Top Less Lethal Picks: What To Choose When Deadly Force Isn’t Needed

    Less lethal

    This is TFB – The Firearm Blog. We talk plenty about guns and gear that can be used to keep us alive in a defensive situation. But we should also have a discussion about the use of force and some equipment you may choose to defend against threats that don’t require a firearm. We’ve discussed mindset and situational awareness in the past, yet we are probably lacking in providing you with information on less-lethal weapons used to stop an attack that doesn’t rise to the level of deadly force. If you haven’t considered carrying a less-lethal device, we’ll talk about why you probably should and then provide you with some buying options.

    Top Less Lethal Picks: What To Choose When Deadly Force Isn’t Needed

    Law enforcement agencies and the branches of the armed forces spend days if not weeks in basic training discussing the use of force paradigm and the appropriate response to a broad range of threats. And most agencies and departments get re-certified in defensive tactics at least once a year. Yet the line between retreat, a less than lethal tactic and the use of deadly force can still be difficult to discern. Worse yet, a non-life threatening situation can turn deadly in fractions of a second. And the reverse, a perceived deadly situation can end up being non-life threatening, can happen just as fast. What options do you have when a firearm may be considered excessive?

    First, a disclaimer.

    Warning: I am not a use of force expert. Nothing relayed here should be taken as legal advice regarding the use of force situations. Consult local, state and federal laws before carrying any weapon or device you plan on using to defend yourself. Practice good judgment. Get training from qualified professionals. Remember that there are physical and legal consequences for your actions.

    1. Pre-planning and Preventative Measures:

    As a reminder, the best way to win a defensive situation is to avoid one altogether. Let’s take a look at some decisions you can make to avoid trouble:

    • Stay away from bad areas (that dive bar you always wanted to try).
    • Leave bad areas as quickly as possible (that dive bar wasn’t as nice as you expected).
    • De-escalate potential trouble (apologize to the dive bar owner for staring at his wife).
    • Walk away from a fight (there’s no good reason to throw punches in this dive bar).

    2. Less Than Lethal Options:

    Even if you do everything right, there is still the possibility that you will find yourself in an “uncomfortable” event. Luckily you have options.

    • Create distance (move away from the bad guy).
    • Verbal commands (“get back!”).
    • Less Lethal techniques and devices.

    Note: It is important to remember that less-lethal devices can still cause serious bodily injury and death in some circumstances or if used improperly. Proper training in the use of any weapon is strongly encouraged.

    Oleoresin Capsaicin (OC Spray):

    OC Spray is made with extractions from chili peppers suspended in a glycol aerosol delivery solution. The mixture is aimed at an assailant’s face in an effort to cause temporary blindness and stop the attack. OC spray is categorized by its percentage of active ingredients ranging from 0.20% to 3% capsaicin. OC Spray devices range in price from $10 to $50 and can be purchased online or in retail locations.


    • Allows user to keep their distance from an attacker.
    • Less-lethal technique
    • Small/light portable packaging


    • Wind/breezes can blow the spray back at the user.
    • Using the spray in an enclosed space can affect bystanders.
    • Not 100% effective (some people have no reaction to OC)

    TASER – Conducted Electrical Weapon

    From Wikipedia: A TASER is a brand of conducted electrical weapon sold by Axon, formerly TASER International. It fires two small barbed darts intended to puncture the skin and remain attached to the target. The darts are connected to the main unit by thin insulated copper wire and deliver a modulated electric current designed to disrupt voluntary control of muscles, causing “neuromuscular incapacitation.” The effects of a TASER may only be localized pain or strong involuntary long muscle contractions, based on the mode of use and connectivity of the darts. The TASER is marketed as less-lethal since the possibility of serious injury or death exists whenever the weapon is deployed. 


    • Allows user to keep their distance from an attacker.
    • Less-lethal technique
    • Immediate immobilization


    • Larger, gun-like device
    • Heavy clothing can render technique ineffective
    • Requires more fine motor skill under stress

    Expandable Batons:

    Expandable batons can be used as less than lethal devices when making targeted strikes to major muscle groups as a pain deterrent. While they can be a useful less-lethal weapon, they are probably too advanced for a novice user. So while we will discuss them here in this guide, I will not be providing any links to make a purchase of an expandable baton.


