Coronavirus: Practical Impacts on the SBG Store

It’s clear that a lot of people out there are prepping for the worst – and with a very uncertain future – it makes a lot of sense to have a decent blade around the house somewhere as a weapon of last resort when thieves break in to take your stash..

But in all seriousness, putting aside the tragedy that is unfolding aside for a moment (as if that is possible, but you know what I mean) – many people are wondering what the direct impact of the Coronavirus on the store and when placing an order.

Simple questions like, are we still in business? Are we still shipping? Why is my order taking so long to ship out?

Well, we are most certainly still in business. As long as we have a skeleton crew in our network of warehouses and workshops, and as long as the delivery services keep running (and they are now an essential service) we will keep shipping, albeit a bit slower than usual as we can’t go to the post office or arrange pick ups quick as often as we could before the crisis and thank you for your understanding during this difficult period.

This aside, the pandemic has also effected our stock levels – for example we now have ZERO stock of the Ryujin Custom Katana and the next restock is not expected until the middle of JUNE – and this is happening across the board as everyone stocks up for a worst case scenario situation..

The best swords are selling out very, very fast..

Unfortunately, it would seem that again our international friends have been locked out again as the pandemic has also seen a worsening of the ongoing international shipping woes. So much so that regretfully, once again we have been forced to limit our orders to North America ONLY because, we just had everything sent overseas come bouncing back (many badly damaged and some confiscated too)..

It has also had an effect on our Forge Direct and Project X Orders in Longquan China.. To sum it up..

The Long awaited and much delayed relaunch of Project X Japanese has also been pushed back until the supply and shipping chains in China are fully operational again..

In the grand scheme of things, this are small problems – but it is our duty to try and keep you as informed as possible..

Yes we are in business. And yes, while shipping is a bit slower than usual, we are still shipping out the orders as they come in. But please be a little bit patient with us, we are doing our best under difficult circumstances and truly hope that this hideous situation will pass soon and we can try to put the pieces back together again..

Only time will tell.

Take care of yourself and each other.

Just Landed – Huge Legacy Arms Restock

You might remember them as Generation 2 – and while many years have passed since their heyday, two things remain constant.

  1. The overall build quality and quality of the materials used and
  2. Their low (sub $300) price tag.

Despite the fact that many of the swords have evolved over the years, for the most part – the pricing has remained the same.

So it is with great delight that we announce a major restock of Legacy Arms swords and daggers – for they are well known in the sword and knife industry as a major producer of quality yet low priced medieval style daggers.

Covering the Swords of Europe and spanning a time period of over 2500 years, every blade in the series is unique. Some are close to the historical originals and handle like a dream. Case in point, the $299 Black Prince.

Others are closer to the original Gen2 models, such as this all time classic and one of my personal favorite swords – the Gen2 Excalibur.

And then within the daggers, how about this cool 12th Century Knightly Dagger with cruciform hilt for just $139.

In total, the restock sees a grand total of 1 Templar Axe, 5 daggers/knives and 10 swords – all at great value for money prices..

New to the Doomsday Line from Scorpion Swords

The third sword in the series, this is no ordinary run of the mill Machete..

The vast majority of modern made Machete are simply stamped out from a flat sheet of 1045 or 1050 carbon steel, the cheapest steel around. But these machete hearken back to a time when the Machete was a quality tool, not an afterthought.

Like all the blades made at Scorpion Swords, it is cut to shape from a sheet of 1095 carbon steel, what most experts consider to be the IDEAL steel for a tough, hard wearing machete.

From the basic ‘blank’ the basic blade geometry is refined, giving it a wide angled, tip heavy head and a full tang handle with 7 holding pins drilled to size, and the serrated back edge carved into the steel.

The blade is then heat treated and colored black and the handle permanently affixed in place with large and small pins plus a generous amount of gorilla glue to effectively make it an almost indestructible one piece construction.

Unlike most other Machete out there, this one is balanced close to the hilt to allow fast recovery yet has enough mass, weight and hardness to inflict tremendous damage every time it makes contact.

As is almost always the case, you get what you pay for. If you want a cheap and flimsy, unbalanced weed chopper – then you can pick up something mass produced for 1/10th of the cost of this hand made piece. But if you want something with a high initiation factor that has been made with quality and durability in mind from its conception to execution, this is the blade you have been waiting for.

Project X Forge Direct: Blade of the Month

In March it was the Dragon Boar Killing Spear that was featured as Forge Directs Blade of the Month. And in April, it is another perennial favorite – and one of the most affordable entry level Master Smith money can buy – the Classic Peony Jian. (click any of the images for a larger, high resolution picture of the sword)

Some Background on Classic DanJian (one handed Jian)

Weight wise, most antique Jian like the one the Classic Peony is based on weighed between 1.76lbs to 2.42lbs (800 to 1100 grams) though some like this antique (3,500GBP) had slightly shorter blades and weighed a mere 732grams (1.61lbs) though this was relatively rare. Indeed, many people tend to think that functional Jian should be as light as the ultra flexible Wushu Training Swords such as shown in the video below.

