Similar to a gauntlet
, the bracer is a form of forearm armor used primarily by swordsmen, designed to catch blows with their off hand. Unlike a gauntlet
, the bracer neither covers the hand, nor slides over the hand like a glove, but instead clasps on the underside of the arm via straps or has a slit through which the arm can be inserted.
Greek variants of the bracer often extended past the wrist with a V-shaped piece of bronze to guard the back of the hand. This variant was later adapted into a weapon by extending the guard beyond the knuckles, giving the user the ability to - quite literally - punch a hole through their enemies.
The bracer is superior to the gauntlet because it leaves the fingers free.