Why Byrna? What is the “un-gun?” These are questions I am asked all the time. As some of you may know, I like many of my colleagues, own firearms, but choose less-lethal as my first line of defense.
There are many reasons why someone may choose a less-lethal weapon, whether it is trigger hesitancy with a gun, discomfort with the recoil of a firearm, or the preservation of life, to name a few. There are less-lethal options on the market including Byrna. For anyone reading this that’s new to the brand, Byrna is the creator of the “un-gun.” The un-gun “looks like a gun, performs like a gun but it is designed to be non-lethal.” There is no recoil, and you will be able to defend lives without the risk of taking one.
Recently, the company released the Byrna SD, and I love the latest model for a few reasons. First, whether you are a seasoned member of Byrna Nation or new to the brand, you will be able to bring home your Byrna the same day you purchase it because there are no background checks or permits required to own the device. It is easy-to-use, so you can practice right away.
The Byrna SD also utilizes a proprietary piercing mechanism that allows the CO2 cartridge to remain unpierced but ready to go. Once you pull the trigger it will simultaneously pierce the CO2 cartridge and fire the first round. The Byrna Pepper and Max projectiles, which can be used in the Byrna SD launcher, have an effective range of up to 60 feet with an average projectile speed of 300 feet per second. With both kits you can incapacitate a threat without hitting a specific target. That’s because the cloud created by the projectile has a dispersion of three to five feet. You can hit a threat on the leg, the ground or a nearby wall and know it will disperse hitting the threat. According to Byrna’s Director of Law Enforcement and Security Joshua Schirard, officers use a tactic called indirect usage, which is similar. With indirect usage, an officer will deploy the projectile nearby if the suspect can’t be seen, is hiding behind a vehicle or around the corner of a wall, for example. The Byrna Kinetic projectiles are made of solid polymer which can be used for both training and self-defense. It is powerful enough to break glass on impact.
The Byrna SD launcher comes with an upgraded ergonomic honeycomb grip for better control of the launcher in all conditions, wet or dry. It also has enhanced sights which allow for faster target acquisition and a more consistent sight picture.
My personal favorite upgrade to the Byrna SD is the trigger. It comes with a straight trigger which creates a smoother trigger press for the shooter. According to Schirard, the new design allowed Byrna to decrease the weight needed to activate the trigger to under 6.5 pounds, which is similar to a semi-automatic pistol. This allows shooters of all levels to produce rapid and more accurate follow-up shots.
The Byrna SD is my go-to less-lethal weapon for self-defense.