CIA Catalog Of Clandestine Weapons, Tools, And Gadgets

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The idea of swallowing escape aids may be traced back to the turn of the century, when the great escapist, Harry Houdini, witnessed a Japanese magic act in Saw that fits inside hollow belt buckle, with removable blade. He studied and perfected their technique so that he could swallow and return similar objects; only for his purposes they were hollow and would contain a selection of picks and tools. In this way, he could pass a thorough nude searchhaving swallowed his escape eggs before coming to the prisonand then, by regurgitation, bring the tools up and go to work on the jail locks, of which he was thoroughly familiar.

It is not expected that this degree of skill be attained by CIA agents, but it is within reason to expect that a rubberized blade might be swallowed and then recovered by using a soapy water emetic or applying a finger to the back of the throat.

Drug smugglers often swallow prodigious amounts of contraband in condoms or balloons packaging to get past customs and sometimes die when a package bursts. This is not likely to happen with the hacksaw blades rubber sheathing. Item Belt-Buckle Saw Slotted Miniature coping saw is exactly the same as the one used in the pinned belt-buckle saw Item 22 , except that a method for removal of worn-out blades has been incorporated in this model. The slotted belt-buckle saw differs from the previous device only in the manner of mounting.

The pins are already in the the blade prior to its being fitted into the frame. The frame is squeezed enough to allow the blade to be seated with the pins entering their slots. When pressure is released, the frame springs back, tensioning the blade. To ascertain proper tension, one must pluck the blade like a guitar string. A high ping should be heard. This is the mounting procedure used on coping saws and junior hacksaws, and it allows for dismounting the blade in the field. More importantly, it is an advantage in situations where the blade may be more easily handled inverted in the frame when cutting out of a handcuff, for example, rather than cutting in.

Double-sided hacksaw blades were tried for a time but were found to be more sensitive to breakage. Most handcuffs are made of iron or steel. Hardening, if it occurs Saw that fits inside hollow belt buckle, with slotted frame for at all, will occur in the ease of blade removal. CIA surface plating or case, illustration. The Japanese Masuri brand is a popular import cuff made from chrome-plated brass. Fine-toothed saws are quieter, easier to control, and often better for cutting harder steels. These little saws are deadly on flex cuffs, which are used as substitute restraints by police forces in large suspect roundups.

Aside: I once handcuffed a very powerful man with a flex-cuff-type restraint, whereupon he bent forward, pressed outward against his wrists using the base of his palms as a fulcrum and bearing surface, grunted, and stripped the ratchet-locking mechanism. I was later able to do it myself, but the pain was intense, and only the fact that I had seen it done allowed me to increase the force to a point where the restraint failed. Belt-buckle hacksaws can also cut the exterior handle off a key-in-the-knob lockset to allow access to the mechanism and permit entry or escape.

Item Belt-Buckle Saw Integral This buckle was cut from a solid piece of aluminum and filed to shape. A removable side of the buckle has a slit which fits on the blade. Many methods of camouflage may be used to cover the slit that covers the blade. The cutting capacity of this device is similar to that of the pinned beltbuckle saw Item Cast within this metal buckle is a saw blade.

In such a form, it will pass the closest scrutiny, but this comes at the expense of not being as available for immediate use as some of the other models. The casting metal can be worn away by rubbing against any hard or roughened surface to expose the comparatively harder teeth of the saw. When exposed, the saw blade serves in a rasping or filing capacity initially, but as the casting metal is worn away during the grating process the saw blades take over as intended and can cut through bindings and handcuffs.

This metal belt buckle conforms to modern design for dress pants, allowing it to be worn with belts passing through narrower loops.

CIA Catalog of Clandestine Weapons, Tools, and Gadgets

The more discreet the buckle, the better its chance of passing an inspection without arousing any suspicion during a search or examination. It should be noted that in the CIA belt-buckle saw models pictured here, the beltnotch fastener has been omitted for clarity. In operational use, the pin is wrapped about its axis in the normal fashion. Weighty buckles can serve as parrying weapons and flails when swung from their belts; they can hold their own against a group of attackers or a knife wielder.

