The Shamshir (also known as the Mameluke sword) is among the swords of the Seljuk empire; it eventually took the name Shamshir, a Persian name, when the piece was first brought to Persia during the twelfth century.

Originally, these Persian swords appeared straight with a double edge whereas the scimitar swords that featured curved blades have originated from the Central Asian Turkic Muslims. It is a kind of saber that featured a curve and was considered quite radical for a sword five to fifteen degrees all the way from tip to tip.

The name was also derived from the Persian word Shamshir which generally means sword, and under this category of curved swords includes the scimitar, kilij, saber, pulwar, the shamshir sword, and more.

All of the mentioned weapons were primarily based on the parent sword called the Turko Mongol saber; as for the shamshir, it appeared as a single-handed sword that featured a slim, curved blade that seemed to have no taper until the blade’s very tip.

When carrying the sword, instead of it being wielded upright, it was carried in a horizontal manner where its hilt and tip was pointed up.

It was a weapon mainly utilized for slashing unarmored enemies who were either mounted on a horse or were battling on foot; its tip could be utilized for thrusting but the dramatically curved appearance of its blade made accuracy quite challenging.

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Similar to the Japanese swords, the shamshir did not feature any pommels but it featured two extended quillons to form a simple yet sturdy crossguard.

The sword’s tang is concealed by slabs of ivory, bone, wood, or other materials that are fixed by rivets or pins to form the weapon’s grip. Additionally, the shamshir sword also featured a similar design to the saif and the Indian talwar.

Origin of the Shamshir

The first recorded appearance of the Shamshir sword was around the ninth century; there, it was considered as a vital tool of the Mamelukes which was brought in by the Seljuk Khanate.

The shamshir’s blade was lightweight and quite easy to wield since it was primarily created to work as a slashing weapon. Its blade was fashioned with an exaggerated arch and had a very sharp curved side; the sharpest point of the sword can be found right at its tip.

A similar design was adopted by the Turkic Soldiers and the Mughal Empire, wherein the weapon’s tip was made sharp to easily thrust right at an opponent. Although it was an extremely sharp and pointed weapon, its curved blade made accuracy a big issue for its wielders.

The shamshir was first introduced by the Turkic Seljuk Khanate to Iran during the twelfth century; it was later popularized in Persia during the early period of the sixteenth century and had so-called relatives in other areas namely in Turkey where they had the kilij, and also in the adjoining Arabian world where they had the sam-sam and the saif.

Metropolitan Museum of Art / CC0

Since the weapon first originated in Persia, it eventually spread and became popular throughout the previous Ottoman Empire; eventually, its popularity also reached other countries such as India and the Philippines.

Its evidently curved blade was highly popular and was said to be very much ideal for delivering and executing powerful cutting strokes; it was also a highly efficient piece for delivering rising then descending, as well as hooking thrusts which were extremely vital for the battlefield.

Typically, the curved blade of the shamshir featured a sharp point and a narrow cross section, plus it also had a hilt made of steel or brass and it featured an equally balanced and straightforward grip that was usually made out of animal horn or wood.

Modern illustrations and art usually exhibited these weapons as tools that were being carried inside scabbards, commonly suspended in a horizontal to a diagonal position with its edge down; it was commonly worn on the wielder’s left side.

The shamshir sword was commonly regarded as an optimized weapon for mounted combat, as well as in close quarters, which was commonly depicted in period writings and illustrations.

Characteristics of the Shamshir Sword

The shamshir was a single-handed, sword with a curved yet slim blade and it also almost did not have a taper until the blade’s very tip. The weapon was commonly utilized for slashing enemies without armor who were either mounted on horses or were simply attacking on foot.

The tip was very efficient for thrusting but its dramatically curved blade made it quite difficult to achieve accuracy when executing various attacks.

The blade had a fairly neutralized pommel plus two extended quillons that formed a simple yet clean crossguard. It also featured a tang that is generally covered by chunks of ivory, wood, bone, or other possible materials that could be fixed using rivets or pins to form an adequate grip.

A lot of the older and more classic Persian shamshir swords were produced using high-quality wootz steel and were highly noted for the blade’s fine watering.

The shamshir sword and its deeply arched blade tend to reach its superlative degree of curvature which is about fifty to sixty percent of the blade’s length all the way from its crossguard. The widest part of the blade is where it connects to the hilt, and towards its tip is where the width and thickness of the blade can be seen.

Shamshir Shekargar

A Shamshir Shekargar which literally translates to a hunting sword or hunters sword is basically the same as the regular shamshir sword.

The only difference between the two is that the blade of the Shamshir Shekargar is usually engraved and adorned with hunting scenes.

MittlererWeg / CC BY-SA

Shamshir for Sale

For individuals who are interested in collecting pieces such as finely made Persian weapons or for those who wish to practice cutting and slashing using such, why not purchase a decorative or fully functional shamshir for sale from numerous online weapon shops.

These replicas have been inspired by the classic swords that featured a dramatic and deeply curved blade that was popular in Persia. The fully functional shamshir are sharpened adequately so those who purchase these swords can readily utilize these for cutting practice.

However, for those who are searching for the shamshir sword for sale that is mainly for decorating one’s home or as a new addition to an enthusiast’s growing collection of blades, he or she may opt for the decorative shamshir that is also available in numerous online weapon shops.

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