Sunday, January 29, 2012

Top 5 (Non-Sword) Weapons of the Medieval Era

Top 5 (Non-Sword) Weapons of the Medieval Era

The Medieval era is well known for its wide and varied sword based weaponry. But there were other weapons, equally impressive and deadly, that were in wide use. For enthusiasts of the period, a full understanding of the weaponry of the time requires a basic understanding of the non-sword weapons that were common.

This is my personal favorite of all weapons, of all time periods. For sheer brutal force, it’s hard to imagine something more intense than the mace. The mace in its basic form is a short rod with a chain attached to the top. The chain has a spiked ball at its end and frequently—as with our models—the bottom end was spiked. When needed, the mace was swung, driving the spiked ball into your enemy with amazing force. We carry a single flail and a double flail version.
Staying in the mace family, the less commonly seen bar mace is exactly as it sounds—a bar of four steel beams counterbalanced to make a crushing weapon. The weight and force of the bar mace was enough to crush lighter bladed weapons and destroy the armor of your enemy.
The halberd is a basic weapon for a foot solider. The halberd is a long staff with a curved blade on the end. In this way it resembles a long handled axe, but it was lighter and easier to carry. There was variation in the head of the halberd from place to place. Ours has a traditional design, with a large blade on one side of the head, a smaller blade on the reverse and a spike at the top, to allow for multiple attack modes.
The battle axe was a heavy weapon, designed for use in battle. These were frequently worn strapped to the back and were used either as the exclusive weapon of the soldier or more commonly, as a secondary weapon in case their sword was damaged or if the fighting became close enough to make sword use awkward.
The archer’s axe is lighter and more delicate than a war axe. It was designed with a blunt end that could be used to hammer stakes for defensive purposes. Although it is called an archer’s axe due to its frequent use among archers, in reality it was commonly used by many kinds of soldiers due to its high number of battlefield uses.

These weapons represent some of the harder edge of medieval warfare. You’re not likely to hear a heroic ballad of a chivalrous knight who used a mace as his primary weapon. They are bold, blunt and brutal, and serve as perfect examples of the harsh time period that created them.

Top 5 Union Weapons of the Civil War


Combatants in the Civil War used a wide variety of weapons, including some from other wars and skirmishes. Some people even used swords inherited from their family that had been originally used in the Revolutionary War.

However, the weapons that were issued to the soldiers in the Civil War were by far the most prevalent. Here are the five most commonly used weapons by Union soldiers in the Civil War.

  1. 1853 Enfield Rifle Musket: this weapon was actually used by both Union and Confederate armies. It had a .577 caliber, which meant that is could take .58 ammunition that was standard issue during the war. This weapon was considered to be highly accurate for the period, and was shipped to the United States from England, where it was used until 1867. 

  2. 1860 Calvary Sabre: this was the most commonly used bladed weapon by Union officers. Many officers preferred it to the standard issue Civil War sword, due to its lightness and ease of use. 

  3. 1860 Army Revolver: this was the most popular revolver in the Civil War. Originally produced for the Union Army, the Confederates quickly realized its benefits and ordered some for their own use. This was a .44 caliber, front loading, six shot weapon. 

  4. 1861 Naval Revolver: the Confederate army wasn’t the only one that noticed the increased functionality of the 1860 Army Revolver. The Navy also wanted access to the weapon, and as a result they commissioned their own version of the 1860 Army revolver. This piece was functionally very similar to the original, although it was a bit lighter. 

  5. 1849 Dragoon Pistol: produced in advance of the Civil War, this weapon was used by soldiers in the Civil War, primarily those that had acquired the gun during or immediately after the previous conflict. This weapon was not as advanced as the weapons produced for the Civil War, but it was a significant improvement over the previous pistols used.
The weapons used by the Union army during the Civil War were varied and included some weapons produced in previous years for other conflicts. The importance of high quality weapons was essential in this conflict, as the battles were often long and disorganized. Accurate weapons gave the soldier a better chance at surviving the battle. Whenever possible, carrying multiple weapons—such as a pistol and a saber—increased the effectiveness of the soldier.


Top 5 Revolutionary War Weapons


The Revolutionary War was a glorious battle of colonists against masters and created a tidal wave of revolution across the civilized world. There were many weapons used by both sides during the war, as the colonists acquired whatever weapons they could find to aid them in fighting the more uniformly equipped British army.

