Why do we all complain about rat-tail?

Discussion in 'Fantasy Weapons and Armour' started by tharkun, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. tharkun

    tharkun coraxion

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    Everywhere I hear that you must not fight withe the swords.
    In the first place because these blades are constructed with a rat-tail tang construction. They say it's weaker, but it cvannot be anything else, a rat-tail is only more narrow than the actual blade. And that's the point with al these sword designs. Also in the movie they are not full-tang.
    So the following questions:
    Are the rat-tails from these swords one with the blade or are they weld on it??? When they are one with the blade, the only problem why we cannot fight with them is the stainlees steel, am I right????
     
  2. Thorin

    Thorin Avatar of Darkness

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    I couldnt find an image on here to show you, so i had to make one.(which is below)

    I'm fairly sure about this becase I did a lot of research. All tangs are "one with the sword" as that... the tang is apart of the sword. The rat tail tang narrows because its not meant to be swung around. The tang is only attached to the pommel, a lot of swinging and hitting would make the tang to fly out of the hand and it would snap from the pommel. A full tang means that the metal from the sword goes down all the way into the sword... look at some of the origonal viking swords, they are one piece of metal.

    Stainless steel isnt that strong of a metal at least for fighting, it would shatter or dent VERY quickly and easily... look at what happened to that guys Narsil... his friend took it and hit the wall and its almost broken from what I can remember. Id psot more... but i have to get back to school =)
     

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  3. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    http://swordforum.com/sfu/japanese/tangs.html

    I have a feeling the third example in the link above is what we're dealing with in the UC swords. It is a typical 'rat tail' tang. A shaft of steel is welded onto a short tang, and that shaft is then threaded and the pommel screws on.

    Some owners have complained of a 'tap' or 'pang' noise inside the hilt of their LotR swords. I imagine this is the fault of the tang and mass-production flubs.

    A no-holds-barred reference pic: http://swordforum.com/sfu/primer/rat-tail-tang.jpg

    I guess the "full" full-tang (where the same thickness of the blade is carried through to the end of the handle) is actually overkill. But it still makes for a damn solid sword.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2004
  4. swordsman

    swordsman New Member

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    Subject:Swordsman to Kit Rae : Concerning Rat Tail Construction

    Kit I am pretty sure I know the answer to this question
    but it is popping up very often now at the message board.
    Are the rat tails on the LOTR sword wielded on or are
    they of one piece construction.

    Reply:

    the tang varies from sword to sword. Generally the shorter blades, like the
    Ranger Sword and Hadhafang, are one piece and the longer blades like the
    ringwraith and Witchking are welded.

    Kit
     
  5. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Well, that clears it up. I do remember Kit saying the Ranger was "full tang" and it was quite a surprising announcement at that time.
     
  6. q-tip

    q-tip New Member

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    I have been wondering about this for some time. Since Anduril is long does that mean it has a welded tang? Since Glamdring is about the same size as the ranger, does it have a full tang? It would be helpful if these specifications were listed accurately on the specs sheets, IMHO.
     
  7. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    I believe all the descriptions for the swords include their tang-type.

    This taken from the non-limited Anduril on BBB:

    "Solid metal crossguard and pommel with an antique silver plated finish and twenty-four karat gold plated fittings. The pommel is inscribed with runes and the grip is wrapped in genuine leather. Rat-tail tang construction."

    Although... the BBB site and specs also state rat-tail for Hadhafang and the Ranger. Hmm. This should be clarified...
     
  8. Thorin

    Thorin Avatar of Darkness

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    Agreed, but none the less, they shouldnt be swung like toys...
     
  9. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Yes, they are wall-hangers only.
     
  10. swordsman

    swordsman New Member

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    What ever you want to call them according to the March 2003 issue of Blade magazine, the LOTR Lord of the Rings swords are a smash hit. & they are the largest and best movie sword collection collectibles in history. Pretty nice wallhangers if ya ask me!
     
  11. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Not to miff you grallen, but your pictures both show full tang swords. In fact your full tang sword drawing is incorrect. Very few swords ever had tangs the width of the blades themselves, the only ones I can think of would be later history types of rapiers and small swords.

    Many swords featured tapered tangs, most do actually. What identifies a sword as a rat tail tang is a tang that is not strong enough to be used in combat, not necessarily that it is welded later on.

