World-class bladesmiths re-create historical edged weapons in a cutthroat competition.
Hosted by Wil Willis, a former Army Ranger and Air Force para-rescue specialist, the competition series pits master weaponsmiths against each other to re-create iconic weapons that will be tested and evaluated by a panel of judges.
Competitors will re-create weapons from historical periods ranging from Japanese katanas to medieval broadswords to ancient throwing blades. Each entry will be judged on its artistry as well as its functionality and accuracy. The panel will consist of Willis, knife and sword expert J. Neilson, combat specialist Doug Marcaida and weapon history buff David Baker.
Seven competitors return to the forge for a second chance at glory and redemption; they'll have to create four different weapons and survive four rounds of testing; the smiths begin outside using the dreaded coal forge.
The four remaining smiths are tasked with crafting an elegant Yemeni dagger; the intricacies of the dagger prove to much for one; while an intense round eliminates the second; the two finalists must choose the weapons they will forge at home.
Four smiths must use the canister method to forge a signature blade, but welding failures and abandoned leave some odd the competitors scrambling; two smiths return to their home forges to create the Austro-Hungarian Hussar Saber.
Four bladesmiths must forge a blade using steel harvested from a vintage pinball machine; two smiths advance and return home to build a weapon rooted in savagery; the Barbarian Sword.
Four bladesmiths must forge friction folders from a rusty pickup truck; the two smiths left standing head back to their home forges to recreate an exotic weapon wielded by ancient Southeast Asian warriors; the Javanese Kris.
Four bladesmiths are tasked with re-creating the Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife by combining three sizes of W1 round stock; two smiths must forge Japanese Gen. Yamashita's gunto.
Four bladesmiths must forge signature blades from different sizes of spring steel; two smiths survive an intense round of testing and return home to re-create a Greek kopis.
In a special five-part competition, top bladesmiths from each branch of the US military - Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy - compete to earn a spot representing their branch in a battle for our biggest prize ever: $50,000. Round one belongs to the Army, as four soldiers must forge a special forces V-42 stiletto. After a ruthless bout of testing, two smiths are dispatched to their home forges to build a US Army Officer's Sword. The winner secures a place at the Army Anvil competing in the Battle of the Branches finale, where victory brings pride, glory, and a $50,000 grand prize.
In Round Two of the Battle of the Branches Tournament, four airmen from the US Air Force must forge a Bolo knife using the San Mai technique to combine high carbon steel with helicopter parts. Shaping these massive pieces of uncooperative metal into useable steel will take all of the airmen's ingenuity. After rounds of close inspection and brutal testing, two smiths return home to forge a weapon that exemplifies their branch: the Air Force NCO Sword. Which airman's blade will land him a spot at the Air Force Anvil, and a chance at the $50,000 grand prize?
Four bladesmiths are tasked with forging signature blades from gym equipment; after a severe round of testing, the two that remain have only four days in their home forges to re-create one of Japan's deadliest swords: the Nagamaki.
Four bladesmiths are tasked with forging fantasy blades from a meteorite, battling difficult forge welds, they create their one of a kind blades; the final two head to their home forges to re-create a legendary weapon: Attila the Hun's Sword of Mars.
Bladesmiths fight fire with fire when they use a dismantled forge's steel to construct a blade; the smiths struggle to salvage enough material to create a san mai billet; two return to their home forges with four days to recreate the Partizan.
Four bladesmiths face triple the challenges when they must forge a canister Damascus blade from three different steels using three separate cans. Keeping their canisters and blades straight proves easier said than done, and Round 1 gives one of the competitors a tough break. After a rough round of testing, two finalists head back to their home forges to recreate two of history's most reliable hunting weapons: the Messer and Bi-knife.
Starting with four bladesmiths, they are tasked to forge a kukri without power tools. The remaining two after the elimination round must make a Ram Dao, which is known as a sacrificial sword in South Asia.