The picture I get after I have checked with my informants is that Swedish cavalry regiments were supposed to have cuirasses and that Charles XII was an enforcer of this regulation. But this was not so easy to achieve since the cuirasses were highly unpopular among both privates and officers.
Major general Adam Horn, who was in charge of the cavalry, wrote for example in 1757 about the cuirasses of the 1680s type which were still standard equipment:
Source: Blanka vapen och skyddsvapen 1932, J. Alm. page 269. (the author disagree however with the quote and claim that this type of cuirass was designed for people with unusually narrow waists).
Adam Horn wrote:After which model the ancient cuirasses have been manufactured, I cannot determine. The human body was not a parable that they have been matched, because of the thousands that belonged to my regiment, had nothing existed, which not after two days of use had wounded the man at some point. Most are too short, suited for thick bellies and narrow chests.
Another quote, this time from an actual participant in the Great Northern War, comes from the memoirs of Johan Stenflycht who was born 1681.
Johan Stenflycht wrote:Then we marched to Cracow, I was thus first corporal at the first company of Östgöta cavalry. The whole time, however, I had to wear a cuirass. Since I was young, I had difficulty carrying this heavy burden. When we would take us across a river on horseback, I was so hot in my cuirass that I threw myself into the water. Many of the cuirassiers then followed my example. There was an investigation of the incident and it found out who was the initiator. I got arrested. I excused myself with that while I could manage the burden of a cuirass; I was also willing to show my courage without cuirass. In the last battle, I had noticed that many of those killed had carried full equipment. The cuirass had not protected the Duke of Holstein from getting killed. It all resulted in me being forgiven; all cuirasses were discarded and were transported on the river from Krakow to Warsaw. Thereafter nobody saw any more cuirasses in Poland ".
This quote is obviously not correct since there is lots of evidence of cuirasses being used in Poland even after this event. However, very many cuirasses seem to have been thrown away by the men. Södra Skånska Regiment lost 354 cuirasses in 1703 alone, and the year after it was reported that only a handful of cuirasses remained in the regiment.
None other than the colonel of Östgöta Regiment, Burensköld, threw away his cuirass during the battle of Warsaw 1705 because it was too hot.
As previously mentioned, Norra Skånska lost 83 cuirasses in the battle of Fraustadt, but since only one officer and eight privates are reported to have been killed from this regiment, it would appear that the vast majority of these had simply been thrown away by the men.
Charles XII was nonetheless undeterred and 10 January 1707 he ordered Krigskollegium to deliver 991 swords, 974 pairs of pistols, 983 carbines and 1 000 cuirasses to Norra Skånska (which had suffered badly at the battle of Kalisz). The same year were 213 new cuirasses commissioned to Småland Regiment, almost all of them were intended for two companies which apparently had lost nearly all of their cuirasses.
But after this something appears to have changed. In a letter to Krigskollegium from October 1711 the cuirass factory in Arboga wrote:
His Royal Majesty have always been very pleased that the cavalry have been able to be provided with these bullet proof cuirass chest pieces. Full cuirass has cost 60 copper coins and only chest piece 30. It has been said that His Royal Majesty in Altranstädt had been so keen that the cavalrymen would have cuirasses that if someone lost his cuirass, he would be punished with the rod and his salary withheld. But since a few years, no cuirasses have been commissioned why artisans suffered distress; many have left and now remain only 8 masters and three journeymen. This factory is probably the only in Europe that can make such good cuirasses but it is now under threat of ruin. Therefore request that the rusthållare be required to pay 16 copper coins per cuirass for 20 pieces a year at each company.
The plea appears to have been in vain because it was not until 1716 this message can be found in the archive of the Krigskollegium.
The cuirass makers in Arboga have after a long interruption received a commission of 400 cuirasses.
As far as the Drabants are concerned they went into campaign in 1700 without cuirasses. The following year both breast and back plates for cuirasses were commissioned and delivered from Arboga. 200 pairs of cuirasses were commissioned in 1702. Of these a hundred were of full size, 50 of intermediate and 50 of smaller size. When the Drabant Corps was transformed into the Life Squadron in 1717 no cuirasses were mentioned as part of their equipment.