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Best Non-Lethal Weapons

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by shdwfx, Feb 7, 2008.

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  1. shdwfx

    shdwfx Member

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    When it comes to personal defense, the obvious ideal is mentally alert, properly trained, physically conditioned, and capably carrying a good firearm/knife.

    But, what do you do if a loved one would only ever consider ECDing a deemed "non-lethal" weapon?

    The more I research non-lethal weapons, the more I become painfully aware of their inadequacies and concerned they may do more harm than good.

    Tasers have limited range and only one shot - miss or if there are multiple attackers, your hosed.

    Stun guns that require you physically touch the assailant are risky for obvious reasons.

    Pepper spray? Better hope it isn't windy. Too, it's effectiveness is questionable.

    I'm beginning to think that the best non-lethal alternative is a cellphone and good whistle or panic siren.

    What are your thoughts? What can one do to equip loved ones who have an aversion to "deadly" weapons. Obviously, a self defense class should be first on the list, but what other options are there?

    As others have pointed out, "best" is not the right word to use. I was looking for an enumeration of options beside the obvious taser and pepper sprays and an effectiveness evaluation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  2. CWL

    CWL Member

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    No such thing as "Best" of anything because situations and people vary.

    Everything I consider a "weapon" has potential lethality.

    Try looking here:
    gutterfighting.org
    donrearic.com

    Oh, sorry for not welcoming you to THR!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  3. nezumi

    nezumi Member

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    I'm asking the same question, but my local laws make it a lot simpler. It looks like I can carry:

    A crossbow (but not a pistol crossbow), a sword, or other crazy weapons they didn't think to outlaw
    Extendable batons and knives
    Pepper spray

    I can't carry tazers, stun guns or normal weapons while we're walking outside. I'm also poor and don't have time for training right now, and I would like to be able to carry it into government buildings (so no knives).

    My current plan is to invest in pepper spray and batons for myself and my wife. Since we're in an urban area, a whistle can probably be replaced with just yelling.
     
  4. shdwfx

    shdwfx Member

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    Thanks for the welcome...

    Agreed. Hands and feet, directed correctly, are lethal too.
    I will check out those sites thoroughly after work. They look promising.

    Collapsible batons are intriguing. I know TDI here in Ohio offers training.
     
  5. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    I would think keeping a dog close by would be the best deterrent of all! :)
     
  6. coyotehitman

    coyotehitman Member

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    21" ASP baton (preferred length) Need some training with this, very effective and non-lethal if employed correctly, I do not know if you are going to be able to carry this in a secured environment without problems. I have used this baton a few times and can attest to its effectiveness, both open and closed. Avoid airweight models and cheaper copies. Lifetime warrantly on ASP and I have never seen an actual ASP broken. If you cannot train with this or are weak/frail/elderly, I would stay away from it as you would likely be disarmed and find yourself on the receiving end.

    26" ASP baton(wouldn't go larger than this)

    OC- (Taken multiple hits from Bodyguard and Fox and they burn equally as hot) Used this many times over the years, has always worked, wind direction is a concern with the cone pattern, not so much with foam and stream pattern.

    Taser- (Nasty little device) taken (2) 6 second rides and I hated both. You are not limited to one shot; you can quickly change cartridges or utilize what is called a drive stun with the device (not sure on the civilian model).

    6"-12" aluminum flashlight-I have used a 6" Surefire as an emergency impact weapon against a guy armed with a knife. While not ideal, it worked and incapacitated him with 3-4 blows to the head. I didn't get cut, but I attribute that to luck.

    I carried alot of things growing up, working overseas, and now and can think of alot of everyday items that could be improvised and some would not be too scrutinized: nylon knives or pocket ice scrapers, spike keychains, kubatons, a big fat permanent marker (check out Cold Steel), a box cutter, a railroad spike, a small hammer/rubber mallet, a length of chain, a padlock large enough to fit over a knuckle, a rolled up magazine, metal knuckles, rolled and taped coins, small bottles,sap or slapjack, Walking stick/cane, or a large nut looped onto a length of para cord or rope.
     
  7. omcjf

    omcjf Member

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    Try one of my kubatons. They are easy to use and require very little training.
     
  8. DavidVS

    DavidVS Member

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    I'm in Oregon. Here the law reads:

    Thus in this state if you wish to carry a weapon it might as well be a gun. Otherwise use chemical spray or a blindingly bright flashlight beam and then run. Legally there isn't any middle ground.

    Well, maybe there is if you are on a walk with your dogs, as someone suggested. Dogs are not legally "weapons" yet.
     
  9. Pax Jordana

    Pax Jordana Member

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    The only thing that is completely and entirely nonlethal is a dead sprint in the direction diametrically opposite the direction of confrontation. In short, beat feet!

