Monday, August 22, 2011

Heroes on a Budget: Sap Cap

Okay what is a sap cap?
Why it's a simple cap with a pocket of lead shot sewn into the back lining as a suprise impact weapon.

At most places of purchase they run approximately 20 bucks plus shipping.
And from everything I've read the 'unique impact material" is just a poorly sewn in pocket of lead shot likely to break upon the first hit.
We can do better than that.

What I had:
My trusty baseball cap.
Athletic tape from the Bracers build.
A heavy needle and thread I think I got from my mother years ago.

What I bought:
Fishing weights. Egg sinkers for $1.50.

Okay, first up: take the weights, remove from bag, and line up in a neat little row on some athletic tape, then tape up into a tight little bundle. You'll want it fairly thick as we'll be sewing this bundle directly into the cap lining through the tape itself.

Pull the lining of the cap down and place the bundle of weights inside center.

Proceed to sew the bundle to the lining. Since it's being sewn into the inside lining, stitches will not be visible on the outside of the cap. Also, by sewing the athletic tape bundle directly into the lining, it is more secure and it should stand up to several blows without coming loose. We've slammed mine at least a dozen times into a metal table and desk and it's still nice and tight in the lining.

Fold up and you're ready to go.

The bundle will show, at most, as a long barely noticeable lump on the back of the cap. Fair trade off for the power that it has in that small bundle.

You can also sew the lining down tight to the back of the cap after you're folded up the now sewn-to-lining bundle for an extra secure fit, but it will leave stitches showing on the outside of the cap. Not a big give away, but something to consider.

This thing is a last resort weapon only, but it is a lethal little package.
The weights I have in my cap will, I have no doubt, crack a skull and break handbones.
They're heavy and the swing just amps that up even more. You will do damage to anyone you solidly hit with this.

It would be best, IMHO, as a surprise weapon. Let's say you're at knife point being mugged:
Act fearful, give into what ever the guy says, place your hands in front of your face in 'fear' or hold them up to show you're not a threat.

When you decide you have a chance to act, it's a simple thing to grip the bill of the cap and flip it into the guy's face or hands. Hopefully you'll break something on him. Either way it's probably best you RUN LIKE HELL while he's distracted.
If you can't get away then you had better be ready to back up the initial surprise hit with something else or you're going to get hurt or dead. USE YOUR OWN JUDGEMENT. I can't do it for you as every person and situation is unique.
Get some training. Then keep training.

The sap cap is probably a one trick pony: it's a useful surprise when you have no better options suited to your survival situation.

My cap is very heavy. It's likely other people will want smaller weights or actual lead shot (emptied shotgun shells or refills should work fine.) Mine is OVERKILL and it will hurt and possibly maim when it hits someone. As with all these projects it's pretty much a 'proof of concept' design. I might possibly use smaller weights or even the lead shot in the future. For now though, I like it. :)

Legally, it's a very shaky thing. I do not believe this falls under most accepted 'sap' laws. However these homemade things are always shaky like that. However, if you have no choice and it's you and your loved ones or the other guy who's holding a knife against you, do what you have to do. Do what you have to do to get home alive in your best judgement of the situation be that hand over your wallet or smash the guy's skull in. Do what you have to do to save yourself and your loved ones, this isn't a game. Use some good tactics and judgement.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Heroes on a Budget: Amazonia's Shield!

Given all the interest in shields on the various forums I asked Am to give us a run down on her shield (buckler.)
I'm reposting it here, from her blog.

Amazonia's Shield Tutorial
Posted on August 5, 2011 by Amazonia
I’m going to detail how I made my 12in round steel shield. These same directions could be used to make any size shield and not just the size I made. Just remember, the larger the shield, the heavier it will become. This one is fairly heaven and wears on you after a couple of hours.

JB Weld
Hand rivet tool and rivets
(4) 8mm head bolts and nuts (minimum)
(4) Washers (need the same amount as bolts)
Straps from old gym bag (to make handles for shield)
(2) 12in heavy duty steel pizza trays
(similar as found at this website )

MD NOTE: I've seen even thicker for sale. If you want more protection go out and scrounge a flat piece of thin steel and JB weld/screw/tape to the facing.

