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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Knuckle dusters/Batons         Reply with quote

Are knuckle dusters or any other form of fist weapons be classified as a type of club? Because Sticks and rocks where mankinds first weapons think of the stick being the modern baton (club) and the rock in the clenched fist as a type of knuckle duster?
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Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Justin,

Knuckle dusters classed as a club? Hmm...I don't really think so, I think they should be in a class by themselves. They are devices that reinforce the punch of a man's fist. A club is more like a lever extending the "lever arm" of a man's arm. The Diagram Group book Weapons An International Encyclopedia from 5000 BC to 2000 AD places knuckle dusters, gauntlets with gadlings, and other "odd" hand weapons in a "miscellaneous" category, and I think for good reason. They only give increased weight to the blow of the fist.

Now, there are some "combination" weapons that include knuckle dusters with other weapons. Some knuckle dusters possess spikes protruding out of the knuckles (like the "bagh nakkh"), so they operate more as slashing or stabbing weapons. There was a World War I trench knife with a knuckle duster handle, so it could be used as a dagger and a knuckle duster. The "Apache Pistol" incorporated a knuckle-duster in the grip, and had a small dagger beneath the pistol.

You are more than likely right that clubs derived from sticks and rocks early man held in his hands (which is echoed by what is said regarding the development of the club in the Diagram Group Weapons), but the knuckle duster is more at the stage of the rock held in the hand, while a club gives more leverage to the blow. I would class knuckle dusters in their own category.

I hope this made sense!

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But the rock or a heavy weight is also a form of club, one that is directly held in the hand and not connected to a shaft to giving it more leverage, making it a more effective weapon. The other thing that I thought about is even though a knuckleduster only reinforces a man's punch, isn't the fist (hand) and arm an extension of the human body and since our body doesn't have any sharp spikes or blades doesn't that make a human fist a blunt object that can cause blunt force trauma when striking someone or something even without the aid of a knuckleduster? I have a link pertaining for what I'm trying to say: [url] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_%28attack%29[/url]
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F. Carl Holz




Location: someplace out on the water (and probably not able to access my PM)
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Forgive me if I am to blunt, but it sounds as though your mind is already made up about this.

Perhaps you should explain what it is that you mean by "club", for myself I see no more similarity between a duster and a club than an increase in mass, and thus are of different weapon classes. After all, whether or not the arm is an extension of the leverage of the body, it is still part of the body, which a club is not.

Also I couldn't get your link to work.
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Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Justin,

My view of a club is a tool that extends the lever arm of the human arm. In that respect, a knuckle duster wouldn't be a club any more that a boxer's glove would be a club.

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines a club as: "a heavy usu. tapering staff esp. of wood wielded as a weapon."

The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Weapons edited by Leonid Tarassuk and Claude Blair defines a club as: "a stout hardwood stick, narrower where held and broader at the tip, used as a weapon since earliest times...Before long, in order to increase it's offensive capability, the club was fitted with spikes and subsequently with a metal head."

The way I see it, the club can be classed as a lever, one of the simple tools of physics. I don't believe a knuckle duster really functions as a lever, it primarily adds weight (and some "hardness") to the fist, and possibly some protection for the knuckles. I don't believe it would add significanty to the length of the "lever arm', so wouldn't function like a club.

I hope this made sense!

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
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Reading list: 256 books

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello again!

Justin,

Other weapons can certainly be classed as a club. A mace is a type of club. A policeman's baton is certainly a modern type of club. A flail can be seen as a modified club, one with a hinge or chain to make the blow more effective. A quarter staff could be seen as a sort of club in that it's basically a bludgeoning weapon. Some clubs have spikes or sharp edges. A war hammer could be seen as a very highly developed club, but since they usually have a pick as well, I would place them in their own class.

I would highly recommend trying to get your hands on the Diagram Group's book Weapons An International Encyclopedia from 5000 BC to 2000 AD. It's a fairly simple book, but broad in scope, and covers many different weapon types. It's one of the first books about weapons I owned, and it's served me well over the years. It's probably out of print, but should be available through the bookstore on this site. Many of your questions could be answered by this or similar tomes.

I hope this helped!

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all your help and I now understand what the functions of the club and fist are seperated into completely different classes. Thanks for making this topic crystal clear to me. I felt like I was going to go crazy on this topic if I didn't get an straight answer. Thanks again!

And I apologize for before about when I was trying to explain, that your fist, elbow, and even your entire arm in hand to hand combat is used a bludgeoning weapon (club-like), even if it is part of your body. For example I was conducting a simple experiment were I was lifting up my arm almost straight above my head and then striking my fist hard against my computer desk and then I took a small wooden stick (club) and repeated the same experiment as I did before when I struck my computer desk with my fist. That's the reason why I was considering that the human hand/arm was a bludgeoning (club-like) weapon.
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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another question that I've been wanting to ask is how many different types of knuckle dusters are there and are they all worn over the knuckles. I reason that I'm asking this is because in George Cameron Stone's Arms and Armour there two weapons classified as knuckle dusters. The first looks it is either held in the hand or worn around the wrist with two spikes on each side and the other looks like a curved knife blade and it is worn on the index finger which also comes from the Upper Nile? Would these weapons be classified into there own groups and are they truely knuckle dusters even though there not worn over the knuckles in hand to hand combat?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin Pasternak wrote:
Thanks for all your help and I now understand what the functions of the club and fist are seperated into completely different classes. Thanks for making this topic crystal clear to me. I felt like I was going to go crazy on this topic if I didn't get an straight answer. Thanks again!

And I apologize for before about when I was trying to explain, that your fist, elbow, and even your entire arm in hand to hand combat is used a bludgeoning weapon (club-like), even if it is part of your body. For example I was conducting a simple experiment were I was lifting up my arm almost straight above my head and then striking my fist hard against my computer desk and then I took a small wooden stick (club) and repeated the same experiment as I did before when I struck my computer desk with my fist. That's the reason why I was considering that the human hand/arm was a bludgeoning (club-like) weapon.


Well, one thing they have in common is that they both function as blunt impact trauma weapons: So looking at what they have in common rather than what makes them different is another way to look at it.

Like comparing the bow with a sling: Not much in common, but both are missile weapons.

Oh, types of knuckle dusters: You could check out the cestus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cestus

Also a roll of coins in the fist also has an effect on the destructiveness of a punch but the ouch factor on one's unprotected knuckles means that hitting bony bodyparts is an even worse idea than with an unloaded fist: Shots to soft spots would be the way to go.

Wooden or bone versions may have existed in some cultures instead of the brass knuckle ?

Since these are illegal carry or even possess in many places and are of limited practicallity I don't finds them desirable except in the context of knowing more about all types of weapons and historical weapons use.

A good cane or walking stick is a much more practical and " legal ' option as it has other uses: Even where legal a knuckle duster in the pocket would be seen in a very negative way by police officers !

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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