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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2005 6:57 pm    Post subject: Inspired words         Reply with quote

“A properly balanced sword is the most versatile weapon for close quarters ever devised. Pistols and guns are all offensive, no defense; close on him fast and a man with a gun can't shoot, he has to stop you before you reach him. Close on a man carrying a blade and you'll be spitted like a roast pigeon--unless you have a blade and can use it better than he can.
A sword never jams, never has to be reloaded, is always ready. Its worst shortcoming is that it takes great skill and patient, loving practice to gain that skill; it can't be taught to raw recruits in weeks, nor even months.”

“Glory Road”
--Robert Heinlein

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Inspired or deluded depending on your point of view.

I've been charged by someone with an edged weapon and I've been shot at by someone armed with a gun. I highly suspect Mr. Heinlein never experienced either.

I'll take the gun. Wink

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




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From the video I saw about surviving edged weapons inside 21 feet is the danger zone within which the advantages of a gun over and edged weapon is far from guaranteed. Even worse if the gun must be drawn from a holster and you were in condition white ( Day dreaming ! )

Using obstructions between you and the knife wielder and / or moving laterally rather than trying to back out of range was recommended. Also a baton or large maglight might be a better choice when in spitting range than standing still while trying to pull your gun out and not keeping your eyes on the attacker.

Naturally I'm talking from theoretical NON- EXPERIENCE as opposed to Patrick Eek!

If you survive the initial surprise and get out of the direct line of attack shielding yourself from the blade with the previously mentioned objects ( Even a sturdy clipboard might do ) you can then empty the gun into the ******** ( Expletive of your choice ! )

Oh, and I imagine being shot at is no fun at all.

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




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 1:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Oh, and I imagine being shot at is no fun at all.


Nope. Getting hit is worse... luckily, I just got grazed. WTF?! Don't ask - don't want to discuss it. Exclamation

I've seen the same info regarding the danger zone vs. a knife-wielding opponent and reaction times, distance covered, etc. I'd still reach for my HK .40 before the Brescia. After 10 or 20 rounds, if there's anything left, I'll do my best to treat the bugger like a pinata.

I don't know when the original quote was written, though... firearms weren't always as accurate, handy, or dependable.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 4:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Guns guns guns, all the way.
Unlike Heinleins theory, a man in close combat can shoot you a lot easier than he can stab or slice you. He only needs to turn his wrist in your direction, and pull the trigger. Something he can still do even when you are holding his arm, or even wrist. This is not posible with a blade.

There is a reason the sword disapears from the field of battle within a few decades of the apperance of automatic firearms.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
I'll take the gun. Wink


That would be such a hard choice for me. So fortunately, I get to carry both! Plus an Asp baton and OC spray. I have so many neat toys these days. I’m a bit surprised they trust me with all of that stuff. Cool

The reason that this quote in particular stood out is because I’ve spent most of the summer doing VBSS training and one of my instructors paraphrased it (using knives in the place of swords) while teaching us basic defense against edged weapons. Then he proceeded to demonstrate by drawing a rubber knife and covering a distance of about 15 feet to inflict a simulated lethal wound on the poor MA that he’d chosen to be his victim before he could clear his weapon from the holster to defend himself. It was kind of an eye opener. It made me wonder what might be possible with some nastier knives (like kindjals, for example) in a CQB environment (either ancient or modern). Maybe we could start using the cutlass again. I mean, really, how one can be expected to lead a proper boarding party without a cutlass is beyond me. Errol Flynn would not approve!

But you’re right, Patrick. I’d probably go for the gun first, too.

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the Heinlein quote is from the early 60s, a period when he was experimenting with hallucinogens a lot.

I am not aware of any defense that a sword or knife can offer against any form of gunshot (or arrow or crossbow bolt, for that matter). It would be nice if a gun could protect you from bullets, but it can't, just as a sword can't.

A bit of body armor and a reliable firearm is the only rational choice. Sharp weapons are still good for sneak attacks, but the chivalric use of blades ended when reliable firearms came into use.
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Anton de Vries





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: Inspired words         Reply with quote

Sam Barris wrote:
“Close on a man carrying a blade and you'll be spitted like a roast pigeon--unless you have a blade and can use it better than he can.”

That isn't necessarily true either. No doubt everyone who's into sparring has occasionally watched novices defeat experienced swordsmen. I know I have.

