Less lethal products, from OC and pepper spray to restraint and control devices like batons and teargas launchers, are especially important for law enforcement officers, including SWAT elements.
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But civilians can also use pepper spray and stun guns to defend themselves in the event of a life-threatening incident. Because of this, there are many companies answering the call, creating the best products so LEOs and civilians can protect themselves when carrying a firearm is not an option.
Here are some of the best new less lethal products available on the market for LEOs and civilians.
AAMI Weapons MGL-LTL
The MGL-LTL produced by AAMI Weapons, a division of Abrams Airborne Manufacturing, Inc., is a six-shot, less lethal grenade launcher capable of firing 37/38mm or 40mm ammo from a variety of manufacturers. It is the only U.S.-made, gas-operated, and spring-assisted grenade launcher on the market today. Similar to many launchers, the MGL-LTL requires a spring to be wound each time it is loaded. However, the MGL-LTL is cycled by using the gas pressure from each round. The shooter can also manually cycle through each cylinder and select the desired round type without having to fire the preceding rounds. Designed to operate at lower gas pressures, the MGL-LTL can cycle munitions with as little as 8 psi. It has a rifled 10- to 12-inch barrel for improved accuracy, an M4-style adjustable stock and a KeyMod forend that allows for the addition of lights, grips or aiming lasers. Available in matte black, FDE or foliage green, it weighs approximately 12 pounds and fires in double action only. The MGL-LTL comes with a bag, sling, cleaning kit and a red-dot sight. For more information, visit abrams.com or call 520-887-1727.
AMTEC Ripple Effect RLL37/38
AMTEC Less-Lethal Systems has just introduced the new South African-made Rippel Effect RLL37/38 less lethal multi-shot Launcher. Gert Rossouw, the designer of the weapon, explained that it is a six-shot launcher that can be used by law enforcement and military personnel for crowd control. Completely ambidextrous, it advances under spring tension and the cylinder can be rotated forward or backward in order to fire different types of loaded munitions. These would typically include smoke, CS gas, baton and beanbag rounds. A simple barrel and cylinder swap can be done to convert the weapon to 40mm. Constructed primarily of 7075 aluminum, it weighs approximately 3.7 kilograms and can utilize virtually any sighting system that can attach to a Picatinny rail. For more information, visit lesslethal.com or call 850-223-4066.
ASP Agent Batons
Although ASP has an extensive line of flashlights and restraints, its name is synonymous with expandable batons. The company has just released a new line of batons, the Agent. The Agent is similar to the Talon series that was released a little over a year ago. The Agent has an extended tip to allow it to be pulled open or opened traditionally through inertia. It has a push-button Disc Loc on the end to close it. This means the baton can be opened discreetly and in close quarters like a vehicle or in tight quarters such as a stack in a narrow hallway. Discreet opening can be a very useful feature for persons serving on a protective detail, or simply an individual who fears a confrontation but does not want to appear like the aggressor before being attacked. Additionally, the Agent batons can be closed while reholstering them, with one hand. This both speeds up and simplifies the traditional closing method of pounding the baton on the ground. Made from 4140 steel and 7075-T6 aluminum, the Agent is available in 16- and 20-inch lengths. The Agent Baton is a slightly thinner than the Talon, and it is a more concealable baton with a Nexus clip for pocket carry. The grip is knurled instead of the traditional foam, cushioned handle found on most ASP batons. For more information, visit asp-usa.com or call 800-236-6243.
Combined Systems Venom MC
The Venom MC (multi-caliber) from Combined Systems takes the non-lethal category of weapons and maximizes its potential. A lightweight, high-capacity, non-lethal grenade launcher, the Venom MC is versatile in its mounting options, with capabilities for use on military and tactical vehicles, maritime vessels, or from the ground on a tripod. It can deliver 37mm, 40mm or 66mm payloads of smoke, flash and sound, gas and blunt trauma projectiles. It is remote operated via hand controller, allowing it to be deployed from long distances (up to 1,700 meters) or close range. Munitions can be deployed individually or with the rapid-fire feature, depending on mission-specific needs. Highly adaptable and modular to fit any variety of situations, the primary market for the Venom will be military and crowd control units in major metropolitan areas. For more information, visit combinedsystems.com or call 724-932-2177.
Kimber PepperBlaster II
Kimber’s PepperBlaster II fills the niche between firearm and OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray. Although it is not classified as a gun, it feels and even looks a bit like one with a grip, trigger, barrel and even sights. A pull of the trigger discharges a pyrotechnic blast of 0.21 ounces of pepper gel at 112 miles per hour. This force means it can be used in the rain, high winds and can even penetrate some fabric such as a ski mask. The gel it blasts contains 10-percent OC, which in turn contains an extremely high-heat-bearing capsaicinoid concentration of 2.4 percent. The PepperBlaster II contains two shots, although one shot in the face will incapacitate virtually any attacker. A specially designed triggerguard can be pushed out of the way with your trigger finger. This prevents it from being accidentally discharged in a purse, pocket or its nylon belt pouch. For more information, visit kimberamerica.com or call 888-243-4522.
Mace Exquisite Series
Mace Security International, manufacturer of the original Mace pepper spray, recognizes that younger consumers are not satisfied with the look of their mother’s Mace. New for 2015, the Exquisite Line introduces brighter colors, rhinestones and all things shiny while still delivering the same high-quality OC pepper spray and UV marking dye. For more information, visit mace.com or call 800-255-2634.
