Cosh's, slappers & black jacks...


August 14, 2006, 09:59 AM
Anyone had any first hand experience with these things, a friend has one of each and I've always doubted their effectiveness.

I am I wrong to think such thoughts....

If you enjoyed reading about "Cosh's, slappers & black jacks..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
AJ Dual
August 14, 2006, 02:43 PM
After he died I went through my Grandfather's effects, one of the things I kept was a lead weighted leather slap. It's a double thickness paddle-shaped piece of rawhide, with a flattened egg-shaped lead weight in the end.

When I found it, it was one of the things that made me chuckle, so I kept it.

I gave myself a half-hearted slap on the thigh with it, and I can assure you, it is effective as designed. Too effective, if anything, since it's meant to be a non-lethal/less-than-lethal deterrent or device to subdue someone, but it would be easy to kill someone with a head strike.

Probably illegal for carry in most all states without a permit under their various club and blackjack laws..

August 14, 2006, 03:02 PM

August 14, 2006, 07:45 PM
"Brings the ones that don't usually come."

August 14, 2006, 07:50 PM
I carry my sap everywhere I go. Have used it twice. Its like a light switch,you apply force to the right spot and the lights go out.

one shot one kill

pete f
August 14, 2006, 08:43 PM
I used to carry one when i bounced as the CCW laws were not in force then.

There is very little that will stop a fight faster than a sap to the top of a shoulder or the side of the head. getting hit on the shoulder feels like when the linebacker got a clear shot to you without you seeing it coming, your whole arm goes numb.

one to the side of the head just above the ear turns the lights out. just go easy, a full hard swing will kill the powerplant too.

August 14, 2006, 09:33 PM
I train with a fellow who is a guard in max at a max security prison. He assures me that the old days when they could carry saps and blackjacks were much safer for officers. He claims that just a little tap could "quiet" a confrontation down and just a little more force could stop it cold.

SouthNarc had a class on saps and blackjacks this weekend. Pitty I couldn't make it.

August 14, 2006, 09:47 PM
This is rather humerous, because I remember my PaPaw carrying one of those around in his overalls pockets when he worked in the Railroad yard. Scary part was it was really worn.

August 14, 2006, 10:40 PM
any police still use these, I've also heard of ones that have a loop to put around your wrist and thumb so you can give someone what looks like an openhanded slap.

are the gloves with lead shot in them effective too?

August 14, 2006, 11:11 PM
Most police departments forbid the use of saps, slaps and beavertails.

Some smaller departments will turn a blind eye towards the carry of such, but you better check with a veteran.

My first Sheriff actively encouraged the use of a lead slapper. Used properly, I have found that the wide slapper/beavertail is -- at its worst -- every bit as good as an expandable baton.

At its best, a slapper is much more effective than the baton.

Palm saps are sneaky little jewels. Mine was a disc of lead encased in leather about an inch, maybe an inch-and-a-bit in diametre. It was attached to a leather loop in such a way that the lead was held in the palm, with the loop across the back of the hand.

An open-handed, jovial "hey-buddy-how-ya-doin'?" smack to the elbow, bicep, floating ribs or thigh caused a drunken redneck or three to reconsider their options.

An open slap to the head or jaw would probably knock someone cold, but I never had to go that far.

Sap gloves are bloody good in-fighting tools. They are both more versatile than a slapper, and at the same time, less versatile.

While wearing sap gloves it is possible to use your hands to do other things -- grabbing a subject, applying handcuffs, dailing phone, etc.- while still keeping the weapon on paw, so to speak.

However, having the lead shot spread across the back of you knuckles limits you to punches and backfist/backhand shots.

Effective, but Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police tend to start developing heartburn upon seeing a vidcam shot on the evening news of one of their officers back-handing a critter, even if the critter really, really needed it.

With a slapper, or palm sap, you can be a little more discrete and still get the job done without that nasty closed-fist punch, or back-of-the-hand pimp-slap that doesn't really look good on CNN.


Car Knocker
August 14, 2006, 11:15 PM
I remember my PaPaw carrying one of those around in his overalls pockets when he worked in the Railroad yard.

The 2-way radio has taken its place - hang on to the antenna and slap someone upside the head or on the knee, it'll take the fight right outta them!

August 15, 2006, 09:04 AM


Default BLACKJACKS - They work
Greetings Gentle Folk,

I just received correspondence from a student of mine........

