Arms & Armor Cavalier Rapier
A hands-on review by Patrick Kelly

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While the slim thrusting rapier gained popularity in civilian circles it was found to be deficient upon the battlefield. Blades of stout cut and design were mounted upon more "modern" compound style hilts. As with the earlier sidesword swords such as the Cavalier were used both in civilian and military context throughout the renaissance and into the reformation period. The original upon which the Cavalier is based has been dated circa 1620.

Measurements and Specifications:
Weight:3 pounds 3 ounces
Overall length:41.5 inches
Blade length:34 inches
Guard width:8.5 inches
Grip length:3.139 inches
Profile taper:1.775 inches to .44 inch
Distal taper:.252 inch to .08 inch
Point of Balance:3.5 inches from guard
Center of Percussion:20 inches from guard

Original dated circa 1620 A.D.
Replica created by Arms & Armor of Minnesota

Handling Characteristics
The Cavalier handles much like many earlier cut and thrust designs. While the blade's sharply tapering profile makes for efficient thrusting techniques it still maintains the mass sufficient for cutting attacks. I suspect the Cavalier would have been quite effective against the more lightly armored soldiers of the renaissance and reformation periods.

Fit and Finish
Like many of Arms and Armor's line up, the Cavalier features blued furniture and a wire bound grip. The hot chemically blued furniture is very cleanly done in an octagonal cross section. The plum shaped and faceted pommel is an interesting feature that lends a pleasing flow to the hilt. The wire bound grip is done in a helical shape that was very popular during the period and lends it itself to a very secure grip.

Overall this is one of A&A's more striking pieces appearances-wise. The Cavalier is a very solid and stout weapon that would be welcomed on the belt of any renaissance nobleman or reformation cavalier.

About the Author
Patrick is a State Trooper serving with the Kansas Highway Patrol. He has been fascinated with edged weapons, particularly the medieval sword, since early childhood. Not only is Patrick thankful for any opportunity to indulge in his favorite hobby, he is also blessed with a wife who tolerates a house full of sharp pointy things.

Photographer: Patrick Kelly

Click photos to enlarge:

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