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A crowbar, pry bar, or prybar, more informally a jimmy, jimmy bar, jemmy (British Isles) or gooseneck is a tool consisting of a metal bar with a single curved end and flattened points, often with a small fissure on one or both ends for removing nails. In the British Isles and Australia, "crowbar" may occasionally be used loosely for this tool, but is more commonly used to mean a larger straight tool.
The term "jemmy" or "jimmy" most often refers to the tool when used for burglary. Wrecking bar is the most common name for the bar with the curved end. Jimmy for the smaller version. It is used as a lever to either force apart two objects or to remove nails.
Crowbars are commonly used to open nailed wooden boxes. Another common use for larger crowbars is general demolition: for removing nails, prying apart boards, and generally smashing things.
Crowbars can be used as any of the three lever classes but the curved end is usually used as a first-class lever, and the flat end as a 2nd class lever.
Materials and constructionEdit
Normally made of medium carbon steel, they can be made from titanium also, which has the advantage of being lighter, nonmagnetic, and spark-resistant.
The least expensive, most common crowbars are forged from hexagonal or sometimes cylindrical stock. More advanced, expensive designs often are forged with an I shaped cross sectional shaft similar to an I-beam.
The accepted etymology identifies the first component of the word crowbar with the bird-name crow, perhaps due to the crowbar’s resemblance to the feet or beak of a crow. Our first attestation of the word is circa 1400. They also were called simply crows, or iron crows; William Shakespeare used the term crow in many places, including his play Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, scene ii:
- Get me an iron crow and bring it straight.
- Unto my cell. ...
One false etymology is that the term crowbar derives from Jim Crow and that they were used by blacks to perform menial tasks, giving it racist origins. Jim Crow was alive at least 400 years after the origin of the crowbar, so it is highly unlikely that he had anything to do with its name. This has been discredited by Snopes.
For Use In a Zombie InfestationEdit
Due to its fairly lightweight and useful nature, a crowbar makes an excellent melee weapon for when things get up close and personal with a zombie. It originaly got famous as an anti-zombie weapon for being the melee weapon of the famous video game series Half-Life and also a choosable melee in Left 4 Dead 2. The flat pointed end is perfect for penetrating a zombie skull. This is done effectively by aiming directly to his eye socket and using the crowbar to reach the brain in order to severe it. The crowbar is also used for prying open a barricade so you can get inside a house to stay for the night when on the move. Other uses include destroying stairs, crude hammer, and climbing hook. This last use should be restricted to very few situations.
It should be noted that stabbing strikes to the back of the head (a la The Walking Dead) are not going to work: due to the rounded surface of the skull, the strike is more likely to deflect and prove ineffective.
It should also be noted that for the most effective kills, the strike should be aimed for the top of the head. Both the rounded edge and the claw can be deadly, however the claw may become stuck if it actually does pierce the skull (this may actually prove useful if your main objective is to get rid of one last zombie really, really quickly).
Having a crowbar is also a nice way of intimidating people- a bandit might think twice if his potential target is holding a sharp, dangerous-looking object splattered with the blood of a zombie.