Real Life Weapon Choices (olden like the plague)

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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Insignificant Deifaction » Fri May 09, 2008 11:13 pm UTC

Greatsword: Cricket bat with a twist.

To explain, the zweihander and its compatriot weapons were not meant to be used as fast weapons. They can be used that way, but primarily they were for opening up cans of whoop-arse. Essentially, you had two swings with numerous variations with the zweihander:The vertical and the arc. The vertical was maximum power and speed, and tended to strike faster than people could dodge, even a glancing blow at full power tended to be incredibly painful and slicey. Further, as mentioned, a competent user would use the momentum in a missed swing for a recovery. The arc swing was used primarily for quick opponents and shattering pikes. These tended to start slow and speed up, but as anyone who has ever swung any type of bat (cricket, baseball, golf, etc.) at the waist knows, it's a very powerful and quick movement overall. The near thing about any swing was that if it struck it tended to crack ribs, break the shock-absorbing bones, compress armor, shatter chainlink, and wrench a shield arm out of its socket. The point being that power was everything, and armor made no difference.

Sword and Shield: Way too cumbersome, and sacrifices offensive power for moderate defense. When it got to the point that greatswords were in use, the shield was a massive disadvantage to a warrior. They weren't strong enough, and greatswords and other weapons could break the arm wielding the shield through the shield, as well as breaking the shield itself. Further, whilst a one-handed sword is smaller, it is not necessarily faster, especially with the strength training that often comes with zweihanders and the fact that they can be steered by the offhand.

As for Eastern weaponry, as said, the sword was primarily a razor for unusual combat situations. The sidearm wakizashi was used for taking down fully armored opponents when on foot (if I recall correctly), as it functioned excellently as a dirk.

Of course, for all of the grandeur of European weaponry, we musn't forget one English victory (I think it was Agincourt) that was not so much a great victory as a spectacular failure, in which mud immobilized the heavy French knights, and the English longbowmen systematically moved amongst them and killed them with daggers.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby lorenith » Sat May 10, 2008 2:40 am UTC

wst wrote:The links burst... making a bigger hole. However, it is very useful stuff for filling in the gaps between your plates / giving archers better slice-defence. But arrows go right through that stuff.


If I recall correctly chain mail actually replaced plate mail because it was more effective at stopping peircing, that doesn't go to say it's perfect at it, just better than plate, which is much more succeptable to the piercing power of things like arrows.

wst wrote:
(I learnt that at a Medieval re-enactment thing. Sadly, in the battle later on, a freak accident occurred where someone ended up in a coma, with a sword through their eye/brain, through the smallest fucking gap in their helmet. That was awful, it happened 30 feet in front of me. Poor guy :( )

However, the chances of such accidents are extremely rare, and those faires usually teach you a lot. I went to about 20 a few years ago to watch/ learn.


That makes me think of some fencing accidents, some guy a really long time ago had an opponents blade break and go through the edge of his face mask killing him. Masks and swords are made differently now to stop that problem. The fencing equipment keeps getting changes in how it's put together to prevent puncture accidents from broken and even non broken blades.

It's kind of pointless I think, to compare something like large 2 handed swords or even hand and a half ones to something like a sword/shield combo. The different weapon combinations have different situational uses among other things, not to mention they probably were from different time periods. (I don't really know to be honest, but it seems pretty likely, try to remember that ren faires aren't always entirely accurate in how they portray certain things).
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Dibley » Sat May 10, 2008 8:00 am UTC

wst wrote:The links burst... making a bigger hole. However, it is very useful stuff for filling in the gaps between your plates / giving archers better slice-defence. But arrows go right through that stuff.

(I learnt that at a Medieval re-enactment thing. Sadly, in the battle later on, a freak accident occurred where someone ended up in a coma, with a sword through their eye/brain, through the smallest fucking gap in their helmet. That was awful, it happened 30 feet in front of me. Poor guy :( )

However, the chances of such accidents are extremely rare, and those faires usually teach you a lot. I went to about 20 a few years ago to watch/ learn.


Most affordable modern stuff is butted mail, where the link is just a wire bent in a circle. Not good for piercing blows, but it's easy to make. The better modern stuff and much of the older stuff (check wikipedia, they agree) was welded or riveted mail, which is much stronger (and a real bitch to make, which is why few people bother). I recall an interesting study I read of a few years back (I've lost the link) in which various samples of mail were draped over pieces of meat and with with arrows from an assortment of bows, such as a very weak kids bow, a reproduction english longbow, and a modern compound bow. Butted mail sucked, barely protecting from even the weakest bow, while riveted/welded suffered damage but not full penetration from the compound bow and barely any wear from the lesser bows.

