Less Than Lethal

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

Post by Abraxas » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:26 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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https://www.saltsupply.com/
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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https://buy.taser.com/collections/tasers/products/taser-pulse
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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https://www.asp-usa.com/collections/products

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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http://www.wickedlasers.com/torch
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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http://www.wickedlasers.com/arctic
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.

Keep it going.
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Xanatos
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Xanatos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:40 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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https://buy.taser.com/collections/tasers/products/taser-strikelight
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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Psychlonic
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Psychlonic » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:31 am

FWIW, the Salt pistol rounds impact with a small cloud of dust by design that tends to rise into the target's face when hit center mass. That being said even though it can fairly easily deliver pepper to a target's face from a good distance I don't think it's a great option. Although there's really no marvelous fight stopping/preventing non-lethal option at all unfortunately. Hell many lethal options aren't even ideal once you start giving up tactical advantages, and that's exactly when you need to deploy something in the night ops world as we try to avoid conflict rather than initiate.

Of course, back in my day I always rocked a blade of some fashion. Like Xanatos laid it down, it's mostly a tool but if push came to shove I was ready to draw blood with it.
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Xanatos » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:38 am

Then again you're more likely to bump into coyotes, cougars & other predators in your area, so carrying a blade for defence makes a bit more sense.
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by TheWanderingCrow » Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:47 am

On the salt gun, if you were looking at adding something similar to your kit, recently another company came out with a dirt cheap, single shot tube that operates on a similar idea.

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https://pblifelite.com/products/compact
May be hard to land shots under pressure. But if it is really a 15ft cloud like they say, might be able to shoot it at the ground near the assailant instead.
Always fear the flame, lest you be devoured by it, and lose yourself. -Quelana of Izalith

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Wind
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Wind » Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:18 pm

I agree with much of what has already been said. Ultimately, we are stuck with imperfect solutions in an imperfect world.

I think there is lots to be said for the TASER StrikeLight that Xanatos mentioned, especially the triple threat of blinding lighting, stun capabilities, and impact options.

A note on collapsible batons: I LOVE them and have practiced FMA for decades. However, because the individual shafts collapse into one another, there can be a rattle when you are moving, especially quickly. In most cases, it would not be a big deal; however, if your mission requires near complete silence, it might be better to choose another option. Like I said, I think overall it is a good option. I just didn't want someone to drop over a hundred bucks on something only to realize later the slight rattle issues that come from carrying a collapsible baton.

Here is a quick tip for another method to use a common item many of us carry anyway, a bic lighter. If you know how to grapple and find yourself on the ground and need a quick escape, put your flame to your attacker and you will be able to get out of almost any position quickly as long as you have some solid foundations in ground fighting.

Be safe, everyone!

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Sicarius
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Sicarius » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:50 pm

I have some research on this topic, but I have not written anything up or done extensive research.

Do you know the stun guns/tasers? The ones that shoot a projectile, not handheld to where you have to touch a person. Well... those have felon ID tags. Meaning you shoot someone, if they go to the hospital LE will show up and remove tiny grippy balls with numbers on them. The numbers are associated with a specific cartridge, and that cartridge goes back to you. Mind you, tasers can kill people with heart conditions as well as in freak accidents.

Batons are not less than lethal. There seems to be a skewed opinion in self-defense that blunt objects are non-lethal. Let us observe the "slungshot". This is a simple weapon used by sailors historically, which is a weight for fishing(metal ball) tied onto the end of a rope. The modern variant is a monkey fist for your keychain, but the ball is less heavy. Sailors used this because it was cheap, "silent", and had limited restrictions compared to knives in brothels/cafes in their time. They used it to kill, no BS about sparing criminal lives.

I advise that when researching into any weapon, lethal or "non-lethal", you do a lot of research from practical sources about lethality. I find old books, fringe websites, or military accounts the most accurate. You do have to think for yourself though and analyze the purpose of the weapon in your case, not the one mentioned in the source.

Anyway, back to batons. Are they as lethal as a baseball bat? No, they lack a very heavy front end. However, imagine hitting someone in the head with a baton. The reach it provides adds to the lethality. So, while it may not be as heavy as a blackjack(which CAN kill), it can and will still kill due to the reach. Think tomahawk vs halberd.

