The Balaur Arms German Longsword is a sword that is both agile in the hands and a hard-hitting performance cutter. We collaborated with swordmaker and martial artist LK Chen to optimize the blade of this longsword to bring it a high level of practical cutting ability and handling characteristics. Great care was taken to optimize the sword to ensure that it possesses excellent performance attributes and a high level of construction integrity and durability. The blade is forged from GB 60Si2MnA high carbon alloy spring steel which gives the blade excellent wear resistance and a spring-temper to ensure that it can reliably flex and return true from impact. The final tempered hardness of the blade is 54-55 HRc and the blade was skillfully ground, polished and sharpened to give it a keen and sharp single bevel edge.
The crossguard and pommel are cast from stainless steel and sturdily mounted onto the thick blade tang. The crossguard resists loosening because it has an internal wedge-shaped channel that ensured a tight friction fit when mounted onto the blade tang and shoulder. A genuine leather rainguard chape is added to the guard and serves its purpose of keeping rain and moisture out of the scabbard with well-oiled leather to act as a rain repellent. The tang was then hot-peened over the pommel to anchor the blade into the hilt and ensure a robust construction. The hardwood grip is crafted from two halves of wood which are glued at the seam over the tang and then bound in tight leather. This construction method for the grip ensures that even if the wood were to shrink slightly it would not compromise the tightness of the sword hilt. Swords with friction-fit peens can loosen over time if the wooden grip shrinks and then leaves a gap in that friction-fit for the hilt. This alternate method used for this German Longsword removes that possibility by keeping the grip fitting separate from the pommel and guard.
A rainguard chape of leather is at the base of the crossguard; these leather attachments were not unusual to see on German, Swiss, Czech and other central European swords of the late Medieval period, but are not often reproduced in replicas because many of these leather pieces did not preserve well with the centuries and thus they are not seen on many of the museum pieces used as reference. Though often called a “rain guard” there is lively debate among sword scholars to its true purpose – practical? ornamental? an early form of protection from specific fencing techniques when not wearing gauntlets? The true purpose is open for deliberation, but these leather attachments were often a focal point for artisanal design and embellishment on high quality swords. Regardless of intended purpose, they do serve to keep rain out of the scabbard.
The sword is paired with a tough and durably built wooden scabbard which is tightly bound in well-stitched black leather and completed with a stainless steel chape.