The 5 Best DIY Self-defense Weapons

In a time of crisis, simple resources like food, water, and energy become precious commodities.

Some people however will take a different route than you and invest their time and energy in taking those resources from others.

You’ll need to protect what you’ve built all your life…

Here are a few interesting recipes for when you can’t get your hands on one or when ammo is in limited supply. Or you know, for after the government has come knocking on your door to seize your guns…


Archers might say it’s more akin to firearms. Shooters, on the other hand, will more likely say it’s a stock-mounted bow.

In any case, this curious hybrid called a crossbow is a weapon that has been used for thousands of years for hunting and warfare. It has a great range; a lot of power and it takes less training to learn to shoot well than other types of bows. It consists of a bow-like assembly called a prod, mounted horizontally on a mainframe called a tiller or stock, which is handheld in a similar fashion to the stock of a long gun. It shoots arrow-like projectiles called bolts or quarrels.

Although having the same launch principle, a crossbow’s draw differs from that of a bow’s because it doesn’t have to be manually maintained by the arbalest (or crossbowman) like with a bow. It’s not as physically demanding to point and shoot thanks to the locking mechanism that maintains the draw. This helps the crossbowman handle stronger draw weights as well while scoring with better accuracy. After all, is done you can paint it whatever color you wish, but it’s important to at least put some stain gel on the stock in order to seal it. You can also scale this model to your liking and make it bigger or smaller. This can be a very dangerous project, so be sure to not point it at anybody when loaded.

Electroshock Weapon

A simple electroshock weapon can be made from a disposable camera. While technically not a true stun gun, this project is simple to make from readily available materials and delivers a powerful and painful electric shock that, when delivered by surprise, could certainly cause an attacker to release you and recoil in pain, facilitating your escape.

A true stun gun takes the current from batteries and runs this current through a coil to increase the voltage and drop the amperage. When the circuit is completed the resulting shocks override control of voluntary muscles, such as the muscles in an attacker’s arms and legs, causing him to collapse when the shock is delivered high up on the body. In the flash circuit of a disposable camera however, a battery supplies current to a capacitor which stores electricity to supply it to the flash when a button is pushed. When the flash is used, the capacitor is discharged and then, once again, begins storing up current supplied by the battery. Once the capacitor is fully charged an LED lights up communicating that the flash is ready to use again. Short-circuiting the disposable camera’s flash capacitor into a human being nevertheless will not override voluntary muscle control. But it could potentially affect involuntary muscle control and is, therefore, more dangerous and somewhat less effective than a commercial stun gun.

In fact, being shocked by it is somewhat like being shocked by a wall outlet or a light fixture, so it should only be used as a weapon as a last-ditch self-defense measure.

Taking care not to bridge the two screws that serve as electrodes, depress the button to charge the capacitor. Once the LED lights up, and the capacitor is charged, it is only necessary to touch the electrodes to a person or any other conductor to discharge the stored electrical energy.

After many uses, the battery will drain and need to be replaced. However, it is truly remarkable that a single 1.5V battery can provide such a devastating shock. This type of electroshock weapon is best used as a diversion/ distraction device in combination with the element of surprise. While it is certainly powerful enough to cause an attacker to momentarily break off his attack and jump back, it will probably not physically debilitate a drunk, drugged, or a determined attacker who is aware of the weapon. As with any weapons system being aware of both its abilities and limitations will help you employ it more effectively.

TIP: Local laws that apply to stun guns may or may not apply to an improvised electroshock weapon, especially one that lacks important safeguards incorporated into commercial stun gun and Taser designs, so consult an attorney regarding the legal ramifications of using such an improvised weapon for self-defense.

Grenade Fuze Tripwire

Weapons won’t do you much good if the enemy catches you by surprise, like when you’re asleep, whereas a well-laid tripwire acts as a force multiplier, alerting you to the presence of intruders 24-hours a day. It can also free up manpower for other tasks. This project, therefore, teaches you to re-prime grenade fuzes that can be found in any army surplus store or picked off the ground in the form of spent smoke or riot control munitions anytime things go sideways.

All you need are a few simple tools, some silicone adhesive, and a commonly available primed brass or primer.

A safe and reliable fuze mechanism is the foundation of effective improvised munitions. For example, the primed fuze can now be wired, screwed, or nailed to a tree, fence post or door jamb. A trip line can also be strung across a trail or doorway using inelastic surplus metal tripwire. However, Kevlar tripwire is much more effective than the elastic monofilament fishing line. So, bear this in mind. Clear any flammable material from the area so your device does not inadvertently start a fire.

Position the device carefully to ensure the primer does not discharge where it could cause hearing damage, eye injury, or minor burns.

If a louder sound is required, a #209 shotshell primer can be substituted for primed .25 ACP brass. Just leave the aluminum sleeve in place and widen the primer pocket to just under 6mm using a drill bit in a chuck or hand drill. Further benefits to this option are that reloads cost less and take up less space.

Perimeter trip alarms are serious survival/self-defense tools to be used in concert with plans to flee or fight in order to survive. They are not toys and should not be used by children or irresponsible persons. Under no circumstances should you attempt to recharge the powder train as a functional M201A1 Bouchon fuze is considered a controlled explosive component by the BATFE. Attempting to do so is likely to result in injury.

SAFETY TIP: Don’t ever use power tools around high explosive or deflagrant mixtures (such as gunpowder).

