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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 5:37 pm    Post subject: Anybody Own An A&A Durer?         Reply with quote

I ordered a semi-customized Durer this week, been looking for a late-15th/early-16th c. style sharp for cutting practice and solo drills. I checked out Albion's Munich but the A&A piece had a bit more blade and carried its width further forward so I figured it'd probably have more bite, plus I liked the cross better.

It's a subjective thing but I'd love to get some feedback from Durer owners regarding the sword's handling characteristics and their experience cutting with it... especially vs tatami but performance vs bottles, pool noodles or whatever else would also be of interest.

If anybody has pics of other s-guard longswords from this era please post them as well, period artwork too.
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Mark T




PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug, 2014 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

I'd like to hear people's experiences too.

From memory, there's a thread here somewhere that has some s-guard swords ... have a hunt around and see if you can find it. Let me know if you don't.

What customisations are you going for? Did you see Mike C's old Durer with customised grip and scabbard (possibly by Josh)? Nice piece.

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nothing too radical... peened tang with no threading, press-fit guard, more pronounced waisted grip, "rain guard" and the first half of the blade left butterknife sharp to facilitate gripping.

The last bit is of particular interest to me, I had an Albion Baron and it was awesome but with a fully sharped 2.3 inch wide blade it wasn't a good candidate for practicing short techniques. I looked at the Munich but figured the A&A Durer would pack a little more punch in the cut since the blade starts out a bit wider and holds more of its width towards the point but it was still narrow enough for me to reasonably grip.

I'll mostly be using this to practice cuts vs tatami omote and I'm eager to see what it can do. It's on the light/narrow/thick end of the spectrum but it's got some length and should deliver more oomph than my H/T fullered bastard sword so I expect it'll do okay with the primaries and masters but may struggle a bit with the zwerch. If I wanted a sword purely for cutting tournaments I'd go back to the Baron but I'd like to put a late-15th c. XVIII(B? 'tweener?) through its paces and see what it can do.

Can't find it at the moment but a week or so ago I came across a pic of a very similar antique... it was well rusted and missing its grip, the cross was a simple "S"-curved rectangular bar but the proportions were much like the Durer. I imagine businesslike swords such as this were made in large numbers but it seems they're better represented in art than artifact, most of the antiques I've found are the famous fancy-pants swords everybody's probably already familiar with.
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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
Joined: 14 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug, 2014 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Did you consider the Albion Earl?
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Mark T




PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug, 2014 9:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds great! Can't wait to see the final sword, especially the chappe/'rainguard'.

I've found it a little curious and amusing recently to read of some events in the US, where many groups are studying late 15th C sources, but using much earlier swords for the cutting comps. I haven't yet looked around to find what discussion there has been about this, but I'd be intrigued to see what happened if those comps used XVs or XVIIIs.

As a starting point - and off the top of my head - in terms of extant s-shaped guards, other than the one at the Bayerisches and the Cluny, you've got the Wallace A.467 (Records XVIII7), an estoc at the Wallace, and one in the Musee L'Armee (there's a pic on a thread here somewhere - maybe search for Joe Fults' posts). I think there might be one in either Blair or Seitz ... if you let me know which one's you've seen, I could try to post some others.

In terms of historical images, there's this great one:


Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's a lot about the Earl I like and I've heard it's a good cutter but there's two main reasons I didn't go that way this time. One is I'd like a "rain guard" and half wire grip on a sword like this, since Albion won't do customizations I'd have to spend hundreds more on the Earl than I am on the Durer and then I'd still need to redo the hilt... it would end up costing almost twice as much. The other is I've been waiting over a year for a Soldat and I really need to get cutting with a longsword before 2014's over, A&A said I should expect about six weeks for the Durer. There may still be an Earl in my future but it's probably a ways out.

There's definitely a need for change on the tournament circuit and that's all I'll say about that for now. Interesting picture, disturbing subject matter but I suppose that's kind of the point. In any case it's amazing to see so much martial detail in the artwork, it's a striking representation of familiar technique and timing.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Earl is nifty cutter and a good size longsword. Perhaps its not an all time great pickle chip slicer but it will cut effectively. Its not intended to win modern mat cutting or noodle/bottle chopping competitions. If that is the construct by which things are judged then I can understand other swords meant to cut with distinct primacy being preferable. A&A Durer is a great sword in and of itself and I suspect you're not going to *need* anything else once you have it. You might end up wanting something else but you won't need it...

... Big Grin

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First off. Looking forward to seeing pics of your sword, when you get it, Mike. And secondly. Mark, could you please tell me a little more about that painting; date, artist, etc.
Éirinn go Brách
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Mark T




PostPosted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Stephen,

I don't have any details of the image.

I think it was first posted here by Sean Flynt; I'm guessing he sourced it from Imareal.

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2014 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You hit the nail on the head, Joe. There's the schnitt, hauw and ort... some swords were designed to especially emphasize one or two of those modes of attack while other swords were designed to give balanced performance in all three. The cutting competitions that exist right now are only testing the hauw which distorts everything from appreciation of a given sword's performance to practical interpretation of historical technique. I like the tatami competitions for the good they've done but the idea of sharp vs target skill demonstrations needs to be further developed as what we've got right now is only giving us 1/3 of the whole picture.

I actually like the weight and balance point on Albion's Regent more than the Earl but I just don't care for the Regent's cross and pommel.

In the meantime I found this old thread that shows the kinds of swords under discussion,

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...w=previous
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
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Reading list: 18 books

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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2014 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark T wrote:
Hi Stephen,

I don't have any details of the image.

I think it was first posted here by Sean Flynt; I'm guessing he sourced it from Imareal.


That's a pity. The helm and torso armour in this painting look like some kind of a studded leather, fantasy design. Does anyone here know anything about this type of armour?

Éirinn go Brách
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reminds me of this find,

http://viktorgrun.blogspot.co.at/2011/12/14-15.html
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Sat 14 Mar, 2015 11:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tried the Durer out on some tatami omote today, it performed very well cutting with the last 8 inches of the long edge. It's not as powerful as the Baron, it's much more powerful than the H/T Fullered Bastard and it's every bit as powerful as it needs to be to get the job done.

I wouldn't call the blade "whippy" and I think people hype that up way too much anyway. It is flexible, rather thin without much distal taper. A rep at A&A indicated on the phone that the blade is pretty close to the one on the original they copied so I just have to assume it's historically accurate for the type. It does perform well.

Historical fencing on Florida's Treasure Coast!
www.tcfencers.com
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