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Bulk Dome Riveted Pre-Punched Rings

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Hey all.

I've been debating a riveted project for a long time, but quite frankly I don't have the time or the space to make the rings myself. Unfortunately, I've reached a bit of an impasse when it comes to getting my hands on some reasonably-priced pre-made rings.

The project I've got in mind is an armor grade dome-riveted shirt, fairly close-fitting, short-sleeved and coming slightly above the hips, so somewhat shorter than the "standard" shirt you tend to see. I've done a full shirt before, though of larger aluminum rings, so I do know what I'm getting myself into. Authenticity isn't an issue, but I want something that's going to be sturdy because the odds of it getting hit hard are pretty high. I haven't got a good estimate yet of how many rings I'll need, but obviously it's a considerable number. I'm still debating between 4-1 and 6-1, but leaning towards 6-1. The goal is the garment, not the project so if I absolutely have to I can do a hack job on a commercial shirt, but I want a nice tailored fit so I'm betting that would be a pretty huge pain in the neck when it came down to it.

TRL doesn't seem to be stocking any kind of rings pre-made for riveting, so I'm looking to see if anybody else has any suggestions on where to get this kind of bulk rings at a reasonable price. I'm in Canada, so Canadian would be best though not absolutely necessary.

Thanks in advance.

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The only pre punched rings with rivets and a dedicated rivettingb plier I've seen come from CAS Hanwei's subsidiary Get Dressed For Battle. And they only sell by the 1000, so your project can get expensive real quick. There have been endless debates over 6in1 vs. 4in1 which I will not go into. In my experience though, the very minor increase in protection 6in1 might offer over 4in1 is entirely negated by the increase in weight and decrease in flexibility. Better to go 4in1 and spend the extra ring money on a good gambeson to wear underneath. If historical accuracy is not your concern, put together a rig and try welding your rings. Again there are many debates over welding vs. rivetted I don't fel like getting into right now, but you'll find them scaattered all over the various forums. And just so you know, taking a good hit in mail, no matter how dense the weave even while wearing a gabeson underneath will still hurt. There's a reason Medieval physicians were expert bone-setters...

Edited by Paladin

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To save cost you might consider the solid rings TRL sells.

I like the idea of 4in1 its a bit quicker, and there is a lot more historical precidence for the weave.

with solid rings half the rings are already closed.

icefalcon armoury, and I think historic enterprizes both sell rivited rings.

Historic Enterprises only has the wedge rivets.

What combat system are you training under?

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Unfortunately that's the answer I was hoping not to see. I've looked at GDFB's rings, and while they seem fine the cost is a bit of an issue.

In my case this isn't actually for armored combat. I'm a parkour artist and I've been interested in trying to add some extra weight while training. The point of moving to 6-1 would actually be to increase the weight, and to make the mail more dense so in the event of a fall it'd be smoother and less likely to dig in. (It's not so much an issue of dissipating the large kinetic impact of getting hit as it is making sure the impact doesn't get concentrated on any points in particular.) Basically, anything backpack like throws off my center of gravity something awful and every weighted vest I've seen looks like it'd seriously injure me if I fell on it. Mail provides an even layer across the body, so you wouldn't get the effect of falling on a bench weight the first time you slipped. While mail would certainly leave a mark, if it was densely woven enough I figure it wouldn't hurt much more than the ground would anyways. Thus durability isn't so much an issue of protection as it is of not wanting to repair it. I've done some similar training in my other shirt, but it's not fitted right and, being made of aluminum, it's not really providing much in the way of weight. I've taken a couple falls in it and while the bruises were mail-shaped they weren't any worse than otherwise as far as I could tell, but the shirt certainly wasn't happy about them.

Welding would be fine if I had the equipment, but I'm simply not set up for it. Solid rings are definitely a worthwhile thing to consider, they'd certainly speed up the process and are considerably cheaper.

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My recommendation is to go with 16G 1/4" stainless machine made rings from TRL using Euro 4-1. Here are the reasons.

1. Stainless will not rust; sweat, rain, spilled water, etc will cause mild steel (which most riveted rings are made from) to rust which makes keeping them clean a pain.

2. Very strong; 16G 1/4" in euro 4-1 is a rather dense weave and therefore strong. The AR is also quite small and as AR gets smaller the rings get stronger. You can fall on that weave all day and not hurt a ring. If you want to go overboard use 16G 1/4" spring temper stainless steel. The metal used today is much better that that which was available during the Middle Ages. Riveting is not necessary with today's higher quality stainless steel.

