Arms and Armor

Katzbalger

Overall Length: 26 inches
Blade Length: 20.5 inches
Point of Balance: 2.5 inches from cross
Weight: 2.1 lbs
Cross length: 5 inches
Blade width at cross: 1.75 inches
Blade width 2 inches from tip: 1.75 inches

Performance Review: Historically the katzbalger was used as a close combat weapons often used in the press of the melee when a pike wall had been breached etc. This sword probably has more in common with the Roman gladius then it does with some of the more elegant "longswords" if its era. "Nasty Brutish and Short" adequately sums up the handling characteristics of this piece. I don't see it as a fencing sword but rather as a chopper and stabber when no finesse is required, but rather characteristics like durability, strength and "handiness" (if that can be quantified) are most desired. This katzbalger from Arms and Armor certainly fits that bill. It is a stout little weapon, balanced out as slashing type sword with an extremely stiff blade and robust ricasso. It has made short work of some 1/4 inch plywood that I took it to in the past. Things like "tracking" and "point control" simply do not apply to this blade. It is a different kind of sword.

Appearance: Even when building a brutal little chopper of a weapon Arms and Armor does its best to give us a weapon that is aesthetically pleasing. This particular piece has a nicely finished blade with no discernible grind marks or wobbles. The long double fullers in the robust ricasso are cleanly executed, although if one were to be trying to pick nits one might say that there is something of a machined look to them. The juncture of blade and cross exhibits nice tight tolerances. The pommel and cross are both eminently functional and aesthetically pleasing with a decorative roped pattern imprinted on both. The cross has ball shaped terminals at the ends and the cross itself appears to emanate from the mouths of two opposing zoomorphic dragns or perhaps hydra adding that little something to the piece. The grip is up to Arms and Armor's usual excellent standards, tightly stitched with some sort of cording underneath to give it some texture.

Conclusion: If a person is interested in the late 15th or 16th centuries then this piece is a must have production piece. There are only a few production katzbalgers currently being produced that I am aware of and this one is easily the nicest of the lot.