Guantanamo Bay Restraints

I recently heard an NPR story about photos of GTMO that were published in the latest issue of The Atlantic. Here is a link to the slideshow on their website: . I have heard a number of people speculate about what kind of restraints they use. What kind of handcuffs do they really use at GTMO? Well, most protesters have it all wrong. Protesters in England have demonstrated outside the Hiatt Handcuffs factory demanding that they stop supplying Guantanamo Bay. I have read about protests there as recently as 2006. In reality, they stopped using Hiatts shortly after the prison was established. I helped them choose their restraints and Handcuff Warehouse sold them most of what they have used since.

The photo at left was taken at GTMO. The restraints on the board are primarily what they use: Peerless Model 700 handcuffs, Peerless Model 703 leg irons, Hiatt-Thompson Model 7082 blue boxes, and Smith & Wesson Model 1840 waist chains with clips added at the ends. The waist chains are secured with our red Cuff Lock handcuff key padlocks.

Photos show (as pictured above) that they commonly use hardware permanently fixed to the floor through which leg irons are threaded to keep the prisoner in position.

More recently, they bought Humane Restraint Model ADL305 Ankle Hobbles with chains in between instead of a polyurethane strap. This creates a more comfortable and humane leg iron. They also bought Humane Restraint Model MND101 Wrist-to-Waist Restraints with foam padded leather wrist restraints. I don’t have any good photos of these in use, but you can see some in the The Atlantic slideshow.

For temporary disposable restraints, they use Monadnock Double Cuffs in white.

Chicago Handcuff Company Model X55 3-Way Handcuffs

Chicago Handcuff Company Model X55 3-Way Handcuffs. The three cuffs allow one to handcuff a prisoner to someone else or to a stationary object. Center ring has a 2″ diameter. NIJ approved handcuffs. 2 keys included. Weigh 15 ounces.

3-way handcuffs were more popular in the past. Most companies stopped making them by the 1940 and 50s. These are the only 3-ways that use standard handcuffs under current production.

Available here:

Zak Training Handcuffs

“Although most individuals involved in law enforcement carry handcuffs as a matter of routine, sometimes the necessity to rapidly deploy them under stress can result in a clumsy and tactically compromising situation. The tactical training handcuffs are intended for use by the cadet as well as the seasoned officer to provide fast and repetitive exposure during training events involving handcuffing techniques and arrest procedures.”

“It is expected that these cuffs will endure more use than an average set of handcuffs so all of the components were heat treated for strength and longevity. Use of a key has been replaced with a low profile dial which opens the cuff when turned in the same direction as would be used if one used a typical handcuff key. This feature is useful as it provides training in turning a key in the proper direction, thus reducing key breakage. The face of the dial provides an illustration indicating the direction to turn to open the cuff. Additionally, the double lock feature of the cuffs is fully functional if use is desired.”Nickel finish, no keys included- you don’t need them. Weigh 10 ounces.

Tuff-Tie Disposable Hand Restraints

Tuff-Ties are an amazingly effective alternative to cable ties. Made of braided nylon cord with a reinforced polycarbonate locking block, they are very secure and nearly indestructible. Extremely compact, they can be carried in your pocket or stashed in the bottom of your handcuff case.

  • Used by thousands of correctional and law enforcement agencies around the world.
  • Pre-threaded – ready to use and apply. Has a double locking feature.
  • Unlimited shelf life – not affected by exposure to sunlight, temperature, or environmental conditions.
  • Flexible – will not cut into skin or cut off circulation if applied properly.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry – won’t tangle in your pocket.
  • Non-metal teeth will not rust or corrode. The poly block is virtually indestructible.
  • Designed by a police officer for law enforcement use.
  • Manufactured by a leading plastics company under strict supervision.
  • Every unit is tested prior to sale. Made in USA.
  • Instructions included with every order.
  • Now available in black or white.


Cord tensile strength: over 500 pounds.

Cord Material: flat diamond braided nylon.

Locking block material: reinforced polycarbonate.

Asembly weight: only 8 grams (1/4 ounce).

Loop circumfrence: 12 inches (each side).

Available here:

Ripp Restraints: The Tube

We have tested most of the high security transport restraints on the market. The Tube is about as escape proof as they come. The Tube is placed over the hands and then handcuffs are placed on the wrists with the swinging bow running through a D-ring on the cuff of the Tube. The Tube is constructed of rigid plastic, so the subject has virtually no use of his hands. The only escape is to pull your hands through the handcuffs or get some help. You might be able to open the handcuffs with a key using your teeth, but this would be very difficult if the handcuffs were on a belly chain secured to your sides…and you would have to get a handcuff key. Here is the text from our website:

“Minimize the opportunity for your prisoner to smuggle contraband or to gain and use weapons with The Tube. Used at Ryker’s Island, Pelican Bay and other high security facilities, and for prisoner transport. The Tube is a Hand Containment System designed to completely encase the subject’s hands, preventing the grabbing and use of items such as weapons, keys and other contraband. Each hand is encased in a stiff, reinforced nylon cylinder. Handcuffs or cuffs from a belly chain lock the tube in place. Can be used with a belly chain or a single pair of chain or hinged handcuffs. We have tested most competing products and The Tube is by far the most effective and easy to use.

The Modified Tube is now available for street use and special needs in correctional environments. Useful when a prisoner is required to sign documents. It was developed for use on subjects who are already handcuffed and who are to remain cuffed. An opening in the sleeve accomodates the handcuff chain of an already handcuffed prisoner. The wrist opening is secured with Velcro and a strap and D-ring. The Modified Tube can be used just like the standard tube and will be just as secure.”

ASP Aluminum Hinged Handcuffs

We got our first shipment of the new ASP lightweight hinged handcuffs today. They are orderable online at Handcuff Warehouse. We placed the order with ASP last January, 2007. The chain aluminum handcuffs were very popular, so these should be a hit also. They are the same as the standard ASP hinged handcuffs, but with aluminum bows. This saves about 2 ounces.

The new rigid folding handcuffs are also long delayed and are now scheduled for shipment in March, 2008. The rigid handcuffs are really a copy of the Hiatts Ultimate, but I prefer the more streamlined shape of the ASP. They fold flat for easy storage in a case, but snap rigid when opened. This allows the arresting officer more control. Once you have one wrist in the cuffs, you have lots of leverage to control an uncoperative subject.

The Grip Restraint Handcuffs

The Grip restraint system is an entirely new approach to the restraint and transport of prisoners. Using an encapsulated lock and flexible seatbelt like material, it has been designed to reduce many of the injuries caused by steel handcuffs and leg irons. There are many advantages to the Grip System:

  • Uses standard handcuff key but does not require double locking.
  • Wrist and ankle restraints securely fit any diameter wrist or ankle.
  • Flexible material eliminates metal to skin contact reducing many potential injuries caused by steel cuffs.
  • The entire restraint system can be easily washed and sterilized.
  • More humane appearance suitable for all restraint situations.
  • Encapuslated lock with tight tolerances and two independent locking bars greatly reduces the possibility of compromising the lock.
  • Available in Kevlar for greater cut resistance and heat resistance to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • MRI-safe version available.
  • Free intructional DVD with every order ($19.99 value)

Available here:

SHOT Show Report

We just got back from the SHOT show in Las Vegas yesterday. The SHOT show is the largest trade show for the shooting sports and law enforcement products industries. The biggest news in the handcuff world is a new line of colored handcuffs from Peerless. They are using a new kind of coloring that is used in the automotive industry. This provides a cleaner look than powder coated handcuffs and the coating does not affect the tolerances of the cuffs. I am excited for Peerless and think their new handcuffs will be big sellers. We will be stocking handcuffs, leg irons, and waist chains in orange, red, yellow, blue, pink, and possible “cherry red.”

ASP is coming out with a high security handcuff with a double pawl that requires a special key. The key will look like a standard key with a V cut into the center. The new key will open regular handcuffs, but standard keys won’t open the new handcuffs. They are also coming out with a triple pawl version of their handcuffs that they call “European.” Some agencies in Europe require triple pawls (like Hiatts), so now ASP will be able to compete in that market. ASP production has been extremely backed up, but is looks like they are starting to ship more handcuffs. Their new hinged aluminum handcuffs are shipping this week, and the new rigid handcuffs are supposed to come out next month.

Nothing new from S&W. Their stock has recently dropped from the $20s to $4. Not good.

I didn’t see anything new from Hiatts either. It is generally expected that BAE Systems will sell most of the Armor Holding products group soon.

Cuff Lock Handcuff Key Padlock

The CUFF LOCKā„¢ Padlock opens with any standard handcuff key. Used for prisoner transport, just one key opens handcuffs and padlock on restraint chain or belt. No more worries if the padlock key is lost. Solid brass body with hardened steel shackle. Good for gun racks, first aid kits, lockers, and many other applications. Keys not included. Weighs 5 ounces. Available in plain brass, or powder coated red, blue, or orange. Available here: