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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2005 2:39 pm    Post subject: WS Shrewsbury Sword         Reply with quote

Just arrived today. At $99 from By The Sword ($108 shipped), I just couldn't pass it up! Laughing Out Loud Anyone looking for a cheap "cut-and-thrust" type sword could do FAR worse than this one. PoB is about 4" from the guard and the sword feels very light and well-balanced in the hand (though, since I've never held a nicer example of this type, what the heck do I know? Laughing Out Loud ). In typical WS fashion, the blade would probably be a bit too springy for you hardcore types, though I managed to poke it through a thick high-density foam archery target several times with ease (Okay, I also perforated the box it came in a few times too Laughing Out Loud ). It has a pommel nut that appears to be threaded with the tang then peened over it (see the Towton review, it's the same), and the whole hilt assembly is tight and even, without any rattles or movement. The grip is a sort of hand-and-a-half affair that easily allows a two-handed hold, with only the last digit or two on my left hand gripping the pommel. I performed the typical unscientific bend test, bending the blade several inches out of line either way, and the blade returned to true each time. The grip, BTW, is smooth leather and has an extremely comfy shape IMHO. Overall, the whole sword just feels very comfortable and light in the hand, and it looks every bit as good in the flesh (in the steel?) as it does in the link below. An absolute STEAL for just over $100! Eek! Laughing Out Loud Happy

http://www.reliks.com/merchant.ihtml?pid=1914&step=4


P.S I'd like to give By The Sword a plug: I called and emailed them several times before ordering, and everyone I talked to was extremely pleasant and professional (a special shout out to Mike in customer service!). There was a small hitch in the order as to the billing adress (my fault), and they were right on it and got it taken care of quickly. Order arrived exactly when promised, and the sword was very well packaged (mucho padding). Great guys! Happy
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Okay, I also perforated the box it came in a few times too


I have yet to keep the box for any of my swords in one piece for longer than a day. Sword comes out of box. I verify that everything is OK. Box turns into confetti. After all, isn't that why they send you the box?

G. Scott H. wrote:
P.S I'd like to give By The Sword a plug: I called and emailed them several times before ordering, and everyone I talked to was extremely pleasant and professional (a special shout out to Mike in customer service!). There was a small hitch in the order as to the billing adress (my fault), and they were right on it and got it taken care of quickly. Order arrived exactly when promised, and the sword was very well packaged (mucho padding). Great guys!


I just wanted to second that. All of the swords that I ordered while in Iraq were through By The Sword, Inc. There was one of those billing vs mailing adress mix ups (my fault, as well), but they got everything straightened out. I also want to comment that they informed me the moment they found out an item would be back ordered. I don't really mind waiting, but I do like to know what the status of things is. I will probably be purchasing any future Windlass swords through By The Sword largely because I don't have to hut them down and ask them what is going on (and I like that their prices are $5-$10 cheaper).

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't mean to change the subject here, but I just got the newest MRL catalog. They are really touting the toughness, durability, and full tangs of their Windlass swords. I think this is great.......I like Windlass swords overall. I've seen a few early models that were....shall we say...below the low point of expectations. But, they seem to be really improving on their blades, and the full tangs are a Godsend. I'd like to see more and more favorable reviews of Windlass......I think they just may be the new up and comers in the production sword market. I personally own three, and plan to buy more. Thoughts? mcm.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Grey, you're right. I guess it's unintentional, but sword boxes really do serve a dual purpose: delivery device and cutting target. Laughing Out Loud Thanks for mentioning By The Sword's prices (something I neglected to mention). They have the lowest prices I've seen on Windlass stuff.

Mark, it seems very clear that Windlass has increased their quality quite a bit in recent years. I would say that their swords are the best you can buy in their price range. In fact, I'm of the opinion that many of their swords would still be bargains if they cost perphaps half again as much as they do. The real problem Windlass has today is their "iffy" quality control. You still read of instances in which two "identical" Windlass swords are compared side-by-side, and one is very nice, while the other has some fairly major issues. If they could nail this aspect down once and for all, and bring their quality control up across the board, I think they'd be a force to be reckoned with. So far, I have not had a bad one out of the four I own, so perphaps they are making progress in this area.