Also, chain mail was not for people that couldn't afford plate. According to wikipedia it was typically more expensive than basic plate (not crazy fluted gothic plate, but plate all the same).
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Chrismclegless » Sun May 11, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

If anyone's interested, this guy has some very fun videos about old style weapons. If you know stuff about this already you may not learn anything new, but his style is fun and you'll enjoy watching them anyway.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Spoffin » Mon May 12, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

Insignificant Deification wrote:Of course, for all of the grandeur of European weaponry, we musn't forget one English victory (I think it was Agincourt) that was not so much a great victory as a spectacular failure, in which mud immobilized the heavy French knights, and the English longbowmen systematically moved amongst them and killed them with daggers.

A spectacular failure for the French because they used a combination of troops and tactics that were incredibly badly suited to the terrain, whereas the English set up first in a near ideal location, took a gamble and won despite being outnumbered and, theoretically, at a tactical disadvantage (exhausted, less well supplied, against armoured cavalry with longbows).
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby SecondTalon » Mon May 12, 2008 10:27 pm UTC

oxoiron wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:Hey, you put that on the end of a two-three foot shaft and attack someone with it, and tell me it's not a viable weapon. Even the claw end would be useful.
I don't think you'd even have to extend the handle. A 22 oz. framing hammer could fuck someone up in a hurry.

Regarding my previous post: I just thought it was funny that you went to the trouble to include a link to a picture of something as common as a claw hammer. Especially since there is no text, no explanation of what it is or how it is used. Just a picture of a lonely tool weapon all by itself. I was also laughing at myself for being disappointed when I clicked on the link. What the fuck was I expecting to see?

I was just making sure everyone was on the same page. There's tack hammers, ball peen hammers, the aforementioned sledge hammer, mallets, mauls, shingler's hammers, chipping hammers, Yosemite/climbing hammers, beer hammers, reflex hammers, brick hammers, habberdashers, whatever the hell this thing is, and so on.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby sleepygamer » Mon May 12, 2008 10:36 pm UTC

W00t 4 maul.

A hammer/axe? Win.

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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Torvaun » Mon May 12, 2008 10:48 pm UTC

sleepygamer wrote:W00t 4 maul.

A hammer/axe? Win.

KNIFEWRENCH!

I've got a couple mauls. Not my first choice for a weapon, presuming my opponent wasn't immobile. Too unbalanced.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Dibley » Mon May 12, 2008 11:03 pm UTC

Torvaun wrote:
sleepygamer wrote:W00t 4 maul.

A hammer/axe? Win.

KNIFEWRENCH!

I've got a couple mauls. Not my first choice for a weapon, presuming my opponent wasn't immobile. Too unbalanced.


WAAAAAY to heavy. If you want an axe, just use a normal one. Preferably double bit for extra badassery.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Philwelch » Tue May 13, 2008 3:42 am UTC

Torn Apart By Dingos wrote:
Gunfingers wrote:This included two handed swords (ever used a shield? blocking a good swing from a two-hander could very easily knock you on your ass), maces (often with spikes), and my personal favorite, the Guten Tag.

What's a Guten Tag?


Guten Tag to you, too!

Honestly, I'm lost too.

SecondTalon wrote:
oxoiron wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:Hey, you put that on the end of a two-three foot shaft and attack someone with it, and tell me it's not a viable weapon. Even the claw end would be useful.
I don't think you'd even have to extend the handle. A 22 oz. framing hammer could fuck someone up in a hurry.

Regarding my previous post: I just thought it was funny that you went to the trouble to include a link to a picture of something as common as a claw hammer. Especially since there is no text, no explanation of what it is or how it is used. Just a picture of a lonely tool weapon all by itself. I was also laughing at myself for being disappointed when I clicked on the link. What the fuck was I expecting to see?

I was just making sure everyone was on the same page. There's tack hammers, ball peen hammers, the aforementioned sledge hammer, mallets, mauls, shingler's hammers, chipping hammers, Yosemite/climbing hammers, beer hammers, reflex hammers, brick hammers, habberdashers, whatever the hell this thing is, and so on.


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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby oxoiron » Tue May 13, 2008 3:49 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:How could you forget this one?
How can you wield a hammer when you can't touch it? :?
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby GCM » Tue May 13, 2008 3:53 am UTC

Ahh, the crossbow! The Bender of the 15th century.

McHammer? Sounds like something Ronald would wield! :D

Alternatively, we could take some weapons from pro wrestling. The sledgehammer is cool, and so are chairs, but those are rather crappy. Or Barbies!
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby McCaber » Tue May 13, 2008 5:34 am UTC

I'll take a rapier. Swift, elegant death.

That or a polearm, if it's not a one-on-one fight.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Gunfingers » Tue May 13, 2008 1:46 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:
Torn Apart By Dingos wrote:
Gunfingers wrote:This included two handed swords (ever used a shield? blocking a good swing from a two-hander could very easily knock you on your ass), maces (often with spikes), and my personal favorite, the Guten Tag.

