15 Best Alternatives To Guns For Self Defense

Self-defense is a priority for anyone who lives off the grid. Even those living in the cities and cannot obtain a gun license will find these alternative non-lethal weapons appropriate.

You never know when an enemy can strike. So, early preparation is the key.

The world is an unsafe place for everyone that people are increasingly seeking a license for firearms. But what if you are not eligible or you live in a gun-free zone?

This article aims at answering this question by focusing on 15 alternatives to guns for self-defense. Keep reading to know more!

Alternatives To Guns & Do You Really Need That?

Alternatives To Guns & Do You Really Need That?

Firearms or guns are the go-to options for many people who want to protect their families and properties from a potential attacker and invasion.

However, not everyone can own a gun due to some restrictions. You might wish to own a gun, but you might fail to meet the requirements.

No one can own a gun in gun-free zones, but that does not mean there are no fatal attacks in such areas.

Also, it becomes difficult to operate it if you have no experience. You might end up injuring yourself more than the assailant or the offender if untrained in using guns.

Owning a gun also means you need to come to terms with taking a life. That might not be acceptable to people whose conscience cannot allow them to forget such traumatic encounters.

In the above cases, you need an alternative to a gun, yet an effective weapon to arm yourself with.

These non-lethal weapons cause distractions such as noise, light, shock, irritation, etc. The chosen weapon should be very effective and convenient in protecting you, your family, and your property.

Non-lethal weapons are legal. You can carry them around without anyone asking you, giving you more confidence while on the road.

If effectively used, you can be safe from an otherwise dangerous situation.

Alternatives To Guns For Self Defense

Alternatives To Guns For Self Defense

The alternatives to guns for self-defense discussed in this section should be used for that purpose only. It is against the law to use them maliciously. And even if you have them, you should not go about looking for trouble.

Non-lethal self-defense tools do not require any licensing. They are legal for use in any part of the country, but you should check with local authorities before shipping any of them.

In general, there are no restrictions on owning weapons as long as you don’t infringe on people’s rights.

Crossbow Or Compound Bow

Crossbows are very effective hunting tools that can double up as a self-defense weapon when attacked.

Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Mossy Oak Bottomland Crossbow

Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow, with 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope, 2 Arrows, Lightweight Quiver, STR without Crank Device
  • BARNETT WHITETAIL HUNTER CROSSBOW STR WITHOUT CRANK DEVICE: Ultra-compact compound crossbow with complete hunting accessory package. The lightweight crossbow has a manageable profile that hunters of all sizes can handle and shoots 375 feet per second
  • EFFICIENT: Crossbow is equipped with Step-Through Riser (STR) technology that reduces the length of the crossbow and has an overall weight of just 6.6 lbs., creating an easily controllable profile that hunters of all skills and sizes can manage
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer, Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) Trigger System, Finger Safety reminders, TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology

Today’s modern crossbows you will find in the market can produce a high arrow speed ranging from 300 – 470 feet per second and packed with 100 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

A crossbow can be categorized somewhere between a rifle and a traditional bow and arrow. It uses a string under tension to launch a projectile.

Most of the modern crossbows come with a scope for easier aiming at the target.

These alternative weapons for guns are used on the battlefield, sporting, and hunting.

You can buy one for about $300, but cheaper versions are going for less than a hundred dollarsLearn how to use a crossbow if you plan to possess one.

Survival Bow

Survival bows use the same principle as crossbows but have weaker shooting power. The arrow does not eject from the bow at the same speed and kinetic energy as it would from a crossbow.

SAS Recon Folding Survival Bow

SAS Recon Folding Survival Bow (Made in USA)
  • 62" Longbow (arrows not included)
  • 24.5" long when stored
  • Aircraft grade aluminum riser and brackets

Most survival bows you will find in the market can only shoot objects 30 yards away.

Apart from hunting, self-defense, and sports, a survival bow can also be converted into traps, a trotline for fishing, cordage for shelter building, and a bow drill for fire.

Luckily, these useful weapons are affordable. You can purchase them for under $100 from Amazon or any other shop near you.

