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Old August 2, 2012, 03:01 PM   #26
ClydeFrog
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Single-Six's remarks, non-lethal weapons...

I agree with the remarks, Single-Six posted. I've used different chemical sprays on MP & armed security posts over the years and can also tell you they are not always the best way to defend yourself.
Sabre Red, Fox & First Defense are good OC sprays but may not work as described due to wind, distance, the violent subject's behavior, etc.
The foam/goo type should be avoided. Many cops & security guards/corrections have deployed sticky foam OC agents only to have criminals fling gobs of it back at them.

I'd also advise your wife/OC spray owner to plan for what to do AFTER using the non lethal weapon in a critical incident. I've seen some intoxicated subjects become MORE hostile after being sprayed. I've also seen Mk III & IV size OC cans fail or clog.
I'd suggest buying a training can or a few extra cans of OC spray to learn how it works. As posted, I'd check the unit often & be aware that OC agents may expire or lose strength after 3/5 years.

Clyde
ps; I'd add that a high power LED/CREE white light with a strobe feature may be a good add-on to her self defense plan. A "tactical" pen Uzi, Benchmade, Tuff Writer, etc may help too.
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Old August 2, 2012, 04:26 PM   #27
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Having been in law enforcement for 21 years now in one of the largest cities in the nation I have seen many different secondary non-lethal weapons come and go.

OC spray is probably one of the better ones, even though I refuse to carry it and do not want any of the people around me deploying it. I have been on scenes where it has been deployed twice and both times it took the crook down along with about three officers in the fight including myself. You can not control where it is going due to wind and other factors and if you are even approaching the scene from downwind you are going to get hit. Stay away from the “Mace” based sprays they just do not have much stopping power. You want a “Pepper” Capsaisin type spray but be prepared for the effects it will have on even the user.

Some folks are saying stun gun, again you have to know what the limitations of that product. The small hand held “Stun guns” you see being sold in stores are for pain compliance only. They will not incapacitate. When these are used you have to be up close and grab ahold of the person when applying the charge otherwise all they will do is pull away and there is no more pain. If you can deploy it in that manner and then run it might be a viable option.

Taser is a product name brand and is another option and again has its limitations. It shoots two darts that are attached to copper wires that will incapacitate while the charge is being administered if deployed properly. If you are law enforcement you can buy the cartridges that have a 21 foot wire in them. For civilian purposes the longest wire you can purchase is 15 feet. They basically work by locking the muscles down between the two probes, the larger the muscle that is hit the better these work and the further the spread of the two darts apart the better. Once the shock stops the person is fully functional again and can continue the fight if you don’t shock them again. I have seen them used in real world events. I have seen people immediately lock up and fall and I have seen people rip the darts out and throw them back at the officer. That happened twice that I have seen and both times one was very drunk and the other was very high.

Expandable baton is another option. They are light and can be carried in your hand while running and I think legal to carry in most of the states. Again you have to be close to use these but there is also an intimidation factor involved. They can be deployed very quickly but you should probably train with it some also.

These are probably some of the best non-lethal options I have seen come out in my 21 year career. If I had to pick one it would be between the OC spray and the baton. Both are small, light weight and can be carried while jogging and be readily available for use. They both have their advantages and disadvantages but they are better than nothing.
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Old August 2, 2012, 09:19 PM   #28
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Just forget the non lethal and get a CCW and practice often.
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Old August 2, 2012, 09:54 PM   #29
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
NON LETHAL weapons
1) Pillows

2) Fungo bats

3) Nerf guns

You see 'non lethal', well that term means it can't kill. Pepper spray can choke someone to death, Tasser or stun guns can kill, ASP battons can kill, etc....

There is no real 'non-lethal' weapons. If they are a weapon... they can kill.

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Old August 2, 2012, 10:08 PM   #30
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Well then, I guess if we look at it that way even a rubber band could hit someone directly in the ear and penetrate their brain and do the same??? How did I ever make it this far in life?
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Old August 2, 2012, 10:15 PM   #31
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Impact weapons(blackjacks, saps, etc)...

