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Pepper Spray--The Truth

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by OC-Trainer, Dec 17, 2014.

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  1. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Makeshift Metsubushi:

    Metsubushi (eye closers) have been used for centuries in combat. Modern defense sprays are the "high tech" version of eye closers. The key difference is that today's metsubushi cannot and should not cause permanent damage to the eyes or vision. (Unlike the majority of metsubushi from the past) That means wasp spray is out. Never, ever use any type of household cleaning product. As a general rule, if you can't eat it, don't use it.

    So what do you do if/when pepper spray or teargas is banned and/or not available to you?
    You must be creative and use what you have available to you. Contrary to popular belief, defense sprays are not supposed to immediately incapacitate someone (so always spray/throw or move). They are designed to close the eyes of an attacker. Sometimes (for any number of reasons) it will only cause the "blink" or "flinch" reflex, and other times it will slam the perps eyes shut and completly incapacitate them. A split-second of an advantage is all that you are looking for here when looking to escape or set up a counter move.

    A flick to the eyes with a hand, loose change, sand (if outdoors), drinking alcohol (if in a bar fight), anything at your disposal that will give you a millisecond advantage. Of course these techniques should only be used defensively. Need an under-the-radar pre-made solution? Try this: Get your average, run-of-the-mill squeeze water bottle and fill it with really tart lemonade. Edible, can be carried virtually everywhere, and will leave no permanent damage. Best of all, it works! Every get freshly squeezed lemon in your eyes? It is not fun. I guarantee you a direct hit it will keep the eyes closed for a number of minutes-- giving you ample time to escape.

    OCT
     
  2. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Ah, YT. A never ending source of people willing do try things so you don't have to. I don't endorse the videos below and I definitely don't recommend intentionally dropping lemon juice in your eye--and these are far from harden criminals, but the results would be the same across the board. Once you temporarily change the pH balance of the eye, the eyelid close involuntarily. These are the cleanest videos I could find/without being riddled with swear words.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrSHzKuKi0E

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2woW2HfGFs
     
  3. brianr23

    brianr23 Member

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    Piexon Jet Protector JPX

    Post elsewhere
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  4. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    I had an armature prepper buddy of mine tell me he stock piles vinegar, one of the reasons he listed was defense. He said you put it a simple water gun and its a excellent "pepper spray alternative"

    Just based on what you've said about eyes and PH I suspect he may be right.

    Anyway, I just thought it was an interesting idea.
     
  5. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks for sharing that, DeepSouth.

    Lemon juice and vinegar are pretty much right next to each other on the pH scale. They both work great for this application. That is the thing about defense sprays and this category- All of the manufacturers like for the consumers to believe that only they have the 'secret formula' when it comes to these products. The truth is that simply things like those mentioned above will do the trick if needed.

    True story: I had mustard explode in my face before. It burned something awful and I could not open my eyes or see clearly for at least 15 minutes. The vinegar was the main culprit for this discomfort.

    OCT
     
  6. Lord Teapot

    Lord Teapot Member

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    i've seen the effectiveness of foxlabs firsthand. it incapacitated 7 varsity football team members in my junior year of highschool. turned them into screaming confused children instantly, one of the most hilarious things i've seen in my life, i bought myself some shortly thereafter after asking what the brand was.
     
  7. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks for passing along your experience with OC, LT.

    The 5.3 is effective, no doubt about that. It is copious amounts of the chlorinated brake cleaner (tetrachloroethylene) that's responsible for the majority of it's effectiveness, not the "5.3 SHU." That is total marketing nonsense.

    https://www.pepperspraysetc.com/msds/Pepper-Spray-Fox-Fog.pdf

    Truth is, 5.3 is middle of the road in terms of true OC heat. I prefer the Mean Green, but either will get the job done.

    OCT
     
  8. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Spitfire Product Update:

    Just wanted to do a quick follow-up on a product that I discussed back in post #117. The formula has changed since my last remarks on it...and it changed for the better.

    Spitfire (by Security Equipment Corporation) has upgraded their formula. The older formulas by SEC contained .7% major capsaicinoids (MC) this is the active ingredient in pepper spray, and the only true measure of how "hot" a spray is. The newer formula (2015 production) has been increased to 1.33% MC. The formula is now twice a hot. This is a very good thing, indeed. In a future post I will go deeper into why there is even a tier system to begin with.

    One other thing to keep in mind about this product: It is one of the only cone spray pattern keychains on the market. An overwhelming majority of keychain pepper spray is the stream variety. The cones have a shorter range, but have the added benefit of affecting the lungs.

    OCT
     
  9. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    I haven't been able to go through all the questions here, so if I repeat any, please excuse. What I have read has been fascinating, and your knowledge (and that of those asking the questions) has been illuminating.