3.You are not trying to protect against arrows or stabbing swords; The reason for riveting is to resist weapon tips going through the rings and spreading them. Unless you foresee falling on pointy objects that should not be an issue. I don't mean corners of concrete blocks that is not pointy enough. The only thing I can think of that comes close are the spike that are sometimes seen on wrought iron fences. If you are playing around those then you have bigger issues.

4. Speed; butted rings are much faster than riveted. You might actually get it done.

5. Cost; The rings are relatively inexpensive

You should still wear a gambison under the maille even if it is only a double layer of the commercial quilted cotton. It will absorb the impact that the maille spread out much better than your flesh.

Tell me your chest measurements and torso length and I can tell you about how many rings it will take and how much it will weigh.

Movak

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All of Movak's points are solid. Since you mentioned a weight vest, if you really have your heart set on 6in1, you could do a vest with stainless 16 gauge 5/16in. internal diameter rings; that is about as tight as you can go before you have issues trying to tailor the thing. And the only way I got sleeves onto my aborted effort was to use a 90 degree link and it still felt like I had a bar of metal under my armpit. I abandoned my project at the 'halter top stage' due to the weight, and discovering that 4in1 in the size Movak mentioned did just as good a job where protection was concerned. My first project was done in 16 gauge galvy with 3/8 rings, much softer than stainless steel and a much looser weave than 1/4in. rings. After 18 years it is dark gray, smells like a wet dog, and it has never lost a ring. I would be very surprised if you lost a ring in stainless, provided your closures are even halfway decent. Whatever you decide, enjoy the journey!

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Remember, if you're worried about rings opening, that most rings that will open, assuming they're not from a poorly constructed piece, are going to be from something like punctures forcing them open, scraping and sliding shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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Ok, now we're getting somewhere.

You're definitely right that stainless would be a huge asset, and with rings that small even 4-1 would be quite dense. Spring temper is probably overkill, and the amount of extra work spent making the shirt versus the work to replace a ring or two now and then isn't a good comparison, at least when I'm not planning on putting it between steel and I. I hadn't considered the issue with piercing force, and you're right that the trauma this would be subjected to is quite a different kind of force. I've been looking at various patterns for sleeves, and I think I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

My chest measurement is approximately 37" with a full breath in at the widest point, approximately nipple height. From the bottom of the vest to approximately collarbone height is ~19". The measurement was taken straight, so the tape didn't bend over the body increasing the distance. (No, I don't have an abnormally short chest, the shirt's just shorter than average, only falling about two or three inches below the navel.) Those measurements are bare-chest, no shirt or gambeson. The plan is to do a fairly tight neck with a slit closed with ribbon or cord, and very short sleeves, not even half way down the bicep. I've got plenty of uses for other small pieces of mail, so I'd much rather err on the side of caution when ordering.

One more question: Since my last project, I've moved a couple times and am now plierless. What would you guys recommend for this size/type of ring/weave?

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According to TRL's ring calculator the shirt should be about 12 pounds and 13.5K rings. If you want it heavier you could add panels to the chest and upper back.

I would suggest using a 45 degree shoulder but only attach the sleeves for the first few inches down from the neck line. I understand that with parkour arm movement is very important and this will give the best freedom of movement. I would also suggest putting a HP 3-1 edge around the neck. It gathers the neck hole a bit and is quite comfortable.

For pliers I would recommend TRL's Modified Knipex 2001160. They are designed for heavy armour work.

Movak

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It'll still be pretty expensive, but at least it's into the realm of reasonable.

You're right about the arms, the only reason I want them at all is that they'll help to carry the weight better across the shoulders, from the tip of the shoulder it'd be four or five inches down the the arm at the longest, on the inside of the arm just enough that it won't bind too badly in the armpit.

The pliers look nice, but are you sure they'd work on rings as small as 1/4"?

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I've actually always used one of each of those types. The wide nose gives better leverage, and the angled lets you get into weaves where you don't have so much room.

The problem with open armpits is that I think that would disengage the mail over the shoulder vertically from the body of the shirt, which would eliminate the support effect. Either way there's plenty of room for trying and tweaking. Now I just have to go check the bank account and see if I can afford it!

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45 degree shoulders have the issue that once your arms get past horizontal they start pulling the shirt up. This restricts movement. By leaving the arm pit open it will decrease this effect. The "hole in the armour will not be an issue as you are not using it for defence. I also think that the support issue is a bit overrated. It is a relatively light shirt. The weight will be distributed as much as possible across the shoulder. Maill has a tendancy to be a bit "clingy" which also helps distribute the weight. I made a 16G5/16" Stainless shirt that is much bigger and heavier that the one you want and one I get it on I have no issues with supporting the weight on my shoulders.

Movak

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