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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Which is the Best Bastard Sword on the Market?         Reply with quote

Objectively it's an impossible question, but I'm asking it anyway. The best definition that I've found is the one given in Oakeshott's, Records on page 171, quoting a French swource from the 16th century talking about swords used in a duel fought in 1549 - ...two bastard swords able to serve with one hand or with two. Perhaps a bastard's grip should be defined as having between a 5 and an 8 inch length, just long enough to get two hands on it, though sometimes you might have to slip the pommel. The idea of a sword being able to be used with equal facility by one hand or two is an ideal that seldom sees reality, though I do have one, the discontinued AT1611. I can actually wield that sword easily with one hand, but the sword is so light (around 2 lbs) that I'm not sure if it could stand up to vigorous use. The vast majoriey of them can be used with one hand, but feel much better with two.

So what do you think is the best bastard that you can find on the market today? I must limit my opinions to swords that I have acutally had in my hand. I have some very fine and functional ATrims, but they aren't now being sold. Indeed there are none on the market right now, though some may pop up at Evolution Arms this sommer.

The best current bastard that I've personally come across is the Albion Castellan. It is very light and maneuverable, is OK in one hand, has a very good thrusting ability with a strong, acute point. Good looking too with a great pommel. Unfortunately, it's not that great a cutter.

That's not to say that there aren't better bastards out there. I'm very curious about the Albion Earl, and one should also look at the ones in the Museum Line. Perhaps there is something to be considered over at Arms and Armor or Odlinblades.

What do you think?



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Albion Castellan

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Albion Castellan
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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
I realy liked the albion Crecy,maybe the best all around sword I`ve owned.
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P. Schontzler




Location: WA, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 4:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Albion has three swords named after the three most famous masters, all of which are described as bastards. The Talhoffer looks to be the lightest of the three.

Quote from the descriptions:
Oakeshott describes the Type XV as a strongly tapering, acutely pointed blade of flattened diamond cross-section. The sub-type XVa is often longer and slimmer than the Type XV, but with the primary difference being the longer grip. This type of sword was referred to as an epée bâtarde or "bastard sword."

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Phil D.




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 5:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of my favorites for the price range is the Valiant Bristol.Also the MRL/Windlass Arbedo handles incredibly well with single hand but has an extended grip for two hand use.They are not quite Albions but great bang for your buck.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Functionally to me a bastard sword has to be usable in one hand even if better to use in two as it might be tiring to use it in one hand for an extended period of time.

Some Longswords, not called bastard swords can fill the bill, and some swords officially designated as bastard swords are borderline too heavy for easy one handed use: All of the above is my personal " using " criteria, and what we call swords today or in period could be wildly inconsistent.

Also, a very strong person could use one handed a relatively heavy sword that a weaker wristed person would consider only suitable for two handed use.

But for a personal opinion, or example, of what I consider an almost perfect bastard sword, as far as easy handling goes, it would be the A&A Black Prince sword that I find easy to use in one hand and as fast as most one handers and lightning fast in two hands.

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword034.html

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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 8:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Phil D. wrote:
One of my favorites for the price range is the Valiant Bristol.


I'd take it a step further. My favorite bastard and still my favorite sword I've had is a Christian Fletcher Venetian Bastard Sword, which pairs the Bristol fittings with an Angus Trim 1432 blade and extended grip. Just hits the right sweet spot for me between one-handed and dedicated two-handed size.


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Christopher B Lellis




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as bastard swords go the Albion Crecy is excellent.

It's not the best cutter, or the most efficient thruster but it is good at cutting and excellent at thrusting and can be used realistically in one hand although it really shines with 2 handed use.

If a bastard sword is supposed to be a swiss army knife type, do it all type sword, it's hard to find better than this sword I think.

