Best Less Lethal Self Defense Tool?


What’s everyone’s opinion on the best less lethal self defense tool for the ordinary citizen?

I’m leaning towards pepper spray. Gives you distance, multiple shots, less chance of failure, area of effect, minimal accuracy needed.

The ranged tasers… they have such a high failure rate… And they’re only good against one attacker. The contact tasers do have multiple shots, but they require the contact. Tasers also have quite the price tag.

Any sort of blunt instruments such as a baton or even fists also requires getting in close, requires practiced skills, and has limited effectiveness against multiple attackers.

Why less lethal? Multiple reasons. The primary reason is for having another tool on the toolbelt to deal with potential threats where they are a legitimate threat but lethal force in self defense is not yet justified. As defenders, we cannot escalate, we can only respond in kind. It’s also a valuable point of discussion for people who live in restricted states, who aren’t old enough for a CCW, or who have to go in and out of locations where conceal carry is not allowed.

tldr: I think pepper spray is likely the best tool for less lethal self defense and am curious about the opinion of others.


Machete or Kabar. I usually carry bear spray in the woods and have used it on wild dogs though.


Bladed weapons are legally considered to be lethal force.

If someone punches you in the face, you could pepper spray them, but unless there are exigent circumstances like disparity of force, you can’t pull a knife on them, but you could pepper spray them.


How about brass knuckles?


IDK what that means

But I’m in Fl


I don’t think those are legal to carry about anywhere in America.

Those would also fall under the “blunt instrument” category above. They require skill to use, just like a regular fist fight. They also have limited application against multiple attackers.

Pepper spray is a great area of effect weapon.


I would be scared to use my bear pepper spray indoors. Does regular pepper spray have that issue?


Id say Pepper spray, you do not need any special permits and it is effective. just me 2 cents.


Everyone in the room will definitely know it has been deployed and it won’t be their favorite day.

But it is damn effective at getting an attacker to stop what he is doing.


Whats the laws on non lethal ammo like bean bag shotguns or rubber bullets?


@jf89 I’ve always been curious about that as well.


This looks fun… I mean useful.


From a civilian standpoint?

A firearm is a firearm and a firearm is lethal force.

I think the only way that would be legal is if you have some sort of dedicated technically non-firearm that only fires less lethal rounds.


So rubber bullets would be lethal but bean bag shotguns can go either way?


I am not a lawyer.

I believe the issue is the method of delivery, not the projectile itself. A firearm is considered to be lethal force, doesn’t matter if you were to put rubber bullets in there.

So the only way to use a bean bag or rubber bullet as a civilian would be to have something that is legally considered to be not a firearm, as in, it isn’t capable of firing real bullets and is considered not to be a firearm by the ATF.

I have seen a CO2 powered handgun lookin thing that fires essentially paintballs that are filled with pepper spray. I have serious doubts as to the effectiveness, but it does exist.


Be careful how the wind blows when using pepper spray.
Or you could be the victim.
Just a thought.


Yup. Every tool has its downsides. Even with no wind, your eyes will be effected by the pepper spray.

It’s always important to know the limitations of your tools.


Actually as with all less than lethal it is not always effective. Especially on people who are in an altered state due to alcohol, drugs or have been exposed to it and know what to expect. And to know how you are going to react to it you have to practice with exposure. I’m too chicken!

I was wondering about the pepper gel spray? I know you have to be more accurate than spray but supposedly it doesn’t expose everyone in the vicinity?


Which is why the very next sentence I said it’s important to know the limitations of your tools.

It has its limitations, but it’s still a damn good tool.


I’m slow sometimes so I was still typing when those reply’s were being made. :wink: