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Old 03-20-2012, 07:13 AM
GPArcher GPArcher is offline
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Default Cutlass: Good SHTF Blade/Sword?



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Hello. I'm in the market for more than a machete but less than a full out sword, and a Cutlass-type sword seems to fit the bill.

1. Good idea overall? If I'm in the market for say a $125-$150 model?

2. Any recommendations? I'd love the ZombieTools version but it seems a bit out of that price range.

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:53 PM
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Cold Steel makes a good cutlass. If youre a bigger dude, the Grosse Messer might fit the bill. If youre smaller, might look at rapiers. Grosse Messers are only a few dollars more on ebay, shop around. Swords never run out of ammo. Machetes are tools, not dedicated weapons. I got a nice folded katana instead... I can cut machetes in two all day long.
Old 03-20-2012, 07:31 PM
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A couple of companies make machete-cutlasses if you'd like to go on a trial run before you spend a couple/few hundred bucks:

Condor Tool and Knife Bush Cutlass http://www.condortk.com/productsdetail.php?prodid=86

Cold Steel Cutlass Machete http://www.coldsteel.com/cutlassmachete.html
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:02 PM
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Have you trained with a Cutlass at all? As a dedicated weapon, it takes more skill than a machete to be effective, otherwise its just a long piece of sharp steel with a point.

As for whether or not its a good idea ... the Cutlass was developed for a specific environment, and not as an all around weapon. If you look at the wars in the Pacific in the last century, a bayonet on the end of an empty MBR was very commonly used to defeat swords on the battlefield.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:18 PM
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I have a decent collection of westerns and katana-like-objects.

The CS Grosse Messer is a nice piece. It balances well enough one-handed and handles like a katana with two. My only dislike with this particular piece is it's a backsword.

Likewise, the CS Cutlass is a nice piece (or so I've heard, since I don't have one).

If I were to stake my life on sharpened steel, it would be a western broadsword along the lines of an Oakeshott XVIII with a full two-handed grip, 34+ inch blade made of 1060 steel, well tempered and properly profiled to bring the balance (POB) to just a few inches in front of the guard to make a good cut-and-thrust.

My second choice would be an Oakeshott XIV with a blade under 30 inches and a POB of two or three inches.

That said, I think a machete will serve much better (even though it is also a backsword), as well as free up money for boolets and beans.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:40 PM
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Of all my bona fide swords, my CS cutlass would be the most "practical" (and I use that term loosely) for a SHTF scenario, IMO.

Not likely to happen, though. Biggest thing I would carry would be my Al Mar Pathfinder, and even that would be under very extraordinary circumstances.
Old 03-22-2012, 01:15 PM
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Remember that a cutlass is a sword, a short sword but still a sword and you'd better take sabre fencing lessons to be able to begin to use one properly...Not epee or foil but sabre unless you have a AEMMA, ARMA, MEMAG or AHF group nearby, even an SCA group in a pinch where broad swords and shields and rapier and main gauche and buckler etc. fighting in taught.
The CS one is made by Windless Steelcrafts.
Old 03-22-2012, 01:17 PM
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Weapons are just tools, i'm not trying to be a smartass but before you ask "would this or that be good for this or that" ask yourself "how good would I be at "this or that"? Are you willing to train and drill with the weapon? If so go for it...if not then its hit and miss. No weapon is inherently advantageous if you dont train realistically with it...not even firearms. Its never so much about the weapon as the individual using it. IMHO.

That said if something appeals to you get it and then do your dilligence to make the weapon work for you, or discard for something thats more your cup of tea and/or more realistic to your needs.

Good luck,
RD
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:28 PM
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"Hey leutenant, there is four guys with rifles to the left, but one guy with a sword to our right."
"Turn right".

