Social Progress

Walmart is now selling swords of a decent quality.


Eric Blair said...

Hmmm...guess it depends on what period you like.

Grim said...

It's Walmart. If you're willing to pay for something a little better, you can have your pick.

Ymar Sakar said...

Walmart's trying to break in on the market share, I see. Not sure if it will go or not, but at least US laws aren't like British laws on this matter of weaponry.

Like villainy.

I said that 2012's re election of Hussein would put the US Civil War II timetable in about 15 years, down from 25-50 years that the Left had been working on for awhile.

Looks like Ebola in the US might have accelerated things. Not even I can see things like that.

Ymar Sakar said...

Grim, what is your preferred melee tool anyways. Viking? Longsword? Dagger lengths?

Grim said...

Longsword, I suppose, although 'dagger length' is also an area in which I've focused a lot of attention.

Ymar Sakar said...

The old melee in off hand, gun in primary hand, style seemed to cover almost all the ranges.

Although it should be paired up with hip shooting and non standard shooting stances.

raven said...

"Favorite melee weapons of the hall."

Having a great lack of skill, I will pitch in and say "Kukri". Fits in OK with wood splitting training.

Ymar Sakar said...

Raven, the funny thing is if you reverse the grip on the katana and put an edge on the back, it is pretty much a sword based kukri.

In the bush, a dual edge sharpened like that would be more useful. In cities, the non lethal (sort of) back end might be more useful as a club and defensive tool. Also lever.

raven said...

Ymar, every member of the Japanese Sword Collectors club just had their hair go white.....
stories are abundant of GI's who brought back 14th century swords and used them for machetes etc.- I saw one matched pair, Wakazashi and Katana that someone was using for fireplace pokers. Ouch.

Ymar Sakar said...

The Japanese Imperial military had to mass produce some swords, using their new steel forges. I heard some of the swords collected in the war, were returned. The heirloom blades were the most valuable ones, passed down from ancient times.

After the Rain, the movie that came out after Seven Samurai, highlights some of the sword customs.

Most of the swords used in the US were bought from Western manufacturers or the Chinese. Modern steel forging has made obsolete most of the ancient techniques, although not the tempering part.

The price point of collector's item katanas is only because Japan has a sword and gun export/import law that restricts or bans certain items. A shinken, for example, is rare enough in Japan now that if I talk about owning one, the Japanese are surprised and find it unusual. In Japan, it cannot be priced to a point where the locals can buy one off the market, although the Yakuza were sometimes known to have naked blades for concealment. The manufacturers, or sword smiths, are considered national treasures and highly regulated, preserved. The heirlooms of various samurai family aren't resold. They are allowed to keep their swords in the home and use it for martial demonstration purposes outside.

The other part of the price point are the fittings and the man hours involved in perfectly shaping scabbards. Hanwei is also experimenting with (previously T10) new alloys of tool steel.

But even the new steel, which is extra valued because it is slightly more complicated to make than pure carbon steel, is priced at little over 1k there. And L6/T10 steel is extraordinarily hard to shape and temper. I heard from one guy that he was using his L6 steel katana to chop through junkyard cars. Think he was in Texas, actually.

China seems to be producing significant loads of steel, and much of it is used domestically. Some of it is being turned into swords by the local manufacturers that export to foreign markets, since swords aren't allowed to be domestically distributed in China. For obvious reasons.

The ancients might have been able to produce this kind of steel in the clay vessels or Japanese fold construction. But it wouldn't be uniform and of only limited quantities. The non uniformity thus required greater levels of skill to deal with, or else it would produce brittle, easily shattered steel, even if it was harder and sharper.

The Indian clay jars had to add in the impurities manually. That seemed to be how the Ulfgar viking sword was made too, although it would only be imitations without the right impurities added in.

Element Weight %
C 0.65-0.75
Mn 0.25-0.80
Si 0.50
Cr 0.60-1.20
Ni 1.25-2.00
Mo 0.50
V 0.20-0.30(a)
Cu 0.25
P 0.03
S 0.03

Manganese, silicon, Chromium, seem to be the most important impurities for sword steel construction.

Ymar Sakar said...

A significant portion of my research data came from the tests done there.

My requirement for a sword was in its weaponized potential, not merely as a tool for everyday activities. The fact that the cheaper it was, the more easily it can be replaced is also an important factor in gear. Things break during training, after all.

E Hines said...

Favorite melee weapons of the hall.

I'm kind of a fan of the 10 weapons with which I was born; although I'm not averse to occupying one of those weapons with a pistol containing a high capacity magazine or a club of my design.

Eric Hines