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OLD SCHOOL MAN: My 3 Favorite Old School Man Weapons

We don’t need no stinking Tazer or ASP baton

Back in the day when men drank straight whiskey and smoked 2 packs of non-filter Lucky Strikes a day and way before being metrosexual was cool – handing out an ass-whipping was as normal for a guy as slapping a cocktail waitress on the tail (it was a complement then).

Our old school uncles had colorful choices of weapons to select from when a man wanted to throw the hurt on someone and he didn’t want to go straight to the gun.

Tough guys from all walks of life loved these weapons – Chicago gangsters, mustached 70’s cops, bookies, bail bondsmen and even the neighborhood barman kept one of these within arms reach.

I have thrown together a list of my 3 favorite Old School Weapons in no particular order, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each weapon. Also included are some training and usage tips if you want to bring a little Old School into your 2K’s tactical skills toolbox.

Batter Up Bitch!

The Baseball Bat

Used by everyone from Scarface for keeping the “team” together to your Dad when he heard a bump downstairs and my personal favorite old school weapon. You can’t beat a good Hickory bat for laying down some serous Old School education.


Easy to get your hands on one, you can buy a baseball bat in any city in America in less than a 15 minute ride from wherever you are without any ID. If you throw a bat, ball and baseball glove in the back seat of your car no one will think anything of it.


If you are not careful it is easy to unintentionally kill someone wile giving them a Baseball Bat beat down. Avoid hitting in the head, spine, groin and anywhere on the neck. Also a baseball Bat is hardly concealable or discreet.

My Non-Brass Brass Knuckles

Brass Knuckles

I love Brass Knuckles, out of all the Old School weapons on this list Knuckles are the only one I carry on a daily basis. Brass Knuckles are devastating when used properly; it is basically like wearing a steel glove wile smashing someone.

Now some people say they will hurt your hand more than the person you are hitting – that is sort of true, it all has to do with properly using them. If you punch someone the normal way (hitting with the knuckle) wile wearing a pair it will be painful for the palm of your hand.

The proper way to use Brass Knuckles is striking with a hammer fist (like you see MMA guys do during a “ground and pound”) so you wont hurt your palm.


Used properly Brass Knuckles can be a shocking weapon that will easily break bone and even tear flesh. Knuckles are easily concealed just by sticking them in your back pocket or jacket pocket.

You don’t have to get Brass Knuckles only in brass, they come in aluminum, alloy, steel and plastic. The plastic and aluminum ones are especially lightweight.


Brass Knuckles are illegal in every state in the US (I think) so if you get caught with a pair you could be arrested – I carry mine when I am overseas in countries where they are not illegal. If not used properly you can hurt or even break your hand.

Old School Skull Basher

A Sap or Blackjack

The Sap was introduced to me by one of my buddies that was an old school “pre-Miranda” cop. He said back in the day wile he walked the beat he always carried a Sap in his back pocket. He also carried the heavy end of a pool stick, so as you can guess he wasn’t stingy with the beatings.

The Sap is just a flat leather pouch filled with powdered lead, it feels soft but when the Sap strikes something the powdered lead compresses into what is basically a solid ball of steel. This is probably one of the only impact weapons that was made specifically for hitting people in the head.


Most models of the Sap are small, you can stick one in your pocket without leaving a huge tell-tale lump in your pants. But some Sap models are quite large, so if you carry it in your front pocket it will look like you have a boner.

The sap also requires some practice, it isn’t a plug and play weapon. Hook some 550 cord through an orange and tie it to a tree branch for target practice.


The Sap is illegal to own in many states so check your local laws before you carry one. The Sap is most effective if you hit someone in the head with one, but if you are not careful you can accidentally kill them.

In Closing…

I had a hard time just choosing 3 of my favorite Old School weapons for this list but I didn’t want the article to be 20 pages long. I do want to give a mention to a few more of my favorites that didn’t make the list: the wooden baton, the Italian switchblade and mace.

If you can think of any other Old School Weapons post them in the comments below.

Also don’t forget to wear a gold chain and black leather jacket when using the above weapons or they wont work correctly.


~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.


  1. I kinda dig the louisville slugger myself, i have one leaning in the corner.


  2. It’s all about kinetic energy transfer.

    While we all have our favorite tools and affinities to classic or cutting edge weapons, the bottom line is that I’ll use whatever tools available to neutralize the threat and render my enemy passive.

