Windlass Scottish Basket Hilt Sword

WHAT'S IN A NAME: 'CLAYMORE'..

Scottish Basket Hilt Swords are sometimes called 'Claymore' but the term Claymore is a bit nebulous and it seems that it can refer to either the two handed 'William Wallace' style sword or the later, broader bladed than their contemporaries, basket hilt broad sword.. It has long been, and continues to be a matter of debate and it seems both terms are right and both are wrong, depending on who you talk to and in what time period. For more info, this article at Staintescotland.com sheds at a least a little light on the matter so you can make up for own mind...

The Scottish basket hilt sword by Windlass Steelcrafts of India has been called many names and been through many incarnations.

From its original name of the Baskethilt Culloden Sword with steel fittings to the Scottish Basket Hilt 'Claymore' with brass fittings (and the term Claymore as you may know, opens up a whole 'nother can of worms) - to even a version that is almost identical, but with blued 'antiqued' fittings, much better handling and several other improvements called the Culloden Basket Hilt Sword (reviewed here)...

Yeah, it's had its fair share of names and incarnations, but in all respects is basically the same - a solid, time tested replica of a Scottish Basket Hilt Sword at a reasonable (sub $300) price point..

So for the sake of clarity, let's just call this the ORIGINAL Windlass Scottish Basket Hilt Sword, the one with the steel fittings - and see exactly how it stacks up.


Old Windlass Scottish Basket Hilt Sword Review

Review by SBG member Demonskull


I always liked the look of the Culloden Steel Baskethilt but as I am more interested in cruciform styles, I never bothered to pick one up. Like many other members I peruse the other forums' classifieds and Ebay fairly regularly to see if I can find anything of interest.  I have done quite good on Ebay other the years, picking up several Del Tins for about $125 and one that needed a grip, reprofiling and to be repeened for $38. 

I happened across this auction several hours before it was due to end.  There was only one bidder and the end time was very early the next morning.  It's been my experience that the best time to end an Ebay auction in the US is about 10:30 pm to 11:15 pm EST.  This allows those on the East Coast to bid before the go to bed and those on the West Coast to arrive home from work and also put their bids in.  I placed my bid, and as I normally get up several times during the night, I checked shortly after the auction ended.  I had won the sword for about $ 135.00.  There happened to be another one going off several days later.  I watched that one end at approximately $225.  The only real difference in the auctions or the condition was that the second auction ended in the 10:30- 11:15 time frame.  This is meant as advise to those of you who sell on Ebay, ending time matters.

Historical

The Scottish Basket hilt sword/Broadsword - sometimes called a Baskethilted Claymore - was a military man's sword at a time when most Europeon civilians were shifting to rapiers and small swords for dueling and protection.  

The broadsword had the sheer power to cut through flesh and bone and provide a devastating concussive blow to those wearing armor.  The basket like guard provided good hand protection and a nice offensive weapon when punching.

Broadsword of this and similar types were used right up to the Napoleonic Wars and have descendants in the guards of some of the cavalry swords including the Patton.

Initial Impressions

The sword was well packed in a single layer USPS box with adequate packing to protect the sword, top bottom and sides.  As this was a second hand I saw no reason to take pics of the packing.  If the seller is a member here, it was well done though.  As advertised the sword had no major blemishes, bangs or dings and only those one would expect from a 20 years old sword with dry handling.

Statistics

  • Blade Length : 33"  
  • Distal Taper:  @ Guard- .13"     Midway- .125     2" before tip-  .1
  • Profile Taper: @ Guard-  1.7"    Midway- 1.48"    2" before tip-1.3"
  • Handle Length: 4 1/2"   7" from the front of the Guard to the back of the "pommel" retaining nut-  see pics
  • Overall Length:  40"
  • Guard:  7" front to back and 5 1/4" side to side
  • POB:  4 1/2" before the Guard
  • COP:   11 1/2" from the tip or 21 1/2" from the Guard
  • Weight: Approximately 3 lb 12 oz.

Components

The Blade:  Double edged with two narrow fullers straddling one wide fuller extending 15" down the blade - unsharpened

The Handle: appears to be wood with leather wrap and twisted brass wire. 

The Guard: is steel with decorative cutouts

The Pommel: the "pommel" is a cone shaped retainer with a threaded cap

The Scabbard:  IS dyed black heavy leather with a steel chape and throat.

Handling Characteristics

I'm a little under 6' and about 190 lb. I've handled some broadswords before including an old Windlass Regimental sword. This is significantly heavier, but has decent weight distribution so it's not unreasonable. The sword does handle fairly well. I checked some similarly styled broadswords and they appear to have a more pronounced distal taper then this one.

Conclusion

This is a very attractive basket hilt. that would be nice in any collection.  The blade alignment was a little off but easily corrected in a few minutes.  The only thing I would change is I'd increase the distal taper to reduce weight and push the POB back a little toward the guard.

PROS

  • Leather wrap with brass wire makes a good looking and comfortable grip.
  • The guard is large enough for those with big hands. 


CONS

  • Overly heavy

WHERE TO BUY

The Windlass Scottish Basket Hilt Sword in the review is over 20 years old and was purchased second hand on eBay. However, over over two decades later it is still in production by a company that frequently discontinues swords with bad feedback and/or poor sales figures - and that alone speaks volumes about this swords quality.

Other than old ones on eBay, it is exclusively available here at Museum Replicas Limited, where it is available for $284.99 - the retail arm of the manufacturer. But use the SBG coupon code: SBGVIP in the checkout and you will get a 10% discount, bringing the price down to just $256.49 brand new.


I hope this review of the Windlass Scottish Basket Hilt Sword has been helpful. To return to Renaissance Swords from Windlass Scottish Basket Hilt Sword, click here


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