30% Pepper Spray...


February 19, 2003, 12:16 PM
I went to the gun shop yesterday and got to talking about my dog bite. Ended up buying some pepper spray formulated for dogs. From what I'm told, it's a 30% mix vs. a standard 10% mix for people.
So, anyone w/ experience w/ this stuff? I will carry i because of my experience w/ the dog bite, but what if I use it vs. 2 legged creature?

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Joe Talmadge
February 19, 2003, 01:52 PM
From my admittedly-limited understanding, the only thing the OC percentage really effects is recovery time -- which could conceiveably be a liability against humans, health-wise. The OC percentage is in no way an indicator of how hot and effective the spray is, though. Fox 2% spray is 5 million SHU, most 10% sprays are 2 million SHU, so the 2% spray is likely more effective. If your 30% spray is less than 5 million SHU, it'll likely be less effective than Fox. If your 30% spray is under 2 million SHU, it'll likely be less effective than all the rest (BodyGuard, etc.)

February 19, 2003, 09:47 PM
I was gonna buy some of the people stuff, but was told some dogs will shake off the stuff and just be angrier. So i bought this stuff that is suppose to be formulated for animals...dogs specifically.

Joe Talmadge
February 20, 2003, 01:51 AM
I suppose that's possible ... on the other hand, just by instinct you'd expect the hotter mixture to have the most effect. Couldn't tell you for sure though

February 24, 2003, 02:55 AM
I posted this here several weeks ago, but since the subject has come up again....

this is an article written for the National Law Enforcement Trainers Association online magazine... hopefully it will add some insight... it was written with the police patrol officer in mind, but certainly applies to anyone who carries aerosol defense sprays..

Hot or Not? The Myths About Pepper Spray
by M. David West, NLETA Charter Member

NLETA Online Magazine
February 9, 2003

Ever since 1974, when the first Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) product specifically developed for law enforcement began to get marketed and sold out of a garage in a south Florida home, Aerosol weapons have become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, outside of a short course taught at the basic academy, little exists for most agencies in the way of advanced OC training, and a multitude of myths about what OC is, how it works, and what it's capabilities and limitations are have risen over the last 3 decades. Like all defense tools, the proper use of OC requires training. This article represents no replacement for that formal training, but is written only in hopes of dispelling some of the most common myths and misconceptions regarding OC and its proper use.

Myth #1 - Percent equals pain!
It is commonly believed that the higher the percentage of OC in an aerosol unit, the more effective it will be. This is simply untrue. In simplest terms, the percentage of actual active ingredient in a unit relates much more to the amount of time it will take an exposed subject to decontaminate than it does to the amount of "heat" felt. The question to ask is 10%, 15%, or 20% of WHAT? Is the base pepper a jalapeno, cayenne, or a habanero? How refined was the pepper before it was used in the formula? These things obviously should make a difference.

The true measure of heat is determined by the SHU, or the Scoville Heat Units found in the canister. SHU is a culinary scale that was developed to measure the heat in peppers, and helps us to determine the effectiveness of various OC sprays. A green bell pepper is the base of the scale and holds a rating of 0 SHU. As a matter of reference, a jalapeno pepper typically rates between 3,000 and 5,000 SHU. Fox Labs 5.3 on the other hand is rated at 5,300,000 SHU. High SHU ratings are obtained through the hybriding of certain pod peppers and then through a detailed refining process. Placing a large amount of poorly refined, garden-variety peppers in an aerosol unit does not make it hot. When considering the purchase of a canister of OC always check the advertised SHU. If the manufacturer boldly advertises percentages, but refuses to place the SHU rating on the can, chances are there is a reason for this.

Myth #2 - Pepper Spray doesn't work on persons of certain ethnic backgrounds.
This is probably the single largest myth in the history of pepper spray. As a result of having "hot" diets, including numerous peppers, it is commonly believed that people of Hispanic origin may not be as readily affected by OC. The reality is that no pepper, no matter how often it is ingested is as hot as most law enforcement grade OC. Pepper sprays effect subjects both physiologically and psychologically. While it is possible for a goal directed person, or someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol to overcome the actual pain associated with OC and continue to fight, it is impossible for them to overcome the physiological effects on their bodies. OC, when inhaled, inflames the mucus membranes of the nose and throat, resulting in coughing and gagging, thereby making breathing difficult. OC will cause eyes to twitch spasmodically and close, causing temporary blindness and loss of balance. The capillaries in the eyes will dilate when exposed to OC, and a burning sensation will be felt on any exposed skin. Goal directed subjects may overcome the pain, but are still placed at a disadvantage by being exposed to OC by its ability to take away their vision and their respiration pattern. OC will effect everyone differently based on their individual pain thresholds and raw determination, but has no way of knowing a persons birthplace, diet, or cultural background.

Myth #3 - More is Better!
This is yet another falsehood. Most OC manufacturers recommend spraying an offender with ½ - 1 second, short "bursts." If more OC is needed, it is recommended that more short bursts are used. If multiple bursts do not place the offender into a non-assaultive position, it is time to try something else. Spraying an offender with bursts longer than 1 second in length can actually be counterproductive. OC aerosol weapons generally contain three basic substances in the container. An active ingredient of refined pod pepper is used to incapacitate the offender. A solvent is utilized to emulsify the active ingredient and place it in a liquid state. Lastly, a propellant is added to the canister that allows the solvent/active ingredient mixture to be expelled from the canister onto an offender. In order for the pepper spray to be most effective, it is essential that the propellant and solvents used in the formulation of the pepper spray be able to fall out of or evaporate from the mixture rapidly, so that the offender is only exposed to pure active ingredient, leaving nothing to get in between the offenders skin and the "heat" of the product. By spraying a subject with a long, continuous burst, one can actually experience a washing effect where the solvent and propellant, still in the mixture, wash the active ingredient from the intended target area (eyes, nose, and mouth) and onto a less reactive area of the face.