But I won't tell you their name, location or even country (to protect the innocent).

Let me even say.....this could be an entire fabrication (useful for court denial)

Anyway....onto the "story".

This person.......was on a family outing.

When, out of the corner of his eye....... sees a couple of BIG fellas laying into his brother (words were exchange..."king hits" etc etc)

Anyway. Seeing this, runs to his aid......drawing his blackjack.

He hits the first guy in the back of the head.....base of the skull.

Apparently, the guy just dropped like a puppet with it's strings suddenly cut (their words). So nitey night for this guy.

The second assailant manages to score with a haymaker on the side of his head. But he manages to duck his chin into his shoulder, so only his ear cops the beating.

The second assailant then closes in to "grapple" student creates space by pushing on the assailants neck with his elbow...creating space.

He manages to lift the blackjack up and snaps it into the assailants teeth.....the distance travelled by the blackjack was only about 10 inches.

The assailant immediately lets go; clasping his mouth with both hands.....

This gives the opportunity for a "proper" shot to the side of the head.

Lights out..........

I relate this story because he had the choice between the blackjack or a tactical folder......

The blackjack had immediate stopping blood shed.

The assailants were BIG......and have a "reputation" of being able to take hard shots to the head and just shake it off.

I think if he went for the blade....a legal nightmare.....

End Quote

August 15, 2006, 09:10 AM has boat loads of info on saps, BJs, and other impact weapons. Worth a look.

August 15, 2006, 09:26 AM
Yeah, I know, it's back to the thing about "is THAT a weapon?" or not.

If you're not sure you should have a sap in your belt or pocket 'cause it's too hard to explain to the people where you work or whatever, a fairly effective tool can be made just by taking a leather glove and dropping a tube of coins down the middle finger. Or by dropping, say, one round of .45 ACP in the three bigger fingers. Snap THAT thing down on somebody's forearm or whatever... :what: OUCH. It's not exactly "concealed carry" but no point in escalating if you don't have to. Nobody ever asked me why I have a pair of cattleman's gloves tucked into my pocket, and hey, whatever you have stuck in the finger(s) just drops right out if you actually need the gloves.... :D

August 15, 2006, 09:28 AM
Not a bad idea jjohnson.:) In fact, I like it!


August 15, 2006, 10:08 AM
Sock + cricket ball = :D

August 15, 2006, 11:13 AM
HiWayMan that is an interesting story.
If he would have drawn the folder he would have escalated things from a fist fight to a lethal force encounter. So by hitting them both with a sap he basically saved their lives.
Of course you could easily kill someone with a sap but it would certainly be a better option IMO than something that is an obvious level of excalation of force (stabbing them).
I have never hit someone in the head with a sap, but if it works as well as everyone says it does, having an improvised sap might be a very good idea (from a legal standpoint).
I became concerned years ago and got rid of my sap, which was a commercially made device.

August 15, 2006, 11:47 AM
Thanks for putting me staight on this guys.

Whats the suggestion then, the flat one or the tube one ?

Mac Attack
August 15, 2006, 01:16 PM
Just curious but what do you guys with experience with Blackjacks/Saps think is more effective a Blackjack or a Sap?

August 15, 2006, 01:19 PM
"Whats the suggestion then, the flat one or the tube one ?"

My father has one of each and they both hurt.

"I have never hit someone in the head with a sap"

I have. It hurts like all get out. I was 4 or 5 and it didn't hurt all that much when I smacked my arm...sooooo.... :uhoh:


August 15, 2006, 02:03 PM
The flat sap is probably the more versitile of the two. Besides being easier to conceal it will allow a strike with the flat which can range from stunning to instant KO, depending on place struck and size and weight of sap. The knife edge can be used to target large muscle groups ( thighs, biceps, pecs, etc) or it can be used to break bones (high force concentration over a small area).

The round body blackjack has the ability to crush bones (hands, cranium, facial structure) with relative ease. The striking force of even a light BJ is greatly enhanced by the spring handle.

Either one will do the job. But, and this can not be stressed enough, they are very serious business. You can alter someone's features permanently with a missed or overexuberant blow. They also carry the same legal ramifications as a firearm in deadly force situations, as well as being an instant felony in most states in the US for simple possession off your property.

