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Old 02-10-2015, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Something about midway between the knight and heavier style, perhaps

I've had knives with those half-tangs come apart on me, but never one with a full tang even if it was a cheap knife. Guess which I prefer.

While back I picked up someone's cheap sword (stainless blade) and just about stole it on the spot -- exactly the right balance for my tired old hands even tho it was a weird hybrid design, hand-and-a-half hilt with only a 28" blade.
I never did like a 1/2 tang, all my knives are full tang. The survival knives have a full formed handle so solid steel, just wrapped with paracord or leather. Really makes for a solid dependable knife.

I know what you're talking about, and my new edition design is based on the Force knife which was a design developed by the commanding officer of the First Special Forces unit that trained here in Helena.


Note the heavy spine of the knife running the lenght of the blade to increase the stiffness and strength of the blade.

The hand and a half hilt with heavy pommel is to balance your sword and make it so the weight is back in your hand, not forward. Better for fencing and quick movements.
Broadswords and Viking style straight swords used the same feature. Usually associated with stabbing swords.

Weight forward swords were designed for slashing so they had a heavy belly such as the Jiang sword of China, the Katana of Japan or the Scimitar from Arabia. Even the Sickle Sword used by the Egyptians. Slashing swords are mostly used where there is light or no armor, or in many cases, leather armor or laquered bamboo so they needed the crushing weight to penetrate and cut.

US calvary sabres used to have a strip of lead on the back of the sword to increase the speed of downward cuts as they were used off of horseback against infantry.

Personally, if I had to go into combat carrying just a hand weapon, the bearded ax would be my choice as it is really versitile and can smash through sheilds or armor, and in the hands of an expert, are very lethal on the battlefield which is one of the reasons the Vikings used them a lot.


The long spike could be used to trip an opponent or go over the shoulder and be pulled back into the neck of the enemy under their helmet. Usually they only weighed about 2-3 lbs, on a 32 inch handle so they had a lot of speed and the haft or handle could be used like a staff for blocking blows and jabbing.

Quite a history with this stuff
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,884 posts, read 5,767,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movintime View Post
Are most you from n. east or n. west Montana? It seems w/ such wide lateral miles it is a diff world east to west. Correct if wrong, but east is akin to ND while west is like Idaho & PNW, if I'm right. I ask, as we're trying to ascertain where'd be a good move for folks from here but unsure yet vs east-west. Anyone summate it best? Thx.
Montana is a huge state with multiple climates and terrains. Even within a specific area there can be microclimes that differ from the surrounding area, even in a small section within a few miles.

I live in West-Central Montana, just East of the continental divide. As you travel along the Rocky Mountain Front from north to south, the terrain and climate vary widely.

Yes, West of the divide has more moisture, East of the divide usually has more wind, but those are generalities not specifics.

You need to give more information about what you're looking for if you want someone to give you specific information. Have you ever visited the State?

If not, it may be a good idea as the state has a totally diverse geography from rain forest to high desert and everything in between.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,365,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
-snip -

How about 67 degree days in Billings... in January?
Should prove to be an interesting weather day for my area. Its currently 40F. Forecast says high of 52F. Then it says "Snow likely".
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,573,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
The hand and a half hilt with heavy pommel is to balance your sword and make it so the weight is back in your hand, not forward. Better for fencing and quick movements. Broadswords and Viking style straight swords used the same feature. Usually associated with stabbing swords.
Actually Viking swords generally were one-handed without much guard or pommel. The reason I liked that oddball is that I have no hand or wrist strength anymore so I need the balance back further than normal, within an inch or two of the crossguard. 'Course that makes it into purely a thrusting weapon, and the thing wouldn't have much reach, but so be it, since it'd be purely decorative.

And 'broadsword' is a modern term from when the Victorians compulsively catalogued everything. So are practically all the nitpicky terms for different types. Back in the day, they were all just 'sword'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Weight forward swords were designed for slashing so they had a heavy belly such as the Jiang sword of China, the Katana of Japan or the Scimitar from Arabia. Even the Sickle Sword used by the Egyptians. Slashing swords are mostly used where there is light or no armor, or in many cases, leather armor or laquered bamboo so they needed the crushing weight to penetrate and cut.
Yeah, it's broadly true that cutting means unarmored opponents, while thrusting is how you get through armor, or to be accurate, the joints and gaps, not the armor itself. (Cutting and even stabbing won't do much against plate.) But they don't all have a 'heavy belly' by any means, and even then the point of balance is rarely as much as 7 inches down the blade. Didja know that a lot of Asian swords had German or English blades on 'em?? Cuz they were better blades.

