Less Than Lethal

Tools and equipment to get the job done.
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Less Than Lethal

Postby Abraxas » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:26 am

Hello! It seems the standard operating procedure when at risk of confrontation is to first attempt to avoid the situation. Failing that, to evade the would-be assailant. If possible after that, use a deterrent to aid in evasion and... when all else fails engage in combat. Here's where I see a weak link. Many of the tools and weapons being carried from what I read seem ill-suited to this task either being barely effective or too effective (potentially lethal). I do see some posts about batons and visual irritants which is good and well, but I also see lots of mention of knives. That's great, but I think most operatives would rather avoid falling into such a dangerous situation for everyone involved. For one, we're the "bad guys". Generally we're the ones doing something we're not supposed to. Even if you stop your attacker with a knife, the moral and legal consequences I think are too out of proportion.

In short, I feel like we need to expand our possibilities. There's a lot of new tech out there and the game has evolved since the early 2000s. New operatives should be in on this type of thing.

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For your consideration, the Salt s1 Pepper Spray Gun. I see an obvious downside in its appearance as a pistol and thus should be carried in a manner that hides it completely until deployment. While this is sort of a glorified "pepper spray" which is already available in canisters, I do see it as potentially being a far stronger deterrent and superior delivery system in most scenarios to pepper spray, metsubushi, etc. due to longer range, follow up shots and the "surprise factor" of these being pretty uncommon and your opponent having no idea what's actually going on. Precious seconds for you to make your escape or follow up with a secondary defense system.

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The TASER Pulse. Note that while I've listed this, there are also other products out there that can drop an assailant just as well and probably cheaper such as older surplus air TASERs that have the blockier appearance. This would seem a great option, offering range and proven stopping power would only a few conditions that would stop its effectiveness. Personally I'd rather carry this and some back-up method than the Salt pistol but for now we're just discussing options eh?

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Telescoping batons. I've listed ASP because why cheap out on such a potentially important piece of kit? Further, you owe it to yourself to train and train hard with your new baton. Buying a cheaper brand is just wasting your money when they bend, jam, and otherwise render themselves useless after several training sessions. Batons can be extremely effective but they do require skill as well as getting up close and personal with your assailant. Also, training should revolve around suppression and dominance techniques rather than outright damage. A few hits to the head with one of these can absolutely kill a person. Not what you're after. Instead focus on pain compliance to be followed up with a secondary method of disabling the attacker or as a last resort break a few bones in non-vital areas. Not ideal by any means but it's still better than using knife attacks right?

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Also for your review, the Flash Torch. A flashlight that produces enough lumens and heat to burn things. That's right, you can create fires in seconds with one of these. That makes this an ideal "surprise" defense weapon again to be followed up by something else instantaneously. Perhaps the "Mini" model rigged up to the Salt gun or TASER pistol would create an effective combo with alternating light flashes and pepper rounds. However, the full size is twice as strong. Speaking of...

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Wicked Lasers tends to overprice their burning lasers, you can find far stronger models cheaper elsewhere on the internet. But you get the idea. It's silent, ranged fire-starting and blinding. The right focal lens can ensure reliable "hits" to the eyes of an opponent which WILL damage their eyes not to mention at least temporarily blind them completely in a darker area. There are also adapters available to turn them into high-lumen flashlights. Further, there is potential to be used here as an actually-reliable laser mic due to the ease of seeing the laser. Potentially useful to see if there are occupants in a building without needing to get too close, if used correctly of course to avoid giving away your position. Finally, I'm betting a trio set up of red, blue, and green diodes in a host could not only do all of the above but also legitimately blind most cameras.

Flashy, and a little expensive unless you find DIY solutions. Shouldn't be a first choice, but it's another tool in the box.

