Brass Knuckles for Fun and Profit

Brass Knuckles are illegal fighting tools designed to improve the punching power of the wearer's fist. In a typical fight, participants form a fist by drawing the fingers across the palm and pressing the thumb against the forefinger. The flat portion between the knuckles and the first finger joints form a fairly solid weapon for striking an opponent.

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The problem is that the fingers are often jammed into the fleshy part of the palm upon impact and the puncher loses most of the power behind the blow. Brute strength may still win the fight, but there's usually some serious damage to the puncher's hand.

Enter brass knuckles. A typical set of brass knuckles is formed from one solid piece of metal- either aluminum, brass or another alloy. One end is formed into four open loops which fit loosely around the fingers. The other end forms a curve which fits squarely into the closed palm. When a fighter puts his fingers through the loops and allows the curved end to nestle into his palm, the result is a much tighter fist. The fingers cannot be driven into the palm, and the metal grip provides additional weight. This is a distinct advantage against an unarmed opponent.

Throwing a punch while wearing brass knuckles requires a different style than the standard forward strike. Fingers could be broken if the punch connects directly. Fighters using Brass Knuckles often use a rolling punch with a glancing blow. This protects the fingers and causes more damage to the opponent. Contrary to popular belief, the brass knuckles themselves only cause secondary damage. The idea is to increase punching power to the fist, not be a weapon in and of itself.

Brass knuckles were actually developed as the handles for military knives. Spies and other special forces carried knives which had finger holes in the grip. This feature gave added strength to a thrusting motion with the blade. If hand-to-hand combat became necessary, the handle doubled as a form of brass knuckles. This self-defense technique eventually worked its way into the civilian world, but the results were so bloody that the weapons were almost universally outlawed. Possession of a pair of brass knuckles or similar punch-enhancing tools is considered a felony in most countries.

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