OK, so upon reading the reviews at the IMA site, the reviewers state that the blades are tempered, will take an edge and make an acceptable cutter. So, I've talked myself into it (big surprise, eh?) and pulled the trigger on one of these. The reviewer states the cup (and possibly the guard?) are cast aluminum rather than iron, an interesting choice, and I'm eager to see how balance is affected. There seems to be more than a passing resemblance to the Windlass "Pirate's Companion" sword and these were probably special ordered from Windlass. The Pirate's Companion is simply an AN IX/ SDB 1833 with the brass cup from the 1860 USN Cutlass riveted on.
I look forward to hearing how you like this cutlass when you receive it. I recently became interested in cutlasses and have just received the Windlass 1860 US Naval cutlass and the Cold Steel 1917 Cutlass. I tend to like the lighter blades with a more neutral balance and my favourite so far is the 1860. The Cold Steel is beautifully made and better quality than the 1860 but it is heavy and more forward balanced. I looked long and hard at your cutlass. I guess the lack of sheath (the 1860 came with a reasonable sheath and was less than $30 more in cost) and the fact that I could make use of Kult of Athena's sharpening service were instrumental in my final choice of the 1860. IMA's international delivery cost was also relatively high for shipping to Australia. What I would like so far is a 1860 blade with a 1917 hilt but unfortunately that doesn't exist but yours does look interesting.
Hey Downunder, Ya, Cutlasses are pretty interesting. They were all intended for issue to the common sailors, officers having their personal swords at hand (on Navy ships, anyway; civilians used whatever). I've read that Marines would carry them on boarding/raiding parties, muskets being a bit long and difficult to maneuver on board a ship. Besides which, a cutlass is unaffected by the wet, and doesn't take a lot of training. I'm planning on cobbling something together for a sheath; probably not anything too fancy, just a blade cover really. The sheath that Windlass puts on the M1860 is pretty generic, but OK for the price point. I sharpen my own blades; KOA puts a secondary bevel on them. I've got a proper small belt grinder so I can sharpen almost anything. Except Darksword Armory! I figure if I hate it, I can either re-hilt it into something different, or sell it and almost certainly get my money back out of it. Maybe I could dig up a Briquet grip and remake it into a Naval Briquet?
SO my cutlass arrived today, and I must say I find myself well pleased. It arrived packed well and survived the trip from Jersey just fine. The blade arrived covered with a heavy oil and dirt mixture that came off easily with a household degreaser to reveal a blade that shines like a new dime, with only some very, very minor blemishes that may in fact prove to be just old gunk. If not, Mothers mag wheel polish will take it off like it was never there. The pictures will show you the condition, which is superior to many "new" swords I've seen. The grip is solid with no play and fits the hand well. Now, for some observations: You may notice more than a passing resemblance to the "Pirate Cutlass" from Windlass. I am 99.5 percent sure this item is also a Windlass product. The blade is clearly hand forged, and tempered properly as it flexes and returns to true. The measurements at KOA for the Pirate's Cutlass match this one. The blade shows great distal taper, much more so than I expected. For this reason, the POB for the French cutlass is a full inch further back than the PC. Whoever the moron was who claimed the guard is cast aluminum was wrong; good solid steel here, and no mistake (this probably helps the POB too). Dry handling reveals a remarkably nimble blade, especially for a broad chopper like this, but don't get the wrong idea, as it's not a rapier or smallsword. Swords of this type require muscle to control, but this one feels like it's much shorter and lighter than it actually is, always a sign of proper execution of a good design. Speaking of design...this actually turns out to be a darn faithful copy of the "Sabre du Bord AN X", circa 1803 or so. The spine is marked with Klingenthal manufacturing marks, but is not dated. The anchors on the blade are nicely done, although one side is off center, but for all I know they might have been done this way on the original. There are no proof or acceptance stamps either. I'll write a full review later, but it's pretty dang nice, especially for the price point. Here are some quickie pics I shot this evening:
Post by Kilted Cossack on Jul 10, 2013 2:34:23 GMT
Mine arrived today. Everything SPQR said seems to be pretty much dead on. I quite like it. It fits in nicely with my two true French blades---an 1822 Legere (yippee kay-yay!) and a French produced 1871 for Chile export saber. The Klingenthal engraving on the cutlass (hereinafter "SdB" for "Sabre de Bord") is cruder than on the Legere. Glancing over the Windlass Pirate cutlass statistics, it's obvious that this tracks closely but started off from thicker stock. I haven't put the calipers to it yet, but it's definitely more than the 4.5mm KOA lists the cutlass at.
The steel bowl and guard is chunky: you could do some smash and punch with this with no worries. (As a point of contrast, however lovely it is, the guard on my Hanwei Renaissance Side Sword is much more fragile than this.)
This one deserves some touching up in the form of a good cleaning and a sharpening, but it's tight and well put together. I haven't handled the 1860 or pirate cutlasses by Windlass, but I'd bet I like this one better: good distal taper, good steel bowl, an excellent rendition of an early Close Quarters Battle sword.
I've grown to like mine quite a bit. I've been working on putting an edge on it, and the steel is hard, but not too hard a la Darksword armory, who seemingly forge swords from armor plate cut from old tanks. While there's no shortage of meat on this blade, the distal taper really helps. It's hardly a rapier, but it's a good deal better than many other replicas I have handled. Cutlasses tend to be blade heavy, but at least the French effort shows some style-The British figure 8 guard cutlass of the same period has been described as "a sharpened iron bar for hitting Frenchmen with", which is pretty accurate.
christain: Don't feel alone, Scott. I gotta work Sunday while the rest of the family has Easter dinner. That's okay though...I'll just eat double when I get home.
Apr 21, 2019 0:11:34 GMT
ouroboros: Sorry Scott. Hope time off comes soon
Apr 20, 2019 18:33:48 GMT
Scott: I'm working all weekend
Apr 20, 2019 17:39:39 GMT
ouroboros: Easter Greetings to you too!
Apr 20, 2019 14:32:37 GMT
brothersteel: Finishing up "The Robe" as we're prepping for tomorrow. Seeing the one sword fight in the film last night, I laugh inwardly at how much Olympic fencing still reigned in Hollywood in those days. A blessed Easter to all!
Apr 20, 2019 14:23:49 GMT
ouroboros: Highway between us and Ottawa that follows the river is closed today for some flood proofing and sandbag work ... and 6 of 6 seedlings are showing their first set o leaves in the grow space under 600w of led lighting...
Apr 20, 2019 12:34:26 GMT
ouroboros: Got 2 crazies of 11 and 7 years home with me today. Just ended morning tachikaze session and the weathers gearing up for another wet day.
Apr 20, 2019 12:32:51 GMT
redscorpion: yeah, cars. Always spending money on those things. I just had to put spark plugs in my older Jag. $300 just about covers cost of materials (plugs and gaskets) - then it's a 4 hour job to change them out.
Apr 20, 2019 11:02:17 GMT
christain: TGIF, y'all....Anyone have any cool weekend plans ? Perfect weather tomorrow for Ren-Fest here, but after having to drop $300 on car repairs ....maybe next weekend/paycheck. Even had my kit packed up and ready.
Apr 20, 2019 3:09:55 GMT
redscorpion: Ah, I see now. I stand (or rather sit) corrected. Nice seax. Been thinking about picking one up for myself.
Apr 19, 2019 1:16:10 GMT
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