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Less Lethal Launchers Buying Guide: 3 Easy Steps

Whether you’re familiar with weapons or not, less lethal launchers are a new territory for most people. Although they’ve been around for years, very few people know about them. In this less lethal launcher buying guide, we’ll explain what they are, how they work, who could benefit from them, how to buy them, and the most popular products available. We’ll go step-by-step so that by the time we’re finished, you’re ready and protected.

What Are Less Lethal Launchers?

Less Lethal Launchers is a type of non-lethal weapon (or air gun) that shoots (or “launches”) less lethal (or non-lethal) projectiles that can be made of various materials and can contain chemical irritants. The launchers are used by law enforcement, security personnel, and civilians as a less-than-lethal alternative to deadly force.

How Do Less Lethal Launchers Work?

how less lethal launchers work

Less Lethal Launchers work differently than traditional firearms, although the overall concept is similar. Unlike the spark that ignites the gunpowder to convert into rapidly expanding gas when you pull the trigger from a firearm, less lethal launchers utilize a CO2 cylinder, which is a compressed carbon dioxide liquid. When you pull the trigger, a valve opens to allow the CO2 gas to escape, creating explosive pressure, which then propels the projectile forward.

Who Could Benefit From Them?

There are many people that could benefit from using less-lethal launchers. Whether you’re a law enforcement agent, security personnel, or an everyday citizen, protecting yourself and others without using lethal force (without killing someone) is always preferred, obviously. Below we’re going to share a few reasons why anyone could benefit from owning and using less-lethal launchers.

Law Enforcement & Security

  • To incapacitate individuals in situations without using lethal force.
  • To provide peace of mind by allowing officers and security personnel to use tools when needed without public scrutiny or harassment.
  • To add another tool in their arsenal to apprehend or subdue criminals.


  • To incapacitate individuals in situations without using lethal force.
  • To protect themselves and their family.
  • To provide peace of mind.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family

Ask yourself, how will you protect yourself and your family? Mothers, what would you do if someone tried to attack you, take your kids, or break into your home? Fathers, if someone broke into your home in the middle of the night with a knife in hand to attack you or take your belongings, how will you protect your family, or even yourself for that matter?

Let’s pray you never face these situations, but if you ever do, a less lethal launcher is one of the best options you have available. It provides a level of safety, security, and peace of mind that is invaluable.

How To Buy A Less Lethal Launcher

Buying a less lethal launcher is much easier than buying a traditional firearm. In fact, you won’t need to register the launcher, nor will you have to apply for a permit for concealed carry (unless you live in California, New York, or New Jersey – Restrictions apply in those specific states).

Ultimately, all you need is your purchasing power and instructions on the best products that exist. After that, you’re off to the races and soon will have an alternative protection device for you, and your family.

Less Lethal Launchers Buying Guide

In this guide, we’ll go step-by-step through what you need. A less lethal launcher consists of 3 parts: the launcher itself (the gun), the CO2 cylinder that launches the projectiles, and projectiles (the ammunition). Our personal preferences will be underlined.

Byrna SD Basic Box

Choose A Launcher

Byrna EP Model: Byrna EP Launcher

Byrna SD Model: Byrna SD Launcher Kit

Byrna LE Model: Byrna LE Launcher Kit

To learn about the differences between each model launcher, we’ve already gone ahead and created a detailed Byrna Gun Comparison to help you learn about each of them.

If you’re not willing to fork out upwards of $500, you may be fine with the Byrna EP, the lowest-priced option available. In the future, it can be upgraded to house a 12-gram CO2 cylinder and deliver 60% more power by purchasing an accessory known as the “Byrna Boost.” Until then, both the EP and SD models use 8-gram CO2 cylinders, meaning they’re less powerful, yet more compact.


Choose Extra Projectiles

Next, you’ll likely want to go ahead and buy extra projectiles. When you’re training or practicing your aim, these projectiles may not always hit the target (not because of the launcher, but because of your aim!). Losing them is easy sometimes if you’re in the backyard or woods. Go ahead and pick up some extras to make sure you have a variety always on standby.

Byrna: Byrna Projectiles

Off-Brand Projectiles: Lambid Hard Plastic Nylon Projectiles

Duke: Duke Projectiles


Choose Extra CO2 Cylinders

While you can reuse the hard plastic projectiles, CO2 cylinders you cannot. The cylinders are extremely cheap and will allow you to train and practice your aim more than you would imagine. The 8-gram CO2 Cylinders are to be used with Byrna EP and SD models, while the 12-gram CO2 Cylinders are to be used with the Byrna LE model. Below are a few options to consider.

Byrna: Byrna 8-Gram CO2 Cylinders

Umarex: 12-Gram CO2 Cylinders

Byrna: Byrna 12-Gram CO2 Cylinders


With this guide, we hope we’ve eliminated the confusion. We were there ourselves at one time, and with so many options, the process of finding out what to buy was confusing and took time. What we’ve done is save you the trouble, point out the products that are considered the best (and we use them too!), and give you direct links to buy them. It’s that simple, and honestly, we wished there was a buying guide when we first started too.

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