Mr_Dove wrote:I'm curious what peoples thoughts are on melee weapons in general. They seem rather impractical in general but what man doesn't like to play with them.
As has been already been well-covered in this thread, ever since the development of the flintlock in the early 1700s (yes, yes, technically the snaphaunce was developed in the very late 1600s, now shut your pie hole), the melee weapon has been relegated to the status of a footnote in the chapter on "personal weapons," which since that time has been virtually synonymous with firearms. This has become more and more true with every subsequent development in small arms technology, while melee weapons have remained more or less the same: either replicas of ancient forms, or modern-day tools adapted to martial use. Therefore, the role of the melee weapon must be understood in terms of those cases in which firearms are a non-option. These can be broadly summarized as follows:
- You don't own a firearm. ("Why not?" is a fair response.)
Your firearm is out of ammunition.
You require a less-lethal solution.
You require a silent solution and do not have a suppressor.
Your firearm is inaccessible.
These situations in which a melee weapon might be of use should be first and foremost seen as situations to be rectified. Don't have a firearm? Get one! Worried about running out of ammo? Stock more! Require a silent solution? Invest in suppressors for your firearms! Worried about your firearm being inaccessible? Keep it accessible! And regarding less-lethal solutions, consider pepper spray or a Taser so you don't end up fending off a harmless-but-harassing drunk with a broom handle.
Still, these solutions may leave some gaps. Residents of Illinois cannot lawfully carry concealed, but we can carry knives, walking sticks, and the chains we use to lock up our bikes. Suppressors aren't legal in all states. Some persons can't own firearms at all, either due to a legal status (convicted felon) or resident of a gun-unfriendly nation. And any ammunition supply, whether referring to that carried on your person, or your whole stash, can eventually be depleted. It is for these few, narrow circumstances that melee weapons may come into play.
Will it serve any purpose outside of an end of the world situation?
Do you prefer a pure weapon or something that will have duty as a tool as well?
Due to the non-primary nature of any melee weapon (tertiary assuming the primary is a rifle and the secondary is a pistol), and the interplay of preparedness and recreation (come on, be honest: this isn't JUST prudent planning, it's also a hobby), some kind of pre-apocalyptic role is inevitable. This is broadly going to fall into one of two categories: tools, and toys/decorations. In a bugout bag, I prefer weapons that double as tools: axes, knives, machetes, shovels, etc. At home, I prefer weapons that double as toys/martial arts equipment, and decorations that look bad-ass on the wall. I've recently acquired a number of decent swords, and also have some cool-looking blunt instruments etc.
What are people's favorite melee weapons?
What melee weapons would be considered the best?
For an at-home melee weapon that doubles as a cool decoration that I can also play/practice with, I'm currently enjoying my Italian Longsword. Specifically, this one:
Mine's like the one on the left: sharp, not blunted for sparring, and with a central riser, not a fuller. I bought it used for $100, and am very, very, very happy with my purchase. I have other swords, but this is my favorite. Looks great on the wall, fun to cut stuff with, and having just completed a six week training course with it, I feel at least marginally competent with it. (I am still a baby-baby when compared to true swordsmen, but I've got a few basic moves.)
Windlass Steelcrafts' $35 Qama is also surprisingly good, is easy to use (works like a machete, unlike the Longsword which requires more finesse and technique), cheap as hell, handy in close-in spaces like hallways, and just in general is worth having. (Only drawback, factory edge is blunt so break out the file, then the sharpening stone.)
I'm also strangely fond of my pick handle. Looks like this:
I've been desiring a kukri style machete with a heavier tip or maybe a tomahawk but I'm having trouble justifying it as anything more than a toy.
The Cold Steel khukri machetes are fine for clearing brush, trimming small limbs, etc. You want one, buy one. They're cheap. They work. And it's okay to have toys. Live life, man.
Tomahawks are cool too, although in my experience the throwers and fighters don't tend to be good wood choppers.
This one's a fine thrower for $20; do order the replacement handle because the supplied one breaks easily: http://www.atlantacutlery.com/p-839-com ... ahawk.aspx
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It sucks ass for cutting wood (look at it, and if the reasons aren't obvious I'll explain), and it's not really what I'd want in a fight, either. But it's fun to throw, and cheap, so hey, why not?