To start you want to take the two (2) pizza trays and on the outside of one apply the JB Weld to it and then take your other pizza tray facing the same way, butt them together and let the JB Weld to set. This is so they won’t move while your drilling the holes for the rivets.

Once that is set up take your drill with the correct drill bit for the size rivets you’re using and drill four holes at each of the four cardinal points, north, south, east and west as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1

Now until drilling holes half way between the ones you just drilled as shown in figure 2.

Figure 2

Now continue drilling holes around as in figure 3.

Figure 3

Then drill the holes for the straps with a drill bit the correct size for the bolts your using. The basic location for the bolt holes are shown in figure 4.

Figure 4

Once you have done the drilling and you riveted everything together, hold off on putting the bolts through the holes, we will be doing that in a little bit. Now take your JB Weld and go around the edge of your to pizza plates that are now riveted together with the JB Weld. Let that set and then sand it down smooth. This will make it appear that it is all one solid piece when looking at it from the side.

Taking your Straps from the old gym bag and figure out the length you need in order to make the straps for your shield. You already figured out where the holes should be for these and drilled the holes already. You will be putting the bolts through for two of the holes on one side of the shield. You will need two pieces of strap. One shorter than the other, the longer one will need to be almost twice the length you need to wrap over your arm and fold back on itself. Once you have the lengths figured out, you will attach the velcro to the longer piece. One on the bottom part and one on the upper part in a way so that they will latch together. This will be how you will strap on the shield. Now cut holes into the straps and push them over the bolts and then take one of your washers and then the nut and tighten down till nice and tight. You will need a wrench on both sides in order to tighten completely down. Do this for the other strap. See below for pics of my setup.

Once you have all this done, you can paint this shield in whatever colors you prefer.

Remember this shield is only good for blunt protection and offers no bullet protection of any kind.
If you do build this shield I do not take any responsibility if you should get hurt or killed while using the shield.

As an addendum I'd add padding on the inside of the rim, as I've harped on previously. Camp mat, spray glue, and duct tape of your color choice.

Once again, if you can AFFORD better equipment do so. My little experiments and finds are for those who have to make do.
~ MD

Surviving a Knife Attack

This post is not another Martial Arts post on how to flip-kick or wrist-lock the knife out of an attacker’s hand. This post is to share good resource information to help deal with the reality of a knife attack and how to hopefully come out of it in one piece.

I realize that some in the community will find the subject of knife fighting distasteful. I am not advocating running around stabbing people, I am advocating educating ourselves to deal with a common threat. The more we know about the mechanics and psychology behind such an attack, the better we can deal with it. It may be distasteful, but it is information we can learn from.

I have had some knife experience on the receiving end of the blade. It is frightening and not a fun adventure.

Knives are the most common weapon we are likely to face. They are cheap and easy to find. They are easy to hide and require little to no maintenance. They are far more common to encounter than even firearms. Anybody can get their hands on a steak knife or even sharpen a piece of metal to make a shiv. You can encounter them at any time. It could be a drunk on a patrol or breaking up a fight at a charity event.

Again, everyone should have at least some basic knowledge of the realities of a knife attack and how to properly defend against a knife wielding attacker. Knives are a tricky subject as there is quite a bit of misinformation and outright fantasy about their uses and the defenses against them. Knives are psychologically terrifying weapons. A not uncommon phrase is ‘I’d rather be shot than stabbed.’ This innate fear of cutting and stabbing adds to the mystique and misinformation surrounding knives.

Let’s start with some basics and get onto resources to help in understand how attackers will use a knife, how to properly use a knife, and how to defend against the knife.

A knife fight is not a duel. A duel involves two combatants, each with a weapon, and combatant on even and fair footing. A knife fight almost always involves one attacker with a knife and his opponent without one. The man with the knife is not looking for a fair fight: he is looking to kill or disable his enemy with the quickest and easiest means available to him.

