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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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    Can't remember if I've ever addressed this here or not, but I wanted to take a minute and discuss probably the biggest marketing ploy for pepper spray. The "police grade" wording in advertising. There is no such thing as "police grade." There are certain technologies that are restricted, but not pepper spray strength.

    The majority of police departments and agencies actually use weaker pepper spray than most every civilian pepper spray. Why? For the simple fact that LE must deal with the decon. A weaker spray means a shorter decon time. Most civilian sprays will take a good 45 minutes for the effects to wear off. The weaker strength sprays commonly used by law enforcement have a decon time around 15 minutes. That doesn't mean that they are using some off brand, it just means that they are using a level I spray (.2% major caps) vs a level III (most civilian spray is at 1.33% MC).

    Civilian grade > police grade (most of the time)
    Look for at least a level III spray (anything above 1% MC) when you go to make that purchase for yourself and loved ones.

    OCT
     
  2. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    First Defense; Red Label mark 04 ....

    I ordered a new Mk 04 size(04 oz) Safariland Red Label 1.3% cone style from www.PoliceHQ.com . It was on sale with free S-H. $11.61 total, ;) .
    I needed a replacement for my Zarc Industries/Vexor Micro-Spin.
    The remarks posted in this topic and the big savings(approx $11.00) led me to the choice of Safariland Red Label MK 04.
    I already own some Fox Labs Mean Green MK 03 OC spray for personal defense/security posts.

    If I get a Taser C2 EDW then I will add the Red Label Mark 04. Win-win. :D
     
  3. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

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    Been through the OC contamination/self defense gauntlet in training for detainee ops. Direct full strength shot to face then you run an armed/unarmed gauntlet. Absolutely miserable experience, but doable. Short timed decon after, grown men were screaming hours latter that night when the stuff started to run in the shower. Seen mixed results down range, from quick compliance to pretty much no effect at all.
    My two cents, just know it's limitations and don't expect an immediate stop. Adversary could very well still beat you after being sprayed.
     
  4. joe_security

    joe_security Member

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    Rusty you hit the nail on the head. That's the old Bodyguard LE10. I consider it the OC of choice. I'm told Fox is another good one. Mk2 -mk4. I don't trust the pressure on the smaller mk6/mk8.
     
  5. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    @Zardaia

    ^This is what I wrote regarding OC cert not too long ago. Showering is always fun after :) Also, you brought up a good point. Even if the perp can't see, he can still grab hold or swing a fist. Always important to spray and keep moving.

    @Rusty
    Great deal on a great spray. Especially if you plan on using with Taser.

    OCT
     
  6. gstockton

    gstockton Member

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    I was sprayed on Thursday about 5:00 pm for work they used a fox level III it now Sunday evening I still cant harley see ....and I have blister on my cheek beneath my eye...my eyes are blood red.....been washing out with baby shampoo and eye drops...the swelling went down around my eye not sore as it was, but it feels like my eyes still swelled.. is this normal ...should I go to eye DR. or wait another day or 2 ?Thank for your help!
     
  7. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    gstockton,

    Which product where you sprayed with?

    In the meantime, it couldn't hurt to have it looked at...

    OCT
     
  8. gstockton

    gstockton Member

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    fox level III stream

    it was fox level stream III............thanks
     
  9. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    For the record, I'm not a doctor. However, if you were sprayed with the 5.3, which is "only" a level 2, than most likely you are suffering from chemical burns due to the solvent PERC. Fox's level 3 is Mean Green, which does not contain PERC. PERC is notorious for causing chemical burns. It's the reason most departments will not use 5.3.

    Seek medical attention, and be well.

    OCT
     
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    OC,

    Is there a list or table of species that do and don't respond to chemical sprays so people can know what does and doesn't work on what critters?
     
  11. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    hso,

    Regarding oleoresin capsicum (OC)- aka pepper spray, it will work on all land mammals. Most commonly used on dogs, cats, bears, mountain lions, cougars, even elephants, since every mammal has "capsaicin receptor." The only species known that it has no effect on is birds (because birds help spread the seed of the plants). To my knowledge, no study has ever been performed on CN/CS--tear gas and animals.

