Consider These Nine Alternative Weapons In Addition To Your Firearm

They say don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. But what if your gun jams? What if you don’t have one when needed? An attacker isn’t going to stop and patiently wait while you fetch a gun. You need a good alternative. Or, even better, more than one.

Alan at the Urban Survival site once again delivers the goods. Read his incredible article on Nine Alternative Weapons For Survival Defense. And they’re not just alternatives. They should be considered backups and backups for the backups. Consider carrying one or more of these in addition to your firearm.

Nine Great Weapons That Are Not Guns

Knives. Every man (and most women and children) should carry a pocket knife. And in a pinch it will work much better than nothing. Their problem is their short blade length. A fighting knife really needs a blade about the same length as the width of the user’s hand. This allows for adequate penetration into organs. (We are talking about life or death here, sorry). K-Bars and FSKs are made for fighting.

Alan notes the concealability and non-descript nature of folders. They offer length and fit neatly inside a pocket. Just make double sure to get a blade that hard locks for stabbing. A weak lock leaves you with only the slashing option or, worse, mangled fingers.

Additionally consider a nifty little punching knife. I carry this one:

Picture by Perrin Lovett.

Pepper Spray/Mace. A direct blast of pepper spray in the eyes is usually enough to stop most attackers in their tracks. Alan notes it is also effective even against bears. Just be aware that it can blow back into your face or the faces of those around you. It is also only moderately effective against people on certain narcotics.

Stun Gun/Taser. The high voltage electricity of a stun gun locks up every muscle in the body. That renders an attacker imobile. It also allows you to either flee or escalate your defense as needed.

Cane and Sticks. Use a heavy cane for the most devastating striking power. Make sure it won’t snap in half on the first hit. I would place baseball bats, 2X4s, hammers, and other truncheons in this category. If you can swing it (pun!), consider a baton.

Photo by Perrin Lovett.

Umbrellas. An umbrella is like the above battle sticks except it is inconspicuous. Some are made for self-defense. They can be used for both jabbing and whacking.

A Belt. Almost everyone wears a belt – especially in a SHTF situation. Swinging a sturdy belt with a heavy buckle makes for a semi-effective weapon. Belts can also be used to strangle an opponent. Or, they can be used to tie up a subdued attacker.

Tactical (or Ordinary) Pen. Several companies make hard pens for stabbing. Of course, any pen will do in an emergency. They don’t get the same penetration as a knife but they are better than nothing.

Scarves. A scarf does have value as a strangling weapon or garrote. The problem is they are best used for offense, usually from behind. There may be a time and place for that in the field but I would highly recommend one of the other options first for defense. A scarf also looks out of place in warmer weather.

Keys. If nothing else is available consider fighting with your car and house keys. Hold the ring tightly in your palm with the keys protruding between your fingers. Again, they do not have the same power as a blade but they are an alternative. They are most effective against soft body parts like eyes and throats.

If push comes to shove (or stab) you may not have time to reach into your pocket for the keys … or anything else. Even if you are completely unarmed you are not really unarmed. You have several weapons on you at all times. Consider using….

Perrin’s Bonus Weapons

If you have to, use your hands as weapons. You can strike with a closed fist or with your palms. A half fist or a chop to the throat has a stunning effect. And your thumbs can blind an attacker. This assumes you’re in extremely close. If so, hand to hand may not only be the only option but may well be the best option.

These options conjure up rather unpleasant scenarios. However, sometimes life does turn sour. As Alan says, in a real fight a gun should be your number one choice as a weapon. But it is nice to have alternatives.

In a dire survival situation any weapon will do, often out of sheer necessity. Consider, please, these tips for self-defense. Also try to think of ways you could improvise weapons from everyday objects. And if it comes down to it, be prepared to go full Ken Shamrock on them. Be prepared; knowledge is your best weapon of all.

Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at He is none too fond of government meddling.