It’s been a while since the last article or interview, so to get things moving again, a quick preliminary review of the Kingston Arms Club Sport Federschwert that has recently popped up in the Knight Shop. The reviewer, Ross Bailey from Medieval Combat Group in Belfast, happily admits that he spends more time teaching with a messer in his hand these days than a longsword, but also admits to being generally curious about any new swords he sees :
Since they’re quite new to the scene and thus far I haven’t heard of anyone else in HEMA Ireland getting their hands on one, this seemed like an appropriate juncture to run off a quick review of the Kingston Arms Club Sport Federschwert. The Knight Shop are currently stocking them, so they’re likely to be popping up more often. (You can see the listing with the stock photographs etc on the Knight Shop website here). I’ll follow this up in a month or so with another review when I’ve had a chance for myself and everyone else at MCG to put this through its paces drilling and sparring in class.
The Knight Shop listing describes the metrics, presumably as supplied by Kingston Arms, as follows:
Blade Length: 97cm
Handle Length: 28cm
Point of Balance: 8cm (at schilt)
Blade Steel: 9260
Overall these are fairly accurate. The one in my hand comes out at 132cm overall, but otherwise everything else is pretty much as stated. Do note, for people picky about these things, handle length is literally just the grip, not the pommel (which is approximately another 5cm).
For the sake of completeness, I’ll add to these metrics a little with the following:
Thickness of blade at the schilt: 6.34mm
Thickness of blade at thinnest point before the tip: 1.84mm
Dimensions of thickened tip: 3.70mm x 15.61mm
For comparison, the blade has a similar total length to a standard Regenyei feder, but with a shorter blade and longer grip. It is also thicker at the schilt and thinner at the tip than a standard Regenyei heavy.
Applying the entirely subjective bathroom scales flex test*, the blade flexes to approximately 8cm displacement under 10.4kg of load. By way of comparison, my early 2014 Regenyei heavy requires 12.9kg to reach a similar flex, and the late 2016 Regenyei heavy feder requires 14.6kg of load.
Aesthetically the Kingston Arms feder is quite nice. It has been kept relatively simple in design, but the overall effect is neat, not too plain, but not too embellished looking. Visually the pommel seems a little undersized, but without having had a chance to put it through its paces in sparring, it would seem premature to comment on how this effects the handling.
Mechanically, the hilt furniture seems tight and well fitting, and there are no obvious flaws in the construction. Equally in terms of shipping the feder was well padded and boxed, and arrived within 24 hours which may be the fastest I’ve ever received a feder…
At this stage, the only issues I can really find with the sword are with the finishing touches. The edges of the blade are slightly rounded, though still with a slight angle where they meet the flats. Moreover the schilt and the tip have no rounding and are have fairly sharp right angles where the edge meets flat. This isn’t necessarily great news for your training partners feder when it meets your schilt, or the comfort of your opponent when the tip catches them at an angle. A little work with a file before use and there’s no issue though.
For the price, and for an off-the-shelf item, at first glance the Kingston Arms club feder is quite attractive, particularly at the current discounted price on the Knight Shop and the fast postage turnaround they generally have.
I’ll revisit this review in a month after I’ve had a chance to properly put the feder through it’s paces and see how it handles some long-term percussion. In the meantime, whilst it seem to carry a little too much flex for something I’d want to take into a heavy tournament bout, it does show promise for exactly what it’s named for – a club feder for in house use.
*The bathroom scales flex test is a useful test, but primarily for ‘in-house’ comparisons. No two people will apply pressure in quite the same way, with brands of scales that work quite the same, on surfaces underneath the scales that are quite the same. Therefore, take the comparisons above as comparisons between these particular blades, not necessarily something that is 100% cross-compatible with someone else doing the same flex test themselves.
Please note, equipment reviews are by nature the personal opinion of the reviewer. We host them here out of courtesy so they’re accessible for our members, not as any kind of official endorsement.