The art and range of self defense can stagger the mind and even bewitch with it’s beauty and grace. However, sometimes what you need is a simple and practical solution. A baseball bat can be elegant in it’s own way, and it requires much less skill and training to use than more complicated weaponry. They are easy, and legal to obtain, and anyone can carry one.
What Type of Baseball Bat is Best for Self Defense? If you plan on walking down wide open streets, in uncrowded areas, and you have excellent upper body strength then go with an old fashioned solid wood Louisville Slugger. Alternately, if you need defense at home, or in a more crowded urban environment then a short handled bat is going to give you better swing. Low on muscle? You may want to go with an aluminum bat.
Top 7 Types of Bats
If you play pro baseball you will already know that you have to use a wooden bat. For the rest of us, there are more options. What works best for you depends on your needs and abilities. You may want to go with weight, or lack of weight as your primary consideration when first learning to wield a bat. With some experimentation and practice, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the right fit.
- Ash- An Ash bat is the go-to for a good flexible wooden bat. The disadvantage of this variety is in the wood grain. The texture may be nice to look at, but an ash bat is more likely to flake and splinter over time.
- Bamboo- With a greater tensile strength than steel, a bamboo bat is certainly worth taking a look at. Bamboo is known for its flexibility, lightness, and durability. Plus, it never hurts to go with a renewable resource.
- Birch- Birchwood is both flexible and durable. This gives a birch bat some advantages over other wooden bats, however, it is also a softer wood. The downside to carrying a softer bat is that the wood itself can dent more easily.
- Alloy- Aluminum mixed with other metals is a type of alloy. This gives the lightweight aluminum additional durability but weighs a bit more.
- Aluminum- When you’re concerned about weight, aluminum is the way to go. These bats are durable and easy to carry, giving a good fast swing.
- Composite- Lighter than even aluminum, the composite bats do come with a higher price tag. Composites are made from several materials. They may include titanium, plastics, or graphite among other choices. The downside is that in addition to the price they also tend to be less durable.
- Maple- Maple wood bats are dense and heavy. Maple is considered one of the best materials for a bat to be made from. The downside is that it doesn’t hold up very well in moist climates. If you live in the southeast, for example, you may want to go with something less permeable or you’ll find you need to replace your bat more often than you want.
*Note- Hickory and other woods are used to make bats. However, they are less common and thus were not included on this list.
In addition to the material used for your bat, there are the One and Two-Piece options. Stylistic preferences and practical considerations are a concern as well. Look at every aspect of your weapon. Treat it with respect and care just as you would a knife or gun and it will be there when you need it.
Predictably, a One-Piece bat is made of a single material. It’s a solid piece. This tends to create a rigid and inflexible bat.
A Two-Piece bat, also known as a Hybrid uses different materials for the barrel and handle. This design helps reduce handle vibration and increases the flexibility of your bat.
You have many choices where baseball bats are concerned. Stylistic variations include length and width. Bigger isn’t always better, a heavier bat is slower to swing and a longer one will be harder to manoeuver in tight quarters.
The “sawed off” bat is also an option. Some people shorten their bats, core them out and fill them with metal. As a deadly weapon, this is effective. Unfortunately, there’s no way to hide your intent if you plan to carry an obviously modified weapon.
When you wrap your bat in barbed wire, the way a certain character on a popular TV show about zombies does, no one will think you’re interested in sports. This is great for TEOTWAKI intimidation factor, but not a good plan if you want to stay out of jail in modern society.
Why Carry Sporting Equipment Instead of a Gun
Not every situation and location is going to allow you to carry a firearm or even a knife. There are many places in the world, and weapon-free areas like US schools, that do not allow guns. Convicted felons can’t carry guns at all in the US, and they aren’t the only ones who may find it difficult to obtain one.
Shooting is a more complex and exacting skill than swinging a bat. It takes more time and training to learn and more strength than a lightweight bat to control. Guns also have more complicated parts and require bullets. No baseball bat has ever misfired, locked up or run out of ammunition.
You may be curious about the legality of defending yourself in this way. What is important legally really depends on how a judge sees the issue. If you should end up in court for self defense you’ll want a good lawyer regardless of circumstance.
When you carry a bat around with the intent to use it on other people then you will be judged more harshly. Alternately, for example; a member of a local sports team fends off a mugger who approached them while they were stowing their game day gear in the trunk of their car. This is going to look like what it is, self-defense.
When you beat someone over the head until they die it is not the same as if you took out a would-be attackers’ kneecap and then ran like your back end was on fire. If the person threatening you is armed or even substantially bigger, a court will look at that fact. A baseball bat, used to kill, is a deadly weapon.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Your safest bet whenever possible is always to avoid trouble and know the local legislation. Additionally, when you may face a legal situation as a result of your actions it’s best to remember that all your actions will be considered. This means you need to do the minimum to defend and escape. Not all extreme circumstances are world ending.
Local laws vary, not just from country to country or state to state, but also by county and city. In some areas a Stand-Your-Ground defense is fine especially if you are in your own home. Some parts of the world consider every weapon deadly.
A bat isn’t as cool looking as a katana, but it’s easily as useful. As an added bonus it is also a lot more likely to be legal wherever you are. If you live in a country that has no guns and strict bladed weapon laws then a baseball bat is a great choice.
If you live in America and own a whole closet full of guns a baseball bat is still a great choice. Having a non-lethal but highly effective and easy to use weapon at your disposal is always a good idea. Of course, you should probably practice with any weapon you plan to use anyhow.
Given the variations in law, you may also want to hang a catchers mitt on your bat and store it with some slightly used balls. It never hurts to be safer, plus you can have a lot of fun using it for the intended purpose as well.
- Is a bat really an effective weapon? Yes… and no. Taking a baseball bat to a gun fight will get you killed. However, due to the laws of physics and kinetic energy, you sure can do some damage with a bat. You can absolutely break bones or kill someone with a bat.
- Are mini bats illegal? It is unlikely that any form of sporting equipment will be considered illegal in most places in the world. This means ‘decorative,’ or ‘collectors,’ miniature bats are also fine for carrying. Where you run into trouble is with use and intent. If you use an offensive weapon, even to defend yourself, it will affect how the court sees you. Practice caution no matter what you carry or where you take it.
- What weapons can I carry for self-protection? As mentioned above, the trouble with most self-defense weapons is in the intent rather than the ownership or transportation. There are some notable exceptions. Knives and guns are extremely case-specific. Weapons, like swords and brass knuckles, are specifically designed as weapons. These fall into the ‘look up the specific local laws’ category. Alternately, lengths of a heavy chain or tree branches will generally be allowed so long as you don’t obviously make them look menacing.