Make an effort to learn how to use a survival bow before buying it to avoid any possible injuries.


Slingshots are cheap hunting tools costing under $10 and are mainly used for hunting birds but can also double up as a self-defense weapon.

Classic Construction Hunting Slingshot

BASUNE Solid Wooden Slingshot Toys with Classic Construction Hunting Slingshot for Catapult Game, Outdoor, Hunting-for Kids/Children/Adult (Deep Brown)
  • Solid wood handle is comfortable and easy to hold for both kids and adults
  • High quality rubber bands with faux-leather pocket for holding ammunition, which give you strong drawing force and good positioning.
  • With solid plug allows the slingshot to use security.

It transfers the potential energy in the stretched rubber bands to kinetic energy to propel ammunition.

Slingshots are safe for kids because they do not cause as much pain as crossbows or survival bows.

It can only strike an object that is about 50 meters away, beyond which it becomes ineffective. Anyone can learn how to use a slingshot for self-defense.


Machetes are heavy knives commonly used as weapons. They originated from Central America and are used for many purposes.

Gerber Gear 31-002076N Gator Bolo Machete 22 Inch

Gerber Gear Gator Bolo Machete - 22" Gardening Machete Knife with Plain Edge and Full Tang - Includes Protective Sheath - Black
  • QUALITY CRAFTED: Features a 15.5" plain edge steel blade with full tang, a textured Gator Grip rubberized handle for comfort and control, and a nylon sheath for secure carrying and storage
  • SURVIVAL GEAR AND EQUIPMENT: Made with corrosion-resistant stainless steel that will stand the test of time, full tang construction for boosted durability, and an ergonomic rubberized handle that rests comfortably in your grip; Ideal for a range of chopping jobs from tall grass to small tree limbs
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN: Gator Grip is designed to provide unwavering confidence and secure grip, no matter the application; Rubberized texture is ideal in wet or dry conditions, offering a comfortable and stable feel in hand

Machetes form part of hunting tools for butchering the catch. You can also use them for clearing land for agriculture or slashing tall grasses and shrubs.

Machetes are also the best self-defense weapons you can use for protecting yourself, family, and property.

However, it requires that you strike your enemy at a close range that might put you in great danger, especially if your assailant is better armed.

An average cost of a machete is about $50. Carrying and using a machete can be dangerous because of its sharp edge.


These tools are designed to be indestructible. They never crack or break when used, making them ideal for fighting back any invader into your home.

Cold Steel Defense Baseball Bat Brooklyn Crusher

Cold Steel Baseball Bat Brooklyn Crusher (92BSS), Black 29 inch
  • 29in Length/ 33oz Weight
  • Will never break, rot, crack, splinter, or fade
  • DURABLE AND STRONG: These bats are made to hold up to heavy abuse during training. Not to be confused with regulated bat that is intended to be light weight and balanced, the Brooklyn Series is designed to promote strength and muscle control.

A bat is about 29 inches in length and can perform other functions such as enhancing manual and body gestures when directing an ensemble of musicians.

A bat costs about $20. However, it can only be effective as a self-defense weapon if you know how to use it.

Faststrike Tactical Whip

The whip extends to a length of about 17 inches when fully stretched and weighs just three ounces. You can hide it in the inside pocket of your jacket or a great companion when riding.

A whip can be overlooked by many people but is many times better than fighting with a bare hand.

You can use it to scare away aggressive dogs and other animals that can potentially harm you. Buy a whip to add an extra level of defense in your life.

The Hyperwhistle

Whether you need it for wilderness survival or self-defense, a hyper whistle will suit it. Compared to other known hurting or deafening sound producers, this whistle stands above them all.

HyperWhistle The Original Worlds Loudest Whistle

HyperWhistle The Original Worlds Loudest Whistle up to 142db Loud, Very Long Range, for Referee, Coaches, Instructors, Sports, Teachers, Life Guard, Self Defense, Survival, Emergency uses (Black)
  • SUPER LOUD- Up to 142dB for 2+ mile 8x range of a common sports whistle
  • Includes re-usable hearing protectors and easy clip neck lanyard
  • Used for Boating, Sporting Events, Life Safety, Camping, Hiking, Police

A police siren emits 120 decibels, a jet engine up to 130 decibels, and fireworks can produce 140 decibels.

