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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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    Just to dig a little deeper on capsaicin topic...

    Capsaicin is the pepper plants defense mechanism to help ensure its survival. Its number one "predator" is us; mammals. Common thinking when it comes to hot sauce (and other pungent foods) is that we can build a tolerance and hence, would require hotter and hotter peppers to get the same endorphin rush. This is true to a certain extent. But only when it comes to taste buds and the perception of heat in the mouth.

    Even though oleoresin capsicum affects our mucosa the same, (causes an involuntary inflammation response) when it comes to the mucous membranes of the eyes and lungs it also has additional physiological effects. In the eyes, it cause inflammation (eyelids slam shut, pupil dilation) and also completely destroys the pH balance of them--albeit temporarily. In the lungs, it causes acute inflammation that comes on so suddenly, that it literally takes your breath away. How does this help when used for defense? If the perp can't breath properly he isn't going to be able to put up much of a fight. Since they can't breath, the likelihood of them having the stamina to fight gives you an enormous edge in that confrontation. Of course, you must also take care not to inhale the OC in the process.(Train, train, train!)

    That brings me to the crux of this post. When you hear someone say "they eat a lot of peppers, so they're immune to pepper spray" or "in their culture they eat tons of spicy foods, so pepper spray has little affect... blah blah blah"---It is pure and utter nonsense. Last time I checked we don't put hot sauce in our lungs. We don't routinely drop hot sauce in our eyes. Even if we could somehow "inject" hot sauce in our lungs (we can't, I'd probably be lethal) to "build tolerance" the acute inflammation that occurs is completely involuntary. This reaction is so pronounced that there is pepper spray used in prison systems that completely relies on just the OC vapor to incapacitate the inmates and get them to comply.

    So the next time someone starts spewing the typical pepper spray cliches, tell them to prove it and back up the rhetoric.

    OCT
     
  2. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    OC-Trainer, thanks for the info!

    Just wondering, do you know of anything that acts as an ANTAGONIST to the TRPV1 receptors, thus blocking the spray from getting a responce?

    What is the path that the OC spray takes to activate the receptors? Just through the eyes, or also through the nose and mouth?

    Are you aware of any pre-existing conditions such as nasal congestion or the use of nasal spray that would have an impact on the effectiveness of the OC, either good or bad?

    If someone has already been hit with OC spray, does a second dose make any difference, or all the receptors bound to the OC, and there are no more available? Would getting hit with one of the lower % sprays block the receptors from binding to the higher % spray?

    Hopefully I worded that right ;)
     
  3. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    Double post
     
  4. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Great question, kayak-man!

    Yes, trials involving different drugs have been shown to block some of the inflammation and pain that can be associate with different ailments. These have been hit or miss. Naturally the question comes up involving street drugs and if they too would interfere with the effective ness of defense sprays. Tear gas defense sprays are notorious for failing when used on someone under the influence of drugs. Their temporary immunity to pain is the culprit since CN/CS (as used in civilian defense spray) will not have the desired response when someone is on meth, for example. OC spray is superior because it works by way of inflammation, not pain.

    OC will activate the TRPV1. It's most beneficial (for defense purposes) when the OC enters the mucosa.

    A stuffy nose will very quickly become unclogged when hit with a good does of OC, or even wasabi for that matter. It will "trick" the body into thinking it's on fire and will ramp up production of all mucus in order to "cool" the lining of the affected mucus membranes. There is even an all natural nasal decongestant spray for this very purpose; to unclog the nasal passages.

    Once the OC locks in on the receptors, it will keep hold until removed. Full fat milk, sour cream, and the like, will help release the hold of the OC on the receptors. Unlike an arthritis cream that eventually desensitizes the skin where in is applied, there really is no worry of that when it comes to OC spray for self-defense. The only concern in regards to pepper spray is that you do not over saturate the targeted area(s). For example, today's stream type pepper spray is water-based. Using too much spray can actually help to rinse away the actual OC. Using just enough to slam the eyes shut is all it takes to give you an edge. Once the eyelids are closed they will not be able to open again without forcefully separating them. (Unless or until the OC is removed.)

