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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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    Ok, back in front of a real computer and keyboard...

    A few posts back I spoke of the potential for pepper spray to be eventually banned in the US. It would be very unfortunate if this ban comes to pass for the millions of people who carry it as a self-defense tool (sometimes as the only option, because of state laws and other restrictions). Hopefully that day will never come, but if it does, you can be sure that the case that DeepSouth and herrwalther brought to our attention will be a part of the discussion.

    When the powers that be pursue getting pepper spray restricted or banned e.g. college campuses, it is almost always because of how the OC impacts the lungs, it is never about the impact of OC on the eyes. Make no mistake, OC does not discriminate. It will inflame any mucus membrane in comes in contact with: eyes, sinuses, and lungs. For someone with emphysema or asthma a good dose of OC--in a confined space, and without access to fresh air, and with no decon, could be lethal. Then, when you add a struggle to the mix, it is a recipe for disaster. Anything that delays decon after a full exposure (e.g. a struggle), to someone with a pre-existing lung condition, could increase the likelihood of complications. These things do not have to happen and almost always involve a string of unlikely events. (Sadly though, it does happen.)

    So, this begs the question...Why would anyone carry a cone pattern? Odds. The odds of hitting a moving target in the eyes/face while under duress are greater with a conical spray, than with any other pattern--and you get the added benefit of "crushing" the lungs. An attacker who can't see and can't breathe won't be much of a threat for long. In essence it is a trade-off, a greater likelihood of "hitting" your target (in the prime targets), vs a greater likelihood of some cross-contamination, and more importantly, a greatly likelihood of missing the target completely (with a stream). There is a reason bear spray only comes in a cone/fog and it's the same reason you never see a cone pattern used during what I like to call "pepper spray propaganda videos" all over Youtube. (You know the ones with the cadets being sprayed, then hitting bags that don't hit back? But that's a topic for another day. One day I'll expose that nonsense) It's because OC spray, in a cone pattern, and a major capsaicinoid (MC) rating of 1% or above, is just simply devastating. Cones are always my go to recommendation unless the user has a pre-existing lung impairment.

    TL;DR-Cone OC spray is the most effective and devestating form of pepper spray. If you have a pre-existing lung condition, you may want to look elsewhere, though (stream, foam, gel).

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  2. glistam

    glistam Member

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    Might be worth adding (though I'm sure it's obvious to some) that for people like us that are just interested in self-defense, we're far less likely to kill anyone this way. We're not chasing people down, cuffing people's hands behind there back and leaving them in awkward positions, or sitting on there chest. Though OC-Trainer's concerns are about these deaths being used to restrict OC are worthy of note. In Maryland, we passed a law restricting the use of tasers and other electric stun-devices for civilians after a cop accidentally killed a guy with one (the suspect was deaf). Yes, a cop kills a guy, and a law was passed that affects everyone else except the cops.
     
  3. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    @glistam

    Excellent point.

    On a side note (but still tying in this current topic), I just now realized you are in Maryland. There was a video filmed during the Baltimore Freddy Gray incident that shows just how devastating conical OC spray can be. Not sure if you or our fellow members have seen this video, so I linked below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YmTdMW9uSQ
     
  4. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    They must have had sights on that can. His attitude changed rapidly.


    This thread should be a sticky.
     
  5. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    @DeepSouth
    Appreciate that, thanks.

    I'm working on some new posts that will be quite in-depth, but I just wanted to do a quick post on a couple of things from FOX Labs.

    Fox recently released the 5.3 keychain in a flip-top (this was long overdue). This is definitely an improvement, as anyone who's every had the 5.3 in the 1/2oz prior knows. They still will be offering the old "twisty" actuators, for now anyway.

