Identifying A Sap/Blackjack


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jahwarrior
July 6, 2013, 07:30 PM
I recently picked up a sap at a flea market. I collect them, never carry them, and PA law allows for their possession as a collectible/curio.

I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of Safariland producing saps or blackjacks. This one is branded on the strap side with their logo, and the number 420. It's a high quality piece, with the odd distinction of having a nylon web strap instead of a leather one. It's approximately 5-6" long overall.

I've googled "Safariland sap blackjack", and yielded no results. I'll try posting pics when I can.

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1911Tuner
July 6, 2013, 07:33 PM
Yep. Used to own a couple of their saps. Very high quality.

hso
July 6, 2013, 08:20 PM
Safariland made beautiful saps.

rcmodel
July 6, 2013, 08:56 PM
Just so you know, Safariland and Bianchi were two of the better known affordable mass produced duty leather companies back in the day.

http://www.safariland.com/

rc

Deltaboy
July 6, 2013, 09:12 PM
I pray often that we get slaps back in the hands of LEO'S and common honest folks.

rcmodel
July 6, 2013, 09:23 PM
But you know in your heart that ain't gonna happen in the kinder, gentler, everything's on camera and YouTube, five minutes after it should have happened world we live in today.

A cop smacking somebody up side the head with a sap that deserved it today would make CNN news for three weeks straight.

And then six months more after Nancy Grace got hold of the film.

rc

Gordon
July 6, 2013, 10:51 PM
I often think of the outcome if Zimmerman had one and knew how to use it!:banghead:

lemaymiami
July 7, 2013, 11:12 AM
Since I started as a cop back in the Stone Age (1973) I bought and carried them in several configurations. Back in that era you could still find uniform pants with sap pockets built in (particularly for motormen). I knew several guys who were very skilled with them - my own results were poor at best (hit one or two guys that never even noticed they'd been hit, then used on one and it just enraged him.... not a good idea however you look at it...).

The real problem with them is that it's all too easy to kill a man with one if you strike the head -that's why almost every outfit quit using them (or allowing their use) long, long ago. The next thing where I worked to get banned were those lovely heavy machined aluminum flashlights - but only after a very well pulicized incident where five cops beat a man to death with them and then tried to cover it up (that crime resulted in the first annual MacDuffie riots down here in Miami - the second riots occurred after they got off in the first trial....).

Nowadays there are far better tools for the street cop than the old blackjacks of years gone bye....

shockwave
July 7, 2013, 11:53 AM
For a self-defense application, something like the Slap Cap (http://www.amazon.com/BudK-Night-Watchman-Sap-Extreme/dp/B001O5NT26) can make sense.

Here, you're not trying to whack a skull as much as you're looking to crush a hand or wristbone that's part of holding a weapon against you. But, given the situation, you could whap it against a nose-bridge or forehead and gain an advantage.

This is, though, a tool for the street defender. Slaps and blackjacks have traditionally been the province of muggers and thugs. They are used for sucker punches, from behind, against an unwary target.

In the hands of police, they have been instruments of brutality, and many a suspect has been rendered brain-damaged and permanently injured from their use. This is why modern LEO use tasers. Stun guns are also dangerous, but less so than a leather pouch filled with lead shot.

Saps and come-along-Kellys and similar tools are remnants of the 20th century and thankfully behind us. Weapons experts and collectors may well want and acquire them, yet for street use, you have better tools available now. Like spring batons or CS spray.

And, of course, your hands. Martial arts training today is widely available, better, and cheaper than it's ever been. A course in Krav Maga will serve you better, in terms of cost and efficiency, than any amount of range or course time. Sure, in the gravest extreme, a firearm is the ultimate defensive tool, but it's good to have options.

JohnBT
July 7, 2013, 02:50 PM
"In the hands of police, they have been instruments of brutality, and many a suspect has been rendered brain-damaged and permanently injured from their use."

Do you honestly believe it would have been better to just shoot them instead? My father was a VA state trooper after he returned from WWII. He would have disagreed with you right up until the time of his death in 2011.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 7, 2013, 03:01 PM
Several of those Slap Caps have fallen apart in rather limited training according to the reviews. And the statutes of many states are broad enough it is still considered a sap/blackjack.

Personally, I think a sap or blackjack still has an important role for modern law enforcement and citizens and is preferable to a Taser in some situations. Every tool has its pluses and minuses.

Bikewer
July 7, 2013, 03:28 PM
I started in police work in '68, when "slappers" were pretty much standard. I never had one, I had some fairly extensive martial-arts stick training and preferred that weapon.

Anyway... Long about 1986 or so I attended a seminar by "risk management" attorney Randy Means.
He explained that the reason most departments went to the modern "continuum of force" policies and did away with such head-impact weapons was.....
Liability.

Pure and simple.... Hit people in the head and they either suffer brain damage or perhaps die. Long-term, debilitating brain injuries that are hard to disprove and tend to result in lucrative lawsuits....