    Hypothetically speaking: What if some thug gets his hands on the drugs that help decrease inflammation? Well, that is where the pH balance of the human eye comes in. Once that balance is destroyed, your eyes close. OC definitely does it. Shampoo will do it. Vodka will do it. Sand will do it too. Is there a human being on this planet that can take a fist full of sand in the eyes and keep them open? Drugs or no drugs it is physically impossible.

    Thanks for the question!

    OCT
     
  5. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply!
     
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Not ure where that might be - 12 years plus behind the wire, and I've been issued Bodyguard LE-10, (that stuff worked well), Sabre Red, (after a petroleum based OC spray soaked individual in Florida was lit up by a Taser and literally lit up, the state yanked our Bodyguard and gave us Sabre Red), which we referred to as 'seasoning in a can". I used it on two inmates fighting, did absolutely nothing.
    Now we have Phantom. That stuff is FOUL!:what::cool: It works like a charm, love it.
     
  7. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    My pleasure!
     
  8. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    http://www.safariland.com/0.7pct-mc/first-defense-.7pct-mk-9s-hv-vapor-oc-aerosol-1156865.html


    You mean Phantom... by Sabre?
    https://www.sabrered.com/pepper-spray/sabre-red-133-mc-39-oz-phantom-evaporating-fog-delivery-mk-4

    It is the same exact strength as Sabre Red (level III/10% OC/ 1.33%)
    ...and both are OC vapor, BTW

    OCT
     
  9. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Maybe in theory, amigo, but from hard, cold practical experience, not the same. The Sabre Red stream we had was junk. Again, practical "been there, puked on that" experience. I know Sabre makes it, but whatever the difference is, it is palpable. :) Also, Phantom has particulate, which gets kicked back up into the air every time someone walks through the stuff. Or when someone is dumb enough to open the rec pen door to "ventilate". The others didn't do that. Heck, even the can says particulate based. The only thing worse to walk through are the residue from the pepperball launchers. Now THOSE things are damn near useless. Gimme a 37mm Stingball round over pepperball any day. Seen two chow hall disturbances where pepperball did nothing but make noise. But they sure leave enough dust on the floor to make walking through it dangerous.
     
  10. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    I hear you. Perception is reality. Trust me when I tell you they are exactly same strength. The difference is the spray pattern. Stream have little to no affect on the lungs. The Phantom by Sabre is all about the lungs. That is where the differnce lies.

    I totally agree with you about the Pepperballs. They are made with sythentic OC (PAVA). It isn't nearly as good as the real thing.

    Stay safe,

    OCT
     
  11. Crawfish1

    Crawfish1 Member

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    OC-Trainer,

    Could you please suggest:
    • Pocket size/style
    • Holster size/style
    • Vehicle size/style
    • Home size/style
    What do you personally carry?
     
  12. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks for the questions Crawfish1...

    Keep in mind that, depending on your location, certain sizes may be restricted:

    --Stream/Sabre Red, Cone/UDAP World's Hottest, Foam/Inferno
    --Stream/Fox Mean Green or Sabre Crossfire, Cone/Fox Mean Green (5.3 works if you are ok with certain ingredients.
    --I don't recommend keeping any aerosol/pepper spray in a vehicle. Any of the personal size will do the trick
    --In the home you may want to stick with a foam (for easier clean-up).Anything above 4oz by a reputable manufacturer (see thread).

    I personally carry a yet to be released pepper spray that I am beta-testing (as a consultant). If this thing goes to market, it will be a game-changer.

    Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

    OCT
     
  13. Crawfish1

    Crawfish1 Member

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    OC-Trainer,

    Thank you for the quick reply. In your opinion what is the smallest size in fluid ounces that is still viable in a "normal" self defense situation ?

