January 2nd, 2006 11:29 PM
Ideas for 'improvised emergency weapons' ?
Improvised Weapons in Controlled Environments
2 January 2006
by Frank Borelli
Not that long ago I saw a humorous story about a military unit that was loading onto a commercial aircraft for transportation to Iraq. The Colonel in command had the (embarassing) job of telling the soldiers that they had to turn over all fingernail clippers, lighters, matches, and other small, but potentially damaging, objects. Of course, they were allowed to keep their body armor, helmets, M16s, bayonets, etc. I haven't verified the veracity of that story, but I recently found myself in circumstances where I didn't think a weapon would be allowed and I therefore found myself inventorying my improvised weapons list. Several of the improvised weapons I used performed amazingly well, and several were carefully scrutinized by security personnel without any negative words being said. Here's what I did...
Now, typically I don't leave my house without:
- Glock 19 9mm
- Benchmade Griptillian (left pocket)
- CRKT M16-13 (right pocket)
- SureFire E2e (left back pocket)
- Zippo Lighter (right front pocket)
- Cell Phone (clipped on belt)
I usually also have:
- my keys on a kubotan (stuck in waistband)
- a small locking folder in my front left pocket
- a pen
Having worked (quite a number of years ago) at a theme park, I fully expected that a recent trip to Disney World would result in my inability to carry anything except the keys, lighter, pen and cell phone. The thought of that eventuality made me start thinking about what other weapons I could carry that wouldn't be recognized as weapons. I later learned that it really didn't matter. I never saw any security measures that would have discovered my gun unless I put it in a fannypack (because all packs are inspected). Security was extra special careful to look in my camera pouch, but if I had on a baggy t-shirt, they never looked twice at me.
That said, let's take a look at the improvised weapons I had ready to go if necessary - and I think several of these would work great on a plane as well - - -
My Cross Pens: are about my favorite improvised weapon. While I hate to get that close to someone, without a gun, up close and personal is a reality. The stiff metal Cross Pen (or any similar type pen) is unobtrusive; it's something every business man carries; it looks good (people who carry high dollar pens can't possibly be bad guys, right?); and it makes one hell of a stabbing weapon if thrust or swung properly.
My comb: the funny thing is, I don't need a comb (I have a crewcut), but no one looks at it funny anyway. It's a simple plastic comb, but on one end, I've sharpened the first (and thickest) tooth. Holding the rest of the comb, I can slash and tear quite efficiently with that sharpened tooth. Another strong point is that metal detectors don't "see" plastic combs.
My business card case: made of metal and looks quite spiffy. It was a gift from my wife some years ago. This simple black and gold metal card case holds about twenty of my business cards. Each corner of the lid, which is about as thin as a normal credit card, has been sharpened from the inside. That is to say I used a sharpening stone to thin out each corner without changing the shape of it. With the case closed it looks perfectly normal. If I open the lid, I can hold the body of the card case and the lower portion of the lid, and have an almost three-inch wide slice of metal that is sharp on both ends. Each corner is sharpened to about 1/4" around both edges. It's an excellent slashing tool.
My challenge coin: huh? What damage can I do with that? I once knew a veteran cop who enjoyed smoking cigarettes. He had (according to his fishing stories) flicked burning cigarettes at bad guys to distract them before taking control of them for arrest. I remember being told in the academy that bad guys could flick burning cigarettes at me to distract me before they attacked. A heavy challenge coin has got to provide a minor distraction if thrown into the face or head of a bad guy - especially if I can get any force behind it.
My SureFire E2e (or L1 LED): it still amazes me how security personnel ignore a flashlight when looking for weapons. These SureFire tools are small enough to drop comfortably in your pocket and can be used effectively as impact weapons. I like my Night-Ops Gladius for the lighting versatility it offers, but it's not quite as compact as the SureFires mentioned, and the bezel edges are quite as sharp.
The ear-arms of my Wiley-X B2s: Yeah, it sounds pretty insane. but I kept looking at my sunglasses thinking, "there has to be a good stabbing weapon hear." And there was. The rubber temple grips slide off of the Wiley-X B2 protective eyewear. The ends of the ear-arms can be filed into fair points. You need to be careful when you put the rubber temple grips back on so as not to stab the ear-arm through the rubber end, but once the temple grip is in place, you have regular sun glasses. If worse came to worse, you could pull the ear-arms off the sunglasses and have two weapons of sufficient strength to puncture one or two inches deep.
Okay; That's six of the easier ones. Note that no knives, keychains, neckchains, etc are included here. The pens and flashlight are obvious (to me). The card case is something I thought of before (especially for traveling by plane), but the rest are new (for me). I'd be interested in hearing any other good ideas you military and law enforcement professionals have on improvised weapons you've come up with.
diplomacy ... the art of saying "nice doggie"..while looking for a big rock !!
January 3rd, 2006 08:47 AM
Anybody have any more neat things to add to that list?
January 3rd, 2006 10:39 AM
An acquaintance who is with a federal law enforcement agency was flying commercially after Sept. 11 on official business, carrying his agency issued firearm. After producing ID, the TSA folks allowed him to pass.
Originally Posted by Kentucky
After they confiscated his nail clippers.
