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Old August 21, 2000, 01:32 PM   #1
sigmund
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I have been hearing some interesting things about the use of pepper spray for personal defence. I'd like to hear any personal experiences with this product:

1. I am aware of three basic "delivery systems": spray, foam, and fogger. It seems like foam would be best because it would be least affected by wind, and you can see where it is hitting. Opinons?

2. Any recommendations or experiences, good or bad, regarding specific brands?

3. Where to buy, retail stores and/or on the Web?

4. Any specific hints on tactics?
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Old August 21, 2000, 02:17 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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There's a guy who owns a pepper-spray company with a website, with photos similar to Keith Rogan's about his own bear-mauling. Sorry, my bookmark is on my other computer, 1,400 miles away.

You might search the TFL archives while waiting for other responses.

Art
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Old August 21, 2000, 03:00 PM   #3
LawDog
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I've used Punch II, Def-Tech First Defense, ASP KeyDefender and Mace Pepper Foam.

The Pepper Foam is good for certain specific applications: it carries better into a headwind and it doesn't form a cloud of OC vapour--which makes it the best alternative for certain enviroments where breathing difficulties must be considered. Hospitals, day-cares, nursing homes, and such.

It is also far easier to miss with Pepper Foam and it requires holding 'on target' much longer to get the same coverage as a burst of spray. Plus, the available amount of OC per can is usually about half for foam as it is for the liquid.

I prefer a 'burst' or 'spray' effect, myself.

LawDog



[This message has been edited by LawDog (edited August 21, 2000).]
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Old August 21, 2000, 04:46 PM   #4
sigmund
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Art

Thanks for the quick response. I had searched and found the site you mentioned, http://www.udap.com. (It was on a post from you last year.) This product looks like it would be good against a bear or a gang of bad guys, but possibly overkill otherwise, particularly indoors. Anyone have any experience with this stuff?
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Old August 21, 2000, 07:16 PM   #5
Erik
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I like the spray.

As mentioned, there are places where foam has advantages. It can be flung back, or scooped and smeared on you, though. Something to remember if you are in close.

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Old August 23, 2000, 10:16 AM   #6
M1911
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There are advantages and disadvantages to each. You have to decide for yourself which is most appropriate.

With stream or foam, you have to aim at a relatively small, easily moveable target (the head). With a spray, you simply make short squirts (1/2 second or so), while backing up. If he comes forward, he's going to be hurting.

The spray is also easier if there are multiple attackers. The downside of spray is that it won't work in wind and you don't want to use it indoors.

Pick your poison.

Jared
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Old August 25, 2000, 12:08 AM   #7
Coronach
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As with all weapons, too, remember that nothing is a sure-fire threat-stopper. They say about 5% of the people out there are not all that affected by pepper spray. I dunno if thats true, but we did have one guy in our academy class who took a full blast in the face and looked utterly unfazed by it. Scary stuff. I get a burning sensation just thinking about OC spray.

FWIW,
Mike

------------------
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old August 25, 2000, 12:19 AM   #8
JayDrummond
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Some people are just about immune to the active ingredients. Personally, I can't be in the same area with it. I walked into a low area with tear gas sitting in it and reflexively backed up and tried to find a way around the cloud. Others just ******, moaned and walked through it. Never hurts to have a serious backup -- I like 45 ACP.
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Old August 27, 2000, 10:08 PM   #9
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Coronach: IIRC, everyone is effected by OC spray. The small percentage you mentioned may not feel pain. They still will have their eyes swelling shut, and their membranes will consrict, inhibiting breathing. Regular MACE is quite another matter. Almost ineffective if the party is angry and determined, or under substance influence.
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Old August 27, 2000, 10:26 PM   #10
sigmund
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JayDrummond--Do you use the .45 ACP in spray or foam??

Thanks to all for the advice. Based on responses here, I have ordered some in spray form. The OC was originally recommended by an LEO tactical officer. He said that there are a few people who are relatively immune to other chemical sprays, such as mace, and some people are able to shut out much of the pain of pepper spray, but that it has been well established that no one is immune to the OC effect of eyes swelling shut. He uses foam, but based on responses here, I think the spray may be better suited for general civilian use.
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Old August 29, 2000, 01:54 PM   #11
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I posted the following on a couple other boards, and was about to start a new topic here when I saw this thread. My question stands, though. What brands would you recommend?
************************
I'm looking to buy some pepper spray for a girl we know that's started college this fall. Her mom would like her to have something more than just keys between her fingers to fend off an attacker should that unthinkable event occur. (For a variety of reasons I won't go into here, a gun is not an option.) Bought a couple cans of Sabre brand last week and let her spray me for training Saturday. Big disappointment. First, it came nowhere near the 8-10 foot spray distance advertised; then, when she did finally manage to hit me with it, all it did was annoy me. Anyone had any real-life experiences with a brand they'd buy again without question?
************************
LawDog -
I know you made some recommnedations there. Which one might be best for someone with a minimum of training (next to none, really - I'm not real interested in being a "pepper spray red-man" more than once) and in somewhat below average physical condition?

------------------
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Luke 22:36
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"Power corrupts. Absolute power - is kinda cool!"
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[This message has been edited by mk86fcc (edited August 29, 2000).]
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Old August 29, 2000, 02:03 PM   #12
LawDog
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I bought ASP KeyDefenders for most of my family. http://www.krsproducts.com/keydefender.htm

The KeyDefender comes with a water/glycol load for training, so that you can practice spraying someone without putting a friend or family member on the floor.

The Def-Tec First Defense pocket models would be my second choice.

Check your local laws, though--some 'civilized' places forbid citizens from carrying OC sprays.

