Alternative weapons: How effective are they?

When you’re not armed, alternative weapons and weapons of opportunity can save your life - maybe.

What weapon of opportunity/alternative weapons do you train with and how?


Pepper spray is ok, but not as a weapon. It is good in very limited situations.
Knife, beaver tail of my gun, belt and any handy stick, baton I can grab.
Most important is to keep a distance and have covered forearms.

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I would submit that weapons of opportunity are generally blunt force or penetrating force instruments picked up and utilized in the heat of battle. If you bring it with you as a weapon of self defense then it is a self defense weapon.

The most valuable weapon of opportunity is between your ears. Knowing the vulnerabilities of the human body is your greatest (and often ignored) asset. Getting over the “icky” parts is where you have to think and be able to perform.

Kicking someone in the shin hurts, doing a foot stomp of the knee destroys thier ability to stand.

Why try and hit someone in the face if you can stick your fingers in their eyes?

If you are nose to nose and both hands are occupied, knee up (the genitals) and stomp down on a foot. Don’t forget to use your hard head to smash their nose or jaw or shoulder.

American’s have this fatal flaw about fairness, we only fight until or to attain the ability to stand over our opponent and say “Do you give up?” That also goes with the concept that we REALLY don’t want to hurt someone.

A weapon of opportunity is anything you can use to defeat your aggressor, knowing where to use that weapon is a huge advantage.




Wrong terminology. Weapons of Opportunity are Environmental Weapons, things you find when you’re desperate an use to defend yourself.

Kevin is talking about “alternative weapons”, things designed to be used as weapons that you carry on you other than a firearm.

All of the less lethal options have much higher failure rates than firearms which is why the rule of thumb is never bet your life on one if firearms are readily available.

Even police are trained to only use the less lethal options when they have another officer backing them up with a gun.


You’re right, I used the wrong terminology, @WildRose. I’ve fixed it in the initial post.


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The guy is lucky to have survived and even luckier that he wasn’t charged in the case.

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Definitely seems like an “off label” use to me!


Isn’t that a violation of the Geneva Convention?

That guy is sick. He should be charged with something. Not sure what though.

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Since he turned a spray can into an incendiary weapon he could probably be charged with using “a destructive device”.

Really stupid thing to do on his part, he’s lucky it didn’t blow up in his face.


And nonetheless it seems to have thwarted the attack.

As to alternative… tactical pens come to mind.

The standard movie list includes hot coffee, fire pokers, bats, lamps, handfuls of dirt, fire extinguishers, heavy desk ornaments and frying pans.

Keys seem to be a historically popular proposal but i think that’s a bad idea.


Let’s not forget heavy glass ash trays, silver candelabra, ugly Greek statuary, and the ever popular whiskey bottle over the head.

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That is just too perfect. “step, step, hit” TRAINING PAYS!
I used to live in that area, many years ago. Lots of LARPers and SCA folks there.

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Reminds me of some kids I knew in Jr High.

The first few cans of paint they threw lit matches into doused the matches.

The third flamed up “hugely” burning one of the boys. His quick thinking friend immediately puts the lid on the can and tamps it down with his foot.

A few seconds later it goes off like napalm spraying both boys and burning the house down.

The moral of the story? Just because it worked once doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or that you should repeat it.

Anything you can spray that flames like that can did doesn’t need to be lit, just get a good dose of it in an attacker’s eyes and you can probably create the necessary time and space to extricate yourself from the situation.

These topics are great thought because it gets people thinking about all of the possible alternative and environmental weapons we all randomly come across in our daily lives and would otherwise not even consider as “weapons”.

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Looks cool, but I wonder how it works on anything that is moving and not just standing at attention.


Actually it should work on moving objects perfectly. I don’t know why manufacturer’s website doesn’t show proper usage on moving or running person. Perhaps they don’t want to be brutal… this can cause real body harm. :grimacing:

This device is made based on “bolas” which was used as throwing weapon to hunt running animals.

This technique was used in the past:

…and in the Future :wink:


I’ve found interesting reading about “BolaWrap”:

A report by the Office of Research & Public Affairs points to some shocking statistics. Over 40 million adults in the U.S. have mental health issues. And one in four fatal police encounters involves someone who is mentally ill.

People who are mentally ill or under the influence of drugs or alcohol are less likely to be compliant with police. At present, police do not have an adequate tool to engage these people. The BolaWrap provides law enforcement a less-lethal and virtually painless option to use early in an encounter. This can lead to a reduction in the use of deadly force and save lives.

What’s more, existing compliance options are both controversial and costly. To date, cities with the ten largest police departments have paid out $1.02 billion in settlements. The Company believes the BolaWrap could help dramatically reduce the incidence of litigation and lawsuits.

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That’s a very interesting writeup… it makes some good sense.