One of the issues that we’ve been running into is that our training daggers is that the lack of a rondel causes them to not behave like real daggers.
With a real rondel, the rondels prevent you from straightening out the point in line with the forearm. This makes the forward grip nearly useless compared to other styles of dagger.
Another difference is the firmness of the grip. We found that it is harder to disarm someone who is using the real dagger because of the way his hand is jammed into the grip between the rondels. Even when he has lost control of the weapon and wants to let go, the rondels sometimes prevent him from dropping it.
Extra will be needed when drilling or sparring with this design to prevent the breaking of fingers during a disarm.
The new rondel is made from a solid piece of ash that was originally sold as a “baseball bat blank”. I used by reproduction dagger for approximate size, but increased the grip slightly to allow room for heavier gloves. The finish is friction polish, applied while the part is still on the lathe. The ends were then rounded off with a belt sander, hence the burn marks.
Tip: 22 mm long by 28 cm wide
Blade: 297 mm long, taper from 19 to 28 mm
Front Rondel: 12 mm thick, 70 mm wide
Grip: 112 mm long, taper from 30 to 25 mm, excluding decorative elements
Rear Rondel:10 mm thick, 60 mm wide
Rivet: 13 mm high, 28 mm wide
Note: The grip is comfortable bare handed (perhaps even a little too big), but barely fits a lacross glove. Next time I may increase the grip length by another 10-15 mm.