    Pepper spray's effectiveness is based on its ability to "involuntarily" shut down sinuses and blood capillaries within the eyes and so forth. The question is whether these involuntarily reactions can be overcome by repeated exposure or through mind altering or painkilling drugs?

    One day I was in a nice air-conditioned Wal*Mart in Paducah, Ky. I passed two guys in an aisle and they were discussing defense sprays. I suddenly found myself fascinated in the various brands of aluminum foils and sandwich baggies on the shelves just within earshot of the two. Naturally I was unabashedly eavesdropping, and it didn't take long to ascertain that one was a cop. (This was years ago, and pepper sprays were fairly new, so this topic was of particular interest.) And the cop was clearly impressed with the pepper spray. He explained that when they used Mace, officers were sprayed with it as part of their training. But since switching to pepper spray, he said, they were having a difficult time getting officers and trainees to go along with the program. What's more, he continued, _he_ himself was determined to never be sprayed with “the damn stuff“ ever again. He described the pain and recovery as being nearly unbearable. Since that time I've heard a number of LEOs describe being hit with pepper spray, but I've never heard any of them say they've built a resistance to the point of not being affected by it. What has been your experience?

    The other question relates to bears and the efficiency of pepper sprays. Ive had friends who have carried pepper spray dispensed as a fog; one carries a marine horn (which creates one hell of a blast), then there are powerful handguns, beginning with the .357 all the way up to bazookas. So which would you choose in the wild? 1) a .357 S&W 66 w/158gr JSP or 2) pepper spray fogger?
     
  10. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    @Confederate

    I appreciate the kind words, thank you. I also agree about the knowledge of THR's members, second to none. This is the only forum that I belong to. When I decided to finally create this thread and put this information out there, THR was a slam-dunk, perfect fit. To your questions...

    Simply put, it is not possible to build a tolerance to the physical effects of OC spray. Whether it's your first exposure or thirty-first, it will still have the same physiological impact. However, what does change (with repeated exposure) is the psychological. Put another way, a seasoned (pardon the pun) criminal whose had multiple exposures now realizes what's in store i.e. they won't be permantely blinded/effects are temporary-- they do learn to overcome those effects, the psychological effects. Someone whose had multiple exposures typically won't panic. That panic; as in "what in the world was just sprayed in my face" "I can't see/I'm dying/my face is melting" feeling does diminish; some.

    All that said, the eyelids will still involuntarily slam shut (blepharospasm) with a direct hit to the area around or near the eyes, and all of the mucosa will become inflamed. This inflammation is what really sets OC spray apart from mace/tear gas. Those work on pain and are much less reliable when someone is temporarily immune to pain. With OC spray, it doesn't matter if the person sprayed is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, this inflammation will still occur.

    As an aside, LEO who've been Tased and OC'd, say they would rather be Tased any day of the week.

    Regarding the bear spray: Statistically, bear spray is by far the safest and most effective way for dealing with a bear. It only comes in fog and is regulated by the EPA.

    I hope you find this info helpful. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any further questions.

    OCT
     
  11. glistam

    glistam Member

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    RE bears, I recall last year Mythbusters tested use of ground cayenne as a area-deterrent. The result was the bear crashing though an electrified barrier to get away from the pepper and having to be consoled by it's handler. And that's just with throwing it on the ground. Learned behind the scenes the handler was armed with two OC canisters, one in each back pocket, because that's what you do when you handle live bears for a living apparently. Sounds like pretty strong evidence that it works.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    OC-Trainer

    Thanks for the pepper spray info and all of your interesting observations and insights.
     
  13. Plink-A-Lot

    Plink-A-Lot Member

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    Thank you OC-Trainer for sharing your wealth of knowledge about OC with the forum. This has definitely been a high "value-added" thread!

    A few quick questions:

    - Did I understand you correctly in a previous post that although you generally do not like stream style sprays, you recommend these for use from automobiles? I suppose I could see how they might be better for spraying from a car window.

    - What would be an example of a specific OC type and product that you would recommend for someone who must commute through an urban, high crime area and would like a less lethal option?

    - When do you anticipate the product you are testing will be announced and then released for purchase?

    Thank you again!
     
  14. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    @glistam

    Sounds like a great episode-I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

    @bannockburn

    It's my pleasure. Thank you for the kind words. I'm happy to help in any way possible...
     
  15. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    I appreciate that, Plink! Happy to help...

    -That is correct. With rare exception, I think most people would be better served with a cone spray pattern. However, there are certain circumstances that I would recommend a stream or foam pattern over the cone. First and foremost if the person carrying it had a pre-existing lung condition e.g. asthma, emphysema. A huge advantage about the conical spray pattern is the fact that it really attacks the lungs (that is one of the reasons bear spray only comes in cone/fog). Now instead just temporarily taking away a perps sight, you can also take their breath away; literally. Now if the perp can't see or breath, the odds of them continuing to aggress is very, very low. This added benefit greatly adds to increasing chances for you to escape/flee in a physical altercation.

