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  Hidden Weapons   Disclaimer   This material has been made available for research and reference purposes only. Readers are strongly advised against obtaining or manufacturing any of the weapons referred to herein, as the majority are unlawful to possess. It is not our intent that anyone break the law or wrongfully harm others. Be aware that the majority of the weapons referred to are currently available from numerous sources, and may very well be encountered in the hands of criminals. We feel that it is important to know what one might be facing when confronted by criminals on the street.   Contents 1. Introduction2. Blades & Such3. Blunt Trauma4. Cane Weapons5. Police Style Weapons6. Ninja Crap7. Street Guns8. Paramilitary Weapons9. Afterword Introduction   Hidden weapons are not the same as invisible, or improvised, weapons. Rather, they are specifically intended to be implemented as weapons, and are designed so as to provide for maximum concealment upon one’s person.   Being designed specifically as weapons, they tend to be far more damaging than improvised weapons, which were srcinally intended for much different purposes. Because of their nature,  hidden weapons are often prohibited by law. Depending on one’s jurisdiction, as well as the type of weapon in question, punishment can range from confiscation to years of imprisonment. Be sure to research the laws regarding weapon possession in your area before considering procurement of any exotic weaponry.   Some of these weapons are favored by gang members, ex-convicts, and professional criminals. These people are typically substance abusing repetitive felons who will not be deterred from obtaining a weapon they want simply because it has been prohibited. If your occupation, environment, or lifestyle tends to bring you into contact with such people, you run a high risk of being attacked with a weapon in the event of a violent confrontation. This section will briefly discuss how such weapons are used, where on the person they are typically concealed, and take notice of any significant weaknesses a weapon might have.   A few of the weapons listed are extremely nasty and highly illegal. Such weapons are typically the tools of assassins (whether criminal, terrorist or officially sanctioned) and would never be used by a true warrior. However, many freakish deviates fancy themselves ninja commandos and could conceivably procure or manufacture such devices to carry upon their persons. If you become involved in an altercation with such an individual, it is good to know what you might be up against.   Exotic weaponry has long been a subject of fascination for many who walk the warrior path. In addition to being informative, this section is meant to be entertaining as well.   A partial listing of common hidden weapons follows. For purposes of brevity, this section is far from complete, as the various types of hidden weapon number in the hundreds. Many hidden weapons had only limited production or were handmade prototypes, thus are difficult to acquire. Most of the weapons listed here are currently available. Mundane weapons (such as lockblades, hunting knives, and handguns) have been excluded from this section, as their inclusion would’ve taken up a lot of room telling you stuff that you probably already know.   Blades & Such   Blades are the favored carry weapon of streetfighters, gangbangers, and paroled felons, and you are guaranteed to encounter them if you spend any amount of time on the streets. Criminals like blades for many different reasons. First, they are cheap and easily available, which enables them to be quickly tossed if a search appears probable. Second, they are small, lightweight, and easily concealed. Third, they are far more intimidating and damaging than empty hands. Fourth, many criminals mistakenly believe that blades are untraceable weapons which cannot be connected to them once their prints have been wiped off. Fifth, in most instances, possession of a blade (particularly a folder, boxcutter, or small kitchen knife) will carry a far less serious penalty than possession of a handgun. And finally, blades are silent (which gives the criminal greater opportunity to avoid attracting unwanted attention).   If you are a policeman, bouncer, or biker, you will probably be attacked with a blade at least once.   SHIVS:    Shiv is commonly defined as a small, thin, knife (usually double-edged) made from a single piece of material (usually steel) and designed for maximum concealment. They are lightweight and have little profile.   Shivs, usually meant to frustrate common pat down weapon checks, are seldom worn on one’s belt or dropped in one’s pocket. Because of their small size and light weight, people have gotten very creative with methods of concealed carry. Shivs are commonly worn in wristband rigs or sheaths stitched to the outside of one’s boot. Other popular modes of carry include sheaths sewn under one’s lapel or inside one’s jacket, sheaths pinned under one’s tie, or sheaths worn around one’s neck on a lanyard or breakaway chain. Sheaths tend to be either form fitting plastic or magnetized to provide maximum retention. Lesser seen modes of carry include thigh rigs (intended for ladies), garter rigs, and behind-the-neck rigs (usually requiring a figure-8 elastic harness worn under one’s shirt). Clandestine modes of carry include being concealed in the heel of a shoe or sewn in the lining of a jacket. Shivs tend to be professionally ground with skeletonized handles and top quality sheaths, and can cost well over fifty dollars, but many cheaply made imitations can be had for under ten.   