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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Looking for a good pair of Gauntlets, any tips? Reply to topic
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Omar Alonso

Location: Mexicali, México
Joined: 17 Jul 2011

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2011 10:44 am    Post subject: Looking for a good pair of Gauntlets, any tips?         Reply with quote

Hello fellow members:

I am currently searching for a good pair of Steel Gauntlets (preferably Gothic ) intended for purely practical use. I'm looking to upgrade from a pair of leather gloves as my usual hand protection into something more real and historically accurate. The thing is that i have seen plenty of sites with Steel Gauntlets but some of them dont really seem good enough for any practical use as in sparring or just simple training. Somewhere I found what seemed to be the perfect ones, but reading the reviews I realized that people were complaining that they had zero movility, and thats just not good.

So, I come to you now in hopes that someone might help me with this issue.

Im looking for:
-Steel gauntlets, 15th century German Gothic Style prefered.
Hourglass seems nice, but, they seem somewhat short, what do you guys think?
-Good for Sparring with Steel swords or Synthethic Rawlings Wasters.
-Around the $150 price range
- I currently dont have any armor, its intended use should work nicely with a Gambeson

Hope anyone can help me out, and thanks in advance!
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Josh MacNeil

Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Omar. Though I bit higher than your what you want to pay, I would highly recommend Mercenary's Tailor.

I own a few of their pieces and the quality and workmanship are second only to their customer service. Their gauntlets seem to be currently discounted, so now may be good time to grab something that's closer to your budget.

In all honesty, I don't think you'll find what you are looking for at the $150 price point. Most stuff in that range is made of steel that is too thin to offer protection and/or doesn't have the proper mobility for use. I own a pair of MT's demi gauntlets and they are very well articulated though they lack finger protection. You could however pair them with the finger shield for an inexpensive alternative. You could also talk to Allan about customizing a pair for a more Gothic look if you have your heart set on it. Hope this was helpful, and good luck with your search!


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Aleksei Sosnovski

Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2011 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think you would find anything usable in the 150$ range. Just what Josh said except one thing: most gauntlets you would find in this price range would most likely be TOO THICK and heavy.

If you want to use the gauntlets for serious sparring I would advise to look for "half-mitten" style where finger tips are covered by individual small lames. This picture of me would hopefully explain what I mean:

You can see large plates covering the most often-hit area and the rest part of the fingers is protected by small plates as on normal fingered gauntlet. Another thing to pay attention to is the thumb. The best is when plate protecting tip of the thumb lies against plates protecting the fingers so that force of the blow is transferred into these plates instead of the thumb. This is especially important for mitten gauntlets. However such thumb construction makes putting your thumb on the flat of the blade rather uncomfortable (not to mention the fact that on some types of gauntlets thumb simply cannot be placed on the flat of the blade, after all armored and unarmored fighting are very different stuff).

Gauntlets should be LIGHT. I use 1 mm (it is approx. 18 ga I think) for most plates . I use thicker steel only for often-hit pieces such as knuckle plates or plates that protect tip of the thumb. After all you should avoid getting hit in the hand when possible, authentic gauntlets seem to have had no padding so getting hit was still pretty painful and in case of fingered gauntlets it was relatively easy to break a finger. For reference, right gauntlet from the picture weighs 650 g (less than 1.5 lbs) including padding and leather glove. Left one is even lighter because it does not get hit that often. Both gauntlets offer very good protection, even getting hit in the fingertips doesn't hurt very much. If I get a strong blow for example in the cuff I would have to straighten it, but I haven't had to do it for the last two or three years. Thicker steel can be used for gauntlets if you want to never ever repair them or if you plan to fight full-force with polearms or maces. Well, if you plan to do free sparring with polearms I would advise you to get mitten gauntlets with fingers covered by at least 16 ga steel.

If you still want to go for cheap gauntlets buy the shortest ones (hourglass that is). Most makers use one steel for all parts so long-cuffed gothic gauntlets entirely made of 16 ga steel would weigh a ton but hourglass gauntlets made of same steel would still be reasonably light. Gothic gauntlets entirely made of 18 ga steel would probably require straightening too often so are also not a very good alternative.
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Jan J. Gahy

Location: Slovakia
Joined: 15 Aug 2010

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 6:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i could recommend you to buy plate mittens if you want to fight with one handed weapon.
from czech site
these are mine i have them for 4 years now and they are still good, they costs me 58 € with post payments.
I recommend these mittens to my comrades from new fencing group, we are currently doing rome auxilia from Gerulata and we fight mainly with gladiuses (i hope i spelled it right) and for training with one handed swords its the best (but not historical accurate though) just for training these gloves can withstand great impacts. Cheap and effective
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Randall Moffett

Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,121

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am afraid you might find $150 will keep you from well working gauntlets. That said there are a few very simple versions around for about that price but they usually lack finger protection and are of more modern design.

Historic Gauntlets I have been able to measure thickness range from .8mm to 1.8mm of average. One made it to 2mm range but for the most part they are thinner. For the most part the plate on the back of the hand is thickest and the cuff and fingers are thinner. If you get them made to order I'd try getting 1.6mm for the back of the hand and 1-1.2mm for the fingers and cuffs. I do 1mm fingers, 1.6mm metacarpal plates and 1.2mm for the cuff often.

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Aleksei Sosnovski

Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:

If you get them made to order I'd try getting 1.6mm for the back of the hand and 1-1.2mm for the fingers and cuffs.

For fingered gauntlets it is true, but for mittens and half-mittens it is not. Small plates of fingered gauntlets don't benefit from being thick, but finger plates of mitten gauntlets receive most of the hits and get deformed pretty badly if are made of thin steel.

The most often hit areas are fingers (actually knuckles) and thumb. It usually happens when you deflect blows incorrectly and put your hand in the path of the incoming blow instead of your blade but also when somebody aims at your hand. Next is metacarpal plate, it usually happens when somebody intentionally aims at your hand, but in this case blows usually come either from the top ("crossguard side") or bottom ("pommel side"), not from the back of the hand (which is most of the metacarpal plate area, fluted in case of gothic gauntlets). Cuff gets hit least often. Also it stays away from your hand due to its flare, disperses some of the blow energy by freely moving around and in case of full arm protection overlaps with vambrace. If you can do some basic armor repair (that is straightening) 1 mm is perfectly OK for cuffs and 1.2 mm for the back of the hand if knuckles are protected by a separate plate made of thicker steel. For finger protection I recommend 1 mm for fingered gauntlets and 1.5 mm for mitten gauntlets.If you can't do any armor repair... Don't fight in armor, or it will anyway need repair at some point.
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