This idea that antique Jian are super lightweight is compounded by the fact that many antique blades are weighed WITHOUT the fittings. But to get the complete picture most later period Jian that surviving martial arts such as Taiji,Wudang, Shaolin, etc still use – the so called Danjian 单​劍 –weigh and balance about the same as a Viking sword, that is to say, approximately 2-3lbs and balanced at 5.5″ with fittings.

Indeed, it even had similar dimensions with an blade around 30″ long and a 6″ long handle – though that is of course where all similarities end as the Viking sword has a broad, flat cutting blade while the Jian has a raised central ridge to reinforce the thrusting point (though was no slouch in the cutting department either).

The ideal point of balance for a Jian with a 30″ does vary, some suggest they should be balanced at the guard, two fingers width from the guard, at the pommel (impossible) or even up to almost half the way up the blade. But again, the Viking sword analogy holds true. with most antiques balanced around 5.5″ from the hand guard.

The reason we bring all this up is because there really is a lot of misinformation out there about what the correct or ideal weight and balance of a functional Jian should be (for example at the other end of the spectrum this post on someone states with authority Jian should weigh ‘between 3 to 7lbs’!!).

Our Classic Peony

The Classic Peony Jian is based on an antique Qing Dynasty design with a beautifully folded blade typical of the period.

The fittings of the Classic Peony are dark brass with polished highlights detailing the Peony theme throughout (once exclusively the domain of the Emperor, the Peony came to represent good fortune, wealth, honor and success) and it comes complete with a matching black ebony wood scabbard.

Blade wise, it is approx 29.5″ from guard to tip with a slightly longer 7.1″ Ebony wood handle to accommodate those with larger hands.

Weighing in at 2.86lbs (1.3kg) it is on the heavier side for a Jian, though still within the ideal weight of 2-3lbs, and is balanced at 3.93″ from the guard, resulting in a Jian that is forceful and strong, yet balanced close enough to the guard to allow easy transition from one movement to the next.

With a relatively common blade style requiring only expert folding technique, the blades are simple for the Master Smith to make – taking much less time and with a lower error rate than the more challenging blades in the collection (Wind Steel, Differential Hardening, Pattern welding, etc). Once forged and shaped, the blades are completed by the smiths team of workers – thus the rather shockingly low price point of $599.99 SHIPPED.

But as Forge Direct Blade of the Month, you can pick it up with a whopping 25% discount – down to only $449.99 all month long!

If you are a practitioner of Taiji or a traditional Chinese martial art and want a blade based on an antique that handles close to the how the original should (and much closer than the vast majority of replicas out there) THIS would have to be your best bet.

“The Peony Jian may be the Forge Direct entry level Jian, but nobody would ever guess it isn’t the best. If you tell your friends it is the best, then they will believe it is the best. I love mine. ”

Richard R. Rose

Just Added – Ryujin Custom Iaito (Blunt Training Swords)

We held off on adding these awesome swords simply because until the recent product category expansion, there was no proper ‘home’ for them.

But with an appropriate place open for them in the training gear section, the time has come to add what we feel are the BEST sub $200 iaito around hands down..


First off, the blades are made from extremely tough 65mn Spring Steel – and the hamon that you see is the real thing, not some ground on cosmetic thing. Just like the Ryujin Custom Katana, the blades are differentially hardened with a natural hamon.

Secondly, like the Custom Katana, they are available with or without bo-hi (fuller) and weigh almost exactly the same as the live blade version (approx 2.3lbs for the bo-hi sword and 2.5lbs for the no-hi version, with some minor variances based on the fittings selected).

Thirdly, most iaito made from intentionally weak alloys have a sharpened tip – but this is quite dangerous on a spring steel blade, so the tips have been rebated for safety, making this one of the ONLY iaito around that can be used for hard steel on steel contact training (under the supervision of a qualified teacher. Even though they are unsharpened, these are still quite deadly if used as a weapon)..

And then there are the custom options – which are a serious bonus. The choices are EXACTLY the same as for the live blades. And if you choose the same tsuba, they will balance and handle almost identically (though it is recommended for safety reasons to have one point of difference, such as a red tsuka for the live blade and blue for training sword, slightly different tsuba, saya or something that keeps them in the same theme but makes them easily distinguishable from one another at a glance.

Need we say more? Just $189.99 with no extra hidden charges.

Click here for the full Ryujin Line Up