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Alternate self defense weapons ?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by BADUNAME30, Feb 6, 2013.


    BADUNAME30 Well-Known Member

    I recently came far closer to having to draw my .45 than i liked.
    Even tho my potential assailant was within inches of my face and aggressively threatening to take my life, i was cool headed enough to see him as a blowhard with anger issues. I calmly called his bluff and he crawled away like the coward he was/is.
    Anyhow, it got me to thinking about alternate, non-lethal self defense. Not only on the street but in my home as well.
    I'm thinking of four avenues.
    Tactical flashlights, fire extinguishers, tazers and pepper sprays.
    Anyone have tactical knowledge and or experience in the capabilities and or use of these items ?
  2. mdauben

    mdauben Well-Known Member

    Not sure about fire extiguishers unless you intend to bludgeon your opponent with one. Certainly does not appear to lend itself to "carry".

    The tac flashlight is probably the most flexible and easiest to justify, but IMO does require some basic hand-to-hand skills to use effectivly. Another "impact" option that has come up here before is a cane or walking stick. The ADA makes it almost impossible to deny anyone the right to carry one, and if you know what you are doing with them they offer a lot of options for both offense and defense.

    Be sure to check your local and state laws regarding tazers and pepper spray, as they are somethimes as strictly regulates as actual firearms. Also, even though "non-leathal" use of either would legally be considered at least assault, so you would need to clearly justify their use if it ever came to it.

    BADUNAME30 Well-Known Member

    I should have been more specific Mike in that a fire extinguisher is for in home use only. I've read that they can imobilize an attacker in a closed environment because they remove all usable oxygen from the area.
  4. mdauben

    mdauben Well-Known Member

    Not sure if that would actually work, and if it did wouldn't you be effected, too? In any case, I think with an "in home" scenario where you don't need to justify to an LEO why you are carrying something, that "expedient" weapons such as that would not be my first choice. You would not have to worry about any "carry" restrictions on the tazer or pepper spray in that case.

    Having someone break into your home, however, seems to me to up the game to "fear for my life" which would justify lethal force. Certainly its always good to have a range of options to chose from, but be sure don't endanger your own life by being hesitant to employ lethal force when it is justified.

    Just my 2ยข ;)
  5. NG VI

    NG VI Well-Known Member


    I don't know about the fire extinguisher as anything but a bludgeoning weapon.

    If you can easily carry a nice flashlight you might as well, it's like a small or medium sized knife in that there are no shortage of daily occurrences where you would be much better off with one handy. Not sure I'd want to carry around a flashlight large enough to be a 'good' weapon either though.

    I think spray is great because it is a pretty ideal and limited level of violence, that is generally used by police or victims of assaults without any malice, so if there are onlookers who see the other guy's poor behavior, they will know exactly why you sprayed him and it's unlikely you'll be strung up over it, legally or socially.
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    While this statement is true, there are a few things to be aware of that should be considered before you go this route...if at all.

    1. Closed - also implies small, because you have to replace almost all the oxygen in the room with gas.
    2. If you are in the room, you will also be immobilized.
    3. The immobilization isn't immediate, the attacker will still be able to act with the amount of oxygen in their lungs.

    The only way this would be effective is if the attacker were trapped in an enclosed vestibule as you replaced the oxygen with the fire retardant...but if they were trapped, where your immediate threat come from?
  7. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    I know of an instance where a fire extenguiser was successful at thwarting an attack. When first out of the service I found employment as the graveyard shift guy at a 24 hour convenience store.

    If my spelling and typing and grammer is even worse than ever.....had minor surgury this morning and am still wonky BTW.

    This young lady, a sudent< took my shift on weekends. Sh was robbed at gun point and then told to empty the timeed drop safe. The safe will drop only$20 every two minutes. The bad guy announced that during the wait he planned to enjoy himself at her expense and so came behind the counter while commanding her to strip.