Myth #4 - All OC is created Equal.
Because OC is generally an unregulated product, there are a multitude of "bathtub blends" available at every discount retailer and convenience store in America, and it is generally believed that all pepper sprays are about the same in terms of quality and reliability. As stated before, it is important for the defense-oriented consumer to become knowledgeable about OC, and check the SHU and percentages of active ingredients in particular prior to any purchase. This however is not enough. As a rule of thumb I tell students and student instructors to never purchase an OC product anywhere they can purchase beer or blue jeans. Rely on established law enforcement supply shops and reputable gun shops to help you with your purchase. Only purchase products made by established, well known manufacturers, and check out the OSHA materials safety data sheet for specific ingredients whenever possible. If you wouldn't trust your personal safety or the safety of your loved ones with a bargain basement, used, unchecked firearm, why would you trust an unproven, bargain basement OC? The cost difference in discount brand pepper sprays and law enforcement grade aerosol weapons is incidental, and well worth the peace of mind that the extra dollar may cost you.

Pepper Spray is an effective tool that should be carried by all law enforcement officers. Firearms are not the answer to every defense situation, and it is essential that we have the proper tools available to us as the situation dictates; else we sacrifice officer and suspect safety. However, with any defense tool comes the responsibility to train and become proficient with it. If you currently carry pepper spray or intend to in the future, seek training and find out everything you need to know about it to reduce your personal liability and to maximize its effectiveness.

Stay Safe and Win at All Costs!

hope this helps!

February 24, 2003, 03:06 AM
FWIW, any aerosol weapon that is specifically labeled as an animal repellant (bears, dogs, etc.) is regulated as a "pesticide" by the EPA and is illegal for use against humans unless deadly force is justified... any aerosol product that does not mention animals is basically an unregulated product and is only overseen by the FDA as a "food grade" substance, just like any common hot sauce...

most animal repellants are no hotter than aerosols developed for human defense.. they simply have a higher concentration of active ingredient to incapacitate the animal (such as a bear) for a longer period of time to facilitate escape....

while i dont think a criminal court would hold you accountable for using a dog spray on a human if the spray was otherwise justified, you open yourself to a civil liability issue that could easily be avoided by simply going with a high quality defense product.. IMHO Fox Labs cant be beat... i have litterally sprayed dozens of dogs under field conditions and have yet to have one come back for more.. while nothing is ever 100%, Fox had established a very good track record....

February 26, 2003, 01:48 AM
Here's my personal $0.02.

I was going home yesterday with a packed dinner in a paper bag in my left hand and MACE brand muzzle dog repellent in my right hand. I always carry the repellent after getting down from the bus because of the neighbourhood stray dogs. :uhoh: (aggressive, annonymous balls of fur)

About 50 yards from my house, I notice a large mongrel following me. I quicken my pace and so does it. It starts to move towards my dinner and when I jerk it away, it starts to growl at me like as if I owe it dinner.

Since my house is not too far away, I make a dash for it and the dog chases me, barking fiercely. The distance to my front door closes to 20 yards and I realise I'm not gonna make it so I spin round and empty the OC spray at the animal, hitting it on the body,snot and the eyes.

:neener: In a split second it screeches to a halt and runs away wimpring. Thus, i was spared from being bitten, spared from the rabies shot that I might have to receive and spared from my housemate's lousy cooking cos my takeaway dinner was still safe.

BTW, I forgot the exact percentage but mace dog repellent is A LOT less than 10% OC.

Gordy Wesen
March 1, 2003, 03:26 AM
I have considerable experience with pepper spray and dogs. I have used it dozens of times. I've been reported to the police.
When dogs meet they make order. Because my dogs are sport dogs and have a clear Alpha mentality any challenge to that order is met with a violent response...if I allow it. I try real hard to NEVER allow dog fights. I don't want my dogs hurt and fights can have an adverse effect on temperment tests at competitive events.
Through trial and error I picked the 10% OC10 in 3 oz. cans because of the cone shaped dispersal and the effective range of up to 15 feet.
Many of my problems have been other pets out for a walk with the owner off leash. Many of my problems have occured with packs of roaming dogs as well as solitary trouble makers.
There is always a challenge betrayed by body language and the eyes. If I see intent in the eyes I will get between my dog and the comer to deter him. If he's coming anyway I wait till he gets to about 7 or 8 feet. They are fast and will dodge spray at greater distances and wind can be a factor too. I give them a short stiff burst and they have ALWAYS broken off. Only once did the dog come back around for a second dose and that fixed him real good. They'll usually trot a short distance and try to rub their eyes then wander off. When attacked by a pack, my wife and I went back to back and only then allowed our dogs to fight with us. My wife was kicking and her Rottweiler was in there with her going for it. My Shepherd wanted to kill but we kept our defence and they broke off. (We did not have spray on that trip.)
I fogged an aggressive nuisance dog real good at a stadium where we were training and a cop showed up to question us about animal cruelty. I talked briefly about the facts and how I avoided conflict by using it and she let it go...complaing only that perhaps I should let the top off a new can so the recipient was not coated with too much red dye.
For me, it has worked every time and I am glad to have such a good tool to avoid bigger problems.

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