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Alexander Ehlers




Location: Utah
Joined: 21 Jul 2015
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Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 2:03 pm    Post subject: My Venetian Schiavona is heavier than I expected         Reply with quote

Hello,

Yesterday I fulfilled my dream sword and opened my brand new Venetian Schiavona made by Deepzeka (I think that's how it's spelled)
The sword is definitely made of quality materials, though it's not perfect ($300 dollar sword). I liked it for it's blued steel hilt and broad cutting blade.
Cat heads pommel has a pommel nut sticking out the top. Not the most historical made sword, but close enough for me.

When I bought it, I didn't think to pay attention much to the weight. It said it was 3 pounds, and I went ahead and ordered it.
When I opened it yesterday, WHOA this thing was heavy. I checked the website I bought it from and it lists it as 3 pounds, 13 ounces.. ! The schiavona made by Del Tin is 2 pounds 15 oz, which is much closer to how a sword should be. My schiavona hardly has any distal taper to speak of, so this is most likely why it weighs so much....(not a good thing at all)
It is very difficult for me to use my guards and cutting motions with this sword. It really gives me a good arm workout. I ordered it unsharpened, perhaps I should sharpen it as to reduce some of it's weight.
I just want to ask if such a weight is normal for such a sword as Schiavona? Does the 16th century fighting style accommodate swords of such hefty weight? I'm going to have to change my fighting style if I want to use this sword more often.


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VaXEAgEweTQ/XYqGryajxgI/AAAAAAAANwI/e3jgN7yFTyoXAzh_FRtuRoBDiwPHmrWGwCK8BGAsYHg/s0/Schiavona%2Band%2Brapier.jpg
^ Photo of my schiavona taken with my fencing foil.

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Will Phillips





Joined: 19 Mar 2014

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 3:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was in a similar situation.

Working from George Silver's basket hilt context, and I went for a heavier, longer blade.

A 34" sidesword blade from Castille to a custom 37" blade with very little blade taper (see the image below).

My new sword was much, noticeably heavier at 3.5lbs.

I was worried I made a real mistake, but it only took about a month of practice to get used to it.

It's still a beast. I still need to train more. But it's not unusable for my context: SIlver's backsword.

But that context is key.

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Alexander Ehlers




Location: Utah
Joined: 21 Jul 2015
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Will

So it's just a matter of using and getting used to it.
Do you have pictures of your sword you ordered, or is that it?

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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,706

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's quite possible to wield and practice with one-hand swords of this weight, but only if they are properly balanced (defining that gets complicated, so I will leave it that). An example is the Albion Tritonia, which comes in about 3.5 Lbs but handles quite decently. Such swords do appear to handle better and better with more practice, as your body and brain adjust to their physical properties.

However, if you have a heavy sword that is not properly balanced, then even if you have good technique, it will wear on your joints and tendons. This is particularly a risk with lower end swords, which often go for the general look of a sword, but then use fixed-thickness stock for their blades (i.e, little or no distal taper) and do not adhere either to historical correctness or proper design principles in the overall construction. Indeed this can happen even with lighter swords - the so called 'wrist breakers'. Sometimes you just don't know until you try. I have owned a few like this, even from higher-end companies.

So if you find yourself waking up the next morning after practice with a sore wrist or thumb etc., it might be time to back away from that purchase before you damage yourself. It will only get worse with more use.
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Alexander Ehlers




Location: Utah
Joined: 21 Jul 2015
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well my forearm muscle is feeling very sore right now. When I even pick up my sword with my right hand, my arm hurts.
I think the next big step will be to sharpen it, to reduce the weight a little bit.

However at this point, maybe the Del Tin was the better choice. Just didn't have the money at the time. I guess a bluing project would be nice, to make a black hilt like the kind I like if I do get a Del Tin schiavona.

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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 8:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Numbers vary, but it seems like the best historical basket-hilted swords with long blades weigh significantly under 3 lbs. The Stoccata folks have an antique schiavona with a 37-inch blade that looks to cut pretty well, & they say it weights around 2.65 lbs. One extant 16th-century basket-hilted backsword, which looks very similar to Silver's short sword, weighs 2.69 lbs with a nearly 39-inch blade.

You can find historical basket-hilted swords as high as 4 lbs or perhaps even more, but I suspect those were never ideal. Pietro Monte & I believe other period masters recommended opting for lighter weapons, which suggests that some historical swords were too heavy.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Sep, 2019 3:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would say that by the appearance and weight alone, that sword does not replicate an antique sword. It is a long way off in both regards. This can be attributed to the fact that no close proximity of an authentic antique compound-hilted sword can be purchased for $300.

There are a lot of things wrong with the sword you show in the photograph, not the least of which is the grip and pommel length. it appears to be several inches too long. The shape of the basket is very odd, too. My biggest concern is the overall weight especially when compared to the overall length.

This isn't to say that you or another customer cannot be happy with it. I am only responding to this because you expressed an interest of how it compares to an antique.

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Alexander Ehlers




Location: Utah
Joined: 21 Jul 2015
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Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed 25 Sep, 2019 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson, yes you are correct I am still happy with this purchase but however wondered how this compares to an authentic Schiavona. I noticed the length of the grip being a little too long as well. Almost made me wonder if two handed techniques could be applied. It's made with good materials, but definitely not made in a authentic way. Seeing as none of my joints themselves hurt, but only my forearm muscle was sore, I'll continue to practice and love this sword. It's my favorite in my collection right now.
So pretty much my assessment from all your help, this sword wasn't made the way it should've been, even for a $300 dollar sword; distal taper being a *very* important part of a sword. However being as a few originals did come out at 4 pounds, and were still used, this sword isn't terribly unusable, albeit it could be better. My lesson learned is next time purchase, focus on the swords weight and handling properties. Check distal taper if information is available on that. But all this being said, it's still my favorite sword right now.
Perhaps another schiavona should be in my wallets pipeline, but I already decided the next weapon I'm saving for is a Ruger Blackhawk, 357 Mag.
Thanks for all your input

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Jordan E. Williams




Location: California
Joined: 25 Mar 2016

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Wed 25 Sep, 2019 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another possible next step is to reprofile the blade, adding taper and possible turning it to a lenticular or hexogonal section to reduce weight. I've done it a few times on commission and it had much a positive effect on handling. Adding profile taper wouldn't hurt either, or reduce the cutting ability much.

Cutting down your grip length will also possibly help with bias.

Yeah, even a 1 pound deepeeka will be a work out. No good dynamics there.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Sep, 2019 2:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexander Ehlers wrote:
I noticed the length of the grip being a little too long as well.


Not a little too long... more than a couple inches too long, which would equate to at least 30-40% too long. It's an extreme amount that changes the way this sword can be wielded.

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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2019 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wouldn't an excessively long hilt tend to move the point of balance back, so long as you still held the grip close to the guard?
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Jordan E. Williams




Location: California
Joined: 25 Mar 2016

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri 27 Sep, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan D'Silva wrote:
Wouldn't an excessively long hilt tend to move the point of balance back, so long as you still held the grip close to the guard?

It would also interfere with single hand techniques dependant on how swung, and imo just adds unnecessary weight in an awkward way.

His Imperial and Royal Majesty Hordan Vilhelm the Great, by the Grace of God, German Emperor and King of Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Count of Hohenzollern, Duke of Silesia and of the County of Glatz, Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine!
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