Here is my two cents... I think there is some confusion as to what "full tang" and "rat tail" means. A real "full tang" means the blade and handle are one piece of steel and handle scales or grips are pinned to both sides of the tang. The tang remains visible along the outer edge because it is not enclosed. The LOTR movie swords were not made this way. What most people nowadays call a "full tang sword" is one with a tang that extends all of the way up to, or into, the pommel where is is secured via steel pins through the side or a "rat tail". The rat tail is simply the tang tapering at the end into a round bar shape so it can be threaded. The pommel is then screwed directly to the tail, or in some cases it slides on with the tail extending through and a nut is used on the end to secure it. I have a Paul Chen sword made the latter way. Historically these tails extended through the pommel and then were peened flat so the end flared out and secured the blade. Most modern swords have the pommel thread onto the blades. The rat tail bar can be ground one piece out of the tang or simply welded to the end of the tang. There is a right and a wrong way to do this. Some cheap swords coming out of Pakistan and China have a tang that stops as soon as it gets to the hand guard and then a welded rat tail bar runs THE FULL LENGTH of the handle. This gives no stability or shoock absorbtion to the blade and the bar or the weld will easily break. UC's LOTR swords are NOT made this way. The tang typically should extend at least 1/2 to 3/4 into the handle, or in some cases all the way to the pommel, before it tapers down to the tail, formed or welded. It depends on the steel weight, width, thickness and the length and thickness of the handle. For instance, the Narsil tang extends 1/2 into the grip before the rat tail, but the rat tail is encapsulated with a solid steel tube to eliminate movement and absorb shock which can lead to breakage. The Ranger sword is much shorter and has a wider handle so it has a full length tang that tapers into the rat tail at the pommel. Hadhafang has a full length tang that runs into the pommel where it is pinned through the side of the wood, under the pommel cap. There is alot more to a good sword than that, but I don't want to put anyone to sleep. I must agree with the previous posts, these are collectibles, not fully functional combat swords. I would never want to use anything but good carbon steel blade with a full length tang, or even full tang in the case of my Criswel 28" D2 katana, for practice or combat. Anyone interested in learning how to really use a sword should get the right tool for the job first. The LOTR swords are just too cool looking to mess up!