlay or whatever is used wouldn't have been done, but it more of a distinguishing touch to the weapon.

Secondly, I have been reading a lot about Darksword Armory on this site and others, like the S.B.G. and I have watched countless stress tests on this sword and others, and I personally don't really see anything wrong with them.. now I am not foolish enough to assume just because I don't see anything that there isn't something wrong, but they seem truly sturdy, and I must admit, there is something about a forge in Canada i find rather intriguing.

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/darksword.html This is the link to some of the stress tests, and then this page i know isn't the same weapon but really shows this guy going to town on this sword. http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/knight-sword.html

Darksword also offers the upgrade of having it sharpened, and I know not to expect an edge like a knife, and simply put i think that's obviously better, don't want to damage an edge and with the weight and length I'm sure it doesn't need a super sharp edge to really do some work.

The armory also offers a Damascus steel blade for much more, can anyone tell me why?

AND FINALLY A SIMPLE QUESTION!!! With a sword we are talking about, traditionally, it would have not been worn on the person, but carried on the horse correct? I really don't see any good way to pull it out of it's sheath effectively, and obviously if you strung it to your back you are asking to be killed.

Thanks for all your time and patience guys, I'm really counting on all of you to steer me in the right direction!!

Joe
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Wolowicz wrote:
Thanks for all the input guys, it's my first day and there are already so many people commenting and whatnot it's very exciting. The majority of what everyone is talking about however goes right over my head considering no more than a month ago, i couldn't tell you what a fuller was if you payed me.

I posted about this sword, and yes i figured that the inlay or whatever is used wouldn't have been done, but it more of a distinguishing touch to the weapon.
Swords from this period often had inlaid metal, but not etching as this sword does. What you see here is etching/engraving. An Inlay actually has a contrasting metal inlaid into the engraved lettering.

Unfilled etching/engravings were extremely uncommon on historical examples. On the other hand, inlay with Iron, Silver, Gold, or Latten (brass) were extremely common.

Quote:
Secondly, I have been reading a lot about Darksword Armory on this site and others, like the S.B.G. and I have watched countless stress tests on this sword and others, and I personally don't really see anything wrong with them.. now I am not foolish enough to assume just because I don't see anything that there isn't something wrong, but they seem truly sturdy, and I must admit, there is something about a forge in Canada i find rather intriguing.

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/darksword.html This is the link to some of the stress tests, and then this page i know isn't the same weapon but really shows this guy going to town on this sword. http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/knight-sword.html
How much you can torture a sword is a bad way to judge quality. Historical swords would never stand up to the abuse you see in these kinds of "torture tests", and swordsmen in period would never have expected them to.

Far more important than these destructive tests is how well the sword is balanced and proportioned. A sword is NOT a club with a sharp edge. A well made sword has its mass distributed correctly for the job it is built for. Any half-ass design can be overbuilt so that it can take abuse, but only a well designed sword will be both tough and have the right mass distribution to make it an effective weapon.

Quote:
AND FINALLY A SIMPLE QUESTION!!! With a sword we are talking about, traditionally, it would have not been worn on the person, but carried on the horse correct? I really don't see any good way to pull it out of it's sheath effectively, and obviously if you strung it to your back you are asking to be killed.
European swords were never worn on the back. In fact, only a rare few exotic swords were designed to be carried on the back.
A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Wolowicz wrote:

Secondly, I have been reading a lot about Darksword Armory on this site and others, like the S.B.G. and I have watched acountless stress tests on this sword and others, and I personally don't really see anything wrong with them..


Robin is absolutely right, an overbuilt sword will be able to take more punishment than a real sword, or a more historically accurate sword, because overbuilt ones are needlessly thicker and more robust.

Regarding what other forum members have commented about this sword, particularly what Scott and William said, is a deal-breaker. A good quality sword is all about handling and performance. This does not necessarily mean that it has to “feel light” in hand, but even the most robust historical war swords have a good balance that is immediately obvious in hand. And many medieval swords are very agile and sweet in hand indeed.

This sword is not going to handle well at all, and it's too heavy and overbuilt to perform well. If I were you, I'd save up my money and buy a sword from Albion's Squire Line: http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/sw...squire.htm. The difference in handling will be night and day.


Last edited by Craig Peters on Mon 03 Sep, 2012 12:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep, 2012 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry Joe, I often throw around terminology and jargon forgeting that not everyone is initiated into the subtle mysteries of the sword Wink Let me explain and clarify my previous post. Reverse distal taper means that the sword blade actually gets thicker toward the point. This is not unknown in medieval swords but is very rare. A shape like this, unless the blade is extremely pointy and tapered, causes it to have a lot of its weight at the tip of the blade. This leads me to "high polar moment," this means that with a lot of weight at the tip it takes a lot of strength and leverage to get the tip moving or stop it moving, meaning that the sword is very difficult to control. Essentially you get something that handles like a felling axe from the hardware store. Pivot points are a very important tool for understanding the sword. Here is a link to the appropriate thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ight=pivot The lack of stiffness in the middle of the blade in proportion to the weightiness of the point section will cause the sword to sag considerably under its own weight ( many originals and good repro's do this also, but probably not to the degree this one would) and more importantly it is likely to flex excessively when cutting, causing ragged or scalloped cuts.

