New Pepperball Products, by Pat Cascio

I tested several Pepperball products in the past and was quite pleased with the performance. Now, the makers of Pepperball have come out with two new products. Well, they were actually introduced more than a year ago at the 2020 SHOT Show. However, due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, everything was put on hold, because they couldn’t get their products in hand for the consumer.

Having spent half my life in the martial arts, I taught my students a good number of self-defense moves, some lethal and many not-so-lethal. And, certainly, not all attacks on you will be lethal – at least, not to start with. Some attacks might be someone coming up behind you and grabbing your purse and running away with it. I don’t think that would qualify as a lethal attack, and lethal force would not be called for. However, if someone were to attack you and start beating you to the ground, to get whatever it is that they want from you, then that could easily turn from a simple assault to something lethal in the blink of an eye. So, in a case like that, lethal force may be justified to save your life. It can be a very fine line between a simple assault and one that can turn lethal, and you’d best figure it out in short order. You can’t justify shooting someone who simply grabbed your purse and ran off with it. However, if someone knocked you down, and started punching and kicking you, with the intent of killing you – then we have a lethal attack, and you’ll need to react accordingly.

I’ve carried a handgun on my side for all of my adult life, and there were times, when using it would have been justified. However, sometimes you can talk an attacked “down” or use “verbal judo” to defuse the situation. Or, you can simply put an end to an attack without the actual use of deadly force. A short story: I used to love to go fishing in the early morning hours, as soon as the sun would come up, in a local pond in Eastern Oregon. And as a rule, I was the only one in the park. One morning, I noticed a beat-up Ford Bronco in the parking lot, and there were two late teen or early-20s young men there, with a teenage girl. They were all dirty and it appeared that they hadn’t changed clothes in quite some time. While fishing some distance from them, one of the young men, started to circle around me – and I turned and looked at him, and he changed directions and went back to where he came. A few minutes later, the second man, tried the same thing, and I turned, to let him know I saw him, and the same results as the first time – he turned and walked away. A few minutes later, they were both coming at me – from behind…I simply turned and looked at both of them, and swept back my fishing vest, to reveal a handgun on my hip, in the holster, and they not only decided to be someplace else, they gathered up the female that was with them, and jumped in their Bronco and sped away.

Now, the foregoing is a true story, and when revealed that I was armed, that was the end of what could have been a bad situation. Now, no threat was made, and no words were exchanged – they left and I continued on with my fishing. It could have turned ugly in short order if both of those young men had attacked me at the same time – but they had the good sense to move on. So, that was a situation where the use of deadly force could have been justified. It is called disparity of force, as I was outnumbered and I would have likely lost a fight against them. So, as I said, you have to know when to use deadly force and when not to. A simple attack can turn into a deadly one in the blink of an eye.

A Youthful Entrepreneur

When I was in 6th grade, I sold pepper spray, as a part-time gig. Many of the teachers at my school were buying this pepper spray. It was an effective tool against an attack – and it was not a lethal tool. However, you quickly learn that pepper spray can come back on you, and into your face, in just a mild wind. Today, there are various formulas of pepper spray and other types of spray devices, and some are in heavy oil and some are actually a foam, so it doesn’t tend to spray back into your face – that’s a good thing.

However, I like to keep my attackers at a distance from me, so I have time to react to an attack. And, many pepper-type sprays don’t spray very far. Enter the Pepperball line of less than lethal products, and they all shoot a paintball type of projectile, that has either an inert filling or ones that have powdered OC pepper inside of them. The inert balls do come out at a good velocity and will sure sting anyone who is hit with one – a good deterrent to start with. And, the rest of the balls behind it will be loaded with pepper and burst into a 12-foot diameter upon impact. If you’ve ever been exposed to pepper spray or pepper balls, it’s not fun to get it in your face, nose, and mouth – and on your clothes.

The newest product from Pepperball is their Liefelite Mobile Launcher, and this looks like a flashlight, and it actually has a flashlight as part of it. This one holds three balls and I would keep it loaded with all pepper balls, no inert ones. The Mobile Launcher comes with the launcher itself, and as stated has a flashlight built into it – and it holds three pepper balls, or three inert balls, and powered by a small CO2 (type) cartridges, that propels either type of balls.

Three Light Options

Three Light OptionsThe light can shine a steady light, or one that flashes a bit, and one that is a strobe for disorienting an attacked. To fire a pepper ball, you simply slide the safety switch from “safe” to “fire” and press down – hard – on the trigger, and it is effective out to 40-feet. Beyond that, the balls may not break apart, or the accuracy degrades. There are no sights, it’s a simply point and fire affair. Even if your shot is too low, the pepper will disperse in a 12-foot diameter. So, as mentioned, it is still effective.

Next up is the Pepperball “pen” that is only a single shot – so you’d best make sure you hit what you intended to hit – no fast reloads. This one comes ready to go, out of the package, simply move the “safety” to “fire” and press the “trigger” and it will fire – again producing a 12-foot diameter of pepper that will stop most attackers. The effective range is about 25-feet, so make sure of your target  and distance – before you fire it. Again, it is powered by a standard CO2 cartridge.

You can purchase reloads for this little “pen” for $19.95 and it’s a cinch to reload it…the entire set-up is only $25.00 – and that’s a great deal if you ask me. And it doesn’t look like a “weapon” when you point it at a person – and you can carry it in your shirt or pants pocket, or in a purse, where you should make sure it is readily available to use.

They Pack a Wallop

You can also find more information at on these two products, as well as some of their other products. I didn’t test the “pen” because they only sent me one – and I had requested three of them for testing. However, I did test the Mobile Launcher with both inert and pepper-loaded balls, and it is pretty darn accurate, and when it hits (a board) you can really tell there is a “wallop” behind that ball when it makes contact – OUCH! The Mobile Launcher comes with 6 live pepper balls, and 12 inert balls for practice. And there are three CO2 cylinders.

I would carry the Mobile Launcher in my hand, if I were out walking my dog at night – the flashlight is a good “weapon” itself. Or, I’d have this sitting in the center counsel of my truck, readily available for use. As to the “pen” I’d have that in a pocket, either pants or shirt, or in a purse, where it would be ready to use. Just make sure you take careful aim, because with the pen you only have one shot.

The Mobile Launcher retail for $199. While you might think that is expensive, if you only used it one time, it would be well worth the money. If less-than-lethal force is called for, this sure beats getting into a beat-down with some thug who is about to attack you. Check out the web pagees on these products, and the others they have. I’ll bet you find something you’ll want for yourself or for a loved one.