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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2013 2:51 pm    Post subject: A&A Italian Three Ring Rapier         Reply with quote

This one finally showed up just before Christmas, so it served as a nice present to myself.



I've owned quite a few Arms & Armor pieces over the years, especially rapiers. No one else in the production field matches the quality of A&As rapiers. Unless a custom piece is desired there's really no reason to look any further. Incidentally, the companies custom work is also one of their true strong points and one often overlooked by many. The last A&A rapier to reside in my collection was the Lombardy. While a nice visually pleasing design, it never did speak to me the way I'd hoped it would so it was eventually sold. Afterwards I found myself without a rapier in my collection. I didn't give it a second thought until I no longer had one, then immediately got the itch to obtain another. The human mind is a strange thing. Big Grin

For my next one I chose A&As Italian Three Ring Rapier, but with a slight alteration. I asked Craig Johnson to mount the sword with the longer, wider blade of their Two Ring Rapier. Many modern rapiers feature blades just a bit shorter than they should be so I wanted something a bit longer, as well as a bit wider than the Three Rings standard blade. A shorter blade length really alters the feel and handling of the piece and I wanted something with the correct sense of handling. Craig readily agreed to the switch at no extra cost. I was given a delivery window of twelve weeks. It wound up being almost twice that, and I was considering a cancellation when I was notified of the swords completion. So in the end the company came in with the delivery just under the wire, but without much drama. The sword arrived safely and quite well packaged. In fact, it was literally a battle just getting it detached from the box.

I was immediately surprised by the rapiers feel. With the forty two inch blade I was expecting a much more point forward feel, with a much greater sense of mass. I was pleasantly surprised at how lively the weapon feels. Not the feel of a modern fencing weapon mind you, but quite pleasant and far more responsive than the aforementioned Lombardy. I had no trouble running the Italian Three Ring through movements in the styles of Saviolo, Fabris, etc. However, the blades length is a bit of an impediment when used with the earlier Bolognese styles such as Marrozo. A side sword length blade is obviously preferred for those. All in all though, the Three Rings handling was quite a nice surprise.



Examination of the hilt shows a few recent changes. The quillon block now features more detail than the older version of this sword. The inner guard also now exhibits four arms instead of the original three. These are subtle bits of detail that enhance the swords already elegant appearance.



The hilt, as is typical from A&A, comes well finished and assembled. There are very few casting pits and those that exist are quite small. The hilt is quite tight and solid, as is the grips wire binding. That last detail is very cleanly executed as well. Overall I find the Italian Three Ring to be a very welcome addition to my collection. It features a classic hilt design and the blade change proved to be a very worthwhile decision. All in all, a nice way to end the year.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Thu 26 Dec, 2013 7:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Larry New




Location: Central Va
Joined: 31 Aug 2010

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats on a gorgeous sword. I must say I look forward to when you get a new piece as your reviews are always shot straight, with no fluff. I mean that as a total compliment. I don't like when reviews come off like advertisements. A&A is a great company, I agree. I just received their Highland claymore as my present to myself. Again, lovely sword!
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Larry New wrote:
Congrats on a gorgeous sword. I must say I look forward to when you get a new piece as your reviews are always shot straight, with no fluff. I mean that as a total compliment. I don't like when reviews come off like advertisements. A&A is a great company, I agree. I just received their Highland claymore as my present to myself. Again, lovely sword!


Thanks Larry. Congrats on your Claymore, that's a fine piece.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Ben G.





Joined: 31 Dec 2013

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 31 Dec, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow...that looks really cool, the hilt looks very classy. Do you have any experience with their French Rapier or Musketeer Rapier?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Dec, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I once owned the A&A Northern Italian rapier with a longer blade than their production model. I liked that sword quite a bit. It's pretty cool to see the updates that A&A did to this model and shows how they tend to continue to develop their products with little to no fanfare, staying under the radar and simply doing it to make their items better and more accurate to originals. I wish A&A would publicize these things more as I think it shows a dedication to their craft and a passion for what they're doing above many of their competitors.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,686

PostPosted: Tue 31 Dec, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben G. wrote:
Wow...that looks really cool, the hilt looks very classy. Do you have any experience with their French Rapier or Musketeer Rapier?


No experience with the French I'm afraid, but I have spent time with the Musketeer. I don't own one. Why, I don't know as it's always been on my, "Gotta' have one of those" list. The French is one of the most common hilt types of the renaissance so is very iconic in that sense. The Musketeer possesses more weight in its hilt. That, combined with the shorter blade gives it more of a sidesword feel when compared to the Three Ring (with the longer blade).

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,686

PostPosted: Tue 31 Dec, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
I once owned the A&A Northern Italian rapier with a longer blade than their production model. I liked that sword quite a bit. It's pretty cool to see the updates that A&A did to this model and shows how they tend to continue to develop their products with little to no fanfare, staying under the radar and simply doing it to make their items better and more accurate to originals. I wish A&A would publicize these things more as I think it shows a dedication to their craft and a passion for what they're doing above many of their competitors.


I agree. As you're well aware, A&A has quite a few niche items in their line up that set them apart from many other competing companies. More publicity on those aspects, as well as occasional product updates would make for good market presence. On the other hand, they always seem to be busy so perhaps they just don't feel the need.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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