Posts Tagged ‘Polearms’

German Engineering… In a pick axe…

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Given my recent diatribe on the subject of spears, medieval castles and other miscellaneous and random ravings about knights and defense, I found it interesting that I should run into this little piece of German engineering:

Classic German Pick Axe

Classic German Pick Axe
[view full size]

Unlike what it’s name might suggest, this is not intended to dig holes in hard earth, but rather to… err… “pick” mounted knights in armor from their horses as they rode by… Ok, so that was bad. So sue me. But I think that this weapon appears to have been designed and balanced specifically for the purpose of defeating heavily armored opponents.

This design would work equally well on leather, chain or plate armor. Basically swung it exactly like a regular pick axe. Except at an enemy. An interesting feature is the fact that each side of the pick has a “blade” rather than simple points. This might have been done in order to allow greater splitting power with chain mail, and could possibly have been used along with the flat spine of the weapon, to split plate armor as well. Not unlike a can or sardines. Or tuna. I much prefer tuna… But I digress…

Now you might notice that the shaft is actually about mid length as opposed to full spear length. This would provide better control for close in work, (you know, of the “can opening” variety). And notice also that it has a spear head on top, which, for pick work, would be more of a hindrance than a help, but against lighter armor, I could see how it might be very effective. (I’ll leave that up to your imagination)

OK how many of you read the title and thought I was going to be talking about German gardening tools today? By show of hands please…

HAHAHAHA!!! SUCKERS!!!! LOL… I PWNZ0R3D J000!!11!!11!…. Yeah… I’m a dork…

Classic German Pick Axe – [True Swords]

A Tall Proud Polearm…

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Today I decided to compare the so called “spear” (more like a sword with an identity crisis) I posted about a couple of days ago with one that was solidly rooted in it’s traditional heritage:

Scorpion Spear

Scorpion Spear
[view full size]

Now this is a Spear. No confusion here. No an over-sized sword, no long handled knife, no rickety little dagger-on-a staff. A real, honest to goodness Spear. Look at the blade on this thing. Now that is the very definition of a spear point. Not a flimsy little pocket knife on a stick. No siree. That is a solid spearhead.

Look at the tang. Almost 3/4 the length of the blade. That’s how you attach a spear head to it’s shaft. Look at the shaft, and the reinforcing bands around the tang area, and three pretty beefy looking pins to hold the blade in place on the shaft. Sheer excellence. This, my friends, is how a spear is supposed to be made.

The overall design, while simple, is not bad. The short heavy blade has a small simple guard. The long shaft is capped by what looks like a heavy mace style butt, that probably gives this weapon excellent balance. I really cannot find fault with this weapon.

Except I have to wonder if it comes in black…

Scorpion Spear – [True Swords]

Confusing Polearms…

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

A recent comment had me looking at polearms today. A reader commented on the possibility of wielding an Ōdachi as a melee combat weapon, like a Naginata or a spear. Now I have some serious doubts about the practicality of a super long Ōdachi for that particular application, but interestingly enough, as if on cue, I ran into this (not so little) oddity:

Mt Fuji Spear

Mt Fuji Spear
[view full size]

AHA! A Mt Fuji Spear!!… Now this is excellent!! Err… OK… I must admit that I have no idea what a “Mt. Fuji Spear” is supposed to be. But with a 38″ blade, and a 29″ handle, it seems to me that this is just a Katana with a really, really long handle. Not a spear.

The closest weapon I can think of to this would be a Naginata, which is basically a Katana mounted to a spear shaft. The Mt Fuji Spear doesn’t even have a long enough handle for that. But given that even the Naginata is not really considered a spear, how this weapon got classified as a spear is beyond me. They were probaby smokin’ something atop Mt Fuji when they came up with the name. Who knows.

Anyway, I thought it was a cool weapon, seeing that it might actually be easier to balance than a traditional Katana, and notwithstanding it’s confusion as to whether it’s a katana or a naginata, it could give you the extra range of an Ōdachi, or at least a Nodachi, without the risks of having to try and choke up on a bare blade for close quarters combat.

My only issue, was that I found a picture of the Mt Fuji Spear that showed that the blade is attached to the handle via a short, stubby threaded insert, rather than any kind of tang. And I mean virtually no tang whatsoever. Apart from this weird threaded stub, which seemed waaay to short to reliably survive any serious impact. So in my book, this particular design variation would not make for a great combat weapon.