It's also an extremely agile sword, if you know what you are doing you can manipulate this sword explosively as if it weighs nothing and it really isn't even that light, it's a tad more than 3 lbs. The weight distribution makes it very very fast.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Luna wrote:


I'd take it a step further. My favorite bastard and still my favorite sword I've had is a Christian Fletcher Venetian Bastard Sword, which pairs the Bristol fittings with an Angus Trim 1432 blade and extended grip. Just hits the right sweet spot for me between one-handed and dedicated two-handed size.


As I've said before, I wish that I had bought that sword when it was briefly on the market as part of the Chimera Line. I wonder what are the chances of Sonny Suttles reviving a version of the Venetian Bastard over at Valiant Armoury? Of course, it wouldn't have an ATrim AT1432 blade, but a Chinese blade designed by Gus Trim.

Christopher -
As for the Albion Crecy, perhaps you could say it was the Decathlete of swords, as the Decathalon is the sport which is won by the guy who is second best at everything.
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Christopher B Lellis




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Zach Luna wrote:


I'd take it a step further. My favorite bastard and still my favorite sword I've had is a Christian Fletcher Venetian Bastard Sword, which pairs the Bristol fittings with an Angus Trim 1432 blade and extended grip. Just hits the right sweet spot for me between one-handed and dedicated two-handed size.


As I've said before, I wish that I had bought that sword when it was briefly on the market as part of the Chimera Line. I wonder what are the chances of Sonny Suttles reviving a version of the Venetian Bastard over at Valiant Armoury? Of course, it wouldn't have an ATrim AT1432 blade, but a Chinese blade designed by Gus Trim.

Christopher -
As for the Albion Crecy, perhaps you could say it was the Decathlete of swords, as the Decathalon is the sport which is won by the guy who is second best at everything.


Yeah, it seems kind of like that. It's a solid sword, a very good one, I've come to appreciate the crecy more and more as I handle and buy other swords. I would really like to know what particular sword Albion based the crecy off of.
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Robert W Tucker




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I myself was curious about the Albion gallowglass, I just ordered one of these swords myself, the review on here says it moves very well one handed but its hard to find info on its thrusting potential maybe someone who has one can add there comments on it, the weight seems about right, another thought and I'm not trying to derail the topic, the sword might thrust like A needle and cut but maybe not cut all the through its target but cut. The question stands would you hold out your hand and let your opponent strike it ? I think not.
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Kevin Coleman M.




PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject: VA Kriegschwert.         Reply with quote

I recently acquired a VA Kriegschwert that I am very happy with. It handles better in one hand than any of my one handed swords, and in two it is fast and powerful. I did some test cutting with it this past weekend, and was pleased that I was able to cleanly peel several slabs off of my cutting medium (a watermellon) without otherwise disturbing it from the post I had balanced it on.
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Richard Eskite




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would the Viceroy fall into this category? The one I have is certainly a remarkable piece of work, but may be too heavy...
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This brings up a question I've had. Now, I realize in period they didn't obsess over categories like we do now, but still...

I have an Atrim 1592, and an Albion Fiore. At first glance it's obvious the Atrim is the longsword and the Fiore the bastard, except the Atrim weighs about a half pound less. Its a little slower due to the weight being spread out further, but its still lighter in hand and less fatiguing.

Then look at at the A&A German Bastard that comes in around 4 and a half pounds.

So I guess I'm just confused as to what defines these categories, and I think weight should be factored in more than it appears to be.

...And to answer the question, my Fiore. I haven't handled a ton but the Fiore feels nimble and exceedingly solid.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
This brings up a question I've had. Now, I realize in period they didn't obsess over categories like we do now, but still...

I have an Atrim 1592, and an Albion Fiore. At first glance it's obvious the Atrim is the longsword and the Fiore the bastard, except the Atrim weighs about a half pound less. Its a little slower due to the weight being spread out further, but its still lighter in hand and less fatiguing.

Then look at at the A&A German Bastard that comes in around 4 and a half pounds.

So I guess I'm just confused as to what defines these categories, and I think weight should be factored in more than it appears to be.

