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A rapier is an interesting weapon with a long history. It was first developed around the year 1500 and it's use continued for about two hundred years to around the year 1700.

The Rapier gained a lot of use as a civilian weapon, something gentlemen would carry with them for self defense and for dueling. And while some duels were to the death for the most part the duels were to first blood. That is whoever could draw first blood from his opponent with a cut or thrust would be the winner of the dual.

It also was a dress sword which meant that rapiers were often developed with very ornamental and beautiful designs as a accoutrement for dress and stature.


But What exactly is a rapier and how is it different from other swords?

Well, rapiers, just like other type of weapon or armor did change over the centuries. But generally a rapier is a long and slender sword that is meant primarily for thrusting. But they are a cutting and thrusting sword, the cutting means they have an edge on both sides along the Often times the sides of a rapier were also sharpened so they did have an extent of slashing but this ability was secondary. The primary ability of the rapier was the fast thrusting attack.

The blade of a rapier is typically 40 to 45 inches in length.

In summary, a rapier is a big and long, narrow bladed, one handed sword that can both cut and thrust.

Weight: A rapier generally weighs about 2.5 pounds.


The Hand Guards (hilt)

When we look at a rapier the first thing that strikes us is the very unique hand guards. These are unique to the weapon. They were very specifically meant to protect the hand of the wielder and there are a few major types of hand guard including a swept hilt, and a cup hilt. The swept hilt is a series of rings and the cup hilt is an actual complete sheet of metal in the shape of a bowl or cup.

Technology of swords and the Rapier

The rapier became possible as blacksmithing and metal working skills improved. Swords that were longer, thinner, and lighter became possible. And this held true for two centuries. Eventually the technology got even better and rapiers were replaced by the epee which was extremely thin, very fast and used solely for piercing an opponent.


A Rapier

Ace Martial Arts Supply Renaissance Rapier Fencing Sword with Swept Hilt Guard

43.5" Renaissance Rapier Fencing Sword with Swept Hilt Guard. Rubber Handle with Steel Wire Wrap. Beautiful and Complex Swept Hilt Guard.



A Rapier

Szco Supplies El CID Rapier Sword

This El Cid Rapier Sword is 39" in overall length. This sword is hand made. The blade is made of carbon steel. It comes with a metal scabbard.


A Rapier

BladesUSA Rapier Sword 43.5" Overall - Red

Rapier generally refers to a relatively long-bladed sword characterized by a complex hilt which is constructed to provide protection for the hand wielding it. Stands at 43.5"overall and a silver stainless steel blade with black wire. Whether it be for self defense, private duels, or practice, this rapier is sure to fit all your needs.


Leather Medieval Sword Frog Belt Hanger Rapier Renaissance

Leather Medieval Sword Frog Belt Hanger Rapier Renaissance

Don't use a painted duct tape ring as your sword frog any longer! Constructed from quality genuine leather and cut from a traditonal pattern the Black Leather Traditonal Rapier Sword Frog will surely be noticed on your next costume. Able to be adjusted to any size Rapier and only a fraction of the cost you might see at some booth at a Renn Faire. The metal rivets are quite durable to hold up to long term use. 8 inches overall.


Lessons in Italian Rapier Fencing -

Lessons in Italian Rapier Fencing -

This book is a compilation of lessons and articles on Italian rapier fencing published on www.thecoblog.net between 2009 and 2016.


The 'Lost' Second Book of Nicoletto Giganti(1608): A Rapier Fencing Treatise

The 'Lost' Second Book of Nicoletto Giganti(1608): A Rapier Fencing Treatise

Nicoletto Giganti is one of the most celebrated Italian fencing masters of the 17th century. His widely-acclaimed treatise of 1606 promised a second work, which however was long considered lost or never to have been written. Nonetheless in 1847 Alberto Marchionni did describe a purported second book by Giganti, outlining its contents in reasonable detail. In 2012 Joshua Pendragon (as Guest Exhibition Curator for the Noble Art of the Sword exhibition at the Wallace Collection in London) and Piermarco Terminiello, determined that the 1608 edition of Giganti held in the Lord Howard De Walden Library, is none other than the volume promised by Giganti in 1606, and described by Marchionni. This is the only known extant copy, of a work whose very existence had long been considered no more than a rumour. A book sought after and anticipated for centuries. With a forward by Tobias Capwell


Swordman's book

The Swordman's Companion

A complete beginner's guide to training in medieval Italian longsword. This book covers everything from choosing a sword, to warming up, to fencing. Full of set drills and clear descriptions, this book has been the standard work on the subject since it first came out in 2004.



Make a Rapier

Make a Rapier sword

A rapier was a dueling sword from the 15th to 17th centuries and it is a great looking sword because of the intricate handle guard work. I have a template for you and you can make it with one sheet of foamboard. How to Make a Rapier



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