(A Bit of History According to Strongblade)
Although the legendary Scottish commander portrayed by Mel Gibson in the 1995 movie, Braveheart is often described as using a Claymore, his sword was quite different from what we generally call a Claymore today. The claymore, especially this more advanced twisted-hilt claymore, was a very common weapon for Scottish warriors to wield, though, so there is very little doubt that Wallace at one time or another would have a claymore (although he would most certainly have used the early claymore, not the twisted hilt variety.
Despite this, the claymore was an awesome weapon on the battlefield. The amazing reach (as much as 60 inches of overall length for standard claymores)made it extremely difficult for opponents to close with the wielder. The long ricasso allowed the bearer to switch to a more close-quarters style of combat if an opponent made it inside his distance.
The claymore (or more accurately, "Claidheamh-mor" in Gaelic) was first reportedly used in the 13th century, and was used as recently as the 18th century. The twisted hilt claymore was the most recent of the claymores (c. 1500) and features the downward-angled crosses that end in small honeycomb patterns. The twisted wooden hilt was a better way to grip the sword (and the fact that it looks so damn cool probably had something to do with its broad acceptance among highlanders). Legend has it that a claymore was hurled into the field of battle, toward an opposing army before combat, to signify that the Scottish troops were ready to fight. No real evidence of this, but its cool and fits the highlander idiom, so we thought we had pass it along.
Inspired by Model SBA-TWISTEDCLAYMORE