So much for Heinlein's inspired words. (I love the book btw)
Time to move on? Wink
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 6:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Barris wrote:

The reason that this quote in particular stood out is because I’ve spent most of the summer doing VBSS training and one of my instructors paraphrased it (using knives in the place of swords) while teaching us basic defense against edged weapons. Then he proceeded to demonstrate by drawing a rubber knife and covering a distance of about 15 feet to inflict a simulated lethal wound on the poor MA that he’d chosen to be his victim before he could clear his weapon from the holster to defend himself. It was kind of an eye opener.


But does it prove much about the comparative threat of guns versus knives? Give the instructor a loaded pistol aimed at a student with a holstered gun, and ask yourself who wins that contest. And compare that to an officer with a gun aimed at a suspect with a blade still in its scabbard, and ask the same question. All it shows is that a holstered pistol is not much use against someone who already has the drop on you.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Fabert wrote:
All it shows is that a holstered pistol is not much use against someone who already has the drop on you.


Interestingly enough that isn't neccesarily true either. During my days as an instructor at our academy I would routinely demonstrate this to recruits. A recruit would have his weapon drawn and pointed at me and I was able to draw my own and fire two rounds into them before they could react. (with simunitions of course) I would be speaking at the time so everyone would be focused on my voice. The average human reaction time is around 2.5 seconds, from the time you perceive the threat, analyze it, then react to it. We did this specifically to show recruits that they weren't out of the fight simply because someone had the drop on them.

It is true that firearms are easier to use then edged weapons at their basic level. Their ease of use and efficiency are why they replaced edged weapons after all, and the whole point with either is to kill the enemy, all romantic illusions aside. On the other hand, there's a big difference between knowing how to yank on the lever on the bottom of the gun to make it go bang, and being truly proficient and expert with a firearm. As with a sword it takes years of practice and dedication if the craft is approached as it should be, like a martial art.

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





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick, you are surely correct when you point out that the weapon itself does not win the fight, whether it's in its holster/scabbard or not. As I recall the comment attributed to the legendary Mr. Hickock, it's not the man who draws first, but the man who can draw, aim, and put a bullet where it counts, who wins the fight. Holding a weapon is not the same as using it instantly. The decision to do the deed must also be made.
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Don Stanko




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lets face it, there are really two factors that are important here, training and reaction time. True, in "Surviving Edged Weapons" they proved that the reaction time of an officer against an edged weapon is 21 feet. But this is taking into account that the officer was at the disadvantage, not expecting the attack. This is how most officer encounters are, we are primarily reacting to an immediate threat. If those officers were at low ready or aiming at the suspect, most would come out on top.

If you take two people, one armed with an edged weapon and one armed with a reliable firearm, both with equal training and ability, with more than a three foot gap the firearm will come out on top. Three feet or less, its a toss up. This has been the result in every training scenario I have run, witnessed or been involved in.
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James Holczer




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2005 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As much as I am an incurable romantic and I love my bladed weapons. I'll take my 40 S&W Browning hi-power in a scrap anytime over all of my swords. But lets not forget that it's not the weapon that wins fights. Its the individual behind the weapon. Training and above all mindset have a huge roll to play in close quarters combat. If your not willing to do what you have to do during a fight, then it doesn't really matter what your packing. Cool
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David R. Glier





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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed. Swords -as we think of them- are useless in (almost) all modern combat. I'll take my 1911 over ANY bladed weapon, ANY day. If it was between a sword and a Baretta I might think about it a little bit, but I'd grumble and take the 9mil. Laughing Out Loud

However, I firmly believe that bladed weapons somewhere between the "big bowie" and "short sword" size have a definate place in combat today, and that place is as a close-quarters weapon when combatants are using long-arms. When your good hand is occupied with a rifle, espeicialy one of the Stoner variants that we keep loading with more and more gear (grenade launchers, shotguns, holosights, scopes, flashlights, range finders....) you've effectively removed half of your body from a fight -the same half of your body that holds your sidearm. The pistol is flawed as a backup close-quarters weapon.

I've said for about four years now that short weapon with a broad, heavy blade between 10 and 15 inches, that can be drawn from a quickdraw sheath with the off hand would be HIGHLY useful in a situation where a solder or Marine is jumped in a combat situation -even if only to beat the attacker back to a distance where the longarm can be used to make the kill. The Ka-Bar, fine old standard that it is, isn't big or heavy enough to render a lethal threat from an off-hand swipe, and machetes are much too light and much too long to draw quickly. The Fairbarin Smatchet would be a good start, but could certainly be improved upon.

