I want to talk a little bit about how you can use your replicas from A2 Armory. I’ve had some customers damage their items by using them for tasks they are not meant for. Even battle worthy swords and armor up to SCA standards will crack, dent, bend, or break eventually. If you intend to use your sword for any kind of battle make sure you buy one that can take it. Here is a link to the SCA Marshal Armor Requirements Handbook, it describes in detail the specifications needed to compete in battle. Swords that meet these standards will stand up to hard use much longer than replica swords.
Your average sword or armor replica is meant for only for display or costuming. You can wave it around and practice moves with it but it should never really come in contact with anything but the air. A typical replica sword blade is made of cast metal or stainless steel and will crack or shatter if it strikes any surface harder than it. It’s not a strong construction, that’s why it’s meant only for show.
Some people say that carbon steel weapons can be used for stage combat, I would say only at your own risk. Carbon steel is more forgiving than stainless but it’s still rather brittle. Swords that can be used in battle are made of spring steel. This is incredibly flexible which makes it much less likely to break when struck. There are different qualities of spring steel and different forging methods used to create their edges. You need to know what you’re going to use it for and be sure you get the right thing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Another thing to consider if you plan to use your sword for anything other than display is its balance. Balance plays a big role how comfortable the sword will feel in your hands and how well you will be able to wield it. If your sword is balanced properly you should be able to place the flat part of the blade just above the handle on your index finger and not have to tilt in any way to keep it there. It should teeter only slightly with the natural movement of your body but not overbalance in either direction.
A good way to help ensure good balance is to buy a sword that has full tang construction. Full tang means the blade doesn’t end where it meets the handle but continues through the handle. This also makes for a much stronger blade. Full tang swords aren’t that prevalent so don’t assume that’s what you’re getting unless it says so somewhere in the ad or you’ve spoken to the person you are buying it from.
If you’re into medieval replicas collecting them is exciting and lots of fun. You just have to understand that they need love and care. It’s not too hard or time consuming to do and it will keep your weaponry collection looking new for years to come.