Cold Steel 1796 arrives

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Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Corporal Carrot » 27 Apr 2006 17:37

Karl and I finally got our sabers yesterday. Been waiting quite a while since we ordered them, because they've been out of stock at 888knivesrus.com.

Gordon is certainly correct when describing it as a "gentlemans cleaver". This thing just seems to beg you to cut when you hold it. I havent cut with it yet, but I have a feeling it'll be a brutal cutter. definately tip heavy, but not as much as I expected it to be. I expected it to feel heavier and clumsier to be honest.

That said, my Albion Squire does feel light as a feather after swinging the saber around for a while.

The finish on the blade is nice, IMO. Not overly shiny, which I hate. You can see with the naked eye that the grinding of the fuller is a bit uneven in places, you can feel its slightly "bumpy" with your fingers when you clean it with a cloth. But I suspect the originals are like that as well. Perhaps Matt or someone else who has originals could confirm or deny this? There are no visible grind marks though. Certainly better than I expected for a sword that cost $216, including the scabbard. Amazing value for money IMO.

One minor gripe is that the chape of the scabbard is loose, and has messed up a little of the leather, but its easily fixable, and should be unnoticable when I clear it up. Other than that, the scabbard is good, with a nice, snug fit.

Overall, I'm very, very happy. A good, historically accurate sword with a nice leather scabbard for $216 seems pretty unbeatable to me at the moment. Highly recommend it.
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Gerald Cavey » 30 Apr 2006 19:26

Einar Drønnesund wrote: Perhaps Matt or someone else who has originals could confirm or deny this?


How would we know Einar? the 1796 LC was in service with the cavalry for at least 22 years 13 of which were on campaign and lasted until the 1860s with the Yeomanry. That, and 200 years kind of makes the original finish a little hard to determine.
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Corporal Carrot » 01 May 2006 01:28

Gerald Cavey wrote:
Einar Drønnesund wrote: Perhaps Matt or someone else who has originals could confirm or deny this?


How would we know Einar? the 1796 LC was in service with the cavalry for at least 22 years 13 of which were on campaign and lasted until the 1860s with the Yeomanry. That, and 200 years kind of makes the original finish a little hard to determine.


I'm not talking about the level of polish. What I'm saying is that the blade itself is uneven and bumpy, not perfectly machined like an ATrim or an albion. You can see with the naked eye that the lines of the sword are not perfect. And I'm not looking for any absolute answers. Just something like "Yes, my 1796 definately has some flaws", or "nope mine is pretty much perfect." I'm fully aware that such an answer wouldnt cover every 1796 ever made. I'm sure there were differences.
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Gerald Cavey » 01 May 2006 06:32

Einar Drønnesund wrote:
Gerald Cavey wrote:
Einar Drønnesund wrote: Perhaps Matt or someone else who has originals could confirm or deny this?


How would we know Einar? the 1796 LC was in service with the cavalry for at least 22 years 13 of which were on campaign and lasted until the 1860s with the Yeomanry. That, and 200 years kind of makes the original finish a little hard to determine.


I'm not talking about the level of polish. What I'm saying is that the blade itself is uneven and bumpy, not perfectly machined like an ATrim or an albion. You can see with the naked eye that the lines of the sword are not perfect. And I'm not looking for any absolute answers. Just something like "Yes, my 1796 definately has some flaws", or "nope mine is pretty much perfect." I'm fully aware that such an answer wouldnt cover every 1796 ever made. I'm sure there were differences.


Blimey, most owners would have been happy if the blade looked straight when viewed along the spine (most are a bit wavy) !

You can't apply 21Century manufacturing techniques or standards Einar,
If they passed the bend and break test no one probably gave a toss, you certainly get examples (with acceptance marks stamped into them) that have forging marks in the blade.

The 1796 was made under contract by a number of contractors: Gill, Wooley, Runckel, Craven, Reddel, Turner, Osborn, Egg to name but a handful of the most popular, and they are all different to one degree or another, either in manufacturing standard, length/weight (a legitimate unshortened 76 can vary up to 2" in length of blade and by up to 4oz in weight), point of balance, number and length of fullers etc. This is why it is fundimentally pointless to compare the new repros with the original, some of the legit 96s are truly rough affairs.

When a new pattern was issued a pattern blade was housed at the Tower for cutlers to come and sketch and weigh. These were then taken back to the manufactories and used as blueprints, the whole process of standardisation was very primative and lead to large differences from the norm - and in some cases from what was intended.

If, for the sake of argument we take a Gill blade as that standard (since John Gill designed the blade in partnership with Le Marchant) even that changes over time because he is supplying blades to be fitted up to hilts made by other manufacturers as well as finished products.

Is the Cold steel like a 1796 ? well of course, I picked up what I assume was a Cold Steel at a show recently out of interest, in profile it was a little narrow, thick and stiff near the point and it was on the heavy end of the broad spectrum, but not out of the ballpark for a troopers 96 by any means.

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Postby admin » 01 May 2006 13:29

Yep - what David said :).
I have a 1796 and a Blucher and they are both a little ripply when you look along their length - most 19thC swords are. I might be incorrect in saying this, but I'd hazard that most historical swords are, except for the ones which get a lot of post-forging surface treatment such as grinding and chiselling, like Middle Eastern and Japanese swords.
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Corporal Carrot » 01 May 2006 15:09

Gerald Cavey wrote:
You can't apply 21Century manufacturing techniques or standards Einar



I never did such a thing. Please dont assume I'm an idiot. :)

What I meant is that the "roughness" and unevenness in the cold steel 1796 is probably more historically accurate than if it was perfectly machined, like an ATrim or Albion sword. I never meant it as critique against the manufacturing standards of the 19th century, if that is what you think.

