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Old March 25, 2012, 04:45 PM   #1
dayman
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less lethal

So I've been posting/reading a lot the past week - I've found myself with a lot of free time to sped on the interweb - but I've come up with what I think is an interesting question. I've looked around a bit, but I don't think it's come up here - at least not any time recently.
I've been reading a lot of posts about HD, and wondered how many people have opted for less lethal (beanbags/rocksalt/rubber etc) loads, particularly those that use a shotgun for HD.
I don't really have any experience with the options out there, but it seems that a beanbag or 2 loaded on top of the 00 might allow you to effectively stop an intruder without having to kill them. And, on a psychological level, it might make it easier to pull the trigger.
I'm aware that in many states you're within your rights to use deadly force in the case of a break in, but I imagine most of us would still rather not. Anyway, it seemed like it might make for an interesting conversation.
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Old March 25, 2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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i just got some beanbags for my 12 gauge but probably wont use them for HD. although they can be effective im not takin the chance of losin my family members. if your not supposed to be in my house and have to break a lock to get in, be prepared to have some 00buck comin at ya. i pray it doesnt come down to that. i dont ever wanna take someones life but dont endanger my family or else i will.
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Old March 25, 2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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I can see the point you make, but I still think it's a bad idea. Generally speaking, if you are legally and morally free to pull the trigger on a firearm, then you are in fear for your life or the lives of the people around you. In such a scenario, trying for a less-lethal alternative may be noble at first glance, but is undeniably less practical, and more likely to result in an undesirable outcome. If you want to handicap yourself in a life/death situation, by all means go ahead, but I won't be joining you.
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Old March 25, 2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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"dont endanger my family or else i will."

I chuckled.
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Old March 25, 2012, 08:25 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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Well, I see a couple of problems with less lethal.

1. Less lethal can still be lethal on occasion, this means you typically can't use it unless you already meet all the criteria for using lethal force. So now you are in a situation with an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury; but you are using a load that depends mostly on the psychological choice of the attacker.

2. Police who use less lethal are wearing body armor, have training in its use, and are backed up by a another police officer in body armor who has lethal force ready. Most homeowners don't have that level of preparedness.
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Old March 25, 2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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I dont believe that I would like to use less lethal ammunitions for HD, I personally dont want an intruder to possibly get up and do harm to stuff in my house.
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Old March 25, 2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Generally speaking, I am always for the less than lethal option. However, I find myself on the other side of the fence in your scenario. If someone is in my home and is both dangerous and unknown and my family is in the house, there is no question. Less than lethal is for crowd/riot control, not home invasion.
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Old March 26, 2012, 12:16 AM   #8
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I don't see the point of less lethal for HD, police sure, but not HD. I imagine most non lethal rounds will just anger a determined criminal.

I shoot to stop the threat, if they die then that is their loss. If I shoot a non lethal projectile it likely won't stop anything. If I shoot a bullet (or several bullets) and even if it (they) does not kill right away the BG is severely injured and bleeding profusely. They will likely stop what they are doing and begin worrying about their own life.
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Old March 26, 2012, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Nocturnus31 I don't see the point of less lethal for HD, police sure, but not HD. I imagine most non lethal rounds will just anger a determined criminal.

I shoot to stop the threat, if they die then that is their loss. If I shoot a non lethal projectile it likely won't stop anything. If I shoot a bullet (or several bullets) and even if it (they) does not kill right away the BG is severely injured and bleeding profusely. They will likely stop what they are doing and begin worrying about their own life.

I agree with this.
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Old March 26, 2012, 03:06 AM   #10
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Firing a shotgun at someone is deadly force. It doesn't matter if it's loaded with confetti. You don't shoot a shotgun at someone unless you mean it. And if you mean it, you had better really mean it.

There's two big problems with "less lethal" ammo.

The first problem is if you shoot someone and kill them when you didn't intend to. A lot of "less lethal" ammo is fairly specialized and requires training. For example, rubber buckshot tends to be designed to be bounced off the street into rioter's legs. It wasn't designed to be fired into someones face across the room. Or, a lot of beanbag rounds tend to be lethal if used within 30 feet. How large is your house?

The second is if the beanbag only gives PCP Pete a nasty bruise before he's on top of you beating you to death with your own shotgun.

You may only have time for one shot. There's no "First I cycle the shotgun to scare him. If that doesn't work, then I fire a blank, then a warning shot into the floor nearby, then rubber buckshot, then a beanbag, then birdshot, then buckshot, then larger buckshot, and then a slug." That isn't how it works. The first shot needs to count since it might be the only shot you get.
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Old March 26, 2012, 05:22 AM   #11
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I am not up for that but it is just my opinion. I agree w/Austin and pretty much if I need to defend myself, my family, etc, I am using the heavy hitters
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Old March 26, 2012, 06:43 AM   #12
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Cool, a lot of good points.
My own HD loads are +P .45 JHP's, which probably fall on the lethal side of the fence, but one of the shops I frequent has started carrying some less lethal loads, so I was wondering if it was a thing. I remember my grandfather used to keep his shotgun loaded with rocksalt, but I think that was for 4 legged intruders.
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Old March 26, 2012, 07:36 AM   #13
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"Less lethal" is for Cops and the like who are protected by sovereign immunity. That way if they accidentally kill someone, brain damage them, or cause any other permanent injury there's not a darn thing the public or lawyers can do to them.
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Old March 26, 2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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Less lethal munitions can be less likely to stop a lethal threat. When the police deploy less lethal munitions against a lethal threat, it's SOP to do so only in a group with back-up able to immediately deploy lethal force.
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Old March 26, 2012, 01:53 PM   #15
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Might stop ??? and if it doesn't ? If someone breakes into your home that shows he is a criminal. However you don't know if he is a psychopath, high on drugs or alchohol, mentaly ill , etc.
To assume that he 'might' stop is a very poor assumption and may cost you your life. A person breaking in is there to do you harm -respond intelligently- The rule is to shoot and continue to shoot until he is no longer a threat.
Take the best course in defensive shooting that you can find !!!
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Old March 26, 2012, 02:21 PM   #16
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As others have mentioned, the less-lethal option leaves you with a criminal inside your home who is still alive and well.

