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Gun Sports - Less-Than-Lethal Defense

Cabela's Gun Sports: For Shooter by Shooters

Less-Than-Lethal Defense

Less-than-lethal weapons are designed to temporarily disable a threat long enough for you to get to safety, without causing any permanent damage

When it comes to self-defense, many people argue that nothing is as effective as a firearm. And while that may be true, there are many places and situations where a firearm is either impractical or illegal. Four popular examples of nonlethal self-defense tools are pepper spray, tasers and stun guns, batons and flashlights. Although nonlethal defense typically works well when used properly, every situation is unique and many factors contribute to the weapon's overall effectiveness. And as with firearms, always check local laws to see what you can and cannot legally possess.

Pepper spray is the most common form of nonlethal selfdefense. Pepper sprays shoot a strong blend of oleoresin capsicum (OC). When it hits the eyes, nose and mouth of a threat, pepper spray will cause an intense burning sensation, followed immediately by coughing, swelling of the eyes and throat and even temporary blindness. Many different strengths and spray patterns are available, allowing you to choose the style that best suits your situation.

Tasers and stun guns are another popular method of self-defense. They both employ an incapacitating pulse of high-voltage, low-current electricity. Effects of tasers and stun guns are instant and include temporary muscle spasms, disorientation, loss of muscle control and a sharp pain throughout the body. Tasers launch two probes and can be controlled from a distance, whereas stun guns must be placed directly on a threat. The advantage to tasers is that you can subdue a threat from a distance of around 10-15 ft., and the disadvantage is that they are one-shot devices and must be reloaded after each use. Stun guns require you to be in the immediate vicinity of a threat, but can be used over and over until the battery is depleted.

Batons are effective when proper training is employed, but should be used only as a last resort. These weapons rely on blunt force, and using them means a threat is within arm's reach. If you plan on keeping a baton for self-defense, a training class is a must.

The last form of self-defense is a flashlight. While high-powered lights will cause blindness or disorientation to a threat, the effects are only momentary, and in some cases last less than a second. Flashlights alone are not an effective form of self-defense, but rather are an indispensible tool that should be used in conjunction with a self-defense weapon. We recommend a flashlight that puts out at least 120 lumens for use in self-defense situations.

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