Katana is interesting structurally -- soft iron body, hard welded steel edge -- because good quality iron was hard to come by in Japan, so they made do (and katanas were mostly used against unarmored and generally unarmed peasants). But katana vs European sword edge to edge equals badly bent katana, possibly with the weld popped as well. (I can't find the video offhand, but someone did that test with traditionally-forged weapons -- totally wrecked the katana, while the longsword barely got nicked. Well, you could straighten it and reforge the edge, but if this were a battle, the katana was instantly out of it.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
US calvary sabres used to have a strip of lead on the back of the sword to increase the speed of downward cuts as they were used off of horseback against infantry.
You got a cite for that? Cuz I've never seen or heard anything about that. And cavalry swords run right around 3 pounds as it is, which is on the heavy end for an everyday sword. They'd behave more like an axe (slow on the recovery) with all that extra blade weight. And cutting has far more to do with small surface area at the point of contact and push/draw action than it does with mass (otherwise we could all use 2x4s). But cavalry swords did tend to be about 3 inches longer than infantry swords, cuz you need more reach when you're on horseback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Personally, if I had to go into combat carrying just a hand weapon, the bearded ax would be my choice as it is really versitile and can smash through sheilds or armor, and in the hands of an expert, are very lethal on the battlefield which is one of the reasons the Vikings used them a lot.
The best battlefield weapon, generally speaking, was the spear -- largely cuz it gives you reach, and doesn't require so much skill. The sword was actually a backup weapon. Axe is not really useful except in close combat, and then the moment someone grapples, well, you've got nothing to stab 'em with. Which is why generic swords were a lot more popular than axes. And an average sword has 6" more reach, if not more. (And remember the Vikings were largely fighting unarmed men, so anything with a point or edge would do.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
The long spike could be used to trip an opponent or go over the shoulder and be pulled back into the neck of the enemy under their helmet. Usually they only weighed about 2-3 lbs, on a 32 inch handle so they had a lot of speed and the haft or handle could be used like a staff for blocking blows and jabbing.
Except the other guy was doing the same, and probably had a sword or better yet a spear and could considerably outreach you. Axes are actually pretty slow compared to swords -- it may go WHOOSH on the way out but it takes longer to recover cuz the point of balance is at the head. Meanwhile, while you're off-balance the other guy stabs you.

Fact is spears and swords were the general-purpose weapons of war, and everything else was geared toward a specific task, like knocking someone off a horse, or stunning 'em til you could stick a blade in. Frex, the reason a mace has points isn't to penetrate armor (it won't), but rather so it hangs up on the armor long enough to let you jerk the guy off his horse.

Plate armor (and a good set only weighed about 30 pounds) has been tested against all sorts of contemporary weapons, and stood up to almost everything. Even bodkin arrows didn't do well at anything further than spitting range. (And remember they wore padding and usually mail underneath.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Quite a history with this stuff
One of the best educational channels is ScholaGladiatoria. He both studies and teaches HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and is pretty anal about getting his facts straight, taking from the historical sources, and not letting his opinions get in the way. IIRC he has an archeology degree.

Last edited by Reziac; 02-10-2015 at 12:49 PM.. Reason: Use any damn word, why don't I!
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,884 posts, read 5,767,013 times
Reputation: 8262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Actually Viking swords generally were one-handed without much guard or pommel. The reason I liked that oddball is that I have no hand or wrist strength anymore so I need the balance back further than normal, within an inch or two of the crossguard. 'Course that makes it into purely a thrusting weapon, and the thing wouldn't have much reach, but so be it, since it'd be purely decorative.

And 'broadsword' is a modern term from when the Victorians compulsively catalogued everything. So are practically all the nitpicky terms for different types. Back in the day, they were all just 'sword'.



