Longswords with ring-shaped pommels aren’t limited to Irish traditions. The ring pommel was a simple and practical solution to sword construction in many parts of the world, known in Germany and Korea as well as in Ireland. If you’re looking for an accurate Irish bastard sword, this replica does come close to many Irish weapons of the Middle Ages.
Bastard swords in general belonged in a class of weapon often known as “hand-and-a-half.” Not quite as large as the claymore, a two-handed version favored by Scotsmen, the bastard sword combined two-handed power and one-handed dexterity. Ring-shaped pommels cut down on the weight while still providing enough blunt force for a crushing reverse blow. In some Irish weapons, a trademark feature was a rat-tailed tang which extended through a ring of steel and was capped at the end. This modern replica sword follows that old Irish pattern.
With an overall length of 36 inches, the Irish Ring sword isn’t too much for one-handed use. The double-edged, 27-inch blade of high carbon stainless steel is well shaped and polished, but not sharpened to a razor edge. Most materials used in the sword are traditional including hardwood for grip and scabbard and genuine leather coverings for both. The sword’s cross-guard is simple stainless steel, functional but not decorative, and appropriate for a true combat sword.
All the weapon lacks is combat quality steel and the details of tempering and construction you don’t get from a replica weapon. If you need a display sword or a costume piece, the Irish Ring Bastard Sword fits.
See the Cold Steel version of the Hand-and-a-Half Longsword for a practical, modern, combat-quality interpretation of this old weapon.
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