Hunting sword of Prince Camillo Borghese (1775–1832)

A hunting sword is a type of single-handed short sword that dates back to the 12th century, but was primarily used during hunting parties in Europe from the 17th to the 19th century.[1][2] A hunting sword usually has a straight, single-edged, pointed blade typically no more than 36 in (910 mm) long. This sword was used for finishing off game in lieu of using and wasting further shot.[citation needed] Adopted by many Europeans, and in past centuries sometimes worn by military officers as a badge of rank, hunting swords display great variety in design. Some hilts featured a thin knuckle-bow to protect the fingers. Others sported a serrated saw edge on the back of the blade. Still others had small matchlock pistols built into the hilt that originated in the early 18th century, with deep firing grooves cut into the fuller of the blade.[3]


  1. ^ Blackmore, Howard L (2000). Hunting Weapons from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century: With 288 Illustrations. Courier Dover Publication. pp. 2–74. ISBN 978-0-486-40961-0.
  2. ^ Neumann, George C. (1973). Swords & blades of the American Revolution. Stackpole Books. pp. 93–95. ISBN 978-0-8117-1720-5.
  3. ^ DK Publishing (2006). Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor. Penguin. pp. 116–119. ISBN 978-0-7566-4219-8.