Laser pointers as weapons

I recently encountered a thread relating to this topic on a site I frequent dedicated to the laser and laser related hobbies.

Understandable concerns about how topics such as these could generate negative comments or opinions to somehow cause unforeseen actions against the manufacture, sale, possession,  or use of these devices if they were to somehow be seen as a potential danger to others.

However. I recognized the importance of this topic and felt that it required a place where it could be discussed further and at great length if necessary.

I will voice some of my opinions and observations on this topic here in the very near future, but at this time would like to simply get this page posted as soon as possible in case there is anyone from the other site who wishes to carry this topic over from there and continue it here.

Here is the original thread as posted at laserpointerforums.com:

Old 11-21-2014, 06:26 PM   #1
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crashmidget is a name known to allcrashmidget is a name known to allcrashmidget is a name known to allcrashmidget is a name known to allcrashmidget is a name known to allcrashmidget is a name known to all
Default Self-Defense ~ Bear with me for a moment!

Hi All,

I have been on this forum for a while and while I have had quite a few private conversations, this is my first official thread. I know that this issue is a bit taboo, and it should be for a variety of reasons, but after reading everything that I can find on the subject, there is very little information that is of any use. Not sure exactly where to start, but bear with me for a bit as I have a lot of experience with both lethal and less-than-lethal weaponry. I cringe at even using the word “weaponry” here, as I don’t want to get into a discussion that even suggests lasers as weapons, but the fact remains that anything can be a weapon, I could slap someone with this laptop if I had too.

My interest here is in any information regarding a high powered handheld laser, let’s say 2.5w – 3w 445nm (blue) laser, and it’s ability to deter someone at a reasonable distance, let’s say at least 10 – 15 meters away while being de-focused, perhaps a spot (rectangle) 5′-7′ wide by maybe 2′-3′ high? Would this be enough to stop them in their tracks, and more importantly, would this be overkill to the point of doing serious damage?

My interest in all of this comes from a point of practicality. I am a legal firearm owner, I have a carry permit, and a few pistols to choose from. More interestingly, I also own a variety of less-than-lethal weaponry. I currently own:

Taser X26 (legal for civilian to own and carry with FID Card in my state)
Tiberius Arms Tac 8 (w/Pepperball Kit) not legal for me to carry
Various Pepper Sprays, up to 1lb can of Bear Spray and 9oz can PepperGEL
JPX Jet Protector (A Tazer substitute, fires pepper spray 20′ @ 400mph)
Lots of high power, quality flashlights including my favorite, the
Surefire UB3T Invictus (1000 lumens and strobe mode)-will mess you up!
I also have firearms in the home, I tend to lean towards my Remington 870 short barrel and have a variety of ammo including these special rounds Multiple Impact Ammunition Which if you haven’t seen…you have to check it out…uber cool!

After having experience with all of these different types of defensive “tools”, I have found that while each has their strengths, they also all suffer from a variety of limitations. For example, lethal force can be a sticky subject in court if you ever have to use it, especially outside of your home. Chemical sprays can be effective without risking legal issues over lethal force, however, if you’re inside or very close, you may not want to use chemical sprays. Ditto on the Pepperball gun, great outside, not for use inside, and may lead to legal issues. All in all, if I am out and about, not at home, I have been most comfortable with the idea of using a very powerful flashlight, like my Surefire 1000 lumens on strobe. It is however rather large and heavy compared with my lasers of which I have quite a few. My favorite is my homemade 445 which has one of DTR’s 9mm diodes and one of his 2.4 amp X-Drives with a G2 lens. I used a beautiful Gerber TX 3.0 flashlight for the host, and made an exceptional focusing ring offering very quick focusing.

It has occurred to me on several occasions that this laser, de-focused to maybe a 5′ to 7′ rectangle would be a very effective deterrent, but I am afraid to try it even at much greater distances because I don’t know what kind of damage it could do, and I have no way of measuring it short of asking one of my buddies to hit me in the face from 100′ feet away, which is not something I am about to do. Is it possible to get data on the power of a de-focused beam from a distance? If so, I would gladly pay someone to do some research if they have the equipment. Of course I am expecting to get a lot of replies about safety and being nuts etc., but I am serious, I really think there is some value in having some data on de-focused beam strength at known distances. I should add that I am very careful with all of my lasers and never let anyone else even touch them, I mean that. My friends are welcome to come over and go shooting all they want in my backyard (I live in the middle of nowhere), but my lasers are always off limits. I don’t mess around with safety and I’m not some yahoo trying to figure out if I can hurt someone with my laser. I am very serious about getting some information and hopefully some data.

Sorry this was so long, but I felt it necessary to fully explain my interest, and also explain that I am a responsible adult with a legitimate interest in the topic.

Thanks All ~ Crash

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