August 15, 2006, 02:08 PM
The classic work about BJs and saps on the net. Surprised it hasn't been linked yet.

August 15, 2006, 04:30 PM
:evil: Thought I remembered these from drafting classes long ago!

Item 1400001 Add to Shopping Cart
Dataprint Leather Paper Weight
Dataprint Price: $8.95
List Price: $16.75
Your Savings: 46%

Image shown for representation only. Actual style/color may vary.

The Dataprint Leather Paper Weight is filled with 1 lbs. of shot. Great for holding plans open for rev

iew or for taping. Leather color may vary.

August 16, 2006, 01:45 AM
If anyone's looking for powdered lead, as opposed to shot (for completely innocent, legal purposes, of course), here's one source.

I imagine a lot of places that sell golf junk might have it too.

August 16, 2006, 03:25 AM
Aren't they pretty much illegal to carry in every state, regardless of CCW license?

August 16, 2006, 03:42 AM
As I'm quite fond of mentioning, PA has a rather odd clause in its Prohibited Offensive Weapons law.

(a) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, except as authorized by law, he makes repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in, uses, or possesses any offensive weapon.

(b) Exceptions.--
3. This section shall not apply to any person who makes, repairs, sells or otherwise deals in, uses or possesses any firearm for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

(c) Definition.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.
"Offensive weapons."
Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.


Given the extremely loose definition of "offensive weapon," particularly the "firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment" bit, it's a good thing that clause is there. What do they define as "specially made...for concealment?" Any gun that's designed to be kinda small?

Other than that, I really am not familiar with any other state's laws. Because I don't live there.

August 16, 2006, 08:21 AM
But you can still buy em here in the UK:)

August 16, 2006, 08:33 AM
You can buy saps at . Look in the Police batons area. The 9 inch Denver Sap in heavy leather will do the job.

August 16, 2006, 09:50 AM
Do you mean this type of thing?

The flat Sap is the more 'PC' of the two in that strikes made with the flat of it are far less damaging than the Leather Billy.

The flat one is leather with a lead weight inside whilst the Billy is a lead weight attached to a steel spring, wrapped in leather.

The Billy only needs minimal movement before generating 'enough' momentum to get peoples attention. Think a flick of the wrist almost!

Personally I think that you could hit harder with the Billy much more easily than one could with a 16" ASP, especially when things are up close etc.

As they are not truncheons they are still legal in the UK. According to the Royal Armouries in Leeds this sort of weapon has been used traditionally by the English to protect against muggers!!

August 16, 2006, 11:20 AM
Boomstick PM sent

August 16, 2006, 01:10 PM



Yep thats wot I'm talking about but I saw them on

They've got some great toys there.

August 16, 2006, 01:36 PM
"Honestly officer, it's only a paper weight."

The book stops here - $28
Our weighty leather paper weight, which resembles a doorstop, will keep even a thick book open to the page. At 11 ounces strong, the Bookstop is one of the heavyweights-most bookweights on the market weigh a mere 7 or 8 ounces. Evenly balancedCovered in felt on the underside to protect pagesSmooth full-grain leather with contrasting topstitchingA hefty 11 ouncesDoubles as a paper weight8"W x 2"H

Customize this with your logo. Corporate pricing is available. Call 800-357-9991.

Available from

August 16, 2006, 01:43 PM
Man, I could actually use that... :D

August 16, 2006, 02:20 PM
I like the bookmark. 11 ounces. Hmm. Heck, I'd actually use that to read books while eating.

I think I just might order one. Since I've always got a book with me no one could legitimately question it.

August 16, 2006, 03:10 PM

You're my hero!

August 16, 2006, 03:55 PM
I have been using a flat sap to hold books open for years. Works great for that.

August 16, 2006, 06:24 PM
A funny story here. I was hired onto a medium sized PD (75 officers) from a small PD (8 officers). It was a whole new world. We actually had to stand in line as we were issued uniforms and equipment, much like the military. They handed me a slap and continued down the line. I stood there for a minute and stared at it thinking this cannot be what I think it is (this was 1998). We were also issued a nightstick with what is commonly referred to as a skull crusher on the end of the grip. When all the toys had been handed out, I asked if it was ok to carry an ASP. A major got right into my grill and started screaming that the ASP was nothing but a lead pipe and if any of us were ever caught with one it was instant termination. This all to relay this, that slap was one of the most impressive pieces of equipment that I have ever carried. Period. Everything that is listed here before this thread is true, but the one thing that I have not seen referenced is this- an old salt that took a rookie under his wing showed me how to "edge" someone. That is, when you swing, turn the slap on its edge before contact. I have seen razors do less damage. It worked so well that when I left law enforcement to never look back, I picked one up at a gun show pretty inexpensive and carry it with me often.

