Real weapons in the SCA

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Always make sure:

  • Real weapons (knives, swords, etc.) are not be drawn at an SCA event.
  • Fighting with steel weapons (referred to as live steel in the US) is not permitted at SCA events. If you want to do this, a number of re-enactment and other groups have this as a focus for their combat. Also note we are not talking about authorised rapier fighting with approved practice weaponry.
  • Follow your local mundane laws with regards to carrying weapons. This may require you to have the weapons in a secure bag or container when not at an event or even require a permit or a license.
  • Be responsible and do not touch other people's weapons without permission, be they real or SCA weapons. If you are given permission to handle someone's weapon, be aware that the oils on your fingers can cause damage to a metal blade, and hold the weapon only by the hilt (unless the owner instructs you otherwise).

The only exceptions to the first rule are:

  1. In honour of the crown
  2. Displaying the blade ("Clear!" must be called before doing this to let surrounding people know what you're doing)

Many 'real' swords owned by SCAdians are more decorative than functional. These types of "weapons" are sometimes referred to as sword like objects or SLO's and are generally owned by those using swords as a costume accessory, as an unsharpened sword is much safer and more practical for this purpose.

At the same time, there are some true weapons enthusiasts in the SCA and other groups, with an interest in determining the actual capabilities of weapons. As such test cutting of weapons has increased in the last decade. These tests are aimed at assessing claims of the types and amounts of damage that can be delivered by weapons to both organic and inorganic targets.