Dragon Forge 26" baton review

Jan 15, 2000

Sorry if this is off topic, but it didn't seem quite appropriate anywhere else. In any case, I was going to wait a bit before giving a review, but it turns out that the baton had other plans...

I purchased the 26" expandable baton during the april fool's day sale for $20.00, a pretty good deal. It's about 10" closed, weighs a little over a lb., and comes with a belt holster.

Out of the box, it opened up and locked up pretty tight, although not quite straight. It was capable of bearing my weight (180 lb)when extended and required a heavy slam against an unyielding surface to close.

I hadn't gotten around to testing it by hitting any solid objects until today, when I decided on impulse to hit the 3" thick telephone book in the student lounge. I hit with slightly less than maximal force and put a small dent (a few mm), with some tearing, into the book. The baton did not fare as well. The top section was now bent at a slight angle. I closed it, thinking that it might straighten on reopening, but when I tried to to reopen it, WHOOSH-PING! The top section flew out and hit the wall across the room. Luckily, I was the only one in the room. Thus ended the testing.

I am glad that I found out about this whilst testing, rather than on some street corner. I do not know if this is representative of Dragon Forge batons or if I received a defective product and hesitate to make sweeping generalizations about their products. I fully intend on contacting 1SKS about this product.

In the meantime, if you have one of these batons and have tested it, please describe your experiences! I'm curious as to whether I received a dud. If you haven't tested it, go hit something ASAP!


I think you just got a lemon. I turned some 2x4's into splinters with each of mine with no problem. Contact 1SKS for a replacement. I think they have a lifetime waranty.

Okay. What you struck did not really have anywhere to "give", or fail, unless the table went. Capeche? It would be a better test for you to strike something that was not, essentially, an immoveable object. Even something fairly heavy, if struck horizontally, would probably have been less damaging, because the object would have been able to move at least a little, if unanchored.

The lesson here, is not whether what you have works, but rather, how to use what you have. It's like fighting in a war: you always want to give your enemy someplace to go. You want to do the same thing with what you're striking, otherwise, you're essentially directing a lot of the force back into yourself. At $20, a cheap lesson, indeed.

Well, I guess you always hit what you aim for, spectre.

I am not quite as skilled. It is very possible that my blow will be blocked with something immoveable, that I will miss and hit something stationary, etc. In those cases, I would like to know that the baton would hold up for me to try again. And as for "give", exactly how much does a cinder block give?

And in any case, I thought the philosophy behind testing was to subject the knife to demands that exceed everyday use. I mean, why else do people test liner locks by thwacking them on the back? When knives and other tools pass tests that are, in fact, more demanding than the conditions of actual use, you can pretty much rest assured that the tool will most probably fare well in day to day use. I mean, does anyone really need a knife that be put through car doors without any damage? For the most part, no. It's just nice knowing that you have a little leeway.

In any case, I'm sending it in and getting a new one. So there.

Did Mike say what you saw was the expected result or not? Do you plan on repeating it with the replacement?


The e-mail that I got from 1SKS (does Mike Turber write all of those? )just told me to send it in for exchange. Nothing about whether that was the expected result.

As for whether I intend on repeating the "test", i'm a little conflicted. Like i said, i do think that a baton intended for self defense should be able to hit something immoveable without breaking, especially if not full force, but i'm also weary of subjecting it to forces far greater than what would be seen in a self-defense situation (like a jumping two-handed strike onto an anvil).

Do you have any suggestions for what might constitute a more equitable test?

Hi Prin, I think you might want to re-word the hitting an immovable object expectation. You can break pretty tough stuff when you strike it against an immovable object. Perhaps if you use a more "human-like" target to represent reasonable self-defense use. One of those water-filled punching bags, maybe flower pots...but a phone book (which is mostly there to keep whatever surface from being marred) placed against a stout table might be asking too much. I broke an ASP 26" hitting it against a telephone pole...so basically, if one of your issues is the relative quality is ASP versus Dragon Forge, I don't think there's a whole lot of difference. (Basically a 320 deg swingaround strike wearing hockey gloves if you were curious, but not likely to be attacked by a telephone pole

I wasn't flaming you, but rather, pointing out the difference between hitting something un-reinforced vs sturdily reinforced. I am certain hitting cinder blocks will be extremely detrimental, but still less likely to cause failure, if the blocks are not fixed.

