By Travis Pike via SOFREP
A sap is a classic melee weapon that used to be employed by police, thugs, and other rough men in fights. A sap is a dangerous weapon capable of breaking bones, cracking skulls, and even killing an opponent. Saps are traditionally made with leather molded into a certain shape backed by a heavy lead weight. Today we will look at how to make a sap from improvised materials you can gather nearly anywhere. Sure, a gun, knife, or purpose-built weapon is better, but sometimes that isn’t an option.
The Sap: an American Thumper
You may find yourself overseas in a country with strict weapon laws. That doesn’t mean you’ll have a lack of threats to deal with. Being able to think on the fly and create an impact weapon could be a force multiplier. Why break those little bones in your hand when you can make an effective impact weapon that does more damage than your meager hands ever could.
The first thing you’ll need is something flexible and cloth-like. This can be anything from a T-shirt to a sock, rag, or, in my example, a bandana. This will be the body of your sap.
Next, you’ll need something heavy. It can be as simple as a good dense rock or as advanced as an eight-ounce fishing weight. Pool balls, soda cans, and anything else with some heft can work. It would help if you had something heavy that can transfer kinetic energy efficiently. I am using an eight-ounce fishing weight: It’s small, very dense, and strikes extremely well.
You need to wrap that heavy thunker up in your cloth-like material. But be sure to wrap it as much as possible. That is for two reasons:
Firstly, you aren’t making a morning star, and you don’t want two feet of T-shirt swinging wildly around. Sure, the extra range is great, but an improvised weapon like this is already tough to control. You want it to be less than a foot long, preferably extending your reach only six inches or so. If your sap is too long, you run the risk of losing control of it. Wrap up tight with as many layers as possible.
Secondly, your cloth material is going to break and rip after a few blows. It’s the downside to an improvised weapon. They don’t hold up for long.
Use and Carry
Let’s say you’ve improvised your weapon. Even with a sap, you don’t want to go on the offensive until you absolutely need to. An improvised sap doesn’t beat a gun, and you never know how your opponent is armed.
I like a bandana and a fishing weight because it keeps things small and you can find both nearly anywhere. On top of that, they allow you to carry the sap clenched in your fist without drawing any attention or even have it slung in your pocket with the bandana tails exposed for an easy draw.
Once you have your sap, you should be trying to find a means to escape the situation and lose the threat. Again let’s go to your foreign vacation situation. Someone is following you, you find a way to improvise a weapon, but you can’t just attack some dude following you. Nope, you try to lose the guy. You stay in a public area, maybe find a police officer and let him you’re being followed.
Let’s say the attacker makes his move. Your goal should be to strike hard and strike fast. Attack the bad guy as hard as you can and then split. Run, get away, create distance, and disappear. Get somewhere safe. A sap gives you a weapon that can stun a bad guy, break a bone, and let him know you aren’t easy prey. However, it’s not a dueling tool with which you can stand your ground and John Wick the bad guys.
An improvised sap is a force multiplier and an effective tool to stun and disable an attacker. It’s not perfect, but it’s easy to make and even easier to wield.
This review originally appeared on SOFREP.com