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Armor

Armor

Body armor is a staple of European armies and most officers or men of means own some form of armor.


Armor is little used at sea, and even less so in the tropics. The metal parts require constant care to prevent rust, it restricts movement, inhibits climbing and eliminates any possibility of floating long enough to be rescued if you fall over board. And in the Caribbean it is stinking hot!

All that being said it is not uncommon to see some body armor used by pirates and ship crews, but it is only donned in anticipation of immediate combat. Since ship to ship combat can involve hours, in some cases even days, of pursuit and tactical maneuvering to achieve an advantage of wind or position, or just to get close enough to exchange fire, those crew members who own body armor can wait till the last moment before putting it on.



Probably the single most common piece of armor is a helmet. Donned just before the ships close to pistol range it can help one survive that most disconcerting of events, the 'pistol ball in the brain.' 
The Morion helmets are the most common types available. Cabasset is the name of the famous Spanish style Morion helm. Comb Morion, the style with the tall metal crest. The crest is intended to reinforce the helm and protect the wearer from the downward blow of a sword, axe or halberd.

comb morion       Cabasset Morion           Cabasset Morion               

Comb Morion            A fluted Cabasset Morion             Cabasset Morion


Less common helms are the Birnhelm and Lobster Back helmet, so called because of its articulation.


     birnhelm                                                       Lobsterback
    Birnhelm                                                                                          Lobsterback helmet



Leather Armor

Buff Coats and Buff Vests are the most common body armor. Made of multiple layers of tough leather, reinforced in critical spots, it is designed to protect from cuts and slashes. It will NOT stop a musket  or pistol ball! Buff armor varies in length and sleeve cut.       

                          Buff Vest                                                              Long sleeve buff coat

                                                                                                                      

The Cuirass or 'clamshell' is a sleeveless piece of metal body armor that protects the torso, both front and back.

The breast plate is the front half of a cuirass, there is no back plate. Cheaper, lighter and cooler then the full cuirass.
A standard breast plate will stop a pistol ball at any distance other then point blank.  It will not stop a musket ball.
A Proof Tested Breast Plate is a high quality, and expensive, piece of armor that WILL stop a musket ball and has been tested by the armorer to prove it.


         Buff Coat    Complete armor

         Proof Tested Breast Plates.  Note the dent from the musket ball in the breast plate to the left.


The arm guard for the left, or 'off' arm, is designed to allow a mounted trooper to protect the arm that holds the horses reins. It can be used to fend off some sword attacks.

Armored Gauntlet



Armor Penetration

Penetration means to the point of causing injury.  Often times the shot will punch a hole through armor but in doing so it looses so much energy that it it virtually harmless to the subject hit.


Buff Coat alone


Less then 2 yards

Less then 15 yards

Less then 50 yards

More then 50 yards

Weapon Type





Pocket Pistol

Yes

No

No

No

Belt Pistol

Yes

Yes

No

No

Horse Pistol

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Blunderbuss

Yes

Yes

No

No

Arquebus

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Musketoon

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Musket

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rifle

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bow

Yes

Yes

No

No

Crossbow, wood

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Crossbow, steel

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes



Standard Breast Plate alone


Less then 2 yards

Less then 15 yards

Less then 50 yards

More then 50 yards

Weapon Type





Pocket Pistol

No

No

No

No

Belt Pistol

Yes

No

No

No

Horse Pistol

Yes

Yes

No

No

Blunderbuss

Yes

Yes

No

No

Arquebus

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Musketoon

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Musket

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rifle

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bow

No

No

No

No

Crossbow, wood

Yes

Yes

No

No

Crossbow, steel

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes


Proof Tested Breast Plate alone


Less then 2 yards

Less then 15 yards

Less then 50 yards

More then 50 yards

Weapon Type





Pocket Pistol

No

No

No

No

Belt Pistol

Yes

No

No

No

Horse Pistol

Yes

Yes

No

No

Blunderbuss

Yes

Yes

No

No

Arquebus

Yes

Yes

                 

   No

No

Musketoon

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Musket

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Rifle

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Bow

No

No

No

No

Crossbow, wood

Yes

Yes

No

No

Crossbow, steel

Yes

Yes

Yes

No




Standard Breast Plate over Buff Coat


Less then 2 yards

Less then 15 yards

Less then 50 yards

More then 50 yards

Weapon Type





Pocket Pistol

No

No

No

No

Belt Pistol

No

No

No

No

Horse Pistol

Yes

Yes

No

No

Blunderbuss

Yes

No

No

No

Arquebus

Yes

Yes

No

No

Musketoon

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Musket

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rifle

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bow

No

No

No

No

Crossbow, wood

No

No

No

No

Crossbow, steel

Yes

Yes

No

No





Proof Tested Breast Plate over Buff Coat


Less then 2 yards

Less then 15 yards

Less then 50 yards

More then 50 yards

Weapon Type





Pocket Pistol

No

No

No

No

Belt Pistol

No

No

No

No

Horse Pistol

Yes

Yes

No

No

Blunderbuss

Yes

No

No

No

Arquebus

Yes

Yes

No

No

Musketoon

Yes

Yes

No

No

Musket

Yes

Yes

No

No

Rifle

Yes

Yes

No

No

Bow

No

No

No

No

Crossbow, wood

No

No

No

No

Crossbow, steel

Yes

Yes

No

No



 

Armor Prices

£

s

d

US Dollars

Notes

Cabasset Morion


6


$30.00


Comb Morion


7


$35.00


Birnhelm


8


$40.00


Lobsterback


15


$75.00








Buff Vest

1



$100.00


Buff Coat Half Sleeves

1

10


$150.00


Buff Coat Full Sleeves

1

15


$175.00


Breast Plate

2

10


$250.00


Cuirass

5



$500.00



Proof Tested Breastplate

5



$500.00


Proof Tested Cuirass

10



$1,000.00








Off Arm Guard

1

5


$125.00


Gauntlets, leather


5


$25.00





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