What exactly were blackjacks (the club) made from? I recall seeing pictures of some a while back (I can’t remember where) and I know some were flexible, like a sock with some thing hard (rocks, wooden balls, etc.) put in it. I was wondering about the material it was constructed from.

Would getting slugged by one really just knock someone out like in the old movies and comics, or would the blow just wind up killing you?

Also – can you purchase such items? Where? What about fake blackjacks (that wouldn’t cause harm)?

Any info would be appreciated!

Leather sack, filled with lead shot. Illegal in CA. In expert hands, they would usually just knock dudes out, but a concusion is nothing to laugh about. Some police supply stores used to sell gloves with lead powder sewed into the outside of the fingers.

Actually, the classic police clubs could be made from a variety of components.
Some were made like furniture… just a piece or two of wood painted black.
Some were abs plastic with a metal weight in the middle.

Quick, cheap sap (blackjack) can be made by filling a strong sock with sand and fastening the end. Keep the mate to this sock in your pocket.

Then should the cops come, empty the sand out and put both socks in your pocket. Tell the cops you always carry an extra pair of socks. They’ll surely believe you. :smiley:

Blackjacks…cheap saps…

I wish pkbites or badge, or another Doper in Blue would show up so I could say…pssst!! Cheezit, da cops!

Well, another side note:

I had a campus security guy in college explain to me that they weren’t JUST for striking blows; they were also intended to be useful in grappling. He made some gestures with them showing the utility of the little bar on the side.
And before you ask, I never got arrested in college, and this was not a live demonstration.

No “used to” about it… SAP Gloves are still available, and appear to be generally more or less legal. I can’t seem to find a cite one way or another, but it’d be best to assume that they are illegal wherever you are.

I found at least one vendor who has an amazingly weasely disclaimer: “Sold to police officers only, or those who want to be!”

There’s an important difference between a blackjack and a nitestick. The blackjack is small, and mainly used for nefarios purposes (although some bar bouncers keep one in their back pockets, something some police used to do also). Generally, they are a black leather bag, about the size and shape of a cucumber, weighed down with lead shot. I’ts also called a sap.

A* nitestick* (and there are several varieties) is what most modern cops and many security guards carry. It is a wood or plastic club, about 3’ long, sometimes with a sidehaft. It also has defensive purposes. Gnerally, you have to at least be a security guard to carry one of these in CA.

A smaller version is the* billy club*, which “Bobbies” used to (likely they still do) carry. Some times some lead is poured into the tip end (this is illegal in CA).

Thanks for the information!

They have also been known to be filled with sand, pebbles, or coins.

Another popular sap is a flat leather paddle looking like the sheath you’d keep a big hunting knife in. The business end is stuffed with lead shot, and a piece of flat, springy steel runs the length of it.

Another synonym is cosh, and, like sap, cosh can be used as a verb.