Less Lethal Alternatives

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Last week I discussed the danger being posed by the defund the police movement. As I mentioned, the McCloskeys are being charged with vague, trumped-up weapons charges, even though they live in a state which has codified the Castle Doctrine as part of their law. It appears that our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms are being infringed upon, regardless of what the Constitution says.

This poses all sorts of potential problems for those of us who believe in protecting our families. At this point, we have no idea how we will be treated by the law, or more correctly by those administering the law, if we find ourselves in the position of having to defend ourselves from the destructive riots that are happening across our land.

What makes this even more dangerous is that a number of Democrat politicians have publically declared support for the rioters. Few seem to be willing to take a stand, saying that these actions are illegal and some are going so far as to not allow the police to do their job. It seems that anyone living in a Democrat controlled city or state right now is at great risk, if they need to protect themselves.

I don’t know about you, but that wouldn’t stop me from protecting my family. If the choice is my going to jail for protecting them or them going to the hospital because I didn’t protect them, I’ll go to jail. Still, I’d rather avoid jail if possible. Accomplishing both at the same time may be difficult.

When I was an officer in the National Guard, one of the things we were trained on is riot control. Since the National Guard is a hybrid organization, partly state militia and partially under the control of the federal government, part of our responsibility was backing the police up in the case of riots. The rule we were taught, which I understood to be the same rule the police are taught, is “use the minimal necessary force.”

That seems to be a good philosophy for us to adopt in these times. If using a firearm to defend ourselves might get us into a legal jam, it makes sense to avoid using it, if at all possible. That means using something less lethal when we can. Using a less lethal option should look good in court, especially when your lawyer makes it clear that you didn’t fill them with lead.

So, what sorts of less-lethal options could we use, if we found ourselves in the McCloskeys place?

Pepper spray

One of the old standbys, pepper spray is limited in that you have to be within a few feet of the potential assailant. This makes it a last-ditch sort of weapon; something you want to avoid having to use. Using pepper spray in a crowded situation might take out one or two attackers, at the cost of making you a target for others.


Like pepper spray, most tasers are contact weapons, requiring that you be within arm’s distance of the attackers. Some also have a cycle time, so once you use it on one attacker, it might be a couple of seconds before you can use it on another. Not exactly a reliable weapon system to defend yourself with. If I was to use a taser, I’d use one of the ones that are a cane. That gives you a little longer reach, which is an advantage.

There are also the taser guns, like the police are being equipped with as a less-than-lethal alternative. This gives you about a 20 foot range, but is limited to being a single shot weapon. The amount of time it takes to reload may make it hard to get off more than one shot. These are now available online for consumers.

Less Lethal Shotgun Shells

Perhaps the best less-than-lethal home defense options available are some of the shotgun shells that have been developed recently. Mostly designed for police use, these are available for purchase online. However, there are some states where they are not legal, so the companies that manufacture them cannot ship to these states.

  • Beanbag Round – The shotgun shell is loaded with a beanbag, which is filled with tiny shot. Effective out to 30 yards, these pack quite a punch, without having the ability to penetrate.
  • Double Koosh – These shells are filled with two small koosh balls, measuring roughly one inch in diameter each.
  • Rubber Shot or Slug – Essentially the same as 00 buckshot or slugs, with the exception of being made out of rubber. Delivers exceptional energy transfer, with a much lower possibility of penetration. While these still can penetrate, they are unlikely to do so to the point of killing the target.
  • Soft Rubber Slug – By making the rubber ball or slug out of a softer rubber, the manufacturer reduces the chance of the impact breaking the skin, while still making it possible for the round to pack a good hit on the target.
  • Beehive – A shotgun shell filled with plastic shot, rather than lead. The lighter weight of the plastic causes it to lose momentum faster, so it hits with less force. Can still hurt, but little chance of penetration.
  • Pepper Rounds – Packed with powdered pepper, this is like a mega-blast of pepper spray, producing a cone shaped area that equals about 8 feet around at 25 feet of range.

Please note that there are several variations of each of these, depending on who manufactured them.

Less Lethal Pistol Rounds

They’re not as common, but there are less-lethal rubber bullets made for .45 caliber and 9mm (perhaps some other calibers as well). These are hard rubber bullets, intended to transfer energy with minimal penetration. That’s not to say they won’t penetrate; the idea is that less penetration reduces the chances of a life-threatening injury.

Consider what of these options you may want to add to your defensive strategy; but don’t forget to carry the real thing too. There may be a situation where you need to put lead downrange and take your chances. Just make sure when you do, that it’s truly necessary.

In the mean time, be sure to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

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