    Once the bad guy was in amongst the sluchy machines, hot dog griller, ect. ect. this 2nd Dan Black Belt of a girl seized a CO2 type extenguisher by the bell and whaled away at her attacker so that he required imediate hospitalization.

    The company fired her BTW for resisisting which was against store policy.

    By taser do you mean an actual taser brand gun or one of the many hand held mini cattle prods?

    I would feel better armed with a three C cell maglite than any of the electric doo hickies, even with age bad knees ect. I would prefer the C cell over the D because it si easier to grip securely.

    I always loved that Archie Cambell routine.....

    "Doctor Doctor I broke my arm in two places! What should I do?"

    "Stay out of them places!"

  8. Deen Macheen

    Deen Macheen Well-Known Member

    I had to be certified in pepper spray, ASP baton and TASER while doing bail bond recovery. There are advantages/disadvantages of both.

    ASP baton: close contact only. Can be lethal if used incorrectly. Banned in some states. Overall excellent choice.

    Pepper: small percentage of people unaffected. Wind could cause problems. Able to be used on multiple attackers. Excellent 15' range choice.

    TASER: Superb non lethal weapon. Only can be used on one attacker. 15' range. Cartridges expensive at $20 per shot.

    If I had to pick between the 3 and that was all I had I would go: TASER, baton, pepper in that order.

    BADUNAME30 Well-Known Member

    Thanx for the responses. I can clearly see now that a fire extinguisher, although potetnialy effective, would be a last ditch item.
    As for fashlights. I wasn't clear in saying that i was thinking of a small one as a blinding or disorienting item. Not a 'club'.

    I think that maybe i refered to a tazer wrong. i was asking about a hand held. I never even gave any thot of a 'gun' style. I don't even know if they are legal to own in Pa outside of LE. I would prefer something small enough to pocket and or fit into a side pocket of my wife's purse. If they exist.
    As for a baton. They are an offensive weapon in Pa and illegal to own.

    So, all that being said.
    What taser is reccomendable?
    What kind of pepper spray ,
    and what kind of tactical flashlight ?
  10. Zardaia

    Zardaia Well-Known Member

    I'll second the taser. Between regular quals at home station and training for detainee ops I've had quite a bit of ltl training. Taser, x26 is the most effective i've seen. Both baton and peper spray are just pain conpliance/irratent which can be fought through but a solid hit with a taser (dart firing not stun drive) will put somone down on the spot till the juice stops flowing. As far as knives go...idk. Devile's advocate that could be taken as escalating a non leathal fight by pulling a deadly weapon. If you're justified in a knife you're probably justified with a gun. Not a lawyer.
    Edit to add- not sure of you're budget for flashlight but surefire makes high output models with a built in strobe function. Expensive but they really mess with the decision making process at night.
  11. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    This is a Taser. There is only one Taser, and only one tool designed like a Taser (though TASER now makes more than one model of the Taser). It fires a projectile which delivers electric current to the target.

    This and this are examples of stun guns. This is counter-intuitive because stun guns don't fire any sort of projectile. They are direct-contact tools, like a knife. Like the Taser, they deliver electric current to the target.

    You should realize that stun guns are not as effective as the Taser, because constant contact is required to continue the shock. With the Taser, a barb (kinda like a small fish-hook) on the end of the projectile secures it to the target, and a shock continues to transfer for a length of several seconds (length of shock varies with the Taser). A stun gun, while extremely painful, is not incapacitating unless the user maintains that contact. With a stun gun, there is also a chance (however slight) that clothing will prevent the shock from passing to the target. This is significantly less common with a Taser, because of the barbs.

    As a side note, I'm almost certain you can't carry a Taser unless you're certified to do so. If you're not a sworn LEO or something in a legitimate security field, you may not even be eligible to receive the training. I've never known a civilian who carried one. As far as stun guns though, anyone can carry one. My brother in law did for a short while. He stopped carrying it after I used it on him (at his request), and he saw how ineffective it was.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Like expandable batons, that's state dependent.

