Results of striking a patch of my reproduction riveted maille with a sword

Back at the end of December of 1999 there was an interesting thread on Netsword in which someone authored a post about the impossibility of authentic maille being made out of wire as thin as, say, 18GA (.0475"). Below is an excerpt of my response, which included a test of striking a patch of my riveted maille with a sword.
"and the comment about 18 guage mail is silly,
I have blades that will go through 18 guage riveted mail like butter, through the wire, not the rivets.... NEVER use below 16, and I never recommend never using below 14 personally.... I don't know who taught you to make mail with such small wire but its supposed to be armor... not butcher's mail (butcher's mail wouldn't be bad, but if you can make that by hand i congradulate you... thousands of tiny links and all)...."

I was so intrigued by your "like butter" comments that I went and conducted a test. A somewhat costly test, given the effort I put into making my riveted mail, but I figured what the hell. I'm not proposing that this test would be an accurate representation of how mail would act on a human body (in fact I think a human body would be much more resilient) but it should suffice for demonstration purposes. For the test I took a log, and placed it round (bark) side up. I then placed a washcloth, folded in half, on top of the log. I figured this would somewhat represent a padded gambeson. I then laid a patch of my riveted mail on top of it. This mail is constructed of 18GA riveted links, alternating with solid punched links of the same ID and OD (3/8" and 1/2" respectively) and 1/32" thick. I then gave what I would consider a stout blow to the mail/cloth/log target with my 14th century "Swedish Battlesword". I'm not a sword person, so I can't verify how good this sword is nor if it is a "Swedish Battlesword" nor if it is even a good medieval approximation of any sword (sorry, I was rushing this test as I was in the middle of this post. I forgot to take a picture of the sword). Regardless it has somewhat of an edge to it and I certainly wouldn't hit myself as hard as I hit this target - regardless of what kind of armour I was wearing.

Here is the test setup:


Here is the mail, seen through my camcorder, after being hit with the sword:

Here is the same patch of mail, under my scanner (for better detail and resolution). Note my sketched in arrows pointing to the ring damage. While I didn't expect any rings to shear, even I was surprised at how little damage there was. I was so surprised that I was tempted to strike it again, even harder. I didn't because 1) It's past 1am in the morning and I didn't want my neighbors under me to think they were under attack and 2) I'm working to construct my first riveted shirt not destroy it. None of the rings were sheared. No rivets failed. Some rings did "fold" where struck, as evidenced by the picture:

Click on the image for an enlarged view

Now, we can argue the procedure of my very quick and crude test. We can argue the validity of my sword, or of my blow. But, if you like, I can quote you a passage from a book Natural Magick dating to 1558 or thereabouts that indicates that this is the kind of performance that men of that time would expect from mail.

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