    Hope that helps...
    OCT
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That meshes with the zoo information I've been reading. Zoos use OC with dangerous land mammals for safety to help protect zookeepers and the animals themselves.
     
  13. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Although "human" pepper spray would technically work, the zoos are required to use bear spray even though it is essentially than same thing. Any use of OC on animals must be an EPA registered product (which bear spray is). Bear spray and dog deterrent are the only type of OC with government regulation in the US. Bear spray, by law, must be at least 1% major capsaicinoids (MC) and cannot exceed 2% (MC). Dog deterrent is much weaker. Usually in the range of .25% MC. Dog deterrent only comes in stream pattern and bear spray is cone pattern only.

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  14. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    OCT, dog attack: Pasco County FL....

    Hi OCT,
    Just wanted to ask if you saw the recent dog attack/deputy shooting incident in central Florida. A Pasco County Florida patrol deputy answered a alarm call at a farm property.
    2 large Rottweiler dogs ran up to the deputy as he walked towards the house.
    One of the large dogs was extremely aggressive and the deputy shot the animal, wounding it(sidearm brand and caliber: unknown).
    The property owner who later stated the alarm was fake. She was upset and demanded the sworn deputy kill the wounded dog on the scene.

    The Pasco County Sheriff said the deputy's acts were prudent and within policy.
    What do you as a industry insider think the deputy could or couldn't do to deal with this critical incident. I don't think OC spray could have worked fast enough.
    The videos of the incident describe what happened, it's not easy to watch but it's worth discussing.
     
  15. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Rusty,

    I was not aware of this incident. Let me look into it...

    OCT
     
  16. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Rusty,

    Wow, what a disturbing event. I try not to Monday morning quarterback these types of situations because everything happens so quickly, but the little information that I was able to find definitely raises a lot of questions. Facts are hard to come by and if some of the info that I've read turns out to be factual then this incident needs to be dealt with properly. Until then, I will just stick to whether or not OC would have changed the outcome any.

    To your question: To be honest, I do not think that OC spray (as it is currently carried by police departments) would have been effective in this situation. Here's why...

    Assuming the deputy even had OC on him (I wasn't able to confirm this either way), the strength of the spray and spray pattern used by the majority of departments would have been all wrong for trying stop an animal who may or may not have been charging. Generally speaking, the standard issue OC spray that police carry is on the weaker side of the scale and (most importantly) is a stream pattern. There is a reason that bear spray, for example, only comes in a large, conical pattern; it is very difficult to hit a moving target accurately while under duress. However, if the deputy would have had bear spray and chose to use it, I am 99.999% certain that this incident would have turned out differently.

    For the record, I hate dog deterrent OC. It's weak and the spray pattern is the opposite of the "right tool" for the job. I have been lobbying for years to switch the patterns on these from stream to cone. The USPS always complain that they can't connect with the little ankle biters that attack them. It's because they can't accurately spray the target area. Lack of training plays a part, but mostly it is due to the needle-like stream of OC. They simple can't use it properly. Conversely, bear spray is everything that is right. Large spray pattern, sufficient pungency. Switching over to a "smaller version" of bear spray would solve the problem.

    Bottom line: if you look at this specific incident in FL, I think a case could be made for arming all police with bear spray. In my opinion, police should have a less than lethal option in these situations. The dog in this incident did nothing wrong, it was protecting its home and owner against what it believed was an intruder. It died for nothing.

