I noticed a few comments during the Open Comment post were requesting some non-lethal talk, so I thought today would be time to discuss the telescopic baton commonly known as the ASP baton and some of its techniques of employment.  While many of us are aware of the ASP collapsible baton, many don’t think to purchase or carry one.  Some mistakenly believe they are only military and law enforcement purchasable.  The ASP is seen everywhere in security and law enforcement, and for good reason.  It is a reliable and effective weapon which can be employed for either non-lethal or lethal defense.  Law enforcement policies prevent the ASP from being employed in its full capacity, but remember that civilians are under no such use-of-force policy.

The ASP Baton
Japanese antique tetsubo iron club

I can’t say when it was that man first picked up a heavy stick and bashed a fellow man over the head with it, but I’m going to take a guess that it was probably before the act of writing and probably around the time man first began uttering words and insults. Let’s just say that we have a LONG history of bashing each other with sticks, clubs, maces, batons, and the like in both offensive and defensive use.  It’s a gross motor movement and virtually anyone can use a club with little to no training and still manage to injure, incapacitate, or kill another.  In medieval days it was common for peasantry to carry clubs for defense against thieves and highway-men.  In Asia baton-like weapons in various forms had been employed for centuries in martial arts fighting styles. As late as WW I both sides employed trench clubs (truncheons) in war for times when the enemy was over running trenches and inside the fighting distance of the long bayonet of the times.

The ASP Baton
WWI Truncheon (trench club)

The ASP is an expandable steel baton made up of three sections.  They come in various lengths from 16-31″ in length with the 21″ and 26″ versions being most common.  The outside tip is a small solid steel knob shaped like a button, and it aids in extension by having the increased weight while also aiding in strikes.  The handle has an interchangeable end-cap that can be changed from the standard base to numerous others such as a glass breaker, retention handle, mirror, or flashlight even.  One variant incorporates OC Pepper Spray into the handle.  They are carried collapsed and are opened by inertia when swung and the segments friction lock open.  Newer models utilize a lever lock instead.  The ‘ASP’ brand baton is made by Armament Systems and Procedures and many consider their product to be the best constructed and most reliable in use even though there are other just as good competitors.  Their product is so widely adopted that many other expandable batons are referred to as ‘ASP’s as well.

In more modern times, criminals still use club-type weapons in assaults and robbery.  The club is one of the simplest weapons to improvise and anything from a axe handle to a piece of pipe can be used for that purpose although knives are more common in criminal usage.  Criminals rarely use legitimate batons such as the ASP or martial arts batons and likewise would not generally expect a regular civilian to be carrying one either. I would venture to think that a mugger would be extremely surprised and dissuaded if a victim seemed to have a 2 foot steel rod appear in their hand out of thin air.  Any criminal still attempting to pursue a victim at that point shouldn’t be surprised to end up in a hospital with some broken bones.