Shivs tend to be stainless steel, as they are intended to be worn close to the body and must resist corrosion caused by exposure to perspiration. Shivs are also available composed of fiberglass, titanium, or ceramics — lightweight materials which will pass through metal detectors unnoticed. Several versions of fiberglass or plastic knives are concealed within the handles of combs and hairbrushes.   Shivs have short blades, typically between one and three inches, thus are unlikely to kill except in the event of a successful attack to the throat. Viable targets include the solar plexus and kidneys, but the face and hands may be slashed at to deter an attack. The typical shiv is a throwaway weapon, designed to be stuck in someone’s head or neck and discarded. They are favored by intelligence agents as part of their concealed escape & evasion kit.   Similar to a shiv, but better, is the Mini-Culloden from Cold Steel. It is worn around the neck in a form-fitting Kydex sheath attached to a lanyard, and has a non-slip shock-absorbing Kraton handle. The 3.5 blade is single-edged with a needle-sharp point and is available with either a plain or serrated edge. Its design is based on that of the skean-dhu (sometimes seen spelled as: sgian-dubh) garter knife still worn by traditional Scotsmen. However, this small blade obviously has no utilitarian uses whatsoever — it has been designed solely as a weapon of last resort.   SHANKS:   Shanks are commonly defined as poor quality knife-like weapons, often homemade, carried for the express purpose of stabbing someone. Due to their low cost or makeshift nature, they are usually discarded immediately after use. They are not intended for utilitarian purposes, and seldom have a sharp cutting edge.   One of the more frequently encountered shanks is the Pakistani boot knife. This weapon typically costs about $5 and has a dull double-edged blade with a stubby tang that is epoxied to  the handle. The blades are typically chrome-plated or blackened to conceal the poor quality of the metal. If used as a utility blade, the Pakistani boot knife will quickly break. These knives are typically worn in a leather sheath with a snap release and spring clip. The snap release often catches on the knife when drawn, so it is sometimes cut off. The belt or boot spring clip is usually chrome-plated, which reflects light like a mirror; and it will not secure itself to most boots properly, resulting in the sheath remaining on the blade when drawn. Similarly designed knives of marginally better quality are available for about $10, but they are garbage as well — and they are the best of the weapons in this category.   Another type of shank commonly found on the streets are the cheap imported copies of tactical folders. These folding jokes are always made of poor quality materials, fail to take a proper edge, and often break within days (if not hours) of purchase. The blades often are either too tight to open one-handed, or are so loose that the blade rattles when locked into place. The locks typically are of such poor quality that the knife will close simply by rapping the spine of the blade against a table top (which means it could easily fold upon one’s fingers during use). These knives usually are equipped with thumbstuds and pocket-clips, and often have blades exceeding 4 in length, but they are garbage nonetheless — they have all the performance of an aluminum tent stake! However, due to their sharp appearance (wicked-looking blades with colored aluminum handles that have rubberized inserts), low price (often under $5), and easy availability (flea markets, novelty shops, and street vendors), they have found their way into the pockets of street people and juvenile delinquents everywhere.   Small kitchen knives, like paring knives and steak knives, are also regularly encountered (as is the occasional letter opener ). Having no hilt, one’s hand can easily slide up onto the blade upon stabbing into bone or heavy material. Sometimes the handle is wrapped with layers of tape to provide for a better grip. These knives are often simply dropped in one’s pocket, where they can snag on the lining upon being drawn or injure the owner in the event of a fall, although a rudimentary sheath can easily be fabricated from a piece of folded cardboard wrapped in tape. Sheathed like so, the knife can be tucked in one’s waistband or boot.   Makeshift shanks (such as those found in correctional facilities) are usually constructed from thin pieces of scrap metal. The metal is tediously worked (often by repeatedly scraping it across the floor) until it is pointed enough to stab with, before the handle is wrapped for a better grip. Sharpened plastic, broken glass, and wooden stakes (as when a pool cue or broomstick is snapped) can also serve as functional shanks.   Criminals who carry shanks usually favor the solar plexus as a target for their attack, either stabbing into this area hard before violently pumping the handle (commonly referred to as running the gears), or stabbing multiple times very quickly (usually in an uncontrolled frenzy). A thick leather jacket will usually protect this area quite well. Criminals rarely attempt to slash with a shank.   SPIKES:   Spikes come in a variety of designs. Some are similar to a large headless nail. Some have handles or knurled grips. Some have a point on either end. Most are round with a simple point at the end, but a few are triangular or square with sharpened edges and blood grooves. They are simple, but nasty, weapons.  
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