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Old 04-18-2015, 07:39 PM
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Default Smith & Wesson slapper - blackjack

I was meandering the isles of the Tulsa show and spotted this little monster. I believe that this is the 'pocket sized' version, as it fits neatly in my rear jeans pocket without sticking out. The strap has a snap built it to allow you to fold full the full length retention strap out of the way until it is in your hands.

I wonder how many agencies still utilize these today?

One more tool in the box wouldn't hurt, even if it is not very PC





....and here it is pictured next to another little sap/convoy that I picked up as a photo prop (or spousal adjustment tool if my wife finds it )

in this photo, you can see the strap and snap arrangement.


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Old 04-18-2015, 07:54 PM
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I have the full size version. Have to dig it out a post a pic.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:23 PM
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I carried a great big one. Best impact weapon I ever used as a cop. When the stopped letting us carry them, everybody got hit with a full size Maglite instead. They worked great, but the big difference is the Sap just put the crooks down and they might bruise or have a lump. The Maglites made a big bloody mess when you whacked guys in the head. I still have my Sap and it is full of great memories of cop work.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:34 PM
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When I first got on Detroit PD, my scout car partner asked me if I had been issued a sap. I said no, and he drove around until we found a Edison crew working on a pole. He asked the Edison guy in charge if he could cut me a piece of big cable for a sap. The Edison guy even wrapped the ends for me with a electrical tape.
My partner said "Here, that will get you thru until you can afford one from the uniform store."
My, how police work has changed.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyeti View Post
I carried a great big one. Best impact weapon I ever used as a cop. When the stopped letting us carry them, everybody got hit with a full size Maglite instead. They worked great, but the big difference is the Sap just put the crooks down and they might bruise or have a lump. The Maglites made a big bloody mess when you whacked guys in the head. I still have my Sap and it is full of great memories of cop work.
I heard that some of the earliest lights carried by some PD's were Kell-Lites. Apparently, you could get one good whack before the cap flew off and your batteries went everywhere....

I had a Streamlight SL-20 with the adjustable intensity (variable brightness) knob at the end where the batteries goes....I lost that cap one dark night, but the gentleman whom was receiving 'adjustment' that night lost 5 front teeth. I had to put the original cap back on. It was a sad day indeed, that dimmer made paperwork easier on the eyes (re-adjustment to night vision).

If you have a big one - post it up. I just love the S&W toys
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:02 AM
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My sap is a Safariland. Maglite was in the city I worked in, and the owners kid was a cop with us as well (he was one of my pilots when I was a flight officer). On Monday morning the weekend graveyard cops would be lined up at the Maglite warranty area and the girls would put new bulbs in and replace all the broken stuff for us. My Maglite is fairly well beat and could tell some stories. I called it "the Jewish dentist". It was a companion the my .45 Long Colt 25-5 that was the Hebrew Hammer. Even the Hebrew Hammer has teeth marks in the trigger guard. It was a different time. The big bore revolver and sap days were pretty amazing. People really don't have an idea about how violent the 70's and 80's were. I have a feeling with a lot of the anti police sentiment, we are headed back that way again.
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:06 PM
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I started with a big kel light (still have 2 of these) I doubt there are any agencies using saps/blackjacks these days
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:12 PM
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OK, so here's Big brother...9" of S&W goodness.

Smith & Wesson slapper - blackjack-100_9227-jpg
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:24 PM
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Default Saps, Flashlights etc.

Anyone remember removing the end cap of the KellLight and installing a deeply grooved extension that was about 3" long? Came in handy for battering a lot of things. Buchheimer also sold saps, about the nastiest device was the come along wrist crusher, forget the name of the company that made it.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
People really don't have an idea about how violent the 70's and 80's were. I have a feeling with a lot of the anti police sentiment, we are headed back that way again.
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Correct, but the big difference was most of the weapons were impact or cutting items, either of which could, and did kill or maim. But not many firearms. I believe the opposite is true today.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majick47 View Post
Anyone remember removing the end cap of the KellLight and installing a deeply grooved extension that was about 3" long? Came in handy for battering a lot of things. Buchheimer also sold saps, about the nastiest device was the come along wrist crusher, forget the name of the company that made it.
I believe you're talking about the Argus Iron Claw. Google has some great images of it. Dad was issued one sometime in the 70's and mentioned how unforgiving it was on the bad guys wrist. Glad he held onto it - great conversation piece.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAFireman View Post
I heard that some of the earliest lights carried by some PD's were Kell-Lites. Apparently, you could get one good whack before the cap flew off and your batteries went everywhere....

I had a Streamlight SL-20 with the adjustable intensity (variable brightness) knob at the end where the batteries goes....I lost that cap one dark night, but the gentleman whom was receiving 'adjustment' that night lost 5 front teeth. I had to put the original cap back on. It was a sad day indeed, that dimmer made paperwork easier on the eyes (re-adjustment to night vision).

