Best Blackjack Weapon Review and Buying Guide

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Throughout human history, self-defense weapons were carried and used very commonly. Some of them were really unusual — for example, the blackjack. In recent times, it has been outlawed in many places and is used much more rarely, but some people still buy it in 2023.

Top 3 blackjack weapons

Top 3 Blackjack Weapons

So, when we’ve explained a bit about the blackjack, let’s move on to blackjacks themselves — the models that you can buy on the market. For the sake of diversity, we’ve included in our top-3 list not only a blackjack, but also a sap and a coin wallet.

Convoy Blackjack

Two-Tone Kangaroo Convoy Blackjack

This stylish model covered with braided leather is a classic club-like blackjack. Its head is made of lead, and the handle has a coil spring inside it. This spring is specially designed to cause less lacerations. And because this blackjack is rather long, it can hit on a bigger distance than many other models. But its length and large size are also a downside — this blackjack is not so easy to hide. The company producing Convoy Blackjacks is named Foster Impact Devices.

Midget Sap

Midget Sap

Midget Sap is a small sap that resembles the tail of a beaver. It’s made by the same company as the previous entry. This sap has a hand strap made of leather, and some of its variations have a woven texture. Its handle is rigid, and its head is strengthened by lead, which makes it really heavy despite its humble size. The strap is integrated, thanks to which it’s safer and open-hand grabs are possible. Also, you can make whip-like movements with it — for this, you’ll need to hold the strap in your fingers. Its small size is both an advantage and a disadvantage — on the one hand, it makes the sap easier to hide, but on the other hand, it makes striking range very small.

Hot Tamale V-2 Coin Wallet

Hot Tamale V-2 Coin Wallet

A very interesting model of self-defense weapons made by Mean Gene Leather. It doesn’t look like a sap or a blackjack at all. Instead, it has the innocent appearance of an ordinary purse. Looking at this small wallet, nobody can think that it’s really a weapon. And, of course, it’s the main advantage of this model — the police likely won’t have any questions about it. But it still can function as full-fledged sap — you can fill it with 13 ounces of coins. Also, its price is rather affordable. But because of its shape, its use is limited to slapping and whipping movements.

Blackjack weapons. What are they?

Blackjack Weapons. What Are They?

Blackjack Weapons




A blackjack weapon, also called a cosh, a slapjack, or a slapper, is a flexible, club-like self-defense weapon that a person can carry. Oftentimes it consists of a metal tube, a spring, and a metal ball — and all of this is covered with black leather. The spring and the ball are optional — blackjack clubs may as well be without them, only with the tube. But the principle is the same — it should be co comfortable to hold and heavy enough to cause stronger pain. Usually, they’re weighed by lead, because this metal is one of the heaviest.


Two-Tone Kangaroo Convoy Blackjack The traditional blackjack was very popular among gangsters in the 1940s. Also, it was used by the police. Now it’s a weapon of choice for some wrestlers. In a fight, it can be very helpful. Sometimes, its use can even result in an opponent’s death, despite its small size. And even if it doesn’t kill your opponent, its weight can cause very nasty bruises.

Also, there are other types of self-defense weapons that resemble a blackjack, for example:

  • Sap — a flat leather-covered tool with a metal weight and, in some cases, a spring;
  • Twistjack — a piece of a wire braid covered in leather and filled with a weight (for example, a lead ball) on the end. Usually, such devices don’t contain a spring. Their sizes differ, but as a rule, they’re rather small in comparison to blackjacks;
  • Billy club — a small wooden baton. Also it can be a leather billy club;
  • Slungshot — a long thin handle with a small-sized heavy weighted piece of metal, covered with black leather or fabric;
  • Coin wallet — a flat device filled with coins that has a zip lock and closely resembles an ordinary wallet. Thanks to it, you can put additional coins, lead shot or anything small and heavy inside it to increase its effectiveness. Since coins are perfectly legal things and the weight of this pocket tool can be easily changed, you won’t get into any trouble with the police for carrying it. Isn’t that great?
  • Tow hook sap — a tool that resembles an ordinary sap, but with a tow hook attached to it. This allows you to attach it to your belt loop. Also, you can attach your keys to the opposite end of the device, to hit your opponents with them;
  • Palm sap — a little bit heavy device with a leather hand strap. It’s one of the most convenient self defense weapons to conceal and carry . Because of its compact size, it can be hidden in a pocket much better than other devices on this list. A palm sap can deliver both fist punches (in case they have a cylindrical shape) and slaps (if they’re more flat). When used in a fist, it significantly decreases the possibility of hurting your own hand during hitting.