Hyperwhistle, on the other hand, can reach as high as 142 decibels. Blowing when attacked will distract the attacker and call for help or alert your neighbors about it.

It costs about $15 and is the easiest of all self-defense weapons to use.

Expandable Baton

As the name suggests, an expandable baton can increase in size to give you a safe distance to fight your assailant. It is compact and lightweight, making it also a portable weapon.

Baton can expand by simply flicking your wrist. It is made of high-quality steel that will inflict damaging pain to an attacker. You will mostly see it with security and law-enforcement officers from different departments.

The expandable baton is very affordable, costing about $27. That is all it takes to improve your security and walk confidently on the streets or through the thicket.

Pocket And Tactical Knives

Pocket knives are very ideal as self-defense weapons because they are small and compact. Usually, they are designed to be very slim and with safety in mind.

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife

Smith & Wesson Accessories Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife with 3.1in Serrated Clip Point Blade and Aluminum Handle for Outdoor, Tactical, Survival and EDC
  • DIMENSIONS: 7.1 Inch (18 Cm) Overall Length With A Blade Length Of 3.1 Inches (7.9 Cm) And A Weight Of 3.5 Ounces
  • DURABLE: Blade Is Made Of Reliable 7Cr17Mov Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel With A Black, Aluminum Handle
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick And Easy Access With The Convenient Pocket Clip, Finger Flipper And Ambidextrous Thumb Knobs Making It Ideal For Everyday Carry

When not in use, the knife blade safely hides in the sheath or folds back into a slot in the handle.

A pocket knife will cost you a little over $50 but is worth it. However, it can injure you if you do not know how to handle it during a fight. Learn how to use a pocket knife to defend yourself before buying one.

Pepper Spray

Pepper sprays are increasingly becoming very common among women as a self-defense weapon. They use chili extracts to cause eye, nose, mouth, or skin irritation and come as a gel or foam.

SABRE Advanced Compact Pepper Spray

SABRE Advanced Pepper Spray for Self Defense, 3-in-1 Formula with Maximum Strength Pepper Spray, CS Military Tear Gas, UV Marking Dye, Fast Access Easy Carry Belt Clip, 35 Bursts, 0.67 fl oz
  • TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS: SABRE is the #1 Pepper Spray brand trusted by police & consumers worldwide, including the New York PD, Chicago PD, & U.S. Marshals; Made in the USA.
  • MAXIMUM STRENGTH: Backed by independent lab testing & SABRE’s industry exclusive in-house HPLC lab, we promise consistent, maximum strength capsaicinoid levels in every canister. Gain peace of mind, confidence, and safety when needed most.
  • SPRAYS 4X LONGER: 42% of crimes are committed by multiple assailants. With total spray time of 13 sec, SABRE's ADVANCED 3-in-1 self defense spray protects against multiple threats. Formula includes max strength pepper spray, CS tear gas & UV marking dye.

The trick in using pepper spray is to temporarily blind the attacker and find a chance to escape or plan a counterattack.

The pepper spray can go for up to three meters distance, meaning you should use it when your attacker is pretty close.

Pepper sprays are easy to use, but you should check the state regulations before importing them to your area. It will cost you around $50, depending on the brand and size of the spray.

Stun Guns 

If you cannot use a firearm for any reason, a stun gun is your best alternative. This self-defense weapon releases an electric shock that momentarily paralyzes the enemy, giving you time to attack or flee.

VIPERTEK VTS-989-1 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun

Stun guns have fixed prongs that should touch the assailant to discharge an electric shock. It is used in a more similar way to the usual guns and also has governing laws. Watch this YouTube video on how to use stun guns.



Tasers work as stun guns by also releasing an electric shock to the attacker. Unlike stun guns that require contact, you can shoot with tasers.

Its spear-like prongs can travel a distance of about 15 feet. Once again, you should check the laws in your area on the possession and use of tasers.

Tasers are the most expensive self-defense tool on this list, costing over $400. Using tasers can be a challenge, however, you have nothing to worry about if you take your time to train.

