The Albion Agincourt Jul 5, 2009 12:21:43 GMT -5
Post by KingRat on Jul 5, 2009 12:21:43 GMT -5
The Albion Agincourt
(Oakeshott Type XVa)
Reviewed by King Rat AKA Tom Wood
(Oakeshott Type XVa)
Reviewed by King Rat AKA Tom Wood
This is not a sub $300 sword, but following a recent discussion on the main board a couple of people expressed an interest in seeing a review. So as I had the day free I thought I would produce this review
This is my third sword and I put quite a lot of thought in to buying the right one. After I bought my first two swords, an Oakeshott type X(a cut orientated sword) and a type XVI (a cut and thrust orientated sword) I decided that I wanted to buy a purely thrusting sword. I was immediately taken by the elegance and the extremely acutely pointed blade of the Agincourt. I have also had good experience with Albion and absolutely love their swords. I mulled over the sword for a long time, after all they are not cheap, but eventually came to the conclusion that I wanted it.
During the 14th century armour went through a revolution, with both the quality and availability of armour growing. At the beginning of the century most armour consisted of chain mail with relatively small areas reinforced with plate, by the beginning of the 15th century technology had moved forward and armour consisted of suits of plate armour with small areas of chain mail.
European swords had been traditionally made with cutting in mind, but as armour improved new solutions needed to be found. One such solution is that shown in the Type VX, with its rigid blade that tapers through the whole length to an acute tip. It is designed to thrust between plate armour, or through chain mail.
I had a few problems with Albion Europe’s web site, and had to click on the order button several times before I managed to order. I understand that Albion Europe are going to have a long overhaul of their website, so this problem may be solved. On ordering I got a personal email almost immediately from Albion to confirm that the order had been made. Like a lot of Albion swords the website indicated that there would be a 4 month wait. In the end it only took 5 weeks for the sword to arrive.
I exchanged a few emails with Albion over a couple of points and they were always quick to reply.
Albion emailed me before sending the sword with the UPS tracking number, so that I could track it as it made its way from their European base in Sweden to the UK.
The sword arrived in a white cardboard box suspended between two blocks of foam packing. When I ordered my first Albion I had concerns that this box may have not be substantial enough to survive the rigours of being posted. However after studying the box (and taking a few experimental swings at it with the sword) I came to the conclusion that it was substantial enough.
As well as the sword Albion put a free bottle of Oil and two Scotch-Brite cleaning pads in the box.
Overall length: 46.25" (117.5 cm)
Blade length: 36.25" (92 cm)
Blade Width: 1.875" (4.76 cm)
CoB: 3.375" (8.57 cm)
CoP: 21.375" (54 cm)
Weight: 3 lbs 7 oz (1.56 kilos)
The blade is a relatively narrow, with a diamond cross section, tapering throughout its length to an acute point. The blade has a distal taper throughout the length until you reach the last three inches where it thickens slightly to reinforce the tip. The tip is surprisingly fine, and is almost like a needle. My experience of Albion swords tells me that while the tip looks delicate, the design is such that it can take some abuse.
The finish on the blade is a fine matt brushed effect. There are no detectable defects. Holding the blade and looking down the length, I can see no sign of the hand finishing of the blade with no wavering of the thickness.
The edge has been ground to a beautiful apple see edge which is uniformly sharp. While not literally razor sharp, it is certainly sharp enough.
The handle is just over 7.5” long, making it roomy and comfortable when held in two hands.
The handle is cord wrapped leather over a wood core. The leather wrapping is very well done, with a barely visible seem. The handle has four risers, one at either end and two in the middle.
The Guard is a type 7 Guard with long elegant quillions that gently curve in to a C shape. The quillions are hexagonal in cross section at the ends and swelling in the middle of the guard.
The guard, like the blade, is finished to a matt, brushed finish, which is immaculate. I can detect no pitting, scratches, unevenness or other flaws.
There is virtually no gap in the junction where the guard meets the blade. The hole through which the blade run has is very slightly uneven edge. But I must stress this is very slight and really is of no issue.
As you would expect there is no movement or rattling of any kind in the guard.
The pommel is a Type J pommel , as with the rest of the sword it is finished to a high quality matt brushed finish. There is a very small casting pit on the edge of the pommel but this is very minor.
The peenning has been done in a way that’s very clean, with a small neat domed rivet, with no hammer marks.
Again as expected there is no movement in the pommel
Like all Albion’s it does not come with a scabbard and I could not justify the extra expenditure on an Albion scabbard.
The Sword weighs 3.5 pounds and so it is no lightweight, but neither is it excessively heavy. A lot of that weight sits close to the handle, with the point of balance just over 3.3 inches from the guard. This weight distribution makes it surprisingly swift, and allows a great deal of point control.
The sword feels light enough to use comfortably with one hand, however it is clear that it is designed to be used with two hands, with the long handle giving plenty of room for both hands.
It is a absolute delight to handle, when u first took it out of the box I spent half an hour in the guardian, just dry handling. I was amassed at how light and quick it feels
Plastic milk jugs.
I started by cutting a relatively light target, plastic milk jugs. The sword cut through milk jugs, with relatively little resistance.
Plastic drink bottles.
As this is a primarily thrusting sword, I initially had concerns about how well it would do against harder plastic. While it may not be on par with some of the more cut orientated swords it certainly still cuts with authority. It is less forgiving then a cut orientated sword, and good technique and edge alignment seem critical to a good cut. You will not get away with a baseball bat technique.
The rigid, acute tip, blade shape and weight distribution make this a thrusting sword. While this sword cuts it really comes in to its own when thrusting. You only need to trust it through a milk bottle to understand what it is about. It passed through the target effortlessly.
- Excellent weight and balance
- The finish can only be described as immaculate.
- Solid fitting
- historically accurate
- powerful thrusting with out sacrificing cutting
- Apple seed edge
- The cost
- The waiting time
The Bottom Line
The Albion Agincourt may not be the first choice of the back yard cutters. After all if you are only interested in cutting bottles, then you can pick up many other swords that will perform as well if not better, and are cheaper. However trying to comparing the Agincourt to a cut orientated sword is like comparing apples and oranges, this sword is made for thrusting. If you are looking to buy a type XVa then you are doing so for reason other then its cutting ability. If you are buying a Albion type XVa then I suspect you have researched your sword well and know why you want it.