Which Grip is Best?

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by FortyTwoBlades, May 29, 2004.

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Which Grip Do You Prefer?

  1. French

    98 vote(s)
    20.6%
  2. Belgian

    56 vote(s)
    11.8%
  3. German

    38 vote(s)
    8.0%
  4. Visconti

    164 vote(s)
    34.5%
  5. Schermasport

    7 vote(s)
    1.5%
  6. Spanish

    4 vote(s)
    0.8%
  7. Rambeau

    2 vote(s)
    0.4%
  8. Russian

    21 vote(s)
    4.4%
  9. I fence sabre, stupid!

    45 vote(s)
    9.5%
  10. Other

    40 vote(s)
    8.4%
  1. howtobrew

    howtobrew Rookie

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    LP Carbon Fiber Posting Grip

    I just recently bought the LP Carbon Fiber square handle, and I wish it was contoured more like the French. Compared to a typical French grip, the base of my thumb has nowhere to go (needs an indentation) and the base of the grip is too square to be really comfortable when posting, compared to a typical pommel knob. I fenced with it for several hours the other night, and ended up holding it such that the end of the grip coincided with the heel of my hand. In other words, not posting, but holding it "french" with my thumb and index finger about an inch back from the guard. This worked, but I think I need a bit more cant (5 degrees) to the handle to get the blade angle right compared to my other epee.

    I bought an LP gardere handle at the same time, just to see what it was like, but don't have a weapon to mount it on at the moment. Is this handle USFA/FIE legal as-is? Could I wrap grip-tape on it? or is that a no-no vis a vis M.4.3?

    I am seriously tempted to get a bar of plasitcene the same size as the Carbon Fiber grip, form it to my hand for both normal french grip and pommeling, and then get that shape machined out of aluminum. I would then grit blast it, then paint it with epoxy/grit like they use for locker room floors. I think I could get a 3D model of it into Solidworks or ProE, and then CNC machine it. The tricky part would be to locate and gun drill the tang hole beforehand. Yep this definitely sounds like more fun than working....
     
  2. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Barry has talked to Dan DeChaine and Dan has told him that it is illegal. Barry is still trying. As Barry has argued and it is true, you could hold any of the pistol grips by the back end. But there is a difference in that and the Gardere or any of the others orthopedic grips that use a French Pommel, would you have the same control? Since you have the Gardere, put it on a weapon and hold the weapon at the guard, move back to the next hook and then the next. Do you still have the same movement and control?

    Don't expect the FIE or USFA to list illegal handles anytime soon. If that happen a change in the name would suddenly make the handle legal. Try this, go to the various web sites in different countries and look at the handles they are selling and what they are called. You will find different names for the same handle and same names for different handles.
     
  3. smeric28

    smeric28 Rookie

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    you should mold it to your hand physically and have it "cast" it's not that expensive if you find a small jobber. i could do it if i only had a blast furnace :)
    p.s. if you do draw it up email it to me i'll try and machine it for you. i like a challange
     
  4. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Just don't try using it at a competition. Doing it this way would probably make it illegal.
     
  5. howtobrew

    howtobrew Rookie

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    Why would this necessarily make it illegal for comp?
    As I read the rules, it seems that orthopedic protrusions are what decide/define whether a grip is post-able or not. If a grip is of varying diameter, non-symmetrical cross-section, non-straight but non-protruding and encapsulated by the bell, then I think it should be acceptable, because this also describes the current French grip. Or is it the case that a more uniform/symmetrical saber grip is the gold standard, and that French grip and pistol grips are both exceptions, and that any designs that build on these non-symmetries are a step too far?
    Thanks for your thoughts,
    John
     
  6. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    What was first talked about, I have no problem with. What I had said was the method. I did not want to mention a specific handle, but the method described is how the first Gardere was made. To make a French style handle to fit your hand would not be a problem. But to have it molded to your hand, including fingers would be a problem.
     
  7. parrythis

    parrythis Podium

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    I have to go with Visconti. It fits my hand well; it doesn't bind into my wrist when I do a parry-1; and it just sounds cool to say "Visconti".
     
  8. arcsnsparks86

    arcsnsparks86 Rookie

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    I prefer Belgian. Don't ask me why, but I do. My Girlfriend started me on Belgians after I fenced French for a quite a while. I still love my French grip tho. :)
     
  9. mackillian

    mackillian Rookie

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    Go belgian! Mine is a belgian short though. I just about cried the other day when the wire broke. Thankfully, it was right next to the socket. Fixable! Huzzah! I'm still waiting on two more shorts from our club's armourer. Apparently not many vendors carry 'em. Maybe even JUST triplette.
     
