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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    Great point, glistam.

    Generally speaking, the smaller the unit, the shorter the range.

    OCT
     
  2. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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  3. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    No worries, their site is confusing.

    Everything in that link is the World's Hottest Line. All 4 in there are conical sprays. UDAP does make other pepper spray that is not the WH. All the rest are stream patterns.

    Please let me know if you need further assistance.

    OTC
     
  4. DeepSouth
    • Contributing Member

    DeepSouth Random Guy

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    OC-Trainer

    Was just wondering if you know how effective the average sprays are in real world situations. Have their been any studies to try to find out how often sprays are used and actually stop the threat, including misses and such.

    Also I can't think of any way to practice without spending piles of cash, and even then I'm not sure how effective it would be. Just curious as to what my be out there.

    One more question, when used indoors how much area is going to affected. My thinking is if you have to use it indoors could you potentially be hindering people that could be coming to help.

    And thanks for sharing your time and knowledge, it's appreciated :)
     
  5. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    He is answering questions quite effectively, if you have nothing but this nonsense to post why even burn the calories?
     
  6. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Great questions.

    Every study that has every been conducted regarding OC, was done in the context of how it's used in law enforcement for compliance. These studies are very flawed, with almost all the results coming from subjectivity. To my knowledge, there has never been a study involving OC and civilians.

    There is no question that pepper spray can give someone an enormous edge in just about every type of confrontation. The civilian in a SD scenario, it gives LE and CO a less than lethal compliance tool, and, unfortunately, it aids the criminals in committing crimes, primarily shoplifting. Although it can be used many different ways, there is one common denominator; the OC MUST make contact with the mucosa of the eyes. This is priority number one when using OC. The best way to insure that is with a conical spray pattern.

    Every pepper spray pattern has it's pros and cons. Speaking strictly for the civilian, get the one that is most likely to achieve that goal, getting the OC into the eyes, of someone who intends you harm. If someone wants to train, then pretty much any spray pattern will work for them, most folks do not, however. That is why the cone patterns are the default recommendation. Make no mistake about it, if a cone is used indoors, it will eventually affect everyone in some capacity. It gets into the ventilation system and then thats all she wrote. That is why you always here of schools and mall having to be evacuated after some pepper spray goes off.

    Here is a quick cheat sheet of the patterns for civilian carry:

    Cone>Foam>Stream>Gel

    Think you're most likely going to be using it indoors? Go foam. Worried about the "drive-thru" type of assaults that are growing in popularity? Get a stream. Stay away from gels. No one but LE should be using gels, in my opinion.

    As far as training: All the major players make "inert" training units. These simulate the spray pattern, number of shots, and form factor. It is exactly the same, minus the pepper. Forget the shooting a paper target videos. That is not realistic. Have someone rush you wearing googles or glasses. Practice drawing, spraying and moving. The inerts only contain distilled water, but are ideal to asses ocular saturation. You'll quickly see just how hard it is to hit a moving target in the eyes. Then you truly appreciate the cone/foam over the streams.

    Please let me know if you need anything else.
    OCT
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  7. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thank you for that, HK, appeciate it.

    Let me see if I can give some more of what he's looking for.

    "Someone who eats a lot of peppers won't be phased by pepper spray."

    Myth- Aside from it always activating the capsaicin receptor, pepper spray completely (but temporarily) destroys the ph balance of the eyes. It is impossible to build a tolerance to that.

    "Foam pepper spray can be flung back at the sprayer."

    False- Modern pepper foam liquifies instantly upon contact. Besides, how the hell is the perp going to know where you are after you sprayed him?

    "Police grade pepper spray"

    Marketing garbage. No such thing. Civilians have access to the same strength formulas as LE.



    Here is a deeper break down of the brands in the US Market and some inside info.

    Sabre got its name from the Buffalo Sabre hockey team. Almost no one knows that.

    UDAP is filled by Defense-Tech. Mace has its own separate manufacturing facility. The used to be in Vermont. In VT they got hit with massive EPA fines. One of the reasons that adds to my dislike of them.

    Mean Green was created to offer a product that was "cleaner" than the 5.3. Mainly to deal with the Prop 65 in California.

    DPS was started by someone who used to be the number 1 seller of Fox 5.3.
    He branched off on his own and started that brand. Formulas are virtually identical, just with higher PSI.

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  8. 308win

    308win Member

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    If your target is wearing glasses that are as large or larger than the eye socket will the cone pattern still get to the eyes effectively or will there be an appreciable delay? What about 'wrap around sun glasses', will they effectively block the spray.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  9. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Ah, this is the beauty of the cone and foam patterns...

    It is difficult, if not impossible to predict how long it will take for OC to enter the eyes if someone is wearing glasses. There are just too many variables. This is where the cone and foam patterns really shine, hence why the two are tops in my opinion:

    Cone--gives you the added advantage to affect the breathing. The OC will also eventually run
    and enter the eyes. Completely cover everything in one good shot.
    Foam--give you the added advantage of obstructing the vision. The OC will also eventually
    run and enter the eyes. Will affect breathing when foam enters the nose.
    Stream-OC will eventually enter the eyes, but you must hit above the brow. Need direct hit
    to the interior of the nose to affect breathing.
    Gel-- Doesn't run at all. If someone is wearing glasses, you are basically out of luck. Will
    not run down into the eyes. Doesn't affect breathing at all.

