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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Aug, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: A&A English Longsword.         Reply with quote

Well, the urge to buy a new sword got irresistible and since there was an English Longsword ready to ship at A&A on their ready to ship page I decided to go for it.

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword194.html

There is already an " official review " of this sword on this site, but I will add a short informal review of my personal impressions of it when I receive it.

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_els.html

I also ordered one of their leather scabbards for it, but I also asked Craig for a chape and simple lock for the scabbard, and they will add this to the order and should be able to ship some time next week: I thought I would mention this for people who hesitate to order the leather scabbard because it seems a little too plain !

I have other leather scabbards for my A&A swords and I consider them " functional " scabbard good to protect the blades from damage, and me from the blade. Wink

But with the addition of chape and lock it should upgrade the look of the leather scabbard a bit and also reinforce the tip and top opening.

It's good to take note that A&A will do small to extensive custom modifications to their standard product line as well as do fully original custom projects: In the past I have commissioned from them a fully custom pole arm and a custom Rondel dagger, and also have had some of their standard stock pieces custom heat treated like the edges of my A&A English Bill and a higher carbon steel edge welded to their standard Nordland Axe.

Small, customizations like the scabbard furniture added to the leather scabbard are very reasonably priced in my opinion and the custom heat treatment of my A&A English Bill only increased the price by maybe 20% over the standard price, although I saved a bit on mounting the Bill myself as a DIY project.

A few pics of the English Bill for those who haven't seem my whole DIY Topic thread about it, or a reminder for those who have seen it before.

oh, also a pic of the custom Rondel.



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Customized English Bill with DIY haft and finish.

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Custom Rondel Dagger made by A&A a few years back.

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




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 743

PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean, I'll be interested to read your thoughts on the sword. It isn't one of my must-haves from A&A, but it is a good looking one.

I totally agree with you that A&A is great for modifying their works for a personalized touch. I succumbed to a nice bauernwehr from the muster page a few months ago and asked for a scabbard with a chape. The chape was very well done and has a nice echo of the bauernwehr pommel. I put a picture of them both in the dagger thread.

Also, I have a sword coming from them soon as well. I asked for a slight modification to the grip and am interested to see how it will turn out. I'm sure it will be great.

They are a great company to work with and they have a lot of "minor" custom-ability for all their regular lineup, people just need to ask for it.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had my eye on that sword for a long time, but never bought it. I was a little put off by its minimal distal taper - only around 16%. In spite of that, it seems to be a handy sword. Please let us know what you think of it.
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 361

PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the overall lines and look of the sword but the cross and pommel decorations never really did it for me, just slightly not in my wheelhouse, but close. Still though, a great looking piece. I also will be very interested to hear your thoughts Jean. A&A does great work and always works with the buyer.
The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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Posts: 8,208

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2014 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Received the sword a few days ago and was playing with it for a while before giving my " Informal review " about it.

Look up the official "myArmoury " review in " REVIEWS " for the whole statistics thing:

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_els.html

With my own measurements I get slightly different numbers:

Weight: 2 lb. 11 oz.
Blade Length: 33 1/2"
Handle Length from rear of guard to beginning of pommel I get 5 1/2"
Handle + pommel gives me a length of 9 1/2"

For Overall Length of the sword I get the same numbers as in the review of 43 5/8"

Most of these differences are small and may be due to measuring errors or measuring in a different way or after many years in production the stats vary from the " Official review " sword ? None of the differences are great enough to be significant I think.

Nice details that didn't show up in the pics on the A&A site and not mentioned in the " myArmoury " official review of the sword: Basically I will try to add to rather than repeat the what is in the " official review ", more about subtle details and more about my evaluation of the handling of the sword, which is very good. In short version it has a lot of blade presence when used one handed but not to the point of being ponderous, but with two hands it's handles like a feather.

Aesthetically it's a very elegant weapon that can fool the eye into thinking that it is going to be low in blade presence, but in fact has a lot of blade presence, and almost more a cutting sword than an narrow pointed type XVII specialized in fighting in armour, but it is also a stiff blade that would thrust really well against soft armour but it's more spatulate point less efficient at bursting maille links or getting into gaps between plate armour than a type XVII: it would be ideal as a civilian riding sword for everyday carry for a Knight and as a side arm good against lesser armoured fighters on a battlefield, but a sword is mostly a backup weapon in battle.

With two hands it feels very fast and lively and I could probably outime myself compared to when I would be using a more ponderous two handed sword.

The finish on the hilt furniture looks a bit like a satin bead blasted finish that is very attractive, but not obvious or mentioned in the official review.

The scabbard furniture matches this finish, and this is a nice touch and a sign of being attentive to details when adding the metal bits to their standard leather scabbard.

The leather scabbard was a little tight when I first used it, and it was a bit difficult to remove the sword as it got stuck when I pushed the blade in as far as it would go: This is no longer a problem after a bit of use and loosening up.

( I just would mention that when trying to pull out a stuck sword in a scabbard one must be very very careful about doing it safely, should the scabbard suddenly lets go of the blade, one might get cut if one isn't very careful in controlling the edges ).

The decorations on the pommel and crossguard always seemed like a series of XXXXXXXXXX to my eyes in pics but it's actually a series of small rounded parallelograms very close together that at a distance, or in low resolution pics, look like XXXXXXXXX: This is much more attractive than I assumed based on the pics.

The pommel fits very well into the side of the palm of the second hand and should give a very good indication of edge orientation when cutting: The handle is short enough that using the pommel as a handle extension does make sense and almost unavoidable with this design.

The blade has the usual very nice A&A finish and the bevel ridge in the middle of the blade is perfectly strait on both sides over the entire length of the blade and looking along the blade there are no ripples. The blade also came paper cutting sharp.

The grip has some stitching in addition to being, I assume, glued down: The seam is a little " wavy " along the side of the grip, but nothing I would worry about from an historical accuracy point of view.

In the range of two handed swords this one is really a true " bastard sword " if we define this as a sword usable almost as well one handed as twohanded, although it is more lively twohanded: Other twohanders are more suited to two handed use until one reached a size where one handed use becomes difficult and impractical.



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Swod in leather scabbard.

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Notice the details of the deorative oval/rectangles with rounded corners on the guard and pommel.

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Close up of the decorations.

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Close up of pommel and decorations.

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Side view of hilt.

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Close up of stitching on handle.

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


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Thu 04 Sep, 2014 10:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,208

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2014 9:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can add that I'm very happy with the sword and the customer service by A&A, the delay in delivery in an " In Stock " product was only due to having metal furniture added to their leather scabbard, but was done within approximately 10 days before shipping.

Oh, the back of the leather scabbard had a prominent ridge where that scabbard is stitched together which add some stiffness to the scabbard.

A wooden core scabbard has a lot of advantages but a leather scabbard is very functional and with the extra metal bits looks a lot better.



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Sword in hand held one handed.

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Second hand on pommel with the thin pommel's curved side fitting perfectly the side of the palm and thumb.

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Scabbard chape: Simple but nice.

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Sword in scabbard and throath furniture.

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Showing thick seam on back of scabbard.

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Hilt in better lighting.

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Showing the way the pommel become thin near it's sides in a concave hollow ground curve.

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




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 361

PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2014 4:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent review Jean. That sword looks great, I especially like the light brown grip color vs the standard black.
The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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