Project X - Model 004

Project X - Model 004 "Gunto" Katana Mk II - Custom Option

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Premium Quality, Master Smith Forged Soshu Kitae Blade in historically accurate WWII officers sword fittings. Due to complex nature of the Soshu Kitae lamination and the difficulty of making these blades to our high standards, please allow 3 to 4 months for completion.

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About the Gunto Model 004 Mk II

The Gunto, model 004 of Project X Japanese, is a historically accurate replica of a Type 98 Shin Gunto used by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. This particular piece, with the master smith forged Soshu Kitae laminated blade, is a replica of the rare and much sought after variant of Gunto that had much older blades mounted in the "new" Imperial fittings.

The tsuba is the standard Cherry Blossom design of the Imperial Army and made from high quality work hardened copper. The Kashira (pommel) has an attached brown and blue tassel, signifying the bearer is of warrant or company officer rank. The scabbard is metal with a wood lining to protect the blade and painted brown as were the originals. More info on the blade and this line is presented below.  

About Project X Japanese

Quite simply, Project X is a collaborative effort between Ronin Katana, SBG and Longquan's top sword forge - all working together to create the absolute best quality Katana ever made outside of Japan.

The blades of these swords are hand forged by Certified Master Smiths in the soshu kitae tradition (seven panel steel). This school was developed by the legendary Japanese smith Masamune, and combines panels of hard, medium, and soft steels.



Soshu Kitae Lamination - far right. It is by far the most complex and desirable lamination technique.

The core of the blade is formed from softer, more malleable steel giving it exceptional flexibility. A layer of slightly harder steel is bonded to each side of the core to add support. The last layers are a very hard steel bonded to the top, bottom, and both sides of the core forming the ha (cutting edge) mune (back edge) and shinogi-ji (blade flats). This form of laminar construction provided for a sword that could be sharpened to a razor edge due to the hardened steed used for the ha, but was extremely resilient to battle damage due to its softer more flexible core.

As a by product of the process, the blade features not only a hamon, but also attractive lamination lines, resulting in a very active and attractive blade with criss crossing lines and interplay between the lamination and hamon.

However, the quality of this sword does not end with the blade - but is complimented with premium fittings such full rayskin wrap for added tsuka core integrity (traditionally most Katana had a full rayskin wrap, which helps reinforce the tsuka and makes the ito wrap grip better to the handle).

The ito itself is made from premium grade silk ito wrapped using the traditional and time intensive hishigami process creating an extremely tight and even binding. But the upgrades do not end there, this sword has the works - such as additional coatings of laquer on the saya for a richer, more durable sheen, buffalo horn kurikata and saya fittings, thick, ultra strong sageo - all iron fuchi,kashira and tsuba - you name it, this sword has it - no expense has been spared!

I personally endorse these swords as the best of the best and in September 2012 went to the forge in Longquan to oversee production and was very happy with the results (In the gallery you can see some pictures of me inspecting the finished blades).

At around the $1,000 mark this offer is not for everyone - but the value for money factor is off the scale - typically you would pay at least twice as much for a sword like this, but that is not how SBG does business..

At the end of the day, there really is nothing else that comes close anywhere near this price point..

If you want the best - THIS is it..

For more information please read the full article and overview of the Project here: Full Details and Project Overview


Each Project X Katana is made to order and as such, most can also be customized to taste. Though instead of total free for all customization which can result in an ugly or unwieldy design - each product only comes with a carefully chosen selection of custom options that will enhance and personalize the theme without destroying it.

Most customizations are exclusive to that particular sword design, though if you want to go totally freestyle, simply email us with what you have in mind and we will see what we can do. Otherwise, to customize your sword, change the desired component from default to the item that you would like it to be changed to and submit your order.