I agree with the forum member's/sworn LE officer's remarks about non lethal weapons. I'd add that a citizen buying or deploying a impact weapon like a ASP, PR-24, a sap, etc may not be legal or practical in some places.
Unless you are a sworn LE officer or uniformed corrections-security officer, I'd say you'd have about a 90-95% chance of bystanders-onlookers saying; YOU were the aggressor or used excessive force. That's also why I'm not thrilled with folding or fixed blade weapons as "defense" tools.
To use extreme violence or be in a position where YOU are viewed as an attacker is something to consider.
As a security officer in many "bad" areas of large cities-places I can tell you, street crimes can be chaotic, dangerous and highly unstable.
To maintain an "avenue of escape" or to "flee" may be a smarter move than swinging a PR-24 around in a dark parking lot or alley.
When or if LE arrives, you'll be surprised how many "concerned citizens"(bums, junkies, street people, etc) will pop up & crow about how aggressive or hostile you were. The truth or real details will quickly be ignored. Sad but true.

Clyde
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Old August 2, 2012, 10:27 PM   #32
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When and if it hits the fan, don't hold back. Don't care what bystanders or anyone says use anything and everything you have to, to do what you need to do to stop the attack so you can make it home safely. Alot of people think too much as to what's legal what's not or if they could be sued. I would give a ****. Do what you have to do!
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Old August 2, 2012, 10:32 PM   #33
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Ditto to ClydeFrogs admonition: make sure whatever you get is legal in your jurisdiction.


Let me add one other non-lethal: The "Vomit light" was pretty effective in some
demonstrations I witnessed. In a few seconds 'most' people could not look toward this flashlight. Colorblind persons were not as sensitive in the demo I participated in. Ionly mention as it appears most non lethals are restricted or illegal somewhere. This does not currently seem to be restricted.
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Old August 4, 2012, 02:39 AM   #34
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"yee-haw, $&@# the law"....

I strongly disagree with Farmerboy's post.

The recent George Zimmerman/Treyvon Martin incident should re-enforce the point to any private citizens/CC license holders that; like it or not, your actions in a critical incident will be reviewed. The criminal investigators and/or local media may not be quick to defend you or be honest about what really took place.

To be reckless or cavalier about the law, then be surprised when you are convicted(and or sued in a civil action) is not the best way to deal with protection/defense.
Skill training & being alert to your surroundings can help deter or reduce the chances of being in a critical incident.

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Old August 5, 2012, 12:16 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymousFolk
Hmmmm...

I carry a legal knife on me all the time

Without proper knife training in Fillipino Martial Arts, plus the length (3"), I feel it's fairly useless. It's way useful to open packages or pry out stuff that didn't extract or cut some string...

Boston's gun bible or some shotgun for SD book I read says that a person trained with knife will generally always win (i.e. get first strike) in a 10' or less confrontation vs anyone with a concealed firearm.

I don't believe Fillipino martial arts covers shorter knives, I think it's long knife.

Even then a shotgun, even a concealable .38, can be 1 shot 1 kill. A knife can be messy and long. It'll leave a nice trail of blood and the assailant may have to go to the hospital...

IMHO what I'm getting at a knife is better than nothing. Second what others are saying...get some martial arts in there. Where I get confused if Krav Maga is only pistol/knife defense, or if any knife offense is taught. Fillipino is offense with knife...
Filipino arts start off with sticks or long knives, usually. It's a lot easier to learn this way, as the weight helps your body remember the strokes. The problem is, most Filipino styles use wider, more general cuts and thrusts that aren't as useful in smaller knives. Sayoc Kali has a good system that works with smaller blades, and 3" is plenty, most knife attacks are sub 4" blades, and many die from those without medical help. The style I prefer is the Libre System, very aggressive and useful, always open to experimentation to improve techniques. IET(Inverted Edge Tactics) is another type of knife defense, perhaps more defensive than any other style. It has its uses, and some good ideas, but I find that it can be limited without experimenting.