    Some tools are better than others, but old school is ‘old school’ because those systems are still relevant regardless of their date of manufacture and can be effectively the world over in a contemporary setting.

    A couple of my favorite old school tools to interface with –

    1. The straight razor
    2. The machete


  3. I totally agree with you Bubba, a tool is a tool no mater the era when it was most popular

    This article was probably more about nostalgia than the practical uses of old school weapons. But even in this (almost futuristic) time of modern non-lethal weapons like Photonic Disruptors and Tazers I still prefer a classic Baseball Bat for beating the shit out of someone.

    Ha! The Straight Razor! Good one to point out – a total classic

    ~James G

  4. My Father is an old school cop who started walking a beat in 1959. In his back pocket he kept a sap, he still has it today.

    He got jumped by three guys in 61, well one of them bit down on his arm and the old man busted him with the sap, right in the jaw. It took the fight and a few teeth right out of the guy.

  5. Yep – Allot of those old school “pre-Miranda” cops loved the Sap

    ~James G

  6. Absolutely, my favorite of the old school weapons is the club/baseball bat. Sawed off to your own specifications, fitted with a non-slip grip, perhaps a wrist-cuff so you don’t let loose if your grip lets loose.

    It has so many uses: breaking glass, bones, swiping debris, choking, et cetera. And, as you pointed out, it is very difficult to identify as a weapon, fairly easy to conceal and easily transportable. Oh, yeah, no license nor permit required!

    A golf club works well, also. Very similar to the sawed-off bat — provided you actually have a flair for design and don’t mind spending some time re-fashioning.

  7. Yep – Beating a man with a Louisville Slugger is as American as Killing Commies

    I just remembered a way old school weapon – the Sock Full of Quarters

    [img] Full of Quarters.jpg[/img]

    ~James G

  8. How about a phone book?

    That is an old cop tool for beating out confessions

  9. Steel pipe, do I have to say more?

    A nice piece of chain can also be handy.

  10. Yep, Steel Pipe and Rebar – Both cheap and good brain bashers


    ~James G

  11. Fists. The original old skool weapon.

    No kung fu. No uber deadly combat, leveraged physics based entanglements.

    I still remember my Dads fists being all scarred up from brawling. He was fast and brutal with them when he had to be.

  12. Yep – Juts plain old Boxing

    I would have written an article on Boxing but every single other men’s magazine already has

    ~James G

  13. My Grandpa used to work construction back in the day and his old school weapon of choice was the 2×4. Buford Pusser had nothin’ on him

  14. Ha! Yep the 2X4 – that’s a good one, cowboy hat not included

    ~James G

  15. Pre-Rodney King Mag Light. Oh, and it’s a flashlight too. . .

  16. As an LEO, I am often asked by civillian friends: “What should I carry in my car for self defense?” If they do not have a CC license or the ability/proclivity to get one, I reccomend a can of bear spray as a deterrent and an Estwing 22 oz straight claw hammer. It is innocuous, but no one wants to be hit with that thing.

    • What promises? The only thing they pireosmd not to do is an open beta. Also they pireosmd not to give a hard release date until they were sure it was done.The closest to a hard release date they’ve ever given is it’ll be done when it’s finished . Sure Tiy has said maybe this summer or maybe end of year . This isn’t a community funded project. They don’t have to release it on a time frame other than their own (which is why they don’t want to accept money until it is finished). Go pick up some $5 games on steam sales and tide yourself over. It will be released eventually, and it will be the best that they can do.

  17. One more comment on this subject. I love my state, Indiana, not only because we can trade or sell handguns back and forth like baseball cards, no paperwork required, but saps, slaps and blackjacks are not illegal for a citizen to possess or carry. A last bastion of the strapped!

  18. Hmmm, old school weapons?

    -Empty Beer Bottles, whisky bottles, wine bottles or generally any alcohol container that has already served it’s main purpose in life. I’ve heard some nasty stories about people having shot glasses palmed into their faces.

    -Slung shot, lotsa stuff went on with this on board ships and in the rail road days as well. Just need a bit o’ rope and something heavy. My favorite one’s are the “monkey fist” knots the sailors useta tie.

