Issue 140 - October 2019
Welcome to the Halloween 2019 edition of the Sword Buyers Digest.

Long time subscribers will know that over the years it has become something of a SBD tradition for the October issue to focus on Halloween. But as usual, it goes a lot deeper than that - for in this issue we get to see some real 'horror' with pics of a well tempered 1095 carbon steel and what it does to a wallhanger, take a look at the true horror of sword fighting from a historical perspective, sword news and then all the usual mayhem.

So hope you enjoy!
Swords in the News
Positive Sword Stories that made internet news last month
Could HEMA training be the next 'Zumba'? Well, we hope not - but to see it slowly becoming more widely recognized and popular surely can't be a bad thing.

Nothing can be much cooler than a genuine Nihonto forged from the ore of a single meteorite that fell to earth in the late 19th century. Fascinating read.

Most people who have any experience in the matter know that the discipline, dedication and hard work required to excel in any type of sword fighting art. But in Senegal being literally transformed by this challenging sword sport.

Soft swords and a built in targeting system that lets you KNOW when you've been got, and a GREAT way to get the kids off the couch for around $40. Cool!
Ever wondered what a 3,200 year old sword looks like? Well, they just unearthed one in Spain earlier last month. Always fascinating to see the evolution of the sword, from flint knife to bronze knife and then LONG bronze knives - the sword was born..

Bespoke ceremonial swords are BIG business in the middle East. Here's the story of one British businessman that bet everything on a sword now worth around £190,000 sword - and his royal customers so impressed they ordered 15 more!

Not exactly a positive story, but it shows you that stupidity has no national borders. If the difference between a weapon and a tool boils down to intent, then arresting people for cutting wedding cakes with swords is about as party poopery as you can get..

In a place that turned to hell on earth in 2011 with the tsunami and resulting nuclear meltdown, the people of Soma - many actual descends of real Samurai families - stage a parade that must never be allowed to die and represents the resilience of the Japanese spirit.

I won't spoil the surprise here, but a young fellow in the UK gets more than he bargained for when he does some backyard cutting just a little bit close to.. Well, you'll see (it certainly gave me a chuckle, especially the way he walks around afterwards clearly thinking 'Ok. I'm in big trouble').
Doomdsay Line 'Glamor' Horror Pics
Not only is official SBG Sword tester and now creator of the new Doomsday Sword line, hand made to be almost indestructible by Chris Palmer from Scorpion Swords - but he also has a flair for the artistic with an appropriate Halloween themed pics of Doomsday Sword #001 (click to see a larger pic).
Pretty good value for a sub $300 blade made with pride in the USA.
While that picture is scary enough, here is another that is even SCARIER - what your typical wallhanger looks like after a few rounds with a Doomsday Sword..
True horror - Historical Sword Wounds
WARNING: Links contain some graphic content
Most movies and fiction would have you believe that a good sword is severing limbs left right and center and decapitation a common injury. But the truth is considerably darker..

There are many documented cases of warriors fighting on after limb loss, for example in 2012 an Irish man continued to pummel an attacker who severed his hand with a Samurai Sword with the bloody stump!

Here is an excellent article which takes a quick look at what to expect from a sword injury. Or what the skull of a 45 year old man looked like after 6 cuts during the battle of Hastings from this article.
The grim reality is that it is rare to kill an opponent with a single blow in combat, some opponents were struck over 60 times - many had hideous injuries that, when examining the bone, showed that they lived on afterwards for several years. So when it comes to 'true horror' nothing comes close to what a real sword fight would look like..
Museum Replicas Halloween Specials
New specials up to 50% off in the lead up to Halloween
It looks like Museum Replicas Limited (MRL) - one of the oldest and most respected sword dealers established as a mail order company by Hank Reinardt in the 1970s - is THE place to pick up some quality Halloween themed gear and bits and pieces for 2019.

Each week they are offering 12 closeout items at up to 50% off - mostly costumes for both men and ladies - but check back at the start of each week leading up to Halloween and see if something strikes your fancy.
P.S. Don't forget to you use the coupon code "SBGVIP" in the checkout to save a further 10% (this coupon applies to ALL their products - click here for more information on SBG coupon codes).
Video of the Month
Have you ever heard of the sword known as the 'Kusanagi'? It may not be the first sword you think of when it comes to Halloween, but it's mysterious nature and semi-mythical status make it a very appropriate tale for this time of year.

The name 'Kusanagi' translates roughly to the 'grass cutting (sword)' and is part of three mystical items known as the Imperial Regalia (the other items, a mirror and a jewel).