If you have a big one - post it up. I just love the S&W toys
Still have and use my Kell-lite, 7 c cells. Nice lite. They replaced the old night sticks. I have seen what a big Maglite does.

Never used the Kell-lite for attitude adjustments. I pulled my small sap once and started towards the gents head, his eyes crossed watching it approach. He opened his hands and I stopped just before contact.

He really needed it, convicted murderer of a 70 some year old lady at her mom and pop store. All I was thinking of was all the paperwork I would have to fill out on why he had a split skull.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:34 AM
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Default S&W Police Supplies

I remember 70-73, when dealers were pressured by distributors
to stock S&W leather, police supplies, hand cuffs, ect. This must
have been about the time Dirty Harry movie came out. Small
dealers would not get any S&W handguns unless they bought
S&W products. I was buying a lot of hand guns at the time and
LGO would give you a S&W product with your purchase. I had
one of the saps. Use to take it on trips,ended up giving it to a
French Canadian in Quebec who was guiding us for bear. He
called it his tire tester.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:00 AM
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I carried my blackjack for years until my agency outlawed them. It now sits in a drawer w/my other LEO stuff. These were very effective tools that filled the gap between talk and shoot. The expandable baton replaced the blackjack/slapjack but are used similarly so I'm not sure what was accomplished. The blackjack fit in a pocket and reduced the gear worn around your waist.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:04 AM
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Ah the Ray O Vac whack, it ended many a disturbance until they issued us the plastic lights which were only good for a few whacks until they flew apart showering everyone with parts.

They say that violence is the tool of the ignorant and a segment of our society does not understand calm reasonable conflict resolution which is why the tools pictured will always be needed.

We'll end up back at that point when everyone tires of the protesters and bleeding hearts.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majick47 View Post
Anyone remember removing the end cap of the KellLight and installing a deeply grooved extension that was about 3" long? Came in handy for battering a lot of things. Buchheimer also sold saps, about the nastiest device was the come along wrist crusher, forget the name of the company that made it.
Yes to the extension. Had one on my KellLight back in the '70's - early 80's. Woke up a few people we couldn't rouse any other way by holding it against the rear of their ear and pressing down hard with your thumb against the front of the ear. Hurt like hell (them, not me :-) ).
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:20 AM
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My cruiser dog, Jody, carried my sap. She chewed the He_ _ out of it. I'd call her out of my prowl car by saying WACKER! She would come out chewing and growling. Got the bad guys attention right away. One time I had stopped a DWI. He was giving me a really hard time. She didn't wait to be called out. She dropped the sap at my feet, went over to the perp, pulled his pant leg so hard, he fell. Nice take down. That took the fight right out of him. I still have the sap hanging on the wall in my room.
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:06 PM
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My cruiser dog, Jody, carried my sap. She chewed the He_ _ out of it. I'd call her out of my prowl car by saying WACKER! She would come out chewing and growling. Got the bad guys attention right away. One time I had stopped a DWI. He was giving me a really hard time. She didn't wait to be called out. She dropped the sap at my feet, went over to the perp, pulled his pant leg so hard, he fell. Nice take down. That took the fight right out of him. I still have the sap hanging on the wall in my room.
Great story, Don. Thanks for the chuckle!
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:37 PM
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A great police tool. Our uniform pants had a small outside pocket located at the rear of your right thigh to carry it. Mine was a little longer, but looked the same. Used it as a door knocker and defensive purposes of course. As stated by others, it was removed by the civilian powers to be. I still have mine (in the truck) that was issued 44 years ago. I can't say the same for my issued duty revolver and wooden night stick. I'm glad you shared the photo.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:33 PM
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My grandfather was the Police Chief of a small Iowa town back in the 1930s. Dad said his father carried a S&W .38 and a sap. According to him, the gun never got used in a serious LE encounter, but the sap got a fair amount of use for drunks and other belligerents who didn't want to be arrested. Grandpa died while my dad was serving overseas in WWII. By the time dad returned stateside, a lot of his father's personal possession had walked off, including his LE gear. By the time I entered LE, saps had been phased out, but I remember seeing them in the rear hip pockets of many Police officers in my hometown back int the 60s and 70s. Wish I had grandpa's sap. What a great piece of memorabilia that would make.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:25 PM
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Started with one of the spring-loaded jobs identical to the one in the OPs picture, given to me my first day on the job by an old deputy from the prohibition era. After replacing the wrist strap I retired it in favor of one of the big slappers.

