David W. has contributed several pieces to TTAK. He is wearing out the “guest” in “guest post” and will hopefully agree to let me set up his own byline. He deserves it. -HCA
This past May, I had the opportunity to tour the Windlass Steelcrafts factory in Dehradun, India. For those of you who do not know Windlass Steelcrafts makes a wide range (arguably the widest) of historical weapons and armor. In addition, they make side arms (swords) for modern militaries; they also are licensed reproducers for props and gear related to some of Hollywood’s most recent box office franchises. In short, they make cool stuff.
Being that the factory is in India, I was not sure what I would find. Would it be an ultra modern facility? A sweatshop? The bowels of Middle Earth? Answer: none of the above. It was not modern by any stretch but it was not a shanty with hammers and anvils. It was walled off and it was not under one roof.
Before I get ahead of myself. I have to thank my driver, translator, and brother-in-law Aman Mani for finding the place and getting me there. Also, A big thank you to our gracious guide Nimit Jain (Production Manager) for showing us around.
Arguably the coolest part of the tour was being able to see discontinued items from the company as well as new ones that were not available for sale at the time of our tour. I state “Arguably” as Windlass Steelcrafts has a pretty cool assortment of weapons; it ain’t blade porn if they are right there in front of you. Axes, swords, knives, etc. were all there and it was glorious.
While there, I was faced with a dilemma of sin. Do I throw down some money and add to my (“arguably” too big already) blade collection and thus anger my wife? Or, do I not and go to this weapons womb and walk away with nothing? Sadly, I chose the latter. Influencing my decision was the fact that: A. They were not really set up for sales B. Much of their inventory had left for distribution the day before C. I would have to mail anything I got D. ANY BLADE OVER 6 INCHES IN LENGTH REQUIRES A PERMIT. Holy arms control Batman! They out nanny state the UK on that one.
I was able to handle their German flanged mace – cuz you know knights turned zombie can pop up at any time. It looks way cooler on screen. It felt heavier in the hand than I thought it would and the head was way smaller than I thought. I mention this because there are very few places you can go in the U.S., or even the world, where you can handle swords, maces, etc. (knives are an exception) and get a “feel” for them like you would a gun. I know the market is not there for such brick-and-mortar stores but a guy can dream can’t he?
Windlass does make some cool looking gear even if I have not (yet) purchased anything by them. Check them out at: www.windlass.com.