What's a Guten Tag?


Guten Tag to you, too!

Honestly, I'm lost too.


Every time i google it i get the phrase instead of the weapon, but basically it's a stick with a metal spike on the end. Made for piercing armor. It got it's name because you were supposed to yell "Guten Tag" as you struck your opponent. I've seen it on the History Channel and in Lords of the Realm 3, so i know it isn't a product of my imagination.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue May 13, 2008 1:58 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:I was just making sure everyone was on the same page. There's tack hammers, ball peen hammers, the aforementioned sledge hammer, mallets, mauls, shingler's hammers, chipping hammers, Yosemite/climbing hammers, beer hammers, reflex hammers, brick hammers, habberdashers, whatever the hell this thing is, and so on.

How could you forget this one?

Unlike the ones I mentioned, that one cannot be used in a lethal manner. At least, not without violating several of the Geneva Conventions.

(Alright, alright, so you probably can't kill someone with a reflex hammer.)

And, Gunfingers.. are you thinking of the Goedendag?
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Gunfingers » Tue May 13, 2008 2:01 pm UTC

Yes i am. I didn't think German was the right language.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Torvaun » Tue May 13, 2008 2:07 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:(Alright, alright, so you probably can't kill someone with a reflex hammer.)

If you can't, you're not trying hard enough.

Also, you missed out on the hammer with the coolest name of them all. The dead blow hammer
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Roland Lockheart » Mon May 19, 2008 4:27 am UTC

I concur with the hammer argument, it's been my experience that if you are able to hit someone(even with a shield) hard enough with a hammer it will stun them just long enough for you to hit them again, and again, and again...
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Likpok » Tue May 20, 2008 2:35 pm UTC

sleepygamer wrote:W00t 4 maul.

A hammer/axe? Win.

KNIFEWRENCH!


The problem is that mauls are not designed for people. They are designed for splitting logs. Same with two-headed axes. They came about so you only had to carry one tool while lumberjacking. One head was for chopping, one for splitting.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby choginga » Tue May 20, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

I personally go for a saber (or other curved sword) and cinquita (or other punch blade). But I am a pirate. Very effective, but a ninja did scar my thumb with a katana once. I then quit the sword fighting / reenactment club.

And before anyone says I should be using a cutlass; a cutlass is too flimsy for locking blades.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue May 20, 2008 7:31 pm UTC

...none of the weapons you mentioned are meant for "locking blades" Not to mention that a cutlass is a bit heavier and sturdier than a saber. A cinquita.. I have no idea what that is, and google is no help.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Gunfingers » Tue May 20, 2008 7:34 pm UTC

He refered to it as a "punch blade" so i'm picturing something similar to a push knife.

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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue May 20, 2008 7:37 pm UTC

Something small like that, or something like a katar? Blades like that come in a wide variety of flavors.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby choginga » Tue May 20, 2008 7:57 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:...none of the weapons you mentioned are meant for "locking blades" Not to mention that a cutlass is a bit heavier and sturdier than a saber. A cinquita.. I have no idea what that is, and google is no help.


Well we called this particular curved sword with a trap on the handle a saber but really it was something else. It was, however, perfect for locking blades long enough to use the other small blade. Those push blades are pretty much what I was talking about.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Torvaun » Tue May 20, 2008 8:00 pm UTC

choginga wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:...none of the weapons you mentioned are meant for "locking blades" Not to mention that a cutlass is a bit heavier and sturdier than a saber. A cinquita.. I have no idea what that is, and google is no help.


Well we called this particular curved sword with a trap on the handle a saber but really it was something else. It was, however, perfect for locking blades long enough to use the other small blade. Those push blades are pretty much what I was talking about.

Scimitar?
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby choginga » Tue May 20, 2008 8:04 pm UTC

Torvaun wrote:Scimitar?


I think you may be right. It was certainly nothing like the Russian cavalry saber we had. That thing was sweet!
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby sporkify » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:30 am UTC

I cannot believe that this has not been mentioned yet: Swordchucks. (Yo)
Also up for consideration: Jian.

I think that two different issues must be addressed: are we considering fighting as 1v1 or army v army? Cause in armies, pikes become reasonable, whereas in duels, they're crap. We also need to address the idea of armor-against a well armored opponent, a jian or a rapier would have the same effectiveness as a stick. Against an unarmored opponent, though, I'd have to say that these two would likely carry the day due to superior speed.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Jack Anonymous » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:45 am UTC

Probably a crossbow with a winch on it/foot pedals for pulling the string.. Fast, powerful, and easy to use.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Gunfingers » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:22 pm UTC

Y'know, people always go on about the european knights and the japanese samurai, with their horses and heavy armor and incredible personal skill. It's all very romanticized, but with good reason. Those lords and noblemen, with their equipment and training, could ride down and kill a half-dozen less well armed dudes.