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Re: Less Than Lethal

Postby Xanatos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:40 am

Most operatives carry knives as tools rather than weapons. Of course a 'weapon' can be any 'tool' you get your hands on (such as spanners & hammers) so the option of using a knife in self-defence is always there, but I'm betting most people here don't know how or would be comfortable using a knife in combat. I like to think myself as being very well versed in knives and even I would only use one as an absolute last resort.

The downside to the SaltGun that I see (in addition to it being the size & shape of a legitimate pistol) is that unlike a real firearm where you can aim centre of mass, with this one you need to aim directly for the face in order for it to work - which in a panicky situation would be difficult to accomplish. With practise you might be able to pull it off, but ammunition for the SaltGun is expensive & proprietary just like the gun itself (you can get a real gun for cheaper than that). Compared to a pepper spray canister - which is smaller, lighter, easier to use (you can kinda spray it in front of you as opposed to aiming with precision) and substantially cheaper - the only advantage to the SaltGun is range, which relegates it to very specific scenarios. Might be useful for disrupting a dog's sense of smell and the impact of the bullet itself causing it to flee, but other than that I think you'd be better off using regular mace.

The TASER Pulse actually looks pretty good - it's more compact than the SaltGun and seems a lot easier to carry & use than a regular taser. I don't know how much your typical taser is so can't comment much on the price of it or spare ammo, but it seems like the kind of thing you don't need much practise with anyway. Shooting centre of mass up close, especially with a laser sight, is easy enough for most operatives if they keep a level head. I like the look of the TASER StrikeLight advertised below for reasons I'll get into later:
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I'm a big advocate of batons, especially collapsible ones. Collapsible/telescoping batons are much easier to carry than fixed ones and the loud metallic "SCHLIK" they make upon deployment is often a deterrent in itself. While the more expensive ASP batons are certainly worth the extra money, even a cheap $10 baton from BudK can be fairly effective. While it does bend a lot easier, you're still hitting your target with a heavy piece of metal and if you need to throw it at your attacker as a last-ditch defence then it's quite cheap & easy to replace. Most tools designed for safety or self-defence (even helmets & body armour) are designed to be one-use items anyway.
But as Abraxas said, you need to train to use these things properly. The only thing worse than you dropping your baton or getting disarmed with it is throwing an errant strike that cracks your opponent's skull or stops their heart, so make sure you know what you're doing before swinging. Try going for extremities - the hands & legs (especially the knees) are easier targets to hit and can hinder your opponent long enough for you to escape or get them to back off entirely. If they can no longer hold a weapon or give chase, you'll have a much easier time escaping.

On the subject of flashlights & lasers, I see little utility in having one powerful enough to set things on fire. Often you need to be fairly close to your target and have the beam concentrated on them for a long duration to cause burning, which you won't really get in a SDF situation. Having a bright flashlight however is an invaluable tool to have at your disposal, especially if you're cornered in a dark environment. Flashing your opponent in the eyes with a bright light can dazzle them long enough for you to escape and ruin their nightvision, making it harder to see you. Many flashlights come with a sturdy metal housing (some even with additional protrusions) making them effective impact weapons if you need to engage your opponent physically. Most of us carry flashlights to navigate in dark environments anyway, making this a rather ubiquitous tool.
This is where I see the utility of the TASER StrikeLight I pointed out before; it's a bright LED flashlight, stun gun and sturdy impact device, making it a valuable 3-in-1 implement to carry. It also comes with a rechargeable battery, which is always nice.

Keep in mind however that your opponent is likely to be carrying one of these implements as well, or perhaps something worse: a sword/machete, a baseball bat, a gun, a guard dog on a leash, or even a tiger. These implements may not be immediately obvious either; they may be blinding you with a flashlight in one hand while holding a gun in the other, for instance - so absolute care must be taken in how you deal with an assailant. Most people (even security guards) aren't looking for a fight - especially with masked trespassers - so prioritise putting distance between you & your target and use any physical contact as a means to get around/away from them rather than incapacitation. Even simply shoving your opponent away when they get too close can create an opening to escape.
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