    The stark truth of the matter is that, as personal weapons go, nothing really touches the gun. Anything you find will fall short of that.

    For what I would uneasily call "controlled lethality" I'd recommend a flashlight. A nice big one. Doesn't take much if any training - practice with a piece of stovewood for five minutes and you'll have exhausted most of the strategy inherent to wielding a club. Of course, anything that uses pain runs a risk of crippling your assailant, but broken limbs can be set.

    Mindset figures in here too. By all means, don't tell whoever it is that they'd best buy a gun or else they might as well walk around naked. But when someone attacks you unprovoked, they already know pretty well how much they want to hurt you - to win, you have to be willing to hurt them more than they are you. So keep working on them (EDIT: your friend, not your assailant! I mean, work on them both, you know?)
     
  10. Patrick_Henry

    Patrick_Henry Member

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    Welcome to THR shdwfx!

    I don't have one but I have heard many good things about well made walking canes designed specifically for carry. What I do know is that a well used stick will take the fire out of somebody might fast... Also, I've never seen a law banning the carrying of walking sticks. This seems like a decent option if your friend would actually carry a stick daily...
     
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    You are correct in that being alert, fit and trained are the vitally important elements of self defense, but a knife or gun is not always the ideal SD tool (and the knife, my favorite, isn't even close to a good stick) for many self defense situations. Add mindset to complete the foundation.

    All self defense approaches have their flaws. It's integrating several SD tools and methods that give you options that make up for each tool's deficiencies.

    If you're good with stick and your hands, carry a chemical spray and a flashlight that doubles as a kubaton/fist load as well as being adequate with a firearm at close SD ranges you've got a good integrated self defense package.

    There is no one best less lethal self defense tool beyond those 3 you initially mentioned.
     
  12. shdwfx

    shdwfx Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I want to get together a good list of specific options and go over them with a couple people in my family. My goal is to encourage them to become more capable of defending themselves in a manner that does not conflict with their personal values. My guess is that OC, a flashlight (like an SF e2d), and self defense classes are probably the limit.
     
  13. sm

    sm member

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    Don't forget Sneakers....
     
  14. Boats

    Boats member

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    I agree that non-lethal is a misnomer. I don't even like less lethal, since lethality is a matter of degree for anything that can rightly be called a weapon. A twelve inch piece of cotton cord can be a lethal weapon. So can a fork with proper application.

    I'm pretty sure I could kill someone with a stun gun if I shoved it hard enough in the right spot.;)

    People have been killed by being tasered.

    I'm sure someone out there has or will have an anaphylactic death from pepper spray.

    A cane, stick, brass knuckles, flashlight, club, steel toed boots, are all lethal weapons.

    Ex con Hell's Angels bikers carry ball peen hammers since there is no law prohibiting the carry of a hammer.

    Lethality is in the intent, legally. Anything of sufficient mass, hardness, or length, can become a lethal weapon with enough imagination and determination.

    In my world, this discussion would be titled, "Which is the best of the lesser efficiency weapons?"

    [​IMG]

    On the street, my answer is the mace. Rather difficult to conceal though.

    Against an armored opponent, a back spike is always nice to have.

    [​IMG]

    Indoors, something that can swing and thrust is the best bet.

    [​IMG]

    or maybe a dagger. . . .

    [​IMG]

    In this world, I'd go with a 21" ASP with a leverage cap.

    [​IMG]

    I have a cop friend with one. It's pretty impressive since it collapses to about eight inches.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  15. missouri dave

    missouri dave Member

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    At close range, a large dog, a cane, a louisville slugger, entrenching tool the list goes on and on. One of the many weapons I have at home and in my truck is a 4 foot length of 1 and 1/4 inch wood dowel I bought at lowes.
     
  16. shdwfx

    shdwfx Member

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    LOL Boats. :)
    How in the world would you explain to a jury why you chose a back spike for your CCW? One would probably be better off packing an Uzi, litigation wise.
     
  17. SAWBONES

    SAWBONES Member

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    Few effective weapons are guaranteed non-lethal.
    A continuum of available force is a useful mental construct for self-protection, IMNSHO.
    My own hierarchy includes OC first, sap or blackjack next, edged weapon after that, and firearm(s) as the highest, quickest and most potentially effective approach.

    Hopefully none of these is necessary, and trouble can be altogether avoided either by leaving the scene or by using verbal means alone, and it's also understood that if a weapon must be employed, there may be no real occasion for sequential escalation as described (for instance, one might be forced to shoot as a first response depending upon the nature and immediacy of the threat), but I find it both reasonable and useful to consider and to have available these several options in addition to a sidearm.
    When you consider all the possible requirements for self defense, use of a firearm would be an appropriate response only a tiny fraction of the time.
     