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The history of the blackjack

The History Of The Blackjack

Blackjack-type weapons were firstly mentioned in the 19th century. Not long before the civil war in the US, Ward Hill — a lawyer and a friend of Abraham Lincoln — had this self-defense tool in his own arsenal.

When police started functioning in New York and Boston (it happened in the middle of the same century), they began carrying the blackjack. But the real popularity came to this small weapon in the 1960s.

However, after that, blackjack tools started to lose their popularity and soon their carrying was outlawed in the majority of states. Now, those bans still haven’t been canceled. When the 1980s came, the blackjack was already almost forgotten.

But not so long ago, blackjacks have come into fashion once more. We’re not sure why exactly — for their practical qualities or just to remind us of good old times — but they’re becoming more and more popular nowadays even despite their almost-illegality.

The legal status of the blackjack

The Legal Status Of The Blackjack

As we’ve already said, blackjacks are not legal in most states. Even the police forces stopped carrying them. But the situation is a bit more complicated. Predominantly, it is perfectly allowed to own a blackjack or a flat sap. Just never use it, and you won’t get problems with the law. That’s why they’re mainly bought as collectibles by history lovers who don’t take such a risk. And people who really carry and use them do it mostly against stray dogs.

How to use a blackjack?

How To Use A Blackjack? In general, this self-defense weapon is very simple to use: just hit the opponent with the heavy part of it and escape as fast as you can! But you can increase the pain and damage very significantly if you know how to hold blackjack the right way and which body areas to target. Well, talk about it in more detail in the next part of this article.

First of all, we’re going to answer the question: “How to grip a blackjack weapon to maximize the injuries?” The majority of blackjacks are held in the “hammer” or a “baseball bat” manner — that is, the exact way those objects are usually held.

But some jack types have quite an unusual construction with a lateral offset of the handle. If you’ve got such a device, hold it like you usually hold a large-handled cup.

However, holding a blackjack or a sap properly isn’t enough to effectively defend yourself. Following through is no less important.

Some people make whip-like movements with this tool. Its flexibility makes such methods possible, but swinging and following through is much more effective. We recommend you to move like you’re hitting a nail into a wall, with all your force. It will be way more painful for the attacker.

Another important piece of advice is that you shouldn’t limit yourself to only one hit. Just continue striking on and on. A great number of hits will increase the damage and stop your opponent from attacking you.

When you’ve hit the attacker with your blackjack, make the next blow with the other hand. It will give you a moment to “rechamber” the device and hit once more. Don’t stop until the opponent has stopped attacking you.

To sum up, it can be said that the most important things in using a blackjack tool are:

  • Firm gripping;
  • Hard swinging;
  • Following through;
  • Repeated striking.

In the hands of a skilled person, this small weapon can be a very dangerous force. Its weight can cause massive damage, broken bones, or even death. But you don’t have to train for years to turn your jack into a serious (and even lethal) threat. All you need is to know some fighting techniques and vulnerable places on the human body. Below, you can find all the main information about them.

Muscles and soft tissues

Many people mistakenly suppose that blackjack weapons are suitable to attack only hard body parts such as bones, since they are not protected by soft tissues. But a blackjack strike can be really harmful for muscles too.

Targeting soft tissues is a great non-lethal technique for using blackjack. Just strike your opponent in the biceps, calves, thighs, or pectorals. If done right, it can hurt insanely and cause major damage to the affected body part. It means that it can give you a significant chance to win the fight and save yourself.

Such hits may be both underhand and overhand. It depends on the positions of you and your opponent.