Mace Tactical Handle
As part of its tactical offerings, Mace introduced a truly innovative product called the Tactical Handle. Riot shields are clear to allow officers to see through them, but until now, there has been no way to deploy pepper spray to attackers without going around the shield. The Tactical Handle replaces the normal carry handle on the shield. A specially designed hollow bolt allows OC spray to be discharged directly through the shield. The handle holds a standard-sized, easily replaced canister that can be activated by a thumb while holding the shield. For more information, visit mace.com or call 800-255-2634.
Peacekeeper RCB Baton
There are a growing number of companies that make expandable batons. However, most of them lack the same impact force as traditional, straight-stick, wood batons. The Peacekeeper Rapid Containment Expandable Baton (RCB) is unique in that a number of steps have been taken to increase the force load of a strike. First, the weight of the baton is redistributed into the striking area, rather than in the handle. The handle is also larger in circumference than most other brands of expandable batons, similar to a standard straight stick, adding better grip retention. Finally, the strike tubes are fully machined and milled on a CNC machine, which allows the joints to lock up tighter than many other batons. In a 10-month study by the NIJ, the Peacekeeper outperformed all other batons tested due to its solid joint-lock design and perimeter weighting, which prevents any flex that can cause the baton to lose energy. The RCB is authorized for duty carry by nearly 1,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. For more information, visit peacekeeperproducts.com or call 800-791-4722.
PepperBall P4 VKS
PepperBall has introduced its P4 VKS (Variable Kinetic System), an M4-style launcher designed for use with traditional round PepperBall projectiles, as well as the new VXR-shaped projectiles. Featuring both hopper- and magazine-fed capabilities, the P4 VKS enables operators to have multiple payloads preloaded in a single launcher. Tactically, if an officer who is trying to disperse a crowd with the OC PepperBalls sees a ringleader or particularly violent participant, he or she can simply rotate the gun barrel 180 degrees and “mark” the offender using a long-range VXR projectile. In addition, the kinetic impact of the VXR rounds can be set between 12 to 30 joules to meet specific mission plans. For more information, visit pepperball.com or call 858-638-0236.
The JPX4 is a four-shot OC pepper projector. Similar to Kimber’s Pepper Blaster and Pepper Blaster II (they are made by the same parent company), the JPX4 comes in two models: the Full version for law enforcement and the Compact for concealment. Each version has four barrels that are loaded with 0.35 ounces of 400,000-Scouville OC pepper spray that discharges at approximately 320 fps. The canisters can be hooked together with a speed-loader plastic clip. A rotary hammer inside the unit moves to each subsequent barrel each time the trigger is pulled. The Full unit comes with an aiming laser built in and a rail to mount a light. The Compact does not have these features, but is slightly smaller. The JPX4 is not a firearm so it can legally be carried across state lines. Holsters are available for both versions. However, they weigh a little more than a pound when loaded so they can easily be carried in a handbag or on a duty belt without adding a lot of weight. For more information, visit jpxline.com.
PSP Zap Light Series
Since 1992, Personal Security Products (PSP) has designed and produced a variety of less lethal personal security products. This year, the company decorated some of its pepper spray devices and launched the Bling Sting line. It also introduced some new versions of its stun guns. The ZAP Light For Her has a 120-lumen flashlight attached to a 1-million-volt stun gun in a rhinestone-covered package. The ZAP Light Mini Stun Gun offers a smaller, rechargeable package with a powerful LED in basic black. For more information, visit psproducts.com or call 877-374-7900.
SABRE Security Solutions
This year marks SABRE’s 40th year as a manufacturer of pepper spray. Although used extensively by law enforcement throughout the world, this year the company has introduced several new products aimed at female consumers. The first is the Pepper Spray & Drink Test Kit. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that one in five women will be sexually assaulted during her time on a college campus. SABRE includes its most popular model of pepper spray along with a booklet of 10 drink test pads that can identify the presence of GHB and Ketamine, two of the most popular “date rape” drugs.
SABRE’s Mother & Daughter Combo Pack is simply a double pack of the same pepper spray canister, aimed at bringing awareness through dissemination. SABRE also recognizes that some consumers want to have the functionality of effective pepper spray while also carrying a fashion accessory. The new Designer Label Key Ring was created to meet the demand for a modern personal safety tool. Finally, from a practical angle, SABRE recognized that practice and education are important steps in self-protection. The New User Kit provides both an inert dispenser and an identically shaped OC spray dispenser in one package. This allows the purchaser to familiarize, practice, and become proficient with their product, before they carry it for self-protection. For more information, visit sabrered.com or call 800-325-9568.
Sage Ordnance Deuce
While a lot of LE agencies want a multi-shot, less lethal grenade launcher, the cost jump from a single-shot launcher to a multi-shot unit is prohibitive. The Sage Ordnance Deuce launcher fills that gap. Available for around $1,200, it is an over/under, two-shot grenade launcher available with rifled or smooth 37/38mm barrels or smooth 40mm barrels. Weighing approximately 6.5 pounds, the Deuce features a classic break-open design, an M4-style adjustable stock, iron sights and a Picatinny rail for after-market sights. For more information, visit sageinternationalltd.com or call 989-739-2200.
Law enforcement’s motivation to peacefully quell riots and uprisings has never been greater. Vexor Self Defense Sprays, a division of Zarc International Inc., just introduced the MK15 10-percent OC spray streamer. It shoots up to 4 pounds of spray a whopping 45 feet in a direct stream instead of a fog. Most units this size cost nearly $500, but this unit retails for $149. It is a disposable, one-time-use canister. Considering that riots are fairly rare in most areas, it makes sense for a department to be able to buy several of these for the price of one rechargeable unit. For more information, visit zarc.com or call 800-882-7011.