Tips on Safely Using Your Pepper Gun
If you are researching non-lethal personal safety options, you likely have come across pepper guns. These ingenious launchers shoot small, round balls of chemical irritant or hard solid balls designed to stop an attacker with less than lethal force. Pepper guns are not considered firearms. However, owning and safely operating one is still a big responsibility.
Here are a few tips on how you can keep yourself and others safe:
Training is Crucial
Even though a pepper ball launcher is not a firearm, it should be treated similarly. Thoroughly understanding how to use your pepper gun is the first step to safely handling the launcher. Most launchers have some form of safety, and learning how to engage this safety mechanism consistently is an essential principle of pepper gun use. When the gun's safety is engaged, it can prevent accidental discharge and serious accidents. The safety should never be off unless you are firing, and you should always treat the weapon as if it is loaded.
While it is important to practice with the safety on, it is also vital to practice disengaging the safety and preparing your aim to fire. This motion is critical to your ability to shoot accurately and should be practiced repeatedly. While you do not need to fire your launcher every time you practice this motion, it should be part of your routine. This repetition of movement will develop muscle memory, improve confidence, and enhance aim, even under stressful situations.
Another important thing to practice is muzzle control. You always need to be aware of where your gun is pointing. Unless you are engaging a target, the muzzle of your launcher should be pointed down and away from your feet. Not controlling where your gun is pointed could lead to accidentally shooting yourself or others. Remember to keep your pepper gun out of the reach of children, and never point it at people or pets.
Wear Proper Training Gear
Even though pepper spray guns are not generally as dangerous as a real gun, it is still essential to wear proper protection while practicing. At the very least, safety glasses should be worn by all participants. In the event of a ricochet, eye protection will protect your vision. Solid kinetic balls could ricochet off hard surfaces during practice. Make sure you set up your targets carefully and use an appropriate surface for training.
Safety on the Streets
Here are some additional aspects of self-defense that all practitioners should know.
- Situational awareness: Being aware of your surroundings is probably the best self-protection skill you can have.
- Have a plan: Know what to do during an attack. Spend time visualizing it. Write your plan down. How will you protect yourself? What are your best options for escape? Having even a basic plan of action is smarter than not having one at all.
- Know your target areas: Where to strike or shoot is critical. You want to be able to act quickly and decisively. When using a pepper gun, aim for the body, not the head. The bigger the target, the easier it is to hit.
- Carry weapons: Carrying legal, non-lethal, easy to deploy, and using weapons you have trained with can enhance your ability to protect yourself. Pepper guns can be applied at a distance to incapacitate or cause momentary pain to an attacker. This will give you the time you need to escape.
Armory Self-Defense Pepper Guns
At Armory, we believe that everyone should be protected. Our Byrna launchers provide some of the best non-lethal, easy-to-use self-defense pepper ball launchers on the market today.