Is giving a small middle-aged woman an aluminum baseball bat for self defense a good idea?

It’s a small but sturdy metal little league baseball bat. Is it going to get taken away and used on her or could it be credible and useful defense weapon/threat? How good a weapon is a metal baseball bat?

No. If she wants something for self defense, she needs a gun. At least a .38, with hollow points. I prefer a double action revolver. Once loaded, she only has to point it and pull the trigger. A shotgun may be better for home defense, preferably 12 gauge, but a 16 or 20 gauge will do, loading buckshot.

A bat is too easy to avoid/disarm. Better than bare knuckle, but not good.

Is the person seriously concerned for their safety? If so, they should make a serious attempt to protect and insure their safety.

A tee ball bat is great for teaching the fundamentals of baseball. That’s about it.

It’s a good weapon IF she connects. The problems would be a small area might hinder her swing, if she misses the assailant is close enough to attack before she recovers. She must be willing to swing all out with the possibility of killing the attacker, no half-hearted threats, it’s all or nothing.

Better would be alarms, pepper spray, a safe room with a sturdy door, cell phone always within reach.

One of the advantages of having a gun is it allows standoff room but she MUST be willing to shoot, otherwise it gets taken.

Yeah, a .38 with hollow point bullets would be best for immediacy. It can be kept in a nightstand and used if necessary in tight quarters or even while being assaulted. Shotguns require that you be able to reach them and have enough room and time to bring them to bear, but you don’t have to worry so much about aim and they’re great to scare the crap out of people. Even if you miss, just blasting a huge hole in the wall can be enough to send an intruder scurrying away.

Be sure she gets good training if you go the gun route. People have been killed by bullets going through walls and so forth.

If she can’t or won’t go the gun route or needs something to keep near in the car or while jogging, a good, police quality pepper spray would be a good choice, along with a whistle or compressed air horn (like are used at football games) to draw attention. And again training is a good idea. If she should find herself on her back and spraying upward or spraying into the wind, she could disable herself as much or more than her attacker.

I wouldn’t recommend a woman use a baseball bat at all. All an attacker has to do is quickly step in close and the bat flails limply behind his body. Then he takes it away and uses it on her.

Like Oakminster, I’d suggest something that bypasses her lack of strength, like a gun or good locks.

ETA: Like everyone else, for that matter.

As Terry Pratchett likes to point out in his books, “a weapon you don’t know how to use belongs to your enemy”. Which is true. Unless she’s a martial artist of some sort, it is going to be taken away from her. My advice : forget the bat and stick to mace.

I mean the spray, not the medieval weapon :).

The problem with a baseball bat is that she might not swing hard enough to actually do anything (people who have never been in physical altercations oftentimes hold back). If someone is willing to fight her, he’s just going to take it from her and use it on her.

I suggest a gun. It’s a lot easier to overcome the fear of pulling a trigger than it is to overcome the fear of actually engaging someone in close combat.

I’m no MMA fighter, or really any kind of fighter at all, but I’m pretty sure I could get inside the swing of a small middle aged woman without much of a problem. I’d agree with the posters that suggested a gun, but only if she’s willing to get training for it. Otherwise get her some pepper spray and tell her to run after she uses it.

As all Ed McBain fans know, the best weapon for a woman is a hammer.

McBain is claiming credit for Bert Kling’s knowledge.

A Taser is very effective if it hits, but there’s only one shot. They’re also expensive, comparable to a gun.

The only way she’s going to overcome someone with her bat is if they don’t see her swing and she hits them in the head. Both seem unlikely. I could shoot someone, but I doubt I could swing a bat at a person’s head full on.

I would suggest too that if a gun is the option you go with, that you select a revolver. Their mechanisms are much less complicated; there are no safetys to contend with and no racking the slide and no magazines and no shells flying all over the place. Once loaded you just point and pull the trigger. (And they usually have safety features built in so that the hammer can’t come into contact with the shell unless it has been pulled back all the way first. Revolvers are quite safe as long as no one pulls the trigger.)

Depending on how much she’s willing to learn, get her a full frame, steel .38. the bigger gun will look harder for her to shoot, but it’ll have less recoil than a tiny/ultra-light one, and mean that she’ll be more willing to put a box through it once and a while to make sure she stays safe and proficient.

A bat is a bad idea. Don’t bring a knife to a fight unless you’re prepared to get stabbed. Same applies to bats. If you’re going to use a melee weapon, someone can and possibly will take it away from you and use it against you.

I’m a small woman approaching middle age who HAS had self defense training and (regrettably) real world experience in using it. The bat is a bad idea. I wouldn’t use a bat for self-defense except as a last resort.

If she really needs self defense then she needs a “ranged weapon” that doesn’t require significant strength or require her to get within arm’s length of an attacker, and training.

There a lot of merit to the gun idea IF she’s willing to go that route and IF she is trained and IF she is wiling to use it.

Other alternatives are tasers amd mace.

All weapons have drawbacks as well as advantages, and you need to know how to use them and practice using them.

The only thing I would suggest that is different is get a .357 Magnum and load it with .38 special rounds. The extra weight makes it more controllable.

If she likes dogs, then a big dog might not be a bad idea. Not an attack dog. Attack dogs are too dangerous.


A middle-aged woman attempting to use a baseball bat for self defense is a terrible idea.

I will bet that a middle aged woman trying to use a bat for self defense just will not work at all. Ditto for her attempting to use a high heel shoe, or car keys, or a pillow, or a whistle.

There is a reason why police officers carry handguns…

…because guns are the best most effective self defense tool ever invented.

I don’t know a lot about self defense but I do know a lot about baseball, and a baseball bat is just about the worst self defense weapon I can think of. If my life was in danger I’d much rather have a beer bottle.

Bats look impressive, but they’re not nearly as heavy as you think - a Little League grade bat would weigh about a pound and a half, not much more than a decent claw hammer. In order to effectively hurt someone with it, you’d have to get a full acr on your swing and get your weight into it AND hit the person in a vulnerable spot, e.g. the melon or the balls. A hit off the shoulder won’t have much effect at all.

If someone is legitimately fearing for the safety the fist thing they should do is find ways to put barriers between themselves and the threat. If a weapon absolutely is needed, a bat is not a good choice.

No. A thousand times NO. Assuming that this woman has a NEED for a self defense tool other than psychological support, she needs a Taser, Ranged mace, or a gun. Echoing what others have said, a revolver is safe, simple, and effective. Melee weapons are a bad idea in the hands of the untrained. An intruder that entered looking for valuables and nothing else might turn quite violent if attacked clumsily.