Knives are fairly good weapons if certain basics are considered and one is in contact range. The issue with sprays and other projectiles is the habit of holding them at arms length to aim and use them. This makes it easier to grab or cover before sprayed. A knife doesn't need this, it works in the range that most females are attacked, within an arms reach. There are many ways to effectively carry a small sized fixed blade in a modern sheath. As far as learning to use one, a training knife and a little experimenting can work wonders.

While knives aren't the best weapons, and getting bloody isn't fun, they are amazing last ditch tools. If taking a life is an issue, most cuts aren't life threatening and even thrusts can take a while to kill, long enough to get them help. Being humane here. That's just my pointy input.
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Old August 5, 2012, 02:31 PM   #36
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I have been a corrections officer for nigh on 10 years now and our primary weapons are all less lethal weapons, notice the term LESS not NON. I am certified as a Taser instructor, an OC instructor, impact weapons instructor, defensive tactics instructor, Pepperball instructor and armorer, and an edged weapons defense instructor. I personally designed, wrote and regularly teach the training curriculums in all of the above areas. Given all of that, I can say, and this isn't to enflame anyone but a lot of what has been written here is very good advice and some of it is...um...let's say, less than accurate.

1) Something is always better than nothing.
2) OC spray IS effective when the right strength is applied properly. All of our officers carry First Defense .7% and I have yet to see someone who was unaffected by it. If you want a more effective spray buy a formulation that is an OC (pepper) and CS (tear gas) blend. CS sprays are not legal everywhere so check this out where you live first. Always buy a liquid stream, foggers are only good for crowd control. You should always target the face with a spray but an OC/CS blend spray will cause coughing, choking and tearing even if facial contact is not made. Whatever you buy practice with it and I HIGHLY recommend having someone spray you with whatever you are going to carry and practice making an escape or fighting while you are disabled so you know what to expect when it gets on you. Buy a name brand, Sabre Red, First Defense and Fox Labs are the best out there. NEVER buy the cheap crap they sell at the register at big box stores.

3) The civilian Taser models, C2 or X26c work very well when properly deployed but they are dependent on a solid large muscle mass area hit to cause incapacitation. The good thing about these items is if you successfully hit with them the timer on the device runs for a full 30 seconds. This is intended to give you a sufficient window of time in which to escape. Fire, drop and run. Then if you send the police report to Taser International they will replace your unit for free. As far as Tasers killing people, I have been tased somewhere around 10 times in various training courses over the years by 3 different models of Taser weapon and I am still alive. Not only that but I have tased or been present at the tasing of many people, both LAWE types and criminal types over the years, and they are all still alive as well.

3) The Pepperball Flash launcher sucks. It's heavy, cumbersome and extremely hard to fire, I had ot use two hands to make it work. However, the Pepperball keychain unit is VERY effective. It's small, light, easy to carry while running and it discharges a massive amount of OC powder, right around 34 grams, more than 3 times the amount in a Flashlauncher ball. The powdered OC is great becasue it disperses and contaminates a large area but is still projected well away from you. It also sticks to skin, gets in eyes, noses, mouths and lungs and it burns as bad as or worse than any of the liquids I have been sprayed with, which is up to 5 now.

4) Impact weapons are not legal in all states and require much closer contact to effectively deploy and as such should be avoided unless as a back up. The best way to defend an attack is to keep the person as far away as possible or to use the weapon you have to create a window for escape. Even if grabbed from behind it is much easier to deploy a spray or a projectile based weapon over you shoulder than it is to successfully deploy a striking weapon.

5) TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING! Whatever you buy practice, practice, practice! You should be able draw, and operate whatever wepaon you carry in the dark, after being exposed to it yourself, in the rain, whatever.

Sorry, couldn't help but throwing in my 2 cents, I'll climb down from my soap box now. Y'all have a good day and stay safe.
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Old August 5, 2012, 06:31 PM   #37
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Farmerboy, clubs are illegal in TX. FYI.

So to consistently carry one, seems like a bad idea for a civilian. There are other options.

