RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V2 #718

Reed Andrus (randrus@home.com)
Wed, 14 Apr 1999 05:17:40 -0700 > Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 06:55:18 -0500
> From: "Charles Shafer" <cshafer@chipsnet.com>
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: saps
> Regarding saps: I served 28 years on the Chicago PD. Years ago, in the
> late 60's and very early 70's they were a fairly common sight hanging from a
> cop's utility belt or sticking out of his back pocket. Also, they were
> readily available at any uniform store, or police supply house. I never
> carried one, and most other cops didn't either. Seemed to me they made you
> look more like a storm trooper than a cop. I mean, they already issue you a
> billy club!!
> Then the rules changed, and things like that were outlawed.

I can't speak for police forces, but back in the early 70's I was a Sky
Marshall for the US Treasury Dept. Part of the standard issue -- along
with cuffs, 4" revolver, and other tools -- was a nasty little sap
consisting of a 4" lead slug attached to a strong spring and handle. The
lead slug would rock back and forth on the spring, and you could really
work up some torque. Bounced in off my partners head once while playing
around. You could hear the "thonk" from a distance of several feet.

That little devil was in marked contrast to the sap my grandfather used
in the 20s in his capacity as small-town deputy -- a stitched leather
pouch filled with sand attached to a hard leather handle. I have this
treasure, along with his badge, as part of his inheritance. I wonder if
he ever used it, because it would appear that the seams would split upon
contact with any head.

Best regards,

... Reed
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