FORGED – A Phil Holland Film on Tony Swatton’s Damascus Gladius

    On occasion we are known to cross into the bladed weapons territory. Many of our beloved manufactures of firearms also offer blades of various types. Smith & Wesson is the most common, but Beretta and others have recently gotten in on the game. In fact, Smith & Wesson plans to expand into the “outdoors” market over their core of firearms as its nearly 4x the total dollar value of firearms alone.

    Using a not-yet-released RED camera in full 8K resolution, cinematographer Phil Holland worked to capture the tedious and labor-intensive process of the manufacture of a damascus steel gladius by noted bladesmith Tony Swatton.

    Using 93 layers of steel, the blade starts life as a stack of steel chips. From there, the steel cards are welded together to then be forged into a single piece of steel through constant applications of heat and force. Only then is the steel broken, folded, and forged yet again. This process repeats for until the smith meets the desired grain pattern. Note – the same painstaking process is used for nearly all “damascus” steel firearms parts as well.  

    The footage is utterly mezmerizing to watch and I am sure in the full 8K on an appropriate screen, jaw-dropping. Enjoy it below and for those interested, you can see Tony Swatton’s other work here.



    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.