For a lot of people, just thinking about a random bad guy breaking into your home for no particular reason already sounds like a nightmare type of scenario. If you and your loved ones aren’t home — maybe you’re on an out of town trip — and some crackhead decides to break into your home, then the worst thing they could do is steal your valuable stuff.
But what if you’re home and you sense that there are uninvited guests outside trying to break in? Surely, they’re not trying to force their way in just so they can steal your cat — especially when they know that someone’s home, yes?
If you can’t deter them, the only way to stop them is by using lethal force. But that is NOT the reason why you’re here, is it? I’m sure we have subscribers who don’t like guns and are only here to listen to my beautiful voice. Maybe you’re an anti gun liberal, maybe you were convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor in the past and you can’t legally own a firearm, or maybe you just want a toy gun that can double as a home defense weapon.
Don’t worry. If you wanted less lethal guns, you clicked on the right YouTube thumbnail!
Just a quick disclaimer though, none of the models I’ll talk about will ever be as effective as a firearm. So please — take my recommendations with a HUGE block of salt. I’d still prefer you buy a firearm over any of the guns I’m about to talk about. And without further ado, here are my Top 8 Less Lethal Guns for Home Defense:
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The TASER Pulse, like all taser weapons, is an effective, less lethal defense tool designed to immobilize your average every day bad guy for up to 30 seconds, giving you plenty of time to find your bearings. Whatever you do within those 30 seconds is up to you, but that’s plenty of time to escape from someone who can cause you great bodily harm.
Packing the same levels of knock down power that is trusted by law enforcement, The Taser Pulse was specifically built with self defense in mind and uses a classic and proven design. It gives the user the ability to completely override the bad guy’s neurological system safely, with a shooting distance of up to 15 feet. But there is one major downside to the Taser Pulse — it only has one shot.
This means that at best, the Taser Pulse should primarily be used as a deterrent. Since almost all criminals know how effective taser weapons can be in general, there’s a pretty good chance they won’t charge at you if they see you pointing one at them. It has an MSRP of $400 but the company has a Safe Escape Program where they guarantee that if you leave them your Taser Pulse, they’ll replace it free of charge if you fired it in self defense.
7: Taser 7 CQ
As anyone who has shot a Taser before, like all weapons known to man, it doesn’t always work perfectly. There are times the darts would get caught, and there are times they would miss the target with the first shot. And in a home defense situation, this could result in the homeowner getting assaulted or worse, killed.
What the company did was a redesign. They came up with a more effective cartridge design and better darts, which resulted in a greatly improved version of their already existing Taser Pulse.
The Taser 7 CQ has the same capability as the original Taser Pulse to completely incapacitate the neurological system of an attacker with electricity. But its darts are more accurate, which makes the weapon more dependable for home defense. The Taser 7 CQ also comes with two shots.
But it has one HUGE drawback. It has an exorbitant MSRP of $1,700. Even with the company’s limited time promo price of $1,484, it still costs an arm and a leg. To me, it just doesn’t make sense. If you really have to have two shots, just get two Taser Pulse units for $800. Problem solved.
The HDR .68 is my second most recommended air powered less lethal pistol in this topic. It’s capable of generating 7.5 joules of energy using its 12 gram CO2 cartridge, enough to deter a bad guy especially because it can be loaded with a few different types of .68 caliber ammo that include Precision Balls and pepper rounds.
And because it is a handgun, it is easily maneuverable in a home environment. But I do have two minor nitpicks, one is it can only hold five rounds in the mag while the two other handguns on this list can both hold six; and Two, it can be a bit slower to reload because it doesn’t use a box magazine.
Despite those downsides though, the HDR .68 is still a viable option for home defense as it does have a quick pierce ability, which means it’s ready at a moment’s notice. It also has tactical features like a trigger safety, textured frame surfaces for a tighter grip, and Picatinny rails that run on the top strap and the bottom of the underlug for mounting accessories such as red dot sights, flash lights, and lasers.
The Umarex HDR .68 revolver comes with two five round mags and has an MSRP of $126 which doesn’t include the price of the CO2 cartridges or the projectiles.
Of all the less lethal options in this topic, the PepperBall TCP has been on the market the longest, and it’s not hard to see why. The TCP stands for Tactical Compact Pistol because that’s what the Pepper Ball TCP is. It’s a lightweight, low profile pistol that can launch both standard round projectiles and the manufacturer’s very own VXR projectiles with a longer effective range.
The Pepper Ball TCP is a time tested launcher with more than enough power to deter an attacker as it has a six round mag capacity, but there are two things about it I don’t care for.
One, whereas its competitors have a more modern quick pierce ability, because the Pepper Ball TCP is an older design, it doesn’t have quick pierce ability. You’ll have to screw a lever to the TCP’s CO2 or N2 cartridge until it’s pierced. Two, for a compact pistol, it’s a little too bulky, which isn’t a problem if you’re purchasing it for home defense.
If you’re still interested, the company’s ALL WEATHER Ready to Defend Kit has an MSRP of $430 and contains the pistol, two six round mags, 6 live self defense projectiles, six inert projectiles for practice, two N2 all weather cartridges, a carrying case, and cleaning equipment.
