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Tactical evaluation for OC spray

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by kannonfyre, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. kannonfyre

    kannonfyre Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    At home, posting on THR instead of working.
    Ladies and Gents,

    I know that there have been studies and evaluation done of the effectiveness of ballistic calibers....i.e Marshall and Sanow, the Strasbourg Tests.

    However, have there ever been any systematic, scientifically recorded live evaluations of the various OC brands out there? I'm thinking that it would be helpful to consumers if we had something other than S.H.Us to gauge the effectiveness of the sprays. :D For example, it would be helpful to know that brand X can incapacitate a 180 lb looney for x minutes after x seconds of being sprayed in the face.

    Any good suggestions about how much an evaluation might be conducted? What criteria should be considered?

    My suggestion: Obtain a paid volunteer form the prison inmate population (should be a violent offender). Spray in the face for 2 seconds and calculate the time needed to grab a knife 10 feet in front on the floor and then stab a dummy 3 feet away from the knife. Obviously, the better spray will impair his senses so that he will take a longer time than an inferior spray.
  2. mete

    mete Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    First there are some who are immune to pepper spray.Second hotness is measured in schofield units ,that's what should be listed on the label rather than just %. Don't expect miracles. OC is only part of a defense. We always like to put numbers on things like the handgun stopping power % but in the real world works differently.
  3. Presguy

    Presguy New Member

    Jan 18, 2003
    Yes.. I know it's long...

    Tee hee.. Snicker.. Now I get to tell my friends that I volunteer for doing something that others think we should pay violent criminals to do. ;)

    Anyway... I’m an EMT, and some time ago, following a class on decontaminating OC ‘sprayees’ a few of us decided it’d be more educational to actually check it out. I volunteered, and since then, have been sprayed a few more times, mostly on dares.

    Let me start by saying that I’m NOT one of the small percentage that can completely brush the stuff off. It is unpleasant to me, and somewhat painful, but, the vast majority of the time, if given lots of water, I’ll be fine in five minutes or so.

    I should also point out, that although I’ve got lots of details, I didn’t pay attention to every possible variable. I don’t really remember what the weather conditions were each time I got sprayed, I suppose that hot weather could open pores, or cold weather could make the spray take longer to be effective. However, my ‘studies’ have the advantage of all being on the same person, and each time, the dose was about the same, from about 4 or 5 feet, to open eyes, and a closed mouth, with a sufficient dose.

    The first spray, was a no name, stream delivery. If memory serves, it claimed to be 2million SHU, and, I think, 10%. The effect on my eyes was definitely strong, a 7 on a 10 scale. Opening them on their own caused intense burning, and the only way they would stay open, was by the use of fingers to hold them. A slight burning sensation of the skin. No real respiratory effects. Maybe since this was the first time I had been exposed, there was a sense of panic setting in for a few minutes.

    The second time, a few weeks later, was a Sabre brand spray, in a cone delivery. I don’t believe it claimed a percentage, but, it was a 2million SHU spray, mixed with CS (tear gas). This time, the effect was so minimal, I thought I had either developed immunity, or got a defective can. I had no trouble opening my eyes, or breathing, and no stinging of the skin. Maybe because of the CS, however, I was sneezing for about 15 minutes. As a matter of fact, the effect was so minimal, a minute after being sprayed, I asked to see the can, and sprayed myself again. No difference.

    Thoroughly convinced I was immune, the next exposure, a month or so later, was to Def Tec brand, a Foam, that was a 10 % formula, with, I believe, an unclaimed SHU rating. This stuff was pretty bad. Opening eyes took either immense willpower, or fingers, and it burned maybe a 6 out of 10. Also- until the foam was wiped away, it physically obscured sight. It took maybe as long as ten seconds before it felt like anything other than shaving cream, and after about 30 seconds, it made my face sting, moreso than the first spray. Once wiped off my nose, there was no respiratory effect. Interestingly, it was also the fastest to wash away.. I felt 95%, maybe three minutes later.

    The last time, fairly recently, was with an ASP Key Defender. A small aluminum keychain ‘baton’ filled with a small container of 2million SHU, cone spray. I don’t recall a percentage. This seems to be highly regarded on the net, and my experience bears that out. Although it took nearly 20 seconds before I began to feel it, it hit hard. My eyes burned intensely, maybe 9 out of 10, and skin felt worse than any of the others. Maybe because it fine spray, it also brought on lots of coughing. Took a long time, maybe 30 minutes, with water nearby, to wear off. Good stuff.

    Now, the word on this, and other forums, is the Fox is ‘the best’ - a strong SHU rating, and low percentage (fast decontamination?) I have a can in my car, but haven’t yet ‘tasted’ it. We’ll see.

    Ah.. You asked about objectives.. I can’t say I had one in any of these circumstances. I was relaxed, more or less, each time, and was always able to get water and decontaminate myself.

    Hope that helped. And no, I’m not crazy, just a sucker for a good lunch. There used to be a good Mexican restaurant nearby, and an OC dare always got me a burrito or torta. What else can I say in my own defense. ;)
  4. kannonfyre

    kannonfyre Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    At home, posting on THR instead of working.
    Mace Security International

    Anyone ever been sprayed by Mace brand products before?

    Specifically, I am keen to know how effective Mace pepperfoam and Mace triple action OC/CN spray is.
  5. harrydog

    harrydog Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    How long will these things last before needing replacement?
    I remember long ago, I had one in my car. After about a year, I decided to try it and it didn't work. The propellant had apparently dissipated and it wouldn't spray at all.
    After that, I decided that I couldn't depend on these for defensive purposes. Maybe they have improved since then.
    Also, according to Presguy's report, the effect is delayed. 20 seconds, 10 seconds, even 5 seconds might be too long to do you any good.
  6. Smoke

    Smoke Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Bosque County, Texas
    The head man where I train will (for a bet/fee) allow you to spray him with OC spray. He will then draw his weapon and put multiple shots on target.

    I have seen him do it>:what:

    He is not "immune" to it, thought he may be more accustomed to it than others. He had to be sprayed once a year as part of his former LEO training. And has done this exhibition as part of his Personal Defense Seminars on occasion and to demenstrate to the unbeleivers.

    Apparently if an individual has the will he can overcome OC spray. That means its effectiveness is lost on the determined or drugged up.

    It can be effective though, just try it first if the situation warrants, if that doesn't stop them you better draw and fire your gun.
  7. brownie0486

    brownie0486 Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Superstition Mountain, Az
    If the scenario does not call for lethal force and you use the spray [ non-lethal force ], are you then able to articulate your reasons for using deadly force with a firearm once the LE's respond to the scene?

    If you are justified to use your firearm, you probably should not be attempting to use the spray and just go straight to the defensive arm you have at that time.

    Something like this? " Yes sir, he was stalking/badgering/detaining me so I took out the trusty OC and defended myself. The spray did not dissuade him so I took out the piece and shot him".

    If the situation dictates a lethal force response you should not go for the spray.

    If the situation dictates a non lethal response you should not go for the firearm.

    Both of the above could see an escalation from non-lethal to lethal by the perps actions/and or the changing circumstances but unless that happens I don't think I would be attempting to spray and then when it did not have the desired affect pull the heater and blast him.

    Attempt to learn all you can about when non-lethal and lethal forces can be used in a self-defense situation based on your states laws which will then govern your actions.


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