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Historical armour testing and information thread

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"Having a thousand pounds of horse between your legs is pretty good protection."

I told my girlfriend this and she was not convinced.


On a less silly note, it occurs to me that the design of leg armor for horseborne troops who would fight dismounted would be problematic.  But I'm not sure that prior to the gunpowder era that anyone had enough horses that they made large formations of people who fought like that.

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There are extant finds from eastern Europe showing what was worn under head protection. First and foremost, avoid getting hit on the melon. 


I wear this under my Manvelovka style helmet when doing full target fighting. It is basically two pieces of leather with wool stuffed in between the rhombus.  Helmet goes on top, riveted mail covers the sides and front. 



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I forgot to mention that the remnants of that padded leather hood were found in the Black Grave in Chernihiv Ukraine. Similar to the barrow mounds in Gnyozdovo, Russia. Both sites are filled with Slavic-Varangian artifacts from the times of Kievan Rus. 

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I've discovered a hole in the literature: nobody has recorded tests of black powder muskets and pistols against gambesons.


Could one of our gun-havers please go out and shoot 15, 20, 25 and 30-layer sections of good linen with a blackpowder smoothbore pistol and musket and record the results? 

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22 minutes ago, Collimatrix said:

I think that cuirasses are thicker than earlier breastplates too, which is why cavalrymen wearing them typically only wore the cuirass.

Yup, although there was a cost component as well.


Pistol proofed half plate was totally a thing for a while.

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