There is no fairness involved in a knife fight. A real knife fighter will come in hard and fast and usually by surprise. Forget the myths and talk of ‘trapping the weapon arm to disarm’ or ‘kick the knife out of his hand.’ This is not likely to happen and it will most likely get you badly wounded. You will be lucky to see the blade coming let alone have the time to react to such an attack.

The following references will give us practical information to study and train to help us deal with a knife attack. Every tool we add to our arsenal of knowledge will be useful and might save our lives or the lives of those we are trying to help. They were written by serious no-nonsense men who had used a knife on other men, or had it used against them, and understand how these things work. They are experts and we should learn from their experience.

Good luck and stay safe.

Some of the information in these resources is redundant: read it anyway. You might find that they way one man wrote it sticks with you better than the other author’s words and descriptions.

Don Pentecost: Put ‘em Down, Take ‘em Out: Knife Fighting Techniques from Folsom Prison
Basic, simple, and to the point. This is a good one to check out for the photos and realistic, frank advice it gives.

Marc ‘Animal’ MacYoung: Knife fighting lies (Webpage)
Once again, great stuff by the Animal, dispelling myths including the Duel that I briefly touched upon above. Excellent information on the reality of knife defense.

Col. Rex Applegate: Kill or Get Killed
I’ve linked to this book a lot, but it’s so damn complete. Please read this thing. Book Pg. 67-97. Shows attack and defense, including the chair defense and low kick to shin.

I'll be expanding on this at a later date.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Some Facts of Citizen's Arrest

ALWAYS research your local laws for your rights to conduct a Citizen's Arrest.

ALWAYS remain on scene and cooperate fully with law enforcement after you have made contact.

REMEMBER this is a serious action to take and must not be taken lightly, there are consequences for a false or unjustified action.

via Dark Guardian:
What is a Citizens Arrest?
By: Collin McKibben, Attorney at Law & Ariella Rosenberg
Everyone is familiar with the term citizens arrest: we have seen it on TV, read about it in books, and even heard about it in social circles. Surprisingly, however, almost nobody really understands what a citizens arrest is, or legally, what it represents.

A citizen's arrest is an arrest performed by a civilian who lacks official government authority to make an arrest (as opposed to an officer of the law). An arrest, as defined by Black's Law Dictionary, is "The apprehending or detaining of a person in order to be forthcoming to answer an alleged or suspected crime." Ex parte Sherwood, (29 Tex. App. 334, 15 S.W. 812).

Although generally the person making a citizens arrest must be a citizen, in certain states, a citizens arrest can be carried out by a civilian who is not a citizen (for example, an alien or illegal immigrant). A citizens arrest does not necessarily mean an arrest made by a single individual who happens to witness a crime. For example, a department store may also carry out a citizens arrest in the course of apprehending a shoplifter.

Legal Requirements for Making a Citizens Arrest
The right to making a citizens arrest goes back to our roots in English common law. Historically, before the modern infrastructure of police departments, citizen's arrests were an important part of community law enforcement. Today, citizens arrests are still legal in every state, although state laws pertaining to citizens arrests are not uniform. In general, all states permit citizens arrests if a criminal felony (defined by the government as a serious crime, usually punishable by at least one year in prison) is witnessed by the citizen carrying out the arrest, or if a citizen is asked to help apprehend a suspect by the police. Variations of state law arise in cases of misdemeanors, breaches of the peace, and felonies not witnessed by the arresting party.

For example, California Penal Code mandates:
A private person may arrest another: 1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence. 2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence. 3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it. (C.P.C. 837).

In contrast, New York State Consolidated Laws hold that:
Any person may arrest another person (a) for a felony when the latter has in fact committed such felony, and (b) for any offense when the latter has in fact committed such offense in his presence. (N.Y.C.L. 140.30).

