A pepper ball launcher is a great option for non-lethal personal protection.
For many years I’ve wanted to add a personal defense device to our household. My fiance was always a little leary of including a lethal firearm so we looked into alternative options like the PepperBall TCP Launcher. It’s powerful enough to provide protection for our house, but not so intimidating that my fiance is comfortable using it. In addition to being a great option for personal protection, it’s also a lot of fun to use for sport, too.
The TCP – Tactical Compact Pistol – is a multi-shot, non-lethal product that projects pepper balls using compressed air. This device requires no license or waiting period to purchase. Since it is powered by compressed air it does not have any recoil and it’s easy to load and operate. The pistol includes a safety switch that prevents the device from firing until the user is ready. The TCP fires round projectiles as well as long-range VXR projectiles. Since the projectiles are designed to explode and disperse pepper ball gas, they don’t have to connect with a target to be effective. PepperBall is trusted by over 10,000 law enforcement and government agencies worldwide and it’s a proven leader in non-lethal personal defense. There is a one-year warranty on the TCP pepper ball launcher and it’s machined and assembled in the USA. The TCP is shipped with 2 black universal magazines and a manual.
- Ultra-light weight construction
- 6 round magazine capacity
- Up to 150 FT launch distance
- Compatible with both standard round projectile and VXR™ projectiles (sold separately)
- Mil-standard 1913 picatinny rail accommodates most rail mount accessories
- Compact size fits in a holster (sold separately)
- Uses both CO2 and N2 cartridges (8 gram ONLY- not compatible with 12 gram cartridges used in the LifeLite Launcher)
- Weight: 1.71 lbs.
- Dimensions (L x H ): 8” x 6.5”
- Caliber: 0.68
- Power: 8g CO2
When you get started with the TCP pepper ball Launcher you want to start with placing the safety in the on position (so no red is visible). Then, you want to release the magazine so that you can load it. Once you check to make sure there are no projectiles in the pepper ball launcher itself, you can proceed with loading the magazine. The magazine holds six projectiles at a time. They are held in place by the projectile retainer pin. The CO2 cartridge actually fits into the magazine, too. The cartridges are sold separately and none are included with the initial TCP pepper ball launcher kit. PepperBall does sell them, but you can also obtain them from most sporting good stores or even Amazon. If the pepper ball launcher will be used immediately, pull down the Flip Knob Base Screw and turn it clockwise to puncture the cartridge. If you don’t plan on using the pepper ball launcher right away, tighten the Flip Knob Base until it just touches the cartridge, but doesn’t puncture it. Once the magazine is prepped, load it back into the TCP. Before you fire the launcher, adjust the velocity, and then enjoy using the TCP pepper ball launcher.
I found the TCP to be very easy to set up and use. I was very excited to have the opportunity to test out the TCP because it was so unique. Before it arrived, I had seen videos of its use and was curious if it was really as powerful as the videos showed it to be. The TCP has far exceeded my expectations. To test it out, I fired at several different targets. We have a large backyard (approximately 1/4 acre) and testing out the TCP’s ability was easy in that space. I set up an old wooden board and fired on it from across the yard. The projectiles do leave a mark and so I attempted to hit the same spot multiple times. I was impressed with how accurate the TCP was target-wise. The only thing that did seem to affect the accuracy was a strong wind, which I did encounter a few times while testing the TCP. I did encounter a couple of misfires as the photos show. The projectile actually exploded inside the TCP and powder scattered everywhere – including the inside of the pepper ball launcher.
I did have the opportunity to test out the potency of the projectiles’ dust cloud against a couple of human volunteers. My 19-year old daughter and her 18-year old boyfriend offered to breathe in the dust cloud once the pepper ball projectile burst against a surface. My daughter tested it two different ways. After I shot the projectile onto a fence, the wind blew the dust cloud to my daughter and she walked through the dispersed cloud. That incident wasn’t nearly as potent as the next time she did it, but she said it didn’t seem to do much to her. In the second incident, I shot the fence directly next to her and she walked through the dust cloud as soon as it formed. Again, she said it didn’t seem to affect her much. She had a very small cough, but it wasn’t intolerable to her. Her eyes didn’t water at all.
The second volunteer – my daughter’s boyfriend – actually allowed me to shoot him in the chest/neck area with the projectiles. He enjoys playing paintball with friends so he understood what type of discomfort he might endure from this experiment. He stood across the yard from me – approximately 60 feet away – and I shot him in the chest. After the first shot, I asked him to advance on me slowly so that we could see what type of damage the projectiles might do to a person the closer they got to the shooter. Until he got right next to me – about 8 feet away – he said the pain was tolerable. He did end up with some bruising and welts on his chest and neck, but he said that it didn’t feel any worse than paintballs and it didn’t stop him from advancing on me. He also said that the pepper ball dust didn’t affect him much either.
While the TCP Launcher is a capable non-lethal protection device, it does have some shortcomings. It is very easy to use, but the standard projectiles don’t seem to be potent enough to really slow someone down. Depending on where you hit a person with a projectile, you might be able to slow them down from advancing on you, but it’s not 100% reliable. If you use the more powerful projectile options, you might have a better result. The TCP Pepper ball Launcher is a good option for a safe, accurate non-lethal form of protection.