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Met lab analysis of samurai sword

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by scott.livesey, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
    J W Bensinger likes this.
  2. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    That is a nice find. Clearly, this specimen was far from the legendary super swords of Japan. It's too bad that they didn't test a few more to see if the results were within of a normal range.

  3. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    They tested an NCO sword which are all machine made; no relevance to true Nihonto.
    horseclover likes this.
  4. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    You're right. I missed it when I first looked at that photo.

  5. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
    with such poor picture quality how can you tell? the report states sword was probably forged by hand, not by anyone special, but because that was cheapest easiest way.
  6. J W Bensinger

    J W Bensinger

    Mar 26, 2009
    That's not an NCO. It's probably a monosteel commissioned officer's sword and nothing to write home about, but it's not an NCO. They were machine made, through hardened and tempered and had a stone simple cross section-this sword is edge hardened and has a bit of airfoil to the geometry, if you know what I mean. NCO's also weren't signed on the tangs (I'm not even sure NCO cast metal hilts were removable w/o tools)
  7. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
    reading thru the paper a third time, the person that started the tests rolling was MGen Barnes, one the R&D leaders in army weapons. a key phrase "whether the Japanese have used anything unusual in the manufacture of the sword."
  8. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    The picture is very poor, but you can see what appears to be a retaining clip of the type used with the NCO swords.

  9. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
  10. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    They have instances of officers getting their older blades mounted into the then modern army and navy koshirae.

    Their tests are flawed too. If you notice they say they take all their rockwell hardness tests at the back edge (spine) side of the sword. The didn’t understand the sword was differentially hardened I guess.
  11. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
    read page 10 of the document. page 10(fig. 3) they cut out 3 samples of blade + the hilt and did vickers hardness test on the cross section, the widest pieces had 20 points tested. toward the point, the spine (V478) was harder than the edge(v442), about midway, spine was v437 while edge v519.
    the test was asked for by Maj Gen Barnes who was high up in army R&D and wondered if there was anything new to be found from this sword.

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