Arms and Armor

Italian Bill

Overall Length: 99.5 inches
Blade Length: 27 inches
Top Spike Length: 13.5 inches
Handle Lenfth: 69 inches
Weight: 6.7 lbs

Performance Review: The Arms and Armor "Italian Bill" which is more properly known as a Roncone was my first heavy pole weapon. As such once I put the piece together I have to admit to being shocked by the amount of damage this piece can do. It does not merely cut or crush targets... it obliterates them. I tried it out both againt cardboard boxes and 1/4 inch plywood. The boxes were not really cut since I gave the Roncone an axe type edge but they were smashed down to being merely inches tall by overhead strokes. The spike also easily pierced the boxes. The plywood was cut and then smashed to splinters by the power generated by this weapon. All in all it is a simply devastating piece. I can't imagine any swordsman being able to parry a full power blow from the Roncone with either sword or shield.

Appearance: Arms and Armor can take neither all the credit nor all the blame for this particular piece. In an attempt to save a little money I opted to purchase just the head of the Roncone and haft it myself. The head was shipped to me along with a pair of langets and some nails to be used to attach the langets and head. The head itself was nicely done. It had no noticeable welds and all the parts were symmetrical and well formed. I have noted however on this piece as with several of the other Arms and Armor pole arms that I've seen that they do not polish them out as much as they do their sword blades. There were still noticeable circular grind marks on the blade. I hafted the roncone with an ash pole. At first I was going to stain it the same color as Arms and Armor does with their poles but the grain of the ash was so attractive that I decided to leave it as it was, and apply only a clear coat to it. The biggest problem with hafting this polearm was inletting the langets. I would not recommend this for the beginner as it will lead to untold frustration.

Conclusion: This is a truly formidable piece. To my knowledge it's the only quality production Roncone available in the domestic U.S. market as well, and I highly recommend it to those interested in purchasing an impressive pole arm.