- Freestyle fencing with the historical arsenal
Lancelot's review of Angus Trim 1561 longsword
by Lancelot Chan
Photographic Review, Dry Handling and General Description
1561 was a longsword of European style inspired by the original swords from
15th Century. The sword's size fit me perfectly. The length of the hilt was
3 hand-span for me while the overall length reaches my solar plexus. The
only thing I would like to have is a crossguard as long as the hilt, as
suggested in Guy Windsor's book Swordsman Companion. The seam on the hilt
was fine and the grip fit my hands very well. I did not have to wear gloves
in handling this sword. These were the major reasons I purchased the sword
right away. The sword was quick and light, just like my
spadona. In fact, they handled very
similarly. Where the spadona was heavier
overall with a closer-to-hilt balance, the AT1561 had a lighter overall
weight but a stronger blade presence. It did not take any time for me to
adapt the AT1561, at least that was what I thought until the first test cut
session. The sword followed the point very well in thrusting. It was also
easy to accelerate and stop in cutting motion. Combined with its fine edge
geometry, lightweight and relatively high flexibility, even the narrow blade
did offer option in half-swording, though, one could not argue that this was
a sword designed for unarmored combat.
The stock-edge with this sword had a fine geometry and the edge lines had almost no dull spots below the forte. In fact, the other two swords that I ordered with fine edges had more dull spots than the review sword. It could be that in the process of producing the finer edge geometry, the edge lines were not taken care of to the same degree. Nevertheless, I was impressed by the edges geometry of all the three swords I received. They were now on par with the tinker sword's edges I used to have and without doubt, a significant improvement over the old Angus Trim swords I had handled. The edge lines were undulating but would not affect the functionality. Also, it did not stray away from the utilitarian style.
I also like the blackened hilt components so I would be less worrying about stain and rust.
Soft Targets Test Cutting
two test cutting sessions with the stock-edge on water bottles with this
sword. I did not video tape the first sessions but I can honestly tell you
that it made me embarrassed in front of my friends. Having cut a lot with
the spadona had made me over-confident. To
my surprise, my first cut shot the bottle down the street in one piece.
Damn. I soon realized that I had to readjust my grip since the grip of this
sword was bulkier than the grip of the spadona.
Once I had done that, I had no problem in blade alignment and could do an
honest evaluation, thus I video taped the second test cutting session.
After cleaning up the dull spots on both edges, I proceeded to test cut
again on water bottles and video taped the result. I found that the
performance was not improved much over the last test cutting, showing that
the in-stock edge lines were more or less pristine after all and the
occasional dull spots did not have much effects on the cuts. Against harder
bottles like the coca cola ones, the cuts sometimes just bounced the bottle
off. Yet, most of the downward cuts were successful, and I managed to pull
off one false edge downward cut successfully on a soft bottle.
Hard Targets Test Cutting
First I would like to make it clear that the pork arm was tougher than the
human arm of the equivalent size, be it dead or alive. The skin was thicker,
more difficult to slice through. The fat was more and the bone was sturdier.
Even the fingers and nails were much tougher than the human's. Plus, in the
test cutting session the pork arm was hung by a string, giving a lot of room
to give away from the impact force. So if the pork arm was stuck to a body
weighting over 150 lbs, the cut would go much deeper. As a conclusion, all
the results demonstrated in the test should be magnified to a certain degree
if it was performed in an actual combat where a human body was hit in a
While the sword had a relatively high flexibility, gripping it with two
hands and tapping the flat side against a mobile chair showed that it was
still reliable to parry with the flat. Unless the stress happened on the tip
portion, where a parry should not be made after all, the blade did not seem
to be flexing far enough to make me worry. In fact, when tapping the middle
portion to the forte of the sword against the chair, the chair was simply
moved around without the blade vibrating much. Tapping the middle part of
the blade or forte against an immobile target with moderate force showed a
stiff response. It was observable that the flex was a bit more than the
spadona in the middle of the blade to the
forte, as the distal taper was more uniform than the
spadona. However, there was a huge price
difference between the two swords as well. So I would say the design of the
sword worked well in both offense and defense.
Specifications and Final Words
Overall length: 47.25"
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