WEAPONS and EQUIPMENT
At MASHS safety is paramount. As such, the following information establishes the standards for both personal safety equipment and weaponry that is used in our training as well as bouting at MASHS. For each weapon, the minimum safety equipment is described. However, each participant can add equipment and more protection as his or her comfort level requires. The weapons listed are deemed to be of good quality and are safe to use at MASHS. Other weapons can be used with the approval of MASHS’ Administrator.
Note: Since weapons can be expensive, it is always good to consult with any of MASHS' instructors before making a purchase. Also, new products are constantly coming to the market. As such the instructors have good knowledge of current weapons and safety equipment and are able to guide your purchases.
Wearing of garb appropriate and historically accurate for the weapon during bouting and freeplay (as well as for training) is certainly acceptable.
Various vendors for weapons and equipment can be found on our Links Page.
1. Plastic long sword simulator, such as that from Purpleheart Armory.
2. Aluminum sword simulator, from former MASHS Instructor Paul Wiedorn.
3. Blunted steel sword simulator, known as feders, available from various manufacturers. Purpleheart Armory carries a great line of feders.
1. The minimum level of personal protection should include a three weapon fencing mask, with or without protection to the back of the head; a three weapon fencing jacket, or TCA tunic, gambeson, or modern HEMA jackets; padded gloves; a chest guard for both men and women; and groin protection for the men.
2. For aluminum weapons, the minimum level of personal protection as noted above should be observed. In addition a leather or metal gorget is required. Also, padded elbow and knee guards should be worn, and any other padding to supplement the jacket, tunic, or gambeson.
3. Steel weapons require the greatest amount of personal protection. No less than a three weapon fencing mask with back of the head protection, and HEMA designed body protection is required. This should also include a gorget, HEMA gauntlets or heavy padded gloves, a chest guard, and groin protection for men. Arm and elbow protection, and shin and knee protection, is highly recommended. There are various manufacturers of HEMA protective gear, such as Absolute Force or Spes, that offer state of the art gear. Purpleheart Armory carries the Spes line of safety gear.
1. Currently the weapon of choice is the Darkwood Armory rapier with either the Practice Rapier Blade, or the Rebated Blade. Darkwood’s hilts are well crafted and overall the weapons are very well balanced and historically accurate. Any hilt design is acceptable.
2. Another very good vendor of rapiers is Castille Armory. A few of MASHS' rapier practitioners have these and they are very accurate reproductions.
3. Daggers shall be either side ring, main gauche, straight quillon, or down turned quillon, with the standard blade.
4. Bucklers and targes shall be of at least 18 gauge steel and should be around 12 to 14 inches in diameter, without spikes. Bucklers and targes in rectangular configurations will also be accepted.
1. A three weapon fencing mask, with or without back of the head protection; a three weapon fencing jacket or tunic; long pants, or knickers with covering for the lower leg; gloves with cuffs long enough to cover the end of the jacket sleeves; chest protectors for both men and women; groin protection for the men; a metal or leather gorget; and any other additional padding.
2. If you wish to wear more “period appropriate” attire, such as doublets and knickers, this is acceptable.
There are several suitable smallsword simulators available, with a range of quality and prices. The following list these in order of pricing from low to high, and all the sites can be found on the Links page of the MASHS website.
1. American Fencers Supply. Look in the Armoury Section (not their sport weapons). Either the Napoleonic or the Classic hilt will do, with a standard epee blade.
2. Rogue Steel offers quality simulators with a variety of hilt designs. These handle well and are reasonably priced.
3. Rockwell Classical Arms offers some very fine smallsword replicas.
4. Leon Paul offers a smallsword simulator with a very flexible, but strong, blade. The blades flexibility provides for a safe thrust, and it's lateral strength allows for strong parries and other blade on blade actions.
5. If you're not too concerned about budget, Arms and Armor has a superb smallsword replica. Be forewarned, the A&A blades is extremely stiff.
One thing to consider when ordering your smallsword. Unless stated otherwise by the individual manufacturer, the smallsword will come with a standard blade length of 35". More accurate historically are blade lengths of about 30". When ordering, ask if they can outfit their hilts with a No. 2 epee blade (32-inches) or a No. 0 epee blade (fairly rare 30-inch blade).
A three weapon fencing mask; a three weapon fencing jacket or tunic; long pants, or knickers with covering for the lower leg; gloves with cuffs long enough to cover the end of the jacket sleeves; and chest protectors for both men and women; and groin protection for the men.
ITALIAN DUELING SABER:
Currently, Darkwood Armory makes superb dueling saber blades. They also provide two guards named after historic saber fencing masters, namely Hutton and Radaelli. When combined, the complete weapon is the most historically accurate dueling saber in terms of style, weight, length, balance, and handling characteristics. Castille Armory also offers very good dueling sabers. Practitioners can customize the Castille saber with choices for the guard, and the blades. The Darkwood and Castille sabers are comparable in price. For the more budget minded, Hanwei manufactures three sabers, named also after historical fencing masters … the Hutton, Radaelli, and Pecoraro. These are certainly serviceable, but the blades are not as good as the Darkwood or Castille blades. Various on-line vendors sell the Hanwei line.
A quality three weapon or saber fencing mask, with or without back of the head protection, fencing jacket or tunic, long pants, and gloves are considered minimum. Chest protectors and groin protection is also minimum safety equipment. An arm and elbow guard for the sword arm is highly recommended.
For French style dueling sword, any standard sport fencing epee will suffice. There are several sport fencing equipment vendors listed on our Links page. For a true Italian dueling sword Rockwell Classical Arms is a great source, as is Castille Armory. You can also find some very serviceable weapons from Zen Warrior.
A quality three weapon or saber fencing mask, fencing jacket or tunic, long pants, and gloves are considered minimum. Chest protectors and groin protection is also minimum safety equipment.