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Sam Walsh




Location: The Frozen North
Joined: 03 Feb 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 2:46 pm    Post subject: Concerning Dirks         Reply with quote

Hello, new member here.

I've recently been thinking of purchasing a Scottish dirk, functional rather than fashionable, but as I am a newcomer to the historical arms scene, I do not know what questions I should ask of vendors.

Steel quality is a likely question, naturally, but there are a dozen others I've been wondering about. For example, should a decent dirk be full tang?

Any advice or resources would be welcome. I'm flying blind here.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,193

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Your best bet may be the Cold Steel Dirk as far as mass produced dirks are concerned. I have had the opportunity to own and examine a number of them and they seem to be well made and sturdy. The company furnishes a "proof certificate" with each blade showing that it has passed proof testing as required by the British MOD. How legitimate that is I do not know. The grip looks good but is not authentic but that does not to be a main concern for you.

If by "full tang" you mean a tang which runs the length of the grip then that is a valid consideration and should be a feature on a dirk which gets hard usage. I think the Cold Steel dirk has that type of construction. However, if you mean full tang as in the tang is the same shape as the grip, I doubt you will find one made that way although since you are not concerned about aesthetics then you may find one made by a custom builder which fits the bill.

Most dirks these days are ornaments, although Vince Evans and Glen McLain make mighty nice pieces that are also functional.

I am sure some other forum members will weigh in.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Paul B.G




Location: Victoria, Australia
Joined: 01 May 2011
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 140

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Concerning Dirks         Reply with quote

Sam Walsh wrote:
Hello, new member here.

I've recently been thinking of purchasing a Scottish dirk, functional rather than fashionable, but as I am a newcomer to the historical arms scene, I do not know what questions I should ask of vendors.

Steel quality is a likely question, naturally, but there are a dozen others I've been wondering about. For example, should a decent dirk be full tang?

Any advice or resources would be welcome. I'm flying blind here.


I purchased a Dirk from L Driggers (fallen) over at SBG https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/user/26392 Im not sure if its completely historical but it is COMPLETLY functional and shaving sharp, im very happy with it.

I would recommend you pm him for a price (very reasonable priced). He can make it anyway you like, I had him make mine with a slightly longer grip than historical. This is a sax he has for sale https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/thread/43481/vimose-demark-250-ad-langsax



Images attached below
and another image can be seen here https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/thread/31817/



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A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person

O====[::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses


Last edited by Paul B.G on Tue 03 Feb, 2015 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sam Walsh




Location: The Frozen North
Joined: 03 Feb 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the advice!

The Cold Steel is an attractive option; I recently found it on the Kult of Athena website. I have mainly been looking at the Windlass Damascus Dirk (http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...tish+Dirk+), though I've been hearing some mixed opinions on the quality of Windlass products. Anyone have any thoughts?

Thank you again!
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't speak for the pattern welded Windlass steel, but Windlass has great HT on their monosteel pieces. Lots of complaints to be found about Windlass including historicity issues, weight issues, balance issues, fit and finish issues, but I've never heard anybody say that their windlass had bad HT. I like Windlass, personally; I'm more into other swords for the most part now, but what I've had from them was good value for money and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of their knives or spearheads, or one of their swords for that matter if it fit my tastes. General rule of thumb with them is don't expect anything above the price range and you won't be disappointed. Sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That Cold Steel one is uggggggly, though, and not really representative of historical examples if that's a concern for you.
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Sam Walsh




Location: The Frozen North
Joined: 03 Feb 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Cold Steel doesn't sound like it handles too well, either. Hmm.

I thank you all for your input! Aside from a tang that goes the length of the handle, what other things should a decent dirk have? Is there somewhere I could poke around to find out more?
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Paul B.G




Location: Victoria, Australia
Joined: 01 May 2011
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 140

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From an historical perspective this link is a great start;

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

Cheers

Paul

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person

O====[::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Might I suggest one from Todsstuff in the UK? I have one of his all brass hilted Scottish Dirks, and it is quite nice (and fully functional).
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Gregg wrote:
Might I suggest one from Todsstuff in the UK? I have one of his all brass hilted Scottish Dirks, and it is quite nice (and fully functional).


This would be my only recommendation... right after Vince Evans of course. Happy

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Neal Matheson




Location: sussex UK
Joined: 08 Feb 2009
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Posts: 144

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 10:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another for Tod's stuff.
http://www.seeknottheancestors.com/
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David Cooper




Location: UK
Joined: 27 Apr 2008
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2015 12:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't forget antique military dirks. They can be found for reasonable prices and no problems with authenticity or functionality.


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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2015 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The main downside with military dirks, apart from all the silver-work which needs to be kept clean, is that they are generally very late forms and highly ornamental. Certainly they function, but a less ornamental, earlier form may be more practical and easier to use. Not to mention that some of the military ones can get quite sizeable and unwieldy (this is a personal preference though)...
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