Because the Gunto is a replica of standardized military issue sword, the only customizations are to the blade as follow:

1) Custom Blade Length (measured from the munemachi to the kissaki)

2) Bo-hi

3) Optional Extra: Folded steel (in addition to Soshu Kitae lamination and Choji hamon)

Bo-hi or No-hi

Select if you would like a blade with a bo-hi (fuller) which runs the full length of the blade and terminates in a traditional hand carved triangular pattern as opposed to the typical machine made rounded version. A blade with bo-hi tends to be slightly lighter and faster, making a louder wooshing sound (called 'Tachi Kaze') when it cuts through the air. A solid bodied blade without a bo-hi tends to deliver more powerful cuts and is the more durable construction method of the two.


In addition to the Soshu Kitae lamination and Choji hamon, for an extra $125 the steel can also be folded to produce a subtle hada. While not necessary, this optional extra results in the MOST traditional construction technique possible, and because it is folded by a master smith, with none of the drawbacks commonly associated with low priced folded blades. Has no effect on functionality, but takes the whole sword to the next level and as close as possible to a genuine Japanese Nihonto.

Additional FREE minor customizations and tweaks:

Some additional minor customizations are possible - though as our priority is getting you EXACTLY what you ordered, they should be kept to a minimum to ensure the process is as standardized as it can possibly be to avoid mistakes and keep prices as low as humanly possible. While the customizations offered are designed to ensure that each sword sticks to an aesthetically pleasing and historically plausible theme, if you want to mix and match - you can.

Possible additional customizations include but are not limited to:

  • Kanji engraving on the tang - of the smiths name or your choice of characters (up to 4 maximum)
  • Left handed saya mounting
  • Chu or Ko Kissaki (the default kissaki is a Dai Kissaki)
  • Using fittings from a different Project X Katana model (select 'other' and enter the desired fittings in the 'Additional Requests' field)
  • Unsharpened blade for iaido

Additional customizations requests and minor tweaks can be entered in the text box just above the order button. If you are not sure, please contact us before ordering (and the order can also be modified within the first couple of days after it is placed BEFORE the forge starts work on it).


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For this project to work, the only customization possible on the blade is the length of the blade and nagako (tang, relative to the length of the handle selected) and whether or not it has a bo-hi. Specific types of hamon or different lamination styles other than Soshu Kiate are not possible. The only exception is of course folded steel which is available as an optional extra for $125 (and of course also includes lamination and differential hardening of the blade for the most traditional construction possible).

If in doubt, please contact us before ordering to confirm - if possible please keep additional customization requests simple and limit to one or two at the absolute most. Unlike some other sellers who claim to offer fully customized swords and promise they can do anything you could possibly desire (and deliver something almost unrecognizable) - we prefer to keep it simple and just deliver what we promise.

How to Use

Suitable for sword practice in a traditional martial arts setting or high end display. Heirloom Quality.
Blade length (Nagasa): 29 inches (habaki to tip) Handle length: 10 inches Weight: 2lbs. 9 oz Motohaba: 1.25 in Sakihaba: 0.8 in Motokasane: 8mm Sakikasane: 5mm POB: 6" from tsuba

Materials and Construction

Certified Master Smith Forged Soshu Kitae Laminated blade, differentially hardened with real hamon and high end Japanese finger stone art polish to bring out the blade activity. Complimented with premium grade fittings. I.e. FULL Rayskin Wrap under silk ito tied using hishigami triangles for maximum tightness and strength. Work hardened copper fittings with gold accents based on actual antique swords. Metal saya with wood lining.
FREE Shipping direct from the forge in Longquan. Made to Order with an estimated completion time of approx 3-4 months (though this is an ESTIMATE only). These are not 'fast food' swords, so if you need a sword in a rush, this is not the product for you. Click here for more shipping information

Warranty Info

Each sword is guaranteed to be as described and 100% genuine product. Each sword is also covered by in full by the Manufacturers Warranty PLUS our extended LIFETIME Warranty against blade breakage. Click here for detailed warranty information

Return Policy

Payments made on custom orders are non refundable and cannot be cancelled once work has commenced as they are made to order to YOUR personal tastes and the expenses incurred making it are non refundable to us as well. If there is a problem with your custom order we will work with you to provide a fair and satisfactory outcome, up to and including remaking the sword and in general going the extra mile to ensure that at the end of it all, you are pleased with your purchase. Click here for more info on our guarantees