  18. Boats

    Boats member

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    LOL indeed. "As you have seen ladies and gentlemen of the jury, some bastards out there richly deserve a hit or twelve from a three pound pick."

    Tell me this wouldn't penetrate a perp wearing kevlar.

    [​IMG]

    Arms & Armor makes the real deal if you need to go medieval on someone.
     
  19. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    A youth-size aluminum bat. Works well in corridors. Just swing vertically downward for the shoulder. If he opts to have his arms broken by blocking, then follow-up with a cut to the knees. it also is legal in every state and fits perfectly in your car or truck!
     
  20. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm Old

    I'm old and getting arthritic.

    I think I need to get some kind of cane.

    Not as steady as I once was, 'specially in these icy parking lots.

    Speaking of icy parking lots, did you know that a "tire checker" or "tire thumper" short baton works really well for knocking the ice out of wheel wells and off of tires?

    True story.

    Discovered that after trying to use a long-handled ice scraper to get the job done. Ice scraper snapped off. Just not strong enough. You need something you can swing short and hit a good lick.

    Anyway.

    Old guys need a cane.

    You young whippersnappers might feel more comfortable with a stylish "walking stick" affair, so the ladies don't get the idea you need the extra support.

    Us old guys, heck, we don't care. Think what you like. It ain't your hip that breaks when I fall.
     
  21. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    I walk at times with a 1 1/2" diameter hardwood cane but a walking stick is in many ways superior, especially with one end carved to a nice point. Just a simple squeeze bottle with a water and ammonia mix is a wonderful dog deterrent, Anything hard on the eyes, temporally blind something and it has a real hard time attacking you.

    Ball peen hammers can be a good thing,
    when in doubt knock em out.
     
  22. nezumi

    nezumi Member

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    re: deadly force and legality - I've heard it said that when you strike a person with a club below the neck, it is not considered deadly force. The neck or above is considered deadly. Of course, when you're in court, it all depends on who your lawyer is...

    re: dogs - my dad was walking his dog a few years ago when a van pulled up, a guy jumped out and waved a shotgun at him, relieved him of his wallet and left. The whole time the dog just watched quietly. Not all dogs are created equal (and I haven't seen many which are bullet-resistant).
     
  23. CWL

    CWL Member

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    nezumi, I think you are talking about the police application of batons for control. Lawsuits have forced them to make strikes below the hip.
     
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Bats, picks, swords and the like are DEADLY WEAPONS. They are not non-lethal.

    I'd like to find a non-lethal weapon that does a good job at physically knocking the attacker down. Some martials arts concentrate on this, I believe, but also require direct contact. A device that just dropped a person would be extremely helpful, and would assist you in escaping the situation. But I don't know of any that reliably do the job. My personal choice would be a rubber-tipped walking stick, used to jab and push the person down to the ground without doing too much damage. Trying to knock someone out works better on TV than reality. Take a ball-peen hammer to the back of someone's head and you'll likely kill them or render them very seriously injured, maybe paralyzed.

    There are no such automatic rules. You can absolutely kill someone with a club by driving a ribcage through their lung or heart. Not to mention liver damage or breaking a bone that then cuts into the circulatory system.
     
  25. Pax Jordana

    Pax Jordana Member

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    It's not your lawyer you need to worry about. Round here, striking someone with a club is assault with a deadly weapon, no matter where you hit 'em. Ever heard of Deep Vein Thrombosis? (edit: more generally, thrombophlebitis)

    as this is shdwfx's thread, I'd like to address that part - before it gets completely off of his topic.

    Thing is, besides pepper spray and tasers, you're basically limited to impact (this includes 'pressure' e.g. the kubaton) weapons for any effective defense. There's a whole slew of bells and whistles - literally - being sold for assault prevention or whatever have you, but that again is reliance on your fellow man to step in. And the odds are that fellow man will be wielding something you chose not to in favor of a siren or a rape whistle.

    Impact weapons fall into two general categories, as I see it - pain compliance and mechanical alteration. Pain compliance encompasses short sticks, the stinger and perhaps fistloads and knuckle reinforcers. That works fine on a normal person with normal pain response - drugs, or even adrenaline or (it has been theorized) an overabundance of testosterone can affect pain response. So can mindset, if you're good and well-practiced.

    Which brings us to mechanical alteration. Fact is, muscles move bones, and if you really munge up either enough you're going to reduce someone's effectiveness in a fight.

    So if there's no chance of joe americasnexttopmodel carrying something 'deadly' or already enumerated in your original post I would still recommend a club. The hard truth of it is unless you're game to outrun someone, and you haven't had the foresight to avoid (happens to the best of us sometimes) you're gonna have to hurt the guy.
     
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