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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Riveted Maille and Padded Jack Tests (very photo intensive)         Reply with quote

Thanks to Julio Junco Funes, Matuls and Brian Hook for their help with this test.


Many historical arms and armor enthusiasts dream of the ultimate test of what weapon can defeat what defense and vice versa. Period materials, realistic conditions, historically accurate weapons; these are the holy grail of such tests, and although many good tests have been performed, each has been seen as lacking in one area or another. This test is no different. Although most of the weapons used, with the glaring exception of the bow, are historically accurate, the test has many flaws and falls short of providing definitive answers to any question of weapon vs. defense. However, this test gives us a glimpse, an idea and maybe a good feel for the answers, and perhaps if used in conjunction with other tests can provide a bit more.

The test is divided into two parts. The first is a test of various weapons against a large section of riveted maille, the second against samples of a linen Jack; 10, 20 and 30 layers thick. Various weapons were employed in the test, all of which are described and pictured herein.

Both tests used a hanging pell, though the pell was dismounted and propped against a wall for the thrust tests. The pell is constructed of a 4x4 wooden post, surrounded by two layers of pool noodles. The noodles are covered in duct tape and wrapped in landscaping cloth. When suspended by a chain, it is heavy enough to offer resistance yet it also gives ground in the way a moving opponent might do when struck.


Part 1 - Bow, Sword and Poleaxe vs. Maille and Gambeson

This part of the tests focuses on a combination of maille armor over a padded gambeson. The maille is made by Julio Junco Funes, a highly talented maille maker from Spain who makes the finest maille I have ever had the privilege of seeing first hand. Julio makes the maille in his spare time as a hobby and does not usually sell it. I was very fortunate to get a section of this fine maille for testing.

A close up view of the outer and inner surfaces of the maille:




The maille is constructed from alternating row wedge riveted/solid links from about 14 or 15 gauge wire (thick!) and just under 7mm ID (a little over 6.5). The riveting/overlap was done exceptionally well and is the most historically correct maille I’ve ever seen. I have not had the chance to examine the work of other renowned maille makers so I cannot make a comparison in that regard, but this was one quality piece of maille.

An idea of size:



This is an import hauberk from India with 9.5mm ID rings. Note that you can see the concrete through the links:



The gambeson used is the discontinued cotton model made by Revival Clothing. It has a thick canvas outer shell and is padded with cotton batting.



The gambeson was placed over a hanging pell and the maille was hung over the gambeson.



The first weapon used was a compound bow set to 50lbs and 70lbs.



Although even at 70lbs a compound bow cannot compare to the power of a 150lb English war bow, it makes up for it by using arrows that are of optimal weight for the power of the bow. The bow I used shoots 400 grain arrows at 300fps (factory specs). According to the Great Warbow by Robert Hardy and Matthew Strickland, the initial velocity of a 1663-grain arrow from a 150-lb English war bow is around 171 fps. Its kinetic energy is therefore 146 J. Benjamin H. Abbott, a member of myArmoury, calculated that a 400-grain arrow shot at 300 fps has 108 J of kinetic energy. Considering that I conducted my tests at 20 feet and 20 yards, a bow that generates 108J of energy is a very good simulation of the force that would have been encountered on the medieval battlefield. Very few arrows were ever shot 20 feet away from a charging mailled knight.

Modern arrows with field points were used, as this is the closest thing to bodkin points I could get my hands on.



Three arrows were shot from two positions at 50lbs for a total of six arrows. Two more sets of three were shot from the same positions with the bow set to 70lbs. The first position was 15 feet away from the target (point blank), and the second position was 20 yards away from the target.

50lbs, 15 feet: the maille/gambeson stopped the arrows, causing them to rebound from the target. Some of the links were bent, one was broken.

50lbs, 20 yards: the maille/gambeson stopped the arrows, causing them to rebound from the target. No damage to the links at all.

70lbs, 15 feet: 2 out of three arrows pierced the maille/gambeson and imbedded themselves in the pell. The third arrow broke two links but bounced off, stopped by the gambeson underneath.



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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 11:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arrow removed:



70lbs, 20 yards: all three arrows were stopped (bounced off), but each one broke at least one link.



Here are some of the links broken by the arrows. You can see that when an arrow breaks a link, it is usually at the rivet point.



These results are far superior to the imported Indian 9.5mm riveted hauberk I tested earlier. That hauberk could not stop the bow at 50lbs and 20 feet, nor did it stop any of the arrows at 20 yards, though it did rob them of enough force that the gambeson was able to defeat half of them. I later tested that hauberk at 70lbs and each arrow at both ranges easily defeated it. This maille, much more historically correct and of stouter rings with better quality riveting defeated every arrow shot at 50lbs and all of the arrows shot at 70lbs from 20 yards. The difference between them is literally life and death.

After concluding the arrow tests, I went on to test the maille against two melee weapons; an MRL hilted Del Tin longsword, mostly likely type XX, and the Knightly Poleaxe from Arms and Armor.





For thrusting tests, I used an Albion Talhoffer, a longsword of type XVa.



Cutting test with sword: I attempted to cut through the maille several times with powerful over the shoulder and over the head cuts. The sword failed to penetrate the maille and could not break any links. Some of the links were slightly bent and nicked, but all were intact. The damage to the edge of the sword was extremely minor, which demonstrates how well the padding of the gambeson absorbs the force of the cut.



Thrusting test with Albion Talhoffer: using the half-sword grip, I thrust three times into the maille. I was afraid to damage my Talhoffer, I sword I am very fond of, so did not thrust as hard as I could have. Despite that, out of three thrusts, I was able to break one link. However, even without breaking a single link, the Talhoffer’s point is able to penetrate 5/8” past the maille. With a broken link, that becomes about 3”. The gambeson offered no resistance to the Talhoffer’s point, so whatever got through the maille penetrated the flesh underneath.

Unfortunately I do not have photos as I conducted this particular test at a later time for my own enjoyment and did not capture it on camera. I had not planned to include it in the write-up but later decided that it should not be left out.

Cutting test with the Poleaxe: The poleaxe failed to fully penetrate the maille, although believe me when I say whoever was under that maille would have been thoroughly dead. The poleaxe is a devastating weapon.

Each strike with the poleaxe resulted in at least 3 broken links, sometimes quite a bit more.



When the poleaxe breaks a link, it breaks it where it meets it, unlike the bow.



Thrusting test with poleaxe: the poleaxe’s top spike devastated the maille. It easily broke through and penetrated the gambeson underneath, burying itself in the 4x4 post at the heart of the pell.


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Last edited by Michael Edelson on Fri 14 Sep, 2007 8:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



The inside of the gambeson after the poleaxe spike penetration:



Conclusion: Good maille is very effective against arrows and is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to cut with a sword. However, it is no match for heavy polearms such as the poleaxe, and swords with very acute points can at the very least draw blood without much effort. A good thrust from such a sword can kill.

Part 2 - Swords and a Dagger vs. a 10, 20 and 30 layer Jack

Both cutting and thrusting tests were performed. Cutting tests were done by hanging the jack over the pell while the pell was suspended from chain, resulting in the sort of give that would be encountered when cutting a living, moving opponent.



Thrusting tests were performed with the pell dismounted and leaned against a wall. A hanging pell has too much give to simulate 200lbs of man and gear.



The swords used for the test were, top to bottom:

Angus Trim 1508
Albion Regent, old style point
Nihonto, traditionally forged, signed Chounsai Emura Saku
Albion Talhoffer
Albion Earl
Windlass Brass-hilted Rondel Dagger
Albion Brescia Spadona



Not all swords were used in every category of test, though all swords were used in the thrusting tests.

As the shape and configuration of the point is extremely important for penetrating a jack, here is a close-up of each weapon’s point:



1 - Regent, 2 - Brescia Spadona, 3 - rondel dagger, 4 - Earl, 5 - Katana, 6 - Atrim 1508, 7 - Talhoffer.