    -Boots, whether it’s a steel toed Doc Martin or a pointy Roach Stomper I’ve heard stories of the old days from both sides of the family involving kicks to the shin as an opening move. Followed by a good ol’ leather shampoo once you’re annoyance is on the floor.

    -Rolls of coins, used as a fist load.

    That’s all I can think of for the moment. As I look up at the various examples and think of the stories from family I’ve heard involving all of that stuff I think it’s a wonder my family started preaching once they made it out of Alabama.

    • I like a roll of nickels or quarters best. Even in this age of cell phones, there still are vending machines here and there. And, it’s not an obvious weapon, as oppo-sed to a Louisville Slugger, tire iron, sap, or tactical pen. Dimes are too small and hardly any store uses pennies.

      • Yes, I DID state that I was a tad impatient but Chucklefish doesn’t dervese to be slung random abuse, you know. They’re doing what they can, but at the same time the fans are getting twitchy, I know that, but this is still a very large project if you were to compare it to Terraria. What I was trying to say is that they push it towards release a tiny bit faster but I didn’t demand for it right now. Just sit back and play Borderlands, for crying out loud. (I appreciate the shout-out, btw. :D)

  19. I keep an 24 inch length insulated 3/4 inch copper cable in the truck.

    Dad was an old school cop and he kept a small flat lead dust weighted sack that fit in the palm of the hand and had a ring of cloth on a corner to slip the middle finger through. He would tell stories of slapping belligerent drunks with it and the resulting KO’s

  20. Erif – Ah, yes – the Palm Sap. A lot of stories of cops knocking out people with what looked like and open-hand slap. Helped the reputation of more than one flatfoot.

  21. A long time ago during the VN area, while stationed around San Diego, I had some friends that got rousted and worked over at gun point in Tijuana, Mexico by some local cops. The matter involved a taxi driver, a house of ill repute and some really ugly ladies.

    In response my friends established the “Police Club”.

    To become a “made member” you had to go to Tijuana, mug a cop and bring back his firearm.

    My friends reasoned it was good military counter insurgency training to sneak into a foreign country, alone, mug a cop and sneak back out with his firearm –just in case they ever found themselves in that situation.
    The preferred weapon was a flat beaver tail sap. I heard that it worked very well. All the guys on the team that tried it had great success with the sap. Certificates of membership were issued.

    The “Police Club” came to an abrupt end when our CO got wind of it.
    As far as I know all the captured firearms ended up in San Diego pawn shops.

  22. Personally, I like A 12″ peace of hevy duity garden hose wraped in black tape, you can also cram a peace of rebar in the end to give it some weight. I keap one in my car. It’s short enough to swing in the front seat.

    I work construction too, and if you can get your hands on a piece, a short section of steel power line with the insulation still on HURTS! Beleve me! lol.

    • I love the sap, and knuckles, but some other old time favorites are the large crescent wrench, ax handle, spark plug socket, punch ring, and the belt.

  23. A couple old school biker weapons: the ball peen hammer and a padlock with a bandana laced through it, innocent and deceiving looking when hanging out of your back pocket, especially with todays handkerchief codes :p

  24. My grandfathers brass (actual brass) knuckles and early 1900’s NYS correction officer baton were passed to me. Brass knuckles WORK! You can punch normally with them just don’t go full force (no hay-makers). Your hands wont hurt and trust me they work. Throw fast multiple rabbit punches and game over. My grandfather was an OSM. Packed a .357 and knuckles his whole life, drove a Caddie and had a bottle of Johhnie Walker Red under the seat. First time I heard the “N” word he told me “Boy don’t let me catch you using that word, pussies use that word, a real man just calls an asshole an asshole and is done with it.” He was my first OSM role model, took no shit off anyone.

  25. I love the sap, and knuckles, but some other old time favorites are the large crescent wrench, ax handle, spark plug socket, punch ring, and the belt.  

    +1 on the Crescent Wrench and Ax Handle

    All kinds of good stuff mentioned, really…

    I’ll throw into the mix: “sawed off pool cue”, pool ball in a sock, and ice pick

  26. Actually, slaps and jacks work best against the collar bone. Minimal pressure to break it. Once that is broken, they will not fight you anymore. Plus, it will not kill them. I loved mine. Too bad our Dept phased them out and went with the ASP.

    Also, sweat socks filled sand work really well and don’t leave too much of a mark.

