Location: DeKalb, IL
Joined: 01 Aug 2004
|Posted: Fri 03 Jun, 2005 7:50 pm Post subject: AT1555 review
By: Caleb Hallgren
Intro: This is a sword by Angus Trim. Many of you know him fairly well. He is self-described as a “sword fabricator” and a “machinist” and his occupation consists of making high performance stock-removal swords. The blade is made by him and a CNC milling machine. The scabbard is made by Eric Blacksmith (I do not know if this is his real name or not). Gus had Andrew Chin do the leatherwork on it. This is one of the last blades processed through AllSaints and it arrived at my house on Feb. 26, 2005.
Handling Characteristics: 4/5
This sword has a presence to it. While it rests in your hand it feels like a sword, a tool meant to do a job. To put it into a workplace context, it feels like a wrench rather than a feather. It is a weight in your hand meant to do a specific job.
In terms of motion, it has it’s goods and it’s bads. It doesn’t accelerate in the effortless manner of a smaller, lighter blade. It takes effort to get it moving into a swing. On the other hand, once it is moving, it is very powerful and very fast and has no issue going from long edge strikes to short edge strikes. To put it blatantly, this sword can give great cuts, but will behave best when put into a fast, deliberate “casting” or “whipping motion” in which the two hands move independently with regard to the hilt. This is a sword that will not adhere immediately to JSA practitioners.
Thrusts are very good for this blade though. Once again, it doesn’t “jump” into them, but it gives a medium-fast, very powerful thrust with a lot of what I can only describe as “authority”. One can disengage with it decently as well. The recovery is quick which lends well to a series of quick thrusts.
The POB is at approximately six inches out from the hilt, which, for swords meant for unarmoured use, on a 1-10 scale (with one being a too close to the handle and ten being too far) is a 6; meaning that depending on the user, it will be less lively, but more powerful on the swing. Although this may seem less-than-optimal at first (which it very well may be) I find the POB to give a very nice pivot which makes pommel-strikes with this sword nearly effortless. Another benefit of this POB is clean and quick mulinello in the Italian tradition.
One handed use is not advised with this sword though (unless grappling or close-in slicing), swings will be hard to recover from and although it performs decently on the thrust side of things, the difficulty of lateral movement will not lend well to a solid defense.
To put a bottom line on this sword, I will put it in one sentence: This is a long longsword (50 inches overall) probably meant for unarmoured fighting that, although perhaps a tad slower on the recovery than similar swords, has a great deal of authority and power when it is put to use.
Fit and Finish: Blade: 5/5, General Fittings: 4/5, Handle Wrap: 2/5
The Blade on this is very nice. It came well polished and doesn’t tarnish easily. That is, it doesn’t hold anything that a scotch-brite pad can’t take right off (and it doesn’t scratch easily either.
The fittings are snug as well, although the crisp angles on the cross-guard may irritate the hand after a long practice session done without gloves.
My main beef is with the handle wrap. It looked nice for the first 2 weeks or so, but after about ten 45-minute solo practices the wrap began to peel out. To this date, there is about a 1-centimeter flap of leather at the center of the handle from which the glue somehow came undone. The wood is not visible as there is a good amount of leather overlap.
This problem does not affect the handling of the sword, so I still use it. However it does prove to be a slight inconvenience at times.
This is a standard Atrim scabbard as made by Erik Blacksmith. It is in satisfactory condition, although it took an inordinate amount of time for him to make (approximately-if not more than- one month)
(Before I get flamed for my less-than-great review of the leatherwork, I must state that I used this blade in NO ABNORMAL ways. I swung it using drills from medieval fechtbucher and modern interpretations while holding it in my bare hands. It hasn’t undergone any heavy-cutting or any blows or abuse from myself or any foreign-object)