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13th Century Riding Sword
This sword is made to be used exclusively as a single-handed weapon and is awkward when attempting to use with two as the pommel is not particularly helpful in this regard. When holding this sword for the first time I was struck by the sheer mass and authority of this "beast". With the point of balance 8 inches from the guard this is not an agile sword for quick directional changes or sudden stops and the blade presence definitely encourages follow-through. It certainly telegraphs its intent—to cut—with authority and malice. Holding the sword statically, one can appreciate the heft of the blade, but put the sword in motion, and it shines.
The sword tracks well through the cut, though this is certainly aided by the blade presence. I intentionally attempted to twist the blade during the swing, but found it difficult and tiring to do, as in this manner the sword is particularly unforgiving. It is certainly easier on the wielder to maintain the sword in the plane of the edge when swinging than not. Looping the index finger over the cross aids somewhat in point control, though I find that it slightly detracts from the authority of the cut. I found the "hammer grip" to be more effective for devastating cuts.
Due to the mass of the blade, this is a sword that improves in performance as it gains momentum. I found that I needed to take an extra step or swing in a longer arc to get the sword "up to speed" for the cut. It should be effective in a passing cut, and not as efficient in close quarters as it needs room for effective swings. This sword would be most effective as a cavalry sword as one could use the momentum of the steed to take advantage of the mass of the blade. This is truly the weapon of a mounted 13th century knight, making powerful cuts as he passes on his steed or on foot from behind a great kite shield.
The pommel and cross are investment cast of mild steel with a satin finish and are tightly fitted to the tang. While the pommel and cross have a nice crisp look to them, all of the edges have been slightly rounded to take away all sharp edges. The sword has a well-defined fuller that shows evenness and symmetry along its length. It is an impressive recreation of a sword of so much legend. It is a practical, unforgiving weapon, meant for powerful, calculated blows. It is not a sword for those who desire speed and agility of the later longsword, but it is a quintessential sword for the knight of the Crusading era.
Measurements and Specifications:
Weight: 1.45 kg
Overall length: 98.2 cm
Blade length: 80.4 cm
Blade width: 5 cm (tapering)
Grip length: 11.7 cm
Guard width: 25.4 cm
Point of Balance: 8 inches from guard
Center of Percussion: ~21 1/4 inches from guard