I'd personally been eying this long sword ever since it first came out, but never bought it, mostly due to the fact that many of Windlass Steelcrafts longer swords had a reputation for being somewhat 'whippy' (i.e. a little TOO flexible)...
While this review of the Windlass 15th Century Long sword confirms this fact and suggests it could have been a lot better than it actually is, considering how low the price is (or CAN be if you know where to buy it) plus its overall presentation, I kind of regret I didn't get it first...
So I'll step out of the way and let SBG Sword reviewer Maz take over to give you the full story.
Review by Maz, USA
First, the stats:
Overall length: 45.5"
Blade length: 36"
Grip and pommel: 9.375"
Blade width -at guard: 1.87" Tapers gradually to about 1" before rounding into the tip.
Distal taper: 1.2mm
Whippiness: held horizontally, the blade droops about 1.25" over it's 36" length.
Weight is 3lbs even according to my not very accurate bathroom scale.
Point of balance: 4.5 " from the guard
Center of percussion: 22 " from the guard
I found a couple of hilts in the Higgins Armory Museum online that validate the historical accuracy of this one. As with some other Windlass offerings, it seems to be an amalgam of different historical examples, rather than a straight out reproduction. I may be wrong, I only gave about 40 min to the search.
The weight falls within the reasonable range for this type of Long sword. I'm not sure about the blade, but it doesn't do anything unrealistic that I'm aware of.
Well first off the lacquer I'm going to have to sand off is a bit of a let down. Also, the stitching on the handle is sloppy, and the end of the wire wrap is kind of half assed where it meets the leather, and theres a huge solder joint on one side of the braided part. It's a pretty sword - just executed a little sloppy.
The fullers are nice and straight on this long sword, and the ridge is centered down the whole length. The blade is overall better than my other two windlass swords, the fullers are straighter and the ridge is sharper (still not well defined) the guard is pretty well executed, a few minor flaws but nothing unexpected. The guard is closer on the blade than some other Windlasses, still has that round cutout but it's not so noticeable.
The overall shape of the guard is what attracted me to this one, I wanted an example of a ring hilt long sword for my collection. I also was suffering for lack of a hand and a half sword.
This blade is pretty well balanced, it feels good in the dry cutting I've done so far. I tried fingering the Ricasso through the guard, and that feels comfortable enough, but it's not very smooth on recovery that way. It doesn't feel tip heavy to me, but with a one handed swing in a handshake grip the follow through is a little awkward.
If I don't follow through smoothly and snap my wrist a little on the backswing, it vibrates for about a second. That may be due to my inexperience so I'm not going to take a point for that. On the other hand, in a two handed grip, it handles nicely. Very easy to control, though it is pretty whippy. The stitching is sloppy as I mentioned, and sticks out enough that it feels uneven in my hand if the stitch is facing my palm. I know I already gave it a point for that but it also affects handling.
My hands fit well together on the grip with about half an inch between them without using the pommel. I can slide my left hand further back for manoeuvres that require more room, and the pommel is comfortable in the hand.
The fittings are tight and there's no rattling, the grip is solid if a little sloppy. I gave it a good flex in both directions and it returned to true. The pommel is on good and tight, I assume it's just threaded. Looking closely, the tang appears to be about 3/4 of an inch wide. When I get my workshop together (just moved) I'll take it apart, refinish the blade and sharpen it. Then I'll update this review with pics of the tang and cutting results.
I hope this review of the Windlass 15th Century Long Sword has been helpful. To return to Affordable Replicas of Medieval Swords, from Windlass 15th Century Long Sword Review, click here