  27. old 60s era wooden nightstick or a “tire” knocker like you see at some truck stops

  28. Fists or default to the knife, tactically repositioning is the last resort but often the best idea. Avoidance is the best policy except when conflict is necessary.

    PS: I’ve got some nasty fight bites.

  29. carried brass knuckles and sap every day for years while “on the job”

  30. You all forgot the “fist load” of and ordinary BIC lighter, not much on the weight aspect but does an excellent job of straightening your fingers so you hit with the whole hand. Innocent EDC.

  31. In sporting goods stores you will find lead fishing weights that look like large marbles and have a wire loop cast into it. Pick out two about an 1 1/4 in diameter. Tie them to each end of a 24″ piece of para-cord, after tying them off the cord will be less then 18″ long with a weight on each end. I use it to dissuade dogs who get aggressive when I’m out walking. Be careful though it will kill a dog or a person if you hit them too hard. But unlike a baseball bat no one will ever know you have it until you use it.

  32. I like the reliable 3 or 4 “D” cell Mag Lite for car carry.

  33. I used to sew 10 or 20 bucks worth of quarters into my neckerchief when I was in the Navy, it made a pretty good weapon a couple of times and it deployed really fast !

  34. I got a Baseball bay from COLD STEEL courtesy of DVM ! Plan on many sluggins from now on . Blame it on the Rain !

  35. maybe less effective but a tire billy is very nice
    ive never owned a sap and i see them as a fine piece but it can be dropped accidently but for me for the the piece that i have uses for years is sap gloves. they are hard to drop and are useable in any situation and if your gonna wear gloves while riding your bike its just a natural

  36. I had a shipmate that was smacked in the face with those sap gloves years ago. He suffered a shattered cheek bone and had blurred vision in his left eye for a long time. I cant say I blame the cop for using them though, my buddy was 6’5″ and nearly 300 lbs and the cop was maybe 180 lbs at best. But it quieted my buddy down fast.

  37. Love the brass knuckles,sap, sap gloves and palm sap. Dont forget the jack handle in the trunk cause its always there. Once saw a 230 pound goon knocked out cold from ten feet away by a cue ball thrown by a 90 pound drunk lady. I guess he shoulda left the “C” word out of his vocabulary. Most of my non-work related fights came from talking when I shoulda been walking.

  38. I carried a sap for a few years on duty until they became a “no-no”. A lot of us had “sap pockets” sewed into the leg of our trousers. But then came the mag light. It was like nothing ever changed. Today I keep an old Bianchi “Magic Wand” aluminum baton in the car. Has a nice rubber grip and is very effective.

  39. Cold Steel sells a very nice little entrenching tool that will fit in any vehicle or on your pack and is easily explainable and deadly!

  40. I used to have a 51 Chevy and used the Bumper Jack as my weapon of choice, not to mention a four foot chain and padlock.
    And a machete I carried under my seat, just in case.

  41. Nobody mentioned two of My Favorite attitude adjustment tools,the tire Iron and the crow bar.

  42. My Grandmother kept a child’s baseball bat for protection when my Grandfather was away because “it was easier to swing indoors.”

  43. When you hear the title “Grandmother” and you think of flowered wallpaper, cookies in the oven and Reader’s Digest on the coffee table. Not mine.
    Granny was an Apache woman, 4’11” who would from time to time tell me while tucking me into my bed at night “If I find out you did something bad today, you won’t wake up.”
    She was on the street at age 12. She carried a knife for serious work, for a lesson, she carried an ordinary bottle opener that to me initially was just that until she showed me how it can become a steel claw. A perfectly legal tool that can open a pop or sculpt a human face.
    Night-night Grandma. XOXO

  44. My 2 personal favorites are the brass knuckles and the true Italian stilleto I own both and carry both on a daily basis to me they are by far the best old school weapons

  45. The reason some guys in the old days were nicknamed Spike was because that was their weapon of choice. A railroad spike is an awesome weapon, blunt end for teaching lessons, sharp end to end things decisively. Walk a hundred feet along any rail line and you’ll find half a dozen.

  46. One of my favorites I learned from my pops is a axe handle. I keep one behind my door in my bedroom still. I actually drilled a few big holes in the end and melted a few lead fishing weights in there for some added heft to it.

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