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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 9:54 am    Post subject: The "20 to 30 pound" sword         Reply with quote

Need to find a way to explain to the layman why a sword could not possibly weigh "20 to 30 pounds"?

Check out this page for an explanation.


Landsknecht returning from the war, with his 20 pound sword...

Kind of funny...

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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 10:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Nathan, Laughing Out Loud
"But of course they must have weighed twenty pounds, because only the strongest warrior could even pick them up, let alone wield them in battle!" (Three pounds can get tiring for someone not use to it!)

Kind of funny? I broke out in loud guffaws!

Sword cartoons? Don't give me ideas like that!

He looks more like a landesknecht trying to enter the caber toss, than one returning from war!

Thanks for that! I needed a laugh today!Laughing Out Loud

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IIRC, the so-called sword of Guy of Warwick housed in the armoury at Warwick Castle weighs between 10-15 lbs. It was probably a ceremonial sword and it is huge! I cannot find an image on the internet, nor do I have my Warwick Castle book, but if I find an image, I'll post it. Guy supposedly slayed the dun cow with his beastly sword!

Jonathan

I love that image, Nathan!
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Impressive. Even if you made a sword twice the thickness it needs to be (now 10mm or .4 inches thick rather than 5mm), that still means a 10 pound sword would be 2.5 meters long.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson,
2.5-3 meters sounds about right for the sword of Guy. It is probably a type XI or XII, but that is just based on my memory of my last visit there 10 years ago!

Jonathan
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

There is an early 15th century ceremonial bearing sword in the Royal Armouries Collection, shown in Treasures From the Tower of London: Arms and Armour by Norman and Wilson, that weighs 14 lb 6 oz. (6.52 kg) Its overall length is 91 in (231.1 cm), with a blade length of 65.5 in (166.4 cm). That makes the whole sword over 7 and a half feet long (2.3 meters), with a blade of just under 5 and a half feet long (approx. 1.7 meters). That's a big sword! Of course, if was never meant to be used in battle! The long grip looks so unusually narrow that I bet the tang would snap under the sword's weight if it was swung in anger! (Another problem with extremely overweight swords; the tang has to put up with more stress! I believe torque is involved somehow, but I'm no engineer!)

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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Daniel J. Willis




Location: Hampshire, England
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But what if it was really, really, really heavy metal...! Big Grin

Seriously though, its surprising how prevalent such myths still are. Only yesterday i mentioned something about swords to my boss at work and the first thing she said was "yeah, they used to weigh 30lbs didn't they, so heavy you couldn't even pick 'em up!" And this from someone who's husband and friends are members of some Britain's most elite military forces.

That picture's great, but i find their idea of using an IKEA salad bowl to make a buckler far more intriguing and perhaps not as ahistorical as may be supposed - i can just imagine a disgruntled ploughman nailing a handle through his wifes best wooden mixing bowl, picking up a large knife or axe and marching off with his improvised sword and buckler combination to tell the lord of the manor just what he thinks of having to plough an extra league every day!
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David Martin




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've told this story here before, but I can't resist retelling it. I was in a "sword" shop in New Hope, PA several years ago. There was a sword hanging on the wall that was absolutely massive: The blade looked to be almost five feet long, about three inches wide at the crossguard, and was incredibly thick - something on the order of 3/8". The grip looked to be about 15" with a monstrous crossguard made of brass, styled in the fashion of a Scottish Claymore, only absurdly large. The pommel was huge - the size of my fist (and I have large hands). The weight as listed was 67 pounds. No decimel point between the six and seven, but a full 67 pounds.

When I politely questioned the store owner, he asserted that this was an accurate replica of a Claymore. He also added that he used that sword to smash an engine block. I had no doubts that he was successful in this endeavor.

I left the shop with a smile. Big Grin

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But wouldn't a 30lb sword have gone good with my historically correct 165 lb suit of armour Eek! ??? Just think of all the wheat you could have reaped with Nathan's eight-hander... Laughing Out Loud
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Grayson C.




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

wow....FINALLY I can have some proof to show those clods in my highschool that swords were far lighter than 20-30lbs!


thanks for the post nathan!
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel J. Willis wrote:
That picture's great, but i find their idea of using an IKEA salad bowl to make a buckler far more intriguing and perhaps not as ahistorical as may be supposed


We used them for helmets, instead...
Of course, this was before we found a steady supply of cheap kettlehats... never the less, it worked.

