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The most popular self-defense weapon is a firearm, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best self-defense weapon. Many people are uncomfortable carrying a gun (as it is a major responsibility) and would prefer a non-lethal weapon instead, or they may live or work in an area where carrying firearms is not allowed. If either of these applies to you, you’ll be happy to know there are many great self-defense weapons that probably kill won’t anyone.
Note: Originally, this article was going to be titled “11 Great Non-Lethal Self Defense Weapons,” but I decided that wasn’t entirely accurate because, under the right circumstances, almost anything can be lethal. For example, you could certainly kill someone with a baseball if you wanted to. However, the idea here is to find weapons that are more likely to deter or incapacitate an attacker. Here are 11 suggestions:
1. Baseball Bats
Like I said, baseball bats can certainly be lethal, especially if you strike someone over the head. But the primary purpose of a baseball bat (when it comes to self-defense) is to temporarily stun an opponent or at least to take them out of the fight.
Aluminum baseball bats are better than wooden ones for self-defense because they are more durable, they usually permit a more accurate swing, and they can deliver more damage.
A good alternative to the baseball bat is the baton. Batons are usually legal to own by civilians but not always, so be sure to check up on the laws in your city and/or state.
A key factor to remember when selecting a baton is retention. Many batons are expandable, meaning that they can expand or detract with the flip of a switch or button for ease of concealment. An example of this is the ASP baton.
When using a baton for self-defense, always use two hands on the grip to deliver a stronger and more devastating swing. If you want to get a baton, check this one out. It’s a baton and a flashlight!
3. Tactical Flashlight
A flashlight is something you should be carrying around as part of your EDC anyway. Many people neglect to carry a flashlight these days because most, if not all, smartphones come with a flashlight app.
A tactical flashlight with around one thousand lumens of light flashed into the eyes of an opponent will be more than enough to temporarily disorient them. Certain kinds of larger tactical flashlights, such as the Maglite, are even designed to be used as clubs as well.
When selecting a tactical flashlight, you also need to pay close attention to the build quality of the flashlight, in addition to the number of lumens it puts out. A durable housing and tempered glass lens will be sufficient, and your flashlight should be able to easily withstand being dropped to the ground from six feet.
If you don’t have a lot of money, here is an affordable tactical flashlight that is sturdy enough to get the job done.
4. Tactical Pen
Really, they make tactical pens? You bet they do. The biggest advantage to a tactical pen is how inconspicuous it is in comparison to other weapons such as a stun gun, taser, or knife. However, it can also be an extremely useful weapon to protect yourself from attack.
Tactical pens don’t have a bladed edge, but rather a dull pointed edge that you can use to punch into an attacker and cause extreme pain, which should hopefully stop them long enough for you to get away. I personally have a Strikepen and I really like it.
5. Bean Bag Guns
Bean bag guns are actually more harmful than many people realize. They can deliver a heavy non-lethal blow to an attacker that knocks the wind out of them.
Bean bag guns are spring loaded, gas powered, and designed to launch bean bags at speeds of up to one hundred fifty feet per second. All you need to do is point and shoot. Overall, it is a very simplistic but effective way of halting attackers dead in their tracks. While a bean bag gun won’t stop an attacker entirely, it will disorient them temporarily and give you the opportunity to get away.
6. Brass Knuckles
Brass knuckles are designed to make your punches even more damaging than they already are. They can be used for both offensive and defensive use, and can also be easily carried around in your pocket.
The best types of brass knuckles consist of a single piece of metal with cutouts for your fingers. Some also have spikes or protruding areas to punch through skin and flesh and add power to your blow.
A strong enough hit from brass knuckles can cause severe injury or possibly even death, and can even potentially break the skull or the spine. It is for this reason that brass knuckles are considered to be one of the most effective defense tools you can get.
First invented in the late 1960’s, a kubotan is essentially a small bat that you can connect to your keychain. As a result of its small size, it’s only really useful in extremely close combat, but any strong whack to the body of your assailant could give you enough time to get away.
The most important quality to look for in a kubotan is its weight. Your kubotan needs to be light enough that it can be easily carried around on your keychain, but also heavy enough that it can inflict damage when you need it. Find the right balance.
You also need to make sure your kubotan is long enough as well. At the very least, your kubotan will need to be five inches long. The idea is that you can wrap your fist around it, and then still have an inch or so visible on each side.
Finally, make sure your kubotan offers you a secure grip and uses a non-slick material. It should ideally be grooved so it will not slip around in your hands even when you sweat,
8. Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is a classic self-defense item. The reason why it’s so popular isn’t just because it’s effective but because it’s easy to use and easy to carry around. Pepper spray causes extreme irritation to the eyes and respiratory system of your attacker. However, you also need to know that pepper spray will never stop an attacker, it will only slow them down. It’s not a weapon that you use to stop an opponent, but rather a weapon you use to help you get away.
The best pepper sprays come with a UV marking dye so you or law enforcement will be able to identify your opponent should they flee after attacking you. You can buy police-strength pepper spray online.
9. Pepper Spray Gun
An alternative to a pepper spray canister is the pepper spray gun. A pepper spray gun will offer significantly improved range over a can, not to mention they are easier to aim.
Some of the best pepper spray guns currently available on the market include the following, in alphabetical order:
- JPX Pepper Spray Gun
- Kimber Pepper Blaster
- Mace Pepper Gun
- Salt Pepper Gun
- Salt Supply Pepper Spray Gun
10. Stun Gun
A single shock from a high-quality stun gun will be more than enough to temporarily stop an opponent and hopefully give you enough time to escape. Using your stun gun for half a second on an attacker will be enough to repel them, while two seconds will be enough to make them become dazed mentally. Three seconds of volts will cause them to become disoriented, lose their balance, and maybe even lose control over their muscles.
The taser is a great choice for a self-defense weapon if you want something that will stop an attacker before they reach you but you’re somewhere guns aren’t allowed. Most tasers are effective at distances of around thirty feet. Your taser will immobilize your attacker for a minimum of five seconds. Many people prefer them over guns or even a knife because they can stop attackers without threatening their lives.
Remember, each of these weapons will be utterly useless if you don’t know how to use them. This is why receiving special training and practicing with each of these weapons is critical if you want to be able to defend yourself effectively.