by Meg Floyd
Today we take a look at a review by noted historical fencer Dustin Reagan on the Pavel Moc federschwert. Dustin’s made quite a reputation for himself at American events as a technically gifted historical fencer, as well as being an accomplished sport fencer. Here’s what Dustin has to say about the Pavel Moc:
“I’ve been meaning to write a follow-up review to my Pavel Moc feder & my experience generally with dealing with Pavel.
For some background: the first feder I received lasted for several months until the cross-guard unexpectedly broke. From an analysis of the break, it appeared that a small crack was formed during fabrication, and the guard failed at this crack (there was a bit of black oxidation at the edge of the sheared off piece, which is why I believe a crack formed while the piece was still hot — probably as the casting was cooling). When contacted, Pavel sent me a whole replacement sword free of charge. A year later, after some very intense use, the blade of the replacement broke during fencing. Again, though I didn’t expect it, Pavel sent me a complete replacement, free of charge. To me, this shows an exemplary & very impressive commitment to his product.
The new sword has some visible modifications to the cross-guard geometry that should hopefully mean the cross is more durable.
The Pavel Moc feders are a very high-quality sword, over-all. Simply put, they are beautiful; both from an aesthetic view, and from handling point of view. They are large swords, with a very solid feel to them, however, they do not in any way feel ‘clunky’. Even with their weight being on the high side of currently available feders (> 4lbs), they do not hit too hard in sparring. This is mainly due to their flexibility, which effects how much power is transmitted not only in thrusts, but in cuts as well. Some people prefer very stiff blades. If so, they may find these swords overly flexible. I would argue, though, that the flexibility of these swords makes them ideal candidates for practicing the 16th century sword-play of masters like Andre Paurenfeyndt & Joachim Meyer. They are also very good & safe sparring swords for this reason.
The construction of the sword is done to very high standards. I can virtually guarantee that the hilt-assembly will never come loose. The pommel is fitted, wedged & peened extremely tightly. The cross-guard is fit tightly to the tang and furthermore has a pair of langets that fit down the tang and are riveted on. This is for all intents & purposes an indestructible way to assemble a hilt. The cross-guard may be the sole weak point of these swords, as both mine & one of my student’s suffered the same sort of breakage. Furthermore, the cross may be a bit on the thin side, as after especially heavy sparring sessions, I sometimes have to straighten the cross-guard (which i do by heating it to ~500-600F with a propane torch and straightening with a hammer in a vice). I am confident, though, that the changes he has made that I see on the new sword he sent me will address at least the problems with breakage.
TL;DR: Pavel Moc has outstanding customer service (though he sometimes takes some time to reply to emails) & his feders are high-quality works of art.”