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Thread: Affordable Type-94/98 Shin Gunto reproductions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Western Australia

    Question Affordable Type-94/98 Shin Gunto reproductions?

    Hey folks! Been a long time since I made a post here, but I figured I'd stick my head in and have a look to see if anybody here can help me out. I may have already asked this in the past, but I don't recall if I got a reply or not.

    But recently, I secured myself one of these little gems from Kult of Athena:

    This is, to my knowledge, the only available official reproduction of a Shin Gunto Type-95, they are fairly affordable, too. Made my Universal Swords from India. It ain't exactly the most fancy piece on the market, I know. In fact the one I'm ordering is "munitions grade", although the staff at KoA weren't exactly too specific as to what that meant, so I'll have to find out myself when it gets here. Either way, I don't know of any other company or website that sells a replica of the Type-95, so I snapped this one up for my collection.

    However, I'm still on the look out for a low-cost reproduction of the fancier Type-94 or Type-98 Shin Gunto. Those are the ones that you see more often when people talk about the Shin Gunto swords. So far... The only one I've found that's in my viable price range (under $250 USD - I do not have much disposable income...) is the "Officer" variant, also made by Universal Swords. You can take a look at it here.

    If you know anything about the swords I'm after, you'll probably see why I'm not too enamoured by Universal's other model. It isn't, per-say, poor quality or anything, and it does have all the hallmarks of a Gunto, but it very clearly isn't closely modelled after the real thing, at least not to the degree of their "NCO" version: There does not appear to be any actual rayskin on the same, the ito wrapping doesn't look like any pattern I've ever seen on a real Gunto, and the sarute (hanging-down bit) on the kabuto-gane is the wrong shape and far too large. The sarute on the NCO version is the same, but it's a bit more forgivable there and will probably be an easy enough fix.

    In any case, I'm still somewhat tempted as the price is at least within my range, and if what I've heard about Universal Sword's other products is correct, then the material and construction is fairly high quality. I could probably find somebody locally to edit the sword to be closer to a historical example with proper rayskin, a replaced sarute and a re-wrap on the ito (and maybe a coat of paint on the saya) but honestly, I'd rather just buy a replica that's accurate right away instead of wasting more time and effort editing the Universal Swords one.

    Now... The only other Gunto reproduction models I know about are made by Hanwei, and they are very expensive. Or at least, very expensive for my budget. $719.95 USD is $964.30 AUD, which is far more than I can justify for a sword at the present moment.

    I'm a bit stuck. Because apart from Universal Swords and Hanwie, I don't know of any company that makes accurate Type-94 or Type-98 Gunto replicas. At least... None that aren't hand-made custom pieces costing well into the 1,000's in terms of price. And getting a genuine antique for that price, let alone one of any good quality, is a pipe dream. Yet, I keep reading online about "Chinese and Indian" reproduction Guntos that supposedly get passed off as genuine articles by shady Ebay sellers, and sure enough, there are plenty of "shifty looking" Guntos floating around on Ebay, some of them within my budget range. However, I'm hesitant to buy anything from some no-name random guy on Ebay, as I've heard many horror stories about items that look nothing like the preview images or being generally badly made. And the fact that many of these obvious fakes are being sold as "genuine" doesn't exactly fill me with trust.

    So... Here I am, reaching out to you guys. I'm looking for a Shin Gunto reproduction that meets the following criteria:

    • Preferably Under $250 USD (I really, really don't want to go much higher than that, and $250 USD itself is quite hefty for me, being $334 AUD)
    • Decent-enough construction. I don't need some hand-forged masterpiece here, but something that can take a bit of light cutting would be nice.
    • Accurate to historical examples (E.G: Button-release on the kuchi-gane, correctly shaped sarute, rayskin wrapped same, ornamented saya, ect...)
    • Shipping to Australia that isn't prohibitively expensive.

    Can anybody help me out here? I honestly wouldn't even know where to look. None of the other sites I'm aware of (Trueswords and Globalgear) sell affordable Guntos and I'd rather avoid Ebay unless I can find a verified seller. I don't know of any other manufacturers, either. Most people seem to want only the genuine Guntos for their collections, which is understandable enough. But I sure as hell don't have the finances to go spending thousands on historical artefacts.

    Last edited by Nick Sz; 07-23-2016 at 09:13 AM.
    Nil Mortifi, Sine Lucre

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