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R.M. Henson




Location: Honolulu Hawaii
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:40 pm    Post subject: Metal vs Wooden Bats         Reply with quote

What do you guys think? This topic was raised at another forum (one less historical mind you) on which they thought was better for defending your home in case of a burglary.

While most agreed the metal was faster, more reliable, and easier to control, some argued that a wooden bat because of it's weight would impart more energy into the target, thus a more lethal weapon.

Overall all I do believe a metal bat because of it's lightness and durability is a superior choice, I wanted to know everyone's opinion on the power aspect between a hollow aluminum bat versus a solid maple/ash bat.

This was my original argument:

Quote:
1) Same with punching there is a trade off between velocity and weight. Equal power can be attained by by adjusting the ratio between weight and speed of a bat. Just because it's lighter doesn't mean it has less power. Look at ancient medieval weapon weight. Even war maces, hammers, and axes were lighter in comparison to their work tool counter parts in an effort to increase swing speed and reduce fatigue in prolonged battles.

2)Rigidity plays a big factor. On impact an aluminum bat imparts less energy into flex than a wood bat does. This means a stiffer impact and more energy transferred into the target. This becomes even more apparent when you hit something that's larger than a baseball, such as someones brain filled skull.

3)Don't compare a little league T-ball bat to a major league maple bat. Of course is won't do as much damage because it was built for children. A High school league or Semi-professional metal bat is meant for older people and is comparable if not better than a wooden bat.


If you assume they both do similar damage, than you would have to assume Aluminum is superior because it allows for faster swings and less breakage. Of course bats aren't built to be weapons, but if you had to compare metal is more reliable, faster, easier to control, easier to use, and potentially more lethal.

There of course have been no official studies comparing damage on humans, but there have been plenty on baseballs, and the results are either that the Aluminum can hit a ball farther or the same as a wood bat, never worse. It's physics and mechanical advantage.


I also made an argument that because metal was easier to handle and lighter, that you could adopt martial art technique to usage rather than just full baseball swings, adding an advantage in skill and variety.

What do you guys think? Speed and rigidity or weight?
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why not combine the two? Here's one I make for re-enactors to use on the field. It's good for many periods, from mediaeval through to modern day!

I would never advocate its use in home defence, though.

This discussion regularly crops up on historical weapons fora - at the end of the day, if you have to use deadly force, use the appropriate tool (a handgun) - not a sword or a bat etc. If, like me, you live in an country where handguns are banned, and you have an intruder: make lots of noise, call the police, stay in a 'safe' zone (ie. don't go looking for violent confrontation), learn how to defend yourself properly and own a shotgun as a weapon of last resort! Let them take your TV; it's not worth your life.

You only have one life, you shouldn't be using sporting goods to defend it!



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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having actually used both in combative situations, the aluminum bat is nigh useless unless your strike key points against somebody who is aggravated enough to full blown come after somebody holding a bat. The head being the easiest target to hit in this case. It's is nigh useless at stopping them from attacking otherwise. So yeah for this, wooden bat is the way to go from my experience.
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out a movie called The Apostle with Robert Duvall. He closes the book on a guy with a "little league" wooden bat.

We're talking about home defense now? Really? The problem with a weapon in a situation like that is that you have to have it to hand. The weapon isn't going to do you any good in the closet or the other room. Is someone planning to stalk around there house in a constant state of combat readiness? Must make a somewhat tense situation at parties! What does one do when sleeping?
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Nathan Quarantillo




Location: Eastern Panhandle WV, USA
Joined: 14 Aug 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

as has been mentioned in this thread before, don't place your life in sporting goods hands.
As I own all blunts (except for the valiant armoury dagesse, which I wouldn't trust in a combat situation),so my swords aren't much use here. But I do have the windlass german warhammer. I sleep with that thing beside my bed, and if I was a burglar (or anyone else unfortunate enough to incur it's wrath) I would NOT want to get hit by that thing.
Quoting the abomination of Deadliest Warrior, "It's an INSTA-KILL!!!!"
if not the warhammer, I'd go for my halberd. Another fun toy that will turn the would be robber onto one of the more unique of ways to skin a cat(burglar) Laughing Out Loud
but if he was toting around guns, use of both is suicide at best.
Thats when it's time to use the some of my archery skills in combination with my talent for moving silently and unseen..... Wink