Last edited by Scott Woodruff on Sun 02 Sep, 2012 10:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep, 2012 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Wolowicz wrote:

Thanks for all your time and patience guys, I'm really counting on all of you to steer me in the right direction!!


It depends on what you want in a sword.

As said earlier, there are quite a few different issues which some would find undesirable in this product. I personally feel that this sword misses the mark on too many levels. Near the top being the odd distal taper and that this sword, which sort of aims to be a recreation of a specific sword or group of swords, doesn't really do that. It has an approximation of an earlier hilt style with the pommel and cross but then uses (at least in profile) a later blade type- not that even that later blade type (a XIIa) is executed well.

It's usually my advice to save more and try to get something a bit closer to what one would see in a period example. I will admit this is my bias and I am fairly ignorant of products in the lower end of price point. There may indeed be better options for you if you don't want to spend a lot of money on your first sword.

Welcome to myArmoury, I wish you the very best of luck in choosing a sword.
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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe
My first sword was a DSA. I've concluded since that buying it was a mistake. There are varying quality levels available at this price point, none of which are historically very accurate. If, like me, you just wanted as word to get into the whole thing, I'd suggest looking at other manufacturers.
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Joe Wolowicz




Location: Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First, to Scott Woodruff, those swords are absolutely beautiful, I am completely blown away by the grace of those weapons. I would also like to thank you for the clarification, it was really great to have someone slow down and explain some of the complexities that make a sword not only a work of art, but also a complex and efficient tool.

When it comes down to it, there are an amazing tool that should really be taken it their full grandeur and I can truly admire that. At first I was scared to post on this forum as I read through the droves of forums and people talking it was all a little overwhelming, it seemed as though there was so much more to these mystical weapons then meets the eye, and truth be told I was correct.

to Craig Peters, you raise a very good point, I can really see how although robust, most collectors would tend to care less about the abuse a sword can take and more about how well it handles and how historically accurate it is, and I must admit, you guys have definitely made me do my homework. Even now my head swims with all the information I have learned.

Lastly, I would truly like to thank everyone for their input and their knowledge, this is why I posted this forum in the first place. Everyone here has been more than kind and understanding to a new (wanna be) collector like myself and that is more than I could ask for, and I thank you all. YOU GUYS ARE LE BEST! Big Grin

Joe
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't buy the sword yet. In fact, don't buy any sword yet, no matter how good. At this point your purposes would be better served by buying a good reference book or two (or more), which will probably save you an incredible amount of money when you get to the point of actually buying a sword.
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 5:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Despite darksword armorys claim that thier swords are indestructible, there are a lot of them floating around with a tempering issue. Last year i bought a darksword through kultofathena.com for use in stage combat, where i need a thick, crowbar like blade, but $100 hanwie practicals with rebated edges were taking chunks out of it. Before i bought it, i specifically emailed darksword about my intended use and they said it would hold up to blade on blade combat. I returned it and bought a BKS, which is a wonderful weapon. The quality control on Darksword products is rather horrible, as many forumites will attest to. My friend still has his as a walk around sword, but we did a test with a windlass blade to blade on it, and it left a nice nick while the windlass wasn't even scratched.

Here are some swords in the 200-400 price range that far outclass darkswords in accuracy, handling, and durability

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Long+Sword
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...rd+-+Brown
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...ord+of+War
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...tard+Sword
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...ith+Fuller
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...iegschwert
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...rd+-+Brown
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Long+Sword
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...tard+Sword

most of these are from your target period of the 14th century, although some are just good swords. The hanwie tinker line i have found to be very nice and a few people i know have valiant armory swords and they seem pretty good. Del tins are also very nice. they come stock with a dull edge due to Italian law, but KOA offers sharpening and the steel quality and hilt furniture is great. Cold steel just makes badass stuff that is razor sharp
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Don't buy the sword yet. In fact, don't buy any sword yet, no matter how good. At this point your purposes would be better served by buying a good reference book or two (or more), which will probably save you an incredible amount of money when you get to the point of actually buying a sword.


Well, that can depend on one's specific drive and interest in Arms and Armor.

I purchased my first higher quality sword (and mace) about 15 years ago (an A&A Irish sword) and really didn't get into actually formally "learning" about the subject until after that. I really knew quite little about the development and historical epochs of the medical sword. As I learned I found I really didn't have as much interest in the 15th. C (the era of the Irish sword).

So for some the object will engender the desire to learn and for others learning will drive a desire to obtain the object.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If Joe's interested in 12th century swords, it might be an idea for him to look at the Geibig article, if he has not already read it: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_geibig.html
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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe
Tom's suggestions above are spot on. I'd also add that if you are looking for a $300 "indestructible" sword, Legacy Arms Gen 2 have blades of significantly better quality along with much better attention to detail, but not really any more accurate historically. For just a bit more you should check out www.armourclass.com (for sale in the states through KOA and possibly others) for a step up in quality and accuracy for not that much more money.
The slicker website doesn't tell the tale.....
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe, perhaps I missed something. To which swords do you refer in your last post? Also, I highly suggest you take Craig's advice and check out the Geibig article. http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_geibig.html
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