*ASP-type Baton Mods*
Telescoping or collapsible batons are a staple weapon of law enforcement for a very good reason - they are excellent HTH tools for subduing someone without necessarily killing him, but also more convenient to carry than a regular baton or side-handle PR24. Most LE departments go with the ASP brand baton, widely considered the top-of-the-line.
For the citizen interested in self-defense, for those occasions or jurisdictions where a firearm cannot be lawfully carried, a telescoping baton might be best self-defense tool available, where legal to possess. It's reasonably convenient, out-reaches most knives dramatically, and packs quite a wallop. A good blow to the hand, wrist, forearm or biceps can take that limb (and whatever its holding) out of the fight. It can be used to strike with the steel-button-tip, or in close quarters with the steel-buttcap, or to reinforce a lock or choke...a very versatile less-than-lethal weapon. Makes a good attitude-adjuster for the neighborhood pit-bull also;)
ASP brand telescoping batons are rather expensive though. I gave in to temptation and bought an "off brand" telescoping baton, the "Fury". Outwardly there seemed little difference between it and the ASP model, and the price was a fraction as much...but a little voice in my head whispered "Buy Quality, pay once, cry once...";)
Naturally, on bringing my new toy, er, WEAPON, home, the first thing I wanted to do was play wi- er, that is, try it out ;)
I quickly concluded that it was far too hard to deploy, requiring a VERY violent snap, and didn't lock out well enough...after a few dozen openings and a bit of light whacking on a pole, the tip-end section popped clean out!
Well, this wouldn't do at all...I'd have to fix the thing, and adjust it so that it worked the way I wanted.
First things first...HOW exactly does a telescoping baton work? I had a vague idea, but needed more exact info, so I took it apart. The butt-cap screws off and the two inner rods then slide out the bottom of the handle. Here are the parts:
The way it works it thus: the spring-clip wedges into the base of the inner rod (tube actually), holding it down, thus closed. Momentum causes it to slip loose and deploy. The baton "locks out" by friction or "wedging"...the hollow rods are tapered and flare wider at the base, causing them to "stick" in place when fully extended.
The inner, or tip-most, rod was failing to lock because it lacked enough "flare" at the base...and the baton was too hard to snap open because the clip held its base too firmly.
First task, then, is make that inner/tipmost rod flare more at the base. How in the heck...hmm...
What you see above is simply an iron pry bar, about four and half feet long and two inches thick. One end is chisel-pointed, but the other (pictured here) tapers to a nice roundish point! Ah ha! So, we wedge the other end into the ground, and support the pointy end on a concrete block, and then...
I put the base of the inner rod (still INSIDE the outer/lower rod...important!) over the tip of the pry bar, then hammered on the tip-button firmly but not too hard...about like driving a small nail into soft pine. 5 or 6 raps, then I reassembled and tested...not good...again, 10 raps...better but not locking out firmly enough...8 or 10 more raps, reassemble and test...excellent! The baton was now locking out solidly and the end-segment showed no sign of popping out.
Now, the other problem...it was too hard to deploy, requiring a REALLY hard snap to get it open. I wanted it to stay closed when upside down or wiggled or jostled, but to pop open with just a flick of the wrist, not a violent swing of the entire arm. The springy double-clip at the base is what held it shut, so a bit of a squeeze with needle-nose pliers to narrow the profile a bit...
Let me strongly emphasize, squeeze this clip GENTLY...I did it very lightly, reassembled and tried it, did it again a little more, tested it, then repeated it one last time to get it just like I wanted. Squeeze too hard and you'll completely disable the retention clip, and the baton won't stay shut!
Finally done, I reassembled it one last time, then tested it with a couple dozen snap-deployments...
Perfect! It stayed shut when I wanted it to stay shut, but opened with just a flick of the wrist. Once opened, it locked out solidly, and the end-piece stayed solid despite more practice blows on a post. I now had a fully functional, reliable telescoping baton, customized to my preferences, for a fraction of the cost of an ASP-brand-name.
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