    I see multiple listings for different oz sizes. How many oz's would you recommend for every day carry?
     
  14. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Crawfish1,

    No problem...Pepper spray as small as the Spitfire (.18oz or there about) can be viable if used correctly. My personal choice would be to carry a 2oz assuming it is legal and you don't mind using a holster in the warmer months. The 2oz is almost universally seen as the most versatile size.

    Let me know if you need anything else.

    OCT
     
  15. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Just to piggyback on the post above; Some new pepper spray "gadgets" surface all of the time. One is a very tiny unit (.04oz) and one is so ridiculously overly complicated, in my opinion, that it should not even be considered for self-defense. I want to preface this by saying that I'm all for innovation and I applaud the effort, but both of the products are seriously flawed for SD in my view.

    http://www.littleviper.com

    Kudos to the mom who took the initiative to create something new. They are getting a ton of press too--good for them. Two things that strike me about this OC bracelet: What is the MC content? And what to you do when the perp grabs the wrist that the bracelet is attached to?

    http://www.getthedefender.com

    I have to be honest, I dislike everything about "The Defender." I don't even know where to begin with this thing. What is the MC%? $179 bucks? Really? What happens when it gets swatted out of your hand? A very real possibility in a physical altercation! A regular, run of the mill canister would easily survive a swat and fall to the concrete. This thing...not a chance. Again, kudos for the innovation, but the creators clearly know very little about real world self-defense. I would run, not walk away from this thing if I was searching for a quality pepper spray.

    THE most important consideration when selecting a pepper spray is the formula and the spray pattern. Neither of the gadgets above talk about the formula. They mention the Scoville heat units or the OC%, but not what really matters, the MC%. It's nothing personal against these two upstarts, I am merely pointing out the flaws in both--so folks do not fall for the latest, greatest SD gadget and the marketing hype. There are waaaay better choices out there for those considering pepper spray.

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  16. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    OP, thank you so much for this thread. VERY informative and awesome!

    I have a quick question, I have seen people tasting pepper spray on the extreme pepper channels on YouTube that I watch sometimes. Is pepper spray edible? What exactly is it made from? Actual pepper plants or just chemicals?

    Thanks!
     
  17. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks, Cooldill! I appreciate the kind words and I'm glad you find this thread helpful.

    There are a lot of knuckleheads on Youtube, no doubt about that. Purposely ingesting pepper spray is a really bad idea. Not only is pepper spray 80 times stronger (literally) than the most common hot sauce, most (not all) contain chemicals that can be toxic in large doses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrachloroethylene
    This solvent is used in: Fox 5.3, Pepper Enforcement, DPS

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane
    This is the propellant used in virtually every modern day pepper spray. AKA Freon

    So, bottom line: Oleoresin capsicum is a natural substance. The same active ingredient used in hot sauce and pepper spray. However, the addition of the various solvents, carriers, and propellants makes pepper spray something you do not want to put on your pizza!

    Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

    OCT
     
  18. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    OCT

    Just curious if you know anything about the pepper ball CO2 weapons. I don't know much about them, I'm not sure if they're even available to the public or not, I've just seen them on TV and thought it was a neat concept. It's just interesting outside the box kind thinking. But from the little I've seen of them I'm not sure the effectiveness is there, but the people they interview that use them swear by them.

    And BTW:
    Thanks again for bestowing your wealth of knowledge on us. :)
     
  19. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks, Deep South. The pleasure is all mine. My hope was that this thread could serve as a place to get all of the "Truth" about defense sprays. With so much misinformation online, I felt that it was time someone within the industry spoke frankly about these products instead of the usually marketing BS. I really appreciate all of the questions and interest in this thread, and I will keep answering and helping out in any way that I can. So thanks for taking the time to read it. To your question...

