Posts Tagged ‘War’

The All Natural Trench Knife! Don’t mess with Mother Nature…

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

So let me pose a hypothetical question. IF you were given a choice of a weapon made of wood, and one made of steel, which one would you pick? I’m sure most of you would, without hesitation, pick the one made of steel. I, on the other hand, would be on the fence. Especially given that I tend to like things that are just… Cool. That’s not to say that wooden blades are entirely worthless, after all, you can do a lot of damage with a piece of wood, and even more if it has been sharpened and the edge hardened.

But what if it had teeth as well? Yeah… You heard me… A wooden knife. With a wicked set of teeth for a blade. Uh huh. Yeah… Now things get interesting… Imagine, if you will, an all natural fighting implement… Made entirely of natural materials, and edged with rows of razor-sharp shark teeth. Oh, but I’m not done yet. How about we throw in a spike. From a swordfish no less. Awwww Yeah… Now we’re talking…

Think about it. We are talking about the hand weapon equivalent of  a shark with a rapier attached to its snout. Certainly a laser attached to its head might be far more impressive, but with a spike, you’ll never have to replace the batteries. I’m just saying.  A spike is nothing to sneeze at. Take that and make a weapon out of it, and voilà! you have a personal, wooden hand shark. With a spike attached to its freakin’ head!

A fearsome weapon capable of horrific damage, but so stealthy that would not even set off metal detectors in an airport. Unless, of course you happened to use teeth from a shark that had somehow had the benefit of a modern dental plan, and had braces and amalgam fillings to boot. No, don’t laugh. It could happen. No, seriously. Go watch “Finding Nemo” and tell me that can’t happen. But I digress.

Today, I fawn over a very old but very cool all natural weapon of war called the Pahoa A’u Ku, also known as the Swordfish Bill Dagger. A combination of this:

A`u ku - Marlinspike Dagger

A`u ku - Marlinspike Dagger

And this:

Leiomano pahoa a`u

Leiomano pahoa a`u

 

To create this:

Pahoa A'u Ku - Marlinspike Leiomano Dagger

Pahoa A'u Ku - Marlinspike Leiomano Dagger

 

In case you didn’t quite catch just how much awesome I just laid on you up there, let me recap. The A`u ku is a dagger made from the spike of the broad bill Marlin a large fish with a very distinctive spike, much like a swordfish. Sometimes swordfish swords were used. The Leiomano pahoa a`u is a mêlée weapon, usually made of Koa wood, with a row of fairly wicked looking shark teeth affixed to the front edge of it.

Both weapons are relatively cool and awesome in their own right, but combine to produce the Pahoa A’u Ku, a weapon more awesome than the Decepticon Devastator! And all with materials straight from nature, in an almost unmodified form… WIN!

Proof, once again, that in spite of all the cool things we can do with steel nowadays, Mother nature was a total BAMF long before Chuck Norris and Samuel L. Jackson came along…

Yeah, I said it. Don’t hate. You know it’s true…

A`u ku -[Kumulau]
Pahoa A’u Ku – [Kumulau]
Leiomano pahoa a`u – [My Armory]

Wood: the other dark steel…

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ok, So I will readily admit that the title of todays post was highly influenced by thoughts of thanksgiving turkey…Light meat or dark meat… It’s all good… But I digress.

You may recall a few posts I’ve done in the past on weapons made of wood. Some of them have been about reproduction, prop or cosplay weapons, weapons you could give to your little rascals, or for cosplay (costume play), designed primarily to be a safe alternative to the real thing.

Macahuitl

Macahuitl

However, I’ve also posted about weapon designs that, while made primarily of wood, were still quite lethal as edged weapons. The Macahuitl was one such weapon, using flint or obsidian blades, embedded in a wood frame shaped like a club, or a large broadsword. And then there was the Leiomano, which accomplished the same thing, using shark teeth, but packaged in a small axe form factor.

Leiomano

Leiomano

But I recently ran across an even more beautiful design, yet another based on the small axe form factor, but without any kind of hard blade material whatsoever… Just wood. Really hard wood… Have a gander at this:

Samoan War Axe

Samoan War Axe

Now chances are, the edge would be nowhere as keen as that of a macahuitl, so this would be more likely used freehand as a club, or to break or dislocate bones than an actual cleaving device,  (unless you had a hard surface to chop against and were willing to keep whacking away until the job was done :/ )  However,  it is just a beautiful piece of work.

I just love this thing. Between the smooth and highly polished finish on the weapon, the Samoan patterns on the blade, and the absolutely evil lines on this axe, I just love it to death. Ok, maybe not to death, since I kind of like being alive, but you get the point.

The points on this thing are amazing. The deep bevel of the edge is accentuated by the light colored patterning of the blade area, making it look almost like a thick slab of dark steel. The patterning runs all the way down the shaft, stopping just short of the light colored jute or twine wrapped grip. The combination is just sweet.

Truth be told, I think this wooden axe looks more both more beautiful  and sinister than most of the other evil steel axes I’ve posted on this site so far…

And that’s no small feat for a weapon made entirely of wood.

Samoan War Axe – [My Armory]

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]

A Fan for the Flames of War…

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

The Japanese have more than their fair share of interesting weapons. Probably because throughout their feud-ridden, battle laden, history they have often found the need to hide their weapons just as much as use them. As a result, they got pretty creative about hiding weapons in plain sight. And turning otherwise innocuous items into weapons.

However some of the most deadliest innocuous weapons in the Japanese arsenal were never actually weapons at all. Take, for instance, this rather innocent looking Japanese fan:

Japanese War Fan (Gunbai-Dansen)

Japanese War Fan (Gunbai-Dansen)

Looks like a regular fan no? Except that it’s not. This particular fan is made of metal. And while it could easily have been used for close quarters defense, (on account of it’s metal construction), It’s real power came from what it was used for. It was actually a military communications device. This is a replica of the Japanese War Fan, aka Gunbai-Dansen, used by generals to signal troop movements on the battlefield.

Imagine that. All that power. All in a little metal fan. A wave here, an soldiers rushed into battle. Another little wave, and the enemy was surrounded. Pull the Queens wave, and you could probably have entire villages crying uncle, without ever spilling a drop of blood. Heh. Must have been good to be a Japanese Warlord back in the day…

And of course I’m sure it was also an excellent tool for smacking incompetent lieutenants upside the head in a pinch. Oh don’t look at me like that. They did too smack people upside the head in Feudal Japan. What? You prefer seppukku or beheading? Wait what?

Sheesh… You bloodthirsty barbarian…

Japanese War fan (Gunbai-Dansen) – [eBladeStore]

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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