Unlike the California statute, which only permits citizens arrests in cases of felony, New York law extends the possibility for making a citizens arrest to any offense committed in [ones] presence. Additionally, in cases where the citizen has not necessarily witnessed the crime being committed, California law allows citizens arrests when a citizen has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed [a felony], whereas New York law applies only to situations in which person has in fact committed a felony. Distinctions such as these are important unwarranted citizens arrests can result in repercussions (such as law suits) for well-meaning citizens who attempt to make arrests without understanding local laws. It is important to be familiar with the laws in your particular state should you want to carry out a citizens arrest, or should a citizen try to unlawfully detain you.

Anatomy of a Citizens Arrest
Once a person has committed an offense meriting a citizens arrest (under the applicable state law), the arresting party must follow certain guidelines to detain and deliver to authorities the suspect in question. Acceptable guidelines for carrying out a citizens arrest also vary by state. In general, the arresting party must notify the suspect as to why he or she is being arrested, and may enter the building or private residence where the suspect is residing, using a reasonable amount of force to apprehend the suspect. In California, for example, To make an arrest, a private person, if the offense is a felony may break open the door or window of the house in which the person to be arrested is, or in which they have reasonable grounds for believing the person to be, after having demanded admittance and explained the purpose for which admittance is desired. (C.P.C., 844). In New York, A person may arrest another person for an offense at any hour of any day or night. 2. Such person must inform the person whom he is arresting of the reason for such arrest unless he encounters physical resistance, flight or other factors rendering such procedure impractical. 3. In order to effect such an arrest, such person may use such physical force as is justifiable pursuant to subdivision four of section 35.30 of the penal law. (N.Y.C.L. 140.35).

Once the suspect has been taken into custody (by the citizen), it is the citizens responsibility to deliver the suspect to the proper authorities in a timely fashion. In California, A private person who has arrested another for the commission of a public offense must, without unnecessary delay, take the person arrested before a magistrate, or deliver him or her to a peace officer. (C.P.C. 847). In New York, a citizen must also act without unnecessary delay to deliver a suspect to an officer of the law. (N.Y.C.L. 140).

Dangers of Making an Erroneous Citizens Arrest
Making a citizen's arrest maliciously or with insufficient evidence of wrongdoing by the arrested individual can lead to civil or criminal penalties. Additionally, it is in violation of a suspects rights for a citizen making an arrest to use unnecessary force, to intentionally harm the suspect, to hold the suspect in unsafe conditions, or to delay in turning the suspect over to authorities. A citizen making an arrest is acting in the place of an officer of the law, and as such, is required to uphold the same rights and civil liberties as an officer of the law must uphold.

A citizen who violates a suspects rights, or who violates the applicable state law in detaining the suspect, (for example, arresting a suspect for a misdemeanor when the state statute requires a felony for a citizens arrest), risks being sued or even charged with a crime. Additionally, if it is found that the arresting party did not meet the pertinent state requirements for a citizens arrest, any contraband found on the suspect will have been found illegally, and charges may be dropped entirely.

If you feel that you have been unfairly arrested by a citizen, or if you have been charged with illegally detaining a suspect during an illegitimate citizens arrest, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. A good attorney will demonstrate familiarity with state laws, and as such will help you to ensure the best possible outcome of your case.

IOWA Arrest Codes: 2011

Chapter 804: Arrest

Relevant to Private Citizens (others not listed pertain only to Law Enforcement Officers)

804.9 Arrests by private persons.
A private person may make an arrest:
1. For a public offense committed or attempted in the person’s presence.
2. When a felony has been committed, and the person has reasonable ground for believing that the person to be arrested has committed it.
[C51, §2846; R60, §4549; C73, §4201; C97, §5197; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §13469; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §755.5; C79, 81, §804.9]

804.10 Use of force in arrest by private person.
A private person who makes or assists another private person in making a lawful arrest is justified in using any force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary to make the arrest or which the person reasonably believes to be necessary to prevent serious injury to any person.
A private person who is summoned or directed by a peace officer to assist in making an arrest may use whatever force the peace officer could use under the circumstances, provided that, if the arrest is unlawful, the private person assisting the officer shall be justified as if the arrest were a lawful arrest, unless the person knows that the arrest is unlawful.
[C79, 81, §804.10]
See §704.1 – 704.3

