Arms and Armor Swords (aka A&A) have been around since 1982, and as such are one of the oldest manufacturers in the industry. Founded by sword enthusiast and professional jouster Christopher Poor, they established themselves early on as a respected and honest dealer. Chris was among the first to see a market for the sword collector, and was very instrumental in shaping what the industry is today. Their swords are recognized by many as the best of the best, while their prices do not reflect that – they are consistently less expensive than, say, an Albion of comparable quality.
And they are well-recognized by sword scholars as well – they have a quote from Ewart Oakeshott himself on their site calling them, “The best replica swords I’ve seen”. High praise from the man himself!
Their warranty is stated as such:
“We guarantee our swords to stand up to anything the original swords would. They are made of high quality steel and are fashioned for strength as well as authenticity. We will replace the item if there is any problem with workmanship or materials. The use of the sword may well create problems as they are a specific tool designed for one purpose, to poke or chop holes in human beings. While we do not advocate such use, a sword would never and should never be used to hack apart concrete pillars, 57 Chevy’s, PVC pipe, Logs, or any other object Hollywood decides to have cut in half. We reserve the right to decide if a piece has been abused and therefore has nullified the guarantee.”
While A&A are recognized as one of the pillars of the community, they have chosen not to gouge with their prices. The average sword costs around $700, with the full range being from $350 to $1100 for their in production models. They do sell an additional line of custom swords that can be made on request, and these tend to run much higher – anywhere from $1000 to upwards of $2500, though several prices are unlisted and can be given to interested parties.
Unlike other high-end manufacturers, though, they offer scabbards at very reasonable prices. While their custom made wood-core scabbards and belts go for anywhere from $400-800, they sell plain leather scabbards for all their swords (for transportation, etc) for less than $100. They also sell armor pieces at various rates.
This is their main and most popular line of swords. It covers everything from replicas of historical swords, such as the Black Prince and Edward III swords, to historical types, such as their Viking, Knightly and French Medieval swords. It also has a couple of German sparring swords in there for quite cheap. These swords range from $350 to $1100.
A&A has a surprisingly wide selection of historical replica rapiers and smallswords of all shapes and sizes. Ranging from German and French to Italian or English designs, the hilts are amazingly attractive, and the blades are well-balanced and tempered. They can also all be fitted with practice blades (blunted) at no additional cost, for those who wish to avoid killing their training partner (or at least removing the option of doing so). Prices for these rapiers are between $440 and $850, with an additional $400 for their belt and hanger.
Christopher Poor makes a large number of custom orders at the A&A forge, using their high standards of production to craft some of the finest modern blades available. While they have a selection on their website they are not all price listed, and those that are listed are between $1000 and $2000 (less for their daggers). So these swords are not for the faint of heart (or shallow of wallet). Despite this they are still very much sought-after.
Arms and Armor make their swords the old fashioned way – with hammer, anvil and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears.
As such, they are some of the most authentic medieval replica swords on the market and as such, are quite exceptional value.
Generally speaking, any known issues regarding Arms and Armor swords are purely cosmetic in nature and described as being ‘minor annoyances’.
Most commonly there are small issues with the fit and finish, such as casting pits and flash (small remainders from casting) in the hilt components. Other issues include slight misalignment of the grip and cross, and the occasional grind marks showing on the blade itself.
These issues are to be expected on less expensive swords, but can be disappointing on blades in this price range. However, few (if any) swords exhibit all of these issues at once and are made up for by the overall handling and historical accuracy of these swords, which currently no low end sword manufacturer comes close to approaching.
With very few distributors (choosing to almost exclusively sell direct from their own retail store) there is little to no price variations for Arms and Armor products. However, respected sword sellers Kult of Athena have a small selection of in-stock A&A swords and other medieval weapons that are about the same price here (slightly cheaper, by a dollar or so!) – however with cheaper shipping options and having the swords ready for immediate delivery makes it worthwhile…
Otherwise, the only other options to buy A&A Swords is either direct from the manufacturer – or on the secondary market in the classifieds.
I hope this information on Arms and Armor Swords has been helpful. To return to the Sword Manufacturers Dossier from Arms and Armor Swords, click here