August 16, 2006, 07:04 PM
I've checked and cannot determine if a slapper is legal to carry in Idaho. Can anyone shed any light on this?


August 16, 2006, 07:28 PM
There are other bookweights - available all over the place including amazon - which aren't rigid the way that the Levengers model is. There's an egg-shaped piece of lead sewn in either end and a flexible piece of leather between them. Sort of like a flat sap without the spring.

For those with a really high-brow literary air check out the St. John's College (Santa Fe) bookstore. They make a very nice bookweight. Soft leather flared at both ends filled with tiny shot. It even comes embossed with the uber-tweedy "St. John's College". The narrow part is precisely the width of a typical book page which makes it great for actually holding down pages and reading them.

Dirty Bob
August 17, 2006, 11:49 AM
I've seen similar book weights at Barnes and Noble.

Todd: St. John's College is one of my favorite campuses in the U.S. I'll have to take a look for those the next time I find myself in their bookstore. Thanks!

Dirty Bob

August 17, 2006, 04:29 PM
Back when I was a Correctional Officer in Missouri, One of the favorite Inmate Weapons was the Soap in a Sock. Prison Bars of soap are hard as a rock, put one of those in a sock, smack someone with it and they will go down like a pole-axed Ox.:D

August 18, 2006, 06:11 AM are one of weapon galore's 'trade customers' so they are the same.

I have one of each and I would trust either design although the nod would probably go to the Billy unless I really needed the flat profile of the Sap, if you know what I mean :)

August 18, 2006, 10:14 PM
If anyone's looking for lead weights that are about the right size and shape for a blackjack as is, trolling weights look pretty good. And they get pretty heavy, some can be up to 48 ounces.

Though the heaviest Cabela's sells is 16 ounces.

For informational purposes only. It is the responsibility of the reader, not the poster or THR, to follow all state and federal laws.

(edit for cheaper source)

August 19, 2006, 04:37 PM
One of the older kids in my scout troop used to terrorize us younguns with a nylon wallet full of change. A blow to the arm or leg hurt. Bad.

August 20, 2006, 08:35 PM
Boston Leather ( supplied my last two.


August 20, 2006, 08:45 PM
If anyone's looking for lead weights that are about the right size and shape for a blackjack as is, trolling weights look pretty good.

Egg sinkers would work, too. I have flattened these with a hammer in the past to keep them from rolling on the bottom. Might work for a slapper or an improvised palm cosh.

August 21, 2006, 03:25 PM
I've seen tubular nylon webbing- the stuff mountain climbers use- filled loosely with lead shot and knotted at both ends. Doesn't look like a weapon, but feels like one...

August 21, 2006, 06:24 PM
as for myself i stick to brass knuckles, they can fit in a pocket unnoticed until needed or even worn as a belt buckle. they also can be found in variations with spikes on the knuckles. ive never had to use mine since most people have the good sense not to say anything to 6"2', 215 lb. testosterone filled teenagers. oh yea another thing about brass knuckles is that people wont think of you as "that doofus that walks around with that weird leather thing".

August 21, 2006, 06:43 PM
Ok. I guess Im a doofus for carrying my sap. Which by the way is one of the flat ones and fits in a boot or the waist band of my pants and goes unnoticed until I haul it out.And so what that a big kid carries brassknuckles do you know how to use them properly or if you need to are you gonna break your fingers.When I was younger I thought I was a bad ass and packed a set right up until i broke two fingers and dislocated one using them on somebody. With the sap there is no chance I will hurt myself.

one shot one kill

August 21, 2006, 06:47 PM
Never heard of em ;) If I had these would all be Custom Wrapped furniture grade leather over new run springs and hand poured LEAD heads :-) Notice the Basket Weave on the BJ's NOT pouch like the commerical pieces MUCH more durable and not prone to splitting. The Saps are 5-Ply Leather hitting with the flat will ruin someones day, hitting with the edge their yr! The heaviest here (Big Earl) weighing in at about 18OZ. and the Smaller KeyCosh's at about 6oz. the PalmSaps are neato under a glove I hear :-) Gotta appreciate the HookSlap, 10oz payload on a Flat Strap loaded with Flat spring! the best of both BJ and SAP worlds in one hide in plain site type package, And YES another SouthNarc FAN here! Enjoy.


