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#172275 - 08/09/05 03:13 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
So on what experience are you drawing on when you make this arguement that machetes make good swords?
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#172276 - 08/09/05 03:26 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: Charles Mahan]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
Quote:

So on what experience are you drawing on when you make this arguement that machetes make good swords?




well, if you are asking about experience, I imagine that I am one of the only people on this thread who have actually been in real combat where shock weapons have been used. how is that for experience?


but I am neither voicing an opinion based on experience, or suggesting that machetes make good swords, the question of the thread was "while I don't intend on carrying a sword around any time soon, I was wondering, in your opinion, what type/make of sword would be the most practicle for use as a weapon in battle. I mean, not the strongest, or most appealing, but the most versatile, realistic sword design for actual fighting?". given the modern world, and the possible potential situations that a modern sword carrier (and notice that I don't say sword fighter, because I don't believe that there is any realistic chance for a person to get in a sword fight) to carry, I suggested that a machete would fit the bill as well as any other.


my arguments were pretty simple

1. it is very similar to the most modern type of sword manufactured for actual combat - the navy cutlass

2. it is suitable for the potential situation that it could be needed in - it could definatly be used to fight off a group of men armed with shock weapons, or to hack somebody to death.

3. it is the weapon of choice of the most modern groups to use large bladed shock weapons - various groups in the philapines, latin america and africa.

4. it is a more effective weapon that mot swords have been, and it is more effective than most weapons that humans have use (this seemed to confuse people, but let me remind the readers that man has been making and using weapons for more than 500,000 years, possibly as much as twice that. I would suggest, again, that the machete that you can buy for $30 is a better shock weapon than all the weapons that have been available for all but about the last 2000 of those years. )

5. More people have been killed wiht the machete than will pretty much any other specific type of bladed weapon.

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#172277 - 08/09/05 03:43 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
Globe

I get it.

The problem is the same one that has faced swordmakers/weaponsmith since there were such folks.

No one weapon is good for all things--kinda why you see so many shapes, sizes uses for historical blades.

Most machetes I have used would be poor stabbing weapons (although with enough force you can shove a round peg into a sq hole )
In that they are designed for chopping rather than stabbing.
The broad "swell" of the blade toward the end is designed to place more force there--narrowing it down into a better stabbing weapon would take away the advantages of the extra weight and greatly reduce its chopping ability.

Kinda of a catch 22!
Everytime you alter the design to make it "better" at something, you lose advantage elsewhere.

And a machete is really not much like a cutlass, or course there were many "cutlass like" blades.
So maybe there is one closer to a machete about.

I think that more people over the course of human history have been killed by clubs or simple woodern spears--we had and were using those weapons A LOT longer than anything we actually manufactured--(think 10's of 1000s of years) so the death toll should be much higher.

If I was to go with a really deadly combat usable tool, I would go with several styles of kukri over a machete.
Some style have the capacity to stab as well as chop.
The kukri is smaller thus easier to carry yet is still "about" the same size as a machete--you would give up some but not much "reach."
Being more compact it should be quicker in the hand, and faster on recovery.
The kukuri is generally of better quality of manufacture--should last longer.
Holds a better edge.
Equally good at chopping.

(please note the use of "should.")

What you may notice someone showing all the things a kukri is NOT good for--thats to be expected, like i said above NO weapon is good for all things.


Edited by cxt (08/09/05 03:51 PM)
_________________________
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#172278 - 08/09/05 03:49 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: cxt]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
agreed - but I would think that that would fit in with the posters origional question - I am not sure that a thrusting weapon would be what was needed, although in this I am very much aware that I am out of my league. it would seem to me that if you are 100% assured that you will not be facing another sword - that that seems to be the case where I live anyway, then a slashing weapon would be a better choice than a thrusting.

on the other hand, sword canes that were made in the early 20th and late 19th century were made with a point, as well as 2 slashing edges, and they would be used in a similar way as any modern sword, I would think.