We don't advocate deliberately breaking local laws. Watch the language also.
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Old August 5, 2012, 10:59 PM   #38
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While I'm not against the carry of less lethal weapons, I view them as something to be carried along with, rather than as a replacement for, a firearm. Some things that I think should probably be borne in mind about less lethal weapons:

First and foremost, there is no such thing as a truly non-lethal weapon. Any weapon effective enough to stop a violent attack can potentially be lethal under the right circumstances. Chemical sprays can be lethal to someone with respiratory problems, electrical weapons (tasers and stun guns) can be lethal to someone with a heart or musculoskelital condition, and impact weapons can be lethal if not used properly. If someone is considering carrying a less lethal weapon due to a complete unwillingness to use lethal force under any circumstances, then that person needs to re-evaluate their decision to carry a weapon of any type.

Secondly, while the track record of some is very very good, less lethal weapons are not 100% effective. Chemical sprays and impact weapons rely on causing enough physical pain to deter the attacker, but if the attackers response to pain is dulled through chemical means or he's simply determined enough to continue his attack in spite of the pain, they may not be effective. Electrical weapons are probably more effective, but they rely on being able to close a circuit in order to work. I am aware of at leas one case in which a police officer deployed a taser that only connected to the perp with one lead and thus did not work. It was a very bad situation and all involved were extremely lucky that it didn't escalate to lethal force.

Third, almost any less lethal weapon small and unobtrusive enough to be routinely carried is also of rather limited range. Even weapons like tasers and chemical sprays require you to be within a few yards, if not a few feet of your attacker while a firearm gives you dozens, if not hundreds of yards should you need it.

Finally and most importantly, like a gun a less lethal weapon is not a magic talisman that can simply be picked up and used effectively by anyone. In order to be used effectively, less lethal weapons require some degree of training to ensure not only that they have the desired effect on the attacker, but also that they do not pose as great or greater danger to the user.
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Old August 7, 2012, 12:44 AM   #39
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colors, training....

There are a few good recent points posted here.
I'd add that for a "less than lethal" or "non-lethal" weapon system, you buy units that are different colors(other than black).
Basic black is fine but I'd rather hold a red or yellow item(Taser, chemical agent, etc) that clearly looks like a less than lethal.
I've seen & read of 2 real world cases in recent years of sworn LE officers drawing and firing a sidearm by mistake when they meant to pull a Taser in a critical incident. In one of the LE incidents, an unarmed subject was killed.
A yellow X26 Taser may have changed the results in that tragic event.
I'm considering buying a C2 Taser in the red format.

CF

PS: About 7-8 years ago, a female sworn LE officer in the Daytona Beach, Florida area had a subject suffer burns & serious injuries when she fired a Taser that struck a lighter in the front chest pocket.
The cop deployed a Taser which caused the lighter to burst into flames on impact. I don't recall all the details but I'd bet the officer & her PD had a major civil lawsuit over it.
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Old August 7, 2012, 10:24 AM   #40
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There are people on here who know a heck of a lot more than me, but I believe there is no substitute for one's brain and situational awareness. It is the best non-lethal (or lethal) weapon of all. Training and reading help prepare the mind. Once someone is up on a person and an the attack is underway, the odds go down that any weapon (lethal or not) can protect if the victim has not seen the attack coming. However, in that situation I'd rather have a knife or gun. The odds are fair that I'd be able to do something provided I can deploy my weapon.

My wife and I do have a C2 Taser. Would I 100% trust it with my life? No, but I also wouldn't trust the courts 100% with my life in a case involving deployment or use of a lethal weapon too sun. Could a Taser save my life, someone else's life, or possible prevent a very nasty situation? Yes. Is it better than nothing for someone like my wife, who is definitely not ready for a gun yet? Yes. I do consider it a good option for anyone if someone is causing trouble and really pushing things, but lethal force is not warranted. That's what the police use it for too.

For a jogger pepper spray in a small can and/or a stun gun can also be effective. If someone sees that on her waste they will likely not bother her and wait for easier prey. I've heard of cases where someone was following a woman, and she pulls her stun gun from her purse and lets it arch, and surprise, surprise, she is no longer followed.
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Old August 7, 2012, 10:38 AM   #41
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If she's ok with carrying a knife, I say go for it. But, that said a fight with a knife requires a certain mental preparedness. I was taught to accept the fact that I will get cut and/or stabbed and that I will bleed heavily. Hopefully that mental preparedness keeps me from freaking out if I ever get cut/stabbed. The knife is a very effective tool if you know even the basics of how to use one against an untrained attacker.

As far as what type of knife, blade etc..., that's up to you guys. If it's a purely defensive tool, then I suggest a fixed blade that can be drawn with one hand and that has at least a 3" blade.

I will throw out there that some training in grappling and escaping are paramount. You won't always be in a position, especially if running, to see or prepare for an attack. In the case of a female victim, the attack is more likely to involve grappling and the need to be able to escape or at least get an arm free to grab a knife, oc spray, gun etc... is a big deal.
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Old August 7, 2012, 01:20 PM   #42
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Quote:
As far as what type of knife, blade etc..., that's up to you guys. If it's a purely defensive tool, then I suggest a fixed blade that can be drawn with one hand and that has at least a 3" blade.
I would agree and add that something with a T-handle would probably be best. Not only is this type of knife extremely difficult to take away from someone, but it allows a longer blade to be carried in a still relatively compact package. My younger sister is quite fond of her Cold Steel Safe Maker I, although the Safe Maker II isn't a bad knife either.

http://www.coldsteel.com/samase.html
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Old August 7, 2012, 09:07 PM   #43
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personal alarms, whistles....

She may also want to consider a personal alarm. The loud shrill sound may disorinent a attacker or group of attackers long enough to get away.
I know many people ignore car alarms or warning bells but a loud shrieking sound may give the citizen time to flee or prepare a defense weapon.

I purchased a small bright orange whistle with a high db level to use on security details. I put it in my first aid case/duty belt & considered it useful for signals or to alert others in an emergency.

I used it a few times but not in any high risk incidents, mostly crowd control-traffic enforcement.

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Old August 8, 2012, 11:32 AM   #44
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Not to be a downer but years ago there was a little girl kidnapped and murdered. She triggered her alarm. No one came to her aid. The alarm was still sounding on the ground and she was gone. A neighbor buried it to muffle the noise.
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Old August 9, 2012, 04:57 PM   #45
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Noise makers require someone else to intervene, or a criminal so easily scared that even the thought of someone else intervening deters them. As a defensive tool, I wouldn't put much faith in that stopping an attack. As a step in a layered approach, maybe. As a "fight stopper," no.
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Old August 9, 2012, 07:28 PM   #46
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16'' expandable baton
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Old August 9, 2012, 08:21 PM   #47
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I worked in the Texas Prison system and can share some of what I learned.

If you use spray, you will probably gas yourself, too. There's hardly any way you can deploy that spray inside and in close quarters without being zapped yourself. Outside, it's a little better but you will probably get it anyway. That impairs your ability to defend yourself.

Truly mental Offenders can drink that stuff and come out fighting. It doesn't slow a mentally deranged subject one bit.

I am an older man who has some knee trouble occasionally. I needed a cane at times to steady myself so I invested in two CaneMaster canes. One cane is Hickory and one is Oak and they have a complete self defense program for the canes which I trained in. Those canes are some of the best butt whippin' devices that I've tried and unlike an ASP, I can take them anywhere! Beware the CaneMaster canes!

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Old August 9, 2012, 10:44 PM   #48
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I'm gonna throw this out there, learn to grapple and escape. This is a gun forum and we often overlook other aspects of defense. If you're out running and you're tired, you lose focus on everything around you. You're likely to be tired and caught unaware, you need to know what it's like to be exhausted and have someone fresh beating you up. This is especially important for women, as the fact of the matter is that most attackers will be male and they will likely be stronger and have surprise on their side.

I've been into martial arts for half my life or more. I've always been an above average athlete and I'm a big strong guy, but 1 day of real grappling and I was exhausted in 2 minutes. It also didn't take me long to realize that although I outweighed a 45 year old 140lb female student by 90lbs and was 20 years younger I was still easily moved, swept and choked, because she had knowledge and skills that I didn't. She didn't panic, she kept breathing and she made me work for everything. I got tired in a few minutes and I made mistakes. She caught me and I got choked.

