Finally I have a sword. Unfortunately owning a sword does not make me a swordsman, but I continue to study the seminars and the tournaments and, most importantly, the source material. I was thinking of naming it ‘Myl Gesamnian’ in the Old English, or ‘Ryk Fella’ in Old Norse.
Which means ‘dust gatherer’. Then again, I recall Sandor Clegane’s opinion on those who name their swords and I have to agree that practice is for another time or a more worthy swordsman.
I had worked, saved and sold stuff to gather the funds together and to make my order for one blunt longsword with the Peter Regenyei Armoury on the 2nd of July. On the 4th of September the package arrived and I was able to proudly hold aloft my spring steel sword in the hopes that fabulous secret powers would be revealed to me.
They were not.
What I had instead was one blunt longsword with the following specs.
- Length of the blade: 91 cm, thicker and stronger for impact resistance.
- Length of the handle: 28.5 cm
- Weight: 1250 g
- Point of balance: 7 cm from the crossbar
- Curved cross bar.
- Length of the crossbar: 24 cm
- Mushroom shaped pommel, made of simple iron.
- Black spiral leather grip.
The blade and crossbar were made of high quality spring steel (51CRV4) hardened to about 48 HRC. The spring steel is ‘generally a low-alloy, medium-carbon steel or high-carbon steel with a very high yield strength, allowing the blade to return to its original shape despite significant deflection or twisting’. The Rockwell scale is a hardness scale based on indentation hardness of a material and though I couldn’t tell you any relative hardness scale information I understand that a HRC of 48 is about perfect for this kind of tool. The pommel is smooth and well made, without any detraction in the grip. It is easy to hold on to and is free from any kind of burring or mark. The leather grip is warm, comfortable and, so far, as easy to grip as I could need.
The most surprising thing about the sword is the handling. In comparison to the Rawlings waster, which has been my only comparison point, the weight is much more present in the hand. The entire object feels like an extension rather than an item one is holding on to. It feels like the blade can move much faster. I also notice that my body adjusts to the sword as I swing it, whereas with the waster I felt that I was not being encumbered by anything. The steel, on the other hand, has an increase in weight which means you feel it at the shoulder more. The momentum of the swing pulls you along and therefore you have to sit lower, keep the hips tucked in and have a wider stance. I also feel a bit more careful, fully aware that casually striking your self or anyone else will result in a painful event.
Most importantly the entire sword and the experiential nature of holding a steel sword feels like something real. Like a genuine item with its own presence. It is a beautiful thing to behold and with any luck it will not be named ‘Dust Gatherer’ for long.
I should also add that the experience of buying from Regenyei Armoury was both straightforward and quicker than I thought, a high quality item at a competitive rate. Also you know that this sword was made by someone who understands its use. Here is Peter Regenyei competing at the Philippe Errard Memorial XIth International Gathering of Historical European Martial Arts in 2012.