...And to answer the question, my Fiore. I haven't handled a ton but the Fiore feels nimble and exceedingly solid.


I think it comes down to usage more than specs (or maker names). If a sword can be used effectively with one hand or two, it's a bastard sword. If a sword excels at two handed use but can kinda be used one handed for a short period of time, with fairly slow speed and not much nimbleness, it's probably a longsword. Happy

A&A German Bastard Sword is too heavy to be used effectively with one hand, in my opinion. Perhaps the grip length and overall fall into a range that some would consider to belong to bastard swords, but functionally, I see it as a long sword.

Some people also define a bastard sword as a sword whose blade is more typical of single handed arming swords, but which has a longer grip to accommodate a second hand. That's pretty limiting, but may be somewhat easier to quantify.

I don't consider the Albion Earl or Regent to be bastard swords (the Earl was mentioned in the OP); they're longswords. They can be swung one-handed but that's not their best use. I find my Regent somewhat clumsy in one hand, though part of that may be me. Happy

Happy

ChadA

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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

having a little experience with the A&A bastard sword, heavy broad, something you'd want to take to war. one hand is not impossible, but stressful for a smaller person like myself. it comes to life with two hands. however the original sword is based on has a triple fuller design, which could knock out a pound, making it a little easier to handle with a single hand, but still, i think you've got to be pretty strong to use it well. definitely my favorite sword being produced today, the sword is seriously fierce.

sorry to say that i haven't handled quite as many swords, but my Hirsoulas hand and half fits what is described above. easily held with one hand, slender - and lightning fast with a second hand. grip is a little long though, nearly 10 inches. but its so slender and sleek, it really brings into question how much punishment it could take before it fails.



I've often pondered over why some swords are called 'bastard' could be something just with the translation of language? we look at how many names we came up with for mace/morning star etc between English and German.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IMO AT1592 XVIIIe with its 11 inch grip is a two hander, not a bastard.

Again, the definition of a bastard sword is very subjective - one man's bastard is another's hand-and-a-half. One question is where along the spectrum of ease of one handed use does it change from a bastard to a longsword? I would push it a little farther along that Chad's definition and would include the Earl under the Bastard umbrella. But that's just my opinion.

Also IMO, the heavy 16th century German hand-and-a-halfs, especially the ones with the simple compound hilts shiould not be called bastards.

Has anyone any experience with the Albion Museum Line Bastards, the Brescia, the Cluny, and the Ljubljana? One of those might well be considered to be the best bastard currently on the market.
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P. Schontzler




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A&A has a few swords I would place in the bastard category, even though their names are inconsistent.

Schloss Erbach Arming Sword - Even though they call it an arming sword the length of both the blade and hilt and the 3.5 lbs weight make it more of a longsword in my opinion, but could be a bastard. (myArmoury review here.

English Longsword - Named a longsword I would consider this much closer to a bastard due to it's shorter grip and blade and light weight. This one to me seems like the ideal bastard from the dimensions.

BlackPrince Sword - A 1/4 inch longer than English Longsword (Edit: originally thought it was shorter).

I have very little sword-handling experience so I'm basing this around the size stats provided. Opinions anyone (especially if you own one of these swords)?


Last edited by P. Schontzler on Tue 30 Apr, 2013 12:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Roger,

Mine is a bit shorted than the one in the review at 52" total with a 10" grip, but in my eyes its a longsword. I would call it a later longsword. It comes up to my armpit, and the grip is just a little shorter than my forearm. I think it shines in the Lichtenauer style, but doesn't have the mass for montante drilling. It's definitely on the boarder between longsword and two-hander.

And I always thought hand and a half sword was another term for bastard, being the bastard son of an arming sword and a two handed sword.

I think of cruciform sword sizes as going from single handed/arming sword, bastard/hand and a half, longsword, war sword (same size but heavier) true two handed sword (shoulder height and longer).

Sorry for the derail...

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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