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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 8:23 am    Post subject: Question on Arms & Armor Henry V         Reply with quote

Among the swords I am considering for my next acquisition is the Henry V, from Arms & Armor. I have always liked the look of this sword. This piece seems to be to be both austere and elegant, perfectly suited to be the combat weapon of a warrior king. A&A’s current version of the sword seems to compare well in dimensions and appearance with the original, which is designated XVIII.1 in Oakeshott’s Records of the Medieval Sword. However, I don’t recall seeing any reviews of the current A&A Henry V, and would be interested in the opinions of those of you are familiar with it, in particular with its handling. Points of comparison:

Dimensions - In profile, the A&A and original XVIII.1 seem to be very similar. Here are the dimensional data from Chad Arnow’s collection, here on myArmoury.com, for the A&A Henry V that he used to own. These figures seem to be nearly identical with what I can estimate from the information in Records:
Overall length: 33.5"
Width of guard: 7"
Blade: 27" long; 2.125" wide tapering to .75"
Grip and pommel: 6.375"

Weight - Oakeshott said that the weight of the original is 2 lb. 3 oz. This is much lighter than the 3.125 pounds stated in Chad's collection. However, Chad’s was an older version that had, both, a solid pommel, and silicon bronze fittings. Craig Johnson from A&A tells me that the current version, with hollow pommel (like XVIII.1) and all ferrous fittings is about 2lb 7oz, so this is getting close to the original.

Blade cross-section - Craig Johnson also notes that the original XVIII.1 has a slightly hollow-ground blade, where the replica has a diamond cross-section, so this may explain the few ounces of weight difference. Maybe pushes the POB out towards the tip slightly.

Handling - So now to the big question in my mind. The appearance, dimensions and weight are all points of fairly objective data that I can evaluate from afar. But the handling is subjective, and can only be evaluated by picking the piece up and working with it. Oakeshott says of XVIII.1:
''This sword is one of the most beautiful medieval swords to handle I have ever known. It is very light (about 2lbs 3ozs) and balanced like a good fishing rod.” and that “I have put it first in the sequence of Type XVIII, at the head of a large 'family' of swords…because it is of all the swords I know of this type the finest to handle….”

So, can anyone out there comment from experience on how the handling of A&A’s current Henry V compares with a description like this?
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Jason Elrod




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A&A's Henry V is a very agile sword. Would work well for sword & buckler though maybe a bit short. Easy to recover. Seems to sacrifice a bit of speed for a little more power. . . but I'm just being picky here. Not sure if it balances like a fishing rod. When I think about a fishing rod, I think of whippy more than the balance and the Henry V is far from Whippy. Gus's AT1557 reminds me more of a fishing rod. . . of course I haven't been fishing in about 20 years.

The Henry V is a nice little sword especially now that it's on sale.

As a note the POB on A&As version is 4 5/8" from the guard.
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The A&A sword is correct except in weight and crossectional geometry. I have it and have swung it quite a lot the past year. It's a decent sword. I say decent beacuse I've been spoiled by the Albions. It handles well but I think it suffers from the changes in geometry. If you want the best handling consider the Albion kingmaker. If you want something that comes close to Oakeshott's description of the handling you should go with Albion.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The absolute newest version of this swords does not have a hollow pommel. Upon further research, A&A has learned that the original's pommel was not hollow, but rather has hollow areas only behind the flared areas extending from the wheel pommel. To further improve their product and continue the development to make it as close as they can, they've recently refined this sword more. I'm hoping Craig will comment further about this, as that's all the info I know.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kenneth Enroth wrote:
If you want the best handling consider the Albion kingmaker.

Please avoid comparisons to swords that do not yet exist. You, nor anyone on the planet, knows how well the kingmaker sword will handle since it doesn't exist yet. These are the sorts of comments we see on the 'net that I want to avoid on this site. I think what you're saying is, "Based on Albion's previous work, I would expect the kingmaker to be a good handling sword and be close to what the original Henry V sword might be." It's important we state assumptions, guesses, and opinions in the right way else the Internet's habit of information regurgitation will take these comments as gospel, repeating them as if first-hand knowledge, and confuse the issue entirely. Let's all endeavor to be responsible.

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Years ago I reviewed the A&A Henry V for SFI.

I was very impressed by the quality of the construction and it's handling qualities. It was a rugged sword that handled well. I like it very much, and it's all ways on my list of "need one of those". Given A&A's propensity for continuing to improve their product I have no doubt that the current version is just as nice.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
The absolute newest version of this swords does not have a hollow pommel. Upon further research, A&A has learned that the original's pommel was not hollow, but rather has hollow areas only behind the flared areas extending from the wheel pommel. To further improve their product and continue the development to make it as close as they can, they've recently refined this sword more. I'm hoping Craig will comment further about this, as that's all the info I know.


I remember Craig commenting when I bought mine that they tought the pommel was hollow but it wasn't.
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
I think what you're saying is, "Based on Albion's previous work, I would expect the kingmaker to be a good handling sword and be close to what the original Henry V sword might be."


Yep, that's right.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Elrod wrote:
... When I think about a fishing rod, I think of whippy more than the balance and the Henry V is far from Whippy...."

Thanks, Jason. I haven't been fishing in ages, myself. When I read Oakeshott's comment, I guess that rather than "whippy", I was thinking of something more like "responds with a flick of the wrist". The blade looks, to me, too short and stout to be "whippy". As I recall, you sold yours on the Marketplace recently. I thought about that one, but, too late!
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kenneth Enroth wrote:

Yep, that's right.

