Why must factory swords be straight?

#1
Just found this on the net. Can anyone explain the reasoning behind it?

"Swords that are have curved blades are UK legal if they are hand forged, if they are factory made swords the blades must be straight by law, all our swords comply with this. "
 
#3
There is no reasoning behind it. It was a knee jerk reaction to a small number of crimes committed with cheapo samurai swords.
 
#4
I'm more curious as to why a sword made in a factory has to have a straight blade. A blade is still a blade. What's different about it being made in a factory?
 
#5
I'm more curious as to why a sword made in a factory has to have a straight blade. A blade is still a blade. What's different about it being made in a factory?
I think they're saying the right thing for the wrong reason. From memory it's not where a sword is made but the methods used.

Basically, it comes down to cost. Alfie the chav can no longer buy a 10 quid stainless steel cast katana that will be used to wave about outside the pub. A 200 quid folded steel katana is still fine as they will be used for martial arts sensibly.

No, it doesn't make sense to me either. From the weapons recovered in London recently banning the sale of machetes would have a much bigger impact on violent crime.
 
#7
The reasoning is as LEGZ30 said. The intention was to ban modern made cheap katanas ("samurai swords") while not banning other types of swords. I suspect there was particular concern about avoiding banning current pattern military service swords, which happen to be straight.

The particular description of sword used by the UK government is (as can be found in the link by theoriginalphantom
swords, including samurai swords - a curved blade over 50cm (with some exceptions, such as antiques and swords made to traditional methods before 1954)
This was an attempt to be seen to be doing "something" about knife crime at a time when cheap katanas were featured in a number of violent movies.

There are or were some new regulations apparently coming in in the UK which will apparently restrict this further, and are so vague and all encompassing such that they act to screw over antique dealers and fencing clubs. I don't know if that has been headed off by complaints about it however.
 
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#8
You can get one for 20 quid. Obviously not a Wilkinson but it looks as though it could do a bit of damage.

27 Inch Ninja Sword and Sheath - Silver - Knifewarehouse
Legal for 2 reasons:
It's a straight blade, not curved (for reference, here's a 'cheap' legal katana at almost £170 - link)
The blade is under 50cm long (49cm according to the website which looks like it was designed specifically to get around the law)

You are right though, the law is a badly written kneejerk reaction to a problem that didn't really exist in the first place (see the current panic over 'zombie knives' for a similar example).
 
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#9
If only legislators were students of history . . .

Meet the 1796 Pattern Light Cavalry Sabre



Taking as it's forebears (amongst others) the Indian tulwar and Hungarian and Moorish swords, the Light Cav Sabre was a fearsome beast, designed wholly as a slashing instrument-note the final 3/4 inches which widens considerably, thus turning it into nothing more than a fancy axe, though still light and strong enough to use on the parry.

The story goes that, during the Napoleonic Wars, so dismayed were French officers by the wounds produced after actions with British/German Legion Light Dragoons, they complained (unofficially) about the unsporting nature of this contemporary cluster munition.
 
#10
You can get one for 20 quid. Obviously not a Wilkinson but it looks as though it could do a bit of damage.

27 Inch Ninja Sword and Sheath - Silver - Knifewarehouse
At that price it may fall apart if you swing it around. The attachment of the blade to the hilt in particular may be very weak. Many of the lower price ones are made for hanging on the wall as decoration and are weakly made of poor quality metal.

There is by the way zero evidence for the existence of special straight "ninja" swords in historic times. They are an invention of the modern movie industry (along with black "ninja" costumes) so the audience can more easily tell the "baddies" from the "goodies". However, they appeal to certain people who want one because it was in a movie they liked, much like other movie "collectibles". They are not necessarily intended for actually hitting anything with.
 
#11
If only legislators were students of history . . .

Meet the 1796 Pattern Light Cavalry Sabre



Taking as it's forebears (amongst others) the Indian tulwar and Hungarian and Moorish swords,
There's no evidence that tulwars or "Moorish" (whatever that means) swords had any influence on the design of the 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre. In fact we know definitely that the design came from Austro-Hungarian swords, since a British cavalry officer went to Austria to study Austrian cavalry tactics and brought the type of sword back to go along with the new tactics. The details of the design were then worked out with a British sword maker and it became the standard light cavalry sword in British service. A similar sword was a few years later adopted as the standard for use for some infantry officers, likely because it was available and the standard infantry officer sword (1796 Pattern Spadroon) was considered to be rubbish.

After the 1796 LC sabre was replaced in the 1820s, surplus swords were sent to India and handed out to native cavalry there. Some were remounted on tulwar hilts, which means you can find tulwars with 1796 LC blades.