Soldiers have been known to sharpen the edges of their garrison belts for just such eventualities not so much for combat against an enemy but for Stateside barroom brawling. This saw-edged buckle would serve admirably in similar circumstances. The really wide buckles in fashion during the 60s, with the central notch-pin shaft, could also double as knuckle dusters: the four fingers encircling the notch-pin mounting shaft, with the pin projecting push-dagger-like between the second and third fingers; the big buckle itself resting flat against the knuckles and the first joints of the fingers; and the wide belt extending backward and wrapped around the wrist.

Cutting action is fair due to the permanently embedded saw blade. This item is effective in cutting metals of relatively small diameter. In this model, the four saw blades face outward around the edge of the buckle and are embedded permanently into the epoxy-resin material that forms the body of the buckle.

Here is another instance where current fashion may dictate what is to be worn on the mission. This buckle suits a style commonly used on womens clothing and is probably intended to be worn by women.

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The blades are intended to act as rasps to quickly tear through bindings, but they would not be very effective against cuffs. It is often very hard to cuff women in any. Epoxy resin buckle with pieces of several types of saw blades permanently embedded around the edge. Also, the relation between wrist diameter and hand width is such that they can often slip the cuffs off.

Harry Houdini was also adept in this technique when faced with challenge cuffs. He could flex his wrist muscles while being cuffed, convincing the administrator that he was secure by wincing at their tightness long before they actually were; then he would retire from view behind the curtains of his cabinet, whereupon he would relax his wrists, cover his hands with spittle for lubrication, attach the cuffs to a hook inside the cabinet, and physically pull the manacles over and off of his hand. Great pain and will power are associated with this stunt.


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Some difficulty may be experienced in using such short blades after removal from the buckle. Cutting rate, No. The vinyl-plastisol buckle with short, spiral saw blades molded inside is suitable for use on mens and womens lightweight garments, such as bush jackets, raincoats, and dresses. There is too little ferrous content to register on any metal detector. The plastic is opaque, but even if the blades were discernible they would be dismissed as reinforcement framework.

The five short blades hidden within this design are removed by breaking away the plastic. The blades are barely viable as cutters, due to the short stroke they permit. They will work, but much patience is required, as are strong gripping fingertips. The buckle itself is entirely vinyl, and its curved surfaces and edges allow it to be stored internally. Once released from the buckle, the wirelike saws are easily hidden about the body and could be readily twisted into the hair, beard, and so on, for later use.

These blades can cut through rattan and bamboo Vinyl-plastisol buckle with enclosures or be used to short saw blades molded inside. Bundled together, the blades can also be used as a compact rasp for shaping other woods. These plastic buckles are a perfect cover. They are so common and inexpensive that they do not arouse much interest.

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The belts to which they are attached are usually made of cloth or plastic, so they will blend in with almost any disguise. They are even less obtrusive as part of a mackintosh, on which even a suddenly missing buckle will go unnoticed, since the belt is commonly knotted rather than buckled. Item Circular Saw Button This item can abrade wood fairly well. The overall thickness of the device limits the cutting depth of the embedded tool.

The item could be used to advantage in notching wood prior to sawing with other tools, such as abrasive coated saws. This vinyl-plastisol button contains a small, circular saw blade.

Outwardly, it appears quite common and blends in with a set of other buttons found on suit jackets, blazers, safari and work shirts, and so forth. Here again, the placement of the button can be rather strategic. Placement on epaulettes allows access to the button by mouth if the arms are immobilized. The coat cuffs are another option, as is the button fly. The button may also be swallowed or hidden as a suppository. The plastic coating is cracked and broken away to reveal a cutoff saw of the type often used by hobbyists such as carvers and model makers.

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Dremel Company offers a commercial version of this tool. In regular use, the saw is affixed to the shaft of an arbor, which in turn is chucked into a high-speed, die-grinder-type motor or a miniature Unimat-type lathe. Art imitated life in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die, where a motorized cutter was disguised as the elapsed time ring of a divers wristwatch, used to cut through bindings. The blades can cut off a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, nonferrous metals, and steel.