People often say of a Windlass sword, "Well.....it's no Albion." Of course it isn't! Eek! It is unrealistic to expect a $200 sword to match an $800 sword. What Windlass DOES offer is a chance for the beginning collector or the low income collector (I happen to be both at the moment Mad Laughing Out Loud ) to own several different types of reasonably-accurate (in most cases) swords without having to take out a loan. Laughing Out Loud They are more than adequate, in this respect. I have hacked and chopped the heck out of hundreds of targets (just scored a bunch of carpet roles, and they make great targets, BTW) so far with my "Drac" (Medieval Short Sword) and she's still going strong: blade is straight, edge has held much better than I would have thought, and the hilt components are still satisfyingly snug. I've also been jabbing my Shrewsbury through a multitude of targets today, and having a blast! What more could I ask for? Happy
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Alina Boyden





Joined: 19 Apr 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
What more could I ask for? Happy


To win the lottery.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alina Boyden wrote:
G. Scott H. wrote:
What more could I ask for? Happy


To win the lottery.
Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud
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Alina Boyden





Joined: 19 Apr 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seriously though, I agree with you, Scott. You can be happy with swords that are far less expensive than an Albion or a custom piece. Of course, the problem is that these lower priced swords will make you want the more expensive kind twice as much.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 4:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alina Boyden wrote:
Seriously though, I agree with you, Scott. You can be happy with swords that are far less expensive than an Albion or a custom piece. Of course, the problem is that these lower priced swords will make you want the more expensive kind twice as much.
Oh, I admit to drooling over many of Albion's pieces. Laughing Out Loud No question about that. Right now, the Widlasses are what I can afford, so that's what I have. I guess my point was that, while I certainly admire better quality swords, I am vey happy with the Windlass pieces I now have. You see a lot of posts asking whether WS swords are any good, whether they're worth considering, etc. I think many people new to swords compare WS's prices to Albion's (I keep bringing up Albion because they appear to be the cream of the crop or modern day sword makers) and think, wow, these Windlasses must be total C**P! I just want to let people know that this is not the case. WS swords are not junk wallhangers, and while they may be at the lower end of functional "real" swords, they can actually be quite nice looking, nice feeling, and durable. Happy

Cheers,

Scott Happy
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Alina Boyden





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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you find yourself having to pretty knowledgable about sharpening when it comes to using your windlass pieces? I find the one or two I have are just simply too dull and really need a nice sharpening job. However, I never got that knife sharpening training in the boy scouts or wherever you guys pick it up.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alina Boyden wrote:
Do you find yourself having to pretty knowledgable about sharpening when it comes to using your windlass pieces? I find the one or two I have are just simply too dull and really need a nice sharpening job. However, I never got that knife sharpening training in the boy scouts or wherever you guys pick it up.


Well, all of my Windlass swords came with the usual not-really-blunt-but-not-sharp edge. In other words, the edges are thin enough from the factory that it doesn't take too much work to make them sharp (I know you already know this, if you own a couple. This is for those people who might be considering a WS purchase, and who may wonder what the factory edges are like. Happy ), though it still requires a secondary bevel (albeit, a small one). I do fairly well at sharpening various knife blades, but I haven't actually attemted a sword yet. I had the Drac sharpened by a local guy here who knows what he's doing, and all I have to do is touch it up every so often with a fine stone. I'm going to also have him do the Shrewsbury. Like I said, I have been really surprised by how well the Drac has held its edge (I say this because I belive the Drac is only low 40's on the Rockwell scale). The main thing is getting a proper edge on the blade first. Once this is done, it's not too hard to maintain the edge yourself. That's what I'd suggest. And yes, if you were wondering, WS blades can be made frighteningly sharp, and are fairly easy to maintain. Happy
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Michael P Smith





Joined: 02 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Back when I started, Windlass was all I could afford as well. I own several Windalss sowrds and I have been very happy with all of them, considering the price point. I've used a couple for fighting demos and at that price, don't sweat little dings in them either.

Another nice thing about Windlass.... they help fill gaps in the collection at cut-rate prices. Happy Now that I CAN afford Albion and A&A swords, I will get them for the pieces that really matter to me. But for pieces or periods I only have a passing fancy in, I can pick up a Windalss piece that I know it will be decent, but for far less coin than what I want to spend for the pieces that are the focus of my interest.

Mike
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2005 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael P Smith wrote:
they help fill gaps in the collection at cut-rate prices. :)Mike


Yet another point in their favor. Much like blackpowder gun collectors: they often buy modern Italian or Indian-made replicas for this very reason, or in order to have a shootable version of an antique gun that's too valuable to shoot. Happy
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Wed 27 Apr, 2005 6:03 pm    Post subject: Update.         Reply with quote

