SHOT Show 2019 brings another self- and home-defense option that's great for families: the PepperBallLifelite (and the soon-to-come Tactical Compact Pistol). Depending on your individual circumstances and family situation, sometimes it makes more sense to invest in a less-lethal self-defense option, and the PepperBall Lifelite is a perfect example. Loaded with spherical balls composed of a fiery powder akin to capsaicin (which the company calls Pava Powder), the Lifelite can push them out up to 15 yards with a boost from a CO2 canister.
"We say that it's akin to crushing up jalapenos and throwing them at someone," said PepperBall representative Sarah Smith Barnum. "It's debilitating, but it's temporary. This technology has been in use by multiple law-enforcement agencies for 25 years, and in that time there have been no lawsuits, deaths or permanent injuries. It's a great track record."
What's great about the Lifelite is that it looks just like a big flashlight...partially because that's what it is. It has not only a nice, strong flashlight component, but also a laser aiming system. Both are powered by batteries or a USB charger for extra convenience. What's more, the projectiles are powered by CO2, but you don't have to worry about the Lifelite losing power over time. The system doesn't puncture the C02 cartridge until you fire, so the Lifelite will always be ready when you need it.
"When the projectiles hit, they produce a dispersal cloud that's about 12 feet," continued Smith Barnum. "So your aim doesn't have to be perfect."
The Lifelite is already wildly popular, particularly among recreational-vehicle enthusiasts, reported Smith Barnum. "Traveling from state to state, some people just don't want to have to stress about the differing firearms laws every time they cross a border. So this works great for them...and they've done a lot of testing." (Here's a fun video from YouTube's The Motorhome Experiment to prove it...and yes, someone does get peppered and yes, they're totally fine!)
Of course, since this is SHOT, there's a new innovation...and that would be the Tactical Compact Pistol, or TCP for short. "This has been available to law enforcement for about a year," continued Smith Barnum, "and beginning in April, we're going to have them for consumers as well."
As you can see, the form of the TCP is similar to that of a firearm, but with bright yellow adornments to ensure nobody mistakes it for an actual gun. It doesn't come equipped with a laser, but it can shoot much further than the LifeLite. Part of the reason why is the projectiles; instead of the round shape, they're more aerodynamic and work with the "pistol's" rifling. With a 30-yard range, the TCP can reach out to about the same distance as your average CCW handgun.