If he is armed, you're going to lose that fight.
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Old March 27, 2012, 10:43 PM   #17
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Rock salt is for the neighbors dog digging in my garden. 00 buck is for bad guys in my space.
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Old March 27, 2012, 11:11 PM   #18
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I put my familys safety above the well being of a criminal trying to do god knows what in my house.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; March 28, 2012 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Remove bloodlust and flippant comments
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Old March 28, 2012, 05:15 PM   #19
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If there was a non-lethal way of neutralizing a threat that was 100% guaranteed I would chose that way, however there is not, and that is why I use bullets.
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Old March 28, 2012, 05:36 PM   #20
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I don't understand the point. If I'm firing a gun at someone I'm trying to kill them. My less lethal option is to not shoot.
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Old March 28, 2012, 06:45 PM   #21
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnboy
...If I'm firing a gun at someone I'm trying to kill them...
Perhaps you are; but most of us, at least those who understand our rights and responsibilities, would be shooting to stop that assailant. It's entirely possible that his death would be a result, but his dealh is not our intent. Our intent is to prevent him from killing or seriously injuring us or a loved one.

But the point remains that less lethal munitions will in general be less effective at promptly stopping a potentially lethal threat.
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:46 PM   #22
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I've used less than lethal 12ga rounds in Iraq.
1. I'm impressed. They provide REALLY good effects on target! At least long enough to restrain your target, provided you act aggressively.
2. Your target doesn't die, requires less medical attention, and might give up useful info later. Or in a home setting they live to see trial.... and in a liberal sense they live to see the error of their ways.

Unfortunately, these things don't just knock someone out like popular knowledge would have us believe (albeit they hurt.... ALOT.... A LOT LOT).

CONS:
- Your target doesn't fall like with 00buck. I've seen guys recover from getting hit with these within seconds, or guys requiring MULTIPLE shots for a good effect on target. Again it's more of a stun technique than an incapacitating one.
- You ARE going to put yourself into greater danger because YOU STILL HAVE TO RESTRAIN this cat, and he's gonna be MAD! Just because he's hurt doesn't at all take the fight out of him! Might even put more in him!
- Unless you load some lethals into the end of your tube, there is no surefire way to stop the "charging rhino" short of beating him down.
- Restraint works best with a partner who can put another gun on the target, and/or help you cuff him. This partner had damn well better be ready to jump in and assist in any physical altercations that ensue.
- Implied task above is ensuring you know how to properly and EFFECTIVELY handcuff or flex-cuff someone.
- ALWAYS be prepared for a physical hand to hand confrontation following a less than lethal shot. ALWAYS.

These are SERIOUS liabilities, some legally (god forbid this guy sues you: Are you TRAINED to use these? Did you shoot him in a proper location? Did you shoot him too many times? Does your restraint constitute a wrongful imprisonment? etc.), and others present physical safety liabilities (see above cons list). When done correctly, these are effective means for subduing someone long enough to quickly cuff them (They HURT. ALOT.). When done incorrectly, or without proper planning, training, practice, and employment, they can VERY quickly lead to a BAD situation for the shooter.

I put this as a good idea on paper, bad idea in practice. They will probably be effective in stopping the kid stealing your TV. An actual home invader though, I wouldn't really trust them.

Last edited by insomni; March 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM. Reason: clarified a point.
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:57 PM   #23
lawnboy
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Quote:
Perhaps you are; but most of us, at least those who understand our rights and responsibilities, would be shooting to stop that assailant. It's entirely possible that his death would be a result, but his dealh is not our intent. Our intent is to prevent him from killing or seriously injuring us or a loved one.
I consider that a distinction without a difference. I do not point a gun at anything I'm not willing to destroy. This means, to me, that if I were to follow through and fire at a living person my intent would be deadly. I see no truth in claiming otherwise.

I've considered the "intent to stop the attack/attacker" argument and I've decided to reject it.
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:58 PM   #24
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insommi great for a prisoner snatch by trained hardcore troopers. Not so effective for an out of training person defending his home. Frankly, I allways preferred the linea ambuse with canteens, micro pulverised CS and det cord.
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Old March 28, 2012, 11:38 PM   #25
Lee Lapin
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Sounds like an iffy way to solve Problem One while upping the odds greatly on getting involved with Problem Two to me.

It was said earlier, and I concur - anything fired out of a shotgun can be lethal. There was a LEO killed near here a few years back in a training exercise by a blank fired in a shotgun.

Shotguns are lethal force for armed citizens, period. If you are not legally justified in using lethal force, you aren't justified in shooting anything out of a shotgun, no matter what the box the round came in says. Shoot to stop, and use something that has as much of a likelihood of stopping an assault with one shot as you can find. After all, you never know but what one shot is all you might be able to manage.

LEOs who employ less lethal munitions have:

1) training in the use of said munitions, and likely certification in their use as well

2) backup on the scene with lethal weapons at the ready if the less lethal munitions fail to work

3) an official use of force policy that includes the use of less lethal munitions in certain circumstances

4) legal support paid for by the taxpayer

Armed citizens have none of the above... and a different set of legal parameters in the use of force as well. Leave less lethal to the LEOs.
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