The side handle baton (PR-24)Pr_24_baton
The side handle baton was introduced to the American law enforcement community in 1958 by a former US Marine. The side handle baton is a baton with a handle attached at a 90-degree angle near the gripping end. The concept for the side handle baton was borrowed from the ancient Okinawans who used a similar side-handle stick called the tonfa. One of the first and largest suppliers of these batons was Monadnock and the model was the PR-24. The model number stuck and is now used to reference most side handle batons.
There are advantages of the side handle baton over the straight baton: Some officers may be able to deliver a strike of greater power when used in conjunction with certain techniques. There are a far greater number of defensive maneuvers and take-downs that may be used. If the side handle baton is dropped, it shouldn’t roll around on the floor and end up a tripping hazard.
I recommend the straight baton over the side handle for one main reason, the techniques and tactics to use the side handle are complex and hard to remember without regular practice. Do you remember the last time you practiced with your baton against an aggressor? In my experience when the adrenaline is pumping and the fight is on, the side handle baton gets used more often like a club. This is exactly what got the LA police officers in trouble during the Rodney King beating. Another disadvantage is the extra bulk on the duty belt. There are collapsible PR-24 batons of good quality, but only decrease about six inches of baton length and are not much help in reducing bulk.
A note on collapsible straight batons