Thanks to Natasha Darce', I just received a pair of the new VB blunts that are now available from Purpleheart. These are also available with wheel/disc pommels, but I prefer this type as it extends the handle for use with gloves.
I absolutely love these things and I'm really happy they will be on the market. Before I go into why, I'd like to say these aren't actually blunts, at least as that word is commonly used. The term "blunt" is typically used to refer to swords which have the geometry of sharp swords but with edges that aren't sharpened. Consequently, their edges are quite thin. A blunt is a sword that can be turned into a sharp. Maybe not always a great sharp, but all the "blunts" I've seen, including the Chlebowski XVa blunt that I won at Schwertkampf 2013, can be turned into a pretty good sharp sword. These VB swords cannot be made into functional sharps. They have feder blades, complete with excellent safety flex in the weak.
Why do I love these things?
1. They are about the size of most of my sharps. The blade is about half an inch longer, and the handle is about an inch, inch and a half longer. So they are small enough to drill at realistic distance for the type of smaller longsword that I am interested in, but just big enough to use with gloves. Being a lot smaller than a typical feder, they can also be used by smaller people without causing as many issues. They also feel great in the hands and have good point control. They feel very lively. I enjoy using them.
2. They don't have schilts. I am starting to hate schilts, as they often get in the way of some technique drills. I'm tired of saying, "Well it's getting caught up on the schilt, but in a real sword, blah blah blah." If I'm fencing without gloves or with light gloves, I want a schilt. Otherwise, no thank you.
3. They fit perfectly in my list of needs/wants for a training tool. I want a sharp to solo train and cut with, a blunt to drill with, and a sword exactly like this one to fence with in normal gear, and a feder to compete with. If I don't have a blunt, then this sword is much better than a feder for drilling. There is no obnoxiously long handle, or obnoxiously long blade. I currently use a custom Chclebowski with a handle shortened by one inch, and these will be replacing that tool for most of my paired drilling, mostly because the blade flex is much better and I can thrust harder without hurting people. I will also be fencing with these swords most of the time instead of my Regenyei, which is significantly longer than any of my sharps.
Video review coming soon.