The Brown Bess is a British musket, one of the most common weapons used during the Revolutionary War. The Continental army provided them to their troops and eventually began producing them locally. The British had developed the musket in the early 1700s, and it was sued by the British until the end of the Napoleonic wars, well after the Revolution.
The Charleville is a French musket, widely used by the colonists in their battle against the British. It is a shorter version of the 1763 French musket that helped to usher in the age of gunfire as the primary weapon of infantry.
There were several different makes and models of the blunderbuss that were used during the Revolutionary War. One of the most common, naturally, was the British Flintlock Blunderbuss. This weapon was a shorter than a musket but larger than a handgun, with a flared muzzle to help direct the ball. The blunderbuss is widely considered the precursor to the modern shotgun.
The flintlock represented a huge technological advancement in weaponry. In fact, the flintlock mechanism that made the pistols more accurate and faster to load remained the prevailing firing mechanism for nearly two centuries. They were most effective at short range.
This is, indeed, the most commonly used innovation of the Revolutionary period. The bayonet was a French invention, and consisted of a triangular piece of metal attached to the end of a musket or rifle. This gave the soldier the ability to use a bladed weapon when the fighting became too close to effectively reload the musket. The musket created wounds that were difficult to heal and were therefore frequently lethal.

These weapons played a vital role in one of the most history-altering battles of recent history. For those who enjoy American history, military history, or even the history of their ancestors who fought in the battle, acquiring and displaying a replica of one of these weapons is a wonderful way to honor this era.

Acquiring a high-quality replica weapon is also an essential part of any historical re-enactor’s equipment. Visit our shop and choose the high quality, accurate replica weapon that best suits your needs.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Top 5 Pistols Used by Germany in World War II

Top 5 Pistols Used by Germany in World War II

The German army in World War II was the owner of some beautiful weaponry. The German government prioritized weapon development and many of the pieces that were produced for the German army are now prized by collectors of firearms all over the world. The most well recognized weapons are, of course, the pistols. These were the items used by the infantry and officers in the land portion of the war.

The Walther P38 was a 9mm pistol developed by the German military in 1938 as a potential replacement to the more expensive Luger P08. This become the most widely issued weapon of the war for Germany and was the primary service revolver used by German soldier. The P38 is a double action trigger design with a loaded chamber indicator, and represented a slight technological innovation, as it was the first locked-breech pistol to use the double action trigger.
The PPK was the gun that Hitler used to kill himself at the end of the war. It is also the gun that James Bond uses in many of the books and movies. It was originally produced for the German military, but quickly became a popular weapon for police forces around the world. The PPK is a smaller model of the original PP model, and was designed to be easier to conceal, which perhaps explains its popularity with the police and upper level military officers during World War II.
If you find an authentic Walther AP, you are a lucky person indeed, as only about 55 of these were made. This was originally designed to be the replacement for the Luger, but the German military wanted an exposed hammer, and as a result, the pistol was redesigned. The new design became the Walther P38, and only a handful of these semi-automatic pistols were ever made.
The Mauser C96 was a bit of a relic in the German army during World War II. Originally produced in 1896, it was a common weapon during the First World War and was one of the most widely distributed weapons during the first half of the 20th century, especially in Europe. The Mauser stopped being produced—at least in Germany—in 1937, and there were many newer weapons being produced for the German army in World War II, but there is no question that this weapon saw action during the war, in many different armies.
The Luger is one of the most easily recognized weapons in the world. This weapon was the first to use the toggle lock mechanism, which improves the speed of firing. This became the signature weapon of the German army during World War II and many Allied soldiers reclaimed Lugers from fallen German soldiers as prizes. Authentic Lugers are still prized by weapon enthusiasts for their elegance and accuracy.

The German army produced some of the most beautiful and elegant pistols in modern history for use as WorldWar II weapons of choice. Our reproductions are faithful to the designs of the originals and are ideal for history buffs and weapons enthusiasts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top 10 Guns of the Cowboy Era

Top 10 Guns of the Cowboy Era

The Old West is a romantic era of American history. Rugged men conquered the wilderness and forged new communities in the face of obstacles of many sorts, from geographic obstacles to fighting the outlaws that flourished in those uncertain times. You can evoke the grandeur and glory of the Old West by acquiring reproductions of some of their most common weapons.

Originally produced in 1855, this rifle saw action during the Civil War and was carried westward and used by explorers and settlers following the Civil War.
Another military weapon, this pistol was carried by the US Calvary as well as stagecoach agents. Naturally, a few fell into the hands of outlaws. These were popular weapons among military and former military men during this period.
As the name implies, this was the first revolver put into use by the American Army. It had a hinged end and automatically ejected spent cartridges, a significant technological advancement.
This was a smaller weapon, one that allowed for the owner to carry it, as the name suggests, in a pocket. As such, it was used throughout the Civil War and the Old West period of American history.
This .45 caliber weapon was used extensively throughout the Old West period and had many variations, although most maintained the .45 caliber. This is the famous “Peacemaker” gun, also known by other names.
The shotgun used by the stagecoach companies to protect their investments. Riding shotgun meant carrying this gun while riding on the outside of a stagecoach and watching for those that would attempt to ambush you.
Most commonly using .44 caliber ammunition, this was the first widespread use of lever action rifle. The “repeating” in the gun’s name refers to the fact that you can fire multiple shots before reloading, which was obviously a large advantage in a fire fight.
This is the pistol most commonly used by the everyday man during the Old West period. The cock and draw mechanism is preserved in our replica. This is the class emblem of the Old West.
The derringers were small weapons, able to be secreted on a person inside their clothes. Often the only weapon carried by ladies, or a secondary weapon carried by men who feared their primary weapon would be confiscated.
One of the first cartridge system weapons, which loaded by pulling the spring trigger forward.