I actually was practicing strikes with bo, hanbo, and bokken against pieces of wood yesterday. I was using a wide piece of firewood as a stand, then placing a second chunk atop it. I feel that this allows one to practice a very solid blow, while being less detrimental to the user and weapon (as opposed to hitting a decent size tree).
Prin, there are two criteria that you must use when determining how to do an evaluation. The first is to just ask the maker what the performance should be and then work around those guidlines. The seond type is much harder to determine. You must use your own experience and try and see what kind of performance the object should have and how you can simulate it. Neither of these are trivlal.

In the case of batons, they are illegal here so my interest in them is just one of curiosity. It does surprise me that you can break one apart as easily as you describe by hitting a phone book. What about if somone blocked a swing with something? A high strength swing that was suddenly countered would easily generate a higher impact force that your slam on the phonebook. What about if you swung and missed the target?

The easiest way to make sure that your critera are somewhat fair is to have more than one test subject. If you only use the DF batons and they fail it is hard to know if you simply went overboard or if their quality is low. However if you have an ASP and a couple of others and only the DF ones fail, well then you can rule out the first senario pretty easily.

Try contacting some of the other baton makers you might be able to get a sample of two and thus be able to do a much more meaningful comparison.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 05-02-2000).]

If one was mid-swing, and the opponent interposed something, if the opponent could move it, it cannot be fixed in position. Therefore, it will be less detrimental to strike than a object fixed in place. The only way one could strike an "immoveable object" without damage, would be if that object were composed of a material with some give- say, a pillow on a table. A ream of paper- or a phone book- has no give if lying on a flat surface. Since that is the case, striking it in this position would generate considerably more force on the weapon and the user than striking an arm or weapon in the hands of an assailant. I hope this clears thing up. Let me know if I have not explained this clearly.

Striking the middle of a board whose top end is leaning against something means the board has some flexibility, assuming it is not too thick. Striking a board lying flat on concrete will destroy virtually any manual weapon. This is why the inital test by the other user was hard, but not necessarily destructive, while that used by this user dangerous if performed with a stronger implement full-power, as all the force would then go into damaging the user.
Spectre :

If one was mid-swing, and the opponent interposed something, if the opponent could move it, it cannot be fixed in position. Therefore, it will be less detrimental to strike than a object fixed in place.

While the ability of the object to move is important, it is not the only factor. You have to consider the possible velocity of the interposed object and its compressability. Both of these will have a direct influence on the impact force. The latter being critical as it can change by orders of magnitude depending on the material of the object. These types of things would be readily able to be explored you would just need a partner.


...would be if that object were
composed of a material with some give-

I'm fairly sure that's what I said, only in terms geared more toward the lowest common denominator that could reasonably "fly" online.
To be specific, for reasons explained above, a block could easily generate an impact force far in excess of hitting a phone book on a table. A phone book is actually fairly easy to compress compared to some of the things a baton could be blocked with, it is also not moving towards the baton at the time of impact.

How heavy are these Batons anyway? If a person was wearing some kind of body protection he could easily be an immovable object to the baton. Similar to if he blocked with something hard and didn't even bother to swing it. Doesn't really matter if he can be moved or not because the force required to do so could easily exceed the force needed to maul the baton.

Going back and reading over Yekim's review :


Both his DF's batons bent on wood, and while it is difficult to directly compare the results as I don't know what type of wood he was breaking nor what condition it was in. It would seem to me that the impact forces on the baton easily exceeded what Prin's felt.

It also looks like the ASP's might be directly better than the DF ones (would want to compare similar weighted models to verify this) and as for being 1/3 the price, well is that the area that you want to count pennies in?

You might also want to discuss this in Tactical and get an idea of the kind of durability these things are supposed to have. It is quite possible that they are expected to be damaged if they encounter anything resistant and are only intended to be used on fleshy targets.

A tree is made of wood. Phone books are made of wood. If one hangs a phone book where it can move, and strikes it, it will likely be un-injurious to the striker- but so will a simarly sized/weighted chunk of wood. If you place a phone book on a table and strike down, one is, for all practical purposes, hitting a tree with soft bark (as the first few pages will likely tear and give).

Expandable batons are made to be used on moveable objects, most specifically, arms and legs. A reasonable simulant would be a chunk of firewood, wrapped in several layers of cloth.