If she had been armed with a knife and I had attacked her, she'd have cut me to ribbons before I knew what was going on. Same as if she had a gun, she could have gotten a hand free, drawn and emptied her weapon into me a point blank range before I had a chance to stop her.

My point here is that a little knowledge and some good training go a long way. In the case of protecting yourself when you're out running and you're tired, it's best to have that knowledge, rather than rely on OC spray, a gun or a knife alone.
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Old August 10, 2012, 01:39 AM   #49
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Quote:
I am an older man who has some knee trouble occasionally. I needed a cane at times to steady myself so I invested in two CaneMaster canes. One cane is Hickory and one is Oak and they have a complete self defense program for the canes which I trained in. Those canes are some of the best butt whippin' devices that I've tried and unlike an ASP, I can take them anywhere! Beware the CaneMaster canes!
I don't need a cane, but look old enough it doesnt look out of place. I picked one up the other day. I flew into this town and didn't have a firearm, so I picked up a wooden cane just to have something. I know a few moves, but would like to pick up some instruction. I'll look into CaneMaster.
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Old August 10, 2012, 01:16 PM   #50
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I'd like to add a couple comments to those made about TASERS and OC:

OC - I've been teaching police chemical agents for right at 30 years -

When OC was introduced to the LE world as the replacement for the officer's Chemical Mace (CN) one of the things that initially gained favor was the fact that the OC particles must have contact with the face, eyes, respiratory tract to be effective, unlike the chemical agents CN and CS which have very small particulates, low vapor pressures and therefore spread easily and effect everyone in the immediate area.

With the OC projectors (sprays) one of the main problems is folks don't know what the heck they are doing - they buy cone/mist sprays and try to use them in outdoor conditions where the mist is easily dispersed or, blows back on them; they deploy with a cone/mist spray and then move into the area they just sprayed, sucking in the particles. Or someone else does it for them.

For self-defense OC sprays I would recommend a streamer versus a cone/mist pattern. The stream of agent gives you more range, is more likely to put OC on target because you actually see the stream and can aim it. You want to hit the eyes and the mouth - preferably with the eyes open and when the person is inhaling - so it needs to be a surprise. For the best incapacitation possibility you need to deliver 2 to 3 seconds of OC on target and then disengage.

OC works on pain compliance and to a lesser degree on the inflammation of the respiratory tract and the membranes around the eyes. I will tell you that MOST of the failures reported with OC are due to insufficient quantities delivered to the target areas.

Don't be fooled though, a determined/drugged/angry person can fight through OC, especially if they have experienced it before - if I had a choice between OC and TASER C2 for personal defense, there would be no choice, I'd take the C2.

TASER - the civilian TASER's are the X26C, the M26C and the C2 - the C2 is the one purpose designed as a civilian self-defense device, it is also roughly 1/3 the price of the other models. It gives you a standoff window of point blank range to 12 feet (15 feet is maximum range - limited by wire length) and then gives you a 30 second window to escape. If you file a police report TASER will replace the system, all you pay is shipping.

Nothing in life is absolute, the TASER's biggest detriment is that for incapacitation to occur both darts have to lodge either in the person's skin, or in the person's clothing with no more than a one inch gap between clothing and skin.

In terms of something guaranteed to stop an assailant at close range I'd place the TASER above the handgun, unless you are able to deliver CNS shots reliably under stress.

http://www.taser.com/products/self-d...FSpgTAodDCEA2A

Some folks have mentioned stun guns, they are different than the TASER, they use high voltage, low amperage electrical charge to case pain, they don't incapacitate as the TASER does, plus you have to be in close physical proximity to the attacker.

Batons were also mentioned - as I mentioned, I've been a police trainer for over 30 years, most officers don't stop someone with one baton strike, do you really think the civilian average would be better?

In terms of the self-defense the original poster was talking about, I'd go TASER C2, knife.

I'd also get "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker and make it required reading for everyone in the family.

Hope this helps.
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