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View Full Version : Spring loaded, wrist mounted blades



Tornadoboy
01-07-2011, 08:12 PM
I've got a question about wrist mounted, spring loaded blades like we've all seen in movies over the years. For example the the Nazi in The Marathon Man, Jigsaw in the first Saw movie, the character Baraka in the Mortal Kombat games, etc had them, in which they could have a long blade spring out from hidden devices strapped to their wrists on command.

What I'm wondering is are these totally a product of fiction or is there a way to trigger such a device like shown in films without any obvious means, and without using the opposite hand to press or pull any kind of lever?

alleycat
01-07-2011, 08:26 PM
I'm not sure if it's what you're looking for or not, but there is a variety of wrist-mounted switchblade type gear; some held magnetically and/or spring-loaded (a sling or flip of the wrist is used to fling the knife in to the hand, where the switchblade is then opened). I'm seem them, but never owned one, so I can't provide much information on them. I don't think I'd want to own one; I'd probably slice my own wrist with one. ;-)

Cyia
01-07-2011, 09:33 PM
Try googling ballistic knife, which was a Soviet issue weapon for their special forces.

Drachen Jager
01-07-2011, 11:44 PM
A ballistic knife shoots out though, he's looking for a mle weapon.

I don't think that would make much sense in reality. I used to have a small knife with a wrist mounted holster. Once the retaining strap was unbuttoned I could flick my wrist and have a 2" blade appear in my hand on command. It took some practice but not much.

On the other hand I'd much rather have a larger blade that took two seconds to draw, rather than a tiny one that draws in a quarter second. Also, see the movie Ford Fairlane for the drawbacks of such spring-loaded weaponry (he has a pistol that springs out from his forearm, twice it throws the pistol away (once into the lap of his enemy) and it only comes through for him one time, I suspect that's about how reliable such gimmicks would be in reality).

In the end, I think the drawbacks for such a gimmick would outweigh the benefits in reality. It all depends on how realistic you want your book to be.

Lhun
01-08-2011, 03:20 AM
On the other hand I'd much rather have a larger blade that took two seconds to draw, rather than a tiny one that draws in a quarter second. Also, see the movie Ford Fairlane for the drawbacks of such spring-loaded weaponry (he has a pistol that springs out from his forearm, twice it throws the pistol away (once into the lap of his enemy) and it only comes through for him one time, I suspect that's about how reliable such gimmicks would be in reality).And with a blade, you might lose some fingers or cut a tendon.

Such a device would offer extremely little advantages over a simple sheath strapped to the arm and things can go horribly wrong, especially easily if the spring is triggered by wrist movement or something similar.
Someone practised at drawing a knife can do that very, very quickly, a spring loaded mechanism wouldn't save relevant amounts of time, since it doesn't take relevant amounts of time in the first place.

GregS
01-13-2011, 04:01 AM
There are some unusual examples of spring-loaded melee weapons from history, but they are almost entirely gimmicks which, by most accounts, never had reliable effects. Everything else is pure fiction.

thothguard51
01-13-2011, 04:09 AM
Think about it...

The weapon could not be longer than wrist to elbow, or about 18 inches. If longer, it will prohibit movement of the arm because of the clothing.

Most sheathed weapons on hips or on back can be drawn in a matter of perhaps 2 seconds. The wrist load would only work as a surprise element if an opponent thought the person unarmed, and even then, against someone with a longer weapon...

Detri Redmond
01-13-2011, 04:14 AM
If you're trying to make one or something, you could make it so when you twist your forearm the strap holding the knife in place moves with your arm and when you tense your muscle(expand the arm) it pushes a small peg in place that release the blade...

Yeah, I'm probably off subject :)

GregS
01-13-2011, 05:14 AM
Following up on what Thoth said, it is almost entirely unnecessary. As a long-time swordsman, my draw is well under a second, and that typically includes an attack as well. Also relevant, based on most fantasy, is that it is patently impossible to make a segmented blade sturdy. By way of example, the assembled sword they used for Kurgan in the Highlander movie was purely for the scene that he puts it together.

The other thing to think about is that such a mechanism would add considerable bulk that makes concealing it all the harder--as opposed to, say, simply strapping a sheath to your arm.