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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject: Questions on munitions grade armor.         Reply with quote

Was it made in an assembly line type way?

When was it popular?

Who could afford it/would of worn it? (mercenaries? poor knights?)

Where was it popular?

What kind of quality could be expected?

Where is a good source for all of this?

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Questions on munitions grade armor.         Reply with quote

A good primer:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4711

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very informative, but it doesn't discuss what exactly defines munitions grade armor. If some of it was high quality, then what makes it munitions grade?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Probably fit and finish--one-size-fits-all (or none) and a low-maintenance finish--planished, maybe, but not filed or polished(?)
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Allen W





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I consider it munitions grade if it was stocked in an arsenal for no specific individual or else was produced as part of a batch order. Quality runs the gamut so don't take munitions-grade as a dirty word.
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

question two, where do you guys buy armor?

And a custom made harness is out of the question i'm more looking for piece at a time, and perferably not LotR. LOL.

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Jonathan Atkin





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had dealings with just a few armouries like icefalcon armoury, CLANG armory(edit: CLANG armory makes it to fit but isn't priced bad), and the mercenary's tailor all three are good honest people to deal with.
"If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness''. - Theodore Roosevelt


Last edited by Jonathan Atkin on Wed 10 Dec, 2008 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is very likely that many shops that were masters had other sections, perhaps even fairly large ones just churning out 'munitions' armour.

I use 'munitions' armour to describe armour that is not made to order so to speak but sent and then bought once finished. It might be a good qualifier as well as Allen stated to have it reside mostly in a armoury and not specifically made for a individual. It is possible that some armour was tailored once finished for the less well off men-at-arms. Many English ports have loads of finished armour come in with no specific persons in mind and end up at large cities or markets for sale.

A comlete harness of plate can from from about single digit pounds to hundreds. Clearly your place in society in part determines this. A poorer knight who has an income of perhaps 30 pounds per year might have a hard time buying a 30-40 pound suit. He'd be hard pressed to get one that was likely 15-20 even as that'd clear him of 1/2-3/4 his income. For those of less wealth but still required to own armour less expensive armour ( and usually poorer quality armour, a look at the Knight and hte Blast furnace will show that unmarked, i,e. the more common type of armour out, was at times of poorer quality material, Germany even more so but almost always unheattreated) was needed. I'd say as a general rule of thumb what I'd consider munitions is lower quality than made to fit but armour varies as the methods of heat treatment and acquiring materials for it is not an exact science in the period. That said going back to KatBF it is clear that most marked armour from germany but especially Italy was far better than the unmarked (Which is usually more common numerically and also therefore can be seen as more common).

Much armour was made in an assembly line per se but not as you are thinking likely. Many men specialized in a specific part of armour, gaunts, helmets etc. Once done with that he'd send it to be polished etc. Before this you'd get men who either bought the plate already flattened or perhaps even cut or you'd have someone at your shop perhaps who took billets and helped make it more into a plate. There are loads of people involved even in high quality armour.

By the 15th you see clear evidence of men stocking large amounts of plate armour for men and to a lesser extent the 14th. Edward III sends breastplates (likely COPs) to Southampton in the late 1330s for use by the defenders.

In the end the question of who could afford it is hard. As I mentioned above money was limited and armour ran the entire length of it almost, excluding the lowest end.

My guess is many production centers made this and high quality harnesses. It is likely that some munitions armour was certain towns main business though. I do not think anyone has done enough research to say for sure.

RPM
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
question two, where do you guys buy armor?

And a custom made harness is out of the question i'm more looking for piece at a time, and perferably not LotR. LOL.


If you clarify a bit what your needs/intentions/budget are, it would help narrow this down a bit.

What time and region are you looking for? If you're looking for Roman stuff, or Viking stuff, the answer may well be totally different than 15th C High Gothic from the HRE.

What do you want it for? Sports armour for the SCA is (generally) not the same thing as museum-grade repro armour. You can get away with a lot less for a lot of the LARP groups. If you're looking to actively joust, there may be reasons to go thicker.

How accurate do you want it to be?

Do you want off-the-peg stuff, or do you want things custom-fit (you can easily get a single piece of a harness at a time custom-made - no need to commission a whole harness at once from a single maker).

How quickly do you want it?

How much are you willing to spend? (Some custom pieces can be cheaper to slightly more expensive than some off-the-peg, actually - custom doesn't ALWAYS mean crazy expensive.)


In my case, I want two harnesses, and they'll be different because my need is different.

