A flashlight that shoots pepperballs? Sign me up! I was pretty excited to see this product hit the market. Pepperball is a quality company that makes quality products which I have seen perform well in real life situations; however, they may have missed the mark on this one.
Pepperball has combined a 350 lumen flashlight and a Pepperball Launcher “Flashlauncher” into one lightweight device. The Semi-automatic firing system deploys up to 5 Pepperball’s at your adversary in rapid secession. It is equipped with a laser for quick target acquisition and runs off a single CO2 cartridge. A solid concept by Pepperball, but I see little practicality to the product.
If I hear a bump in the night, I think I will be grabbing something with a little more firepower. I don’t condone anyone clearing a home with a pepperball launcher. Perhaps the ideal tool for a pesky trash can robber, but not a home invader or attacker. I will say the launcher is lightweight and easy to carry, and there will definitely be a physical and psychological response after deployment, but once the initial shock factor subsides (which it will) your left with a big flashlight.
The safety is easy enough to operate but not quickly and 5 shots are all you get before a reload. In a scenario where you have distance on your attacker and time to operate the launcher, it is a great tool, but the truth is most attacks are a close quarter combat (CQB) type situation and you need something a little more suitable for CQB. Not to mention it is not suitable for concealed carry due to its size.
I can see this being a viable option for those who have difficulty obtaining a firearm (or those that choose not to), but keep in mind that not everyone is affected the same way by the chemical agent deployed with the launcher. I have even seen people only sneeze once from exposure, as if it was no more than a dust cloud, then return to fighting.
We can rule this product out as a Law Enforcement tool. Pepperball makes other more suitable launchers for Riots/SWAT teams such as their 180 round FTC Launcher-an awesome product designed to hurt feelings one round at a time.
Let me be clear, the Pepperball Flashlauncher could easily drive away a poorly motivated attacker, but we don’t prepare for the weak to attack its prey; and I have no intention of becoming anyone’s prey. If anyone makes the poor decision to attack myself or my family, they can trust the consequences will be severe, but maybe that’s just me.
Author – Matt Walker is a Texas Law Enforcement Officer of 10 years and serves as a SWAT Operator for his department. He is also the head defensive tactics instructor and holds various instructor certificates such as Krav Maga Force Division Instructor, FBI Defensive Tactics Instructor, Tactical Breaching Instructor and various others. Mr. Walker holds and undefeated Mixed Martial Arts record and is a practitioner of Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Olympic weightlifting.