    • Simple metal tubes


    • Can be a deadly force if used to strike the head or central nervous system.
    • Proper training is highly recommended
    • Not legal for concealed carry in many states
    • Requires close contact with the assailant.

    Other methods/techniques:

    At the end of the article, I make some semi-humorous suggestions for non-lethal or less than lethal equipment that probably won’t keep you out of trouble. However, the jokes are (somewhat) rooted in fact.

    • Take legitimate martial arts training (Cobra Kai or better)
    • Carry yourself with confidence (don’t look like an easy target).
    • Maintain good physical fitness (there’s no shame in sprinting away from thugs).

    In the end, the best thing you can do to avoid any conflict is to check your ego at the door and avoid unnecessary risks. But having a less than lethal option handy in the home or in your car might not be a bad idea.

    ASP Friction Loc Baton – Price Varies

    Less lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: ASP Baton

    On the street, there can be no tolerance for second best. It is here that the nation’s most respected and tactically advanced law enforcement agencies trust their safety to ASP Friction Loc Batons. An intermediate force system of uncompromising quality from a firm with a long tradition of agency service.

    Foam, Duratec and Wavemaster grips are available. Airweight shafts offer 45% weight reduction with 98% of the striking potential of steel. Black Chrome provides the most durable and corrosion resistant black baton finish. Chrome delivers a high luster finish for increased visibility under low light conditions. Electroless is the most corrosion resistant finish. It is well suited to high humidity environments.

    Monadnock Expandable Baton – Price Varies

    Less Lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: Monadnock Baton

    The AutoLock® was developed through cutting-edge engineering that combined the advantages of friction lock and positive lock technology. The technologically advanced, patented AutoLock® baton is ready at hand when you need it and out of the way when you don’t. It’s easy to expand, and when it’s time to close, simply push the button in the end cap. No need to look for a hard surface to collapse the baton.

    Taser X26P Professional Series – $876.49

    Less Lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: Taser X26P

    TASER X26P

    Redesigned with Performance in Mind

    The TASER X26P is our smallest and most compact Smart Weapon, and its ergonomically designed handle is made with ease of performance in mind. The TASER X26P is larger where it matters—in the handle.

    A Smooth Transition

    With its compact size and familiar shape, the TASER X26P can be conveniently carried. Its intuitive design makes for a smooth transition to the next generation of Smart Weapons.

    Read for Reload

    Redesigned from the ground up, the new XPPM helps protect the cartridge blast doors from damage during field use, and the new forward-facing design makes for more efficient reload.

    Blackhawk! Holsters TASER X26P


    Top Less Lethal Picks: BLACKHAWK! Holster

    • The X26P Blackhawk Holster is custom crafted for the TASER X26P Professional Series conducted electrical weapon
    • This holster is the holster of choice for Law Enforcement officers across the globe and has a proven track record in the field. It balances comfort and functionality while providing easy access to your weapon
    • This holster is for use in a right-handed configuration only
    • NOTE: The X26P Blackhawk Holster is designed to fit only the TASER X26P CEW and is not compatible with any other TASER weapon.

    Taser Pulse with 2 Cartridges – $344.99

    Less Lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: Taser Pulse

    The TASER Pulse is a high-tech, subcompact weapon with an intuitive concealed carry design that packs the same knock-down punch used by law enforcement around the world. With the TASER Pulse you can reach an attacker from up to 15 feet away, immobilize them for 30 seconds giving you time to make a Safe Escape.

    Blade-Tech Kydex Holster for TASER Pulse – $30.99

    Less Lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: Blade-Tech Taser Holster

    Blade-Tech Kydex Holsters for TASER Pulse and Pulse+

    • Blade-Tech Kydex holster fits the TASER Pulse self-defense tool
    • Secure ‘pull the dot’ snaps that allow for convenient and easy on & off
    • Adjustable straps for belts ranging from 1 1/4″ – 1 3/4″
    • Barrel Protector to Stop darts in case of accidental misfire
    • Safety cover

    SABRE Red Pepper Gel – $12.99

    Less Lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: SABRE Red Pepper Gel

    MK-3 Pepper Gel with Holster

    “Making Grown Men Cry Since 1975”, SABRE – Security Equipment Corporation is proud to manufacture the world’s number one selling pepper sprays: SABRE 3-IN-1 & SABRE Red. The brand chosen by both law enforcement agencies and consumers, SABRE backs the most effective pepper spray with education and training to maximize personal safety.

    Protection at a safe distance is a huge advantage of pepper spray. SABRE’s MK-3 Pepper Gel increases safety with its 18 foot range! SABRE’s Pepper Gel is the same size canister used by professionals such as the New York and LA County Sheriffs. Since the active ingredient stays within the pepper gel substance and eliminates airborne particles, it only affects what it directly contacts. The gel substance sticks to your target and helps prevent the user or bystanders from being affected. Gel is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use as it helps prevent wind blow-back and makes indoor clean up much easier. Protect yourself and your family at a safe distance with Pepper Gel. Free holster included!

    SABRE Red Pepper Gel – Home & Property – $41.95

    Top Less Lethal Picks: SABRE Red Pepper Gel – Home Defense

    Peace of Mind in Your Home

    One of the best nonlethal options to protect your home and family now provides a high volume gel delivery system with an impressive 25-foot (7.6m) range for protection at an even safer distance than before. The gel formula is ideal for home defense as it does not have airborne particles and only affects what it directly contacts (not the family members in the immediate area). With 32 blasts, this model provides practical protection against multiple threats.

    Other Staff Recommendations:

    Learn From The Master Bruce Lee Legacy Collection – $99.99

    Witness the films of a man that would become a legend… an icon…Bruce Lee!

    Less Lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: Bruce Lee Movies

    This box set includes four of the films that would make Bruce Lee one of the most important martial artists ever to grace the screen. The set includes The Big Boss, Fist Of Fury, Way Of The Dragon and Game Of Death. Also included are two documentaries Bruce Lee: The Legend (and the original version Bruce Lee: The Man, The Legend) and I Am Bruce Lee plus a bonus disc with over two hours of bonus content exclusive to this set.

    Get ready to witness the legend of the dragon…

    Flex Your “Skills”: Karate Black Belt SATIN (MATSUMOTO) Embroidery in Japanese – $24.99

    Top Less Lethal Picks: Karate Black Belt

    Martial Arts Black Belt -MASTER-Silk/Satin GOLD JAPANESE Embroidery Karate – Karate Black Belt SATIN (Embroidery in Japanese 280/300cm

    Get Out Quickly: Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 – $129.95

    Less Lethal

    Top Less Lethal Picks: Brooks Running (Away) Shoes

    Get the smooth ride you need for every run with the easy flexibility, long-lasting durability, and reliable outsole grip of the Brooks® Ghost 12 running shoes! Predecessor: Ghost 11. Support Type: Neutral. Cushioning: High energizing cushioning. Surface: Road. Differential: 12mm. Engineer mesh upper with 3D Print synthetic overlays offers a secure fit while providing easy flexibility. Traditional lace-up closure. Plush tongue and collar. Soft fabric lining for a great in-shoe feel. Removable foam insole for excellent underfoot comfort and support. BioMoGo DNA is a blend of earth-friendly BioMoGo and responsive Brooks DNA, and has a gender-friendly cushioning design, making for a dynamic ride. Full-length Segmented Crash Pad accommodates any foot landing and sets the foot up for smoother transitions. Omega Flex Grooves allow for more natural forefoot movement and fluidity. Soft blown rubber forefoot material supplies light cushioning and grip. Imported. Measurements: Weight: 10 oz Product measurements were taken using size 9, width D – Medium. Please note that measurements may vary by size. Weight of footwear is based on a single item, not a pair.

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    LE – Silencers – Science
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