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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Could this Tinker Falchion Be Effective Against Plate?         Reply with quote

Hello I'm new to the forum and very excited to be here. Over the last couple years I've been a visitor and I would like to thank all of you who post in the forums for your knowledge and information. I would like to know if the Tinker Falchion would be effective against plate armor and or helmets, bevors or gorgets in regards to armor piercing or blunt force trauma transferrence. I've seen numerous explanations on this site as to why swords are not effective against plate when it comes to the cut or hacking attack because of a lack of concentration of force however does the "flange" or "spike" that adorns this sexy piece of steel negate that? On Tinker's website I read that most of the blades mass was efficiently focused on the spike much like it would be on a warhammer or mace flange, does this mean it would have similar effect on plate as an single handed axe or war hammer spike?


Last edited by Chase Bolling on Fri 15 Jun, 2012 4:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No sword is designed to cut armour but the point might be useful. Not against the plate itself but the point is needed to penetrate voiders and gaps.
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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your speedy response Dan dumb question though, which point are you referring to I know that the high polar moment of the blade will make it an efficient thruster but I am wondering if you are talking about the point on the spike.
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Cole B





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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The side point is a little too obtuse of an angle I think, but the top point is quite sharp and would be able to find gaps.

As far as piercing plate, not really. It doesn't have the mass behind it. Possibly a very hard thrust with all your bodyweight behind it could partially pierce the thinnest and weakest section of plate.
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Quinn W.




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The point does look very sharp, but one of the main reasons a warhammer spike is effective against plate is because of the momentum behind it. That's something a falchion doesn't have.
"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But I thought that the entire function of a falchion was to be have a high moment of inertia and more mass at the tip of the blade so that it hit with greater impact than other swords "axe like percussion" which is why it was effective against mail. Also this sword weight 2lbs 14 oz...but if it weighed say 3lbs+ would it have sufficient mass? I would think that this type of sword at least would have success transferring blunt force trauma especially if it was forged to balance like a axe mounted on a blade instead of a haft or a mace with one flange... with just enough counterbalance to recover.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chase Bolling wrote:
But I thought that the entire function of a falchion was to be have a high moment of inertia and more mass at the tip of the blade so that it hit with greater impact than other swords "axe like percussion" which is why it was effective against mail.

It is effective agaisnt mail, but not because it can cut through it. It delivers more blunt trauma than a regular sword but blunt trauma isn't much of an issue with plate armour unless there is a lot of it i.e. mace, poll-axe, maul, etc.
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Ryan S.





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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

would it have momentum enough if the user was mounted? I suppose a substantial quantity of math would be involved?
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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan S. I agree about the math...I also think its a matter of forging and mass distribution of the blade itself. If this blade weighs 2lbss 14oz and if the majority of that is focused on the blade spike then why wouldn't it behave like similarly balanced weapons such as maces and hammers when they were of comparable weight. When Tinker described the weapon he said the majority of the swords weight was focused at the blades spike. I suppose my question should be would a sword shaped like the Tinker Falchion be effective as a blunt trauma anti armor weapon if it was forged to do so, with most of its weight centered on the spike. If the hammer below was made to behave like a sword...why cant a sword be made to behave like a hammer with the blade between the pommel and the spike and point serving as a haft. Keep in mind in a combat situation I would not target the breastplate...but the head and the neck, knees and ect...


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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To have the physics of an axe or hammer, your sword would have to be *shaped* like an axe or hammer, which it isn't. Too much of the metal is in the blade between the hilt and the point--in an axe that would just be a little wood, very little weight. Also, that thrusting point seems a little thin to me to be doing much armor-piercing. It would be like trying to hammer a steak knife through a metal plate, it may just fold up. Better to lean towards the shape of a cold chisel, which is made for that kind of job.

If you want it to hit like an axe, use an axe!

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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan's question is well taken. Mounted combat is another animal. Real 'gothic' horseman's maces are absurdly light, and would not do much more than annoy a plate-armoured man if swung by someone on foot. Put him on a horse, striking as he rides by, the thing hits like a bus! Eek! This falchion might be able to do quite a bit of damage with that edge fluke, if used similarly. I have an old 16 gauge helm I use for that sort of destructive testing, and it would be interesting to give the beast a whirl.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you're misunderstanding what Tinker said. I've found a page where he says "The point in the cutting edge at the widest part of the blade focuses the blades mass very effectively". When you hit with the spike, all the impact forces are applied over a very small spot. These impact forces are generated by a fraction of the mass of the sword, not the whole mass! But because of the spike the effects are more concentrated.

The only way to actually put more mass behind the impact is to move the center of gravity closer to the impact point, which is exactly what maces, hammer and axes do. Of course, if you have more mass at the impact point, you also have more mass to stop if you miss, so you can't have a weapon that hits like a ton of brick and handles like a feather.

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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your input thus far. Vincent you raise interesting case about the center of gravity. Basically if I wanted the sword to have the ability to be effective against a plate armored opponent it would have to be made like a sword shaped mace...with the great majority of the weight focused at the spike on the blade...and the spike would require a more acute angle. Would it be possible for a weapon to be made with these specifications? I understand like Vincent said that it wont handle like a traditional sword would.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you put that much mass behind the spike it will have to add thickness, which will make it more like a hammer head and less like a cutting edge. Also, you would have to make the whole blade thicker so that the big mass at the end does not flex it too much. So basically you would end up with a warhammer: a weighty spike at the end of a rigid squarish handle. At best you'd be able to add some sort of slicing edge over the handle...

Regards,

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chase Bolling wrote:
But I thought that the entire function of a falchion was to be have a high moment of inertia and more mass at the tip of the blade so that it hit with greater impact than other swords "axe like percussion" which is why it was effective against mail.


Generally, no. Where they widen, they are really thin. (Some are pretty thin all the way.) Slicers, not bashers.

It's commonly said that the widening is to "put more mass at the point of impact", for many kinds of swords. Leaf-blades, wide-tipped sabres such as the P1796LC, kilij, etc., various bolos/parangs. Most of these blades get very thin where they widen. The widening is not for more mass - it provides a little more strength, but, I think, mostly allows a very acute edge angle.

One blade I have from the Philippines goes from an edge angle of 22 degrees near the hilt, to about 4 degrees near the wide tip.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Chase Bolling wrote:
But I thought that the entire function of a falchion was to be have a high moment of inertia and more mass at the tip of the blade so that it hit with greater impact than other swords "axe like percussion" which is why it was effective against mail.


Generally, no. Where they widen, they are really thin. (Some are pretty thin all the way.) Slicers, not bashers.



Mostly powerful cutters against soft target unarmoured and/or cloth armour I think. ( Opinion and best guess ).

The hook does concentrate the chopping/cutting action but also think on how the hook would deepen a draw cut starting mid blade when it reached the negative curve of the hook. Eek! Wink

The pointy end of the falchion also transforms what would be a poor thrusting weapon into an excellent one giving you the advantages of both a very wide blade cutter and an acutely pointy thruster.

Depending on total weight and balance these might have enhanced blunt trauma capabilities also against maille compared to a similar weighing sword of a standard two edged type.

But if you want to hit like a mace or chop like an axe, get a mace or an axe. Wink Big Grin

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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
But if you want to hit like a mace or chop like an axe, get a mace or an axe. Wink Big Grin

I thought yesterday that there was another solution: get a sword with spikes on the cross or on the pommel, then when you need a hammer grab it by the blade and bash away Happy Such weapons and techniques (the mortschlag) are illustrated in manuscripts, for example in Codex Wallerstein. It's logical: a sword has the majority of the mass near the hands and a little at the point of impact, a hammer is the opposite, so by turning a sword around you get a hammer, without ruining the handling of the sword.

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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you once again for you input gentleman. I was of the mind that this blade would have been somewhat more effective than other swords of the same weight as far as its capabilities as a bludgeon. Specifically I wondered whether or not it would be effective against helms or bevors and gorgets. I've seen videos of swords denting helmets and armour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avnjDouvuRc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h0e0NSwYNg and thought that with the concentration at flange or spike on the point of percussion would multiply the force imparted by the blow. Have I been mis-educated by these examples in the videos. What would be the capabilities of a weapon like this African Iwoon Sword against an armored opponent?



or



or this one


or this Egyptian Khopesh i think that if the upper part of the blade was shaped like the Tinker Falchion its possible to be quite effective.




These blades appear to have vastly different points of balance than their European counterparts... do any of these look like they would be useful against an armored man. Thoughts anyone?


Last edited by Chase Bolling on Sun 17 Jun, 2012 10:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chase Bolling wrote:
These blades appear to have vastly different points of balance than their European counterparts...Thoughts anyone?

I don't think it's easy to guess the physical properties like that, and I agree with what Timo said earlier: widening is not necessarily about increased mass.

For penetration in armour, aside from mass, you would need an acute tip, not just sharp but staying relatively thin over a significant length, like the spikes on poleaxes or war hammers. With a profile that widens as fast as that on the falchion, you would not penetrate very deeply even if you made a breach, because the blade would have to open a wide gash in the armour to get only a little further. And I do wonder if a thin spike (just like a scythe) is really efficient to strike armour, flexibility could be an issue.

Regards,

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chase Bolling wrote:
Thank you once again for you input gentleman. I was of the mind that this blade would have been somewhat more effective than other swords of the same weight as far as its capabilities as a bludgeon.


That depends on (a) the mass of the sword, (b) the length of the sword and where you strike along the blade, (c) the centre of mass, and (d) the moment of inertia. This particular sword has its CoM at just past 4". I don't see anything about it that would make it more effective as a bludgeon.

Chase Bolling wrote:

I've seen videos of swords denting helmets and armour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avnjDouvuRc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h0e0NSwYNg and thought that with the concentration at flange or spike on the point of percussion would multiply the force imparted by the blow. Have I been mis-educated by these examples in the videos.


Denting armour is not the same as defeating armour. If the armour dents, that's damage to the armour, not the human inside.

That's a really thin breastplate in that first video. The falchion spike should go through it. The question is whether or not it will go far enough through it to have any significant effect on the wearer. Helmets and real breastplates would be thicker; this looks about the thickness of thinner arm and legs armour.

Chase Bolling wrote:

What would be the capabilities of a weapon like this African Iwoon Sword against an armored opponent?


Very, very poor.

Maybe the spikes are good against textile armour, but too thin to be useful against iron/steel armour. These are usually very light swords. Look at the ridge on the top sword, how it reduces towards the tip. This is the blade thinning. The blade is probably quite thin near the hilt already.

Perhaps the hooks and spikes seen of various African swords are good for reaching around shields? This is the most likely functional explanation. Generally these are for use on unarmoured opponents (or regalia, not for use on humans).

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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