War of 1812 Midshipman’s Dirk by Glen Mock
The war of 1812 was ignited over our right to free trade and unrestricted shipping. To demand these rights, our fledgling maritime force had to square off with the king’s own Royal Navy. Britannia prided her ability to rule the seas, and her fighting ships and the sailors that manned them were some of the best disciplined and equipped in the world at that time. That didn't stop us from taking them on head to head, both on the Great Lakes and on the open oceans. Determined to fight with whatever means they had available, our brave fighting men were often forced to arm themselves as best as they could with their own private weapons instead of relying on the government to provide them with regulation issue, and this midshipman's dirk was just such a private weapon, and it would have found service in the hands of just such a man.
Glen forged the double-edge blade from 1095 steel and crafted the guard from brass. He turned the handle from black walnut and capped the pommel in brass sheeting. According to Glen, the sheath was the hardest part of this project. Like the pommel cap, it was fashioned from sheet brass, as well as round and half-round brass wire. All of the scabbard’s seams were silver soldered. As a finishing touch, Glen closely copied the decorative period engraving style found on the original.
Text by T.C. AlbertPhotos by H. David Wright
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