Running the Gauntlet: Demi vs Full

A question that gets asked a lot: What gauntlets can I use for Combat Archery?

According to SCA Martial Law (XVIV. GLOSSARY. A), demi-gauntlets fit the bill. This is the minimum requirement, but as always check your Kingdom Marshal Law regarding same.

But is that what you really need? Depending on how active you plan to be in combat, it may be the perfect fit. However you may find that killing people on the field is so much fun, you need to invest in more diverse ways of dealing out death blows (spear, sword, etc).

If the latter seems your case then you may want to consider investing in good, articulated ‘full’ gauntlets. I suggest articulated because it will afford the dexterity you will need to handle Combat Archery equipment effectively and safely, yet allow you to switch the ‘heavy’ weapons as well.

It is true that most fighters try not to club Combat Archers like baby seals, but it can happen. When it comes to protection, wear the best and most padded you can without trading (too much) performance for protection. You can augment purchased gauntlets with additional layers of closed cell foam if needed. Get some industrial rubber cement, trim the foam, and slap it on! You can still get hit in the hand. Remember Combat Archers, always assume you will get hit!

It is true that ‘full’ gauntlets will run more. ‘Demis’ can be made very easily with leather and rivets with varying levels of quality. These look like a good standard well made demi set. You can even find patterns and instructions. Here is an example of articulated gauntlets. These will certainly be more expensive, but may be the last pair you ever buy.

For the cost of entry though, demis are generally very affordable. Dont spend too much time on the issue if you can afford a pair. If you find later you need to change up, you can. But it is always worth considering options as soon as possible. We all aren’t made of money you know!

Happy Fighting!