This afternoon, I discovered that the tang is not peened over the pommel nut as I had first thought. I wrapped a piece of 1/8" thick rubber gasket around the nut and clamped a vice-grip over it. Low and behold, with a moderate twist, the nut came free and was then easily removed with the fingers. I disassembled the hilt and discovered a few things: a) the tang is roughly half the width of the base of the blade (nice!), and tapers up to a round threaded section (not welded on, but integral) that is 5/16" diameter with a course pitch thread. b) the pommel is a monster, solid metal piece that simply fits over the round part of the tang (I found that gripping the pommel and tightening/loosening the nut at the same time works just fine). The grip is some sort of very dark wood under the leather, but I can't tell what. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by my inspection, though, as one might expect on a $100 sword, there is a bit of play between the hilt components when the pommel nut is removed, but certainly nothing excessive. My original suspicion that the tang was peened over the nut was due to the fact that it appears that they filed the top of the tang and the top of the nut flush and then polished them, after the initial assembly. Happy
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Dominic Dellavalle




Location: NJ
Joined: 24 Jan 2005

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Thu 28 Apr, 2005 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just got off the phone with By the Sword and I also had the luxury to work with Mike (great guy btw). While the sword is currently out of stock they should be receiving a new batch in the next 3-5 business days at which point mine will ship.

Thanks to everyone that provided some first hand information on this sword since it had been in the back of my mind to order one for a while, but I needed a bit of a nudge to do so. I look forward to getting the sword in the next couple of weeks.


Dominic
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Thu 28 Apr, 2005 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dominic Dellavalle wrote:
I just got off the phone with By the Sword and I also had the luxury to work with Mike (great guy btw). While the sword is currently out of stock they should be receiving a new batch in the next 3-5 business days at which point mine will ship.

Thanks to everyone that provided some first hand information on this sword since it had been in the back of my mind to order one for a while, but I needed a bit of a nudge to do so. I look forward to getting the sword in the next couple of weeks.


Dominic
Good choice (IMHO)! I really like mine. In fact, I'm going to get another one and shorten the blade down to around 24". I hope you checked out the pics of this sword at Reliks.com. The little pic on By The Sword's site doesn't do this piece justice (plus the grip appears much shorter and fatter than it really is). The sword looks exactly as shown on the Reliks site. Good luck, and enjoy your sword. Happy
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Tue 03 May, 2005 7:55 pm    Post subject: BTS Price Increases.         Reply with quote

Just a little update, By The Sword has raised their prices on all Windlass swords. The Shrewsbury has gone from $99 to $110, and the Tuck has jumped from $135 to $165! Eek! Still a great company to deal with, but their traditionally low prices appear to be a thing of the past. Mad Oh, well...... Happy
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D. Rosen





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PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its really rather odd. It seems that a good portion of By the Sword's prices have gone up lately....dang.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Wed 04 May, 2005 10:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Rosen wrote:
Its really rather odd. It seems that a good portion of By the Sword's prices have gone up lately....dang.
Several companies that import their products have raised prices recently. I guess the American Dollar continues its decline. Mad On the upside: if this trend continues, Windlass swords will eventually cost as much as Albions, making it much easier to justify buying an Albion. Second, it will get to a point where it will no longer be profitable for small American companies like Albion to sell outside the U.S., so we'll have them all to ourselves. Laughing Out Loud Mwaaaahaaahaaaahaaaa!!! Happy

P.S. To the folks at Albion: I truly hope this never happens, I'm just trying to find the bright side of a depressing situation. Happy

P.P.S. A couple of weeks ago, Reliks was selling the Shrewsbury for something like $109.95 U.S. but it qualified for free shipping in Canada and the U.S. (being over $100). Now, they're selling it for about $95 U.S., but it no longer qualifies for free shipping... WTF?! Now that is weird. Happy
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 1:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
...Second, it will get to a point where it will no longer be profitable for small American companies like Albion to sell outside the U.S., so we'll have them all to ourselves....

Sorry, but I don't understand your logic (maybe because I woke up way too early!). With the decline of the US Dollar, the price of American made products will be relatively cheaper for purchasers buying in other currencies, e.g., the Euro. The isolated effect for people like Albion is that they should benefit from the Dollar decline, and this would tend to firm their prices. (Of course, that effect can be offset by other factors, e.g., a weakening of the US economy making sword enthusiasts here relatively poorer Worried and spending more time drooling instead of buying.)
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2005 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
G. Scott H. wrote:
...Second, it will get to a point where it will no longer be profitable for small American companies like Albion to sell outside the U.S., so we'll have them all to ourselves....

Sorry, but I don't understand your logic (maybe because I woke up way too early!). With the decline of the US Dollar, the price of American made products will be relatively cheaper for purchasers buying in other currencies, e.g., the Euro. The isolated effect for people like Albion is that they should benefit from the Dollar decline, and this would tend to firm their prices. (Of course, that effect can be offset by other factors, e.g., a weakening of the US economy making sword enthusiasts here relatively poorer Worried and spending more time drooling instead of buying.)


If anything I'd think it would make american products seem more attractive to the foreign consumer, thereby increasing foreign sales.

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