There are six basic types of less lethal arms. A brief description of each can be found below:
#1 The first is your basic striking weapons used to inflict pain and manipulate pressure points, these are your baton and kubaton defense options. Batons will typically enable to user to strike from further distances while kubatons and other key chain style defense weapons require closer engagement.
#2 The second is your chemical agents that can be delivered through aerosol containers and projectile weapons, these are your standard pepper sprays and converted paintball platforms used to deliver an OC or teargas projectile at extended ranges. Some utilize a spray, foam, or a burst round that delivers the payload upon impact.
#3 The third is your stun devices that rely on close proximity and pain compliance. These devices can widely range in size and voltage. Some are concealed within the crown of a flashlight, walking cane, fake cell phones, and other disguised devices.
#4 Electronic Control Devices (ECDs), these weapons work by utilizing a CO2 cartridge or other compressed gas to propel two darts attached to electric wires towards a target. Once the darts penetrate the target an electric current is passed through dart A to dart B effectively hi-jacking the target’s nervous system and rendering them immobilized for a short period of time. These are your true Taser-style devices.
#5 Impact projectiles, these are typically fired from a converted firearm such as a 12 gauge shotgun, 40mm grenade launcher, or a converted paintball launcher. These projectiles are accurate at extended ranges and stop a threat through immense pain and subsequent shock from that pain experienced by the target.
#6 Sensory devices utilizing light and noise. The defensive siren, these are used mostly by civilians and can be concealed in a variety of items and even carried on keychains. These work by producing a loud siren type noise which attracts un-wanted attention to potential assailants. They are also often coupled in technologies that offer a second line of defense such as a pepper spray or stun device. Other devices use bright flashes or strobing light to disorient targets.