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Matt Broidy




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 4:14 am    Post subject: my first sword, Cold Steel MAA Italian Longsword         Reply with quote

hello all, ive mostly been a lurker on this forum but I finally got around to purchasing a very inexpensive sword in the hopes that it will spark more interest in myself. some day I would like to take up HEMA for both the history and the exercise but that's a whole different story. for now I wanted to say a little about the Cold Steel Man at Arms Italian Longsword that I purchased.

the stats:
price: $180+tax
weight: 3.045 pounds
OAL: 47 3/8"
blade length: 35 1/2"
blade width at base: 1 11/16"
blade width just before the point (about .8" back): 1/2"
guard: 9"
grip: 8 1/2"
pommel length: 2 3/8"
POB: 3 5/8"
blade thickness at the hilt: 0.209"
blade thickness just before the point (about .8" back): 0.162"

the overall fit and finish of the sword is pretty typical for Cold Steel from what ive seen. fairly large but even gaps in the guard around the blade, the whole thing is blacked, the grip is held on with a nut cut for a large flat head screw driver. I attempted to take the sword apart but found even with the nut removed the pommel would not budge. when I have more time I will put a bit more effort in removing the pommel and grip for a better look at the tang but for now it will have to stay. after playing with the sword for about an hour I can tell you right away the leather grip on this sword leaves a lot to be desired. the leather is stitched onto the grip which means big raised stitching's to rub on your hand which I guarantee will cause blisters if gloves are not worn. another grip I have about the sword is they seem to use the term "sharp" very loosely. the blade is not evenly sharped and while some places are sharp enough to cut paper, others aren't sharp enough to even mark my hand with a sawing motion. these sharps spots don't show much rhyme or reason so I can assume its just from being poorly sharpened. however, aside from the stitching and the poor sharpening I'm actually extremely pleased with what I got for $180! the balance of the sword is excellent and the 3 pound sword can be easily used with one hand or brought to impressive speed with two hands courtesy of the long grip and pommel. with a very minor amount of work I can see this sword being very fun for as long as it holds together.

notes from a noob:
while playing around I took a stance I saw in a HEMA instructional video on youtube and swung the dull blade as the video instructed into a large box I had sitting in my living room. to my surprise the blade that wouldn't even mark my hand, easily cleaved the 30"x30"x20" box in half without any more effort then pulling my left hand towards me. this longsword stuff may prove to be even more fun then I thought... its a shame the HEMA groups nearby only hold practice when I'm at work.

I will update this thread when I figure out how to get the grip off, any suggestions would be welcome.

-Matt
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Michael Couture




Location: Canada
Joined: 08 Sep 2014

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting, I bought a CS Italian Longsword (non MAA version) as my first sword, and my experiences differed slightly from yours. Mine came sharp over its entire length. Maybe the better sharpening is part of slightly higher price of the non-MAA version.

Regarding the stitching on the grip, I've never had any issue with mine. It certainly feels a bit odd when switching between it and something with an invisible seam such as an Albion, but after handling for a minute or two, it feels comfortable again. Again, perhaps this is a difference of the MAA version, or maybe there was a change made in how the grips are done since I bought mine.

I would definitely echo your thoughts on the handling. Does not follow the Cold Steel stereotype of being poorly balanced or clunky.

Thanks for the review!
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Mario M.




Location: Croatia
Joined: 31 Mar 2016

Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: my first sword, Cold Steel MAA Italian Longsword         Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Matt Happy

Matt Broidy wrote:
$180+tax


I will always be fascinated with the American +tax concept of price stating.

Even in stores the tax is not included in the item prices, ludicrous WTF?!


Why not just state the finite price?


Matt Broidy wrote:
to my surprise the blade that wouldn't even mark my hand, easily cleaved the 30"x30"x20" box in half without any more effort then pulling my left hand towards me. this longsword stuff may prove to be even more fun then I thought...


Cue in the mighty JC;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR9k23U-P10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58NVoTocUOk

The stream of Time, irresistible, ever moving, carries off and bears away all things that come to birth and plunges them into utter darkness...Nevertheless, the science of History is a great bulwark against this stream of Time; in a way it checks this irresistible flood, it holds in a tight grasp whatever it can seize floating on the surface and will not allow it to slip away into the depths of Oblivion." - Anna Comnena
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Victor R.