Consider this: People who have guns aren't afraid of swords, and everyone has a gun.
Old 03-24-2012, 06:23 PM
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Most people do have guns but most people dont keep enough ammo on hand.... In a deep scenario ammo is going to get hard to come by and contrary to what most people think it will be almost impossible, due to paranoia/ common sense, to trade for. Edged weaponry is obsolete...I'm not arguing that...But I dont think its far fetched to see a scenario when ammo gets scarce, especially areas immediately surrounding as well as within major cities.

Even in the suburban and rural areas, the sheer tension and paranoia most folks will be experiencing might make the ammo go pretty quick.

As survivalists I feel we have to realize that there will be a whole lot of folks under a whole lot of pressure as their ideas of "normal" get turned upside down. Alot of gunowners with no other means of survival arent just going to lay down and die, they will be expending some ammunition as will the folks they are trying victimize.

In a general lawless state feuds and squabbles will break out...there goes more ammo. Hunting will acount for still more.

As a general rule "primitive" weapons are less efficient but generally more sustainable in a long term scenario....so blades and bows make alot of sense as addition to security preps as well as being educational and fun

efficient repeating arms have not been around that long, relatively speaking, in the long veiw of history. Swords ,axes, spears, lances, pikes, bills and bows have decided the vast majority of the worlds conflicts...and depending on just how bad things get, unlikely though it may seem, they may do so again.

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Take care,
RD
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:26 PM
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Even when there are bullets around, things happen that lead to hand-to-hand combat, no? I'd rather have more than a pocket knife on me if that were the case!
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPArcher View Post
Even when there are bullets around, things happen that lead to hand-to-hand combat, no? I'd rather have more than a pocket knife on me if that were the case!
Just get a 2-3 foot section of steel pipe, it's a lot cheaper, and just as effective as a sword would be, if it comes to hand to hand. You can't cut with it, but if you bash their head in, they are just as dead.
Old 03-25-2012, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msurvivalist View Post
Just get a 2-3 foot section of steel pipe, it's a lot cheaper, and just as effective as a sword would be, if it comes to hand to hand. You can't cut with it, but if you bash their head in, they are just as dead.
Since the steel pipe dont have a edge, nor does it has a guard, to claim it will be just as effective is a overstatement. I would say that if you are in the fight to get prisoners, then you can use the steel pipe. If you want to have some serious wounded or dead intruder, the sword is a lot better.

GParcher, how and where is it you think to use the cutlass? I have thought about it myself, so i would love to toss some ideas back and forth.

I cant recomend any cutlasses, but you could try Paul Chen i guess.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froyatro View Post
Since the steel pipe dont have a edge, nor does it has a guard, to claim it will be just as effective is a overstatement. I would say that if you are in the fight to get prisoners, then you can use the steel pipe. If you want to have some serious wounded or dead intruder, the sword is a lot better.
This is incorrect. Hitting someone with it would be pretty devastating, and you don't have to worry about potentially hazardous body fluids all over your house.

Study up on blunt trauma sometime.
Old 03-25-2012, 10:46 AM
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While this may sound like a cop out, I agree with both of you. Its really hard to argue the effectiveness of being smitten about the head and shoulders by a steel pipe

On the other hand I would give the nod to the sword for being more agile and tactically versatile being capale of sheering blows, slices, and thrusts. as to bodily fluids even blunt impacts can cause severe bleeding especially in the face.

however, as I stated before the individual is more of a factor than the weapon itself. Both improvised as well as dedicated weaponry are worthy studies, IMHO

Take care,
RD
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:06 PM
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Agreed, and I keep it even simpler and use my rifle butt as an impact weapon. Weight is a huge consideration for me, since I have knee and leg problems from the military, and weigh about 150. Just like hiking, I have to give consideration to every ounce I carry. So, bugging out, that leaves out things like a shotgun(ammo is too heavy, high recoil, low capacity, low range) for a rifle. Think max versatility for the weight.
Old 03-25-2012, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froyatro View Post
GParcher, how and where is it you think to use the cutlass? I have thought about it myself, so i would love to toss some ideas back and forth.
I don't necessarily want a cutlass. I want some type of decent, strong, sharp, utilitarian blade that would be a step up from a machete. In terms of how and where, let me just give you my reasons for wanting one:

1. Redundancy -- After guns & bow and arrow, there's the sword...
2. Indoors -- I even just want one for pre-shtf, home invasion type stuff. Guy turns my corner in the dark, bad news for him. Easy to grab, quick to use. Better than a baseball bat.
3. I am not a martial artist, or very big -- for SHTF, I'd be out of luck if it ever came to fighting. But, if it were just hand to hand and someone of average ability came up looking for trouble, I would love to have a 25" sword to protect me and mine (lets say guns are broken / confiscated / whatever).
4. I would like to learn how to use one, just because.


EDIT: Oh, and btw, I don't know if you read The Walking Dead graphic novels, but Michonne gets me thinking about a sword's utility, even in a world of guns!
Old 03-26-2012, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msurvivalist View Post
This is incorrect. Hitting someone with it would be pretty devastating, and you don't have to worry about potentially hazardous body fluids all over your house.

Study up on blunt trauma sometime.
Yes, you can kill whit a steel pipe. It was a little to overdramatized statement on my behalf, i see in retrospect. But, you still have to have some force behind the hit for it to be lethal. Whit a sharp blade whit a point, you have lot more to go on. You can stab and cut, on much closer hold that you can do whit the pipe. The pipe can be blocked by a unarmored arm (whit weak hits, it's unlikly that you can have a deadly force behind every attack), whit a sword there will be a wound as long as you hit whit the edge. The sight of the blood may even scare of some intruders. The pipe will leave bleeding wonds to, but i se your point on that. But off curse, i do agree that a steelpipe is a potent weapon. I would also like to give my sincere apollogy/excuse, since i see that i was a complete asshead, and jumped in to the discussion whit my mind already made up, and that is stupid. It's no point going on this forum if you dont intend to learn, and the best way to do that is to discuss options, even those we may find stupid. So sorry.

But to claim that a steel pipe is just as effective as a sword, now that i dont buy.

GParcher, have you tought about using a simple axe? Its probarly the best if you are on a budget, since a good woodcutter axe is good anyway, and you even have a blunt force option in the other end. The next qwestion you should ask yourself is what you want to do whit the blade. Is cutting important? Do you want a light weapon, or a more heavy one?
In that general size, you have stuff like the cutlass, wich have pretty good defense/offense over your hand, and have a saber like shape which is good fore cutting, one edge which mean that you can use your other hand to add extra force on the back of the sword, and you can stab whit it.
You also have stuff like the Wakizashi, the Viking sword, Gladius sword, and the Juan sword. Some are best for stabbing, some are best for chopping. The importance of where to use what sword, depends much on space. To swing a claymore inside a closet is pretty futile after all! If its on a open field, then maybe a spear?

I to "train" a little whit my Katana, and i guess that i can hold up in a fight if i have to, as long it's not someone who is a good fighter! Swords are cool, so i bought one just because.
Old 03-26-2012, 10:43 AM
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I would direct people to the aformentioned Al Mar Pathfinder, but I don't think they make them anymore, and they were pretty expensive when they did.

Given the priority, time, energy, and cost commitments expressed (minimal, and wisely so for survival purposes), in addition to the cutlass I think a cheap gladius might fit the bill. I think Cold Steel has one out that, while not up to a collectors standard, would still give yeoman's service in a zombie apocalypse.

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:04 PM
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Cold steel blades are also a good base for a DIY project, when I buy products like cold steel, which is seldom, I've usually got an idea for customizing them....with a little hard work you can come up with a very cool and servicable weapon out of these "cheap" blades and axes. Not saying they're not servicable out of the box but a little tweaking with the edge geometry and dressing them up a bit dont hurt
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