    Their next, soon to be released offering called "White Lighting" should be hitting the shelves soon. (For the record, this isn't the one I've been working on;) It is basically the opposite of Mean Green. White Lighting is a virtually clear pepper spray that is supposed to satisfy the needs of those looking for an option that doesn't have the trademark orange-reddish color oleoresin capsaicin is known for. I love the strength of the formula, but really can't get on board with the concept. Police academies have been using very weak, clear OC sprays for years, (more on that in a future post). Although it technically will be aimed at LE for "special environments," this is not something that a civilian would want to carry .There is a major flaw with White Lighting even for use in the LE sector, I'm actually surprised this escaped them. Clear OC spray (in a stream, no less) is about the worst thing I could think of for a civilian spray, but I digress. Anyway, If you are a fan of FOX Labs, stick with the their tried and true formulas (5.3 & Mean Green). My guess this spray (in the US) will go the way of Zima and Clear Pepsi (although I hear they're bringing it back :what:)

    OCT
     
  6. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Hopefully more companies will make more flip top spray. One of my pocket carry sprays is Sabre Red that uses the twisty actuator. After just a few weeks it would turn to fire in my pocket, thankfully never went off. I have resorted to using a small piece of cheap tape to keep it there until needed.
     
  7. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Member

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    Is this the wrong place to ask about holsters? I'm looking for one for my wife, I'd prefer one with a belt clip, with velcro that allows the whole thing (other than the clip) to be ripped off and the top allows the spray to be used while still in the holster. I've been looking around Amazon and not having much luck. Anyone familiar with such a thing?
     
  8. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    I believe we start seeing more and more flip-tops, even for the smaller units. Very early on in this thread, I mentioned that one company owns or owned (some have since expired) virtually all of patents on the actuators used on defense sprays. This is the same company behind the new flip-tops. Sabre introduced it first (as of this writing, it is only seen on their pepper gel), and now Fox has followed suit. The cases and actuators are from the same company. I think the twisty-type will still be seen for quite awhile, at least until the manufacturers burn through their remaining stock. Flip-tops are superior in every way.

    OCT
     
  9. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    You're in the right place. We can talk all things defense spray :)

    To the best of my knowledge, what you are looking for doesn't exist (yet). I know that some new accessories are in the pipeline. I'm personally involved in some R&D on one now. It is a ways off, though.

    The only one that I know of that is even remotely close to what you are looking for is one called "The Cyclist" by SEC. No belt clip though, and only uses 3/4 oz canister. It is rare canister size, but doubles very well as a kubaton. It is a twist and not a flip-top, however.

    One other note: Almost all holsters are designed for the MK3 size (2oz canister size) It is not uncommon for folks who carry the 2oz sized sprays to cut the top off these OC holsters for quicker draw.

    Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  10. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Member

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    I thought it was pretty standard for a lot of police departments to use tearaway holsters like what I described (although maybe not with the clip, maybe a belt loop instad). Am I mistaken in that?
     
  11. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Not 100%, but I believe Fox may have something like that and it's patented. The flap at the top is still there, though. In theory, you could conceivably deploy the OC with the canister still in the holster (which is something they suggest) if you angle it just right. In practice, and more importantly in the real world, it would be extremely difficult to pull off, in my opinion.

    OCT
     
  12. Sox

    Sox Member

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    OCT,

    Couple new questions. Can you comment on a few products I've stumbled on ebay recently.

    "Police" Magnum 17- is the 17.7% any real significance? e.g. How is this stuff formulated in the real world.

    Secondly, The above product is in a "Fire" extinguisher type nozzle like some of bear sprays, is this delivery any better than cone.

    Noticed a new product by Guardian with a unique squeeze nozzle. It looks like you palm it and sqeeze the nozzle between your two fingers. Has a clip for your pocket. When I was a kid I sprayed myself and my brother with a similar device. Back then it was CS or CN -mid seventies. We threw up for hours!!! What do you know of this new Guardian product and it's nozzle system.

    Lastly, what is your opinion of the Sabre Red Course for civilians? Are there any others you know of available to civilians or would recommend?

    Thanks again OCT, keep up the good work man, and I am looking forward to what you are working on!

    Dave
     
  13. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks, Dave. I appreciate it.

    To your questions...

    To be perfectly honest, Police Magnum is absolute garbage. The 17% OC rating is a joke and it means nothing in terms of how hot the spray is. Whenever a company bangs the super high OC% drum (anything above 10% usually), it is because the number that really matters, the major capsaicinoid (MC) content is really low. In fact, an OC product with that high of an OC% won't suspend or atomize properly to be effective. The raw OC used in pepper spray is super viscous. It is difficult, if not impossible for an aerosol chemist to make an effective pepper spray with an OC% that high. That means the company is most likely not being truthful about the actual formula composition. Other problems with this brand being reported are things like: Very weak propellant streams and even brand new units that do not even fire. Quality control is a big part of what makes a good product, aside from actual formula itself. Below is an example of someone testing it out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0bVlX6jSoo

    That said, "fire extinguisher" type of actuators are my all-time favorite. As of this writing, the best one on the market with that actuator is by FOX Labs. It is called the "Firemaster" It is a cone and only comes in the 5.3 formula for personal carry size.

    Are you referring to Guardian PD? I'm not familiar with what you are referring to. Can you post a link?

    This time of year; late July-early September, is the busiest time of year for the defense spray industry. These next few weeks are the equivalent of the holiday rush in December for the retail industry. There are so many new releases going to market, it is mind boggling. The majority of them are nonsense. For example, a recent release is "Vampire Spray" Huh? It is pepper spray with garlic. Are they serious? What a joke! I'm trying to right the "defense spray industry ship" before it capsizes. Some of these companies have already "jumped the shark" (MACE brand).

    The product you are referring to may very well be a winner. If you can point me in the direction of it, I'd be happy to take a look.

    OCT

    Edit to add: The Sabre program can't hurt, but it is for absolute beginners; someone who's never had or even held pepper spray before. It is nothing special and you could easily simulate the training in your backyard. They starting selling the practice units back in 2013. The inert units are definitely worth it. There really isn't any other civilian training available on a national level. Every so often you'll see a class pop up at a martial arts school, but that could be hit or miss.

    Let me know if you want/need some training tips and I'd be glad to help out. I've designed OC training programs in the past and I can post a rough outline on what to work on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  14. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Sox,

    I think I found what you were referring to.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GUARDIAN-VINTAGE-PERSONAL-PROTECTION-SPRAY-/321802076173?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aece6000d

    If this is it, it looks to be a 50 year old product that is long out of production. Incidentally, the oleoresin capsicum (OC) in it would still be "active", however the propellant is long gone, I'm sure. Looked like an interesting concept though. The "Palm Defender" by ASP has a slightly similar concept, as does the SpitFire by SEC.

    OCT
     
  15. Sox

    Sox Member

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    OCT,

    Thanks so much, awesome detailed info. So, I bought one of those old Guardians. I really just want the clip and actuator. My plan is to try and adopt it to a current ASP defender/palm spray cannister. Don't know if it would work.

    Someone needs to make a sturdy PEN unit for the ASP spray cannisters. Carry tip down in the pocket, with pocket clip and a clicky type actuator. Could serve dual use as a kubotan.
     
  16. glistam

    glistam Member

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    I have an ASP Street Defender, and it seems like that's exactly how it works other than it lacks a pocket clip.
     
  17. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    My pleasure, Dave. Anytime you need anything, just reach out.

    As an aside, the canisters and valve of the ASP pepper spray are shrouded in secrecy. It is a really closely guarded secret and an exclusive set up. I still don't know who supplies them the cartridges. Sabre does the filling for ASP, so you can rest assured that the formula is on point. Excellent QC. In turn, Sabre get to use ASP's patented design only by a different name.

    (I had a direct link here originally. It was to Sabre's version of the ASP. It suddenly stopped working. Perhaps they've found our little thread.)