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#172279 - 08/10/05 09:01 AM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear Globe:

OK, then what I think I am hearing is that you would effectively "reclassify" the machete as a "sword" albeit of modern derivation. OK. And I will even put aside the kukri arguement for a bit. But if you are going to use these arguements in favor of the machete why would you not first go with the African Panga. In the case of the panga the universal architecture lends itself to much of the agricultural applications, but it also has a broadened blade towards the tip which would cause much more serious thrust wounds and is already incorporated into tribal fighting techniques as a weapon in its own right.In this way I would consider the panga's acceptance as a fighting weapon as more "legit" than the use of the machete as a kind of civilian weapon. Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#172280 - 08/10/05 09:30 AM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: glad2bhere]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
Dear Bruce,

I am not pushing the machete, I was just trying to show that, even if it wasn't designed as a weapon, it may still fit the requirements. I would go back to my first suggestion (several pages ago) that something like a cane sword would probrably fit the bill for a modern sword.

the kukri seems to be a fantastic weapon - I have handled some of the larger ones and they have a great edge and good heftly feeling. Gerber, I belive, makes a machete with a kukri archetecture, by the way.

I have touched a couple of pangas, they seem to be lighter and more "brittle" (but it could be the ones I have seen have been lower quality) but effectivly good weapons for the same type of hacking and slashing. it has the advantage of a thrusting capacity, which is an advantage. I would also say that they seem to lack a a curvature which may make them less effective for slashing.

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#172281 - 08/10/05 09:39 AM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:

Dear Bruce,

I am not pushing the machete, I was just trying to show that, even if it wasn't designed as a weapon, it may still fit the requirements.




Actually you were pushing the machete early on in the thread:
Quote:


a machete fits the framework of historical weapon design - if the technology had been available through out history to manufacture machetes, for 99.9% of human history they would have been the best weapon on the field.




I think it is this statement that most took exception too. It is far to broad to hold up to casual inspection.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#172282 - 08/10/05 10:15 AM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: Charles Mahan]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
and not to be a pain in the ass, but that is the one statement that is the most accurate of everything that I have posted.

how difficult is it to understand - man has been making weapons to kill other men for at least 500,000 years, it might be accurate to say closer to 2,000,000, but then the "humanity" part gets fuzzy. for about 98 percent of that time, the best weapons men had were sharpend sticks and stones. for about 1% of that time, clubs and simple soft metal knifes and mace and spear heads were available, for about 0.05% of that time, bronze weapons were available, for about 0.04% of that time, simple iron weapons were available. only in the last little bit of human existance have weapons been available that were substantially better than a $30 machete. I stand by that.

and, my "pushing the machete" was in direct response to somebody else sugesting that a non-purpose desiged weapon shouldn't be discussed.

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#172283 - 08/10/05 10:18 AM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
Armed_Man_Piker Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 440
Loc: East Coast U.S.A.
Quote:

5. More people have been killed wiht the machete than will pretty much any other specific type of bladed weapon.




I still don't see how you have arrived at this figure.

Are you really saying that machetes have killed more folks than the gladius did during all those centuries of the Roman Empire?

Again, what are your sources?
_________________________
And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable. --Sir John Smythe, 1590

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#172284 - 08/10/05 10:47 AM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: Armed_Man_Piker]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
AMP,

I am taking as about 1 million people killed by machetes in the past 10 years in africa - between the great lakes wars, and the wars in western africa. if you throw in sudan, you might beef it up a little.

as the roman army held between 120K and 170K troops, at any given time, over a 600 year period, and as most warfare only involved 20,000 or so legionaires at any one battle, and during the vast majority of the period the empire was at peace, I am assuming a number lower than 1 million killed by the gladus.

it is very difficult to judge how people were killed in the arena - if you assume that everyone killed in the arena was killed by a gladus, then this would push the number up above a million, for sure.



a little aside - I would guess that however the mongols were killing their victems during their middle age conquerin of central asia, they probrably killed more than 1 million - but that may have been with clubs.

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