"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
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R.M. Henson




Location: Honolulu Hawaii
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ha you guys are a riot., as expected of a response from a community of weapons collectors. The theoretical here is if you were say a high schooler who happened to be a baseball player and had both a wood bat and metal bat at your disposal in your room, which would you choose.
The situation is of course not ideal and not recommended, but all things aside, which do you think would be more helpful if you had no other choice? In my opinion it isn't that uncommon to have a baseball bat lying around in your room around the high school or college age if you're a sporting man of sorts, since you'll tend to keep most things you own in your room rather than somewhere else.

I never played baseball or handled baseball bats much in high school or college so I don't really have a feel for them personally.
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David Clark





Joined: 10 Feb 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 5:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would choose the lighter, metal bat if only for quicker recovery time from swings. Especially if it were to be used in a closed environment such as a living room/bed room, where the speed of strikes would count more due to the limited 'fall-back' space. I would much prefer a well made machete or short sword ;p
Just my 2 cents.
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Hanns Wiechman




Location: Minneapolis, MN
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Upgrade baseball bat into something approaching a godendag! Sharp, pointy spike on the end will allow you to stab in close quarters forcing more distance which equals swinging for the bleachers at any exposed body part. Or just upgrade to something like this, it's my go to device when things go bump in the night. Cheers,
Hanns

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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd advocate for all three options. Quick, aluminum bat to stun, good old wooden bat to crush the mellon, and the firearm of your choice, double-tap to the head. Fortunately we can still own weapons and defend our homes in the USA (for now).

Hanns, is that my birthday present???? Wink

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere


Last edited by Scott Hrouda on Sat 26 Jun, 2010 6:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Christopher H





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Sat 26 Jun, 2010 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Clark wrote:
I would choose the lighter, metal bat if only for quicker recovery time from swings. Especially if it were to be used in a closed environment such as a living room/bed room, where the speed of strikes would count more due to the limited 'fall-back' space. I would much prefer a well made machete or short sword ;p
Just my 2 cents.

As a purely theoretical exercise as the legality of this stuff is region and circumstance specific...

If you're in a closed environment there may not be enough room to get a bat up to speed - so I'd be wanting something with enough mass behind a hit (e.g. at the end... baseball is not a big sport here and I had to look up the differences between the bats!) to compensate for a shorter arc swing.

I think a blunt sword is not a bad idea if your attacker is not armed with a firearm, it's a less-lethal option. It's fast, and hits hard. They are still not going to be happy, though!
I would probably forgo my sharp swords and use a short staff or a blunt sword. I don't want my pretties taken away from me! I also certainly don't want to use lethal force if I can at all avoid it.
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a club that I made which I have on my night stand. However in the events of an intruder (which I cannot imagine happening where I live) I would reach for my Remington 870 Special Purpose, which is propped hidden in a small space in the corner behind a bookshelf.


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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
Let them take your TV; it's not worth your life.

Or the burglar's life, either, at that.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R.M. Henson wrote:
Ha you guys are a riot., as expected of a response from a community of weapons collectors. The theoretical here is if you were say a high schooler who happened to be a baseball player and had both a wood bat and metal bat at your disposal in your room, which would you choose.

Whichever was closer to hand at the moment, honestly.

That said, if I was feeling paranoid - and didn't already have half a dozen swords and daggers just lying around the room within easy reach simply because I live alone and am bad at picking up after myself - I might make half a point of keeping the wooden bat closer to hand. Just because it'd feel more substantial and reassuringly solid.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Julian Reynolds wrote:
Let them take your TV; it's not worth your life.

Or the burglar's life, either, at that.


Well, he clearly thinks it is worth his life, if he decided to break into your house, no?