LawDog

[This message has been edited by LawDog (edited August 29, 2000).]
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Old August 31, 2000, 05:28 AM   #13
mk86fcc
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Thanks. I returned the Sabre and got a keychain-size Mace brand for now. A friend overstocked for Y2K, and is sending a bunch in the mail, brand(s) unknown, so we'll see what that consists of.

LawDog -
Looked at the KeyDefender on the website, but I'm not sure I can train her to carry/hold/aim it properly for effective use - she'd end up spraying her feet in a panic situation. It was all I could do to get her to mash the button with her thumb holding the can in her fist, rather than holding it like a can of spray paint and pushing it with her index finger. That was part of the problem that she couldn't hit me with it the first couple times. (That's the nice thing about the Mace brand - it's designed such that it only fits comfortably in your hand the right way.) The search goes on...

------------------
"...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
Luke 22:36
"An armed society is a polite society."
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"Power corrupts. Absolute power - is kinda cool!"
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Old August 31, 2000, 08:09 AM   #14
M1911
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mk86fcc: For those with limited training and/or dexterity, I would recommend spray (fog), rather than stream or foam. You don't have to aim the spray types very carefully, as they spread out quite a bit. I use Punch II M3.

Jared
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Old August 31, 2000, 02:04 PM   #15
LawDog
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Make sure the can goes on her key-chain, otherwise she'll either start to leave it behind, or relegate it to the depths of her purse.

We used to buy Mom the MkVI models, until we went in to test her OC and she spent five minutes rooting around in her purse for the can. When I tried to test-fire it, it was so clogged with purse-lint that the OC just dribbled down my knuckles.

I know about the training. It took about 10 of the training loads to finally get one of my ex-ladyfriends to not spray downwards. *sigh* I was tasting that training stuff for a week.

LawDog


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Old August 31, 2000, 03:31 PM   #16
Red Bull
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No offense meant to anyone, but that brings the saying to mind about how "making things foolproof is so difficult because fools are so creative" or something like that.

The ASP Defender is supposed to be the easiest to use because you don't have to aim it! Even in the dark, you always know where it is coming out. No searching for the button or which direction the stuff comes out.

I never even thought that someone could try to hold it verticle and spray it downward by accident. LOL

My wife understood and liked the Defender the first time I showed it to her.

I end up carrying it in my pocket all the time because it is so slim and smooth and comfortable to carry. I don't carry my keys on it, I just carry it by itself.

And, if the pepper spray does not work, you always have a hard object left in your hand to add a little zing to your defensive strikes!


I am hoping that the pepper ingredient is effective. Anyone tried it out?
(I have been begging my wife to spray me for practice, but she refuses).

[This message has been edited by Red Bull (edited August 31, 2000).]
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Old August 31, 2000, 11:06 PM   #17
sigmund
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Red Bull

If you do a search on this Forum on the term "pepper spray", you will find some old postings of people who tried it out on themselves, and regretted doing so.

According to people who have used it, including LEOs I have talked to, the intensity of the reaction varies from person to person, but everyone experiences some level of pain and their eyes swell shut. No exceptions. Incapacitation ranges from momentary to 30-45 minutes.

The only permanent damage I have heard of is a little lethal problem called positional asphyxiation. If you take a person heavily under the influence of alcohol or drugs, spray him down real good with OC, cuff his hands behind his back, and toss him face down in the back of a patrol car, he may have a real hard time breathing. He may even just plain stop. Forever. YMMV.
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Old September 1, 2000, 01:40 AM   #18
LawDog
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The Chief Deputy of a county south of here cleared out a Mexican cookery one afternoon while fiddling around with his KeyDefender.

LawDog

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Old September 1, 2000, 07:39 AM   #19
M1911
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I've tried it on myself, but just a mild dose. I took a Punch II spray (fogger type), and went outside in the yard. Sprayed a couple times into the air, then walked forward. Clearly this was much less of a dose than you'd get from being sprayed in the face. Nevertheless, within seconds my eyes were basically shut. Pain wasn't terrible (though it was painful). It took a while of rinsing with cold water to get the stuff out of my eyes. Not fun.

Jared
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Old September 1, 2000, 11:34 AM   #20
jthuang
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Might want to consider Fox Labs OC (5.3 million SHU), available from http://selfdefenseproducts.com

Irv Miller is a good guy to deal with. Not affiliated, etc.

Justin

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Old September 1, 2000, 01:45 PM   #21
Red Bull
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My friend was fiddling with my ASP Defender and set it off in an apartment. We left, some people with symptoms. I did not get any. The poor cats had to be rescued.

I am told to have a gallon of milk around if you plan to get sprayed. I guess it rinses the eyes etc really well. I will test it out eventually.
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Old September 1, 2000, 05:59 PM   #22
sigmund
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I bought the Fox OC after hearing good things about it in other threads on this forum.

I got it from the site mentioned just above (Irv Miller). Good web page and very quick service.
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Old September 2, 2000, 08:26 PM   #23
danobr
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I've done a lot of research into the various OC sprays, and here's some quick info: The percentage quoted on the various mixtures is somewhat deceptive. Basically, the lower the percentage, the quicker the detox time. In measuring an OC spray for effectiveness, look for the spray's Scoville Heat Rating (SCU). 3-5 million SCU is a good start.

I like the stream, mainly because of the wind factor.

Coincidently, I just went through a chem. agent qualification course, and got a good stream of OC in the face and eyes, it stun pretty good, but I had little swelling, and no breathing problems. Part of the course was the spraying, wait 30 seconds, then handcuff your partner. Out of the 40 there, about three of us didn't show major effects, another 10% or so were totally incapacitated. Basically it effects everyone different. In the afternoon, we all got the gas chamber, and a healthy dose of CS gas, which wasn't bad at all, though it did sting the airway some.

--dan
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