But then i remember that 1500 years before knights and samurais ever showed up the chinese were marching around with the repeating motherfucking crossbow, and who the real badass was becomes painfully obvious.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby om617 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:43 pm UTC

Maille predates fitted plate armor of the kind popular in the late middle ages and into the renaissance. As a hobby armorer, I can attest that maille is best defeated by either a bludgeoning weapon, axe, or a thin rapier. Individual links are relatively weak, and a thin thrusting sword can either bypass the links or apply the force of the thrust to individual links, breaking through them.

That said, all forms of medieval armor are vulnerable to caterpillar hammer.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby tehmikey » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

I believe George Clooney used the one person version of that caterpillar hammer against vampires in "Dusk till Dawn."

I have always been partial to two handed swords. Although, a repeating crossbow may be more fun :) Maybe I should make a Cho-Ko-Nu as a side project.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby sporkify » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:43 am UTC

Wait: I have just realized the ultimate weapon: a trained war elephant. Seriously, who's gonna go up against a fully armored elephant? Plus, you could take pot shots while riding on it...

If trained war animals are not allowed, longbows carry the day. Only good armor (meaning heavy) can stand a chance. (and that's cause it defects the arrows, it doesn't stop them, and it's by no means 100% effective) This means that, imo, you could take your bow and run faster than said fully armored idiot could. (This is why knights rode on horses... they gotta be able to catch the other suckers...) This means that you can stay completely out of range of any other weapon (LONGbow, here) and take all the shots you'd need.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:44 am UTC

sporkify wrote:Wait: I have just realized the ultimate weapon: a trained war elephant. Seriously, who's gonna go up against a fully armored elephant? Plus, you could take pot shots while riding on it...


Legolas?

On a serious note, Hannibal tried this. Iirc, the logistics of supporting elephant-carried armies (you have to feed the elephants, after all), combined with the fact that the elephants had a nasty habit of killing his own troops, meant the idea was abandoned.*


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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby sporkify » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:22 am UTC

Logistics doesn't matter. We're comparing everything, pre-gunpowder. We've taken everything, regardless of production costs, training, upkeep, and distance, and set them on each other.

But yes, I'll admit that Elephants is a bit cheap. Course, I was originally thinking of warhorses, but I figured that elephants would one-up them... And there is no possibility of someone keeping in the period saying "I'm thinking we'll rise again." Nothing is bigger than an elephant. (I'm safe in saying that because nobody rides whales into combat)
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby BeetlesBane » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

Looooong ago I read a lot of history and historical fiction relating to Greek and Roman warfare. My recollection is that war elephants gained their reputation when first used against Alexander's forces; the Macedonian cavalry mounts shied and baulked at the unfamiliar scent. Once acclimated, however, light and medium (horse) cavalry tended to be more effective than elephants due to better mobility. Hannibal's main problem with his elephant corps was excessive loses crossing the Alps. Of course, once he was in the Itallian peninsula, he had a seriously over extended supply line; this enabled Fabius' (Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus) scorched earth policy ("Fabian Tactics").
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby sporkify » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:25 am UTC

Hannibal had lost before he even began. He traveled to the Italian peninsula, losing predictable amounts of troops along the way. (These were still in the days that injuries were very often fatal and disease was likely more dangerous than the opposing army) He won 3 major battles (Cannae, Trebia, Trasamine...my spelling is probably at fault here...) in some of the greatest displays of tactical genius. However, there was no way he could have captured Rome. He knew this, and tried to knock off some of Rome's allies, but he had no successes. His issues were not tactical but logistical. Hannibal had total command of the battlefield. It's just Rome realized that they didn't need to defeat him in a battle to win. It wasn't his weapons that were at fault, it was the situation.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Elephants were successfully used against the Britons.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby 0.0 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:22 pm UTC

I often think the classic baseball bat is under appreciated.
Imagine...

You with a bat versus unarmed man.

You with a bat versus guy with knife.

You with a bat versus guy with katana.

It really is a powerful weapon, and don't underestimate its intimidation factor. Death by bat can be one of the slowest and more gruesome.

Now I'm picturing a knight riding around on his steed with a louisville and a shield. :shock:
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:43 pm UTC

It's also made of wood.

And doesn't have a pseudo-blade, unlike a cricket bat. (ref: Shawn of the Dead as to its qualities)
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.
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Re: real life weapon choices (olden days)

Postby dawnmaster » Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:00 pm UTC

I don't think that baseball bat would be a powerful weapon. Is there a brass knuckle in the old days?

brass knuckles
Last edited by dawnmaster on Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:03 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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