Seriously though, I would not want to use baseball bat as a self defense weapon, there are way more effective tools for that.
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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm going to defend my home if someone breaks in, no question. I have a piece of schedule 40 pipe next to my bed. I would rather bash someone than shoot someone. A quick story. I live in a duplex, and the unit closet to the street was burglarized, as such, I one of my swords downstairs next to my bed. A couple days later, my girlfriend shook me awake at 3 in the morning saying someone was in the house. I grabbed the sword, crept upstairs, and positioned myself around the corner. When the man walked around the corner, I stopped the blade 1 inch from his shoulder blade, it was my friend stopping over because he had a long shift and didn't want to do the hour drive back home (he knew where the spare key was).
The point of the story, swords could be good, someone's not going to have a lot of fight in them if their arm is almost taken off, it has the added benefit of dispatching intruder in case of fight still left. Doesn't make a BANG alerting the whole neighborhood (unless you live in a state like I do where we can have suppressors). A wood club though, would be better I think. Take the fight out of them, or knock them out, with a smaller risk of killing them. I have a friend who's a bounty hunter, and he had to take a long hiatus from it after a guy came after him with a baseball bat, messed it up really bad, for life. Thankfully, he's pretty recovered, and back at it. Some SWAT i know say they fear a knife more than a gun in home defense.

This is a thread though, that could be beaten to nauseam about the use of home defense, since the forum is international, many different laws and ways of doing things are represented here (which I find really cool). I think on the defense issue it boils down to what the laws are where you live, and how far you would be willing to go, along with just your opinion on what would be most effective and what you are comfortable with. Back to the original question of wood vs metal? I would go with wood, I'm a traditionalist....

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Michael Bergstrom
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As mentioned, this site isn't about home defense. That's far and away off topic to this site's intended goal of being a resource for historical arms and armour collectors. More than that, it starts to verge into areas that are counter to this site's goals of gaining acceptance for those of us interested in historical weapons and their historical use. Pay attention to that last statement when you decide to post on this site.

Thank you.

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R.M. Henson




Location: Honolulu Hawaii
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, yes I apologize. I had originally intended to get opinions that were a bit more biased towards science rather than home defense, the argument being which imparts more energy? A wood bat or metal bat. I didn't expect to get such responses. Much of the points I brought up were ignored by the majority and what was put into focus was the home defense aspect which was not my intention (not to mention did not answer my question).

Thanks to those who stated their opinions pertaining to the original question.
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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it's a known fact that metal baseball bats are faster and stronger than wood. More force can be had from them. I found this article, and it has all the test results that were done in the last couple decades. http://paws.kettering.edu/~drussell/bats-new/alumwood.html

Which leads to an interesting question regarding historical maces: why do most of them seem to be wood with metal bits? Are there many samples of all steel ones (besides the classic "morning star"?), there is of course the "bar mace" that museum replicas has a replica of, are there more samples of this style? Did they know that steel was better, and opted for wood because of cost?

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Michael Bergstrom
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R.M. Henson




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, thanks Michael B., this was the exact kind of info I was looking for! I found the portion about the trampoline effect particularly interesting. Are there any studies with PSI testing or pressure force measuring between the two? It would be interesting to see the differences if such a study existed.

As far as historical maces go I could imagine that a wooden mace/morning star is far easier to construct and materials more easily had in addition to being overall cheaper. I doubt that effectiveness plays a significant role. Although I do know that many metal axe handles and mace handles were hollow tube steel in construction. Particularly some Indian (Persian?) axes that had a hidden screw in dagger in the handle portion I believe called Tabars. The hollow construction definitely made the axes lighter.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Jun, 2010 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:

Which leads to an interesting question regarding historical maces: why do most of them seem to be wood with metal bits? Are there many samples of all steel ones (besides the classic "morning star"?), there is of course the "bar mace" that museum replicas has a replica of, are there more samples of this style? Did they know that steel was better, and opted for wood because of cost?


I've seen more surviving maces (as in pics in books) that are all-steel than otherwise. European and Indo-Persian. Wood + other maces I remember are often quite ancient, and maybe the stone heads outnumber the metal heads.

Survival does favour the more recent, and photographic inclusion does favour the photogenic, but I'd say that there are many examples of all-steel maces, enough so they can't be considered rare. Stone, which is mostly available on google books, will have plenty.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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