Other than that, thank you. Yours and Matts answers was exactly what I was looking for.
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Corporal Carrot » 01 May 2006 15:43

Gerald Cavey wrote:number and length of fullers etc.


Are you saying that there are, for example double fullered '96's out there? That sounds sweet.
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Postby admin » 01 May 2006 17:16

I seem to remember there are some Osbourne blades with a thin secondary fuller furthest from the edge. There are also clipped-point 1796's (also Osbourne) which just look incredible, like a Napoleonic messer!
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Gerald Cavey » 01 May 2006 18:33

Einar Drønnesund wrote:
Gerald Cavey wrote:
You can't apply 21Century manufacturing techniques or standards Einar



I never did such a thing. Please dont assume I'm an idiot. :)



I really didn't mean to sound patronising Einar a lot of people assume that because the industrial revolution was happening there was a sudden switch from the blacksmiths rule of thumb to precise measurement .

And yes there are twin fullered examples mostly what are called Montmerency (one broad the other narrow) mainly through 1788 blades being re used and shortened, but there are later ones and unfullered slab sided ones too.
You also get very light ones usually about 3-4" shorter which were used as fighting swords by the infantry.

I can't work out how to attach pics. from my hard disk here or I'd post examples.

The Osborn and Gunby clipped bladed ones are a late alteration, have a semi pipe backed blade and as Matt says look beautiful, very straight though. Garth Vincent has one for sale at the moment, pictured here:

http://search.guns.goantiques.com/searc ... ?id=863679

He wants rather too much for it, irritatingly I bid on a blue and gilt one 8 years ago but thought it went too high (£700) - its probably worth 3 grand now :(
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Corporal Carrot » 01 May 2006 19:41

Gerald Cavey wrote:
I really didn't mean to sound patronising Einar a lot of people assume that because the industrial revolution was happening there was a sudden switch from the blacksmiths rule of thumb to precise measurement .



Ah, I see. No worries. 8)

Hmmm. I really like the one you linked to. I didnt know there were so many "versions" of the 96. Matt told me once that there is a two handed one as well.
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Gerald Cavey » 01 May 2006 22:29

Einar Drønnesund wrote:
Gerald Cavey wrote: Matt told me once that there is a two handed one as well.


He's pulling your leg :D
[/img]
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby Corporal Carrot » 02 May 2006 01:14

Gerald Cavey wrote:
Einar Drønnesund wrote:
Gerald Cavey wrote: Matt told me once that there is a two handed one as well.


He's pulling your leg :D
[/img]


He might be, indeed. He was talking about a one-off modified one for some officer dude though, not a run of several sabers.
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Postby Gerald Cavey » 02 May 2006 06:42

Here Einar,
I borrowed the facilities of the SFI Test forum,
2 extremes that give you some idea of the type of variation you find with the 1796

1. My 1796 Officer pattern - standard apart from the decoration, just under 2lbs in weight 32.5" blade

2. My Light officer pattern - 28" unfullered shamshir type blade and about 4 to 5 oz lighter than the norm.

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread ... adid=66348
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Postby Corporal Carrot » 02 May 2006 07:01

Gerald Cavey wrote:Here Einar,
I borrowed the facilities of the SFI Test forum,
2 extremes that give you some idea of the type of variation you find with the 1796

1. My 1796 Officer pattern - standard apart from the decoration, just under 2lbs in weight 32.5" blade

2. My Light officer pattern - 28" unfullered shamshir type blade and about 4 to 5 oz lighter than the norm.

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread ... adid=66348


Those are quite different, yeah. :)

You own those swords? Wow. The top one is gorgeous.
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Postby Gerald Cavey » 02 May 2006 11:39

Einar Drønnesund wrote:
Gerald Cavey wrote:You own those swords? Wow. The top one is gorgeous.


Thanks, it's one of my favourites :D



Near where I live there are a few nice ones coming up for auction tomorrow:

Image
Image
Image

------

And a few "inspired" by the 1796 too
Image
Image
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Re: Cold Steel 1796 arrives

Postby admin » 02 May 2006 14:34

Einar Drønnesund wrote:Matt told me once that there is a two handed one as well.


Not two-handed as such, maybe, but there was a custom 1796 presented to Major Hugh Birley as a result of the Peterloo massacre..
Image

It has a hilt long enough to be gripped with two hands (presumably so that he could cut down rioters more easily)...
It is shown on p143 of A Historical Guide to Arms and Armour by Stephen Bull.
It resides in the Lancashire County and Regimental Museum, Preston.
Given the length of the hilt I would say it is kind of two-handed, even if it wasn't supposed to be.. though maybe it was!
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Postby Gerald Cavey » 02 May 2006 15:02

I know the one, I agree it looks odd.

Matt, I think it might be an over large grip to accomodate the wielder wearing a thick leather gauntlet. You mainly get them on walloon and mortuary hilts but they appear in the Napoleonic era too. They are usually one to 2 inches larger all round than standard examples. My 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officers sword has a hilt about 1 inch larger all round than most other examples I've seen.

Birley probably needed it so his knuckleduster didn't get caught up. (what a git !)
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Postby admin » 02 May 2006 15:10

Yeah could be - I was in Blunderbuss Antiques earlier (off work) and saw something like a 1788 pattern, but with an enormous oversize brass hilt and a curved forward blade.. edge on the inside of the curve :? Weird
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