The Old West was home to a large amount of violence, and living in that era meant having access to a suitable weapon. There are many variations on these basic weapons, all available at our Old West Guns page.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top 5 Union Weapons of the Civil War

Combatants in the Civil War used a wide variety of weapons, including some from other wars and skirmishes. Some people even used swords inherited from their family that had been originally used in the Revolutionary War.

However, the weapons of the Civil War that were issued to the soldiers were by far the most prevalent. Here are the five most commonly used Civil War Union Weapons.

  1. 1853 Enfield Rifle Musket: this weapon was actually used by both Union and Confederate armies. It had a .577 caliber, which meant that is could take .58 ammunition that was standard issue during the war. This weapon was considered to be highly accurate for the period, and was shipped to the United States from England, where it was used until 1867.
  2. 1860 Calvary Sabre: this was the most commonly used bladed weapon by Union officers. Many officers preferred it to the standard issue Civil War sword, due to its lightness and ease of use.
  3. 1860 Army Revolver: this was the most popular revolver in the Civil War. Originally produced for the Union Army, the Confederates quickly realized its benefits and ordered some for their own use. This was a .44 caliber, front loading, six shot weapon.
  4. 1861 Naval Revolver: the Confederate army wasn’t the only one that noticed the increased functionality of the 1860 Army Revolver. The Navy also wanted access to the weapon, and as a result they commissioned their own version of the 1860 Army revolver. This piece was functionally very similar to the original, although it was a bit lighter.
  5. 1849 Dragoon Pistol: produced in advance of the Civil War, this weapon was used by soldiers in the Civil War, primarily those that had acquired the gun during or immediately after the previous conflict. This weapon was not as advanced as the weapons produced for the Civil War, but it was a significant improvement over the previous pistols used.

The weapons used by the Union army during the Civil War were varied and included some weapons produced in previous years for other conflicts. The importance of high quality weapons was essential in this conflict, as the battles were often long and disorganized. Accurate weapons gave the soldier a better chance at surviving the battle. Whenever possible, carrying multiple weapons—such as a pistol and a saber—increased the effectiveness of the soldier.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Knights Templar and the Crusades

The Knights Templar continue to be a source of legend. They are essential pieces of many historical mysteries, including the search for the Holy Grail. The rumors of their rituals and rites led to the eventual arrest and torture of many of their members and the disbanding of their organization by the Pope in the 14th century.

During the two centuries the Templars existed, they created a legacy that continues to fascinate. For the fan of medieval history, reliving the glory days of the Knights Templar is an exciting quest.

The Knights Templar had three major ranks. Knights, who were aristocrats in their own lands, sergeants, who were from lower social ranks, and chaplains, who were priests that provided the spiritual guidance for the Templars.

Of these, the most easily recognizable is the knights. They wore a white surcoat over their chain mail, with a red cross sewn across the front. This color and pattern is the most commonly used symbol of the Knights Templar. Our shop has, in addition to the Templar surcoat, a variety of items in this pattern. The mantle, or cape, was required to be worn at all times by the knights. They were not allowed to eat or drink without their mantle, even.

The sergeants used the red cross as well, but placed it on a black background, which made it easy to differentiate them from the knights. Their mantle was either black or brown. The chaplains wore white surcoats as well, but with a more elaborate red front piece.

The Knights Templar were incredibly strong and courageous fighters. They had as part of their code of honor that they never left the battle until all the flags had fallen. In essence, this came to mean that they would stay on the battlefield and fight to the death. The dedication of the Knights Templar inspired fear and awe. They were considered to be warriors for God, holy fighters that represented the best of the best.

Interestingly enough, the Knights Templar founded what became the basis of modern banking. Money deposited in a Templar temple in one location could be withdrawn from a different temple. They were, clearly, ahead of their time.

The incredible wealth management of the Knights Templar is what, in the end, brought about their downfall. The great wealth and almost superhuman reputation of the Knights created fear and resentment, and rumors began to swirl that they were engaged in idol worship and other religious crimes. Today, we can see that the Templars were not given a fair and reasonable trial, and that they were likely wrongly accused to begin with.

Visit our shop to order a wide variety of Templar replicas and weapons and begin reliving the glory days of the Knights Templar today.