This ain’t your grandpappy’s billy club.
We haven’t talked about anything thump-fu related in a while, so we asked PV to take a look at the ASP USA Talon Baton with Fusion T light attachment aboard. Here’s what he thought.
Review and photos by Patrick Vuong (@calmbatives) of Tiga Tactics.
Badass Billy Club for Beatific Beatdowns
This Hybrid ASP Tool Combines an LED Flashlight With A Collapsible Club
We love multitools. Not necessarily a Swiss Army Knife, Leatherman, or Gerber per se, but rather a device that has more than just one function. For example, the AR-15 can defend hearth and home, harvest big game in the field, serve as the perfect race-gun during competitions, or punch 5.56mm holes into assholes in man-dresses in faraway lands.
The same love of versatility goes for blunt tools, too. Take for example the Fusion T from ASP USA (Armament Systems and Procedures). A baton equipped with this nifty device isn’t just a collapsible club, it’s also a flashlight. Holy bright fight stick, Batman!
The idea of combining a baton with a flashlight is nothing new. For decades, prepared drivers have kept massive D-cell Maglites in their cars for this very purpose. In recent years various manufacturers have produced slimmer versions of baton-flashlight hybrids … to varying degrees of effectiveness.
But the Fusion T, which mounts to the ASP Talon series of discreet tonk tools, comes from one of the globe’s premier baton manufacturers, ASP. For those not in the know, this Wisconsin-based company has been making self-defense tools since the 1970s and have been the go-to producer of expandable impact weapons, restraints, and O.C. delivery tools for cops around the world since the ‘90s.
But there’s a catch.
Collapsible batons are restricted in several states, including California. (Big surprise, right?!) Why? Because too many mouth-breathing politicians — who wouldn’t know what a billy club is if Daredevil threw one at their taints — have arbitrarily outlawed them for fear that they’re somehow more dangerous to the general public than, say, a tire iron?
Fortunately for us, a couple of Breach Bang Clear minions are law enforcement officers in this area. One of them owns a Fusion T Baton and allowed us to review his model while training together. So what did we think of the lovechild between a tactical flashlight and one of the world’s best collapsible clubs?
It’s a hard-hitting torch.
Blazing bright billy club – the ASP USA Talon expandable baton equipped with Fusion T light.
Next-Gen Billy Club: Fusion-T Baton Mod SPECS
The first thing we noticed about the Fusion T Baton is that it’s lightweight, especially when compared to large-cell flashlights.
This model is a mix of steel and aluminum and clocks in at 10.25 ounces — a little more than half a pound. And that’s with the integral rechargeable battery inside. We mean, some dudes’ obnoxiously large belt buckles weigh more than 10 ounces … and are clearly overcompensation for what they lack in other areas of their anatomy. Speaking of length, when fully erect the Fusion T stands at 17.5 inches, which puts it in the short category for police batons but more than adequate for almost any close-quarters self-defense situation. When closed, it’s 8.75 inches.
On the butt-end is a Cree XPG2 LED flashlight, which puts out 100 lumens for up to 45 minutes. It has two modes: constant-on and intermittent. The former is activated by pressing down on the small switch and sliding it forward. The latter is used by only pressing down on the switch. The light can be recharged using the included retractable USB cord, or either the ASP car charger or ASP wall charger (both sold separately).
The whole thing is housed in an incredibly durable body and features a soft foam-like grip for added traction.
And now, a word from a sponsor…
Talon Baton with Fusion-T: THE PROS
There’s a lot to like about the Fusion T Baton.
First is its lightweight nature. If you’re a law enforcement officer (LEO), tactical mall ninja, or billionaire vigilante with a crap-load of gear on your utility belt, the Fusion T’s 10 ounces make for decent weight savings.
As far as off-the-body carry goes, the Fusion T is slim and compact. When closed, it’s 8.75 inches long and 1.10 inches in diameter, so it conveniently stows in a sling bag, briefcase, or backpack. Just be mindful of the concealed-carry laws in your region. (Remember those mouth-breathers in power?)
Next is the integrated light, which is a brilliant idea. While the LED doesn’t produce a retina-searing amount of light (certainly not enough to warrant use for bounding), the Fusion T’s lumen output is more than enough for most daily circumstances. And we appreciate that ASP is pushing the impact-weapon envelope by incorporating a quality Cree LED without drastically changing its iconic baton design.
Plus, recharging the light is super simple. Just plug the micro USB cord into the Fusion T port then connect the USB end into an adapter or your computer. A small indicator pulses red when charging or turns solid green when the battery’s full.
Oh, and extending the club can be done in about a second, maybe two if you haven’t practiced in a while. Just pull it out and flick it downward or upward. The telescoping tip flings out with ease and won’t bend, break, or collapse so long as you’re not fighting a Transformer. Yet it’s easy to retract by pushing down on the butt-end/flashlight and pressing the tip against your leg, body, or hard surface.
ASP Baton with Fusion T: THE CONS
Naturally, even the best products have a few blemishes.
When the Fusion T is completely retracted, it’s a tad long at 8.75 inches. Sure, some of you might be used to having something that long in your pants, but most fellas will find it too cumbersome to EDC as a civilian.