    Another benefit the cones bring to the table is "area denial." I was followed one time in a parking garage. Elevator was out, and I was forced to take the stairs (lucky me). Because of my SA, I was aware that I was being followed. I gave a 2 second blast of OC down the stairwell creating a "wall" of OC. The perp wasn't aware of this. He walked right through this wall and that was that. Sight gone and started coughing and choking while I made my escape. This could not happen with any other spray pattern.

    There are certain situations where I think a stream would the better choice. For example: If you are a cyclist or if there's a greater likelihood that you will be using OC spray in high winds, or to cut through wind drag (dogs chasing you while on bike). Maybe you travel through areas where carjackings are more prevalent, or if there was a greater likelihood of having to spray from inside your car out the window. Just a few examples of where a stream would be the way to go.

    -*Depending on your location, some of these recommendations may not be legal:

    Cone pattern (in no particular order): Asp Defender series or Spitfire, Mean Green, UDAP World's Hottest

    Stream (in no particular order): Anything Sabre (most everything they make is stream)

    There are a few others I like, but they aren't widely available or are limited to just LE.

    -The new product will be out, and widely available Summer 2015. Once my NDA expires, I will be able to talk more freely about it... ;)



    Thanks again, and please let me know if you need anything else.

    OCT
     
  16. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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  17. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    DeepSouth,

    Unfortunately it can be lethal at times, although it is very rare. Perhaps more info will be released about the specific incident you linked, but whenever there is death linked to OC spray there is one or two things in common: The individual had a pre-existing lung condition and/or was out of breath and struggling with LE/CO. There has also been a case or two that involved positional asphyxiation. OC is so effective in inflamming the lung tissue, that decon and medical treatment must be given immediately when deployed on someone with any kind of respiratory impairment.-Whether it's due to asthma or shortness of breath caused by a struggle.

    OC spray should be considered a less-lethal option, although it is commonly referred to as a non-lethal.

    Thank you for sharing the link to help point this out.

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
  18. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Well I have learned yet another thing from you!

    I always assumed it was non-lethal, that makes the third time I've been wrong. :eek:

    If I see the results of the investigation I'll let you know.
     
  19. Sox

    Sox Member

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    OCT, you had mentioned way back in a post about a new product coming to market and you would expound on it when able. Can you elaborate on this yet? Looking forward to it.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  20. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Happy to help, DeepSouth!
    I've been on the road the last few weeks. As soon as I get back in front of full sized keyboard I'll be posting some new, more in-depth info about the topic of lungs and OC.

    OCT
     
  21. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Hello, Dave! I'm currently bound by a NDA on that one. It will be expiring soon. Once it does, I will definitely do a full product review on it.

    Thanks...
    OCT
     
  22. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    OC-Trainer:

    I want to ask you about a case that happened locally. A man resisted arrest from police officers and was sprayed with OC spray. According to some news outlets it was an OC that was pulled from market for containing "too high" of OC. The suspect died at a local hospital as a result. The case is still very new so I haven't been able to find a brand. The officer is under fire because the OC wasn't department issue. What are your thoughts?

    http://www.al.com/news/tuscaloosa/index.ssf/2015/07/suspect_dies_after_tuscaloosa.html#incart_river
     
  23. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    herrwalther,

    DeepSouth also pointed out that OC incident. As more facts come out about the case, perhaps we we willl have some clarity on what took place. In post #243 I address the most likely cause. In regards to the brand used in this case being pulled from the market, it would be news to me. To my knowledge, a brand hasn't been pulled in quite some time. OC spray can definitely be too hot, but it would cause severe burns and permanent damage to the eyes. Generally speaking, 'death by capsaicin' will only occur if too much is ingested or if it creates severe respiratory distress. I'd bet the farm on the latter in this case. Curious to see if they do name a brand, though.

    OTC
     
  24. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Did not see his post and mine were related, so thank you for pointing that out. I try not to follow Fox news as they like to stir the pot quite a bit. AL.com is a local news blog site so the story showed up there later.

    I know that death and complications by OC is very rare so I am curious about the spray used more than anything. The most common OC spray issued among AL LEO is called Freeze +p. Which is considered one of the more potent formulas as I understand. Hopefully it is not that brand as that is what I sometimes pocket carry.
     
  25. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    No problem herrwalther and thank you for the additional info. I'm now even more intrigued by this case. In my experience it is becoming more and more rare for departments to use combo sprays (OC+teargas). If it turns out that a combo spray was used, then there is also the added probability that the heart (heart failure) could come into play here. The latest research on CS shows a strong link to potential heart and liver damage. That extra liability concern, plus the fact that CS/CN is almost useless when used on someone temporarily immune to pain (meth, bath salts, etc) is why most departments are shying away from these blends. Truth be told, it's the OC in the blended sprays that is doing all of the work.

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
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