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Doug K.




Location: Michigan
Joined: 25 Apr 2012

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2016 6:54 pm    Post subject: Help identifying a sword (SLO?)         Reply with quote

After running this through the wringer at Sword Buyers Guide, I remain stumped. So, I come to myArmoury to ask for help. Simply, given the description and pictures below, what the heck do I have? Any ideas of make/model? If I decide to start practicing swordsmanship, is this likely to snap and forcibly infiltrate my carotid or femoral artery? Finally, does it fit within any sort of Oakeshott typology?

I bought this sword somewhere around 2002 or 2003...I was in high school, and all my friends were huge into Bud K claymores and katanas. I stumbled upon this sword at a gun show, and picked it up. Didn't think much of it until I began poking around these forums a few years ago looking for some advice on another gun show find; an original Patton sabre.

Anyway, the sword in question is in the neighborhood of 48" long. It has one word painted on the blade: Pakistan. The sword is full-tang, with the tang being the full width of the grips, and riveted into place. I've bent it over my knee and flexed up to 4" before rebounding back, perfectly straight. I had the whole sword treated with Nevr-Dull, as instructed by the guy who sold it, but over the years, some moisture has penetrated the Nevr-Dull and left some spots of corrosion and rust along the blade (easy to see in person, but hard to photograph). The balance point is a little more than 3" in front of the hilt. What piqued my interest was discussing stage combat swords with, not only a few props people in plays, but a few vendors at (you probably guessed it) a gun show. They mentioned that yes, while there are Pakistani swords that are not reliable or trustworthy, there are a decent amount of stage combat swords made in Pakistan as well...having quite a familiarity with BudK and other novelty swords, I know that most of them have a nice logo stamped near the hilt; which mine lacks.

And without further ado, here's the forthcoming picture bomb:







And a bit of the corrosion (doesn't look like it, but there are tiny rough patches that you can feel):




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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks a bit like a knife of contemporary construction made to sword-sized proportions!

I cannot suggest who the manufacturer might have been, but you could always perform a few tests to assess what the weapon(?) may or may not be capable of:

1. You may look into hardness testing kits or how to conduct "file tests" to get an idea of how hard the steel is. If it's soft, it will not hold an edge well or return to true under duress. On the bight side, because of being soft, it would be harder to break it if you don't care much for keeping the sword intact and want to handle it roughly. I doubt a sword like that would be overly hardened and brittle, but that is something you should consider when striking... if you want to do any striking.

2. What is the weight of the weapon in relation to where it balances? Granted, plenty of badly made weapons surely existed "back then," but if the sword is a very poor analog for a historical weapon in terms of its physical distribution, that could result in some misconceptions on your end when studying historical manuals. If your sword is around four pounds (considering what it is), I'd say it could be useful for at least dry handling when learning the techniques.

As per the construction, I would not trust that guard to take a hit, being a thin sheet of brass, or so it appears. Granted, as a whole your sword is not a good design for a sparring weapon at all, but perhaps it's worth noting?.. Riveted construction is tough and durable (and historical depending on the context!) - so as long as the steel is reasonably good, you should not have any structural failures in the hilt barring any abhorrent construction techniques inherent in the sword itself. I noted "modern knives" as I feel these often lack the design nuances which make them really great. That sort of fuller and ricasso section are... seemingly more aesthetic choices rather than good design ones. At the same time, if the sword is balancing that close to the guard with no apparent distal taper, the manufacturer also might have actually found a way to work some appreciable dynamics into the blade while working the visual angle he was after.

Thus, perhaps you have a useful tool to help you start to learn. I'd not be afraid to swing the sword - just take precaution if you ever want to engage a resistive target.
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Doug K.




Location: Michigan
Joined: 25 Apr 2012

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue 05 Apr, 2016 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Beeching wrote:
It looks a bit like a knife of contemporary construction made to sword-sized proportions!

I cannot suggest who the manufacturer might have been, but you could always perform a few tests to assess what the weapon(?) may or may not be capable of:

1. You may look into hardness testing kits or how to conduct "file tests" to get an idea of how hard the steel is. If it's soft, it will not hold an edge well or return to true under duress. On the bight side, because of being soft, it would be harder to break it if you don't care much for keeping the sword intact and want to handle it roughly. I doubt a sword like that would be overly hardened and brittle, but that is something you should consider when striking... if you want to do any striking.

2. What is the weight of the weapon in relation to where it balances? Granted, plenty of badly made weapons surely existed "back then," but if the sword is a very poor analog for a historical weapon in terms of its physical distribution, that could result in some misconceptions on your end when studying historical manuals. If your sword is around four pounds (considering what it is), I'd say it could be useful for at least dry handling when learning the techniques.

As per the construction, I would not trust that guard to take a hit, being a thin sheet of brass, or so it appears. Granted, as a whole your sword is not a good design for a sparring weapon at all, but perhaps it's worth noting?.. Riveted construction is tough and durable (and historical depending on the context!) - so as long as the steel is reasonably good, you should not have any structural failures in the hilt barring any abhorrent construction techniques inherent in the sword itself. I noted "modern knives" as I feel these often lack the design nuances which make them really great. That sort of fuller and ricasso section are... seemingly more aesthetic choices rather than good design ones. At the same time, if the sword is balancing that close to the guard with no apparent distal taper, the manufacturer also might have actually found a way to work some appreciable dynamics into the blade while working the visual angle he was after.

Thus, perhaps you have a useful tool to help you start to learn. I'd not be afraid to swing the sword - just take precaution if you ever want to engage a resistive target.


Michael -

Thanks for the help! I don't actually have a good way to weigh the sword...all the scales in the house are high-falutin' WiFi-enabled Fitbit scales that don't take kindly to suddenly gaining weight (by grabbing something). I'll see about getting a good, old-fashioned spring scale sometime.

I'm curious about the huge ricasso though (I have been since I bought the thing, TBH). Would anything of that nature be seen on certain styles of claymore or zweihander?
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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue 05 Apr, 2016 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Large ricasso sections certainly were common enough - the later two-handed swords which you reference often had such a section below the parrying hooks to use as a forward grip. Many styles of shorter two-handed swords or longswords (often labled as bastard swords or hand-and-a-half swords) often had prominent ricassos as well. The Oakeshotte Type XX is one of my favorites - Arms & Armor has made a few fine iterations of this sword:

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/custom917.html

What differs about the historical examples is clear - the ricasso section is often fullered to reduce weight as opposed to simply having a large rectangular blade blank section. Otherwise, the ricasso may taper to better act as a secondary grip, as seen on the very large two-handed swords of the renaissance. An unfullered ricasso like yours should in theory be a bit stonger in flexure than a fullered one, but the gains are marginal, especailly considering the extra weight you gain in comparison.

About the closest thing I've seen to a historical example of a blade as seen on your sword is a "Toledo" sword blade, which Matt Easton speaks about here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hANhQdaXG04

And, althought the fullers are pretty marginal on the example presented above, they're still there to reduce the weight.
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