    The best way to describe the cartridge...it's like a really small can of Reddi-Wip. A cottage industry has even popped up using the same cartridges.

    http://www.acecodefense.com

    Edit to add: I forgot to mention why the secrecy with these products. ASP Defender line and Spitfire are the only keychain sized pepper sprays that can fire from any angle/orientation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  18. OpticsPlanet

    OpticsPlanet Member

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    This has been one of the most informative and interesting threads that I have read in a long time.

    My experience with OC/Pepper Spray/Mace (i didnt know what to call it before today, now I dont know which one i encountered) was similar to a few of yours...misguided, unsupervised exploration as a youth with some of my lifelong cohorts. Namely, we test fired at a pillow and within 5 minutes all of us had received some type of exposure. ouch.

    OC-T, what is your opinion on wearables/incognito units??

    I saw that you posted the bracelet (with concerns about the formula) but over the years i have seen rings, lipstick, walking weights, fake cell phones and other assorted wearable devices or disguised units. None of them seem to be name brand or list their formulas so I would assume they are not worth the money, as well as the smaller units (the ring mostly) not having sufficient capacity.

    Are you aware if an Epi pen or another medicine could quickly counteract the effects of OC (reduce inflammation)? I would think it would be useful (similar to allergic reactions or Narcan for heoine OD). Otherwise, what are professionals required/able to use for decon in the field?

    whats the coolest or craziest prototype/unit that you've done T&E on or heard about through industry connections?

    do you know if the military uses OC? i would imagine MPs would have it, but curious if you have heard of other applications.

    Thanks for your time, experience, and patience.

    -Matt S.
     
  19. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    OC spray is not very common in the military at all. Even among MPs. I have encountered both where MPs were issued defensive spray of some kind and some who weren't. Largely dependent on supply of the unit. As to what kind, I have no idea. I was expecting to get issued flashbangs and OC spray based on our secondary mission in OEF to capture targets, but we never got either.
     
  20. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    What is the best method for disposing of expired OC cannisters without contaminating oneself or others?
     
  21. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thank you very much, Matt. I really appreciate the kind words.

    Frankly, a lot of the wearable units are severely flawed from a self-defense point of view. This actually touches on some of what I meant about "righting the defense spray ship." Take the Viper unit that you referred to. On one hand, I love the fact that a mom created it originally for her daughter, but on the other hand, it is such a horrible concept in terms of real-world use. Aside from the formula issues, anything the strictly requires two hands to fire is a loser in this category. Had they consulted the right people, they would have known this. Like most industries, it's become all about making money. The difference from a lot of the other industries though, is that this one may potentially save someone from an assault- or worse. When just selling as many of the cutest, blingy-est, little keychain, do-dad spray is all some companies cares about, then it discredits the entire industry. Worst of all though, these bad products can actually cost someone their life-- when the pretty little talisman doesn't work as intended.

    Here is a short list of some of the worst ever in this category. In no particular order.

    -Any of the lipstick units (formula can be ok, but you'll never get to it in time)
    -Any thing that attaches to a phone (Sabre had some real duds with those, and if they can't pull it off, no one can)
    -The Pepper Ring (I really wanted to love this when it came out in the late 90's)
    -Vampire Spray (an instant Hall of Fame garbage product)


    The most unique has to be a bracelet that the looked just like an ordinary bracelet a woman would wear, but it had powdered pepper in it. You could not tell at all this was a SD product. The problem is/was they made the bracelet out of glass :confused: which caused its own set of problems, of course.

    The Epi Pen aspect is a fascinating one. Great question, BTW. I have looked into this in the past. I've consulted with a bunch of first responders who deal with decon all of the time. A bunch of stuff has been tried over the years to no avail. In my opinion, I suppose it is possible in theory that some drugs could reduce some of the inflammation, but that would only really pertain to the lungs. Even if the drugs did instantly reduce the swelling, once the pH of the eyes is off balance, its lights out.