"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."
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Kjell Magnusson




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, yes, it often seems that many a myth can be dispelled simply by some basic math.

As for the larger bearing swords, I found this one in a catalogue of the Higgins Armoury collection.



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George Hill




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 9:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kjell Magnusson wrote:
Ah, yes, it often seems that many a myth can be dispelled simply by some basic math.

As for the larger bearing swords, I found this one in a catalogue of the Higgins Armoury collection.


A sword which weights fourteen pounds and eleven ounces... and is seven feet long. Hmm... I wonder how they did the bearing there of...

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania


Last edited by George Hill on Sat 11 Nov, 2006 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

George Hill wrote:

A sword which weights fourteen pounds and eleven ounces... and is seven feet long. Hmm... I wonder how they did the bearing therefore.

George,

Short answer: very carefully! Happy

Long answer: with two hands, held out before them with the point upward, walking slowly in the procession . Since it was never meant to be swung, it was more of a "balancing act" than anything else. As long as they held it steady, no problem! If you notice, too, these bearing swords have long handles as well, the better to get a good, balanced, steady grip. Happy

Of course, you need a hall or cathedral with tall ceilings, or be out in the open air, or you might crash into something! Big Grin

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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Carl Goff




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Martin wrote:
I've told this story here before, but I can't resist retelling it. I was in a "sword" shop in New Hope, PA several years ago. There was a sword hanging on the wall that was absolutely massive: The blade looked to be almost five feet long, about three inches wide at the crossguard, and was incredibly thick - something on the order of 3/8". The grip looked to be about 15" with a monstrous crossguard made of brass, styled in the fashion of a Scottish Claymore, only absurdly large. The pommel was huge - the size of my fist (and I have large hands). The weight as listed was 67 pounds. No decimel point between the six and seven, but a full 67 pounds.

When I politely questioned the store owner, he asserted that this was an accurate replica of a Claymore. He also added that he used that sword to smash an engine block. I had no doubts that he was successful in this endeavor.

I left the shop with a smile. Big Grin


Holy cow. How buff was the owner? (I'm assuming very.)

I ask because I'm a long way from the weakest man in the world, but I couldn't even swing that abomination.

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard


Last edited by Carl Goff on Sun 12 Nov, 2006 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Allen G.





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PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry but you guys dont know anything, this sword is BATTLE-READY. Aprox Weight: 20 lbs

http://www.mwart.com/xq/ASP.product/pid.125/q...-sword.htm

To preserve western history we must ensure a future for western blood and culture.
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

20 pound to 30 pound Sword. The Sword of GODZILLA? Laughing Out Loud

Thanks Nathan, that cartoon was a riot!

Bob
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen G. wrote:
Sorry but you guys dont know anything, this sword is BATTLE-READY. Aprox Weight: 20 lbs

http://www.mwart.com/xq/ASP.product/pid.125/q...-sword.htm


I hope you're being sarcastic. I think it's pretty common knowledge that useable battle swords never weighed more than 10 pounds, and were usually less than that.

The reproduction you linked to, though called "battle-ready," is overweight if it weighs 20 pounds or it's a bearing sword, not designed for combat. Just because a maker claims battle-readiness doesn't mean it is. "Battle-ready" is the most over-used and incorrectly applied marketing buzzword used in this industry.

Happy

ChadA

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Thomas Watt




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Up in the Wallace Monument, the information states that they believe Wallace was about 7 feet tall in order to wield his "huge" sword. I apologize for not knowing the weight, but it looked (based on comparisons with my 3+ pound hand-and-a-half sword) around 6-7 pounds, and was really large... large enough that I would not volunteer to wield it.

Now I realize that there is a second "Wallace" sword floating around, but the one in the National Wallace Monument represents a very large 2-handed sword wielded by a larger-than life hero. It's hard to imagine that a 20+ pound sword would be a functional choice for anyone.

Have 11 swords, 2 dirks, half a dozen tomahawks and 2 Jeeps - seem to be a magnet for more of all.
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Shawn Shaw




Location: Boston, MA USA
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Nov, 2006 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Mel Gibson did say that the real William Wallace was 7 ft tall....something about lightning bolts from his arse, too.

Anyone that tall and with that many digestive ailments just might be able to wield a 20 poud sword, better watch out!

(Sorry, folks...I just couldn't resist)
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