    Many historical swords do feature welded tangs. Many swords were made with stub tangs, tangs measuring about 3 inches long. A full tang was then later forge welded on before the sword is completed. Sword fabricator Del Tin Fulvio used this method with older swords, and still could but I was informed he has changed many of his forging methods. That does not make them weaker than full tang swords as long as the forge welding is done properly, but indeed a sword that has the tang forged as a whole will have less of a chance of breaking.

    Here's a good picture on what a historical tang looked like.
    [​IMG]
    This is Albion Armorers Next Generation Gaddjhalt. As you can see, the tang is only slightly wider than the fuller of the sword. And yes, the pommel is already peened on to the sword. A historical viking sword would be made like this, then the two halves of the wood handle would be glued on, then the leather wrap added.
     
  12. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    The swords used in the movie were DEFINITELY full tang. The Weapons and Warfare book shows Narsil without the hilt and that have monsterous tangs.
     
  13. tharkun

    tharkun coraxion

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    So, if you say there are absolutely no differences between the movie swords and the replicas, it's only the sort of steel ( in this case stainless), why we must not fight with thes swords???
     
  14. swordsman

    swordsman New Member

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    There is lots of differences in the movie swords and the prop swords. They were made in exact detail in size and apperence as possible. THe LOTR swords ar collector replicas not functioal swords. That is what they were and why they were mad. THey are works of art, to be held and admired. They were not made with the proper materials to be used as a functional sword...period. If they were functional they would be out of reach to most lotr fans as far as pricing goes.

    I dont know your background or knowledge of proper swordsmanship but even the best made sword made of the best of materials will break and is potentialy dangerous to its wielder and everyone around them. So it really is beyond me why someone would want to take one of these quality display pieces or sword after paying hard earned money and distroy them or damage them in any way. If you are going to practice swordsmanship you need to get a functional sword made for this and be trained to use it, not one of the lotr swords because they are not meant to be used in this mannar, and were not made to.
     
  15. Boromir Of Gondor

    Boromir Of Gondor Aragorn was a

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    Well i found a great picture on the BBB website, showing the Tang used for th Strider ranger sword. I think it is rattail.
     

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  16. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    No need to get your feathers in a ruffle, Swordsman. I'm not putting the LotR collection down... why would I? I've invested a ton of cash in it and have nearly every item in the collection, not to mention a bunch of Kit's Swords of the Ancients. They're all high quality pieces, but -are- only meant to hang on the wall.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2004
  17. Grabsteinkraut

    Grabsteinkraut Good friend of John R.R.

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    Ok... The first solution for guys who play with the swords is to buy the uruk-hai simitar. And the second solution, if you have a little bit of money is to ask a very skiled blacksmith, like the guy who made the swords of LOTR (i don't remember his name), to forge you a sword made of THUNGSTEN (and even better an aliage of thungstene and carbon) That would ROCK !!!
     
  18. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    I would consider that full tang, but a rather skimpy full tang. I can't see where it shoulders, but from the picture it looks as if the tang has the same consistent thickness throughout. And the tang edges look squared instead of rounded off, which is murder to a sword handle because of the vibrations it causes.
     
  19. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    I agree with Justice.

    Just a comment on the rat-tail/full-tang, functional/non-functional debate.

    One of the biggest problems with collecting swords, as I see it, is learning the truths and dispelling the myths about what functions and features that a real "functional" sword must have.

    I think that it's a fair assumption that most of us started having interest in swords with the thought of being the chivalrous hero bounding off to save someone. But part of the experience is learning, and in the process if learning we have to realize that not all "swords" are real swords. Some are for display, and display only. The UC LOTR swords are very beautiful, well-made and sturdy, but they do not meet the requirements to sustain a real fighting situation. Yes, you can swing them around, they're not made of glass; but remember that some of life's most tragic events started with the sentence, "Hey, watch THIS!!"

    If you took a crate and made a fiberglass body and put four wheels on it, and a lawnmower engine, is it a car? No, of course not!

    "But it looks like a car !" -- "It's not a car !"
    "But is has four wheels !" -- "It's not a car !"
    "And an engine !" -- "It's not a car !"
    "And look, I can drive it on the road !" -- "It's not a car !"
    "But it's very well made !" -- "It's not a car !"
    "So, you're putting down my car! You elitist!" -- "No, I am trying to keep you from injuring/killing yourself or someone else because nobody told you otherwise."

    There is a saying that I heard back when I started earning my pilot's license:

    "Learn from the mistakes of others, or you will not live long enough to make them all yourself..."

    I find that axiom applies to most things in life. [/running commentary off]

    Sky
     
  20. Thorin

    Thorin Avatar of Darkness

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