The SD in Byrna SD stands for Self Defense as it is an improved successor of the Byrna HD, HD meaning home defense. The SD version was reportedly a re engineered version of the HD which gives it better performance. These pistols are powered by compressed CO2 and will shoot .68 caliber kinetic and chemical irritant projectiles with more than enough power to deter a bad guy.
It uses the same ammo as the Byrna Mission 4 called Kinetic Projectiles which are hard, solid plastic projectiles that do not break upon impact. Out of the Byrna SD pistol, these projectiles can fly with velocities reaching up to 300 feet per second and will punch through car windows like nobody’s business. It is capable of deterring a threat from up to 60 feet away.
If you’re looking to buy a Byrna SD pistol, opt for the California and New York Compliant Kit. It has an MSRP of $400 and comes with the handgun, two 5 round mags, two Byrna 8 gram CO2 cylinders, two 5 round tubes of Kinetic projectiles, a five round tube of eco kinetic projectiles, and some trinket I don’t care for. But this California and New York Compliant kit is still a better deal than the Basic Box.
The HDX or Home Defense Xtreme comes in .68-caliber and in a variety of different energy ratings, but we’re really only interested in two models: the 16 Joule and the 40 Joule.
The HDX 68 has the aesthetics of a tactical pump action shotgun as it uses a pistol grip with a skeletonized folding stock. A very long picatinny rail runs on the entire length of the top of the receiver, which allows for the mounting of conventional iron sights, both fixed or flip up sights, as well as a red dot.
And there’s also a short Picatinny rail that runs along the lower fore end, which is typically the ideal position for mounting a tactical flashlight or even a laser.
The HDX 68 has a high magazine capacity as it does have room for up to 16 rounds of ammo, which is about 9-11 rounds more than what any pump action shotgun can hold. But like most pump action shotguns, the magazine is integral to the HDX, though it has a different way of loading.
Ammo must be inserted through a port on the side of the HDX. In the typical pump action shotgun, that port is where the spent case is ejected. But loading the HDX is easy as it is assisted by an adapter that, when not in use, is hidden inside the grip.
As far as features, the 16 Joule and the 40 Joule model both have the exact same features, the only real difference besides the fact that the 16 Joule model obviously can’t generate as much energy as the 40 Joule model is, it comes in a plain Jane black finish which looks boring, and it has an MSRP of $290 which makes it the more affordable of the two.
If a CO2 powered less lethal gun modeled after the AR 15 sounds appealing to you, then you might find the Byrna Mission 4 an attractive option. It’s capable of respectable fire power, is fully customizable, and has a 19 round mag capacity.
There is one downside to the Byrna Mission 4 which, depending on how desperately you need to purchase a less lethal weapon for home defense, may or may not be too big of a concern.
It has a high MSRP of $900. I personally don’t like that price. If you know what you’re doing, you can build two frankenstein AR 15 rifles chambred in 5.56 for the same amount so this makes almost zero financial sense and offers the second worst value out of all my less lethal recommendations in this topic.
But if you choose to buy a Byrna Mission 4 anyway, you won’t be disappointed with its reliability and build quality. Because of its AR 15 look, it is pretty intimidating and will be enough to deter a home invader who’s intent on breaking into your home. It has an automatic firing mode and comes with two 19 round mags and a tactical buttstock.
As for fire power, the Byrna Mission 4 uses an 88 gram CO2 canister that has enough CO2 to shoot 50-60 rounds of Byrna’s Kinetic Projectiles at a velocity of 325 feet per second. It generates up to 22 Joules and has an effective range of about 50 meters. You do get 95 of those projectiles out of the box.
And as I mentioned earlier, this is the more powerful version of the HDX CO2 powered shotgun. It’s also the most powerful less lethal home defense option on my list. This version of the HDX 68 is able to generate an energy of 40 Joules, and that’s because of its energy source.
To elaborate, the weaker 16 Joule version I talked about earlier can use a maximum of two 12 gram CO2 cartridges that are placed into the tube inside the stock. A dual cartridge adapter allows for the use of two 12 gram CO2 cartridges back to back at the same time.
On the other hand, the HDX 68 40 Joule model uses an 88 gram CO2 canister which is screwed in the place of the dual 12 gram CO2 cartridge adapter. Because the 88 gram CO2 canister must be screwed in, the 40 Joule model doesn’t support the quick piercing feature that most Umarex CO2 powered guns have.
But besides the difference in power source, finish, and MSRP, the HDX 40 Joule model works the same as the 16 Joule model, both are like real pump action shotguns with a pistol grip. Even the safety is borrowed directly from typical 12-gauge shotgun designs and consists of a small cross bolt located on the back of the trigger guard.
The Umarex HDX 68 meets all the criteria for a less lethal home defense weapon. It has more than enough fire power and it also has the look and feel of a pump action shotgun. Even its fore end, when pumped, makes the same intimidating sound as a pump action shotgun. The MSRP is $400, which is $110 more expensive than the 16 Joule model but you do get what you pay for.
And that’s all I have for you in this topic. There are other less lethal guns on the market besides the ones on this list. If you happen to own any of the ones we couldn’t cover, tell us how you like them by commenting down below.