This replica sword is a faithfully detailed copy of the sabre carried by USMC officers since the late 1800’s. The major differences between this sword and genuine mamelukes costing several hundred dollars are the materials and production tolerances.
The replica Mameluke’s highly polished blade of 440 high carbon stainless steel carries etchings which include the phrase “United States Marines” using the same style and pattern as the genuine military issue dress sword. Fittings are plated steel rather than solid metal as in the true Marine Corps Mameluke, and the handle grip of this replica uses imitation ivory instead of the real material.
Weak points include the plating of the cross guard and the scabbard’s fittings, since wear and tear or regular polishing could eventually wear those pieces thin. Since the temper of the blade isn’t combat quality, some distortion is possible, and the fit of blade to scabbard will vary from piece to piece. Although the blade is stainless and shouldn’t need extra attention, a regular rubdown with light oil will help prevent binding in the sheath.
The replica Marine Corps Mameluke does a good job of recreating a historically important weapon now only used for ceremony. Adapted from the sabre designs of Egypt’s Mameluk warriors, who wielded similar swords in the days of the Ottoman Empire, this light and fast cavalry sword became officers’ issue for several western armies in the late 18th Century. The Mameluke’s connection to the Marine Corps began in 1804 when Prince Hamet, an Ottoman viceroy, presented First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon with a mameluke in recognition of his heroism at the Battle of Derne during the First Barbary War. The design has changed little since its official adoption in 1825.
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