But if I could get this in a black blade, with at least a good eight inch tang or so, I think this would make for a very interesting melee weapon. What? You don’t like black? Pffft! Too bad…

Mt. Fuji Spear – [True Swords]

A Transforming Staff Does Not a Castle Keep…

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

I ran into another interesting creation from Knife designer Tom Anderson, in the form of an unusual “pole arm”, (for lack of a better description):

Castle Keep Staff

Castle Keep Staff
[view full size]

The Castle Keep Staff appears to be, at first glance, little more than spear, sporting two extra blades on either side of it’s head. I imagine if we are to go by the name Tom Anderson gave this weapon, we might assume that it would have been used much like a pike would have been used by medieval knights, except for the fact that the blades on this thing seem a little flimsy in comparison to the popular pole arms of the day, many of which were intended to be able to defeat knights in armor on horseback.

Nonetheless it is quite an interesting weapon for one specific reason. You may have noticed that in spite of it’s obvious similarities to a spear, it was called a staff. It’s name is actually not technically inaccurate, and here’s why. The spear head and pommel are attached to the shaft using threaded connectors, which means that they can both be removed, and attached to each other. The result? A staff and a dagger.

Now from a practical perspective, given the weakness of the blade, this combo might be better suited to dagger/staff duty than spear duty, especially for castle defense, and I would be hard pressed to fight an armored knight on horseback armed with just a dagger and a staff, so from a castle defense perspective, I’d say this is kind of a pointless weapon.

But of course, there are no medieval knights roaming the American countryside, and this weapon is merely a designers vision given form, so I am just nitpicking unnecessarily. The whole dual weapon thing is a neat little trick though. Unless, of course, there is a secret society of fully armored, mounted knights roaming the countryside, just waiting for some fool to decide to defend their castle against attack with a contingent of soldiers armed with Castle Keep Staves.

Hey, don’t laugh. It could happen. Really. And no, you can’t have any of what I’m on. it’s some really good, hard to find stuff…

Tom Anderson’s Castle Keep Staff – [Red Dragon Sword Co]

Do spears really work against dragons?

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

I’ve been talking about a lot about glaives of late, and though cool, hollywood glaives are not entirely true to life. So I thought I’d talk about a weapon that is closer in form and function to a real glaive. A spear. Specifically a Black Dragon spear. A behemoth black 6 foot dragon spear.

Black Dragon Spear

Black Dragon Spear

Now this is a formidable looking spear, and it’s great size only adds to its menacing appearance. The tip of the spear possesses a broad-headed point, sweeping down past two sharp cutouts, and into two ominous looking sub blades. The jet black handle is adorned with an simple metal pommel cap, a metal band about three quarters of the way up the shaft, finishing with a cast dragon crest just before the head to complete the effect. Pretty cool lookin’. Though I do have some questions.

For instance, is this supposed to be a dragon killing spear? And if so, why have a dragon crest? I dunno, but if it is, It certainly looks the part. Normally extensions at the base of the blade where the spear meets the shaft are simple cross bars, intended to prevent over -penetration (and subsequently getting stuck) into smaller human target. On this spear you have more blades, which would presumably aid in further penetration, in order to reach those deeply buried vital organs of what is usually a very large dragon.

But somehow, the more dragon related movies I watch, the more I get the nagging feeling that these spears, even a big, black 6 foot spear, would not be sufficiently potent, at least in the hands of a puny human, to slay a dragon. Furthermore, it may actually be that weapons like these are some clever, elaborate ploy by a particularly crafty breed of dragon to ensure a steady supply of lunch meat…

But of course I could just be being paranoid. But if you are looking to add a menacing spear to your collection you couldn’t do much worse than this… Just don’t rely on this for dragon protection. You may want to invest in explosive grenade tipped harpoons and an APC mounted launcher off a Norwegian whaling vessel for that… Assuming, of course, that you happen to have that particular problem where you live…

6′ Black Dragon Spear – [True Swords]

Log In

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 159,325 bad guys.

Your Weapon Sir?
The Raiders Almanac
January 2018
« Sep    
Surf the Sands of Time:
Phyreblades Site of the Month!