804.12 Use of force in resisting arrest.
A person is not authorized to use force to resist an arrest, either of the person’s self, or another which the person knows is being made either by a peace officer or by a private person summoned and directed by a peace officer to make the arrest, even if the person believes that the arrest is unlawful or the arrest is in fact unlawful.
[C51, §2669; R60, §4296; C73, §3960; C97, §4899; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §13331; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §742.1; C79, 81, §804.12]

804.13 Use of force in preventing an escape.
A peace officer or other person who has an arrested person in custody is justified in the use of such force to prevent the escape of the arrested person from custody as the officer or other person would be justified in using if the officer or other person were arresting such person.
[C51, §2844; R60, §4553; C73, §4205; C97, §5200; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §13472; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §755.8; C79, 81, §804.13]

804.14 Manner of making arrest.
The person making the arrest must inform the person to be arrested of the intention to arrest the person, the reason for arrest, and that the person making the arrest is a peace officer, if such be the case, and require the person being arrested to submit to the person’s custody, except when the person to be arrested is actually engaged in the commission of or attempt to commit an offense, or escapes, so that there is no time or opportunity to do so; if acting under the authority of a warrant, the law enforcement officer need not have the warrant in the officer’s possession at the time of the arrest, but upon request the officer shall show the warrant to the person being arrested as soon as possible. If the officer does not have the warrant in the officer’s possession at the time of arrest, the officer shall inform the person being arrested of the fact that a warrant has been issued.
[C51, §2839, 2841, 2847; R60, §4552; C73, §4204; C97, §5199; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §13471; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §755.7; C79, 81, §804.14]

804.15 Breaking and entering premises — demand to enter.
If a law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe that a person whom the officer is authorized to arrest is present on any private premises, the officer may upon identifying the officer as such, demand that the officer be admitted to such premises for the purpose of making the arrest. If such demand is not promptly complied with, the officer may thereupon enter such premises to make the arrest, using such force as is reasonably necessary.
[C51, §2843, 2848; R60, §4554; C73, §4206; C97, §5201; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §13473; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §755.9; C79, 81, §804.15]

NOTE: So if you see something going down in a private premises (land and buildings) you cannot B&E, so call 911 and report it. The only way I would violate this is if someone is obviously going to get seriously hurt or dead. Individual choice, make your own.

804.16 Time of arrest.
An arrest may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.
[C51, §2837, 2850; R60, §4545, 4551; C73, §4197, 4203; C97, §5193; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §13465; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §755.1; C79, 81, §804.16]

804.17 Summoning aid.
Any peace officer making a legal arrest may orally summon as many persons as the officer reasonably finds necessary to aid the officer in making the arrest.
[R60, §4556; C73, §4208; C97, §5203; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §13475; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §755.11; C79, 81, §804.17]

804.18 Taking Weapons
Any person who makes an arrest may take from the person arrested all items which are capable of causing bodily harm which the arrested person may have within the arrested person's control to be disposed
of according to law.
[R60, § 4560; C73, § 4212; C97, § 5204; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 13476; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, § 755.12; C79, 81, § 804.18]

Other Relevant Codes:
704.1 Reasonable force.
“Reasonable force” is that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat. Reasonable force, including deadly force, may be used even if an alternative course of action is available if the alternative entails a risk to life or safety, or the life or safety of a third party, or requires one to abandon or retreat from one’s dwelling or place of business or employment.
[C51, §2773; R60, §4442; C73, §4112; C97, §5102; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §12921; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §691.1; C79, 81, §704.1; 81 Acts, ch 204, §2]

704.3 Defense of self or another.
A person is justified in the use of reasonable force when the person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to defend oneself or another from any imminent use of unlawful force.
[C51, §2773 – 2775; R60, §4442 – 4444; C73, §4112 – 4114; C97, §5102 – 5104; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §12921 – 12923; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, §691.1, 691.2(1), 691.3; C79, 81, §704.3]