Monday, 25 February 2013

The 15 Most Terrifying Homemade Prison Weapons

Prison is a scary-ass place, there’s no doubt about it. Hundreds of potentially violent people locked into a limited space, all of whom really, really don’t want to be there. With such high pressure stakes, things easily take a turn for the violent, and in an environment with almost no weapons, any tool to hurt other people is a major advantage. These 15 weapons were all crudely constructed from prison materials, but all could do some serious damage to you. Proving once again, that humans will always find a way to fuck each other up.

15. Fake Machine Gun
Let’s say you want to stage an attempt to get the hell out of prison — after all, nobody wants to be stuck there for the rest of their life. There’s no way in hell you’re going to get your hands on a decent gun, but you need some sort of weapon to intimidate people. Enter the world of fake guns — crafted to look like the real thing, but obviously not, and with the side benefit of not carrying as large of a punishment if you end up being caught as the real thing either. This fake was made from a grease injector, wood, a rubber sleeve and tape, and the inmate was planning on using it to make an escape. From a distance in the dark? Yeah, I’d totally believe it looks like a gun.

14. Molten Chocolate Bar
One of the few things prison inmates can get their hands on is food, but weaponizing candy isn’t always an easy thing. However, a few twisted and inventive souls discovered how to make a nasty, nasty weapon out of chocolate bars. You get a chocolate bar that has some caramel in it, and you get it all melted in an illegal prison hot plate — and then you throw it in the face of your enemy. As anyone who has ever done any baking knows, both caramel and chocolate get really fucking hot, retain heat well, and can be incredibly hard to get off your skin. It’s the prison version of pouring hot tar on someone — painful, burning and really hard to quench.

13. Mace
Go big or go home. This mace was found in a prison in Germany, but the inmate who made it was never identified. Made by welding spikes to a metal shaft, this thing could do some serious, serious injury if it ever hit someone. They also think it may have been planned for use in an escape attempt by sticking it on a pole, and using it to push away barbed wire — which is pretty cunning and multipurpose. I still don’t see who let the dangerous prisoners access to nails and welding materials, though.

12. Razor Blade Comb
This terrifying contraption comes from a maximum security prison in New Jersey, confiscated in the 80s. The prisoners didn’t have much to work with, and only a tiny stipend to pay for essentials from the commissary — like combs, shoelaces, and razor blades. So what you see here is a plastic comb, with four razor blades inserted into the tines, bound in place with shoelaces and copper wire. Yeah, that’s pretty ghetto, but it would still slice your face fucking off.

11. Dartmoor Spikes
I wish I could find out more about this set of spikes, but unfortunately there’s not much information out there. It’s from the Dartmoor Prison in the UK, a 200 year old facility, and is stored in their museum. That’s right, they have their own museum. Just from looking at it, you can tell it’s a wooden shaft with four metal nails pounded through it, and a string grip. Held with the spikes between the fingers, it would make your punches considerably more deadly.

10. Glass Blade
Long before humanity had figured out how to do the whole metalworking thing, we were cutting the living crap out of each other with obsidian because it’s obscenely sharp and is naturally occurring. Obsidian is just natural glass, and the stuff in windows is just as good for killing. This is a blade made from a long spike of chicken-wire reinforced glass, which is extremely strong and break proof. It’s been flaked down to a spike, and then bound with tape for a handle. It would be extremely good for stabbing, and if it weren’t for the chicken-wire, it’d also be invisible to x-ray.

9. Spiked Glove
This glove might not look like much, but trust me, you don’t want to get punched by it. This contraption involves a smaller glove inside a larger one, with sharpened upholstery tacks between the layers, sharpened and sewn in place. The gloves were given to prisoners on gardening duty, and the upholstery tacks were probably stolen from the furniture shop, and their three spikes filed into sharp point. Each punch would involve 9 razor sharp points being driven into your skin. Does that sound like a good time?