The tests will be described in what may appear to be an illogical sequence, as the actual tests were mixed so that there would be no consistent pattern to cloud the results (holes from thrusting weaken material for cutting, etc.).

The padded jack samples were supplied by Matuls and consisted of two sections of jack, one a 10 layer section and the other a 20 layer section. The 30 layer tests were conducted by putting one on top of the other.






Cutting Test Against 10x Jack

Atrim 1508: Penetrated all 10 layers with a small gash.




Katana: cut right through… a massive gash.


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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



Brescia Spadona: a very good sized gash. This sword is second best cutter of the bunch.



The victim after the first round of cuts. Top gash is from Brescia Spadona, middle from the katana and bottom from the Atrim.




Thrusting Test Against 10x Jack

Rondel Dagger: this dagger is extremely thick and stiff and is geared more for harder targets such as maille. As it lacks sharp edges on it’s point, it did not do so well against the jack. It penetrated, but not very far.



Katana: thrust right through as though the jack wasn’t even there. Although the katana does not have an acute point, that does not matter when cutting a jack. As you can see from how poorly the rondel dagger did, what counts against a jack is how sharp the edges of the point are, not just how acute it is.



Atrim 1508, half-sword grip: easily penetrated the jack and stuck in the wooden core of the pell. Again, although the point is not acute, it is sharp, and therefore can cut through the jack. This particular result was surprising to me, as I had almost decided not to test the Atrim due to its spatulate point.





Brescia Spadona, half-sword grip: easily penetrated the jack. Although it looks as though it did not penetrate as far as the Atrim, that is only because the point of the Spadona is a lot more acute. It too stuck in the wood at the pell’s core and the penetration was achieved with less effort.




Thrusting Test Against 20x Jack

The victim, ready for thrusting:



Atrim 1508, half-sword grip: same as 10 layer jack. Total penetration.


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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brescia Spadona, half-sword grip: same as 10 layer jack. Total penetration.

Earl, normal grip: total penetration. Although even this stiff sword flexed a lot during the thrust, it was stiff enough to penetrate completely without a half-sword grip.



Thrusting Test Against 30x Jack

All of the swords were penetrating the jack, so it was time for the big boy. The 30 layer beast.



It’s one thick monster!



Atrim 1508, half-sword grip: failed to penetrate. Came very close, but not completely through.



Brescia Spadona, half-sword grip: easily penetrates, stick in the wood. I was amazed with how easily this sword defeated a 30 layer jack.



Albion Earl, half-sword grip: penetrates, not quite as easily.



Rondel dagger: penetrates, but only slightly, just as with the 10 layer jack. The dagger’s super acute tip pierced the jack, but as its edge is dull, it fails to cut it open and get any farther in than its tip allows.



These last three swords (except the katana against the 10 layer jack) were not tested against the lighter layers because I was certain they would penetrate. The two Albions have very sharp and acute points, and after how easily the katana dealt with piercing the 10 layer jack it too became a favorite. None of these swords disappointed.

Albion Regent, half-sword grip: easily penetrates.

Albion Talhoffer, half-sword grip: easily penetrates.

Katana, normal grip: penetrates, though not as easily. I’m not sure if it’s the point or the grip that made it harder. I would guess the grip.



Cutting Test Against 30x Jack

It’s time to cut the beast!



I decided to start with the 30 layer jack before the katana reduced the 20 layer piece to ribbons. We started with the Atrim.

Atrim 1508: failed to cut through. In fact it only cut through the first two layers.



Brescia Spadona: failed to cut through the 30 layer jack, but it cut about half way through.

Albion Earl: failed to cut, cut a couple more layers than the Atrim. The weight and stiffness of the blade really come into play here.

Katana: the 30 layer jack party is over. The katana cut completely through the jack, leaving a horrendous gash. It is easy to understand why medieval soldiers liked the falchion (another dedicated cutting sword) so much...I believe the results would be similar.


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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2007 11:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cutting Test Against 20x Jack

Atrim 1508: failed to cut all the way through, but cut more than half the layers.



Albion Earl: cut about as far as the Atrim, but left a longer gash.



