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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2005 6:15 pm    Post subject: MRL Medieval Chopper         Reply with quote

The Medieval Chopper I ordered from MRL arrived today and here are some early impressions of it:

This chopper is based on the one in the Maciejowski Bible illustrations, I don't know of any surviving examples out there so whatever we can say about this reproduction is that its' handling qualities may differ from the original I would think on how heavy or light the maker decides to make it. What we can tell for sure is that the outline is close to the illustration. Any distal taper or total weight of the original versus the MRL copy is impossible to tell.

Now on it's own merits a few numbers:

The construction seems solid with a full tang, the grips looks like a nice reddish rosewood ( Could be something else, but it looks good. Should look even better when I apply a bit of boiled linseed oil. ) The handle is held together by 3 brass cutlery rivets and the butt and guard are brass bolsters.

Weight: 3 to 3.5 pounds according to my bathroom scales, feels much lighter and very lively: Not point heavy at all !
The originals may have been of heavier stock with a distal taper ?

POB: Is an 1/4" behind the small guard nub and 12" forward of the end of the butt. the handle is 13 1/4" long.
Held near the guard the blade should be easy to wield one handed or even in a reverse grip: Easy to spin around balance point. If held with one hand near the handle there is more blade presence.

Total length: 32 1/2"
Blade length: 19" , effective reach if held with one hand near the butt 27"

Blade thickness: 5/32" at guard with a distal taper to 1/8" near the point

Blade width: Max. near point 4 3/8" at guard 1 1/2"

Steel: MRL standard quality I imagine, easy enough to sharpen with a file but capable of taking a functional edge but too soft to take and keep a razor edge. If I sharpen it I will give it a machete or axe type edge.

In a modern use context I can see this one being easy to use as a good bush knife / machete.

Using the unsharpened edge to the box it came in a bit of very casual cutting with the edge did not bite into the cardboard at all: Not a surprise with the 2 mm edge. But the design has one interesting and scary surprise as the equally unsharpened slightly concave edge near the tip will sail though the same cardboard like a " Light Sabre ": Should be VERY scary when even minimally sharpened. ( The point hits at an angle closer to a thrust combined with a cutting motion than as a simple cutting action. )

The 3 concave wavy cut-outs on the back of the blade may be only there for decorative reasons but I wonder if used to strike against armour the points might give you the same effectiveness of the flanges of a flanged type mace: In other words a single flange mace Eek! Laughing Out Loud

Now I'm sure that an Albion, A & A or other top makers could improve on this one but at the LOW price I think this MRL version is good value for the money.

In handling it seems to me it could be compared to a very short polearm or even like a short Katana or long wakizashi, two handed use should be very fast, Not the tip heavy dead mass it might seem to be just from its' outline.

Would this be a Knights weapon ? Primary or back-up ? I would see it as very useful for an archer or a polearmed soldier as a secondary weapon or even as a camp tool ? Tool or exclusively a weapon, or a bit of both? Any comments welcome.



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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got the Del Tin version of the same piece (until I ship it anyway) and from the pictures at least the Del Tin version looks like the nicer of the two. The piece is really rather surprising.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2005 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ;

Can you show pictures of the Del Tin one: Nicer Cry Laughing Out Loud

Well probably more historical also and a bit more expensive I imagine.

The MRL one seems good enough to get a taste of what the design was like, for a premium version of anything I think the custom route is the only way to go or the quality production stuff, when available, in the line of product of a top manufacturer.

Sometimes you want to experience a large variety of types without going broke Eek! Laughing Out Loud

Looking forward to your review.

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DaK A. Wade




Location: Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2005 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a pic from the Del Tin web page of their choppers


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Lance K.




PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2005 7:59 pm    Post subject: Re: MRL Medieval Chopper         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Now I'm sure that an Albion, A & A or other top makers could improve on this one but at the LOW price I think this MRL version is good value for the money.