Yeah, it's broadly true that cutting means unarmored opponents, while thrusting is how you get through armor, or to be accurate, the joints and gaps, not the armor itself. (Cutting and even stabbing won't do much against plate.) But they don't all have a 'heavy belly' by any means, and even then the point of balance is rarely as much as 7 inches down the blade. Didja know that a lot of Asian swords had German or English blades on 'em?? Cuz they were better blades.

Once trade was established, yes. Some sources reference that the crucible smelting process originated in Asia, but for the vast amount of the armies in medival times, lacquered bamboo and cloth armor were cheaper and much more widely used. England was one of the first european countries to establish trade with China, so it isn't surprising that they would supply a lot of blades to the market.

Katana is interesting structurally -- soft iron body, hard welded steel edge -- because good quality iron was hard to come by in Japan, so they made do (and katanas were mostly used against unarmored and generally unarmed peasants). But katana vs European sword edge to edge equals badly bent katana, possibly with the weld popped as well. (I can't find the video offhand, but someone did that test with traditionally-forged weapons -- totally wrecked the katana, while the longsword barely got nicked. Well, you could straighten it and reforge the edge, but if this were a battle, the katana was instantly out of it.)

Japan has very little in the way of iron deposits, so they used a lot of black sand smelted into ingots, then they would test the iron chunks for texture and strength. They would sandwich hard and soft layers and fold them over and over until some of the swords contained over 1000 layers of alternating soft and hard steel so they could have both rigidity and flexibilty.
They are very different swords from the medival swords of europe.


You got a cite for that? Cuz I've never seen or heard anything about that. And cavalry swords run right around 3 pounds as it is, which is on the heavy end for an everyday sword. They'd behave more like an axe (slow on the recovery) with all that extra blade weight. And cutting has far more to do with small surface area at the point of contact and push/draw action than it does with mass (otherwise we could all use 2x4s). But cavalry swords did tend to be about 3 inches longer than infantry swords, cuz you need more reach when you're on horseback.

Aside from the "Ol Wrist Breaker" heavy cavalry sabre used from 1840 - the Indian Wars, the closest I found was the British Saber.
Trooper's pattern[edit]

Technically the 1796 heavy cavalry sword was a backsword, that is a sword with a straight blade with one cutting edge and the opposite edge of the blade (the "back") thickened for most of its length to give added strength. The blade was 35 inches (890 mm) in length, with a single broad fuller each side.

While not lead, the added length and thicker spine did make it a very heavy weapon in the downward swing. I guess I read that a long time ago somewhere but somehow changed the heavy spine to lead for added weight. Sorry.

The best battlefield weapon, generally speaking, was the spear -- largely cuz it gives you reach, and doesn't require so much skill. The sword was actually a backup weapon. Axe is not really useful except in close combat, and then the moment someone grapples, well, you've got nothing to stab 'em with. Which is why generic swords were a lot more popular than axes. And an average sword has 6" more reach, if not more. (And remember the Vikings were largely fighting unarmed men, so anything with a point or edge would do.)

Agree, as it not only allowed untrained men to be dangerous, it also kept your opponent at a distance. Combining weapons to get the best of 2 worlds is where we ended up with the haliberd, ax/spear/spike.


Except the other guy was doing the same, and probably had a sword or better yet a spear and could considerably outreach you. Axes are actually pretty slow compared to swords -- it may go WHOOSH on the way out but it takes longer to recover cuz the point of balance is at the head. Meanwhile, while you're off-balance the other guy stabs you.

You are thinking of the heavy battle axes used by the medival knights. The Bearded ax was a very fast and nimble weapon. Double bitted axes came about because then you could still hit on the backswing, but any weapon is only as good as the guy using it.

Fact is spears and swords were the general-purpose weapons of war, and everything else was geared toward a specific task, like knocking someone off a horse, or stunning 'em til you could stick a blade in. Frex, the reason a mace has points isn't to penetrate armor (it won't), but rather so it hangs up on the armor long enough to let you jerk the guy off his horse.

Also, crushing weapons like the Mace, Morning Star and studded club could hit plate armor and still inflict blunt force trauma, hence the heavy padding under the armor.

Plate armor (and a good set only weighed about 30 pounds) has been tested against all sorts of contemporary weapons, and stood up to almost everything. Even bodkin arrows didn't do well at anything further than spitting range. (And remember they wore padding and usually mail underneath.)

