Is Pepper Spray Effective?

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OC does work.

I have used it numerous times working in Corrections and Law Enforcement, and the only times it has not worked for me involved bad actors in the prison system that have been sprayed so many times they have developed an immunity to it. Most of the time bad actors "lay it down" at the first sight of OC being displayed.

I personally have been sprayed three times in the course of training and certification, and it dropped me like a dirty shirt :).

Just my .02,
so whats the consensus OC experts, im looking you too buy myself and my GF OC spray for the first time. Fogger or Stream? and what are the best choices for everyday carry (brands)?
OC spray can't always be relied upon to completely stop an assailant. That is why I have developed a technique to address the problem.

If I find myself in a situation where the use of pepper-spray is necessary. I spray the assailant with the stream (you have to be a good shot, fog spray is likely to effect you also) directly in the eye, then follow up with a direct kick in the crotch.

If the pepperspray didn't work as advertised, then the crotch-crunching round-house would certainly do the trick.

That may seem cruel, but you do what you gotta do.:D
Stream is better (imo) due to the fact that the fog sprays are more likely to blow back and affect you if windage is not in your favor.

I carry Freeze+P by aerko international while on-duty. It's what I was sprayed with at the academy, so I know that it works. I don't think it's LE only, but I am not sure.

I've also heard that FoxLabs makes some good stuff, but I do not have personal experience with it.
I've been pepper sprayed twice, once for training and once to prove to someone that even though it really hurts you can fight back and function. It won't work every time (some people seem to handle it better than others and if you are whacked out on PCP or crystal meth a bullet might not even put you down) but the analogy of putting your face in a deep fat fryer fits really well. My preference is for the stream type instead of fog. Do a little research and find the hottest stuff that you can. But inert cans and practice using it. Make sure you get good at hitting right in the eyes. Having had it done twice I would say it is a viable alternative to just shooting someone.
About stream vs. cone: the article by the University of Utah said that some people like stream more because it goes further and is less likely to get on you. A lot of experts like cone because it affects more surface area of the assailant (stream only affects a small portion of a person's face). Also a lot of experts say that pepper spray is most effective when it not only affects the assailant's eyes, but also their respiratory system. There's more that's needed than just pain in determining the effectiveness of pepper spray.
There are also two more factors that the article talks about in the effectiveness of pepper spray:

2. It said that research has been done that suggests that neither Scoville Heat Units or percent Oleoresin Capsicum have much to do with the effectiveness of pepper spray (I've also heard from other places that Scoville Content does not have much to do with it either). Percent Oleoresin Capsicum doesn't matter much because if it has a high percentage of OC but uses a weak base resin of OC, then it doesn't matter so much. Scoville Heat Units don't matter so much because that's the strength before it's diluted in the carrier and propellant solution. More importantly, the Scoville Taste Test is quite subjective and can vary a lot. The article points out that they found that different brands of 2 million SHUs 10% Oleoresin Capsicum were quite different in their strengths. A much more reliable and objective method is to determine pepper spray strength using computer analysis. One effective method is HPLC, to determine the Capsaicinoid Content of pepper spray. The higher the percentage of Major Capsaicinoids (or Capsicum and Other Related Capsaicinoids), the more potent it is. Remember that pure Capsicum is 16 Scoville Heat Units. Capsicum is the active ingredient in peppers, hot sauce, etc that tricks your mind into thinking it's hot and is what makes pepper spray hurt. The article recommends finding out the Major Capsaicinoid Content of the bottle as a whole, not just the base resin.
3. The third factor the article said affects the effectiveness of pepper spray is the propellant material. The more stable it is across various temperatures, the better. Some pepper spray propellants will dramatically increase or decrease in pressure across various temperatures, affecting their performances. I don't remember what propellants are the best, but the article talks about them.
Too be honest the burning sensation on the skin never bothered me, I just couldn't keep my eyes open after 20 seconds. Maybe I'm not as sensitive to the burning, but I think it's more phycological than anything else. Your eyes will slam though if you get a good dose, but in a SD situation that is unlikely.

Mentals and druggies don't often react to it.

Another point is that it does not last long. I had a 2oz can of FOX that I decided to test after packing it for a year and it's propellant was dead. Looked like a garden hose that had just been turned off.

both have disadvantages and plusses ((me kant spill, me no that))...I learned the hard way to be real carefull of windage while using fog which seems to incapacitate attackers quicker, but streams, while more accurateseem to take longer to work and if your opponent is wearing glasses even more difficulty.....

The Bear pepper mace (a huge fogger)

has never failed in tons of uses against deranged drunk stoned out psycho's who populate the streets of San Francisco.

It's kinda large to carry around though, kinda like the nuclear bomb of pepper sprays
Think of this....

The thing about any sprayed irritant of course is thinking of windage. The other thing is that not all irritants effect all people in the same way. You can have a tolerance to such irritants. There are some people who will not be effected at all by pepper spray. There are also people who will have a violent reaction to such. The thing is, you never know. I have known people who have no-adverse response to pepper spray or any other so-called incapacitating sprays or gases. Others fell to their knees immediately. The same is true with stun guns. Regardless if someone is on drugs or high it all depends on tolerances of that individual. I have witnessed stone cold sober people tear out the barbs from a stun gun and still have plenty of fight in them. I personally have no-reaction to pepper sprays. However I have been stunned and it put me down immediately. I have been shot with a shotgun shell full of rubber pellets. That did not do much but leave a few welts. Someone who is determined to do whatever it is they're doing will not be stopped by a few rubber pellets. What you have to do is learn how to disarm a situation in several different ways before having to resort to deadly force. There are many defensive and offensive fighting styles, all of which can be used effectively if properly trained.
I've been sprayed with Punch and whatever the PPB issues at different times. I wasn't expecting it, wasn't prepared, wasn't angry and was not a hardened criminal who had been sprayed hundreds of times. It hurt. It was a little harder to breathe, and it didn't slow me down in any sort of time frame that would matter if had wanted to hurt someone. In a fight "delayed success" is failure.

As always, in my standard rant about OC, take a look at the work Modern Warrior ( has done. Thousands of trials. All sorts of pepper spray. All sorts of test subjects including dogs. If the recipient is set on achieving a goal or performing a task it won't stop them. Similarly the Berkeley PD study and a couple others.
the Berkeley Study

I've heard from several places that the Berkeley study used 0.18% Major Capsaicinoids content. In the University of Utah study that I posted, it refers to a Police Department who had a 50% failure rate who used First Defense MK 4, 0.18% capsaicinoids. Punch II has 0.31% Capsaicinoids, which is quite low. Pepper sprays such as Red Sabre are approximately 1.42%, SpitFire 1.14%, etc. So in these studies, is it pepper spray that is ineffective or is it the makes of pepper spray being used? It seems like a lot of those studies are good at showing that the independent variable is related (or not related) to the dependent variable in some sort of way (what's referred to as internal validity). However, if you only use certain types of pepper spray in your research (not representative of the population of pepper sprays as a whole), can you really say the results are generalizable to other or most pepper sprays (external validity)? Okay, maybe that's using too much research lingo, but you get what I mean? That article I posted pointed out how Scoville Heat Units and percentage Oleoresin Capsicum are quite unreliable, and that two different pepper sprays that are 2 million SHUs 10% OC are often quite different from each other in strength. The article also seemed to bash down a lot of pepper sprays, but seemed to say that some are good.
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