[Ansteorra-rapier] My first Heavy Rapier

James Crouchet jtc at swordworks.org
Mon Aug 18 10:59:17 PDT 2003

On Saturday 16 August 2003 04:22 pm, Joseph Percer wrote:
> Unto the Fair Gentles of the Rapier Community,
> I'm getting ready to put together my first Heavy Rapier rig, and wanted
> some recommendations on what and where to buy blades...
> I know I've heard of Del Tin blades, as well as the Schlager blades, but
> I have no idea of the benefits / drawbacks of each.
> I will probably order the guard, grip, and pommel from Triplette...

I would recommend you make it to a few of the larger fencing events and 
borrow some various weapons to see what they are like. What guard you like 
and even what blade you prefer are very subjective decisions. What's more, 
the guard you THINK you want is probably not what you will want once you 
have tried a few.

If you goal is historical accuracy -- and I don't know why else you would 
be looking at these blades -- the Del Tin is the winner hands down. It is 
about the right length for a period rapier, the blade is properly tapered 
(which GREATLY affects how the weapon will handle) and proper edges.

Since you will likely keep this same blade for many years I recommend you 
forget the difference in cost as a factor in deciding which to buy. A 
schlager will be something like $20 or $30 less but so what? If you keep 
the blade for 6 years that is only $5 per year. It is not worth saving $5 
to fight for a year with your second choice of blade.

As to the guards, I find Triplette's swept guards to be heavy and awkwardly 
balanced. As I said before, this is personal but a guard that is made 
right for you makes a big difference in handling the weapon. Darkwood's 
work is never cheap but it is great quality, historically accurate (unless 
you ASK them to make an inaccurate piece) and works well for me.

Be sure whatever guard you get will work with the blade you buy. An epee, a 
schlager and a Del Tin all require different openings in the guard to fit 
properly (or at all). It is possible to build a guard that will fit any of 
these blades but most manufacturers do not bother. And the best, tightest 
fit will always be from a guard that is made only for that specific blade 

Whatever you plan to buy, find someone who has one and try it (and other 
weapons) before you plunk down a big chunk of money on it. 


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