The Nick Nolte movie Mulholland Falls features one of the 9" numbers,

Kelitis was a frequent side effect of disorderly conduct and public stupidity in the 70s and 80s.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:50 AM
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Default Days of yore

Reading the above post's took me down memory lane this AM as I drink my morning java. Above my desk are several photo's of me and other's in days gone by. One of them is of me standing next to my "motor" back in 1980. I am wearing the standard Chippewa "motor" boots that came up to just below my knees, standing next to my KZ1000. If you look closely, you will see the 9" slapper that rode in a sap pocket that was integral in our uniform pants for motor cops.
When I started in 73, I worked for a large S.Cal metro agency. We were very stick oriented, carried a 26" wooden baton, along with whatever we felt necessary to enhance our inter-personal communication skills. I worked foot patrol in a high incident, culturally diverse precinct. Baton, sap, mag lite and a couple other items comprised my less lethal loadout.
Times have certainly changed.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:36 PM
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Unlike many of the uniform LEO's comment I was a Narcotic Agent. Most of the time state wide undercover without local knowledge. A gun and a badge most times would compromise you so I carried a spring slap and boot knife.

Years later the blackjack was my constant companion when working in Russia after the fall. To many times that little piece of lead and leather covered my rear end
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:54 PM
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I carried one of those little saps for many years. Amazing attitude adjustment tool, or so I've been told.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:19 PM
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A Mag-lite will go through a car windshield when thrown at a car that runs a road block, or so I've been told.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:27 AM
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A Mag-lite will go through a car windshield when thrown at a car that runs a road block, or so I've been told.
I briefly lost a 6 D cell Maglite through the back window of a sedan that tried to drive over me while we were working a DWI fatality....one of our esteemed troopers brought it back an hour or so later, he said that it was 'proof positive' of the identity of the wayward (also drunk) driver.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:30 AM
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My great grand dad was a small town policeman. I remember admiring his uniform but most interesting was his black jack. He would let me hold it and I thought the spring action was pretty cool.
Years went buy and I saw this at a gun show a few years ago and it made me think about him. The difference between his and this, his was black.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:50 AM
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I briefly lost a 6 D cell Maglite through the back window of a sedan that tried to drive over me while we were working a DWI fatality....one of our esteemed troopers brought it back an hour or so later, he said that it was 'proof positive' of the identity of the wayward (also drunk) driver.

That's how I got mine back too.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:05 AM
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My LEO brother had a solid extension for his Maglite about as long as two batteries. He held it by the lens almost like a pen when using the light so he could easily use it as a thumper when the need arose.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:13 AM
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Sap gloves were popular when I was just getting started in the late seventies--black leather gloves with powdered lead sewn into a pocket over the knuckles. If I remember correctly mine were deerskin, made by a company in New Hampshire or Vermont. They were heavy. Very impressive when you dropped them onto the counter at the coffee shop. And equally embarrassing when you then whacked your teeth with the (by comparison) featherweight coffee cup.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:37 PM
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Ah, the memories............I saw my old man get hit with one of those flat saps one night!! He folded like a wet sheet...........

He never did learn to NOT argue with LEO's...............these days someone would just shoot him.....but, he has been gone for many years now..........

Memories.............
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:51 PM
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A Mag-lite will go through a car windshield when thrown at a car that runs a road block, or so I've been told.
I've also heard that used D cell batteries get the attention of drivers who think it's smart to swerve toward officers directing traffic when said batteries bounce off the fenders. But that's only a rumor.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:34 AM
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I carried one back in the DAY. The PD I worked at even issued pants with a slap jack pocket sewed into them. The only problem with the slap jack was "proximity" you had to be in close to use it. Then they took them away saying that they caused to much trauma to the offender. Then everyone started using the kel-light. l still have m 18" C-cell flash light, fit perfect in the baton ring. Then they said that was to dangerous to use. The next tool was the PR-24 baton a great tool. Then came the "ASP" a collapsible steel rod. Now, think about going from a piece of leather with lead sewn into it to a Steel Pipe. Some how I don't see the humanity there in.

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Old 03-28-2016, 12:20 AM
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Very interesting stories. Today however, in this PC world, I would be careful carrying one. I think they aren't legal in some states, especially when carried by civilians.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:57 AM
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A Maglite will part the flesh to the bone.

When the batteries hit the inner wall of the machined tube it sounds like a 38 going off.

Or so ive seen.
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:11 PM
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In my experience the only really effective blackjack/sap was a "Convoy".
Then a large "Mag-Lite" and a PR-24. I remember the length of metal cable with a rubber chair leg cap on either end and wrapped in electrical tape (OUCH !)
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:23 AM
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The 415 Gonzales is still authorized by the LASD. I have one but never carry it. Very heavy. Wish I could carry one of them small blackjacks like my dad did in the NYPD, but for some reason, only that monster sap is allowed.

this link has a lot of them....I have my dad's old 7 " braided bj like the one on the site, along with the 415 sap.

