CS MAA Arming Sword

Joined
Apr 13, 2016
Messages
15
(2nd post on Blade Forum - not sure if this should go in Sword Discussion, or CS forum(?)

First Impressions of CS MAA Arming Sword:
Stats on CS website and KnifeCenter are accurate.

Lightest feeling and best balanced CS sword I've held. Point of balance is 4" in front of the guard. Profile, distal taper and fuller are all cleanly executed. I've owned an original Atrim, and handled Albions. This makes a perfect single-hand cut-and-thrust; sidearm, archer's sword, etc. Pommel nut construction holds sword securely, but allows for dismount to customize. I'll be stripping the black finish off the blade. When my mods are completed, the sword may even resemble an historical piece!

Pommel is inlet to accept the rectangular tang stock - sometimes called 'keyed'. Ergo, tang stock and not threaded tang-end takes the shock, and pommel will not rotate. Pommel is extremely well done - shape works well for slipping the grip to extend reach, or grabbing with second hand for greater control.

Comes with acceptable secondary edge bevel. Easy to fix. Out of box: cut cleanly against 1/2 inch dia. branches and slashed apart a rotted out 10 inch dia. birch stump. No damage/warping to blade or edge. No loosening of hilt. Very impressed. Just ordered my BK20 Bundok bowie to customize for off-hand weapon. Should be a lovely pair! Will try to post pics with a follow up review.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2016
Messages
15
Took down the hilt today. Happy with blade stock and tang proportions. Weld for threaded end seems clean/strong.
Spaces inside grip and pommel filled with epoxy-like 'filler' which crumbled away. However, after reassembling and tightening pommel nut, there was no play in cross, grip or pommel.
Over all, still pleased with purchase, especially when intended as a project sword.
Planned modifications:
1) Bringing shoulders down and lengthening grip 1" to change balance point and give more room for second hand.
2) Make hardwood grip, contoured to my specs.
3) Custom Celtic knotwork leather scabbard.
4) Possibly strip blade, although the finish is actually not all that bad, and will scuff up nicely over time.

HEMA folks will balk, but essentially I'm making myself a Euro-shaped pointy katana (hand-and-a-half short sword).
It's already a great sword, especially as an archer's sidearm, sword+buckler, etc.
BTW - Comes with a fairly well-done, serviceable scabbard.

7871159.jpg

8661613_orig.jpg

8263218_orig.jpg

9360454_orig.jpg

8213583_orig.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 13, 2016
Messages
15
IMHO - this is a great sword for everyone who was pissed that Windlass/MRL discontinued one of their best sellers, the Type XIV Medieval Arming Sword.
The CS MAA Arming sword handles just as well. It actually has similar length proportions to, and handles much like the Albion Sovereign. The Albion is undoubtedly a much better cutter, and better materials/finish/historicity - and it's five times more expensive.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
1,808
Replica of 5th C spatha. Note wide tang, of softer core steel than blade edges.
07tang.jpg

http://www.templ.net/english/making-blucina_sword.php


www.sword-manufacturers-guide.co ... sword.html

"Another factor where a sword can succeed or fail is in the assembly of the hilt.
There was a major difference between the construction of antique swords and modern swords; modern swords are made entirely of steel in one piece. The blade, tang etc. is a single piece of steel. Contrary to this it seems to have been the nearly universal practice from the Middle Ages until well into the 19th C. to make a steel blade and scarf-weld it to a wrought-iron tang. This means that the tang, shoulder of the blade and the first couple of inches of the blade were made as a separate piece and forge-welded to the blade.

This means that we do have some different considerations; the tang needs to be treated differently because unlike the wrought-iron tang and shoulder of a 'period' blade the modern sword's tang is hard and subject to work-hardening in a way that was not true of the originals. This means that the shoulder (the join of the blade and tang) has to be well-rounded to avoid creating stress-points that can cause the blade to snap off at the tang. Ideally the tang should have a lower temper than the blade as well."

here's a pic of a nicely radiused one:
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f24/hephaestus61/Maces Hammer-In 2011-10-22/Matts-sword-tang.jpg
(nevermind the welded thread- that's a different discussion :) )

Now, I've seen many that are not as rounded but what you don't want is a right angle at the shoulder/tang point, no sharp corner. You want a nice curve- like a lady.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 13, 2016
Messages
15
The following are my musings, biased by my desire to justify my purchase. I appreciate everyone's feedback, insight and suggestions.

