Snake whips are a type of single-tailed whip. The name snake whip is derived from the fact that this type of whip has no handle inside and so can be curled up into a small circle which resembles a coiled snake. They were once commonly carried in the saddlebag by cowboys of the old west. A full sized snake whip is usually at least 4 feet (1.2 m) in length (excluding the fall and cracker at the tip of the whip) and around one inch in diameter at the butt of the whip.
A pocket snake whip can be curled up small enough to fit into a large pocket, and ranges in size from 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) in length. The pocket snake whip is primarily a whip for occasional use, such as in loading cattle. Both of these types of snake whips are made with a leather shot bag running approximately three quarters of the length of the whip.
Blacksnakes are the traditional whips used in Montana and Wyoming. The blacksnake has a heavy shot load extending from the butt well down the thong, and the whip is flexible right to the butt. They range in size from 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.7 m) in length. Some types concentrate a load in the butt (often a lead ball or steel ball-bearing) to facilitate its use as improvised blackjack.
The signal whip is similar to the snake whip, but has no "fall".
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