Tag Archives: bagh nakh

Q&A: Brass Knuckles

How do brass knuckles work? And I’ve always wondered if they would slip off in the middle of fighting someone or just plan punches.

Often, there’s a weighted grip behind the rings, which rests in the user’s palm and can be held in place with their thumb. In the absence of that, they still have their fingers wrapped around the the weapon. The only real risk of it falling off would be if they opened your hand, which kind of defeats the purpose of using brass knuckles in the first place.

Brass knuckles are intended to shield the user’s fingers and add some weight to the hand while punching.

If you really want to experiment with the mechanics of brass knuckles staying on your hand, you can use an empty key ring. Slip it over a finger, make a fist, and observe how the ring is held in place. The only difference is that brass knuckles are larger, heavier, and cover all your fingers. Depending on the design, they may be a single loop, or four welded rings. Either way, it’s not going to fall off under normal circumstances.

Also, probably worth remembering, you don’t really, “wear,” them. Brass knuckles are a weapon. You take them out when you’re going to use them, and put them away when you’re not. They’re not designed to be worn on the hand at all times.

There are weapons designed to assist with open hand strikes. Off-hand, some variants of the bagh nakh come to mind. These mount a row of small blades across the palm. You wouldn’t want to punch someone while wearing them, just like you wouldn’t want to palm strike someone while wearing brass knuckles. These weapons have specific roles, which enhance, but also, limit your attack options.

-Starke

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practicality of a bladed gauntlet a la the wolverine’s claws? perhaps with less thin blades.

The only real problem with wolverine’s claws is figuring out where he stores them when they’re not in use. They’re supposed to sit in his forearm, which causes all kinds of logistical weirdnesses for how the blades are supposed to pass through his wrists. X-23 has the same problem, for what it’s worth.

There are several different unarmed claw weapons. Off hand, the Bagh Nakh comes to mind. This is a set of (usually) five small, curved blades, mounted on a strip (I’ve seen metal and leather, I think wooden braces also exist), or on the inside of an open handed gauntlet, that slip between the fingers, and allow the wielder to strike with an open hand and then rake the victim with the blades by pulling their fingers back.

There’s also a variant where the blades mount facing out from the palm, and can serve as a combination weapon and climbing tool, though I honestly, do not remember the details there.

The only real problem with Wolverine’s claws is the logistics of actually integrating blades like that into a (pseudo) human body. Attaching them to a wrist gauntlet is a legitimate option.

That said, it’s worth remembering, this is basically like giving a character an over-engineered knife. It’s good for dealing with unarmed opponents, but when facing a foe using anything approaching an actual weapon, like a fire axe, sledgehammer, or crowbar, they’d be at a disadvantage again.

So, yes, they’re practical in the narrow range of situations they’re designed for, and not so much the rest of the time.

-Starke

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