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Bryan Heff

Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject: Del Tin 16th Century German Hand and a Half Sword - DT6164         Reply with quote

The Del Tin 16th Century German Hand and a Half Sword - DT6164 is a long but light, very quick long sword with a complex ring hilted cross guard that was popular during the Renaissance.

This sword was purchased from Kult of Athena and it arrived in perfect condition. I ordered it without the sharpening service so it has the stock Del Tin edge, which means it has no real edge, basically butter knife sharp.

Overall Length: 55 1/2"
Blade Length: 40 1/2"
Blade Width at guard: 1 3/8"
Overall Grip Length: 11 1/2"
Cross guard Length: 11 1/2"
Weight: 4 lbs, 2.9 oz
PoB: 2 1/4""

The blade is very long, rather thin and has decent overall stiffness, especially considering its length. One thing that immediately jumped out is the excellent distal taper that the blade has, I did not measure it but KOA lists it as 6 mm down to 2.6 mm and my eye test and the way it handles proves this out. You can definitely notice the smooth taper from the base to the tip. The blade is of hexagonal cross section and is probably considered a variant of a XIX or XXa type, but Oakeshott's typology really didn't extend into these later century swords, so all bets are off. It has a ricasso and 2 small fullers and the ricasso basically also marks the POB. The hexagonal cross section is very nice and extends the whole length of the blade but is more pronounced the first 2/3 length of the blade and begins to wash out a bit towards the tip. As mentioned the blade is stiff but not ridged stiff. It certainly has flex when pressed against the floor for instance. There is no sag to the blade when held out stretched, another testimate to the nice distal taper and when in motion there is no blade waggle or "flop" which can occur in long bladed swords that are not tapered correctly. Not the case here. As Del Tin's go, this is some of the nicest distal taper I have ever seen.

The grip is very long, wood core (I assume) covered in somewhat boring black leather with a nice spiral cord under wrap that adds lots of texture and provides for what amounts to finger grooves when being gripped. Not a great leather wrap but certainly acceptable and overall nice.

The pommel is oval/globe shape, somewhat shaped like a symmetrical egg. Its nice. One thing to note is KOA lists this sword as peened but I am certain its threaded and screwed on. The "peen" is I believe part of the casting and there are lots of little "hammer marks" on the end. Having peened a few swords in my day, they are decorative in my opinion and its not peened. I did not try to turn and unscrew the pommel but am confident it would indeed, screw off. For symmetrical round pommels a screwed on pommel does not bother me, if it was a disk pommel it would turn me off right away, but in this case its fine for me.

Cross Guard
The cross is a complex, multi ringed guard with a straight cross terminating in little rounded end pieces. Two large rings protect the sides of the hands and another 2 rings above those, only smaller provide even more protection. The smaller rings are attached via a finger loop on either side of the blade, so fingering over the cross guard with out fear of getting your digit cut off would be an option with this sword. Overall the ring guard is nicely done, nicely symmetrical and clean. The welding spots could probably have been given more attention and made more pristine, but generally Del Tins have a rougher hand made look to their hilt components and this one fits that mode. I think it works and like most Del Tins provides for a very historical and antique look to the sword.

This sword is very quick and feels very light, even though its over 4 pounds. It has a rather neutral feel in hand due to the POB being very close to the guard. The very long grip and heavy cross guard contribute to the close to the cross POB. The sword obviously does not have a lot of blade presence. It feels good in hand and moves extremely well. I imagine it would make fine dueling sword.

When I first received this sword I was not sure how much I liked it. It's on the higher end of the Del Tin price range, I imagine due to the complex hilt so for the price you really want to have the sword really hit on all cylinders. It's rather unique in its proportions and its feel and in my collection of almost 20 swords now it is a bit of an outlier. I have two other complex hilted long swords, a A&A German Bastard Sword and a A&A custom bastard but both of those are much heftier war sword types compared to this one. I don't know if Del Tin is trying to create a battle field sword of the "find weak spots in armor and pierce through" variety or the civilian dueling long sword type. The blade in my opinion while long and pointy, may not be quite stiff enough for that sort of heavy work. I feel if this sword were to be used it fits the civilian dueling model with its super quick handling and lighter blade as opposed to a battlefield weapon. Having had the sword now for a little while I have warmed to it quite a bit and like it for its uniqueness and its overall lines and looks. The handling is also very good. I am quite pleased with the sword.

And now...the pictures. I am 6' 1" and about 210 lbs. As you can see while not a wide blade its still a rather big sword.

The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Jason Elrod

Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Likes: 48 pages
Reading list: 38 books

Posts: 717

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the review. I've been contemplating picking this sword up for a while now and it is great to hear someone's opinion on it
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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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Spotlight topics: 5
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice review, I notice that the complex hilt is symmetrical so that either edge could be used as the primary edge or the false edge alternatively and also sort of would work equally well for a left or right hander.

I have the DT 6168 that is a more cut oriented blade and also doesn't seem to be droopy and seems to have a little more blade presence. It's complex guard isn't symmetrical, not that it couldn't be used left handed the aesthetics are designed with right handedness in mind.

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