Some background: I am rather partial to French grips, but I'll pull out my Belgian-gripped weapon from time to time, when the whim strikes.
Now, to the point:
I realize that many (most?) fencers consider the Italian grip to be ill-suited the tactics and technique employed in the modern form of the game. It seems, from my readings of this thread, that this is perhaps more true for foil than epee, although this could be attributed to most of the posts in which the Italian grip is mentioned being foil-centric...
There were a few times where I had toyed with the notion of eventually acquiring an Italian grip, because I think it would be interesting to try out (and to see, first-hand, what all of the fuss is about).
I have the following questions (although more may follow at a later time):
1.) For those who have used this style of grip in an epee bout, what is your impression if it?
2.) I've seen pictures of a rather nice-looking version produced by one Tom Rockwell. If I were to decide to acquire such a grip, I would like it to be of this type. How does one go about ordering such a thing? Is this particular product still offered by AmFence (apparently Mr. Rockwell's official distributer)?
3.) I've noticed that a lot of the examples of epees with Italian-style grips lack the additional ring-like quillions normally seen on the foil version. I've also seen an example of an epee with an Italian-style grip that does feature these. Additionally, I have never seen an example of an Italian-gripped foil that does not have these (i.e. the grip is just a crossbar and ricasso, as with the epee). Does the presence (or absence) of these additional quillions present some advantage or disadvantage (versus the other)?