Longsword & Federschwert: Specifications & Introduction

If you're interested in historical European martial arts, you may have heard of the longsword, a type of weapon that was used by knights and soldiers during the Middle Ages and early modern period. But how heavy is a longsword, and what makes it different from other swords?

In this article, we'll explore the specifications and characteristics of the longsword, and introduce you to a related weapon called the federschwert. 

What is a longsword?

A longsword is a type of sword that was popular in Europe from the late medieval period to the early modern period. Longswords typically had a double-edged blade that was about 36-48 inches long, and were used for cutting, thrusting, and hacking. They were wielded with two hands, and were often used by knights and other mounted warriors.

How heavy is a longsword?

The weight of a longsword can vary depending on the specific design and materials used, but most longswords weighed between 2.5 and 4 pounds. This weight was chosen because it was heavy enough to deliver powerful blows, but light enough to be wielded with speed and precision. Some longswords were lighter or heavier than this range, depending on the preferences of the wielder and the intended use of the weapon.

What is a federschwert?

A federschwert, also known as a feder or federspada, is a type of longsword that is used for training and sparring. The word "feder" means "feather" in German, and refers to the sword's light weight and flexible blade. Federschwert are designed to mimic the characteristics and handling of a real longsword, but are made with materials that are safer and more forgiving for training purposes. Federschwert typically weigh between 1.5 and 3.5 pounds, and have a thicker edged and more flexible blade than a real longsword.

The Longsword

The longsword was a popular and versatile weapon in European Martial Arts traditions, and is still used and studied by practitioners today. While the weight of a longsword can vary depending on the specific design and materials, most longswords weighed between 2.5 and 4 pounds. The federschwert, or training longsword, is a related weapon that is used for sparring and training, and typically weighs between 1.5 and 3.5 pounds.

If you're interested in learning more about the longsword or other European martial arts weapons, consider seeking out a Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) club or school in your area.