  10. duffman

    duffman Rookie

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    This is the grip that I have. It is very light and gives me great point control.
     
  11. anka

    anka Rookie

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    From pistol to Zivkovic...

    Hello,

    I have only been fencing for a short while, but long enough to have gotten in the bad habit of holding my pistol grip epee "like a gun", and not "like a pencil", as I should be doing. Anyway, I wanted to try out a new grip, and am trying to decide between Zivkovic's KII and Z...

    KII: because I have small hands (glove size 6/6.5)

    Z: heard good things about it

    What about choosing a heavier handle, like the B? Do epeeists need a heavier handle?

    BTW, I love this discussion board. So much information, I can easily spend hours and hours perusing...

    -Anne
     
    Redblade likes this.
  12. El Chucko

    El Chucko Rookie

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    Anka,

    From what you described, I would NOT go with a Zivkovik grip. In fact, I think those grips tend to encourage one to hold their weapon like a "gun", rather than "pencil." (re: Volkmann. Mongoloid fold of hand vs. Opposition fold of hand.)

    When I have that problem, I go back to a French for a little while. My primary grip, otherwise, is a rather longish Belgian.
     
  13. howtobrew

    howtobrew Rookie

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    I have tried both the K and the Z and I like the Z better in that it does not encourage my "hand" to hold it as tightly as the K, although the K was better than the Visconti.
    But you know what I think the "problem" is? It's the thumb spur. I sawed that thing off my Visconti and it made a complete difference in how my hand held the grip. It became French-with-organization-for-the-other-fingers.

    I like the Z because it does fit my palm well, but doesn't cause me to hold the weapon with my palm. Too often the gripping technique becomes a support between the 3 lower fingers and the thumb spur, in essence leaving your trigger finger free. Saw that spur off, and you have to grip with thumb and forefinger again.

    I will post a picture tonight.
     
  14. howtobrew

    howtobrew Rookie

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    Picture without the Spur

    Here is my own modified Uhlmann Visconti grip.
    I sawed and filed the spur off and took off the pinkie grip so that my lower fingers don't really grip the grip.
    I get very good blade feel this way, but it did become a bit too small so I bought a Z grip instead. :)
     

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  15. rmyounis

    rmyounis Rookie

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    Russians :)
     
  16. WhipLash

    WhipLash Rookie

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    doesn't look like an italian visconti. belgian? did u shorten the back part as well?
     
  17. howtobrew

    howtobrew Rookie

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    Yes, it's an uhlmann pistol grip. I took off quite a bit of metal with both a hacksaw and a file. I shortened the back of it because it kept poking me in the wrist when I would go for a hand hit on a retreat. French grip pommels get in the way too, but they are big enough to work around.
     
  18. sarmaticus

    sarmaticus Rookie

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    I use an Italian when I can get the blades, at least in part because it makes me fence foil rather than foil-as-sabre. For the same reason, when I'm off form, I shabbily revert to French.
    In a pinch I'll fence with a stick of rhubarb just to be fencing.
     
  19. vraptor

    vraptor Rookie

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    Gripping Tales

    I prefer Italians, but none of them that I have ever bought was what I would consider to be properly engineered. I'm trying to fix that problem, but that will be a future thread.

    For now, let me muddy the waters a bit. The real interface between hand and weapon is the glove and that is probably the most under-criticized article of fencing apparel in use. I have bought several gloves over the past few years and almost all of them have been crap. They don't fit right, they're poorly made, and the material becomes hard and inflexible after you sweat in it for more than a week. The fingertip surfaces become "polished" after a while so they don't allow your fingers to grip the weapon (regardless of what handle you use) and it doesn't take very long to wear a huge hole in the palm.

    I have one really sweet glove. Its a Castello (which will tell you how old it is) and while the working portions are almost completely worn out, the leather is still soft and very pliable. Even though I can't use it right now, I refuse to throw it away as it was a wonderful example of that one piece of fencing gear that you bought years ago that is really exemplary.

    My point is this: How many of the complaints about the various grips are really complaints about the glove you use? If your hand is slipping and sliding around inside of the glove, I don't care what kind of grip you use. You aren't going to be able to control the weapon as well as you could if your hand were bare.

    Manufacturers, please note! I can find better gloves in the garden section of the hardware store or the welding shop. If I could sew, I'd attach a velcroed vambrace to it and you'd be out of business. Humans have been making gloves for thousands of years. How hard can it be to do it right?
     
  20. Bran

    Bran Rookie

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    I reiterate from another thread: It's astonishing how in every one of the "which grips do you prefer?" polls that Zivkovic grips are never one of the polling options, yet are mentioned numerous times in the thread.
     

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