Why is a Schlager Not a Rapier?
What is a Schlager?The Schlagers used in SCA rapier combat are from the German Mensur or "fraternity dueling". Specifically the practice weapons from this form. The schlager blade was originally seized upon as an SCA rapier simulator because it was the only commercially available blade that approached the form and function of a period rapier. Fortunately this is no longer true, but many people still have Schlagers and some people still buy new ones because they are considered to be less expensive than reproduction rapiers (in actuality the less expensive reproduction rapier blades can be purchased for the same price OR LESS). There are two types of schlagers, the oval and the diamond. Functionally there is little difference (That I know of, if you know more please let me know) between the two types of blades. Now, on to the good stuff.
The Schlager explainedMensur is a slashing form. The idea is to slash with the blade or tip to draw blood (gives those wonderful dueling scars you know). OK, I know, there is more to Mensur than just slashing but if you say that rapier (as practiced in the SCA) is a thrusting form you can say that Mensur is a slashing form. Schlagers were designed with this in mind. A schlager maintains a constant width and thickness of the blade once you pass the ricasso, this makes the blade somewhat tip heavy which lends itself to quick slashing movements. They work wonderfully for what they were designed for.