Thanks, fellas. I have considered the Albion Kingmaker - I am sure that it will be a fine piece. The appearance of the Kingmaker is similar to XVIII.1, and I think that the blade will also be hollow ground, like XVIII.1, and unlike the A&A Henry V. That hollow ground blade may be a factor that explains the price difference between the Kingmaker and A&A Henry V. So, there is a certain amount of 'you get what you pay for' in this comparison. Of course, as Nathan points out, the Kingmaker has not yet been produced, so we don't know for sure how it will handle. Also, its dimensions are somewhat different from XVIII.1, recognizing that Albion makes no pretense that the Kingmaker is an XVIII.1 replica. Another tradeoff, then, in addition to pricing, would be the hollow-ground edge geometry vs. dimensional accuracy (in profile, anyway)

Decisions, decisions. After all of this, I may still go with the Dresden, or the Gustav Vasa. If my wife and Uncle Sam (TAX TIME Eek! ) allow me....
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 11:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
...I was very impressed by the quality of the construction and it's handling qualities. It was a rugged sword that handled well. I like it very much, and it's all ways on my list of "need one of those". Given A&A's propensity for continuing to improve their product I have no doubt that the current version is just as nice.

Thanks for the input, Patrick. There is no question in my mind that the quality of construction would be excellent. I am very pleased with the quality of my (ex-Nathan R) A&A German Bastard Sword.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kenneth Enroth wrote:

I remember Craig commenting when I bought mine that they tought the pommel was hollow but it wasn't.

Very interesting. I would be interested in a comment from Craig about how the A&A Henry V has evolved over time, and some more description about the current configuration. Not just the pommel changes, but other enhancements, as well.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Henry V pommel primar         Reply with quote

Hello All

I have been meaning to post on this for awhile and have just been so dang busy I had not gotten around to it. This is an excellent example of several things the modern sword maker needs to be aware of in todays market. One that there is always room to improve your product, two; do your research, three; you don't know as much as you think you do, and four; its always tougher to make it clear after than before.

The Henry V pommel is one of those pieces that we have been doing for many years. We have retooled it a few times over the years to make it better represent the original. The A&A version of the pommel for most of its life has been solid as this was less expensive to produce and when we first started making the sword something the market was perfectly happy with. In fact, when I would mention the original was hollow and or wheel pommels were sometimes hollow would usually not be believed by customers anyway.

About two or was it three years ago we thought we should do it hollow as the original was. We knew it was hollow from when we first did the reproduction from Ewart's notes. We being knowledgable types about swords and having seen and worked on a few hollow pommels in the recent past we figured what they hey and knew what we were doing. So off we went and made a hollow pommeled Henry V. It handled nicely and was working well. Sold some and people seemed to like it.

Well then one day we are paging through Records and reading what Ewart wrote and realized it is just the hubs of the wheel pommel that are sheet and hollow behind. The main body of the pommel was a solid disc. We had assumed we knew what it was and had just gone forward as opposed to double and triple checking every thing as one should.

Thus A good lesson to learn again and again was learned again Eek!



Here the three versions can be seen side by side. The grey areas being solid material.

A- the original construction

B- the A&A construction

C- the hollow construction used by A&A for a short while.

We returned to using the solid construction as it is closer to the original and that has always been our aim. We have looked at some options for doing the hollow hubs but they are probably not feasible as a stock sword option at this time.

Hope this clears it all up and if anyone has further questions please ask and I will do my best to answer.

As to the weight of our current version I just took the balance scale off the shelf and the two I have here are right around 1200g or about 2.6-2.7 pds

Now when comparing to the original, one needs to read Records precisely as Ewart states "It is very light (about 2 lbs. 3 ozs) and balanced like a good fishing-rod." I have looked through Ewart's notes and there is no weight listed on them from the session were we handled the sword so I am unsure if his comment is exact or a comparison by feel. I have always meant to double check this against other sources and see if there is a weight listed but I have not found any as yet that have it listed.

Anyway thought I best get this posted as I had meant to cover this issue a while back and seemed to be a good time for it.

Best to all
Craig
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Jason Elrod




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:

Thanks, Jason. I haven't been fishing in ages, myself. When I read Oakeshott's comment, I guess that rather than "whippy", I was thinking of something more like "responds with a flick of the wrist". The blade looks, to me, too short and stout to be "whippy". As I recall, you sold yours on the Marketplace recently. I thought about that one, but, too late!


Yep mine was sold in the marketplace. I would have kept it too if I could have but bills came first.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Apr, 2005 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the excellent and informative post Craig. This one is also on my must have list...
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Apr, 2005 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason's sword now hangs on my wall. I suspect that it has a hollow pommel. The sword looks heavier than it feels. It does not feel as light as a Prince or a Sovereign, but it is quite light for having such a stout blade. If the blade were to be hollow ground like the original, the sword would probably be exceptionally light and mobile. As is, it is as handy as any of my other swords with blades of similar length, except the Sovereign. I have a Kingmaker on order, and will report back on their comparative pros and cons when I have both in hand at the same time.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Apr, 2005 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig, thanks for the enlightening post!
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Apr, 2005 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Fabert wrote:
...I have a Kingmaker on order, and will report back on their comparative pros and cons when I have both in hand at the same time.

Cool I'm used to seeing comparison tests in car magazines. A comparison sword test would be very cool Exclamation I wonder how fast each can go from 0 to 60??
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Apr, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It would be enlightening to develop some simple set of standard tests to put a pair of swords through. I am always tempted to cut a pair of melons from the same supermarket bin, and compare the damage done to each. It would probably be necessary to mount the swords in some sort of gravity operated apparatus to assure that the swing was the same for each, if the results were to be truly standard. Absent a Slice-O-Matic, all I will be able to report is my subjective impression.
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Chris Lampe




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Apr, 2005 6:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Speaking of the Albion Kingmaker.....

The pictures of the rough blade are up on Albions site.

Looks nice!
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