Plus, while the Nexus Clip does stop the baton from slipping out of our pocket accidentally, it doesn’t prevent the Fusion T from shifting side to side inside our pocket. Though our review sample didn’t come with the ASP scabbard (sold separately), we have a feeling the baton will sit more securely with said holster.
Once drawn, we couldn’t fully open the Fusion T by flicking it upward despite what the instructions said. Only when flicking downward, and with the help of gravity, did the baton fully extend smoothly.
While this doesn’t seem like a big deal to some, to this fight-conscious author that means three movements before the club is in striking position — one to pull it from our belt or pocket, a second to flick it down, and a third to bring it back up to a ready position.
On the reverse end, the light switch is rather small so you have to grope your way to it if you’re in the dark. Plus, it’s further down the handle than we like. This means we have to adjust our grip between turning on the light and swinging the baton, lest the Fusion T fly out of our hands on the first swing because the switch is so low on the handle. Relocating the switch higher would allow our pinky to activate the light to blast a bad guy with 100 lumens then immediately follow up with a strike — all without having to adjust our grip.
Also, the micro USB port has no cover, exposing it to dust, grime, and moisture.
And while it’s convenient to disengage the lock and retract the baton by pushing on flashlight/bottom of the handle, this does eliminate any striking techniques that use the butt-end — for fear it might accidentally collapse the club at the wrong time.
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Fusion T Talon: SELF-DEFENSE USES
So once extended, what’s the best way to use the baton?
There are tons of impact-weapon techniques, and the following is by no means the only way. But for civilians, here are three basic striking techniques that can get you out of a life-and-death jam.
Diagonal Forehand Strike: Gripping the club in your right hand, bring it up above your right shoulder then swing diagonally downward. The baton travels at a 45-degree angle, starting above your right shoulder and ending beside your left hip. (Think a serve in tennis.)
In Filipino martial arts like Kali, this is considered an Angle 1 swing. It’s the most common angle of attack and an innate movement for humans — whether you’re a swordmaster with a katana or a 5-year-old with a whiffle bat.
This technique can be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as:
- Hit an armed robber in the noggin before he can draw his pistol.
- Strike a knife-wielding assailant in the hand or forearm before he can stab you.
- Smash a car window to free someone trapped in a burning vehicle (though the efficacy of the baton will be significantly affected, often marginalized, by the type of glass in the vehicle)
Diagonal Backhand Strike: The mirror image of the diagonal forehand strike is, well, the diagonal backhand strike. Grasping it in your right hand, raise the baton above your left shoulder then swing diagonally downward at a 45-degree angle.
In Kali, this is known as an Angle 2 swing because it’s a natural follow-up to the Angle 1 attack, especially if you miss your target. When thrown in combination, your baton will travel along a figure-eight path and cover a wide swatch of space in front of you. In many circumstances, these are the only two strikes you’ll need.
Straight Thrust: Because great things come in threes, here’s a third option when using an impact weapon in a self-defense situation: the straight thrust. Why? Because science tells us that the fastest path between two points is a straight line. So the quickest way to stop an armed hoodlum might be a quick jab to the eyes, throat, or groin.
Considering the Fusion T’s tip is a solid piece of aluminum that’s a half-inch in diameter, you could easily crack teeth, break bones, or concuss someone. Plus, thrusts coming toward our eyes are visually deceptive because the angle of attack obscures our sense of distance.
Obviously, if you’re an LEO, your use-of-force protocols might require you to modify the aforementioned techniques. (For example, consider jackhammering their balls instead of plunging the baton into their eye socket.) But generally speaking, these three techniques can work for almost anyone given the right context. The key is to get familiar with the baton and practice consistently.
ASP USA Fusion T Talon Baton Light: CONCLUSION
There’s no denying that ASP knows how to make a baton, especially a collapsible one. The fact that it poured in the same level of engineering, craftsmanship, and quality control into the Fusion T Baton should not surprise anyone. For decades it’s made top-notch gear and tools for law enforcement and civilians and this flashlight/collapsible club hybrid is no exception.
There are a few questions yet to be answered, questions that can only be addressed after sufficient time carrying, deploying, and using it.
Some of these are,
How does the light hold up after multiple strikes?
Will the Fusion T remain attached to the Talon after hard strikes?
What kind of hotspot, corona, and throw will the Fusion T generate after extended use?
Will ASP USA ever make something like this that looks like the billy clubs our grandfathers On The Job carried?
Those questions aside, and acknowledging a few minor flaws, we believe the Fusion T – Talon Baton delivers the goods. And we’ll trust ASP to evolve and improve to deliver more badass multitools.
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Disclaimer: We are not endorsing Nancy’s Squat & Gobble, nor do the opinions therein reflect those of the entire Breach-Bang-Clear staff. That said, while Nancy’s is indeed a shady place, only a few people have actually gotten food poisoning there, and most of the girls have all their teeth. The one-legged bartender really does make a mean Old Fashioned, and if you ask nicely she’ll even do it with burnt rosemary smoke.