Reductive hits

Reductive hits are hits that are meant to lessen the attacker’s possibility to harm you. When making such a hit, you need to focus on the places that provide free use of the hands, thus impairing them. If it’s done right, the attacker will lose the ability to hit, grasp you or hold any kind of weapon. Strikes in the leg joints also fall under this category, because they can greatly affect the opponent’s ability to move.

Reductive hits are considered one of the most basic and primary self-defense techniques since they can give you a real opportunity to win the fight and run away.

Performing such strikes is rather easy. You’ll just need to aim at the opponent’s hands or fingers if it’s possible. The bones there are very fragile. If they are broken, the attacker won’t be able to damage you with this hand anymore!

A strike to one of the joints is also a great reductive strike — but for it, you have to be a bit more skillful. In the case of hands, any strong hit will be suitable, but if you’re targeting a joint, you’ll need to aim more precisely and hit along the non-bending axis. But it’s worth it — a blow to a joint is very damaging to any arm or leg, and can easily immobilize or at least slow down your opponent.

Incidental aims

Also, some body parts don’t seem to be the best targets for a blackjack, but in reality, it’s not true. It is the collarbones and ribs. These bones are rather fragile and breaking or simply hitting them can cause an immense amount of pain. that will definitely shock your opponent and stop them from attacking you actively. Another advantage of these targets is that you don’t need any super skills to hit them — it’s quite easy to do.

A hit to the collarbone should be overhand, while a strike to the ribs (especially lower ones) needs to be backhand. Tie up the protecting arm of your opponent and try to break their ribcage. There’s a high possibility that this injury will make them collapse and harden their breath.

In addition to that, in case you’ve already hit the attacker! They’ll probably start to protect the places on their body that have already been hurt. So, they’ll expose other areas that’ll be much easier for you to hit.

Lethal blows

We’ve already said that despite its small size and a rather innocuous look, a blackjack can be a truly lethal weapon — of course, if used properly. Anyone skilled enough can easily kill with this compact device. If you’re in a really serious fight, there’s nothing wrong in aiming at your opponent’s head or neck. Even if it doesn’t result in your attacker’s death, it will surely cause extremely bad injuries.

But where exactly is it better to strike? A hit in any place on the head or the neck is very damaging. But it’s better not to target a part of the forehead called the frontal glacis. Since the bone here is the thickest, the injury will be much less grave.

The face and the temple have way more fragile bones, so if you strike there, it will surely cause severe head damage and a concussion. If your life is in danger and you have a blackjack, the best thing to do is to strike fast, many times, till the attacker loses consciousness.

Hits to the neck are also a great variant. If you hit the back part of it, you can break the backbone and injure nerves in it. In case you strike the frontal or the side part, you’ll interrupt blood flow to the head and knock the opponent out, or injure the trachea and make them suffocate.

If you target the head, the overhand blow is more preferable, but if you aim at the neck, we recommend you to make a backhand or a forehand hit.

Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

What is a blackjack weapon?

A blackjack, also called a slapjack, is a small self-defense weapon in the form of a baton or a club. Usually, it’s rather flexible and consists of a metallic tube, a spring, a ball, and a hand strap — although, those two parts are optional. Also, it can have keys or other similar objects attached to it, for increasing the damage.

Are slapjack weapons legal?

In the majority of US states, it’s legal to own a slapjack weapon, but not to carry it or fight with it. That’s why many people buy it simply for their collections or nostalgia. And in case they use it, it’s mainly against stray dogs.

How to make a blackjack weapon?

There are several ways to make a DIY blackjack or a flat sap. The simplest of them is to cut out two pieces of leather and put a spring and something heavy like a metal ball or lead shot between them, and also a hand strap (this part is necessary if you’re making a palm sap). Some people use paracord to make a wrapped blackjack. But of course, all the details of this process can’t be explained in a short answer. There are lots of video instructions on Youtube that can be found very easily. So, we recommend you to search for them. But remember, it’s still illegal to carry a blackjack, be it DIY or not!

What makes the best blackjack?

There are lots of things that can increase the quality of a blackjack. For example, the ball weight — the heavier it is, the more painful its strikes will be. The presence of a spiral matters too — it significantly increases its effectiveness. Another factor is the leather quality — the higher it is, the longer the blackjack will serve you.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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