How to choose a self-defense weapon

Gun? Knife? Pepper spray? Taser? 

What should you choose as the ideal self defense weapon? 

The proponents of each type of self-defense weapon will most certainly have many reasons why his or her chosen weapon is the best choice. 

The real answer is that there is no such thing as an ideal weapon. Every weapon has advantages and disadvantages. Some weapons work better in certain scenarios than others. A weapon that works great in certain scenarios may not work as well in other scenarios.

Criteria to evaluate a weapon

Ultimately, the objective of a self defense weapon is to stop a threat. A threat may be seen  the potential for a violent encounter to start, or it may be seen as a situation where the violence has already started. 


A great way to evaluate the effectiveness of a self defense weapon is to objectively ask yourself questions about the following aspects:


  1. Accessibility

You have to ask yourself whether you will be able to carry the weapon with you everywhere you go during normal daily life. The thing is that attacks can happen anywhere. If you are unable to carry your chosen weapon with you everywhere, or at least in most of the places you go to in your daily life, your chosen weapon may not be the ideal weapon. Do you have to keep your weapon locked away during certain times of the day? Then chances are good that you will not be able to access your weapon when you need it. Do you have to carry it in a concealed manner? Then chances are good that you may struggle to access the weapon when you need it most.

2. Deployment

How easy is it to get your weapon ready to do what it is supposed to do? Do you have to have to release complicated safety mechanisms to get it ready to do it’s thing? Is it difficult to aim at your attacker? Can it only work within or outside a certain range from your attacker? Do you need special training and tactics to use your weapon? Is it possible to use the weapon in more than one way? Does the weapon have multiple functions which require switch over to be able to use it? Remember, during an attack there is no time for complicated maneuvers.

3. Reliability

Does your chosen weapon rely on things that could malfunction or lose power when you need it most? Does it rely on batteries or gas cylinders?  Can it continue to operate under harsh conditions such as dusty areas or in wet areas? Can it easily damage/explode when it is exposed to heat? Can it jam easily? Does it require regular maintenance?

4. Retainability

How difficult is it to prevent an attacker from taking your weapon away from you? Does the weapon have a mechanism to deactivate it when it is taken away from you? Do you need special training to learn how to safely retain the weapon when a bad guy tries to take it away from you. If the weapon can only be used at close range, the chances of the bad guy trying to take the weapon away from you increases significantly.

5. Stopping power

Will your chosen weapon be able to stop a violent and aggressive attacker who may be high on drugs? If your weapon only relies on intimidation or hurting your attacker, it may not be enough during a violent encounter where you want to be able to injure your attacker in such a way that he cannot continue with the attack. In other situations, you may only need to deter a potential attacker. Some weapons aggravate a situation when you try to intimidate an attacker. 

6. Legal Requirements

Do you need special licenses and permits to carry your preferred weapon? Are there requirements for training and safe storage? Are there limitations on how many weapons and ammunition you may keep or have on your possession? Are you allowed to carry it openly or are there laws prohibiting open carry? 

The true best weapon

In the end a weapon is just a tool. Anything can be used as a weapon. The actual best weapon is your brain. You have to have a survival mindset and you have to possesses the knowledge and physical skillset to avoid potentially dangerous situations before it even begins. This can only be achieved with quality self-defense training.


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