OC vs. CS - LEO opinions appreciated too!


February 25, 2005, 07:14 PM
I have a question about the self defense sprays.
In Michigan the legal carry for OC is 2%, and for CS it's 35 grams.

Has anyone here ever had to incapacitate a perp using either of the two?

Which would be more effective? An officer at the local PD told me that OC is more effective... but I get the feeling that he doesn't think me carrying CS is a good idea. He probably thought I was just some punk.

Any opinions and facts are appreciated.
Thanks in advance!


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February 25, 2005, 07:22 PM
I've been a cop long enough to remember the days before OC. In those days alot of officers wouldn't carry CS because it just wasnt a sure thing, some people it worked on and some it didnt. OC works on everybody, even the guys that are jacked way up, it will close thier eyes. Best thing since sliced bread for law enforcement. OC sure saved me alot of money on uniforms. Those of you patrol for a living will know what I mean. :) :evil: :)


Bear Gulch
February 25, 2005, 07:25 PM
I concur with Chief. OC is the stuff. Further in the old days we were resistant to carring cs. A baton was far more useful than cs ever was.

February 25, 2005, 07:30 PM
Well I patrol for a living and have used OC many times and I can tell you that OC is not the end all be all of LE equipment for handling unmanageable folks.

I’ve sprayed quite a few people who just looked at me and kept on coming.

One or two it only made madder and everytime I’ve used it I ended up getting it all over me and still had to fight the person I sprayed who was now covered in OC.

It isn’t the cats meow hell it ain’t even close.

If I know it's gonna be a fight I usually go for my ASP baton which tends to grab peoples attention quicker than a can of OC, I wish I had a tazer.

February 25, 2005, 07:31 PM
Also, here in Michigan it's only 2% for civillians :(

Bear Gulch
February 25, 2005, 07:54 PM
Weasel makes a good point. We liked not having to ride in cars with folks who had been csed. CCW is my way of dealing now. I will not use force unless it seems that lethal force (or threat of) is warranted. I also live in Idaho where jury composition is still likely to be such folk as would support this theory.

February 25, 2005, 08:07 PM
In my opinion OC or CS is one of those things that works once because of its surprise value. Someone who has been hit with it before and knows what it is can work through it and pound your muffin.


February 25, 2005, 08:12 PM
Oh I agree its not a phaser set on stun, But it's a whole lot better than CS. And thats what we are comparing, CS vs OC. If an officer follows his use of force policy, the OC is always before the baton. And we all know what happens in federal court if you dont follow policy.


February 25, 2005, 08:30 PM
I have only seen OC used once in the jail. We still had to wrestle the guy.

I would rather use a Surefire flashlight to temporarily blind someone. At least one of those has other uses.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 25, 2005, 08:34 PM
I have been exposed to both CS and OC. Either one can be worked through; but OC is much, much more effective than CS.

February 25, 2005, 08:35 PM
15% percent of the population is immune to the effects on OC spray. But if your not immune it sucks to even be in the same room where it is sprayed. plenty of times me and other deps have come off worse from the spray than the inmate.

February 25, 2005, 09:17 PM
I carry 10% OC, seems to work well.

ETCss Phil McCrackin
February 25, 2005, 10:03 PM
First, before you get down about a 2% limit, remember it's not about the percentage of pepper it's the heat in SHU. There are plenty of topics like this on several boards including this one (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=156313&highlight=spray) over at TFL. My question though, is if a combination of CS and high heat OC would be more effective than just high heat OC?

Steve in PA
February 25, 2005, 11:46 PM
I beg to differ also. OC does not work on everyone. The chainsaw shooting in which one of my officers was involved is testimony to that. They sprayed the guy with OC and he just laughed at them.

February 26, 2005, 08:16 AM
I've gotten the full CS gas chamber treatment (thanks Sergeant Abbott! NOT!) and it was nasty.

I've also gotten a "whiff' (not even a full shot) of OC when a cop sprayed a guy and the wind changed.

The OC was far worse even in the little bitty amount I got.

It doesn't work on everyone, but when it does, wow does it work! :)

February 26, 2005, 10:03 AM
CS in the academy only made my breathe funny and snot ropes drip down. I was able to function, albiet on a very limited scale. OC knocks me for a loop, usually.
I have seen inmates with OC dripping off thier faces, laughing. I have seen them scream and run around in uncontrolled panic and pain, (Rule #1 - don't get gassed when naked!), and all other responses. What I have NEVER seen is one drop down and give up immediately. The Taser does that. Problem is, Taser is a one shot, slow to reload device, with zero lasting effects, unless you have a pacemaker, of course...

February 26, 2005, 10:17 AM
OC beats CS anyday. I use Punch II which is alcohol based and will light up your world or Foxlabs 5.3million SHU which burns for days.

February 26, 2005, 08:14 PM
that seems weak to me. I can not say that a 2% mix would be affective or not. you may be better off buying a personal body alarm.

Andrew Rothman
February 27, 2005, 12:33 AM
Box Box Box is wrong.

It's not percent -- it's SHU. Fox Labs has a very good reputation and has low-percent, high-SHU formulations.

February 27, 2005, 03:05 PM
Could I get an update. I've been retired for some years (LE) and all I remember about tear gas was CS and CN. Hated the CS. That's the stuff placed in the room when you had to remove your gas mask. YUCK! So, what's this OC gas?

February 27, 2005, 05:54 PM
I've been sprayed with both. OC is much worse. Some people will continute to fight after being sprayed but they won't be able to see as well.


February 27, 2005, 07:04 PM
I have been exposed to both and have to agree that OC is worse. We recently were issued Sabre OC/CS combined together. It is marked for LEO only. I have not used it yet so can't comment on the combined effect although our DT instructor tells us it is much worse than OC alone. I remember getting sprayed during OC qualifications. I wont want to do that again anytime soon

March 1, 2005, 07:14 PM
Note Matt Paynes's post. The pecentage means little as the shu or "heat" value of the active product is much more important. As a chemical agents instructor I have personally experienced both and the OC is much more effective. The older CN and CS products have been in police use for many decades and few if any departments issued them after they were found to be less than effective in the field if used in the hand held spray cannisters. Most old products actually had a warning on the can saying not to use the spray on the emotionally upset or people under the influence of drugs. I guess you were only supposed to spray calm sober people. Back when the non OC products were in common use we used to say the only persons the spray was 100% effective on was fellow cops. It always seemed that somebody would whip out the spray and the fighting drunk bad guy wouldn't even notice he had been sprayed but all the back up officers were caughing and retching. Our training academy had one trainee a few years back who could take multiple hits of OC and not only keep his eyes open but could fight as if nothing had hit him, He is the only one so far unaffected by OC. OC is a good option but requires training and tactical thinking before you start packing it.

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