My first harness is going to be museum-grade. My intent is to portray a gentleman at arms from Nuremberg, 1470ish - the Hauptmann for a portion of the city's forces. To achieve this, I'm looking for particular pieces to be made by particular armourers who do jaw-dropping work on those specific pieces from those specific regions. Some parts I will be able to make myself, though it probably isn't saving me time or money. The gauntlets were done by Jiri Lucius early this year. The sallet/bevor is being done by Eric Dube' right now - raised from a single piece as opposed to welded. Legs and arms will likely be Stanislav Prosek, hopefully through next year. Voiders, standard, and skirt are in progress by Erik Schmid. I've opted for a silk velvet-covered brigandine (which is my armouring contribution) rather than a breast/back, though I may eventually go with the breast/back in addition - probably back to Jiri Lucius or to Jiri Klepac. Arming clothes and civilian clothes are mostly from Historic Enterprises, though some pieces I've made or acquired elsewhere. In whole, the harness will be very cohesive and proper. Every piece (clothing aside) will be custom-made to my measurements and specs. This is NOT Munitions Grade stuff... but the same makers could produce whatever.

The second harness is for training. It will still look/feel somewhat the same - the helm will be a sallet/bevor (Beathan at Armour and Castings) or a klappvisor (I have both). The gauntlets will be "gothic" - a pair of Lewis Moore gauntlets that I'll modify to work better for me. I'll go with a brig again for torso armour, though it won't be with the tinned spring steel plates, the expensive velvet... it'll be canvas with a leather or cheaper velvet cover, stainless plates - and is the prototype for me to work out all of the bugs in getting to my good one. Arms and legs will probably be from Stonekeep - at least the joints, and I can work out the rest. I'll probably totally skip greaves. Mail bits are 6mm riveted voiders/standard/skirt from Icefalcon. This harness will be a LOT less expensive, a LOT faster and easier to accumulate, and I won't hate the thought of putting a scratch in it - in fact, I intend on putting it clearly through it's paces. It will NOT be nearly as historically accurate, but it will approximate the other harness well enough. With a lot of the pieces being "off the peg", this IS a munitions grade harness - fit and finish are going to be less than my first one, but that does NOT mean that it'll look shoddy at all. Notice specifically that I've still sourced pieces from all over, looking for a good mix of cost and quality.

Both harnesses have a specific purpose. One would stink for the other...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Francois L'archeveque does beautiful work and the U.S./Canadian dollar exchange rate makes it a bargain, too. The last time I spoke with him a few weeks ago he had a very nice two-piece munition breast in stock for around $160 USD.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not really looking to buy at the moment, but I like window shopping from after I'm outta college and make a little cash.

But I'm looking for later armor, like 14th-15th century. For helmets I'm interested in burgonets. Solid breastplate with faulds and tassets, etc.

The purpose is mainly realism. I'm not going to be fighting in it, but I want it made so that I could. Largely the reason for this is, as a historian I want to be able to get a "living" history feeling from it. Help me get a better grasp of the weight and movement in armor. I don't want anything for jousting because jousting armor to my understanding is heavier than what would have been used on the battlefield. Additionally I don't know how to ride horses so that out.

I'm looking for a western martial arts association in my area because I'd like to get into that sort of thing.


Thanks for the responses.

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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh ya, one last question, what is the best kind of armor for protective quality? Is it mild steel? I would think stainless is crap.

Clang is looking really good!!!

The French Canadian site was good but it was all salets and german style.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you like the burgonet, you'll be looking at the period 1500-1640. That makes getting body armour a bit easier because infantry armour in this period got pretty simple (when worn at all). You'd fit right in with just burgonet, one-piece breast and a good soft kit. One option for the clothing would be to check local universities and colleges for fashion programs. You might be able to mix your historical research with a student's technical skills to come up with an interesting project for less than you'd pay a professional.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Chris Arrington





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael,

In regards to steel types, again it is very dependent upon its purpose.

If your looking for historically appropriate materials, stainless is not appropriate at all. Mild would be the most representative, with Spring steel being possible, but it was relatively rare.

If you looking for what steels make the "best" armor it would probably be Spring Stainless, spring steel, stainless, and then mild.

And of course either standard stainless and hardenable stainless (ie spring) both have much lower maintenance associated with them.

Its all in what you are looking for.
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So historical accuracy aside, stainless is the superior medium over mild?

My history of armor is still pretty weak, if a burgonet would not be appropriate with 15th century armor, what type of helmet would? Other than the sallet, I really don't like the sallet.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
So historical accuracy aside, stainless is the superior medium over mild?

My history of armor is still pretty weak, if a burgonet would not be appropriate with 15th century armor, what type of helmet would? Other than the sallet, I really don't like the sallet.


You have a huge range of choices, even among sallets. I can almost guarantee you that there's a 15th c. sallet type you'd like. Big Grin The visored Italian export type seems to be most popular these days, but there's enormous variety in the period.

Have a look at these:



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2008 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hmmm, I do like that italian one. is there any kind of visor for that type.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Dec, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
hmmm, I do like that italian one. is there any kind of visor for that type.


Apparently so, though we don't see it much. The one shown below (c. 1500) is from this thread:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=burgonet

There's another thread on early burgonets here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...andsknecht



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Dec, 2008 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there are a wide number of sallet designs, many with visors. For a nice italian style in the late 15th look up bellow faced sallets. I like them but I do not do reenactment that late.

RPM
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Dec, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just don't like them, I"m gonna screw history probably and cross 14th century armor with burgonet.
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