Impact Stun Grenade

A flashbang, also known as a flash grenade, thunderflash, or stun grenade is a non-lethal explosive device used to temporarily disorient an enemy’s senses, sight, and hearing. It works by producing a blinding flash of light and an intensely loud “bang”.

Stun grenades are constructed in such a way as to remain intact during detonation, containing most of its explosive force and avoiding fragmentation injuries, while having large circular cutouts (in this case, transparent parts) to allow the light of the explosion through.

In order to make it “pop” throw it against a hard surface. The matches inside will strike a spark and ignite the newspaper which, in turn, will ignite the flash powder.

This capsule you’ll build out of bottlenecks and lids is very resistant to pressure, so do some tests with the flash powder to see what works best. Putting too much inside will make it very strong and, therefore, potentially dangerous.

You can use whatever lids and plastic bottles you have on hand.


Fire is one of the most useful natural phenomena in the world, but also one of the most dangerous. When early humans first captured fire from naturally burning areas and later generated flames themselves, their lives changed dramatically. With this understanding of nature, they could have light and heat after nightfall, and they could cook their food.

Archeological evidence suggests early hunters used fire to flush out their prey, and some groups may have used it to fight other humans. Throughout history, the fire has proven to be an extremely effective, devastating weapon.

One of the most interesting developments in fire weaponry was the flamethrower. The modern flamethrower came about in the early 20th century, but the original idea is thousands of years old, first deployed by the Greeks in the 1st century AD.

This can be a very harmful build, so be sure to not point it at other people or use it inside the house.

In the United States, private ownership of a flamethrower is not restricted by federal law. Flamethrowers are legal in 48 states and restricted in California and Maryland.

In the United Kingdom, flamethrowers are a “prohibited weapon” and possession of a flamethrower would carry a sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment.

Hidden Gun Shelf

Gun cabinets have long been the storage option of choice for responsible firearm owners looking to securely stash weapons in the home. But this type of bulky storage doesn’t tend to be aesthetically pleasing and can attract unwanted attention, not to mention taking up valuable space around the house.

You want your guns to be close by in a pinch, and you don’t want to lose valuable time remembering where you hid the key to the cabinet.

When it comes to safely storing firearms, and other hunting equipment in the home, this stealthy DIY hidden gun shelf is your secret weapon.

You can mount it anywhere in plain sight without anyone giving it a second glance as to what it is.

Your gun is now ready to be concealed inside the shelf. You can always adjust the measurements to suit bigger guns and your needs. If you’re worried about kids getting into your shelf, you can always double the number of magnetic latches and place the magnet keys in heavier objects, like plant pots.

This hiding spot is also perfect for other things you don’t want anyone to know about, like cash or passports.


What makes all these projects special is they’re made with adaptability in mind. Meaning if the sky falls, and you crawl out of your bunker to glimpse little more than a barren, ashen waste, you’d still be able to assemble your own off-grid paradise. Or, save money on food when times are good.

So why not check it out? Click the image below for more info and the blueprints you need to build your own.

Written by

Cache Valley Prepper is the CEO of Survival Sensei, LLC, a freelance author, writer, survival instructor, consultant and the director of the Survival Brain Trust. A descendant of pioneers, Cache was raised in the tradition of self-reliance and grew up working archaeological digs in the desert Southwest, hiking the Swiss Alps and Scottish highlands and building the Boy Scout Program in Portugal. Cache was mentored in survival by a Delta Force Lt Col and a physician in the US Nuclear Program and in business by Stephen R. Covey. You can catch up with Cache teaching EMP survival at survival expos, teaching SERE to ex-pats and vagabonds in South America or getting in some dirt time with the primitive skills crowd in a wilderness near you. His Facebook page is here. Cache Valley Prepper is a pen name used to protect his identity. You can send Cache Valley Prepper a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • CVP really? Ok, you wrote this to see how many crazy responses you’d get right? I thought about getting a crossbow but the good ones near 400 fps are around $300 all the way up to over a grand. They’re good against one coming up your driveway. Hopefully it’ll scare the shit out of any other zombies with him. They’d be expecting getting shot at but flying bolts?….yeah, if it doesn’t scare them away, it’ll really piss them off and they’d be on you quicker than you can crank another shot off. Stun Gun? LOL, I remember in training, we’d have contests to see how long we could take the pain, so for protecting me or my family?, I’d pass on this one, although riding the lightning with a taser might be a better option but remember that when the power shuts off on a taser, it’s game on again with no residual pain, just pissed off again. Flashbang? Really? Rioters are so used to fireworks now that all that will do is make them think it’s fun, or just piss them off again. Flamethrower?, Seriously? I can just see burning zombies running around your yard screaming while others flank your position and once they overpower you, turn you into a burning piñata, so no, that one’s out too. Now I have been thinking about perimeter alarms but instead of buying dummy grenades, just go to YouTube and make them cheaper. Hide away gun shelves are nice too. Hardly a “weapon” but they work if someone gets in your house and you can get to it but they are pricey. I’d rather keep it simple and have all your guns and mags loaded and ready and be vigilant. I still think you wrote this to see what kind of stupid responses you’d get so I can’t wait to see what they say. Nice one.

  • So where are the instructions to fabricate these DIY weapons?

  • you have a lot of informatiom about making water safe to drink,build shelters and start fires to keep you warm and cooking,which is great. how ever I do not see very much to making the air we breath safe. I am aware of gas masks,chemicial masks..

    I would like to see more information on air filter for like a root celler.

    Thank You for your time in this,Respectfully Yours Mike Miller,Key West Florida