If you are wondering where to buy armor, you are not alone. There are lots of places to purchase armor around the globe. Finding which armorer best suits your needs can be difficult.
First, it depends on what you want to do with it. Do you plan on entering medieval steel fighting competitions? Do you want it as a purely decorative thing? Or do you want full plate or a brigantine? Do you want chain mail and a great helm? All of these questions will determine the best place for you to have your armor built and for you to have your money do the most work for you. Let’s break it down into some more simple questions first.
Is armor built in the United States?
The short answer is; sort of. While there are some renowned armorers in the United States, they have longer than normal waiting lists. The cost of living and the time it takes to build quality armor dictates those prices. It isn’t that U.S. armor is any better, it’s just that it can be done for much cheaper in other countries. Of course, if you want armor that isn’t built for actual combat, wait times are generally a lot less and prices are a lot lower. Here’s a list of US based Armorers/Vendors (Vendors resell armor purchased from Smithy’s across the globe):
|NAME||PRIMARY PRODUCTION||WEBSITE/CONTACT INFO|
|Grettir the Slow||Gauntlets||https://www.facebook.com/grettir.slow|
|Iron Crab Metal Works||Armour and Weapons||https://www.facebook.com/pg/ironcrabmetalworks|
|Nadler Metalcrafts||Armour and Weapons (Vendor)||http://www.nadlermetalcrafts.com/|
|James Hyland & crew @ Sinister Iron Werks||Armour and Weapons||https://www.facebook.com/SinisterIronWerks/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel|
|Viking Leathercrafts||Period Footwear||http://www.vikingleathercrafts.com/|
|Kult of Athena||Armour and Weapons (Vendor)||http://www.kultofathena.com/|
There are of course other Armorers out there. Kyle Harris is well known within the Buhurt community, but getting a hold of him seems to be a mystery in itself. He makes full suits of armor and some of the toughest gauntlets ever made (I know, I have a pair).
How long does it take to get armor?
Once you know where to buy armor, then the question of how long does it take comes next! The average for custom built pieces is 4-6 months plus another 1-3 months for shipping. This of course can vary greatly with a full plate suit taking 6-12 months for production plus shipping. In general, it is best to think ahead when ordering quality armor. Know what you want and understand that measurements are very important. There are ready built NON COMBAT armor pieces and suits available from lots of Etsy stores and manufacturers from India. These pieces are suitable for performances and events in groups such as the S.C.A. but definitely not built for actual steel fighting.
Certified Awesome Buhurt Shirt.$15.00 – $19.00
Where to buy armor?
The decision of where to buy armor is a big one! There is a long list of Armorers ready to take orders across the globe. Generally speaking, most of the best (and fastest) armorers come out of Russia and Ukraine. Since the sport of Modern Medieval Combat essentially originated in Russia, it has strong roots in that region with some of the most skilled tradesmen there.
Prices can range from extremely expensive to just sort of expensive. I’ve provided a list of worldwide armorers for you to look at. It is important to note that some armorers stand out among others. For example, Petr Prokasov of the Korean Smith Armory is well known for his speed and low prices on titanium brigantines. Also, Master Uley in Ukraine is known for his top tier craftsmanship and is among the only armorers out there that makes full titanium Samurai armor sets. To see a full list of armorers, scroll to the bottom of the post.
How much does a suit of armor cost?
Cheaply, about $1800.00 US Dollars. And, on the finer scale of full plate armor it can cost upwards of $15000.00 US dollars. This of course depends on the purpose of the armor, what you want to do with it and where the armor originates from.
How do I know it’s Buhurt Armor?
If you’ve followed my advice on where to buy armor, then you know! But, if you’ve been around the sport for a while you’re probably familiar with authenticity standards, wait times, and matching gear to time periods. In which case, you’ll know before you hit the pay button and spend thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, if you’re new to the sport and you really want armor… Talk to the team and the community first. The worst thing you can do is buy gear that spans multiple time periods and regions. You’ll end up spending lots of money on a set of armor that can only be worn in SCA foam fights. — The SCA does re-enactment stuff but also has a penchant for the fantastical. Up until recently, they had a guild/clan of Elves (people who dressed up in fake armor and wore pointy ears).