Location: Spring, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 240

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: my first sword, Cold Steel MAA Italian Longsword         Reply with quote

Mario M. wrote:
Welcome to the forum Matt Happy

Matt Broidy wrote:
$180+tax


I will always be fascinated with the American +tax concept of price stating.

Even in stores the tax is not included in the item prices, ludicrous WTF?!


Why not just state the finite price?


Well, since the forum has at least one tax expert on the site (many years in public accounting, several more as a corporate tax director, and even a term as an instructor of multistate taxation in a masters program)....

The first part of the answer is that the U.S has a "sales tax" regime vs. a "value added tax" regime, as is the case in most of Europe, Canada, etc. VAT is generally standardized within a jurisdiction, and is required to be included in the stated price. The second part of the answer is that, under the sales tax regime in the U.S., the applicable tax laws of the various state and local jurisdictions (yes, this is down to that level - it isn't a single national rate) require that prices be stated either without tax, or that there is very conspicuous signage indicating that "tax is included" if prices are stated with tax. Since the sales tax rate varies from state-to-state, and even from locality-to-locality within a state, showing a price with tax is impractical, especially on a website, since a purchaser could be located practically anywhere and different rules apply to in-state and out-of-state purchasers. In simple terms, it is less of a headache, easier for compliance purposes, and leaves a cleaner audit trail to show a price ex-tax in the U.S.

More than you probably wanted to know, right? Laughing Out Loud

The thread digression is now over; please carry on with your regularly scheduled activities.

And, as for an on-point comment:

Welcome, and thanks for your review! I once owned the CS grosse messer, and, although theoretically dismountable, from a practical perspective, it wasn't, due to the epoxy used in the construction process. Ask forumite Sean Flynt about it - he purchased the sword from me as a project piece several years ago, and I don't know that he ever successfully got it taken apart.
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Matt Broidy




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: my first sword, Cold Steel MAA Italian Longsword         Reply with quote

Mario M. wrote:

I will always be fascinated with the American +tax concept of price stating.

Even in stores the tax is not included in the item prices, ludicrous WTF?!


Why not just state the finite price?



as said, our taxes change from area to area. I could buy this sword in two different cities right next to each other and the total price could be different. taxes in my state range from around 9%-10% depending on where you are and if your in other states then the tax could be lower or higher or you may not need to pay tax at all. giving the price after tax would mean very little to someone who lives in a different area then me.

-matt
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Mario M.




Location: Croatia
Joined: 31 Mar 2016

Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: my first sword, Cold Steel MAA Italian Longsword         Reply with quote

Matt Broidy wrote:
as said, our taxes change from area to area.


Still no excuse from my point of view.

Taxes are different in every European country, and yet I, a EU citizen, travel through them, seeing their full price everywhere I go.

Even if the taxes are different, why should that matter?

Simply bind the tax to the product and the tax is set in the state where the product is sold.

This would result in the same situation that the rest of the human race follows, namely, just different end prices.

The stream of Time, irresistible, ever moving, carries off and bears away all things that come to birth and plunges them into utter darkness...Nevertheless, the science of History is a great bulwark against this stream of Time; in a way it checks this irresistible flood, it holds in a tight grasp whatever it can seize floating on the surface and will not allow it to slip away into the depths of Oblivion." - Anna Comnena
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Travis Canaday




Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please... enough about taxes!

Welcome Matt. If you are serious about wanting to train in HEMA/longsword. I recommend getting a waster (wood or synthetic) and picking up a copy of Fighting with the German Longsword if you haven't already. Be careful playing with a sharp until your comfortable.

As far as your CS sword, I wouldn't recommend taking it apart. You'll probably never get it back together without it being all loosey goosey. European swords weren't meant to be disassembled like a Japanese sword (which was never done all that often anyway). I have never understood the appeal of a non-peened on hilt. You might consider taking some sandpaper to that blade getting rid of that awful black finish.

Travis
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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: 8,180

PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2016 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Travis about NOT taking the handle apart as you will probably have to destroy the handle to take it off the tang if it's well epoxied to the tang.

If it feel solid and nothing is rattling you should probably leave it alone.

The only reason I would take it apart would be if I had any reason to suspect a bad rat tail tang hidden under the handle. Wink

Before you do anything just wait and maybe somebody who has taken one of these apart can let us know what the tang looks like.

If you do decide to sand off the black finish use a fairly fine 400 to 600 grit and sand strait from guard to tip: Do be careful to not dull the edge too much, but you will have to refresh the edge at least a bit as it's difficult to sand without dulling the edge a bit.

