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Ben Welch




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PostPosted: Tue 31 May, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: A general opinion of the A&A Gustav Rapier         Reply with quote

I know there have been a handful of topics and a review on the same subject, however I would like a bit more recent opinion. How is the A&A Gustav Rapier? how is the handling and weight? I'm in the market for an early transitional cut and thrust sword/rapier that is just slightly more oriented towards the thrust than the cut. Would this sword fit the bill?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 31 May, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find the rapier to be excellent. It's attractive and handles marvelously. My comments from years ago are in the review I wrote. I'm curious, however, what you define as an early transitional form? For me, an earlier form would be 1470-1500. The Gustof Vasa rapier is quite a bit later than that, dating to around 1550.
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Ben Welch




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PostPosted: Tue 31 May, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From my knowledge (im no where near an expert), the transition began like you said arround the 1470's however from what I've seen the rapier did not reach its pure form untill arround 1560 and even then it wasn't widely adopted into culture until the early 1600's. So I do correct myself, the Gustav is more of a mid-transitional model than an early model.
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A&A is in the process of making my Gustav rapier at the moment, so I don't have first-hand experience yet. But, according to everything that I've read and heard from people who have had the sword at hand it should be a marvellous example of a sword from that era.

Will post my opinions and experiences when I get my sword, but it might be a couple of more months (I hope not, though), given the current wait times at A&A...
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Gottfried P. Doerler




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

maybe by transitional you mean the not yet fully developed/closed hilt, that will 30 years later become a 3ring...swepthilt...whatever ?

i`ve always wondered by what one defines a rapier. is it the blade ? is it the hilt ? is the munich town gard sword a rapier ?
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The one I handled was excellent in both handling characteristics (admittedly I am not a rapier fencer so my knowledge here is somewhat suspect) and aesthetically as well. I wouldn't hesitate if it appeals to you.
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gottfried P. Doerler wrote:
i`ve always wondered by what one defines a rapier. is it the blade ? is it the hilt ? is the munich town gard sword a rapier ?

First thing is to get rid of the modern need to have an exact definition for any type of sword. The only way you can define a rapier is a relatively loose one, such as:

"Rapier
The rapier was a type of sword used by infantry during the Renaissance of Europe as well as civilians. This sword was a direct descendant of the arming sword. Quite popular between the 16th and 17th centuries, they were ideal for handling the mix of armoured and unarmoured opponents of that time.

Rapiers are divided into two categories in modern systems, the military version often being called a side-sword or cutting rapier and the civilian version called rapier. It should be noted that no such clear separation existed during the period. As it could be used for both cutting and thrusting, the term cut-and-thrust sword is sometimes used about the heavier versions of rapier."

This "definition" is probably stepping on many toes, so I'll just shoot it out here and run away for a while... Wink
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marko Susimetsa wrote:


This "definition" is probably stepping on many toes, so I'll just shoot it out here and run away for a while... Wink


Makes sense to me as our " modern " typologies are useful for us to be able to communicate to each other and useful as long as one avoids making the mistake that they are not much more than convenient labelling systems although one can use them to organize and date subtypes to a degree.

I generally tend to call something a rapier based on them having complex hilts but even then there are other distinct types of swords that also have complex hilts but that we identify easily as basket hilt, schiavona, small sword, mortuary sword etc ....

But usually we can recognize a rapier like hilt and blade types can vary from wide cut and thrust blades to edgeless very pointy things.

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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject: What is a Rapier?         Reply with quote

To the good information one can find on this site about rapiers and there forms I would suggest adding these to your reading list. Very well written and informed discussion of what is a rapier!

What is a Rapier

The Rapier Revisited

Mr. Leoni has done a great job of looking at what constitutes the weapon and it would be difficult to have someone more well versed in the use of the rapier present the information so well.

Best
Craig
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent links there, Craig, thank you!

