Fascinating and Widely Practiced Uses of Brass Knuckles

Posted by Hannah Baker on 4/12/2019
Uses of Brass Knuckles

Knuckles or brass knuckles are a weapon which is also a fashion luxury. Other names for brass knuckles are knuckle busters, knuckle dusters or an English punch. Also sometimes it is also known as “Knucks” or “knuckle duster” or “punch rings”, and a similar weapon the “tekko” is one of the traditional weapons of kobudo a martial art from Okinawa, Japan. 

It is used in close combats. Basically, these are pieces of metals, shaped in a way so as to fit around the knuckles. Purpose to use this weapon could be both defensive and offensive. These are staunch fighting tools, manufactured to enhance the punching power of the user. 

Generally during a combat, the wearer forms a fist by drawing the fingers across the palm and pressing the thumb against the forefinger. For a fairly hard strike, the flat portion between the finger joints and knuckles is used. 

real brass knuckles

But the problem in this punch is that fingers are usually jammed into the fleshy part of palm which causes the puncher to lose most of its power behind the blow. A brute may still make to win the fight but normally the puncher may also get seriously damaged hand. 

Punching with a brass knuckle on hand require a totally different style rather than a standard formal punch as it may break the fingers if connects directly to the knuckles. The fighters who use brass knuckles usually use a rolling punch with glancing blow. 

This style is to protect the fingers of the puncher with causing more damage to the rivals. Generally, it is believed that knuckles are worn to cause major damage to the opponent. But in fact, knuckle only cause secondary damage by only enhancing the power to the first punch and is not a weapon in and of itself.

History of Brass Knuckles

In ancient times metal ring and knuckle have been used all over the world for many hundreds of years. In the 18th century. At first, brass knuckles were originate as handles for military knuckle knife. 

Special Forces agents and spies used to have knives with them which had holes to give a strong grip. Adding knuckles to the knife increased thrusting strength. Keep in mind that with brass knuckles, the ideal place to hit is somewhere hard, like on joints or bones. 

Hitting in stomach is not much effective. The ideal way to wear brass knuckle is that no skin should contact the top of inside if knuckles and the little finger must not touch the sides of its slot. 

You must have a solid punch and you could win the fight. Usually, metal knuckles hit cause severe pain. If a skull, sternum or spine is hit hard, it could cause serious injury. Brass knuckles are said to be the most potent weapons for hand-to-hand combat, exists to date. 

If these are to be used in a fair fight, then knuckles would be the most decent weapon between the two fighters as it only enhances the strength of punch rather to be strength itself.

The history of Brass knuckles goes back to ancient times where in ancient Roman it was known as ‘caestus’, a form of hand protector or glove used for boxing matches by warriors for their cultural warriors events. 

Gloves used at ancient times were used to strengthen the punch or blow by the warrior by making the pain more intense while the present day gloves are used to soften the fist of the fighters in order to reduce the intensity of pain. 

Knuckle style weapons and Metal rings were famously in used in prehistoric time in the world due to its deadly strength. The Knuckles which were in rounded shape can increase the impact of blows which can create severe injury. The others which were with sharp pointed edges can create deadly results during fights. 

With the passage of time, names for these devices have changed among which “Knuckle Knives” is a kind and comes in various varieties as well.

Knuckle-dusters became popular as war weapon by the mid of 19th century. It got merged with various forms pistols and turned into a new style of weapon which was in used by the prisoners of France in between 19th to 20th century. 

At the time of “World War I” US army manufactured two different but specific style of knuckle knives named as US model 1917 and US model 1918 which became popular in no time and were used in war. 

These weapons started to be made in England as well but soldiers were purchasing them privately because they were not the official weapons for soldiers issued by the government. However, by the World War 2, knuckle knives became popular among American and British soldiers. 

The knuckle knives, 1918 model were re-released for American fighters. British fighter’s design their custom style Knuckle knives, containing brass skull-shaped knuckle handle called it as Death Head.

Manufacturing Brass Knuckles

Regardless of their name, generally metals other than brass, plastic and fibers are also used for its manufacturing. A common brass knuckle is made up from one solid piece of metal, either brass, aluminum or any other alloy. 

One end of metal piece forms a curve to fit squarely into the palm when closed. The other forms four open loops to fit loosely around the fingers of user. The fingers put through the loops and the curved end settled into the palm, this make a much tighter fist and stronger punch. 

With knuckle, wore on hand, fingers cannot be driven into the palm as metal grip hold them in position. This feature is an advantage in contrast to an unarmed rival.The design is made so to conserve and concentrate force of a punch by directing it toward a smaller but harder area. This contact causes an increased disruption in tissues with much chances of fractured bone on impact.