So... The preferred "devices" have become pepper spray, Taser, and the baton employed to "muscle-mass" strikes which are not likely to result in injuries such as broken bones and nerve damage.

This of course meant that all those Filipino-Martial-Arts I had worked to perfect were now quite useless... The Filipinos had no compunction about head-whacking... Often several times a second...

But that's pretty much it... Cities don't want to loose large and expensive lawsuits. The neighboring city of East St. Louis lost it's city hall in such a sui... They didn't have enough insurance or any money in the pot so they deeded the building over to him.

Deltaboy
July 7, 2013, 05:37 PM
I seen several LEO'S use them and it kept people alive. The Texas Two Step as they called it got bunch of drunks in line. TAZERS have killed plenty of folks too . I want them back as a intermediate step before the spray or Tazer. Training is the key to all 3 of them .

Madcap_Magician
July 8, 2013, 12:35 PM
As a law-enforcement tool years ago, I'd say they were still a net positive. For quite a while there wasn't much on the use of force continuum between a kind word and a bullet.

Gordon
July 8, 2013, 07:57 PM
I note that sap use went out about the same time as did shooting fleeing suspects.:confused:
And after that the groundswell of crime broke over the nation:cuss:
Same reasons as why the extremely effective NYPD Stakeout Squad was banned. :fire:
Cops have become social workers and revenuers largely IMHO and our prisons overflow to the point of catch and release.
Scientifically if sap training was given a modern approach , which it never was, we would still be using them close in and criminals would not be near so disrespectful IMHO.:banghead:

glistam
July 9, 2013, 08:02 AM
I'm rather appalled at all the nostalgia from former LEOs over "the good old days" when police could kill or brain-damage someone without any repercussions.

I note that sap use went out about the same time as did shooting fleeing suspects.
And after that the groundswell of crime broke over the nation

Where are you getting your stats? Crime's been dropping steadily since 1990.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States#Crime_over_time

HexHead
July 9, 2013, 08:31 AM
Crime hasn't dropped because of a change in police tactics to make it more humane. Crime rates have dropped because the largest segment of the population, baby boomers, have gotten older and are less likey to commit crimes in their 40s-60s than when they were in their 20s-30s.

glistam
July 9, 2013, 09:35 AM
Crime rates have dropped because the largest segment of the population, baby boomers, have gotten older and are less likey to commit crimes in their 40s-60s than when they were in their 20s-30s.
I have no problem with that theory, though in truth nobody really knows with 100% accuracy. I just object to the assertion that humane tactics literally increased crime, when as you stated, crime did not actually increase in the first place.

lemaymiami
July 9, 2013, 09:45 AM
Glistam, don't be fooled by the things you hear in the popular press. Mostly any serious use of force has serious consequences for all involved (no matter what you read or see in media reports....). My tenure in police work was from 1973 through 1995 and that was certainly the case back then down here in south Florida. As I moved up through the ranks I eventually became more of an admin type and actually did handle those kind of problems for my Department for about three years.... so I have a pretty good insight into the consequences end.

Yes, there are jurisdictions where officers aren't properly supervised or trained and where there are problems but that's absolutely not how things go with most outfits. As a young officer all those years ago I was prone to starting confrontations and getting into fights when it wasn't necessary or a good idea at all.... I can still remember the senior man on one incident that took me aside and pointed out that if I started one more fight - after it was over he and I would be going to have a problem.... The absolute last thing most officers want is a violent struggle on the street - the "good guys" don't always win those things (ask me how I know...).

1911Tuner
July 9, 2013, 09:49 AM
I was always told that the cranium only becomes the target of a sap or blackjack when things are truly desperate...and when lethal force is otherwise justified.

That notwithstanding, the proper targets are the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, or shoulders...and occasionally the jaw or chin. As one old cop described it...a sap is a short nightstick that you can sneak into a situation. A force multiplier that can be used in close where a nightstick would be a hindrance.

He went on to say that the sap in his back pocket probably kept him from shooting people on many occasions. He also said that he used one to shut down the only attempted gun snatch he was involved with, and it settled the matter immediately.

Deltaboy
July 9, 2013, 10:55 PM
I was always told that the cranium only becomes the target of a sap or blackjack when things are truly desperate...and when lethal force is otherwise justified.

That notwithstanding, the proper targets are the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, or shoulders...and occasionally the jaw or chin. As one old cop described it...a sap is a short nightstick that you can sneak into a situation. A force multiplier that can be used in close where a nightstick would be a hindrance.

He went on to say that the sap in his back pocket probably kept him from shooting people on many occasions. He also said that he used one to shut down the only attempted gun snatch he was involved with, and it settled the matter immediately.
I agree I got LEO'S in the Family ,and over 12 friends who are either active or retired .The ones from the slap days all agree they work and would work well today.

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