Tag Archives: candy-coated-fury

Hey! I may have asked this before (memory is fuzzy), but how effective would a chain be as a weapon? Not one with spikes or blades, but just a length of thick chain (the kind you’d use bolt cutters to cut) about the length of your average guy’s arm, with a padlock at the end?

I could have sworn we’d handled this one. But, I can’t find it. Anyway, chain by itself will make for a fairly effective improvised whip. Adding a padlock, or any other solid weight to one end would turn it into a kind if improvised flail. In both cases, you’re talking about weapons that can do a fair amount of damage.

With chains there’s enough size variation that you could end up with links too light to do anything meaningful. If it’s a chain that was used to lock a gate, or even just a bike, then it should be heavy enough to inflict some nasty injuries, even without the lock.

Without a weight, I’m not sure if arm length is long enough to really build momentum easily. But, when you add a padlock, and that stops being an issue. The weight (it doesn’t have to be a padlock) turns the weapon into a kind of flail. At that point the flexible portion (chain in your case, but you could just as easily use electrical cable, nylon rope, or any other flexible material on hand) is only there to generate momentum, which you deliver via the weight. Arm length should be enough to seriously injure or kill.

Again, it’s possible you’d end up with a padlock too small to do anything serious, but a medium lock, and even some bike locks, will be large enough to wreck someone, once you get them moving fast enough. As with the chains, there’s a lot of variety, but any lock
intended for commercial or industrial use should be solid enough to work

Most padlocks can easily take more abuse than you’d be inflicting from using it as a flail, so that’s not a problem. These were designed to take a few kicks from an angry bystander, or being backed over by a truck, so connecting with someone’s skull isn’t going to be much more strenuous.

As far as I know, there isn’t much sophisticated about using these things.

If it’s long enough, you hold it with both hands, about shoulder’s width apart, and generate momentum with the leading hand. Most quick strikes are dealt that way, but you can release the leading hand, or adjust the grip on the fly to extend the reach.

The distance between the weight and the leading hand will directly control how fast it generates momentum. It’s easier to get it moving, then ease your leading hand back down before striking, than generating momentum using the full length of chain.

Your primary goal is to strike with the weight, rather than with the flexible portion. If you fail that, the weight will wrap around anything you connect with, as its reach allows. Tangling it around your foe’s neck or weapon isn’t a problem, but tangling it around a steam pipe or clothesline is a big one.

If it’s not long enough for a two handed grip (arm’s length wouldn’t be), you hold it with one hand. (Possibly running it across the palm, over the back of the hand, and through the palm again to aid with grip.) You then generate momentum with that wrist, since your off hand doesn’t do much at all. Because you’ve only got one hand on the weapon, you can’t regulate it’s momentum or reach, and need to account for those with every swing. It’s also slightly harder to protect it against being tangled, as a result.


How well would soft armor (ballistic vests, thick padded jackets, etc) fare against something like a baton or pipe? I know knives will cut through them with ease, but how well do blunt objects go through?

Honestly, the best street wear option against a blunt weapon would probably be motorcycle gear. That stuff is designed to take hitting the pavement at speed and keeping you in (more or less) one piece. Technically, it’s not “soft armor,” since it’s reinforced with solid plates. But it’s in the same general area.

That said, any padding will help against blunt force trauma. But, all a normal padded winter coat will help deal with is unarmed strikes. It won’t really protect you from a crowbar or baton. It will protect some, just not enough to matter.

With a Kevlar vest, I’m not sure how rigid those things are specifically. If you’re taking a blow directly to the chest, it should absorb some of the force, though I’m not sure exactly how much. ProRonin and Skypig would be the people to quantify that.

Except, it probably doesn’t really matter, because of how people actually use blunt weapons.

The common attacks with blunt weapons are strikes to the shoulders, arms, and head. You draw back and strike in towards the silhouette of your target. …and a Kevlar vest doesn’t protect any of those areas. It’s designed to save you when someone tries to shoot you in the chest, not when they’re swinging a baseball bat at your head.

You can perform a thrusting attack with a pipe, but, if you know someone else is wearing armor, it would make more sense to just strike around it. Incidentally, you can’t perform a thrusting attack with most telescopic batons, since you collapse them by striking against a hard surface. Incidentally, a quick thrusting strike is one of the most devastating things you can do with a baseball bat in combat. It delivers most of the force in a fast short motion that’s almost impossible to avoid. But, the kind of person that knows to do that is also probably the kind of person that would choose to strike around armor.

I would be genuinely surprised if a vest actually offers less protection against a knife than a leather jacket or shirt, but, some of the same considerations apply. Knife fights usually end based on injuries to the arm before following into a killing strike at an angle that would bypass a Kevlar vest, rather than trying to stab through it. And, while I’m not completely certain, I’m pretty sure an “aim for the kidneys” shanking from behind can be performed at an angle to bypass a vest.

Ultimately, we’re talking about trying to use the wrong kind of armor for the situation. Most riot gear won’t protect you from someone shooting at you, but it does wonders for someone coming at you with a sledgehammer.

The opposite is true of Kevlar. If someone’s shooting at you (and they’re far enough away), it should keep you breathing, but it’s just not going to help you when dealing with someone armed with a baseball bat, frying pan, or whatever else they managed to dredge up from their home.