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2684Buying a Rapier

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    Jan 14, 2013
      I've had an enquiry from one of my students about buying a rapier. The gentle in question is looking for a reasonably inexpensive but period looking rapier, something in the $200 range. I haven't checked what's out there in a while as I've been dealing exclusively with Darkwood for my recent sword needs. My go to starter rapier was the CAS-Iberia/Paul Chen Practical Rapier but the prices seem to have gone through the roof. Where they used to be around $125-$150 I'm seeing them for $225-$300(!). I heard they had a fire at their facility some time ago which might be effecting the price. Also, the 37" Practical seems to have become virtually extinct.
      There do seem to be quite a few rapiers out there on the market, but I have no idea what the quality of some of these swords are. There doesn't seem to be anything decent that is close to the $200 mark. I'm seeking the rapier communities opinions on what is out there and what works for them at a lower price point. A fall back is always Zen Warrior, but I'm quite disappointed with the R13 swept hilt, the closest thing to a 16th c. hilt they have. It's quite clunk and uncomfortable in the hand, at least the ones I've handled have been. The R6 is also a possibility but it is a post period hilt, though it is relatively inexpensive ($180 with a 37" T03 rapier blade).
      I'm almost thinking of recommending that he spend the extra money and get the Darkwood Economy Ring Hilt rapier for $300. My experiences with Darkwood have good so far and it's a pretty, very period looking hilt, though it's not the one shown on the Darkwood rapier page, you have to click on the link to see all the alternatives.
      I used to feel pretty confident about offering advice on what to buy, but the market seems to have changed since last I looked, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
      Yours in Service

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