Top Weapons for Personal Defense | Gunpowder Girls

Top Weapons for Personal Defense

If you were attacked on the street without warning, would you be able to defend yourself? Unfortunately, random acts of violence have become a regular occurrence in today's society. Rather than waiting until you become the next victim, you should take a proactive approach towards your personal safety by investing in a self-defense weapon.

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is a preferred self-defense weapon among countless men and women. Also known as oleoresin capsicum in reference to its primary active ingredient, it has inflammatory effects that cause irritation of the eyes, temporary loss of vision, increased tear production, difficulty breathing, runny nose, and other adverse but usually non-life threatening symptoms. 

The “heat” produced by pepper spray is measured in Scoville Heat Units – the higher the rating, the greater the burning and inflammation it produces. A typical jalapeno has an SHU rating of roughly 2,000 to 3,000, whereas law enforcement-grade pepper spray may boast an SHU of 1.5 to 2 million.

Stun Gun

Another popular self-defense weapon is a stun gun. This electroshock weapon is used to incapacitate attackers by administering an electric shock that disrupts muscle function and causes temporary pain. There are several different variations of the stun gun available on the market, including Tasers (projectile-based electroshock weapon), as well as stun batons, prods, and more.

According to three-year study conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina, Tasers and stun guns are effective at limiting injuries to both police and suspects. However, the study also found that some officers used their electroshock weapons at times when it was not necessary.


Of course, one of the most effective weapons – if not the most effective – is a handgun. In most cases, a stun gun or pepper spray will stop an attacker, but there have been numerous reports of these non-lethal weapons causing further agitation to the attacker, and therefore placing the victim at even greater risk of injury. A handgun, on the other hand, will stop just about any attacker in their tracks.

When choosing a handgun for personal defense there are a few things to consider, one of which is the barrel length. Longer barrels generally yield greater accuracy, but they come with a downside: they are harder to conceal and more difficult to draw in close-quarter situations. You'll also have to decide whether you want a revolver or semi-automatic pistol. Revolvers live up to their namesake by featuring a revolving cylinder in which ammunition rotates and aligns with the firing pin. A semi-automatic pistol works by advancing each round of ammunition into the firing chamber from the magazine.

Whatever your choice, become proficient in the weapons use and understand its advantages and limitations. Although you may never have to use it, you will feel better knowing that you have the option to defend yourself and those you are with should it become necessary.

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