Expandable Baton 101: Users Guide To This Versatile Non-Lethal Weapon
The expandable baton is an intermediate force device intended to augment your defensive, arrest, and control techniques.
It is not a substitute when deadly force is necessary, reasonable and proper. The expandable baton when properly used is not likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. However, as with any intermediate weapon, aggravated and intentional misuse may cause death or serious injury.
The expandable baton is also referred to as a collapsible baton. It is constructed of durable metal shafts and provides a low profile. When closed, this baton is only six to nine inches long. The baton will open when it is held firmly with the shsnapped downward next to your leg. The baton is closed by striking the tip sharply and directly on a hard surface. The size of the expandable baton makes it easy to carry, and it is easy to conceal, which makes it an ideal non lethal weapon.
The baton is primarily carried on the non-gun side of your body. It should always be holstered in the designated scabbard with the tip end down. The scabbard should be positioned where you can comfortably reach the handle with your gun hand. When placing the scabbard in this position, check to ensure it is snapped and firmly held onto the belt. By regularly carrying the baton in this position it will ensure that the device is immediately ready should you need to utilize it.
Try to keep your baton dry. If the baton is exposed to water, salt air, perspiration, extend the shaft and dry with a cloth. You should also inspect your baton at least monthly to ensure there is no rusting. You may also apply a very light coat of oil to the baton’s shaft to prevent rusting.
The expandable baton can be used to protect yourself, other officers, or other persons from bodily harm. It can be used to restrain or subdue a resistant prisoner or subject when other means have failed or are considered impractical. At all times, the expandable baton should be used so that it minimizes the risk of injury to you or the subject.
Two important factors of effective expandable baton use are proper stance and position. The field interview stance is designed to place you in a position where your body is turned weapon side away. In this stance you are ready and capable of moving quickly in any direction. Also remember that the more distance there is between you and the subject, the greater your reaction time.
Proper grip of the baton is established by placing the baton in the gun hand from the weak side draw. When the baton is utilized in the closed mode, it is held in the center of the handle section with a full hand grip using all four fingers. When the baton is used in the open mode, the proper grip is directly above the butt cap.
There is one primary drawing technique for using the expandable baton, the cross draw. With your weak hand positioned to protect yourself, reach across your body with your gun hand. From the draw there are two practical baton positions. First the loaded baton position. Hold the baton parallel to the top side of your shoulder. And the ready baton position, hold the baton vertically behind your strong leg. You may wish to use this position when disguising potential use or to avoid inciting a subject.
There are four basic strikes used with the expandable baton. The four hand high strike. The four hand low strike. The back hand high strike. The back hand low strike. All strikes are executed with full power by turning the body and following through with the strike.
Redirection movements are principles of avoidance of aggressive force. The best defense against force is to avoid it. Whenever possible, you should direct movement to the outside of the subject’s body line. This position places you in the best tactical position. Generally these striking techniques can also serve to block an attack.
In some situations it may be necessary to execute a two handed blocking motion. Two handed high block, two handed down block. These blocks are executed by supporting the tip end of the baton with a weak hand and an open position and thrusting into the attack. You will have noticed during the demonstration that strikes with the expandable baton are directed below the chest area onto pressure point areas located on the arms and legs.
The five primary striking areas with the expandable baton are:
- Radio nerve, located on the outside of the forearm.
- The median nerve, located on the inside of the forearm.
- The common perennial, located on the thigh area of the leg just above the knee.
- The femoral nerve area, located on the inside of the thigh between the knee and the groin.
- The tibial nerve area located in the center of the calf.
Baton strikes into these areas should cause the following reactions with a minimum possibility of serious injury. High intensity pain, temporary paralysis of the affected muscle group, sudden flexing or reflex of the muscle group causing the area to buckle, a sympathetic response of the opposite joint to flex or buckle after the opposite side is struck. Deliberate strikes to the head, face, groin, solar plexus, neck, kidneys or spinal column are not authorized except when the use of deadly force is justified.
The expandable baton may also be used in the closed mode when the attacker is too close for you to open the baton. If you cannot open the baton, a powerful strike into the attacker with the edge of the butt cap may affect release so you can gain distance. The striking areas in the closed mode are the same as when opened with several additional striking areas. Brachial plexus origin, the area where the shoulder and chest meet, bicep strike, triceps strike. In a clenching attack, the tip end may also be utilized by vigorously rubbing it into the sternum or rib areas.
This video has provided an overview of the expandable baton or collapsable as a non-deadly force option. As with all motor skills, constant practice is required to maintain proficiency.