Posts Tagged ‘medieval’

Of Hammers, Swords and Walking Sticks…

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I ran across a rather interesting weapon today, one that combines both old and new battlefield technologies into a contemporary defensive weapon for the modern gentleman. Or not. About it being a modern gentlemanly weapon, I mean. I guess it depends on your point of view. Most civilized folks these days just pack a firearm. Or pack nothing at all, and simply plan to get on their hands and knees, put their hands behind their heads and say “Take whatever you want. I don’t really need it.” But I digress.

Hammer Head Sword Cane

Hammer Head Sword Cane

So this, is a hammer head sword cane. Quite the interesting design, a standard black sword cane, hidden in a smooth black tubular shaft, with a cast metal hammer head grip. On one side a standard hammer head, with cross grid patterned face, and on the other, a perforated spike. Quite a useful combination actually. And this sword cane, unlike most, uses a quick button release, which is an uncommon, but welcome feature in a sword cane. But for me, the most interesting feature of this cane is that hammer/point head.

In medieval times, a similar weapon evolved for the purpose of compromising the ever more heavily armored forces on the battlefield. Most swords weren’t really designed to battle armored opponents, and while most enterprising combatants simply learned how to use chinks in armor to thier advantage, it was sometimes easier and faster to simply compromise the armor.

This is where the war hammer design came from. Put a tough service point (or four) on the head of a small, but heavy impact weapon, and swing it, Louisville Slugger style, at your armored opponent, and you could punch a hole through that armor fairly easily. A small impact area (the point), combined with a relatively large mass (a hammer head) generally tends to do that to hardened metal plating. I’m pretty sure it would really just be a  bad day for the aforementioned armored opponent after that.

Medieval War Hammer

Medieval War Hammer

We don’t generally wear armor these days, however this design is still a good one for defensive impact use. You know, for smacking unruly peeps upside the head and whatnot. Especially for folks who’d rather not actually break out the sword bit if it could be avoided.

And assuming a solid connection between the shaft of the cane and the head (This is usually a very weak link in most sword cane designs) it would be all the more effective because of both the added weight of the hammer head, and the 100% USDA can of whoop a$$ that could be delivered by that pointy bit.

Now that I think about it, those medieval war hammer folks really knew a little too much about bringing the pain…

Hammer Head Sword Cane – [True Swords]

Da Killah Crossbow…

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

One of my friends and automatic knife fanatic Sinza, has an interesting thread going on in his forum “Exotic Automatic”. It’s centered on the unique question of how one might create a retractable, wrist mounted, automatically operated bow.

Now there’s quite a lot of back and forth going on about the topic, (you can visit the forums here to check it out, or throw in any ideas you might have) but I thought it interesting because I happened to also run into this little puppy in my archives:

Conver Guard Crossbow

Conver Guards Crossbow

[view full size]

While not anywhere as cool or exotic as an automatic wrist mounted bow, I thought this would be a a cool weapon to post about. Crossbows are fairly simple weapons. In essence what you have is a short bow, attached to a long stock that had a trigger attached to a pin that was used to either directly hold the string, or push the string out of a slot in the rear of the stock into which the it would be pulled in order to “cock” it.

Then a crossbow arrow or (which is actually called a “bolt”) would be placed in a specially designed groove in the long rifle like stock just ahead of the string. The crossbow was aimed, the trigger was pulled, and the bolt was fired. Simple as 1, 2, 3. However as an advancement in weapon technology, it was a huge step forward.

What is interesting about this weapon was that, in comparison to it’s predecessor, the longbow, it could be made to fire much heavier projectiles, it was easier to aim, and thus easier to learn, and you did not have to “hold” the entire time you were aiming, making it possible to fire much more lethal projectiles, using prods that could develop quite prodigious quantities of force.

Medieval long bow were generally designed to develop anywhere from 50 to 200 pounds of force at their desired maximum draw. Heavy siege Cross bows could have prods generating in excess of 1500 lbs! Now seriously, what would one fire at with a 1500lb crossbow? Elephants?? … Oh… Nevermind… Anyway, siege crossbows with draw weights like this would not exactly be a breeze to use…

Now To be fair, I should also point out that crossbows required a more compact prod design, since the bow  sat sideways, and soldiers poking the soldier next to them in the eye during loading was frowned upon by the military brass. As a result, they had shorter bows, and obviously had a much shorter draw length, and therefore needed to have a greater draw weight in order to fire any given projectile at the same speed as a comparable Longbow.

However the fact that one did not had to actually hold it, and could draw it using equipment that gave the user a mechanical advantage, spawned crossbows of massive draws such as the 800lb monster draw, that could fire equally massive bolts. And with the lighter crossbows, all this could be done by a hastily trained infantryman who might never have picked up a longbow in their lives. Talk about a strategic advantage!

Anyway, I suppose I’m blathering on about stuff already know, so before some General Weisenheimer tells me I’m telling you all something you already know, I’ll just point you to the pic above, and say ogle away…

Conver Guard Crossbow – [Realm Collections]

Retractable Crossbow discussion – [Exotic Automatic]

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