I was introduced to Backjacks when I was contacted by a customer who wanted me to rebraid a core of a Bucheimer 894. I told him that I had never rebraided one, as all my batons were made from scratch and I had never made a Blackjack. He mailed me the core and another Bucheimer blackjack in fairly good condition that he wanted me to duplicate in kangaroo leather. This first blackjack took a long time to do, as I was not familiar with the process. Once finished however, it was perfect. I thought it came out pretty nice and so did the customer.
After this first blackjack, I wondered if there was a market for quality Blackjacks, so I did a little research. It turns out there is a market, as there are a lot of collectors. Most of the blackjacks I found for sale were originals back from years ago. These were typically in poor shape and pretty expensive.
Other than the used originals, I also found cheap knockoffs from China. These have poor braiding and a small spring in the middle of the handle. It appears as though the entire handle is a spring, but the majority of the handle is actually rigid. If held at the end of the handle the bend would only be in the middle of the handle where the small spring is. These are being sold on eBay as “old, American-made but in new condition,” but they aren’t. The seller claims he got them from a police surplus or had it sitting is a sealed chest since 1980. I’ve seen these bid up as high as $124.00. You can pick these same Blackjacks up on-line for as little as $15.00 plus shipping. I guess its buyer beware.
I started making black cowhide 894’s and there was definitely interest, as each one sold in less than three hours. Then I thought I ‘d try making one in brown. It sold as well. Then I tried other colors, other models, then two or more colors, and even kangaroo leather. All had immediate interest.
Finally, the natural progression was to have fancy braiding, rings and anything else I could think of. I also had people contact me with their own ideas and began making custom pieces according to their specifications. You can look at my site and see how far it has come with the various ones I have made. All my blackjacks are fully functional no matter how fancy it may appear.
Being an American invention, I never thought these would be popular anywhere but in the USA, but I was wrong. I have sold in six countries. I suppose there are weapon collectors all over the world.
My customers seem to come in two types. Those that like the traditional black or brown and those that want unique one-of-a-kind items that no one else has. I encourage anyone who has an idea about a Blackjack to shoot me an email. I’d love to hear about it.