Custom, but still the coolest cleaver I have seen. I'm sure most here have seen this, but for those that havn't, you don't want to miss out....



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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2005 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the DT version in the pending review line-up, and I had the one Russ owns here for a while. It is a better version all around than the MRL. On the other hand the MRL version is cheaper so this is to be expected. I think either one is worth the asking price, and really, are we worried about aesthetics on something like this? Wink
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Austin Demshar





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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2005 12:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice pieces those choppers are.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2005 6:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Russ;

Can you show pictures of the Del Tin one: Nicer Cry Laughing Out Loud

Well probably more historical also and a bit more expensive I imagine.

The MRL one seems good enough to get a taste of what the design was like, for a premium version of anything I think the custom route is the only way to go or the quality production stuff, when available, in the line of product of a top manufacturer.

Sometimes you want to experience a large variety of types without going broke Eek! Laughing Out Loud

Looking forward to your review.


Hey Jean,

Yeah I'll be happy to take some pictures for you tonight. Sort of give you a feel for the thing. I didn't want to mention it, but since Patrick's let the cat out of the bag I guess it's okay to mention that there will be a full review of it here eventually. Also I wanted to say I'm sorry I certainly didn't mean to run down your piece as you say the MRL version is significantly less expensive and well worth the asking price I'm sure! Jeez I feel like a jerk. Sad Mostly I just wanted to mention that del tin does make a similar piece... Sad

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2005 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ;

Oh, I didn't take it as a put down of the MRL version: The construction of it seems " modern " to me ! It is difficult to judge as the only sources seem to be drawing or paintings.

Mostly I am intrigued by the blade shape and this was one way to try out the design on the cheap.

I would prefer something using 52 R.C. steel instead of the maybe 40 R.C. to 45 R.C. ( Windlass standard hardness ??? )
But as a piece at the border between a pure display piece or a using piece I view it above the minimal quality needed
and of sound construction.

The handling qualities are surprising and I think it would be a usable and credible weapon: I do wonder if the originals had a heavier blade and more axe like in blade presence i.e. more power versus speed and agility of the almost neutrally balanced MRL version.

I'm looking forward to the review and I am curious about how D.T. handles and what choices they made when designing their version.

A blade with a 1/2" thick blade with a distal taper down to 1/8" should be a totally different animal even with an identical blade outline. The MRL works as a design but how close in handling to the historical originals ??? Confused Laughing Out Loud

Russ: Again if it makes you feel better, I didn't think your comment had any " JERKYNESS " to it. Cool

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2005 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Russ;

Oh, I didn't take it as a put down of the MRL version: The construction of it seems " modern " to me ! It is difficult to judge as the only sources seem to be drawing or paintings.

Mostly I am intrigued by the blade shape and this was one way to try out the design on the cheap.

I would prefer something using 52 R.C. steel instead of the maybe 40 R.C. to 45 R.C. ( Windlass standard hardness ??? )
But as a piece at the border between a pure display piece or a using piece I view it above the minimal quality needed
and of sound construction.

The handling qualities are surprising and I think it would be a usable and credible weapon: I do wonder if the originals had a heavier blade and more axe like in blade presence i.e. more power versus speed and agility of the almost neutrally balanced MRL version.

I'm looking forward to the review and I am curious about how D.T. handles and what choices they made when designing their version.

A blade with a 1/2" thick blade with a distal taper down to 1/8" should be a totally different animal even with an identical blade outline. The MRL works as a design but how close in handling to the historical originals ??? Confused Laughing Out Loud

Russ: Again if it makes you feel better, I didn't think your comment had any " JERKYNESS " to it. Cool


Thanks Jean that make me feel better. I'll wait until the myArmoury team releases the review and then field any questions...

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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2005 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

DaK A. Wade wrote:
Here is a pic from the Del Tin web page of their choppers


wow i love that first one!
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Arthur A. Elwell




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Del Tin Chopper's !         Reply with quote

I have both in stock, the two on the right side of the photo.

Art

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