One of the things that interests me about the self-defense field is just how many ideas from a loooong time ago get recycled and modernized… and this one is no exception.
This weapon is the sort of thing they used to tell ladies to carry (although, honestly, this is a good idea for ANYONE), where “they” were the “experts” on self-defense back in the day.
Sometimes those experts were spot on (and other times they were… well, misguided)… but this was an idea that really worked…
…and I think it’s neat that I’m now seeing the cool “tactical” folks on Instagram making and selling these.
What is it?
It’s a simple hatpin.
Hat pins were, back in the day, something ladies used to keep their fancy hats on their heads (back when everybody wore hats when they went out).
It’s a long, razor-sharp stick-pin intended to be large enough to keep a hat attached to a wig (or your real hair).
That type of dress went out of fashion decades ago (some people blame JFK for being one of the first presidents to go out in public without a hat, causing hats to fall in popularity), but lately, I’ve been seeing hatpins on Instagram and for sale on craft sites like Etsy.
Some are even sold as smoking accessories, like for cleaning and packing pipes.
For example, this “Skull Hatpin Pipe Pick” is basically a hatpin with a copper tube sheath and lanyard.
What makes these so useful is how SMALL and cover they are, of course.
You could slip it into your pocket, slip the lanyard through your belt or belt loop and tuck it into your waistband, put it in a shirt pocket, or even carry it around your neck (although you might have to attach a longer lanyard for that — I can’t tell from the photo).
Something this small is almost invisible in the hand, but it’s super sharp… which means all you have to do is slip it free from its “sheath” and jab it lightning-fast into someone’s face or neck.
The damage this does won’t necessarily neutralize someone (although if this came at my eye I’d be having a pretty bad day instantly), but it DOES create an opening that lets you follow-up with a more decisive technique.
That was always the idea behind the hatpin, even when they were recommending them as ladies’ self-defense tools.
(And, honestly, a hatpin was always a better idea than some of the other “conventional wisdom” of that era, like hitting your would-be mugger or rapist with your umbrella.)
Anyway, I thought it was interesting, and figured I would share.
What “old-time-y” self-defense weapons do you see coming back… or that never “left” the self-defense scene?
What are YOUR go-to self-defense tools, improvised or otherwise?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.