Thread: Sword fuller info?
9/01/2004 7:23am, #11
Meex, it's really not a debatable issue. It simply is not a blood groove. There is no evidence to support that it is, including scientific evidence of "suction" around a blade that has been stabbed into flesh. There is, however, much evidence about why they had fullers in blade construction, and some evidence that directly contradicts the "blood groove" theory (E.G. Viking blades that had fullers, but no point on the blade). The only people who "debate" in favor of fullers being a "blood groove" are people who no nothing about sword construction, sword use or wounds in the human body.
9/10/2004 10:56pm, #12
No, there's no "real" debate. If there WAS a "suction problem," the fuller would not solve it. Human flesh is mostly elastic, as anyone who has studied terminal ballistics can tell you (there are two wound cavities to a bullet wound, the temporary cavity caused by the bullet's passage and the permanent cavity formed when the elastic tissues shrink back down. This is why you can't use modeling clay to simulate a bullet wound, even though some unscrupulous ammunition manufacturers do so; it will show the temporary cavity as if it were the permanent cavity because the clay is not elastic. This gives the impression of horrible gaping wounds that the ammunition can't actually produce in flesh.)
Anyway, if flesh conformed to a flat blade, why would it not conform to at least the wide, shallow fullers common on so many swords and bayonets? Well, it would.
The main function of the fuller is to lighten the blade. People think of fluting as "adding" strength or stiffness, but that's not really accurate. What it actually does is provide a way to remove material (thus weight) while losing less stiffness and strength than you would by removing material in any other fashion. However, strength IS still lost. The amount lost is more than worth the weight savings to most people.