Many more factors come into play as well; who are you fighting, what portion of the operation are you in, what is your health, how skilled are you, where(in terms of precise location to country, just where in general), etc. In a non-lethal operation, in my opinion, as soon as you need to use your non-lethal weapon you defend yourself and call of the operation. Knocking people out is also much different in real life than in movies and video games.

I think the best setup would be something like a paintball pistol and a "force equalizer" that acts as an extension of your fist. For the paintball pistol, load 1/3 pepper balls, and rubber paintballs(meaning one pepperball, 3 rubber, and so on). MAKE SURE TO HAVE LOW PRESSURE, OR YOU CAN KILL SOMEONE WITH THE RUBBER PAINTBALLS. For the "force equalizer", get something like brass knuckles or a blunt karambit in polymer(to do less damage than metal, but you still need to restrict how hard you hit).

However, the last parts are my opinion, my research is lacking in this area.
"If one cannot be both, it is much better to be feared than loved" - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by TheWanderingCrow » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:19 pm

Those are some good points, especially about taser tags which are a thing and why I wouldn't recommend getting one. I think you may be getting your terms less than lethal, and non-lethal slightly mixed up however. The difference between getting stabbed or not may be that extra 16 inches a baton provides vs the brass knuckles. Which can kill just as easily on a misplaced hit.
Always fear the flame, lest you be devoured by it, and lose yourself. -Quelana of Izalith

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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Sicarius » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:22 pm

That is why I suggested polymer, I imagine it would do less damage. Obviously, though, training is required for any weapon, especially non-lethal or less than lethal. EDIT: I was not trying to be rude, sorry if it came across that way :)
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Xanatos » Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:52 pm

Polymer is also substantially cheaper. In fact ColdSteel, whatever you think of their knives, make some pretty good polymer weapons too (training knives, batons, etc). They're lighter to carry and if you happen to lose one in the dark, oh well no big loss.
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by TheWanderingCrow » Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:31 pm

I can second the ColdSteel plastic knives. I have a few and they're built extremely well.
Always fear the flame, lest you be devoured by it, and lose yourself. -Quelana of Izalith

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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Sicarius » Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:21 pm

Brass Knuckles: Just punch... try to hold back a little, however, and make sure to mix up your attacks with other limbs(kicks, elbows, knees)

https://www.brassknucklescompany.com/al ... h-knuckles

Here is a link for semi-brass knuckles: https://www.arizonacustomknives.com/kni ... r/nicknuk/

Real, custom brass knuckles and they even have a Kydex sheath: https://mcdanielknives.com/mcknuckles/

Karambit: Reverse grip, the forward grip makes you look stupid and defeats the purpose of the knife. Try utilizing hammer fists, and add in elbow to hammer fist techniques. Also, use it to manipulate pressure points and grapple. None of the fancy BS, just a basic block and you move your wrist to apply pressure. Of course, hold back your attacks. Punching and slightly rotating your wrists works too.

https://www.karambit.com/shop/karambits ... rson-wave/

https://www.karambit.com/aluminum-training-karambit/

https://www.karambit.com/shop/karambits ... -karambit/

https://shomer-tec.com/impact-kerambit.html

Here is a sharp one, in polymer: https://shomer-tec.com/emerson-non-meta ... ambit.html

Metal kerambits, very pretty so therefore overpriced but ergonomic as well: https://www.karambit.com/search.php?sea ... on=product

Cold steel polymer knives: https://www.knifecenter.com/series/cold ... l-trainers AND https://www.coldsteel.com/trainers/

Here are some lethal polymer weapons: https://www.osograndeknives.com/catalog ... -32-1.html

I am trying to finish my gear setup, but I want to hide 2-3 of these on my gear(clothing to vest, etc)- https://www.sparrowslockpicks.com/product_p/stc.htm
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Xanatos » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:16 pm

Sicarius wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:21 pm
Metal kerambits, very pretty so therefore overpriced but ergonomic as well: https://www.karambit.com/search.php?sea ... on=product
*hides my $800 custom karambits* :roll:
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Re: Less Than Lethal

Post by Sicarius » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:04 am

Holy shit, 800?!?! I like a nice knife but that is insane, although I bet it feels great in the hand. I want to get a standard v-14 dagger by Les George and Spartan Blades, and then look into the price of a custom grey anti-reflective double-edged "pika" from Bastinelli. The commercial pika goes for 130, so my max for a custom one would be 250-300.
"If one cannot be both, it is much better to be feared than loved" - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

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