The Marine instructors in my NROTC program seemed to think the idea had some merit. I'd be interested in what our old solders here have to say about it. Comments or criticism?
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Eric McHugh
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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2005 2:08 pm    Post subject: I agree         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
On the other hand, there's a big difference between knowing how to yank on the lever on the bottom of the gun to make it go bang, and being truly proficient and expert with a firearm. As with a sword it takes years of practice and dedication if the craft is approached as it should be, like a martial art.


I believe that this statement is at the core of the discussion. As Patrick knows, I've have a number of friends (including Patrick) who are in law enforcement. I had a number of opportunities to practice pistol with them, and let me tell you, it is all about practice and proficiency with your weapon...plain and simple. I am of the opinion that a person with a weapon who is not proficient with that weapon is more of a danger to themselves and those they love than the person coming after them. Bad situation + adrenaline + lack of proficiency = trouble.

Find me on Facebook, or check out my blog. Contact me at eric@crownforge.net or ericmycue374@comcast.net if you want to talk about a commission or discuss an available piece.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2005 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David R. Glier wrote:
I've said for about four years now that short weapon with a broad, heavy blade between 10 and 15 inches, that can be drawn from a quickdraw sheath with the off hand would be HIGHLY useful in a situation where a solder or Marine is jumped in a combat situation -even if only to beat the attacker back to a distance where the longarm can be used to make the kill. The Ka-Bar, fine old standard that it is, isn't big or heavy enough to render a lethal threat from an off-hand swipe, and machetes are much too light and much too long to draw quickly. The Fairbarin Smatchet would be a good start, but could certainly be improved upon.


Something like a short baselard, katzbalger or gladius?
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David R. Glier





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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2005 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even shorter than a Gladius or (most) Katzbalgers. I'm thinking more along the lines of a long Pugio, a short Cinqueda or the short Spartan Xyphos. The "Odysseus Sword", the broad, multi-ridged bronze slashing sword that Albion used to sell is just about exactly what I have in mind -in steel, of course. (does anyone have a picture of it? They discontinued it before I could get it...)

Something about fifteen to eighteen inches in total length -certainly no more than twenty inches, because it gets too slow to draw- with a blade of twelve to fourteen inches in length by a good two inches in width.
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2005 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David R. Glier wrote:
I've said for about four years now that short weapon with a broad, heavy blade between 10 and 15 inches, that can be drawn from a quickdraw sheath with the off hand would be HIGHLY useful in a situation where a solder or Marine is jumped in a combat situation -even if only to beat the attacker back to a distance where the longarm can be used to make the kill. ... The Marine instructors in my NROTC program seemed to think the idea had some merit. I'd be interested in what our old solders here have to say about it. Comments or criticism?


Dude! I said the same thing. Except that I suggested a long kindjal as my ideal off-hand weapon. But the same theory applies. The shape of the blade would lend itself nicely to a smooth draw cut right out of the sheath. Maybe not Iaido, but close enough for government work. I'd love it if I could be allowed to carry something like that when I go back to Iraq. It will never happen, but it's a wonderful thought. As it stands, I think I'll be lucky to slip one of Bugei's hissatsu tantos into my sea bag before I leave.

I still think that the Navy should just modernize the cutlass. For what we would use it for, it would be perfect. And in general, I just think that a good blade would be a boon to the CQB world. That's probably why that quote caught my eye. Blades are too easily dismissed these days. There are just times that I think they would be incredibly useful, even in a world dominated by guns. Not a claymore, certainly, but something small and wicked.

But we are straying from the boundaries of this forum at this point, so perhaps this thread should be steered back in a more relevant direction or abandoned. I'd be more than happy to continue it over PM or email. Happy

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David R. Glier wrote:
...The "Odysseus Sword", the broad, multi-ridged bronze slashing sword that Albion used to sell is just about exactly what I have in mind -in steel, of course. (does anyone have a picture of it? They discontinued it before I could get it...)

How about this link to the topic of Kirk Lee Spencer's lovely Odysseus project:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=odysseus
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Don Stanko




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2005 7:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Sam, I just thought of a modern example where edged weapons are just as useful as firearms. In South Africa, the officers are taught to use a knife in conjuction with a firearm. You see, over there when an officer pulls his weapon on a suspect, many times an onlooker will charge the officer from behind or from the side in an attempt to take the firearm so it can be sold at a later date. This has become such a problem that the police academy has developed a shooting stance where the off hand is holding a knife, just underneath the hand holding the firearm (much like a police officer might hold a flashlight in the US). If anybody comes close the officer would slash at the suprise attacker, protecting his weapon. Also, in India if a recruit fails his firearms qualifications, he is armed with a machete instead. So, there are parts of the world today where edged weapons are still favored!!!
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