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Old 08-07-2019, 09:02 PM
dltvette dltvette is offline
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Default S&W Handcuff Strength Test

I posted this on the S&WCA members side awhile back, but thought I would share it here on the public side.
In 1952 S&W introduced their own line of handcuffs that were just referred as
"A New and Improved Model". Model numbers were not assigned to their line of handcuffs until 1958 and this New and Improved Model was then known as the Model 90.
This example is one I acquired from the Roy Jinks collection, and is a pre-model 90, that never had a serial number assigned to it, and was made for the purpose to test the strength or I should say, the breaking point of their new handcuffs. It would have been nice if the test data could have accompanied this example, but just having it in my collection is a plus.
Shown is a 1953 product brochure stating the strength of the S&W handcuffs, but I'm sure this test was totally different.
Interesting example.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:49 AM
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The pins/rivets are...HUGE!
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:21 AM
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Handcuffs were not issued so I purchased a set of Pearless and used them for my entire 30 year career and still have them. While I’m not sure how to test their strength no one ever got out of them, a few tried, once they went on.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:56 AM
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Never seen anyone get out of cuffs, but I did see a kid (maybe 17) step through his arms to move his hands from behind his back to in front. Not sure what he had in mind, but it was entertaining to watch. The cuffs could make a nasty weapon for choking, I suppose. He was quickly recuffed behind the back again.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX-Dennis View Post
Never seen anyone get out of cuffs, but I did see a kid (maybe 17) step through his arms to move his hands from behind his back to in front..
Throw a second set above his elbows and see if he can do it
again!
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:47 AM
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Many years ago, before I got as fat as a cow , I could do that also. Of course, I wear a 37" sleeve.

A number of females are limber enough to step through the cuffs, when cuffed behind the back. One female I knew said that she could step out of a pair of cuffs. I locked one on her wrist, then slipped the other cuff through the first one and locked the second cuff on her wrist, behind her back. She couldn't get out of that set-up.

A very petite young lady told me her wrists were so small she could just slide the cuffs off. I put them on her and she indeed she could. I had her put her hands behind her back and then put both wrists in one cuff. She couldn't slip that one off.
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:34 AM
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I have seen prisoners slip out of cuffs, and seen a few guys able to break them / pry them open. Once watched a guy actually break out of a set of cuffs, black box, and belly chain. The common theme with all except those who could slip out was they had something to pry with, usually a steel bed frame. The guy with the black box worked a couple hours at it, and messed up his wrists pretty good doing so.

I once had to pick up a guy for court. I was warned by correctional staff that cuffs couldn't hold him. The inmate told me not to cuff him, as it was a waste of time, and promised not to cause problems. If I cuffed him, he would take it as a challenge. I said challenge accepted. Cuffed him in front, with two pair of cuffs, two black boxes, and two belly chains. I won that bet.

Larry

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Old 08-09-2019, 09:25 AM
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Dave
Great find! Congratulations!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:04 AM
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Don, Thank you for "hand delivering" these to me, instead of adding them to your collection. Only great friends would be so kind.
Dave
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:08 PM
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I've used alot of S&W hardware....Leg irons & those large cuffs...Handy.

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Old 08-21-2019, 03:39 PM
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Hmmmm, I am sure that testing method would not meet today's osha standards
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:10 PM
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I always preferred the hinged cuffs. Easier to put on a fighter, and once on they seem harder to manipulate.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEmodelof1989 View Post
I always preferred the hinged cuffs. Easier to put on a fighter, and once on they seem harder to manipulate.
The Model 200 & Model 210 was S&W first attempt to manufacture hinged handcuffs. They were introduced in 1990 and ended up being a failure. The hinge only bent one way and was subject to snapping in half. By early 1991, they were taken off the market.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:45 PM
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I had a rule for transporting prisoners to the hospital.

Class C minor offenses, cuffs behind back.

Other misdemeanors, depending on attitude, maybe leg irons.
Felonies?