    EMT is always called for the decon in the field. Water, shampoo/dish soap and lots of fresh air are all that they use. The first responders are primarily there to help prevent lung/heart issues from the inflammation.

    herrwalther already touched upon the military aspect (thanks, herrwalther) One of the biggest users of OC spray right now is the US Border Patrol. They love the foams. Buy it by the pallet.

    Thanks again, Matt. Please let me know if you need anything else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  22. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks for the question.

    I always use them for practice. It depends how old the units are, of course, but most will still fire at 5-6 years old. The OC never goes bad, only the propellant. It is best to follow manufacturers recommendation. Just be sure to be mindful of the wind and have plenty of fresh air in the event of blow-back. The blow-back isn't nearly as bad as the YT videos makes it seem.

    As to the actually empties; you'd have to check with your local municipal waste management. It varies place to place.

    Good Luck!

    OCT
     
  23. glistam

    glistam Member

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    I have a follow-up question regarding wearables. Many years ago I read about a man named Domonique Torrence, who invented the Run Safety Security Glove. The device is designed primarily for joggers and consists of a unit that mounts on the back of the hand. It can be fired one-handed and was actually inspired by Spider Man. The goal appears to be immediate availability and weapon-retention during a struggle. The story behind it goes that Torrence's friend was attacked while walking home with a canister-style spray in her hand; she never got to use it because the assailant blind-sided her. Apart from the lack of information about the formula, do you see any other flaws in this design? Link to the site selling them is below.

    http://runsafety.com/
     
  24. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thank you for bringing that one up, glistam. I forgot all about that one. I haven't thought about that product for a while, so I reviewed the link. Boy, the site is even worse than I remember. How on earth do they have 0 information on the formula? When it was first release, I could have sworn there was at least some arbitrary number e.g. the usual SHU claims or whatever. But nothing, at all on their own website. Very puzzling to me.

    As far as the device itself, definitely better than the Viper bracelet. I appreciate the time someone took to bring it to market, but a few flaws jumped out at me when it was first release: (Setting aside an ambush style attack which, of course, is always the most troublesome)

    -You lose the element of surprise with that unit. You are definitely not going to surprise the BG with a dose to the face like you could with a "cupped" keychain or 2 oz unit.

    -The unit itself says "grab me here first", essentially eliminating the potential for a "border shift" (to borrow an old west gunfighting term) that you may possibly be able to pull off with a non-attached unit

    -How wearable/usable is it with long sleeve or a winter coat etc?

    My guess is the Run Safety Security Glove is already DC'd, or soon will be.


    Here are a couple of others of note the weren't wearables, but went the way of the dodo bird:

    One of the reason Sabre came out with "Blue Face"
    http://www.pinkstinker.com

    Loved this one, sadly it didn't survive. Women refused to carry anything that big.
    http://www.interamer.com/hotshotpepperballpepperspraywholster.aspx

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM_uJUgZ9zs
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  25. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    I'll be working on some pretty deep posts over the next few days. In the mean time, I just wanted to reiterate something that I discussed a few times throughout this thread. It will also dovetail nicely with the next post.

    There has never been a video documented case of someone being immune to OC spray. I put it in bold for emphasis because it is THE most prevalent myth regarding pepper spray. There's been hearsay "evidence" in reports and urban legends, but never video proof of someone being sprayed with a genuine 100% OC product (from a reputable company, where the viewer actually sees the OC enter the persons eyes) and being completely unaffected by it.

    Conversely, the link video below may very well be the most compelling OC video ever recorded. It shows very clearly how devestating capsaicin is to the mucosa of a human being (and all mammals). Thankfully the snake oil used in the video never made it to market. This very video is the reason why. Grab some popcorn...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6eoQLhG_B8


    Edit:NSFW (language)...Poor guy didn't know what hit'em.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
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