Be very very careful because you can easily slice your hand open while sanding along the main sword bevel: I would recommend using a sanding block or sanding sponge to keep you fingers away from the edges, also don't do this while distracted and not paying 100% attention to what your are doing.

Oh, if the blade is slightly hollow ground instead of flat ground a sanding sponge should work better than a rigid wooden sanding block.

Have a look at this featured article on sword maintenance on this site:

http://myArmoury.com/feature_care.html

The only difference I would advise is to start with a fairly fine grit if it's good enough to remove the finish, only use coarser grit if you discover that there are a lot of grind lines revealed by the fine grit running at 90 to the axis of the blade: In that case you may need to go to coarser grits to remove deep scratches before going to finer and finer grits. I would stop at a nice satin finish similar to an Albion's finish and not go to mirror finish.



I do have a cold steel medieval dagger and at lest that one seems to use good steel since it was easy to sharpen to a razor edge, and it came almost as sharp ..... but that may mean nothing or something, depending on their quality control, and different Cold Steel swords or daggers may be outsourced to different makers with variable quality ?

I have this dagger:

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...alf+Dagger

Oh, and Matt, welcome to the site. Big Grin

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




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2016 4:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you for the information and the welcome.

in the near future I will be looking for a decent dull/blunt sword for practice and I may even buy another one of these and simply blunt it.

I have also been giving some thought to taking the black off the blade. I have some very powerful chemicals I was going to try and use but if all else fails then fin grit sand paper is the back up plan.

-matt
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,616

PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2016 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Broidy wrote:
thank you for the information and the welcome.

in the near future I will be looking for a decent dull/blunt sword for practice and I may even buy another one of these and simply blunt it.

I have also been giving some thought to taking the black off the blade. I have some very powerful chemicals I was going to try and use but if all else fails then fin grit sand paper is the back up plan.

-matt


Thanks for posting your review. Can you add some pictures?

If its your first sword, I can appreciate your desire to get it perfect. However, if you're like many of us, once you have the bug you will be chasing that goal for a long time with many swords. And its sometimes harder to re-sell a sword that as been modified. So I would also advise against jumping into modifications too early. On the other hand, if you are one of those people who is very skilled with your hands and a tinkerer by nature, then perhaps that is your destiny.
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Robert Morgan




Location: Sunny SoCal
Joined: 10 Sep 2012

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2016 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

Still no excuse from my point of view.

Taxes are different in every European country, and yet I, a EU citizen, travel through them, seeing their full price everywhere I go.

Even if the taxes are different, why should that matter?

Simply bind the tax to the product and the tax is set in the state where the product is sold.

This would result in the same situation that the rest of the human race follows, namely, just different end prices.


In some states, there are no sales taxes, so how would you represent that? If you bind the tax, as you say, then a reader in a different state or territory than the thread starter would be supplied with an incorrect price. By stating the price before sales taxes are applied, the reader is given an accurate figure upon which he can mentally add his own local sales tax, if any, to arrive at a final price. As a resident of a high tax state (California) I do this all the time - its a very useful thing - when considering large purchases. Honestly, Im not sure what the problem is.

Matt, there are some excellent training swords out there. Id recommend joining a HEMA group in your area and asking your coaches what they recommend, both for training and for acceptability in tournaments if you go that route. Whatever you do, my personal totally neophyte recommendation would be to find a training sword that replicates the feel of a real sword. I use a custom Valiant Armoury I-Beam, and you can really feel the difference when compared with a feder. Im not saying the feder is in any way wrong, just that the I-Beam feels like a real medieval sword; a high quality feder will too. Then again, it isnt tournament legal, so again, ask your coaches what they recommend for sparring and training.

Bob
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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue 07 Jun, 2016 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If it will help....

There IS a Cold Steel Italian Longsword teardown, with photos, at....

https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/thread/40975/sword-construction-data-base

Page 1, near the bottom. This is NOT the Man at Arms version - it's the older standard model. As I did the teardown, I can say that MY grip required splitting - there was epoxy in there. It was also rather challenging to make a new grip core, as my model used a grip core equipped with tenons designed to enter the guard, and stock pommel.

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Matt Broidy




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2016 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you Dean!

I would assume the MAA is made similar to their standard longsword. however, it should be noted that the MAA is a full 8oz heavier.

-matt
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