August 21, 2006, 06:50 PM
Remember Campers....It pays to be HEAVY handed........

August 21, 2006, 11:57 PM
An acquaintance of mine was a cop some years back and is still righteously indignant that they were forced to stop carrying them. Evidently she got very good results with hers prior to the edict.

BTW, guys, don't be fooled into thinking that the bookmarks are legal to carry. Some guy got caught in the airport awhile back trying to take his "bookmark" through security. They were unamused and tried to prosecute, IIRC. What's sad is that he may not have really known that his "bookmark" was a rebadged sap. My dad bought one completely innocently for a bookmark/pageholder. I got a big kick out of it--don't know if he figured it out even then.another thing about brass knuckles is that people wont think of you as "that doofus that walks around with that weird leather thing".Knuckles are generally just as illegal as saps and other such things.

August 22, 2006, 01:11 AM
And you should try to pull a gun with the knucks on your fist. Very embarassing when the person you're threatening draws first...........

August 22, 2006, 05:08 AM

I've just got to say, those are fine looking toys you have there:D

As for brass knuc's, my experiences with them have shown me that unless the rest of your set skills allow you to throw a precise and accurate punch in the first place, your gonna break something (of your own!!)

I've seen good fighter stop a fight with one punch using BK's and I've seen fighters that 'think' they are good get their arses handed to them.

Just my 2p worth.

August 22, 2006, 05:12 AM
I'd love to carry a sap, seems like possibly the most versatile defensive tool out there. Shame that one can go to prison for such a thing around here. I guess I'm just going to have to stick with carrying as many big-bore handguns as I feel like insted. :rolleyes:

Who makes this crap up anyways? Doesnt a sap qualify as an "arm" (as in RKBA)?

August 22, 2006, 07:14 AM
Thank you sir....the Knuck's (RazorBack and Bottle Opener Models) are Jewelers Grade, Consec. #'ed , 3/4 inch Brass with cushioned gripping surface. AND They remain in the office as paper weights accordingly.
Thanks again.....

August 23, 2006, 05:10 AM
JohnKSA - I remember the case. The guy walked, largely because he actually was a teacher carrying a bunch of books. Context is everything. Before I'd thought of the possibilities I went through post-2001 airport security with one in my carry on book bag - along with eight or nine tomes - in the US and even across the Canadian border. If I'd had it in my back pocket there might have been trouble. Similarly, I've flown with a Bodhran (Irish frame drum) and the beater that you use to play it. Yes, it's roughly the same size and shape as a number of pocket sticks like the kubotan. Packed with the drum and a couple of flutes it wasn't a problem.

Jim Malone
July 6, 2007, 01:20 PM
nice example of someone who thinks he is invincible with brass knucks

July 6, 2007, 05:39 PM
Good first post Jim Malone. I'd say welcome, but you've been around a while. Thanks for illustrating that tools don't make the fight.

November 29, 2009, 04:55 PM|Level=2-3|PageID=2247

They are on sale

December 1, 2009, 10:35 PM
jjohnson made a comment about leather gloves with weights/coins/bullets in the fingers in post #14. I did a little looking around for some longer (11 1/2") tan leather work gloves and found these. Leather gardening gloves.

I also found a little info about coins and their weights.
A roll of pennies is 50 per roll, 181 pennies per pound
A roll of nickels is 40 per roll, 90 nickels per pound
A roll of dimes is, 50 per roll, 200 dimes per pound

A couple or three rolls of nickels (the heaviest coin) in the 3 longest fingers of the gloves tucked in a pants pocket or belt would not be out of place in many situations. you could get a nice black pair for most/many other times.

Even if you just carry one glove who would notice?

December 1, 2009, 11:07 PM

Welcome to THR.

December 5, 2009, 09:59 PM
Thanks Grumps and welcome to the High Road.

If you enjoyed reading about "Cosh's, slappers & black jacks..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!