Brescia Spadona: cut all the way through the 20 layer jack! Although I could only put one finger through the hole, I was very surprised that I was able to breach a 20 layer linen jack with a longsword.




Bow Against 10x Jack

I did not test the bow vs. the thicker jacks, because the 10 layer jack stopped the 70lb compound bow at 20 feet 3 out of 3 times. I believe that a sharp arrow such as a medieval broadhead (which would have no chance of defeating maille) would be able to penetrate a jack, but the arrows I had just bounced off.

The first few layers were penetrated, then the arrow bounced off:



Conclusion: a jack, worn by itself, is easily defeated by thrusting weapons, even those seemingly not optimized for the thrust. Acutely pointed longsword gripped in the half-sword position make short work of even 30 layer jacks. The ease with which the Talhoffer, Regent and Brescia Spadona penetrated the 30 layer jack makes me believe they would have no problem with a thicker jack or one made from thicker layers.

A jack, particularly one more than 10 layers thick is a very good defense against swords not optimized for the cut, but a cutting sword like a katana (and perhaps a falchion or messer) makes short work of them. The katana absolutely devastated the jack, and the Brescia Spadona, a civilian dueling longsword, was able to defeat a 20 layer jack. Very surprising indeed.

Where the jack rally shines is against arrows. Even a 10 layer jack stopped my arrows cold, and I believe medieval bodkins wouldn’t fare any better. These tests have gone a long way towards convincing me that the jack was used primarily as a defense against arrows.

When considering the effect of various swords on the jack, it is important to understand that the person wielding the sword has to be experienced. Some member of NYHFA with limited cutting experience also attempted to cut the jack, but they did not succeed. It’s not easy to penetrate a jack, not even with a good sword.

Based on the tests, I formed some impressions of the swords I used, and in closing, I’d like to share them with you:

Albion Talhoffer: perhaps the most versatile sword of the group, it cuts well against unarmored targets and has a deadly point that can pierce the thickest jack and given a sufficiently strong thrust, some very good maille.

Albion Earl/Regent: a powerful war sword that is tough enough for almost anything with an acute point that makes short work of textile armor.

Albion Brescia Spadona: the best cutter of any longsword I have ever used with a wicked point that can defeat any jack. It’s only weakness is derived from it’s strength as a cutter…it’s flexibility. However, used with a half-sword grip, that weakness disappears. I wouldn’t use it against maille, but then it was never intended for that.

My katana: what a weapon! Although I wouldn’t want to be caught in a duel with someone wielding a longsword (the thing is too short!), it feels like it can cut through anything and is a much better thruster than I thought.

Atrim 1508: an excellent and versatile all around sword. Not quite the cutter some of the Albions are against historically correct media, it handles as well as the Brescia and can take a lot of abuse without suffering edge damage.

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fantastic tests, Michael! I really enjoyed reading the results.
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 12:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Cutting Test Against 20x Jack
Where the jack rally shines is against arrows. Even a 10 layer jack stopped my arrows cold, and I believe medieval bodkins wouldn’t fare any better. These tests have gone a long way towards convincing me that the jack was used primarily as a defense against arrows.


This is, to me, the most interesting result, as it clarifies a small bit of info that i've always been curious about:

I can't recall a specific reference, but I recall mention that men-at-arms often wore their textile armor *over* their mail. This seemed counter-intuitive to me at the time (since i assumed the textile's purpose was to provide a cushion of sorts), though i trusted that there must have been a very good reason for this...it seems clear now that the true primary purpose of the textile was to ward off arrow fire, protecting both the wearer and the links of mail underneath!
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 1:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting tests!

The comparison jack vs. arrow / jack vs. swords made me think of what I heard about modern bullet-proof vests, that can be efficient against bullets but not so much against knives and such. Maybe for the same kind of reasons?

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 1:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice test Michael !
And thank's for putting so may hours of work in this.