I think I have read some part of Leoni's earlier definition and have used that as a basis for my own thinking (and seen that there's more evidence to support it than some of the competing definitions), but I had never actually read those two articles that you linked to. Very nice and concisely expressed thoughts about the nature of rapier.
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Ben Welch




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marko Susimetsa wrote:
A&A is in the process of making my Gustav rapier at the moment, so I don't have first-hand experience yet. But, according to everything that I've read and heard from people who have had the sword at hand it should be a marvellous example of a sword from that era.

Will post my opinions and experiences when I get my sword, but it might be a couple of more months (I hope not, though), given the current wait times at A&A...


Actually, slightly off topic but Im thinking of ordering mine within the month. How long typically does A&A to complete a piece? they state roughly 3 weeks on the site but I know it varrys.
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 11:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I can only speak of my own experience, but I ordered mine in early March this year and it has not been sent my way yet. I have received a situation report, though, explaining the delays.

As I understand it, they have been very busy lately. There have been rumours of a "big order" on these forums, even.

Still, the sword is well worth the wait, I'm sure. Happy
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jun, 2011 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just an update: I just received a word that the rapier is nearly finished and should ship in the next few days.

I'm rather excited! Happy
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Ben Welch




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jun, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome, best of luck with it. I've actually got an offer from another fellow on the site willing to sell me one second hand.
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Jeff Larsen




Location: Austin, TX
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jul, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Had one years ago and liked it. Sold it because I needed the $, regretted it. Jeff
"It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience." Julius Caesar
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Craig Shira




Location: California
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2011 11:38 am    Post subject: Gustav Vasa Rapier         Reply with quote

.

Hello

I own an Arms & Armor Gustav Vasa rapier. I bought it years ago and then my group stopped meeting and I never got a chance to use it until recently. I have started learning the Bolognese side sword style and have used the rapier to good effect. I went to Combat Con and took a Spanish rapier class and used the Gustav Vasa rapier and took an Italian rapier class and used the Gustav Vasa rapier.

Overall, the sword did well in all three styles. The guard does a good job at protecting my hand, the blade is holding up pretty well to the bites and nicks from other swords, and I find it to be pretty versatile in both thrusting and cutting. As I have filed the gouges out of the guard, the decorative black finish has come off (which is to be expected), but the guard itself is still solid, sturdy, and very well constructed (my training partner is using a sword with a blade twice as thick as mine and is a beast). The craftsmanship is superb and everyone who looks at it, even with the nicks, bites, and gouges, ooh and aw over how pretty the sword is and how well it was made.

But the sword is weighty and if you are not used to that, you will need to get used to it. I am still getting used to it and, especially in the Spanish system, it becomes fatiguing very quickly to keep the weapon out. This does not have to be viewed as a complaint. Rather, I would say that the mass gives it more presence in the bind, offers a bit more in the cut, and has a few other advantages and disadvantages to a lighter sword. This comes down to personal preference.

I've also noticed that, when I wrap my finger over the ricasso, the ring that rises vertically from the quillon rubs against my finger when my blade makes contact with something else. As a result, the ring rubbed a piece of skin right off of my finger, even through my glove. I wonder if the ring would still rub my finger if it did not meet the quillons so close to the ricasso and was a quarter of an inch farther down. My solution has been to hold it like a German rapier, with my thumb on the flat of the blade or with a hammer grip for side-sword techniques. Or, if I know that nobody is going to be striking my sword with full arm cuts and stick to thrusts only, then I might put my finger around the ricasso.

Despite the finger-rubbing issue, it is a good, solid sword with wonderful craftsmanship and I have found it to work well for many different sword styles. I'd say it's a good jack of all trades.

I should also note that I ordered mine with a training blade. It is not a sharp but has rounded edges and a rounded end.

(Craig)

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L. Clayton Parker




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Craig for that wonderful and concise report!
They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh, because of fear in the night. -The Song of Songs, Which Is Solomon's
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haven't had time to try the blade out in any real action yet, but since I just received my Gustav Vasa rapier this morning, I had to come here to say that it is an absolutely gorgeous sword and none of the images that I had seen cannot compare with the real thing. The balance is great and I can almost feel myself being transported to the 16th century when I hold it in my hand.
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