Tactical Experts > Public Safety
How to Choose a Baton with ASP
In this short video, Michael from ASP covers everything you need to know about choosing a baton. ASP is an industry leading manufacturer of expandable batons, restraints and other police gear. For more than forty years, ASP has had a single-minded focus on providing law enforcement officers with the finest tools for the safe performance of their duties and industry-leading training on the proper use of those tools.
I'm Michael with ASP and we've partnered with TacticalGear.com to talk you through how to choose a baton. Impact weapons have been around for as long as there have been law enforcement officers, but the technology has come a long way since the days when hickory sticks were state of the art. Modern, expandable baton is a precision-engineered tool that's a critical part of an officer's intermediate force options.
A well-designed, high-quality expandable baton provides an optimal balance of striking power and compact carry on the belt or vest. You want to look for batons made of high-strength materials such as 4140 steel and 7075 T6 aluminum — these are the same proven materials used in things like revolver cylinders, rifle receivers and aircraft parts. An effective, reliable baton requires a hard striking surface, secure grip, smooth operation, corrosion-resistance and of course, long-term durability.
From a functional standpoint, all expandable batons are deployed by rapidly extending the arm, snapping the baton either upward or downward and extending the shafts by inertia. But there are different systems that determine how the shafts lock into place and how they unlock for retracting. Traditional friction batons lock open by way of the tapers between the sections.
To close the baton, you have to strike the tip firmly and straight down against a hard surface, such as concrete, to break the friction of the tapers and collapse the sections. A more advanced option is a mechanical locking system, such as that found in ASP's talon batons. This type of baton features an internal mechanism that allows it to be closed by simply pressing a button and pushing the shafts into their stowed position. This type of baton should never be closed using impact. An added advantage to mechanical-locking batons is that they can be pulled open, as a more discreet option to the aggressive traditional deployment.
Expandable batons are available in a variety of sizes, from ultra-compact and concealable to riot length. Full sized batons, typically 21 to 26 inches extended, are primarily used by uniformed officers and carried on a duty belt. Compact models, averaging 12 to 16 inches, are often preferred by off-duty or plain clothes officers. They're also often selected by civilians for personal protection, but if you're not a law enforcement officer, make sure you are complying with any applicable laws in your area and that you get some good self-defense training.
Besides length, you have several other options when choosing a baton. There are different metal finishes available as well as a variety of grip materials and surfaces. Some batons also come in weight saving versions, such as the ASP airweight models, which incorporate both steel and aluminum components.
Baton designs, materials and finishes are largely a matter of personal or agency preference. But regardless of the model you select, you want a baton that effectively extends your reach in a defensive situation but is not so long or heavy that it's difficult for you to carry or to strike quickly and accurately. These factors will vary for people of different sizes, fitness levels and most of all training.
Finally, don't forget the accessories. At a minimum, you'll want a good scabbard that carries your baton securely but allows fast access. There are also optional caps that improve grip, retention and leverage. And there are even specialized glass-breaking tips that turn your baton into a life-saving extrication tool.
Make sure to check out all the baton and accessory options on TacticalGear.com and put together an impact weapon solution that's perfect for you.
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