I have one of matuls 30 layers jacks, and on evening after some beer, me and a friend decided to try how it would stand up against trust from my German bastard from Manning Imperial



It vent straight trough the 30 layers.
Then I put on a cheap butted maile and my Visby coat of plates on the mannequin
The tip of the sword slipped between two plates in the Visby, then it penetrated the maile and the jack and went about 2 inches deep in the mannequin.

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your discoveries and thoughts, Michael. Big Grin I found this test very interesting and fruitful. Happy
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very much appreciated and it does give some idea of the relative effectiveness of the different weapons and the effects of pointedness and/or sharpness.

Very interesting that spatulate points, when sharp, are very effective in the thrust against fabric armour.
( More than expected! )

With the poleaxe I guess you where cutting with the axe side and you do mention that even with little cutting of the maille being evident the " target " wouldn't likely be still standing or breathing.

Since the cutting value against maille was marginal the " effect " on target would have been mostly blunt trauma?
I would guess that using the hammer side would be best in most cases and the axe edge would be useful against unprotected or almost unprotected targets? And the previously discussed on other Topic threads that the axe on the poleaxe is very useful in hooking/parrying and usually wasn't very sharp.

So in thrust is the effectiveness of the spike mostly a question of speed or is there enough weight in the poleaxe/ wielder combination that even a slow " push like " thrust would be effective?

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 5:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What a great test. I found the variety of both weapons and targets to correct a lot of assumtions I might have made about the effectiveness of various weapons. Now we just need to come up with a decent crossbow to test! Happy
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,

Thanks for the kind words. It makes all the long hours worth it. Happy

One thing to keep in mind. Although both the maille and the jack were defeated by some of these weapons, they are nevertheless extremely effective protection. Being propped up and trussed up they were in essense set up to fail, yet still performed admirably. I would be quite confident going to a medieval battle in these defenses.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Since the cutting value against maille was marginal the " effect " on target would have been mostly blunt trauma?
I would guess that using the hammer side would be best in most cases and the axe edge would be useful against unprotected or almost unprotected targets? And the previously discussed on other Topic threads that the axe on the poleaxe is very useful in hooking/parrying and usually wasn't very sharp.


Actually the axe side is the devastating part, in my opinion. It can focus the poleaxe's massive power into a very small area, breaking bone and doing all sorts of nasty things to the flesh underneath. I'm sure the hammer part is no slouch, but I didn't test it so I don't know.

Quote:
So in thrust is the effectiveness of the spike mostly a question of speed or is there enough weight in the poleaxe/ wielder combination that even a slow " push like " thrust would be effective?


Maybe not "slow", but there is definitely enough weight that even a mediocre thrust will achieve penetration. The poleaxes is a beast!

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Since the cutting value against maille was marginal the " effect " on target would have been mostly blunt trauma?
I would guess that using the hammer side would be best in most cases and the axe edge would be useful against unprotected or almost unprotected targets? And the previously discussed on other Topic threads that the axe on the poleaxe is very useful in hooking/parrying and usually wasn't very sharp.


Actually the axe side is the devastating part, in my opinion. It can focus the poleaxe's massive power into a very small area, breaking bone and doing all sorts of nasty things to the flesh underneath. I'm sure the hammer part is no slouch, but I didn't test it so I don't know.


Ha, very interesting as I was mostly repeating previously read opinion about the usefulness of the axe edge and your comment actually matches more my original belief ( untested ) that with the axe edge all the energy is concentrated on a narrow line and that this edge would take advantage of the weight of the hammer on the other side i.e. the whole weight of the poleaxe head.

One reason to not use the axe edge might be to keep it as sharp as possible for more vulnerable targets ? But this might be a non issue because in a battle one would use one side or the other as opportunity and time permitted i.e. taking the time to change from an axe blow or a hammer blow might be a luxury one could little afford. ( Duels might be different and full plate armour might favour more use of the hammer than the axe for blows ).