Since the 7th Century, every new Emperor is presented with these three sacred items in a secret ceremony seen only by the Emperor and a handful of Shinto high priests..
Found in the tail of an 8 headed monster by a god, it was eventually gifted by the sun goddess to the 12th Emperor of Japan. So what is it and where did this sword come from originally?

A curious mystery that continues to this very day.. Click here to read more about the full legend here at Beyond Science
Bad Sword of the Month
It's not a monthly feature, though we do run it consequentially on occasion - but after seeing this monstrosity, it cried out to be featured as the worst sword of the month..

I mean, when it comes to plain 'bad' - this sword ticks all the boxes. It's stainless steel - but full tang. It's got lots of snaggy things that are certain to catch in your hair, clothes or skin and the unique geometry ensures that it finds a way to avoid going to deep into the target.

Made lighter with random holes all over the place, and with a free scabbard to carry it on your back, what more you could ask for? One of the less flattering new additions to for $36.99
Best Forum Posts
As the medieval sword evolved, what happened to 'last years' model? How many years would it be practical to maintain a 'family' sword and what might make it obsolete?

There can and is a lot of confusion surrounding the legality of swords from state to state, country to country. Here's a bit of a break down of the situation.

Now with his own in house heat treatment facility, the game has changed for famed sword artisan, maker and designer, Michael Tinker Pearce. Check out his latest creation.

The thread itself is quite short, but the links say it all. Who would have thought to use olive oil to protect your blade? Interesting read.
Great Halloween Ideas at Kult of Athena
They might be a bit strict at this time of year - indeed their official Haloween Policy is:

Halloween Return Policy
Due to previous abuse of our generous return policy, clothing, armor, and some weapons purchased between September 20th and October 31st may be returned for store credit only. Returned items must show no signs of use or wear. Our normal return policy will resume in November. During this time, returns will be handled on a case by case basis at our sole discretion, with exceptions made for our established customers. In other words, if you are planning to purchase items to use for a costume with the intention of returning them afterward, Do not order!

But assuming you aren't one of 'those' types of people, here's some cool options for you and the kids this Halloween.
Masks and Make Up
Recently Kult of Athena have been branching out into LARP (Live Action Roleplaying) and have a truly massive selection of masks, make up (like elf ears, etc) and more hideous looking monsters than you can poke a sword at. Prices range from $10 to $70 or so and are appropriately terrifying for Halloween. Especially if combined with the next line up of products.

LARPing it Up
Carrying one of the real swords around the streets at Halloween time might not be the smartest move. But what sword lovers costume is complete without a decent looking sword, and with LARP swords, not only do they look quite realistic - but you can fight with them and keep all your limbs! A large selection of only the best swords.

And of course, costumes
This is probably what they are most concenrned about having returned - and understandably so. But whether you wish to assume the identity of a medieval crusading Knight or a fantasy warrior, KoA has you covered with a massive selection.

The Throne of Swords by DSA
I am slightly embarrassed to say this, but I have not seen a SINGLE episode of Game of Thrones. One, because if anything is too popular I tend not to want to know about it until after the hype has died out, and the other reason is - SBG leaves me almost zero free time, certainly not enough to watch hours and hours of TV..

But I do like the swords, and was stunned to see this recreation of the Iron Throne, a one off project with 112 REAL swords and a $15,000 price tag (which when you think about it, isn't a bad deal, just $130 per 5160 Spring Steel sword!).
But this is not the only Game of Thrones inspired product made by Darksword. As Eyal explains in this video, their most recent creation - the Mother of Dragons Sword - is a historical blade redesigned for one of the central characters in the series, Daenerys.
Truly a stunning sword, check it out by clicking the link above - at $485 including deluxe scabbard, sharpening, suspension system, no sales tax and free shipping, it's a pretty darned good deal even if I do say so myself and a must for lovers of both historical shortswords, Game of Thrones and Fantasy Swords in General.
Happy Halloween!
Well, hope you enjoyed the Halloween edition of the digest this year. Next month will be a BIG Katana much at SBG after several delays preparing round 2 of the Project X Japanese and modifying the Forge Direct Custom Katana (and more!). But that's MY horror story for the month, in the meantime - Happy Halloween, stay safe as you slay as many pumpkins as you dare and happy swordening.

In the meantime, just in case the Zombie Apocalypse actually occurs - the swords below are all you need. All 4 models in stock and ready to ship.