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Casey Putsch




Location: ohio
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: The best modern made rapiers?         Reply with quote

Hello all,

For quite some time I have been trying to decide what company to buy a rapier from and can't figure which is best. I have read many reviews and have my own feelings, but wanted to ask you all out there.

About me and what I am looking for. First off, I am a recreational fencer (I'd compete, but have other sporting priorities unfortunatly). Beyond that, I care very much for antiques and absolute authenticity and quite frankly am looking at new rapiers, because I can't quite justify the cost of originals at the moment.

So, basically I want my new rapier to be absolutly real and not sacrifice blade quality/metalurgy for cost. I do not want it to look mass-produced and "cookie cutter". Let me put it this way, If I were to travel back in time, I want something that looked right and that I could depend on using.

So what do you all think? By the way, I recently saw a Windlass rapier at a rennaisance festival. It gave me the impression of a mass-produced stage prop more than a real rapier. I'm sorry, if I'm wrong here as I only got a breif up-close look. That was the impression I got.

Thanks everyone,

Casey
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 2:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Casey!

My own top three makers for the moment are:
Patrick Barta (definitely not cheap...)
Arms&Armor
Vladimir Cervenka

Darkwood Armory makes nice training weapons, better looking than the Windlass ones in my opinion, but still training items and therefore not perfectly true to antiques, not sharp for starters Wink

Good luck in your search!

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Jason Elrod




Location: Winchester, VA
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 2:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Go with Arms and Armor (Check out Vincent's link above).

I've handled a couple of their standard rapiers as well as one of their custom rapiers and was impressed with all of them. However I never really appreciated how historically accurate their rapiers are until I handled an antique.

You can not go wrong with A&A.
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would suggest Arms and Armor as well, but if I were in your shoes at the moment I would look into this piece- http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=13564 -which I believe is still for sale. I don't know if it is based on a particular historical piece but I belive most of Phoenix Metal Creations' pieces were. This is one of two in existence from PMC so it certainly is not "cookie cutter" or mass-produced. If I were collecting rapiers (which I am not) I would have bought this piece by now.
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Christian P.




Location: Greater Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 20 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recommend Darkwood for a training rapier. You can go custom if you like with no problem. I ordered one in last winter and it is very nice. I went that route before ordering a fully custom one from a different maker. I wanted to be sure of what I wanted before going on a long waiting list and shelling the big money. They are very good training tool and good looking too.

That was my first real rapier and I discovered that it is not my favorite weapon. I'm more cut and trust. I'm happy that I tested my idea before going to somebody like M. Berta or Cervenka. It is a little bit more expensive but you can save a lot.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arms & Armor. Absolutely. I'm partial to the complex-hilt arming swords and love my Town Guard sword, but plenty of folks vouch for the quality of their rapiers. If you haven't already done so, see these A&A rapier reviews:

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_bav.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_cav.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_custrap.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_vasa.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_ni.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_mil2.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_2ring.html

-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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Casey Putsch




Location: ohio
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Everyone thankyou!

I am very impressed with how kind and welcoming you all are. I have had the displeasure of other forums that seem to be frequented by angry 8 year olds.

Anyway, thank you again.

Vladimir Cervenka is most impressive to me now. The pictures of his weapons look to be exactly the style and taste I am looking for. How is he to deal with? Turn around time? Communication? Etc?

Casey
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James Holczer




Location: Central New Jersey
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any of the smiths mentioned are a good bet but I would have to go with A&A. Right now with a weak dollar against the euro the European smiths do not really represent a good buy when you can get comparable work done right in the US. Depending on the style of rapier you are interested in I might even recommend Dennis Graves of No Quarter Arms but Iím a bit hesitant to recommend him as I hear that his health of late has been somewhat suspect.
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Casey Putsch




Location: ohio
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good point on the dollar to Euro ratio.

I am taken by the styles available by Vladimir and am impressed that he can do the antique patina.

Arms and Armor is indeed quite nice, but I didn't see any off the shelf ones that really struck my fancy. While I don't want a "cookie cutter" rapier, I hesitate to look at modern replicas that are well over 1000 dollars as it seems that money would be better spent towards antique rapiers. Just my thought. What do you all think about that?

I quite like Pappenheimer and English variations and didn't see any at A&A with out going custom.

Also, I am quite a good fabricator and can use everything from an English wheel to a torch and sewing machine. If I were to make my own, I'm certain there are many blades to buy, but do you all have any suggestions on where to buy appropriate raw materials?

Thanks again!

Casey
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Armour Class makes a beautiful Pappenheimer..

http://www.armourclass.com/Data/Pages/17Century_4.1.htm

Roanoke Sword Guilde

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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Casey Putsch wrote:
Everyone thankyou!

Vladimir Cervenka is most impressive to me now. The pictures of his weapons look to be exactly the style and taste I am looking for. How is he to deal with? Turn around time? Communication? Etc?


