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A weapon is an article that, by design or accident, can be used to inflict harm to an animal or damage to an object.

Historical Weapons

These are found in a wide variety of forms and sizes. They might be 17 foot long pikes or they might be a knife of just a few inches long.

The damage they do can be of a variety of types. These can be generalised into:

  • thrusting or piercing
  • cutting (including chopping and slicing)
  • crushing or bludgeoning

They can further be divided into categories based on whether or not they are designed to fling (or be flung) at distant targets, held in the hand when attacking or both.

Weapons used in SCA-style armoured combat

Most weapons used in the SCA are made out of rattan. Weapons are constructed according to guidelines laid out in the combat handbook. Nothing can be done to the rattan that changes its flexibility.

SCA "Swords" are usually shaved down on the sides and out of the back blades with a plane or spokeshave, then covered with tape. Once taped, they cannot be less than 31.8 mm (1¼ inches) in diameter. Swords may be fitted with a thrusting tip, which is required to have at least 12.7 mm (½ inch) of progressive give, and may not double over. A basket hilt, a crossguard or the equivalent is required.

Thrusting tips are usually contructed from closed cell foam with a leather collar around the area where the rattan and the thrusting tip are joined to prevent doubling over.

Axes are considered a mass weapon and thus cannot weigh more that 4 pounds. The head can be constructed out of several materials, the most common being closed cell foam (like a camp mat) and must have progressive give over the whole head.

Maces often have a foam head with rattan splints attached to the outside, this is then taped over and is usually attached to a handle(haft) that is relatively short and is also considered a mass weapon.

Two handed weapons such as the glaive, halberd and great sword are all mass weapons and have many different methods of construction.

It is a good idea to shape the handle of your weapon so that you can tell if you are hitting with the "blade" or the "flat" of your weapon.

Re-enactment Weapons

Re-enactment weapons used for combat are readily identified as they appear to have the same approximate dimensions and fittings as a weapon from history, however for safety reasons they have blunted or rebated edges. This tends to make them slightly heavier than their historical counterparts. This edge might be as much as 2mm for some groups or 1.6 mm for others.

Semi-sharp blades are ones that have an edge that is still blunt but not obviously so, and require more care than standard re-enactment weapons and are generally not used in a general melee.

Sharps are just that. They are often hand ground and (ones of good quality) virtually indistinguishable from originals aside from their finish. They are not generally used except in test cutting or single practise.

List of some weapons

Hand weapons

Missile weapons

Siege Weapons