    OCT
     
  10. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Please pardon my ignorance, but when you talk about abiding by the expiration dates and how important it is, I'm wondering what it is that expires over time?
    Does the OC degrade? Or pressures in the can drop and decrease range? What is it that is actually losing its efficacy and why/how?

    As long as OTC hasn't responded yet, I'll take the opportunity to edit and tag another question onto my post.
    The Ruger spray with the alarm and strobe: Is it as much of a BS gimmick as it sounds, or do you see there being any benefit to it? Tactically, do you see the alarm as perhaps being detrimental as it could give someone's position away if hiding, or if one is trying to discreetly draw pepper spray into the hand (ie. woman in the parking garage who MIGHT be being followed who wants it in her hand just in case, but hasn't yet been attacked).
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  11. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Residual effects.....

    I'm sure OCT would agree that many well made OC sprays and products have potent effects.
    Human beings are constantly touching their faces. The strong OC formula or agent will get into the eyes, nostrils, mouth, ear canals, etc. :uhoh:
    I was sprayed with a weak Mace mixture and can tell you.
    Even with glasses or trying to cover your mouth or face, you'll smell, taste and feel the dramatic effects.
    Our cadre said a loss of balance & a possible weakness may occur. At first I didn't feel these conditions but about 90sec to 2min in, I was off balance and disoriented. :uhoh:

    Rusty
     
  12. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Hello 19-3Ben,

    The OC never loses its potency. The reason there is an expiration date is solely due to the propellant. Most modern day pepper sprays will last a good 3-5 years (depending on brand) before it needs to be replaced. All the best sprays now mostly use 134a as a propellant. This allows constant, reliable pressure throughout the life of the product. From the minute the can is filled the propellant begins to leak out. All be it very, very slowly. This can be accelerated if the canister is not stored properly. Leaving it in a hot car will also shorten the products shelf-life.

    I'll also add that I would replace the product if/when used in a self-defense situation. Reason? You'll never remember how many sprays you fired. Better to just start with a fresh can after that situation.

    Regarding Ruger: They certainly have a lot of bells and whistles, but mention little about the most important part, the formula. They only mention 2 million SHU. I'm always leery when a company doesn't disclose all the number of a formula. Here is an example of what a very strong formula looks like: 10%OC, 2 million SHU, 1.33% MCs. The last number is the most important. Whenever a company doesn't list all three, I worry. To me they are playing games with the numbers. In a nutshell, if I can't confirm that the product is a certain strength, then I personally would not use it. Maybe they can shed some light on the specs of the formula. If not, look elsewhere.

    Edit: I do not like the all in one alarm in the Ultra. As long as it can be used independently, fine. If not, I agree that it meet be a problem in certain situations.

    Please feel free to reach out if you need more assistance.

    OCT
     
  13. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Totally agree Rusty. Like ketchup, mustard, and syrup. It just winds up everywhere somehow ;)

    OCT
     
  14. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Let's roll....

    Hi OCT:
    Keep going with your informative posts.
    :D
    I did mean to ask a few days before, what's your take or the industry input say about private citizens or OC can owners who might spray the product once or twice? Just to test it?
    In the 2000s, I used to put a burst or 2 into a toilet. :rolleyes:
    Not a smart move! :uhoh:

    I've read forum posts and "advice" saying Mk III or MkIV size OCs can be ruined by discharging or firing the product. I don't agree with but wonder if you ever saw this same thing.

    Rusty
     
  15. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks Rusty!

    There seems to be two different schools of thought on this. Some brands recommend a test fire every so often, and some do not. Sabre, for example, test fires every canister before it leaves their factory. A quick test shot every now and again definitely can't hurt, and will not affect the useful life cycle of the product, other than the fact that you'll now have 1 or 2 fewer shots remaining.

    The best thing to do after doing a test shot, is to take a Q-tip and wipe around the nozzle. Otherwise it will wind up on your hands, and ultimately your face, thanks to Murphy's Law ;)
     
  16. conw

    conw Member

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    Oct, thanks for all your work here. Great stuff.

    Do you have any experience, and opinions, regarding the spitfire key chain oc unit?

    They were bought out by sabre red a couple years ago but i believe they used to be their own outfit. I will go ahead and say, i like them and I give them as gifts frequently because of the fact they are inexpensive, good safety/trigger/aiming orientation, and are not only refillable but also have the option of a non-oc training cartridge. I like that it's a cone/fog and I find a 4 second total discharge to be an acceptable limitation.

    Only downside i have noticed is after 6-12 months of use the outer body sometimes falls apart. I think that could be made better without fundamentally changing the design.

    I am interested in any and all thoughts. Thanks in advance!
     