Tactical Pens

They function much like the usual pens but are tactical in that they have a hard and sharp tip that can be used to stab the assailant or break glass.

Uzi Tactical Pen UZI-TACPEN2-GM Aircraft Aluminum

Uzi Tactical Pen UZI-TACPEN2-GM Aircraft Aluminum Tactical Pen Multi-Tool Survival Tool, Glassbreaker, Real Ballpoint Pen Miltary & Police EDC - Gun Metal, Christmas Gift
  • FEATURES: Multi purpose survival gadget with a pen that provides a smooth writing experience, with a real ballpoint tip on one end and a carbide tip glass breaker on the other end
  • USES: A real ballpoint tactical pen that becomes a tactical tool in-case of emergency that shatters a car window in one strike and can also be used as a weapon
  • REFILLS, MATERIAL & WARRANTY: Refillable with Standard and fisher space pen refills and made of lightweight aircraft aluminum. 1-year warranty.

Tactical pens are useful survival tools if you are trapped in a car or need to escape through a window.

Tactical pens are small and hard to notice, making your enemy unaware of the attack. You can own these tactical pens for as low as 18 dollars. Another good thing about them is that they are legal in almost all states.

Tactical Flashlights

Tactical flashlights are not like ordinary torches. They usually shine a bright light of above 200 lumens that temporarily blinds the opponent, giving you time to run away or prepare to fight back.

OLIGHT Warrior X Pro 2100 Lumens Tactical Flashlight

OLIGHT Warrior X Pro 2100 Lumens USB Magnetic Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight with 500 Meter Beam Distance for Hunting, Searching, Camping
  • [Bright and Powerful] Adopted upgraded LED, stably provides max. brightness 2100 lumens and max. throw 500 meters
  • [Rechargeable Battery] A max 8-hour runtime powered by a customized battery. NOTE: There is 1 year warranty of battery.
  • [Ease of Use & Convenience] Choose high/low mode by pressing the strong magnetic tail switch. The aggressive texture protects flashlight from slipping down, and the clip can make the light attach to strap.

However, you need to work with speed because blindness usually lasts about 5 seconds.

To use a tactical flashlight, aim it directly into the eyes of the assailant. That also explains why it is the best defense weapon when walking in the dark. You can own it for as low as 50 dollars.  

Your Bare Hands And Wits: Learn To Fight

If you are not disabled, then you already have enough self-defense weapons on your body.

You can fight with your hands and feet, but you need to first observe your opponent. If your attacker is armed and you are not, attack by an ambush.

Remember, run if you cannot fight. There is no need to fight a losing battle.

Personal Experience & Opinions

When I was in college, I often had to work night shifts. My father bought me a stun gun. Years later, I still haven’t used it with anyone. Of course, I never expected to use it.

Day after day, I take it out, check by flipping the switch. I heard a shaky and shrill sound. My hand also shakes when it works.

This is like buying it for decoration and playing by yourself. Anytime I take it out, which is to check if it’s still usable.

But you know, having it in your pocket, you will have some peace of mind.


What can I legally use to protect myself?

There are top legal self-defense gadgets you can use. On the list, we have a pocket knife, pepper spray, stun guns, flashlights, tactical pen, among others.

However, you still need to check the laws in your state before purchasing any of them.

What is the best self-defense non-lethal gun?

There are alternative non-lethal guns you can use for self-defense. What you use here depends on your choice.

We have the Byrna HD that shoots compressed air (carbon dioxide) and tasers and stun guns that discharge an electric shock to paralyze the enemy.

What is the most effective non-lethal weapon?

Any non-lethal self-defense weapon presented in this article is effective when correctly used. You can consider steel batons, tactical pens, bats, pepper sprays, hyper whistles, etc.


Acquire at least one non-lethal self-defense weapon to protect yourself from any danger that might be lingering in the neighborhood.

These alternative weapons to guns are the best because they are legal and easy to carry around.

We thank you for your time on the Em Offgrid and for reading our article. We hope you found the information useful, and we encourage you to read our other posts on related topics.