Full plate armor was very expensive and fitted to the individual, so it was usually reserved for nobility as they were the only ones that could afford it. Most of the foot soldiers were lucky to have ring mail, leather, and in some cases, a helmet or breast plate, but not full armor.
Heavy arrows weren't really intended to kill armored knights, but instead to kill or wound their horses. See the battle of Agincourt as an example. The armored knights once unhorsed, couldn't manuver in the mud and were slaughtered.


One of the best educational channels is ScholaGladiatoria. He both studies and teaches HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and is pretty anal about getting his facts straight, taking from the historical sources, and not letting his opinions get in the way. IIRC he has an archeology degree.
The Viking period lasted for over 200 years, so the weapons evolved. Many of the swords in the early years didn't have a crossguard being modeled on the Roman Gladius. The people the Vikings desended from, the Herat, served in the pretorian guards in Rome, so that was the design they were familiar with. However, once they started taking on Charlemange and other European rulers, they adapted the good parts of their weapons into their own so by the 10th century AD, Viking swords looked like most other European swords.


One of the best reference shows I've seen on Viking swords is from Nova.NOVA | Secrets of the Viking Sword

Well worth watching.

Funny thing about the Vikings, they were always willing to adopt the ideas of the people they fought to make what they used better than what they had.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,573,027 times
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Well, it's not quite a Viking sword if they stole it from the Normans, is it? And weapons were evolving everywhere, not only for need but also thanks to better forging methods.

And on another note of warfare ... what in the HELL is with this kudzu growing around here?? Kills everything it climbs on, and it'll climb 30 feet, no problem. I've been yanking it out of every tree and bush. (In fact I discovered a medium-size lilac struggling to breathe under one pile of this stuff, couldn't even SEE it til I jerked off a few layers of vines.) Neighbor called it "cucumber vine". Well, it ain't welcome here by any name. Wheres the Roundup??!

Anyone know what these little trees are that look like a chokecherry, but the fruit is smaller and has two seeds in it, and they come up from a rhisome. Got a few surplus o' them too.

And we have some willow-like bush with bright red stems that I haven't seen before, whuzzat?? We didn't grow any o' these over in Belgrade!!
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Well, it's not quite a Viking sword if they stole it from the Normans, is it? And weapons were evolving everywhere, not only for need but also thanks to better forging methods.

LOL!! The Normans were Vikings, They were the Northmen, later shortened to Normans.
The Normans - Who were the Normans? | HistoryOnTheNet

Ivar the Boneless was also the guy who founded Dublin.
Ivar Ragnarsson, King of Dublin (c.775 - 872) - Genealogy

Ivar is kind of, sort of the hero of the Viking series on TV. The Vikings went everywhere they could get their longboats. For instance, those that settled along the Volga became known locally as the Russ, the local word for foreigners. Later they became Russians.

Warfare has always led to innovations, from better clubs to flint knapping to casting bronze, working iron all the way up to nuclear weapons. Most major innovations in medicine have also happened during wars as have many other advances including airplanes up to jet propulsion and on to rocket science. Wars and the desire to win has usually sped up the process of developing a better whatever to defeat the enemy.

Not sure about your kudzu problem, but your red bushes could be Red Willows.

Last edited by ElkHunter; 02-11-2015 at 09:03 PM.. Reason: fixed quote mark
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,573,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
LOL!! The Normans were Vikings, They were the Northmen, later shortened to Normans.
Yeah, the long way around... kinda like the Celts, they're everywhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Not sure about your kudzu problem, but your red bushes could be Red Willows.
Ah, that looks like it. Anything good or bad about 'em??
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,823 posts, read 15,440,126 times
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Driving into Helena around 11:00 I noticed a fishing party on the ice on Lake Helena. That is some rotten, rotten ice out there.

I'm really surprised people were still venturing out. Eeek.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,884 posts, read 5,767,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Ah, that looks like it. Anything good or bad about 'em??
The Indians used to smoke it....
Kinnikinnick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most varieties of willow have some salicin which is similar to acetylsalicylic acid, (asprin). You can boil the bark into a tea for some of the same benefits as asprin.

You can make wicker baskets or chairs or whatever out of it.

Willow is actually a pretty useful plant, but the medicinal benefits and other characteristics vary by species.

Health Benefits of Willow Bark

Mostly, red willow is just "purdy"
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