Types of brass knuckles

Although many brass knuckles are available in stores nowadays but there are some most common ones which are widely used by people. The following are some most popular types of brass knuckles.

BC-41 Knuckles: 

BC-41 is just the alloy knuckles which are without the blade. The most common knuckles used are made of aluminum or brass.

Classic pattern metal knuckles: 

It is made of Aluminum. There are variations that have triangular or round spike instead of double-edged dagger blade and they have D-shaped.

The World War I & II Trench knife: 

The U.S 1918 trench knife is a Classic. Col. Jeff Copper remarked recently in a magazine article with regard to fighting knives that this would be his choice. Some people hate it because is is rather heavy, but it leaves a little imagination as to the sort of savage mayhem that could be brought on an enemy in close combat with it.

Death’s head Knuckles, Knives and push daggers: 

The British firm of Robbins & Dudley should have been known as Damage, incorporated in the last world war. This is the most dangerous knuckle used in the World War.

Uses of Brass Knuckles

Brass knuckles are used mainly as street weapons but they have numerous other uses as well. Surely, their primary purpose is to throw a magnificent punch but do you know they are being used extensively in fashion and vehicle industries as well and people use them just to look chic and cool?  Let us have a look at the numerous uses of brass knuckles nowadays.

  • Fashion Accessories: It is famous luxury apparel among fashionable gangsters, elite, players, hustlers and other socialites. The chrome and brass come with studs which screw into make belt buckles. Brass knuckles are also worn in necklace or as four finger ring by some groups or gangs.
  • Auto Ornaments: Some people who customize their cars, like to have knuckles as cool car ornament. They come in different styles and color schemes. They can be used as hood ornament or simply be hung from the rear-view mirror. 
Other places like model emblems, as door handles on steering wheel, in place of break release or hood release handles, as a break, accelerator pedals or as clutch. Other than cars, motorcyclists use them as custom handle grips.
  • Production Props: Brass knuckles make interesting props for theater and entertainment department for example, magicians, public speakers, actors, comedians and musicians would really like to give it a try and be creative.
  • Conversation Pieces: Salesmen and executives have made exotic and rich knuckle productions to be great conversation pieces or the ice-breakers.
  • Offensive Weapon: It is used as an offensive weapon. Some people used it for their own defense from their enemy.
  • Ice smasher: In different countries, which have a lot of snow issues and ice issues due to their coldest weather, people use Brass knuckles as an ice smasher. So they can smash the ice or get rid them from it without having any kind of injury on their hands.
  • Military use: Basically, it was developed as the handles for military knuckle knives. Spies and other special forces which have knives and have finger hole for the grip.
  • In media: It is used in different Hollywood and Bollywood movies for action scene. They are use to pretend as an act such as on D-Day in Band of Brothers. 
Professional wrestler William Regal uses brass knucks on occasion and calls the move "The Power of the Punch”. They are popular in the hardcore music culture, due to the "tough guy" nature of the listeners.
  • In wrestling: In different wrestling channel, it is often used in hard core fights without any mercy. Basically, these wrestlers first signed an agreement that whatever caused to them it’s not on the team. It’s only on their own. John Cena also occasionally uses brass knuckles; his are engraved with "WORD LIFE".

Are Brass Knuckles Dangerous?

Brass knuckles have been a fashion trend and a dangerous weapon. They cover your knuckles and deliver a hard, metal blow to anyone you strike. Their ability to be used as a deadly weapon can’t be overstated. It is so dangerous and deadly that it is illegal in many countries.

Import of Knuckles

There are some laws which are made and imposed specifically on the import of brass knuckles.  Import of knuckles into Australia is illegal unless a government permit is obtained; permits are only available for limited purpose, such as police and government use, or use in film productions. 

They are prohibited weapons in the state of New South Wales. In Brazil, brass knuckles are legal and freely sold. They are called “Soco Ingles” which means “English Punch”. In Canada, brass knuckles or any similar devices, are listed as prohibited weapons; possession of such weapon is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code. Plastic knuckles have been determined to be legal in Canada.

Similar legislation has been instituted in Russia and Australia. In France, brass knuckles have been illegal for twenty years. They can be bought as a collectable, but it is forbidden to carry or use one, whatever the circumstances, self-defense included. The French term is “poing Americain”, which literally means American fist.

In Italy and Mexico, brass knuckles are legal and freely sold to people of legal age, but carrying them is forbidden. In the United States, brass knuckles are not significantly regulated at the federal level, but various states, country and city laws prohibit their purchase.

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