8. Double-Edged Blade
This frankly evil looking things reminds me of nothing so much as the Aztec war clubs, which were long pieces of wood with shards of obsidian embedded along the length to make a vicious, serrated edge. This blade is a length of wood with safety razors lodged along both sides of it, five large ones on one side, six small ones on the other. The whole thing is then wrapped in various types of tape to keep it held together, and then a handle was strapped together. That sort of serrated design would do a huge amount of damage to soft tissue, leaving horrible scars in its wake.

7. Paper blade
This thing looks pretty plain, right? What makes it so special? Because it’s made out of paper. Wait, what? This is only a demonstration shiv, and wasn’t as sharp as the real things, but what it is is 25 pages of National Geographic rolled extremely, extremely tightly. It was then soaped and salted, making it excruciatingly hard, and able to punch through skin like metal. The main advantage to having a weapon like this is that it could be unrolled and destroyed very easily, simply by flushing it down the john.

6. Four Shot Pistol
This bizarre ass looking contraption is a four shot pistol, a zip gun or improvised firearm. This is all I could find out about it: “a 4-barrel zip gun found on the shelves of the Kingston Penitentiary library on October 1945. The trigger, now missing, was a clasp from an overshoe.” It has four barrels attached to the front of the gun, and each could be rotated into place and triggered, dispensing with the difficulties of reloading these crude and often dangerous weapons.

5. Crucifix Shiv
It’s pretty common for inmates to find god once they go to prison — after all, it makes parole boards think much more highly of you if you do. Regardless if it’s Islam or Christianity (Rastafarian doesn’t go over so well), having a personal god seems to do wonders for your chances to get out early — unless you turn a crucifix into a fucking evil looking shiv. Look at this thing! You could stab straight through someone with that, it’s brutal. Getting caught with that might not enamor you to the parole board quite as much. Apparently the prison where this was made had an endemic of crucifix making in the workshops, which the officials allowed until they discovered they were just ways of making weapons.

4. Pistol
You have to admire the extreme prisoner dedication in making a pistol like this. It would impossible to aim, probably as dangerous to the prisoner as to the target, and likely to make their prison sentence substantially longer if they were caught with it. Due to its crude construction and doubtless rough barrels, I can’t even imagine trying to shoot straight with this thing. Apparently it was constructed in the workshop simply by welding together two tubes for the double-barrels, and then attaching a grip. Essentially a tiny blunderbuss, the barrels were packed with matcheads, and then small bits of metal were used as bullets. Not elegant, but still able to do damage.

3. Razor Whip
Look at this fucking thing! It’s a fucking razor whip! That’s hardcore! And more than a little terrifying. It’s a wooden post with a shoelace attached to the end, a weight at the tip, and razor blades attached along the width. Something that elaborate and painful looking seems to belong in a Saw movie or something. Jesus, can you imagine going into a fight swinging that thing above your head? You’re probably just as likely to horribly wound yourself as anyone else — I can’t imagine that would be easy to handle. Ouch…just fucking ouch.

2. Shotgun
This incredible looking thing actually used an electrical charge to ignite powder and shoot improvised projectiles, and was used to shoot through glass and escape from a prison in Germany. It was constructed out of iron bedposts, the charge was made from pieces of lead from curtain tapes and match-heads, which were then ignited with a broken lightbulb and AA batteries. This sort of thing could be used to fire whatever was placed in the barrel, like a rock or a bolt, with enough force to do some major damage.

1. Knuckleduster
Mad Max would be proud. Seriously, look at this fucking thing. I think I’ve played JRPGs where characters have used things like this. That is nasty in a way I can’t even begin to describe. The business end of this is a rasper stolen from a prison workshop, heavily, heavily padded to make it able to be gripped. Personally I’ve not seen a rasper curved like that, or with teeth that big, but I believe it. I’d get the hell out of the way of anyone swinging that — one punch from that thing, and you’ll be fucked up for a very, very long time. Sure, it might not kill you like getting stabbed from a shiv, but your face will be nothing but a mess of ripped skin and exposed flesh, and you’ll heal ugly.

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