There is nothing quite like the feel of an Old School leather sap in your hand; it’s just like you’re channeling the spirit of a 50’s Chicago beat cop in the palm of your hand. The Sap was actually the first impact weapon I ever owned, I picked one up at a local army surplus store in Virginia when I was 16.
Since then I have owned a couple dozen different saps, picking them up everywhere from a street stall in Bangkok to [oddly] amazon.com. But as much as I love Saps the biggest problem with buying them is Quality.
99% of the Saps you will buy are quite frankly shit; lousy 3rd world machine stitching that comes apart in a few months, cheap thin leather and lead powder that turns into a solid block when exposed to the slightest amount of moisture.
I was pretty much content with just having to buy a new Sap every year until I came across D3 Protection. D3 is a custom leather maker shop out of Canada that specializes in high quality [yet surprisingly reasonably priced] handmade Saps and Impact Weapons.
D3 has a bunch of different styles of Saps but the one that caught my eye was the D3 Protection “Fatty” because it had a metal pocket clip [something I have never seen on a sap before]. As soon as you hold the “Fatty” in your hand you will immediately feel the work and quality that goes into hand making each one that separates D3 Saps from every other Sap on the market.
For me, one of the first things I look at when buying leather goods are the seams and stitching – how are the edges finished? Are they even finished? Do they use glue? What type of thread do they use?
The seams and edges on all D3 Saps are hand rubbed with cocobolo wood and then finished with 3 to 5 coats of black lacquer finish to create a “properly edged’ piece of leather – most other cheap production Sap’s fake this part with black glue that will eventually crack open.
D3 also uses 100% Nylon thread, the reason behind using Nylon Thread is because the chemicals used in tanning leather will react with other threads and cause them to eventually disintegrate [Nylon Thread is petroleum based and generally extremely tough thread].
The “Fatty” is a double layered leather Sap that is filled with 9 ozs. of #9 lead shot [buckshot]. The double layering of the leather is another quality point with D3 Saps, along with using Lead Shot instead of Lead Powder. In my opinion Lead Shot gives a more powerful blow than lead powder and it doesn’t have the problems with moisture that the cheaper made Sap’s have.
I ended up going with the “Fatty” over the other Sap’s offered by D3 because it has the previously-mentioned pocket clip. One of the biggest problems with carrying a Sap is keeping it in-place and ready to draw, especially if you are wearing loose pants like 5.11’s. The clip also makes it easy to conceal inside the waistband while wearing shorts or running pants.
D3 offers its Sap’s in a bunch of different styles of leather, everything from exotic animal skins like Python and Monitor lizard [unfortunately Baby Seal skin is not offered at this time]. If Rattlesnake isn’t your fancy, D3 offers a verity of different printed textures like basketweave and ostrich.
But the most unique printed texture offered by D3 is the Wood Grain pattern that is an actual imprint of a real piece of wood using a 12 ton shop press on a strip of vegetable tanned leather. Each wood grain piece is different and is [in my opinion] the coolest leather option offered; it only took me a second to choose it over the other leather options.
The best part of the “Fatty” Sap is the price, only 50 bucks. Considering that cheap-ass machine “made in Sri Lanka” Saps cost anywhere between 20 and 30 bucks – getting a double layered, shot filled, hand finished and had made Sap for 20 bucks more is a fucking steal.
I have been carrying my “Fatty” Sap in my back pocket everyday here in Iraq for a couple of weeks without any noticeable wear. It will be a permanent part of my 3rd world EDC from here on [Brass Knuckles and Saps are some of my favorite 3rd world weapons]. Honestly, I don’t have anything bad to say about my “Fatty” Sap at all, and considering how critical I am about kit that says a lot.
Exotic and Patterned Leather Additional
Note: Check your local laws before ordering or carrying a sap.
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 has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and beating people in the face with old school sap’s. James G. on FACEBOOK