Some thoughts on Cold Steel U.S. Military swords

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Some thoughts on Cold Steel U.S. Military swords

Postby Tyler Brandon » 11 Oct 2014 01:41

Matt's review (really well done BTW :) ) of the Cold Steel U.S.M.C. NCO saber has prompted me to share a little about this line of swords from Cold Steel. This is not a review per se so I have posted this here.

The swords in question are the ...

U.S. Army Officers' Saber

U.S.M.C. Officers' Saber

U.S.M.C. NCO Saber

U.S. Navy Officers' Sword/Saber

For those who don't know these are carbon steel cutting versions of the current pattern ceremonial U.S. military swords generally seen as stainless steel SLO's as sold here.

Most of these are evolutions of swords from the 19th century. The exception is the Army saber which is the model of 1902. Except for the transition from functional steel to stainless blades, plastic (rather than horn or wood) grips, and more ornamental finishes they have changed little. While some criticize this saber I find the original ones to be handy infantry blades to fence.

The Navy (and also Coast Guard and NOAA) officers' (model of 1852) and Marine NCO (model of 1850) swords are part of a family of U.S. Military swords descended from theFrench Model 1845 Infantry Officers' saber. These have evolved thinner blades as fighting with swords fell to the wayside in military service, and in the case of the Navy model straighter as well. Original of the Navy, the Marine Corps in the 1850s was made to convert to the Model 1850 U.S. Army Foot Officers' saber for officers and NCOs (who had a plainer version until the ornate ceremonial era).

The current Marine officers' Mameluke is the model of 1872, the year Marine officer discarded the 1850 Army saber and returned to the Mameluke. It resembles the pre 1850 Mamelukes except that the blade as reintroduced in 1872 is thinner like the other modern weapons and resembles the blade sof the U.S. Army Cavalry and Artillery officer's sabers of 1872.

None of these are like the hefty cavalry of mid-19th century American foot sabers but the thin blades with good cutting steel are nice fencers. Just FYI so you don't expect as American Civil War saber from these swords.
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Re: Some thoughts on Cold Steel U.S. Military swords

Postby MEversbergII » 11 Oct 2014 04:23

Thanks for the information! My father was a Marine years back, so I've considered gifting him an NCO's sabre (he was a sergeant). First, though, I'd have to find a way to obliterate the "COLD STEEL" etching...

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Some thoughts on Cold Steel U.S. Military swords

Postby Tyler Brandon » 11 Oct 2014 17:11

Your welcome. Some additional details and corrections.

The Marine Corps went to the U.S. Army M1850 Foot Officers' Saber in 1859. The Marine officers' pattern was identical to the Army officers' except it was etched with U.S.M.C. The Marine NCOs had a polished un-etched blade and a plain brass hilt and used a frog rather than saber rings as the M1859, seen here. In 1875 (not '72) the Marine officer's returned to the Mameluke and the NCO's began to have etched blades and gilt hilts. The NCO's also went to ring scabbards sometime in this period until about WWII when frogs returned. The blade pattern was reduced in width from the 1850 specs to the current ones in 1918.

1872 was when the Army mandated officer's change to the M1872 models for Cavalry and Artillery, Infantry and staff were obligated to give up the M1850 sabers for the M1860 small sword. The Navy has never actually altered the regulation pattern for officers' blades, which were vague anyway, the Revenue Cutter Service (now Coast Guard) did between 1889 and '96 and Navy officers just started buying those blades.

Most of the models can be found from my original links.

Here you can see the evolution of the Navy sword. See it get thinner then straighter.
1850s/1860s
1870s/1880s
1910s
Long Live The Vagabond Masters!

James T. Kirk: So what kind of combat training do you have?
Hikaru Sulu: Fencing.

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