  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  14. gearjammer-2000

    gearjammer-2000 Well-Known Member

    as a trucker and all the crappy laws and regulations we have to contend with I have found the best non-lethal protection is the foaming type of wasp spray, it has a good 20 ft reach won't take a chance of affecting you like pepper spray, and if you hit someone in the face trust my it is going to stop them cold, I have had to use it a few times on dogs one a big assed junkyard pit bull and it sent him running for home in agony
  15. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    I'm a huge fan of keeping it simple. If I can't disarm/de-escalate a situation with my voice and manner, then it's going straight to ugly. So far I've done a good job of de-escalating via words and I hope that continues forever, but I'm not going to carry 3 or 4 other less lethal options just for someone else's edification.
  16. Deen Macheen

    Deen Macheen Well-Known Member

    The TASER is a specific weapon and not a stun gun, but that doesn't keep the media mush heads from calling them a TASER, just like they call a semi-auto AR15 and assault weapon. I worked in print news as well as radio news and the amount of stupid people pretending to know what they talk about is astounding. That being said, TASER requirements are different state to state. Check you local laws. Here is Washington, you do not have to have certs or training to carry as a civillian for defense, but you do have to have training and certs if you carry as BEA, security guard, LE, etc.

    A contact stun gun is useful in some circumstances. I had to ward off a dog and used a 300k stun baton. Rover didnt like it much. But you can't conceal carry that. If state retrictions are really odious, stick with a 2 oz can of pepper foam (shave cream consistancy) or pepper gel. Easy to carry, 15' effective range and not as easy to be blown away by the wind.
  17. Deen Macheen

    Deen Macheen Well-Known Member

    A quick thinking option if ever there was one. And I agree that people need to use whatever they can to protect themselves. I would be careful however of insinuating that you placed the can of wasp spray in your truck with forethought. All you need is one of these "hotshot lawyer" types trying to make a name for himself by trying tp prove that you intended to place the can in your truck and use the "poisonous" contents on another human being, an WHAM! lawsuit city. I would just play it off like, uh it was the closest thing I could grab when I thought my safety was in danger officer. :)
    Just sayin.
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    This is very bad advice. There are pepper stream/foam sprays out there that won't permanently harm someone/thing, but pesticides are not safe to use on people or animals.
  19. heron

    heron Well-Known Member

    Read the label. It states that it is illegal to use this product for anything other than what it's sold for. Use it to defend yourself against a human attacker and you could wind up in jail. Even worse, a civil suit which could end up with your attacker moving into your house.
  20. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    I might be reading way too much into all this.

    Looking back over the OP's presentation of his incident, red flags pop up all over. As said, maybe dialing it back would be the better answer. What I interpret from the language was more a story of being victorious in a monkey dance, I won He lost. I smell a lot of testosterone in it.

    Just maybe some research and thought into how that came about would be in order.

    As for wasp spray, who's going to carry a can of that daily? And even in the event it was handy a minute before a beat down, would I care what the label said? It's legal weasel wording to keep the makers from being sued. Ruger does as much with all their roll marks on guns.

    What we have are participants getting puffed up like blowfish in a contest of machismo, and why that was felt to be so necessary. It is the primary indicator when you think you are absolutely right and the other guy is being an idiot - it's a measuring contest of masculinity. How it jumps from there to Lethal Force is a stretch, but on the rare instance, someone who does know the social rules of chest thumping can move straight to the double dog dare and mess up.

    It might be better to handle the situation out front while it's escalating, rather than bluff the wrong coward into backing down. There's always one who won't, the paper is full of them getting convicted and going to jail. People will only put up with being put down so many times. You cannot know or tell when.

    No sense creating a hostile atmosphere when it can turn on you. If that's the plan, it really sounds like someone who's an adrenaline junkie and needs help. I have to ask, why is it so necessary to push people to the edge? The more it's done, the more step over the line, and we continue in a downward spiral.

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