    I am a huge fan of OC projectiles. Unfortunately, they aren't available to civilians. The most important thing is always the formula itself, however the delivery system is always a close second in importance. Just like with aerosol less-than lethals, one must carefully select a product based what the formula is or isn't. In the case of Pepperball; You would want to stick with the capsaicin based balls. PAVA, a synthetic form of OC, isn't nearly as effective as the real thing. In certain parts of the world only PAVA is permitted for use, hence the reason it is even produced. It is also cheaper, so that also comes into play. Zarc Int. also makes OC projectiles, but they use only liquid OC, I believe. I prefer the liquid to the powdered PAVA/OC balls.

    Maybe someday these OC launchers will be made available to us. I know I would be first in line to purchase one.

    Thanks again!
    OCT
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  20. Sox

    Sox Member

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    OCT,

    Would you be so kind to elaborate on the pen devices out there. Specifically, the ones on EBAY currently. These seem to offer a lot of discretion and good utility if they are functional and adequate enough.

    Best of lot? e.g. Cold Steel "Inferno", Sabre Red version, and the "off label ebay stuff"

    I played with a MACE Pen and it was a quality device, but IIRC you stated a less than optimal concentration.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  21. thewillweeks

    thewillweeks Member

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    They are available, at least here in Kansas. I can go buy one right now at Walmart haha.
     
  22. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks for the question, Sox.

    Here is the deal with the pens. The pen units, like virtually every other defense spray component, is manufactured by the same company. So the actually pen itself is quality. The formula in the pen is where it gets tricky. MACE brands quality control for the OC formulations has proven to be very inconsistent over the years. Their formulas are almost never as hot as advertised. This is due to poor QC. To me, this is unacceptable as the #2 player in the game (behind Sabre). Since the formulation is the most important consideration when selecting a pepper spray, I personally can't recommend their products unless/until something changes over there.

    I would also stay away from the "off brands" for the very same reason. In addition to horrible QC with some of the no name brands of OC, you have almost no way of knowing what the formula actually is. Not to mention that a lot of the units sold on EBAY (and Amazon for that matter) are well into the shelf-life and useful life-cycle of the product.

    If a pen style unit is what you are looking for, stick with the one from Sabre, Inferno, or any other manufacturer with better QC than MACE.

    MACE has had massive fines from the EPA too. They lost their way a long time ago.
    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/05/mace_strikes_agreement_with_ep.html

    OCT
     
  23. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Thanks for the tip, thewillweeks!

    This is really interesting. I know Zarc and Pepperball have a strict no civilian policy when it comes the OC projectiles, so I looked into this. It sounds like Walmart (or someone at Walmart) isn't following the reseller/dealer agreement.

    Here is what I came up with. Perhaps it is from Rap4? If you scroll down to end of page you'll see the disclaimers.
    http://www.rap4.com/store/paintball/p/003720/less-lethal-live-rounds-live-agent-chili-pepper-filled-ball-bottle-of-100?osCsid=jkva7th5av6mbsk12s8q1ccuh1

    OCT
     
  24. gstockton

    gstockton Member

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    Thanks for all the good information ,I will be getting sprayed this Friday to get qualified for work(after a two hour class) is there anything i should or can do to be prepared for it thanks
     
  25. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    My pleasure. Thanks for the question, g.

    Generally speaking, OC certification is performed with a level I stream (.2% MC). You'll start with your eye closed, holding your breath, and the instructor with spray across your brow or eyelids. You'll be able to see until the OC runs into your eyes. From there, your eyes will dilate, the mucosa of the eyes will swell and you will not be able to open them normally. You most likely have to force them open to complete any tasks. The decon station will (hopefully) contain two rinsing basins and a fan. The best case scenario would be if there was whole milk available; very unlikely. Be extra careful to also wash your hair very throughly before you shower.*This is very important* (It makes for a very uncomfortable experience, if not). Otherwise the OC residue will be "reactivated" when showering and will run down to much more sensitive areas of the body.

    Good luck!!!

    OCT
     
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