January 3rd, 2006 11:33 AM
Flashlights are great weapons. I just went to a basketball game where they have walk through metal detectors and everything. I just put my wife's E2E in the little bin with my wallet and the security guy didn't think twice.
I had to borrow my wife's E2E b/c I didn't think they would like the E2D.
soft-sided brief case: I have a soft-sided brief case that has two leather carry handles. The handles are looped through and held in place with a wooden dowel that is painted back at both ends. The dowel is pretty easy to remove and you are left with two 14" sticks, which I think would be pretty good weapons. I have never had any trouble with airport security.
January 3rd, 2006 11:43 AM
In my line of work, I regularly have to go to places where I am required by law to disarm, AKA hospitals, government buildings, etc. Among my favorite backups are, an innocuous looking utility knife with disposable blades, that looks like a pocket knife. It wouldnt make a very good stabbing weapon, but is sharp and can be deployed very rapidly. I also have a short, flat, pry bar I used on almost every job. I use it to lift, pry, or even as a doorstop while I am packing things in and out, of an area, and I keep one end sharp so I can use it as a chisel, etc. If need be, it would make a nasty close quarters weapon. I also have a ridiculously cheap but heavy adjustable wrench in my toolbox. I sure as heck would not want to be bonked on the noggin with it.
As for distractions, I constantly have a left front, and shirt pocket full of loose screws, coins, etc. If anyone has ever thrown a hand full of 1/4X20X1/2" screws at you, you know they smart, especially if one or more impacts your skull. It won’t stop a determined attacker, but it might slow them down a critical half second or so.
Another handy item is a small straight screwdriver I keep in my shirt pocket. It wouldn't make much of a wound, but it would hurt like... well, being stabbed with a tiny screwdriver.
Granted, I would much rather have a firearm and a better knife, but when that is not legal I consider this a good legal compromise. Since both are tools, I have a legitimate reason to have them with me at work, and I need them both quite regularly in the course of my day. I have in fact been cleared, to work on equipment in secure locations, on many occasions without so much as a second glance from security at them. They are after all "only tools".
January 3rd, 2006 12:38 PM
If anyone really wants to see what ingenuity means re improvised weapons - look at what inmates come up with in the slammer.!!!
You name it - it has probably been made!
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
January 3rd, 2006 03:32 PM
Edge of credit card, good for slashing. Tightly rolled up magazine makes a good club. Large umbrella good for poking and striking.
I always have long fingernails they are amazing claws when needed.
Shoes make good clubs. Hight heel shoes are good stiletoes if narrow enough. Coins tied into a hanky , shirt sleeve or sock. Large belt buckle and belt.
January 3rd, 2006 04:05 PM
Strictly sticking to the flying/plane scenario implied in the original post:
A walking cane - even legal on airlines and a formidable weapon.
A sharpened wooden pencil(s) with a hard lead in it.
A drink bottle.
A pillow or blanket - some protection against an edged weapon and club.
Throw a blanket over the BG - from behind preferrably.
A belt with an "appropriately" heavy buckle.
Maybe even a strong boot lace.
January 6th, 2006 07:42 AM
More than one person in prison has died after being hit hard in the throat with a tightly rolled newspaper or magazine.
My preference as a college student is a really heavy book. Carried in the right bag you can swing one well enough to knock someone off his feet. I have some that are thick enough to stop a 12 guage slug(and I have one that has actually done it).
A good thick belt with a somewhat heavy buckle will also work well, as others have stated.
January 6th, 2006 08:03 AM
January 6th, 2006 09:19 AM
A large plastic bottom key (like a car alarm remote key or the like) with the key sharpened on the end. Held between the index and third finger, base of key against palm, and a fist formed around key. A good stabbing/slashing weapon that will pass almost any security check.
January 6th, 2006 09:22 AM
On the aircraft they provide you with:
Full soda cans - put in the pillow case of the available pillow.
Magazines - the aforementioned roll
Removable seat cushions - your shield as it has straps already
laptop power supply with fixed cord
E2D with striking edges
Steel shaft pens
Gun belt with buckle
Coins - in a bag
A full can of soda in a bag
strap from my computer bag
shotgun choke tool on my keyring
Most importantly my mind and my training courtesy of the US Army.
January 6th, 2006 11:40 AM
How about a pair of socks? Stick rocks, sand, coins inside, and ya got a bludgeon.
My old partner used to always have an unlit cigar in his mouth, for that same reason. Back when he patrolled in West Palm, his nickname was "cigar".
I once knew a veteran cop who enjoyed smoking cigarettes. He had (according to his fishing stories) flicked burning cigarettes at bad guys to distract them before taking control of them for arrest. I remember being told in the academy that bad guys could flick burning cigarettes at me to distract me before they attacked.
January 6th, 2006 12:32 PM
A word comes to mind....... But, this IS a family forum.
Originally Posted by MattLarson
The week after 9/11 I had to fly to California. I got to keep my nail clippers..... AFTER they broke the little nail file off it!
EOD - Initial success or total failure
February 26th, 2006 10:02 PM
When flying I always carry a medium sized Master padlock with a heavy necklace length piece of parachute cord looped through the hasp. I keep it attached to the outside of my carry on. In an emergency it a can be swung in an arch with devestating affect, or thrust to the face while holding the cord.
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