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Pepper spray expiration?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by TTv2, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I have a can of pepper spray that I bought about 4 years ago and on the bottle it says it expires 3 years from date of purchase. Given the way things are going and people panicking I feel more need to carry a non-lethal defense tool and was wondering if my near 4 year old pepper spray is no longer functional or if the expiration is some sort of legal warning.

    I have no problem buying a new can, but if my old can is still good to use I'd rather not throw it away.
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    The expiration date is because the propellant can leak out. If it still sprays, it's still good.
     
  3. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    Like @ColtPythonElite said, the "pepper" part doesn't go bad, it is the "spray" part. Give it a quick squirt every so often to make sure it works and carry on. Just make sure to check which way the wind is blowing first.
     
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  4. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    It's good to check. Brands are different. I've had some highly recommended ones fizzle after a year and some be good for many years. I'm at the view that I get new ones periodically, like checking batteries in smoke detectors.
     
  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    There are plenty of videos that show the effectiveness of expired pepper spray. The tearful reactions usually show they are still effective. I sprayed myself with some Sabre red that expired 5 years prior, it was still effective. My EDC can of Freeze +p expired May 2019 and I have no hesitation against slipping it in my pocket before going into town.
     
  6. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    The real issue as I said, is the propellant. The OC itself should be good.
     
  7. 1942bull
    • Contributing Member

    1942bull Contributing Member

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    I agree that the propellant is the reason for the EXP date. Now consider this. Propellant does escape from spray cans. Ever had spy paint and the propellant ran out with paint on the container? I have. I hike three seasons of the year in PA black bear country. I always carry bear spray. I have had to use it 2 times in 20 years. It is expensive. I had a can the expired. I called the manufacturer and this is why they said.

    Propellant leaks out over time. Do not assume that if it sprays it it OK. it will sprat with a decreased amount of propellant but that does not mean there is enough pressure in the container to assure it will spray for the amount of time that is required to 3rd of a threat. I bought a new canister.
     
  8. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I've never bothered to try spraying it, so maybe I should see what it's like and get some practice and buy a new can.

    I do have a smaller can of spray, a plastic one, that I got before this particular can I'm referring to, so I will have to assume that that bottle is toast because it's plastic.

    I'd like to not be stuck with just one can at a time, so does anyone know of the best deals for two or more cans at a time? I ask as I may not be buying for just me this time around.
     
  9. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Sabre makes a carry and home spray kit. The idea is big can stays at home, mounted somewhere and you carry the other. The large can is 5" tall so it is still small enough for most to carry.

    https://www.amazon.com/SABRE-Home-S...&sr=8-2&swrs=49578B47FF71B8C14BA4A1AC18059528

    Freeze +p in a 4 pack. Would make more sense just to buy 2 cans instead.

    https://www.amazon.com/Aerko-Intern...ld=1&keywords=freeze++p&qid=1584641471&sr=8-6
     
  10. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I have at least 5 cans of bear spray in my garage. All but 2 are expired.

    Here's how you do this: go get yourself a new can. (50 bucks and now you have two because two is one and one is none.) Weight the new can. Weigh the old can. If you have a dramatic difference (lighter) in the old can, throw it away; the propellant has leaked out. Otherwise, you're most likely good to go.

    Do not "test spray." All you're doing is opening the valve and losing some pressure. Keep in mind, with age you lose pressure; an older can won't shoot as far as a newer can.

    I carry my new cans in bear country, and loan my old cans out to others.

    ETA: Write the weight of the can when new (or first weighed) right on the can. Check weight every year or so. More than 10% drop in weight might be time to toss it. But I've got a can that expired in 2006 that still weighs what it did when new.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
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  11. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    That is a phenomenal idea. I have been carrying the Freeze since April 2017 so I may need to check mine. Do you have any sprays that have lost mass and if so how much?
     
  12. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Ummm, I haven't checked in a while. I generally only when the bears start coming out in the spring, but In the next day or so, I'll get them out and weigh them and get back to you. But no, I've not yet tossed one for loss of weight. Who knows, perhaps this could be the year.
     
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