12 thoughts on “Real talk. Why is a dueling rapier heavier than a normal rapier?”

  1. I’d assume that it’s more to do with the cross guard and type of blade. When you look at a rapier in the world, they’re not designed for prolonged fights. The concept is stab and dance. Where if you are dueling the idea is to use it in a longer term. The blade heavier to withstand an actual parry, the cross guard for a harder hit.

    But this this is the 21st century (by Gregorian calendars) and I am probably wrong. 😉

  2. Because there is no such thing as a duelling rapier…

    All rapiers are fairly heavy though compared to other types of swords and they are all designed for duelling and not for war.

    A broadsword/backsword weighs just under a kilo, a rapier usually weighs just over a kilo. The weight makes less difference than the balance though. The balance on a rapier is such that all you really want to do is thrust. A broadsword can do either, but wants to cut.

    Rapier manual. http://mac9.ucc.nau.edu/manuscripts/CapoFerro-GRAUF.pdf

  3. In a sense, maybe you’re right. A simple rapier would be narrower and bend against a thicker armor, where as dueling rapier is thicker (and heavier) and would be able to pierce on through.

    A fencing foil typically weighs less than a pound, whereas a larger rapier might weight 2.5 lbs. It all makes sense now. 🙂

  4. A modern foil isn’t a simulator for a rapier, it’s a simulator for a smallsword which is a much later weapon.

    Spanish rapiers certainly tend towards the shorter and lighter though as they are wielded at arms length at shoulder level rather than low like the Italian methods.

  5. Weight is an abstraction not just of mass, but also how cumbersome it is. The dueling rapier, while barely different in mass, tends to be more ornate and, in some cases, oddly shaped. Hence the extra weight: it’s not that much more to lift, but it can be burdensome.

    Either that or we had a typo and we’re now trying to justify it.

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