Casey, I just received my commision from Vladimir, and the detail and appearance are everything I could have hoped for. He was extremely easy to work with and responded to all of my emails in a timely manner. I asked him to engrave a somewhat complex design (the eagle of The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_IV,_Holy_Roman_Emperor) in the pommel and he did that without additional charge. I also oerdered a dagger with the sword and asked for a period cross to be engraved in that pommel but couldn't make up my mind. So Vladimir sent me a dozen designs that would fit. I still couldn't decide so left it up to him and he chose the perfect cross for the dagger. He doesn't require a deposit but will hold your commision until full payment is deposited in his account- took about 4 days to clear all the governmental hurdles. Shipping from the Czech Republic to Portland, Oregon was 40 Euros and took 7 days. The turn-around was 2 weeks short of a year which was far less than the 18 months he first told me. You could do a search on this forum ("Vladimir and Cervenks") and you will find a lot of satisfied sword owners.

I am going to have him make a rapier for me next- I just need to decide on what hilt design I want. Send him an email and he can answer most of your questions. Or email me and I can tell you what I know. You won't be disappointed with Vladimir Cervenka.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 391

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You should email Arms&Armor, they are willing to modify their pieces as much as you want. You can even switch between hilts and blades from different swords. In general these modifications are quite cheap.
I would not go with Darkwood, I have not been impressed with really any of their pieces.
Also you will probably be better off spending over $1000, I'd go up to at least $2000. You can look for originals but in general you will not find a rapier for under $3000, and even that would be a steal. Most will be in the $5000-$10,000 range and the sky is the limit. Originals will really change in price based on find location, historical value, quality (originally), and quality (now). On top of that you have to be very carefull of not buying a fake.

Historia magistra vitae est
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Casey Putsch wrote:
Good point on the dollar to Euro ratio.

I am taken by the styles available by Vladimir and am impressed that he can do the antique patina.

Arms and Armor is indeed quite nice, but I didn't see any off the shelf ones that really struck my fancy. While I don't want a "cookie cutter" rapier, I hesitate to look at modern replicas that are well over 1000 dollars as it seems that money would be better spent towards antique rapiers. Just my thought. What do you all think about that?

I quite like Pappenheimer and English variations and didn't see any at A&A with out going custom.

Also, I am quite a good fabricator and can use everything from an English wheel to a torch and sewing machine. If I were to make my own, I'm certain there are many blades to buy, but do you all have any suggestions on where to buy appropriate raw materials?

Thanks again!

Casey


I can attest to his work since I own one of his rapiers and matching daggers. The work is exquisite and very beautiful. It also handles really well too, so you get beauty and performance in one package!

I have over a dozen people lined up who "want to buy it from me if I decide to sell it" but I'm keeping this set till I die. ;-)

Last I checked though, Vladimir had a two year waiting list, and of course there is the dollar to Euro conversion rate problem. However if you can get one someday, I would highly recommend you buy one from him!
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Casey Putsch




Location: ohio
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank again to everyone for your valuable input. I don't think the Euro Dollar ratio and especially the waiting list strike my fancy for Vladimirs rapiers at the moment. It seems Arms and Armor is the way to go. I'll get in contact with them about modifications and see what I come up with.

Also, there is the rapier for sale by a gentleman with the Pheonix Metal Creations hilt and the Angus Trim blade. Would that hilt and blade be to my liking? It looks as though PMC is fantastic, but I don't know about those blades. Are they functionally correct and a good metalurgy?

Casey
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Casey Putsch wrote:
Also, there is the rapier for sale by a gentleman with the Pheonix Metal Creations hilt and the Angus Trim blade. Would that hilt and blade be to my liking? It looks as though PMC is fantastic, but I don't know about those blades. Are they functionally correct and a good metalurgy?


I'd buy that PMC rapier if I had the extra cash. It's unique and the rapier+dagger combo is a very good price. The blade is functionally very good. It's made by Angus Trim. He knows heat-treat and how to make a functionally robust blade.

You asked, in the marketplace, for additional photos. Many were already posted in that topic and I want to make sure you've seen them:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=148086#148086

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Gabriele Becattini





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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i know that my question is off-topic, but simmetrycal rapier like that have some historycal basis?

never seen an original like that.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gabriele Becattini wrote:
i know that my question is off-topic, but simmetrycal rapier like that have some historycal basis?

never seen an original like that.


Well, first thing's first: the PMC rapier in question isn't completely symmetrical in that the quillons are horizontally recurved. However, the inner/outer guards are essentially symmetrical. There are rapier types that share this characteristic and a few others that are fully symmetrical. I'm inclined to think this is a more common feature on later period examples rather than earlier period ones.

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Gabriele Becattini





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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan,

could you post some examlpes of fully symmetrical hilt?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gabriele Becattini wrote:
Nathan,

could you post some examlpes of fully symmetrical hilt?


Make a new topic about it and I'll see what I can do. I'm very busy these days and cannot find a lot of time to source and scan things as I once did. No promises from me...

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Chris Olsen




Location: Saint Paul
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can at test to Arms and Armor's work, I own many of their rapiers, and I had the opportunity to visit the Oakshott Institute to handle the originals, which they pattern their pieces after. they are very good quality, the swords are made right here in the U.S. by a small shop of 6 or 7 guys, everything is hand made and they have very high standards for quality.

Good luck in your search
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