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

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  17. texasred777

    texasred777 Member

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    Although I think I know the answer after reading this thread, I'd like your opinion on the situation I faced. In the mid/late 1970s I was delivering propane to a customer that told me if his dogs gave me any trouble to feel free to use some of the USPS type spray on them. I had a canister that came from the postmaster in the town where I worked. (His brother-in-law was my boss.)
    I drove to the place, and started to open the gate to the yard. One of the dogs started trying to bite me when I reached the other side of the gate to remove the hook to release the chain around the gate. I reached into the truck and got out the spray. I went back to the gate and started to open it again, and the dog tried to bite me again. I sprayed the dog, he ran back a few steps, turned around, and came back like he was mad at me for spraying him. I sprayed him again; using a longer 'squirt'. He again ran off a little way, rubbed his face in the grass, then came back really mad. This time I really gave him a long squirt. He ran off again, laid down, and started pawing his face. I drove into the yard, filled the tank, drove back out, closed, and chained the gate. When I left, he was still in the same spot and still pawing his eyes.
    Did I just not get enough in his eyes those first and second times?
     
  18. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Audio signals, dazer laser.....

    Thanks for the new post OCT.
    I agree with the comments. I'm not sure if Bear spray is the answer but maybe the LE agency can T&E the newer audio signal devices. They emit sounds that humans can't hear but will cause dogs to be docile.
    I've also read and saw a few web items about the cool Dazer Laser system.
    That device puts out a large green distractor type light. It's shown to work very well in corrections, mental health wards and civil disorders.
    I'm not sure how well the Dazer Laser could work with dogs or pets but it may be practical.

    Rusty
     
  19. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    @ Rusty

    Thanks, and I totally agree. It doesn't even have to be bear spray (though it's the cheapest and most readily available option) the ones you mentioned would be great too. Just as long as something is done to prevent these sorts of things.

    OCT
     
  20. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Texas,

    Thanks for the question.
    Most likely it was the product and/or not enough OC entered its eyes. As mentioned above, dog deterrent is very weak. If you used an issued spray, it was most likely 'Halt', which is garbage in my opinion. Aside from a weak formula and awful spray pattern (stream) as it relates to hitting something with fur covering its eyes, it is possible to over-spray. For example, spraying too much of the product can actually 'wash away' the OC. The OC is the active ingredient and it is a very small percentage of this formula. The other fluids eg carrier, solvent etc can over saturate the area and strip the most important ingredient (OC) away. Furthermore, it has been my experience that the keen sense of smell that dogs posses is the main reason why OC is so effective in stopping them. You only truly can exploit that with a cone pattern.

    OCT
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  21. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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  22. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Using chemical sprays in the commission of a crime is already the rationale behind requiring permits to have OC. Anything we can use to defend ourselves can be perverted into a criminal tool and give authoritarians their basis for prohibiting our access to it.
     
  23. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    Could not agree more. Sadly, it is already being banned on college campuses. Female students are among the most at risk groups for assaults too. I believe the latest statistics have it at 1in 5. Scary stuff.

    OCT
     
  24. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    This thread is about dispensing the truth about defense sprays. So I wanted to point out this ridiculous article that I came across out of Baltimore. OC is being used by the gallon there as I type this.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baltimore-protests-experts-caution-milk-antacid-wash-pepper/story?id=30653488

    I am not a doctor, but after years working in this industry I can tell you that full fat milk (and any full fat dairy product) will absolutely help with the decon process after an OC exposure. Tear gas-no. OC--yes. They say they don't recommend it because 'milk isn't sterile.' Well, neither is OC...or tap water for that matter!

    OCT
     
  25. OC-Trainer

    OC-Trainer Member

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    This is just a small sample from the past few weeks of pepper spray being used offensively. Using peppers spray in this manner is a criminal offense. It is incidents like these that will most likely be the catalyst for the eventual banning of pepper spray, I'm afraid. I hope I'm wrong.

    http://www.wsfa.com/story/28987465/man-pepper-sprays-staples-manager-after-refused-item-return

    http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/05/05/4511422/police-seeking-suspects-who-robbed.html

    http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Man-Pepper-Sprays-Driver-Infants-During-Road-Rage-Incident-Cops-301127261.html

    I know that there is a new product in the pipeline to replace pepper spray/teargas for the civilian market. I can tell you first hand that it works. It likely won't be replacing pepper spray anytime soon, but it will be very beneficial for the countries/campuses/areas where pepper spray is already banned.
     
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