Cuffs behind back and leg irons.

(Texas law, 3rd degree lowest, first degree and capital highest)

3rd degree-leg irons
2nd degree-one knot in the chain
1st degree-two knots in the chain.

Never transported a Capital. I suppose in keeping with my protocol, I’d have tried three knots. But, with two knots, it was barely a shuffle.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:30 AM
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About 30 or so years ago we had a contract killer in our holding cell awaiting arraignment. Two other prisoners were in the same cell. The contract killer had killed two people in our area and was in our holding cell for about 40 minutes while handcuffed behind his back with our issue S&W handcuffs. The jailers came to get him when the court was ready to receive him, but he had no handcuffs on and there was no sign of them in the holding cell. The other two inmates refused to say anything at the time, but were clearly intimidated. Years later we were told by one of the inmates that the guy had broken the handcuffs into small pieces and flushed them. They believed he would kill them in the jail if they said anything. Incidentally, he received multiple life sentences and is still incarcerated today. For years his guards have told stories about this guy and his superhuman type antics. Supposedly he could jump from a flat footing straight up 6 feet. Wasn't a huge guy, probably 200 lbs, 6'1 or so. We believe he killed people all over the country, but only had proof on the two from our region.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX-Dennis View Post
Never seen anyone get out of cuffs, but I did see a kid (maybe 17) step through his arms to move his hands from behind his back to in front. Not sure what he had in mind, but it was entertaining to watch. The cuffs could make a nasty weapon for choking, I suppose. He was quickly recuffed behind the back again.
Yeah, you had to belt down those cuffs on skinny folks.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:49 AM
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I've had a couple sets handed to me from the back seat over the years, early in my career. It's disconcerting, to say the least . . .
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
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I've had a couple sets handed to me from the back seat over the years, early in my career. It's disconcerting, to say the least . . .
Were they from arrestees or dates?
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:53 PM
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We had a dispatcher who could slip out of a pair of S & W Alum cuffs. She was really thin in those days, not so today. Going to see her tonight at our dept retirees Christmas party. She is now married to our retired Chief.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:26 PM
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Had a suspect said "don't cuff me, I will go and not cause any trouble". I cuffed (S&W cuffs) him behind his back and he broke them, a fellow officer said here use my peerless cuffs. I did and he broke them too.

We had a department rule "No prisoners taken to the station with out cuffs." Sgt. saw me taking him in the back door and he chewed me out for not cuffing him. I told the Sgt. that he was cuffed, the Sgt. asked "what kind of fool I thought he was"? Prisoner laughed, pulled up his sleeves and showed him the broken cuffs! I suggested the Sgt try his cuffs (we had to buy our own in those days), Sgt declined. Got to take the suspect to jail without cuffs, but got a letter of reprimand out of the deal. After all Rules are Rules!! Appealed the reprimand and won!
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Old 12-23-2019, 03:41 PM
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I had a prisoner shackled to an I bolt in the bullpen while I was doing the arrest report. he twisted the cuff in the I bolt and bent the cuffs to the point of being unusable. But he was a brute...

Good Luck

Jerry
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Old 12-23-2019, 04:42 PM
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One thing I learned in school was handcuffs are TEMPORARY restraining devices. One of my most embarrassing moments was when I was attempting to cuff a semi-pro boxer who had an outstanding warrant. As he waited patiently, I beat on those cuffs to get the corrosion to break free. I finally got them free. I had used the cuffs previously to arrest a nude mental case who was in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean, up to his waist. From then on I made sure that I checked and oiled my cuffs regularly. I still carry a handcuff key on my keychain, even after all these years of being retired.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old cop View Post
Handcuffs were not issued so I purchased a set of Pearless and used them for my entire 30 year career and still have them. While I’m not sure how to test their strength no one ever got out of them, a few tried, once they went on.
Pearless is all I ever used. Never once let me down.
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Old 12-24-2019, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JM4151 View Post
We had a dispatcher who could slip out of a pair of S & W Alum cuffs. She was really thin in those days, not so today. Going to see her tonight at our dept retirees Christmas party. She is now married to our retired Chief.
See my post #6.
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:41 PM
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I cuffed a big drunk logger behind his back who had run his truck into the back of a car. I put him in the cage of the cruiser and took him to jail. I pulled into the sally port and when I went to get him out I noticed his hands in his lap. I asked him what happened to my cuffs and he said "They were uncomfortable." He still had the cuffs on but he had broken the chain connecting them. He never gave me any trouble through the DUI test and booking process.
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:07 AM
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Ok. Since this thread is still alive.

