British Light Cavalry Sabre - 1796 Pattern
Famed for its use by Britain’s Light Dragoons and Hussars during the Peninsular War and Waterloo, this sword was also supplied to the Prussian Cavalry in great numbers and even found favour in the USA.
This design was suggested for British service by cavalry officer John Gaspard Le Marchant, who believed cavalry swords should be light and have a curved, slashing blade.
The long curved blade has been forged from EN9 steel and has been well tempered.
Total length: 96 cm
- Unbelievably goodReview by Chris
Price Value Quality
At almost £200 less than the Cold Steel equivalent, and better accuracy, it's a no-brainer. Peened construction, domed rivets on the grip, and the good quality leather on the grip are all things where the Cold Steel version falls down.
You won't find a more accurate version of this sword for anything near this price. The construction is solid, the knucklebow is straight, the blade has no set and is well ground. There are cheaper versions out there, but all with either a nut instead of a peened tang, or with the later Blucher cut and thrust blade. If you want the original design with the heavy slashing blade, this is just the best on the market.
This is where this sword really shines. The scabbard is of the correct construction, but perhaps a little overbuilt. The suspension rings are so thick you could hang off the scabbard without putting too much stress on them, and the plate at the throat is likewise very thick, but this results in an excellent blade retention, so I'd say it's a trade-off worth making. The fullers are even and smooth, the blade geometry if anything a little thinner at the spine than most originals, but the distal taper is strong and excellent, lending a surprisingly light balance to the weapon. Don't get me wrong, this is still a blade-heavy sabre, but lighter than might be expected for such a huge blade. The temper is excellent, mine has been sharpened using a WorkSharp miniature belt sander and in test cuts on an old mattress it left foot long slashes a couple of inches deep. The knucklebow has a slight gap where it meets the backstrap, but is firmly held in place where the tang passes through it, so this isn't an issue. The originals were made by multiple companies in tens of thousands, so some variation in fit and finish is perfectly acceptable. The backstrap is smooth and well shaped, the wooden core deeply grooved, and the leather covering is tight and follows the ribs perfectly. The langets are thick and straight, and the rivet that passes through the tang and grip is thick and domed, just like the originals; this isn't particularly comfortable, but it is accurate, so either accept it as the price of an accurate replica or do your own field modification like hundreds of troopers before you.
This sabre comes blunt, perhaps a 1.2mm edge at a guess. Not enough for free play, although it could be ground back for that purpose, and the lost weight would make it about right for the infantry officer's special order version. I've sharpened mine at home with the WorkSharp, and though it takes a few hours longer, it's worth the effort. Personally I think a sharpening option should be available for this sword, as with a full size belt sander it could be done in less than an hour, and would make it far more useable; on display it will be in the scabbard, so it makes no difference to the safety of it as a display piece if it is available to be sharpened. My only other con is that due to the unsharpened blade and heavily built scabbard, the overall weight as it arrives is pretty high, and feels more like an axe when held in the scabbard. Not a problem really, as it isn't worn by the handle, but that could be a problem if you're trying to put up hooks to display it from.
Offer a sharpening or rebating service.
Lighten the suspension rings.
Offer the 1803 version scabbard, with the thicker shoe.
All of the above recommendations can be done with a little effort at home, so if you wish to improve or modify the weapon, you can do so without much trouble. Furthermore this is a good weapon to buy for modification or fabrication purposes; the hilt can be used for any number of later swords, and the blade can be mounted in a tulwar hilt without much difficulty. (Posted on 08/12/2016)