There was a long history of curved sabre-like swords in Europe, including the UK, prior to the 1796 LC and no evidence that the idea was imported into Europe from any specific outside source.

the Light Cav Sabre was a fearsome beast, designed wholly as a slashing instrument-note the final 3/4 inches which widens considerably, thus turning it into nothing more than a fancy axe, though still light and strong enough to use on the parry.

The story goes that, during the Napoleonic Wars, so dismayed were French officers by the wounds produced after actions with British/German Legion Light Dragoons, they complained (unofficially) about the unsporting nature of this contemporary cluster munition.
The 1796 LC sabre was not "axe-like" in any way. It was light and well balanced as you would expect for any successful service sword. And so far as "the story goes", when a story starts with a phrase like that, it is almost certainly just a story. The French would have had long experience dealing with Austro-Hungarian light cavalry who would have been armed with similar weapons for many years prior.

Starting In the 1820s British sabres became less curved because there was increasing emphasis on the use of the point. This likely had to do with changes in how cavalry were being used and ideas of what was most effective.

There are plenty of original antique 1796 LC swords on the market at reasonable prices, so there isn't much of a market for reproductions. Antiques are exempted under the above mentioned sword and knife control laws.
 
#12
@terminal

Yep, no evidence of tulwar influence at all:

An Indian tulwar

1534273776660.jpeg


John le Marchant, who developed the 1796 Light sabre, is recorded as saying, ' . . . blades of the Turks, Mamalukes, Moors and Hungarians were preferable to any other . . . ' *

A Mamaluke sword in turn derives from sabre-like designs of Central Asian origin which, in turn, migrated to India and elsewhere.

The reason why I said 'as the story goes . . . ' is because there is little or no historical evidence that the French did, indeed, make formal representation that the use of the 1796 betrayed any code of war.

There is, however, ample historical evidence (by contemporary sketches, particularly those by Sir Charles Bell) of the nature of the injuries caused by the broad-bladed end of the 1796.



*Thoumine, R.H., Scientific Soldier, A Life of General Le Marchant, 1766-1812, Oxford U. Press-1968.
 
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#14
@terminal

Yep, no evidence of tulwar influence at all:

An Indian tulwar

View attachment 346252

John le Marchant, who developed the 1796 Light sabre, is recorded as saying, ' . . . blades of the Turks, Mamalukes, Moors and Hungarians were preferable to any other . . . ' *

A Mamaluke sword in turn derives from sabre-like designs of Central Asian origin which, in turn, migrated to India and elsewhere.

The reason why I said 'as the story goes . . . ' is because there is little or no historical evidence that the French did, indeed, make formal representation that the use of the 1796 betrayed any code of war.

There is, however, ample historical evidence (by contemporary sketches, particularly those by Sir Charles Bell) of the nature of the injuries caused by the broad-bladed end of the 1796.



*Thoumine, R.H., Scientific Soldier, A Life of General Le Marchant, 1766-1812, Oxford U. Press (1968).

To tie in with your post:

Sword Exercise of the Cavalry
 
#15
@terminal

Yep, no evidence of tulwar influence at all:

An Indian tulwar

View attachment 346252

John le Marchant, who developed the 1796 Light sabre, is recorded as saying, ' . . . blades of the Turks, Mamalukes, Moors and Hungarians were preferable to any other . . . ' *

A Mamaluke sword in turn derives from sabre-like designs of Central Asian origin which, in turn, migrated to India and elsewhere.

The reason why I said 'as the story goes . . . ' is because there is little or no historical evidence that the French did, indeed, make formal representation that the use of the 1796 betrayed any code of war.

There is, however, ample historical evidence (by contemporary sketches, particularly those by Sir Charles Bell) of the nature of the injuries caused by the broad-bladed end of the 1796.



*Thoumine, R.H., Scientific Soldier, A Life of General Le Marchant, 1766-1812, Oxford U. Press (1968).
The 1796 LC however was based on the Austro-Hungarian light Hussar sabre. Le Marchant went there to study cavalry tactics.

Turkish kilic (or kilij) blades by the way are curved, but are very different in detail.
 
#17
The authorities will never learn, its not the sword etc thats the problem , if the little chav gangster shites were dealt with appropriately then knife/sword/gun law would not have to change.
 
#19
The 1796 LC however was based on the Austro-Hungarian light Hussar sabre. Le Marchant went there to study cavalry tactics.

Turkish kilic (or kilij) blades by the way are curved, but are very different in detail.
You seem determined to miss the point: the Hussar sabre was influenced by the 'scimitars' encountered during the advances of the Ottomans. That influence was further spread to Egypt (Mamelukes), India, etc: the root blade stemmed from Turkic influence which, in turn, can probably be traced back to the era of The Golden Horde.

The French chasseurs of the period carried something similar.
 

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