Hear you all on the tang width. One of the mods is to remove one inch of length from the shoulders. This gives me the opportunity to widen the 'new' shoulder/tang junction; I will have to widen the opening in the cross guard accordingly, and will round the transition slightly (don't like those 90 deg. angles). This will, of course, bring me into the known heat-treated portion of the blade material. The stock at that point is approx. .2" thick, almost 2" wide with a lenticular/flattened diamond cross-section.

Regarding tang hardness: Don't recall if tang hardness is described in manufacturer's specs. I'm aware that other WMA user swords (such as CAS/Hanwei Tinker line) have the tangs drawn back to be tougher. However - you can't see it in the pics, but the tang has 'COLD STEEL' stamped into it. It's using generic lettering (not the CS logo), and doesn't seem etched/milled (which would be costly). The tang is at least lower in hardness than the stamps, and likely lower than the blade. Steel stamps are around 60 Rockwell, no? Again, merely speculation.

Peen vs. thread/nut: Threaded ends on 'using' swords have gotten better over time. Not sure what the thread measurements are for this, but the nut seems to grab it sturdily. I smashed apart an old stump (thereby abusing the sword) without the slightest loosening in any part of the hilt. If it were going to fail anywhere, I think it would be at the weld, not the threads/nut. One advantage to nut construction is ease of disassembly for mods.

In general, in handling many high end functional/historical swords, and seeing their construction, I still have confidence in this piece. Take into account the consistency of modern steels, manufacturing and heat-treating methods. Check out the tangs on Albion's blade blanks, they are no meatier than these.

It will be some time before I can do my mod/rebuild. I'll be able to do some tests on light/medium targets with protective gear, and we'll see how she holds up. In the extremely unlikely event I need a defensive sword, I'll grab a machete for slashing or BK7 to oppose body armor. For me, sword ownership is meditative, good exercise and a fun fantasy.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
1,808
"One of the mods is to remove one inch of length from the shoulders."
I'd rather weld/forge a triangle on each side, curve the edge, file the minimal out the crossguard and handle & voila. I hope I'm not too late.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2016
Messages
15
"One of the mods is to remove one inch of length from the shoulders."
I'd rather weld/forge a triangle on each side, curve the edge, file the minimal out the crossguard and handle & voila. I hope I'm not too late.

Great idea - unfortunately, don't have those capabilities. Working with file/dremel. I also want to shorten the blade/lengthen the grip. I've modified sword blades like this in the past (where blade stock is sufficiently thick) without compromising the integrity of the blade. Worked great on a Del Tin I had/sold. Thanks for the tip; won't actually get to this for 6-12 months, so maybe things will change.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
1,808
"don't have those capabilities."
Surely you must know (of) someone with welding gear, who'll charge you $20.
Butchering blades by shortening them at the tang, rather you than me pal.
 
Last edited:

horseclover

Basic Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2000
Messages
2,512
There is nothing wrong with shortening a blade by stock removal at the shoulders. I have read of it much more so than the thoughts of adding material to tangs..

Indeed, welding or forge welding material to the blade at the shoulders is going to affect changes in heat treat, unless you have someone well versed in tig welding and at that point, why bother.

Many have added a radius to existing shoulders and grinding to lengthen a tang quite normal in the do it yourself crowd. Even one of mine has had such work and everything worked out just fine.


mc6xdg.jpg

xepmxz.jpg


Doing so to get past the welded stub quite common among the diy crowd. Any number of them will be so detailed at myArmoury, Sword Forum International, Sword Buyers Guide.....

Cheers

GC

Here's another of mine that had minor shoulder and tang modification after the fact.

5vnozo.jpg


Both shown are Arms&Armor swords, so they wern't exactly throw aways to begin with.
 
Top