  17. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thank you, conw!

    I am a fan of the Spitfire. I prefer the version prior to Sabre acquiring them, however. Same exact design as before, but Sabre actually weakened the formula. When is was still Spitfire out of TX, the formula was a level III (10% OC, 2 million SHU, 1.33% MC). Now it is basically half the strength at .70% MCs. The ASP defender line (discussed above) has all of the same attributes as the Spitfire e.g. cone pattern, can be sprayed from any direction etc, but is the formula that Spitfire used to have prior to Sabre screwing around with it. Sabre weakened the formula for one reason; so it can be sold in every state in US.

    If you like the concept of the Spitfire, but want a more durable design, go with the ASP. If these will be mostly gifts for females and you need/want a more feminine design, there is a company called Pepperface* that "blings out" standard ASP defenders with pretty colors and such. Considerably more than the Spitfire, but it will last a lot longer.

    *I have no affiliation with them whatsoever.

    Thanks for the question and please let me know if you need further assistance.

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  18. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Is OC safe and effective to use on aggressive dogs in the neighborhood, with no long term effects?
     
  19. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks for the question.

    Yes, pepper spray is great for use on aggressive dogs. The USPS has been using it in this capacity for decades. Although, there are dog deterrents that are just weaker versions of human pepper spray, any pepper spray product will work. Dog deterrents only come in stream spray patterns and much like using pepper spray on an aggressive human, it can be quite tricky to hit a moving target charging you. Going with a conical spray pattern will make it much easier to use on a charging dog.

    OCT
     
  20. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  21. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    I actually just saw a new dog deterrent product made from citronella. It won't be nearly as effective as OC based sprays, but it seems to sell well.

    OCT
     
  22. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    This thread has encouraged me to carry pepper spray again. Just another thing to stuff in my pockets.
     
  23. riceboy72

    riceboy72 Member

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    OC-Trainer,

    An invaluable and overwhelming brick of information in this thread, all thanks to you. Your easy to follow writing dispels rumor, soldifies and reinforces fact, and answers those questions we've always wondered but never asked, or had anyone to ask. Each question posed to and answered by you is of tremendous help. I commend you for your frank answers and willingness to help anyone who asks you a question.

    Two things: Our department started with Aerko's Cap Stun in 1992, then went to Punch II when they changed, and now issue DefTec's 1.3% spray, which they've used for years after a brief trial and issue of Sabre Red Crossfire. They seem to do their research before buying anything, and it seems like favorable results have been achieved with DT's 1.3% compared to their earlier (and seemingly weaker) sprays. In the overall scheme, does DT 1.3% rank up there for defense sprays? I know you cited the three numbers, but I don't remember what or if the can has it on the label.

    Also, does the Crossfire or 360 degree technology really work? I know the claim is you can spray it at any angle, but I've not known anyone who has used the can upside down so I'm not sure if this is a marketing gimmick, or if it's legitimate.

    Lastly, I've long heard that people who have dark skin or are of African or Asian ethnicities can be affected by the spray less than those who are Caucasian. Is there any truth to this, at all? I continue to hear this but have never been able to confirm it as anything more than a rumor via Google and street talk.

    Again, thank you for your insight and help. You have elevated the available knowledge of OC sprays to a new level. It is appreciated.
     
  24. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    I hear you. It is especial tough to carry in the warmer months. If you are in a location that permits sizes 2oz and up, you could always use a holster. In the winter, it's a lot easier to just throw the OC in a jacket pocket.

    Aside from a wallet and keys, OC is the other thing I never leave the house without. I'll forget my phone before I forget to bring OC with me. I use a holster and it is with me all of the time.

    OCT
     
  25. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    riceboy72--thank you very much for the kind words, it really means a lot. It is my pleasure to dispel so many of the myths and misconceptions that circulate the interwebs.

    To your questions:

    Dtech's 1.33% MC is an excellent spray. Although DT is part of the MACE/UDAP family, it is manufactured in its own facility and is nothing like MACE brand(which is trash). 1.33 is a level III spray manufactured in an ISO 9001:2008 facility. It doesn't get much better than that. It is essentially the same formula as Sabre Red's 10% OC/2 million SHU/1.33% MCs

    Crossfire will spray from any angle. It uses bag on valve technology. The bag is filled with the OC and the propellant sits in between the canister and the bag. It definitely works and is legit. That tech is only available to LE or COs though. As an aside, if any civilians are looking for pepper spray that sprays from any angle Spitfire (Sabre) and ASP Defenders series are currently the only choices.

    This is a very common myth and I'd be happy to squash it once and for all. There is absolutely no truth it. Every single person regardless of race, ethnicity, or skin tone will suffer the same. Eyes are eyes, mucous membranes are mucous membranes. It will activate the same neuropathways on every single person on this planet. The eye closure is completely involuntary and due to acute inflammation. Put another way, the only race that matters when it comes to OC, is that you are of the human race.

    Thanks again and please let me know if I can help with anything further.

    OCT
     
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