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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar, 2005 3:15 pm    Post subject: Rapier (thrusting sword) targets?         Reply with quote

We all know the standard targets used for cutting swords: tatami mats, mailing tubes, pool noodles, milk jugs, etc. My question to those of you who are rapier (or any other sword used primarily for thrusting) enthusiasts: do you practice your thrusts on any sort of targets, for example to give you an idea of your swords penetrative abilites, etc.? If so, what kinds of materials make suitable targets?
I ask because, while I started out as a cutting sword fan, I've recently found myself drooling over a few rapiers. I also like the "Tuck" as offered by MRL. Will the madness never cease? Eek! It seems like every week a new type of sword catches my eye! Where does this addiction to sharp steel end? Eek! Eek! Laughing Out Loud
But seriously, target suggestions? Thanks. Happy
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Water filled milk jugs and/or burlap sacks tightly packed with straw works fairly well. The addiction never ends only subsided briefly when funds are running low.
Happy
Cheers,
Bill

Roanoke Sword Guilde

roanokeswordguilde@live.com
"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
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PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar, 2005 9:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of fruit with a hard husk, such as canteloupe. Just make sure you oil the blade before hand, and completely wash it off after each thrust, as the acid can stain the steel very easily. Unless if you don't really care (and too many of my swords have shown that at the end of the day I'm just too lazy!).

Test-thrusting with the rapier doesn't really test skill or technique or anything other than possibly aim, which can be done with a blunt sword as well. But it does really impress upon the user just how deadly they are. If you get something with a very hard husk, feel it a little be to understand how much pressure it would take to push your thumb through, and how effortless the rapier will pass all the way through.
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Chris Holzman





Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 124

PostPosted: Fri 01 Apr, 2005 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
I'm a big fan of fruit with a hard husk, such as canteloupe. Just make sure you oil the blade before hand, and completely wash it off after each thrust, as the acid can stain the steel very easily. Unless if you don't really care (and too many of my swords have shown that at the end of the day I'm just too lazy!).

Test-thrusting with the rapier doesn't really test skill or technique or anything other than possibly aim, which can be done with a blunt sword as well. But it does really impress upon the user just how deadly they are. If you get something with a very hard husk, feel it a little be to understand how much pressure it would take to push your thumb through, and how effortless the rapier will pass all the way through.



Yep... its also fun to do with a nice stiff electrical epee blade with no point on it - OR a broken epee with a slight angle to the break.. kind of drives home the point about protective gear to newbies.

Chris Holzman
River City Fencing Club
Wichita, KS
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat 02 Apr, 2005 4:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The straw-filled burlap sack sounds good, as do the melons. I was also thinking of using one of those dense, closed cell foam archery targets. Happy
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Alina Boyden





Joined: 19 Apr 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 02 Apr, 2005 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
The straw-filled burlap sack sounds good, as do the melons. I was also thinking of using one of those dense, closed cell foam archery targets. Happy


You would probably rip that to shreds eventually. But it isn't such a bad idea. I have one of those and it holds up pretty well.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat 02 Apr, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alina Boyden wrote:
G. Scott H. wrote:
The straw-filled burlap sack sounds good, as do the melons. I was also thinking of using one of those dense, closed cell foam archery targets. Happy


You would probably rip that to shreds eventually. But it isn't such a bad idea. I have one of those and it holds up pretty well.


They make some of these out of self-sealing foam that are specifically designed for broadheads. They have several models at the local archery shop. If I try one, I'll definitely let everyone know how things turn out. Happy
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Alina Boyden





Joined: 19 Apr 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 02 Apr, 2005 10:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Alina Boyden wrote:
G. Scott H. wrote:
The straw-filled burlap sack sounds good, as do the melons. I was also thinking of using one of those dense, closed cell foam archery targets. Happy


You would probably rip that to shreds eventually. But it isn't such a bad idea. I have one of those and it holds up pretty well.


They make some of these out of self-sealing foam that are specifically designed for broadheads. They have several models at the local archery shop. If I try one, I'll definitely let everyone know how things turn out. Happy


I had one but I think it was designed for target blunts. Anything else tended to really damage the foam. It's pretty resilient though. I think it might still be in the garage.
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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Posts: 616

PostPosted: Sun 03 Apr, 2005 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used to use a bale of alfalfa. But I grew up with horses, so bales of alfalfa were plentiful. If you live near a feed store of any kind, it was about $7.00 per bale (if memory serves). A pillow or some other cushion duct taped to the front of the bale gives a nice feel to the thrust. However, there is sometimes a small amount of dirt in these bales that can scratch the blade. I had a cheap MRL rapier at the time. You might not want to risk the aesthetic damage to a nicer weapon. I never thought to wet the alfalfa down, as I knew little of tatami back then, but wet alfalfa can grow mold easily, so perhaps that wouldn't be a good idea after all.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Chris Last




Location: Janesville, WI
Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Reading list: 8 books

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PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr, 2005 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When we did our demos last year at the Bristol Ren Faire we used some off cuts of meat from one of our members local butchers. Legs of lamb and hams are sickenly nifty for demo purposes in front of large crowds. We then had our barber surgeon show how to stitch up or otherwise heal the damage. Worked really nice.

During the fall we have our Pumpkin Carving contest and that usually results in an interesting demo as well.



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