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Old 05-11-2016, 12:53 AM
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I just bought a vintage S&W sap on E-Bay. Thanks for all the stories. Sometimes I find it hard to pass up on vintage S&W items. The one I bought is rather large though, it's just under 10".
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:49 AM
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The 415 Gonzales is still authorized by the LASD. I have one but never carry it. Very heavy. Wish I could carry one of them small blackjacks like my dad did in the NYPD, but for some reason, only that monster sap is allowed.

this link has a lot of them....I have my dad's old 7 " braided bj like the one on the site, along with the 415 sap.

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Old 05-11-2016, 12:24 PM
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Sip, that's a great site. Good to see you back!
Thanks. I took a break from gun boards for a spell to concentrate on my daffodil collection.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:59 PM
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Good old days!
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:47 PM
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Had a buddy who carried a sap. He told me he started to arrest a young offender in his yard. The youngster thought it was a good idea to fight with my buddy. The kid kept yelling when getting whacked. Once the offender was cuffed, the father came out. The kid said, "Dad, he hit me with one of those saps!" The father said, "Let that be a lesson, cops don't fight fair!" I preferred a night stick. I found it more versatile. One time when working traffic after a big event, a driver (probably half lit) thought that it would be a good idea to taunt me by creeping up with his car when I told him to stop. He was laughing until, I took out my Maglite and creased his hood. From then on he obeyed my signals.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:55 PM
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The night stick was also my favorite, the sap came in useful when you got into it unexpectedly and did not have the night stick. The Iron Claw was very useful when folks just laid down and while other cops were carrying prisoners to the transport vehicles the ones I arrested were very willing to get up and follow me.

Very few knew what the Iron Claw was in the 60's.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:09 PM
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Boy you guys were mean.

I only handed out lollipops.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:04 PM
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My uncle gave me his blackjack when I came on the job. They were long outlawed by then so I never carried it. I can't imagine how many skulls he cracked with it. When they were gone guys just used their coco bolo nightsticks more. Hitting somebody with one was referred to as a "wood shampoo".

And I am convinced that little slit pocket on the back right side of uniform pants was for those saps and Blackjacks. No other reason for them to be there.

I work in a high school law enforcement program now. I sometimes get the kids attention by whacking that blackjack on the desk. Sounds like a gunshot going off. They love it.

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Old 05-12-2016, 12:50 PM
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Blackjacks, saps are outlawed by the New York State Penal Law for the general public - Felony. We're carried a few decades back and against NYCPD Policy. Pockets in the pants were also for other accessories, flashlight, etc., and maybe a "flute."
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:39 PM
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You have got to love it when politicians tell both the people and law enforcement how to fight.

At least we still have lethal force in most places.

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Old 05-13-2016, 06:46 PM
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Blackjacks, saps are outlawed by the New York State Penal Law for the general public - Felony. We're carried a few decades back and against NYCPD Policy. Pockets in the pants were also for other accessories, flashlight, etc., and maybe a "flute."
Heck, everything is outlawed in NYC. Just saying that makes me thirsty for a "Big Gulp"!
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:48 PM
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I hate to do this, this thread is so much fun, and I always enjoy cop stories, but, to be fair, for Texans reading this:

Quote:
Sec. 46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Club" means an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, and includes but is not limited to the following:

(A) blackjack;

(B) nightstick;

(C) mace;

(D) tomahawk.
That is followed by this:

Quote:
Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:

(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
That's it, in pertinent part. The handgun rules are a whole different subject but I assure you that carrying a sap or a blackjack, well, IF I DID IT, would be a crime. Badges change things, that's for sure, but I don't have one of those.

When my twin and I were very young and lived far away from the Great State of Texas our dad gave us professional, US issue nightsticks. Where he got them I have no idea. Why he gave them to little boys I have no idea nor do I know if they were lawful for us to have at the time or at anytime.

At any rate, some time thereafter his business partner wanted them so we gave them up with a promise of replacement. They were very nice looking - the wood was "blonde" in color. Some time after that Dad sure enough replaced them with mahogany colored night sticks that were otherwise exactly the same, right down to the "US" on the butt-cap (it's all one piece but that's the only term I can think of for that spot).

I still have mine and I'm very proud of it; about 25 years ago I acquired a professional leather "thong" for it, had it tied on exactly as the police always did, and no, I never did learn to twirl it, but it hangs on my bed post to this very day. If I run out of ammunition I can still be VERY effective!

COPS, SAPS, BLACKJACKS, NIGHTSTICKS. Fun thread; thanks, y'all!

Oh, I have a 4 battery Maglite nearby, too.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:21 PM
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A true artist with a baton was truly a wonder to behold, they were a form of recreation, something to play with while time was plentiful. They were far from lethal force and every dog knows what a stick in a man's hand can do.
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