Thanks for the insights based on practical tests: I just hold on to my poleaxe and wave it around a bit. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Talking about crossbows - at an event in Sweden we've shot a crossbow at a hardened breastplate by Albert from http://www.viaarmorari.com/
The bolts (both a 'modern' and a heavy 'medieval' one) broke in bouncing off the surface. As the piece wasn't polished to a mirror finish, but had some file marks visible it is very hard to see if there was even a scratch left. The bot was about 150 pounds draw, I thing, by the feel of it, maybe a bit more. No tests on soft armours, though.
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael, you the man! These are probably the most interesting test results I have yet to see, and not as surprising as you may think.

The longsword is essentially a thrusting weapon with dual duty as a cutter, so the way it pierces everything isn't all that surprising. As for cutting, well I think that a jack would be fairly decent at stopping cuts of the longsword type, especially on a living, moving target who flinches at the cut. At any rate, these are really interesting - thanks for sharing, although my heart cries out in pain for the gambeson... Happy

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 9:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael,
Very interesting results. Thanks so much for doing this and posting about it. I'm assuming you were the only person using the weapons during this test. I seem to remember you posting at one point that you have a greater level of comfort and/or experience cutting with Japanese-style swords and I wonder if that had any effect on the outcome. Regardless, I still think you conducted an outstanding set of tests. One way to refine the cutting tests would be to have a few people (preferably with diverse martial backgrounds but with lots of cutting experience) repeat what you did and see if where averages fall when multiple users make the cuts.

Please don't think I'm criticizing your efforts or abilities. Far from it; I really think you did a great job. I just know that I cut better with some swords than others. If I did a similar test, I'd know my own abilities (or lack thereof sometimes) would make the user a sizeable variable from weapon to weapon. Happy However, if you feel you're equally proficient with all the weapons you tested, that factor would be nullified.

Also, did any of the solid rings in the mail fail significantly? It looks like the ones that failed were rivetted and failed at the rivet like you noted.

Happy

ChadA

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Christopher B





Joined: 04 Sep 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael,
I've read your tests over at the international sword forums (from last year) and was wondering when you were going to be able to collect "authentic" equipment to test.

I am very impressed with your enthusiasm and your attention to detail. In addtion, your tests seem to be fairly unprejudiced, which is extremely rare to see. Very nice work and I greatly appreciate you publishing the results for all of us to see.

To further the discussion, it appears that, unsurprisingly, thrusting blade weapons would be ideal for defeating mail. While this does explain the spear's popularity during the time periods when mail predominated, it still leaves the question of why most swords during these time periods were optimized for the cut. I know absolutely nothing about the necessary requirments to make a thrusting sword, but is it possible that either a lack of knowledge or the available materials to produce decent thrusting swords simply didn't exist?

I have heard that thrusting swords like the Type XV need to be incredibly sturdy, while I have also read that earlier swords actually were quite soft (relatively speaking), and could bend signifigantly during combat. Is it possible that thrusting swords didn't exist (or were very rare) in the early Medieval periods simply because they didn't have the ability to produce the quality of iron (or was it steel) that was necessary to construct a decent thrusting sword?

Even if this were true, it doesn't exactly explain why the sword remained the primary weapon of the soldier until plate armor began to appear. Why use a sword when a spear would be more efficient at taking out your opponents?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is a fascinating subject for me and your tests sparked my curiosity on the subject.
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2007 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason,

Keep in mind that the cuts were performed against a swinging pell...it had quite a bit of give, much more than would 200+ lbs of man and steel.

Chad,

Actually, this was the first time I have cut with a Japanese sword in more than a year, and prior to that in the last three years I've only cut a few times with them. I am far more comfortable cutting with longswords...in fact the katana felt awkward. I used to cut with Japanese swords exclusively, but that was years ago, and that experience has translated directly to longswords.

What I said previously is that Japanese swords cut better than longswords do. There's really no way around this. I much prefer longswords, but the katana is a cutting beast and there's no denying it.

Also, I was not the only one performing the cutting tests. I had students present at the tests that tried to cut as well, though no one else could penetrate the jack with a cut. They were all able to achieve the same result with thrusts, however.

Chritopher,

I can only answer that question for myself...but it would be because the sword is the most versatile of all weapons. Plus it's always by your side, ready when you need it.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
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