We had a local named “one armed Charlie” Because, well, he only had one arm.

He would drink a little and be an annoyance to local businesses. Generally harmless. But, he was a little off. No, he was actually pretty off.

Usually it went along the lines of: “Hey Bud, it’s time to move on, you're annoying people.” He’d leave and just stomp off down the road to annoy others and generate another call.

One time I asked him to move on. For some reason, he was in a bad mood. I again told him and kind of pled with him to move on. (I really didn’t want to arrest him). He got more belligerent. I just kind of turned him in the direction I wanted to go and he dropped his shoulder and shoulder checked me.

In my usual “you’ve got to be kidding me! How dare you bow up to me!” (In that era, you didn’t dare lay a hand on a Police Officer, that was an immediate arrest). I spun him around, pushed him against a wall, grabbed his right hand put a cuff on it and...

Started fishing around for his left hand...

It then occurred to me that this wasn’t going to work.

While I was pondering this. He casually looked over his shoulder and said:

“You really didn’t think this through, did you?”

Fortunately, the dumb Cop gods took pity on me and, he was wearing a belt that day.

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Old 04-28-2020, 01:56 PM
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Many years ago, I answered a bar fight call and found the agressor was almost certainly some kind of giant! About 6'10" tall and as wide as an ax handle. I was alone and knew this would be a challenge, so I asked him to sit and talk for a while to calm down, which he did.

I said, "Bill, I'm gonna hafta take you downtown, if that's OK?". He put out his hands, kinda meekly, and my cuffs were not big enough to close on his wrists. I asked him if he was going to give me any trouble, and he said he would be OK.

I put him in the front seat of the cruiser (1968 Ford Galaxie) and we chatted amiably all the way to the Public Safety Building jail in Syracuse. In the sally port, the jailers came out and gently took him into the reception area. where he was booked in, meek as a lamb.

I saw him a few times after that (he was a steelworker) and he was always apologetic about the incident, and we had a good relationship for years.

I don't know what ever became of him.

Tim
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:10 PM
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Blackangus: That is the way it used to be, times were good and we did not realize it!
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:34 PM
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A very good friend of mine is a retired LAPD Commander. I was lamenting what used to be. The fun we had. And I mentioned that if I could rewind the last 32 years I’d do it all over again. (But, with the same rules we used to have).

And he told me something that really stuck with me.

“Don’t fret that it’s over, be happy that it happened.”
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:53 PM
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Many years back there was a Texas gun writer by the name of Tom Ferguson. He was a LEO and occasionally told some interesting cop stories. He did a story on handcuffing.

The one I remember the best was what to do if your alone trying to cuff a rather nasty person that did not want to be cuffed.

He said if the person was putting up a good fight to put one cuff on just as hard and tight as possible. Reason was if he got away before you could do the other wrist that cuff would be so unpleasant according to Ferguson, he would be looking for a cop to loosen it after a couple minutes on the run. If you got both cuffs on you could reposition the tight one as you now had your prisoner under control.
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:54 PM
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You're right, Ed.
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:53 PM
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I have a couple pair of unique cuffs i acquired over my career. First is a pair of Smith model 94 “D” series. Second is a pair of Colt’s with the Rampant colt stamped in one and Colts patd F.A mfg co on the other.
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