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Old November 11, 1999, 10:15 AM   #1
hollow point
Join Date: June 6, 1999
Posts: 55
I was wanting to purchase some pepper spray units for the wife, but I must admit that I am rather ignorant about them. I assume that 15% is more potent than 10%, but a local LEO told me that this is not always the case. Would anyone care to comment on this? I would also be curious to see what (if any) kinds that you carry with you. Also what are the pros and cons to the different types (foam/stream/cone) availible. Any information will be appreciated! HP
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Old November 11, 1999, 01:50 PM   #2
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Potency of pepper sprays shouldn't be judged by the percentage of OC, but by it's SHU rating.

Fox Labs is probably the best stuff out there. A good overview of pepper sprays can be found at .
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Old November 11, 1999, 04:04 PM   #3
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I heard that peppersprays with a SHU rating OVER 2 million were discouraged as they could cause skin irritation. There is an anti-bear spray company(forgot the maker - he survived a mauling by a bruin while out in the woods) that advertises 3 million SHU cannisters but there anti-personnel units are only 2 million SHUs.

A five million plus SHU spray should literally scald human tissue at point blank range, if one accepts the premise that the higher the rating, the more damaging it could be.

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Old November 17, 1999, 06:01 PM   #4
Join Date: July 8, 1999
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FWIW, I've had good experience with 'Punch II' by Aerko. It's time that I replace my old canisters and so I (too) am on the market for a new spray; have been looking at what's come out in the past 2-3 years.

What little I've read about the FoxLabs stuff has been positive - does anyone else have any feed back regarding it (or any other brands to consider)?

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Old November 17, 1999, 09:18 PM   #5
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The following are my $.02 cents worth. I recommend to do further research to double check my statements. I am not an expert on this subject.

Supposedly, the higher the concentration, the oilier the mixture of the pepper spray. That means it would be harder to decontaminate. But, I have to wonder if that makes any difference at all. As Morgan pointed out, the true indicator of potency is the Scoville Heat Unit. The higher the hotter. I think 2mil is the legal maximum. That's the one I use.

Streams are perhaps the most common among carry sprays. Unlike cone sprays, they are less likely to be blown back by wind. However, supposedly one does have to aim. They are best suited when outdoors.

Cones used to be the most popular I think. They work more like an area defensive weapon. Llike shotguns, requires less aiming to get the desired effect, but can easily be blown away or even back by the wind. Larger versions of this are available, designed to flood an entire room full of spray, like a grenade I suppose. Cone-like sprays are best used indoors.

Foams bear the advantage of being pretty much immune from wind AND when spray about the eyes, can make sure the spray blinds the assailant, that is unless they somehow wipe it off and manages to see through it. The disadvantage here is that the foam can be thrown back at the sprayer.

I admit being personally biased against foam. I don't see what the foam can do that streams can't. But some people swear by them.

Perhaps the most important feature of any pepper spray is the container design that will allow your wife to carry one. I have a female friend who's uniform she wears to work forbids the use of most sprays. Some containers are more practical than others. For example, I love the ones with a spring top lid, finger index and integrated clip. It is much better than those small, cheap leather covered things that dangle off of keychains. But again, it's a matter of finding out what your wife can carry and what she can't.
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Old November 18, 1999, 03:25 AM   #6
Rosco P. Coltrain
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Punch II is one of the best OC sprays available. They also make a grenade version. When it becomes time to replace your canisters, don't just throw them out, use them for training.

[This message has been edited by Rosco P. Coltrain (edited November 18, 1999).]
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Old November 18, 1999, 03:30 AM   #7
Chuck Ames
Join Date: September 27, 1999
Posts: 84
Something to remember is that if you shoot too close, "washout" or something like that can occur. If anyone can explain this better, I'd appreciated it, but as I remember the Street Survival 95 seminar, the minimum distance is 1 meter. Something about it taking longer for the effects to set in if it's up close.

The last thing I want to do is get close enough to a bear to spray it anyways!

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Old November 18, 1999, 12:37 PM   #8
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Fox Labs has a brutal 5.3 million SHU rated spray, which is legal. It hasn't caused blistering or such in tests I've heard of - not that I care if I blister someone when the next step is lethal force.

I don't like the idea of foam, either. Too easy to scrape it away from your eyes, then attack the sprayor with it.
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Old December 18, 1999, 08:40 PM   #9
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My department issues Aerko Punch II (M-3 size). Some years ago in training it was pointed out that the cone mist's advantage is that the a stream of liquid must vaporize to affect the subject. RE: foams, I've heard cases where the gang-bangers shielded their eyes with the bill of a ballcap before wiping and flinging the foam back onto the officer. I need to research sprays and find out the latest ideas. IMHO, any spray is better than no spray.

Above post(s) are correct--2 million Scoville Heat Units seems to be most effective. Concentration (5% vs. 10%) is irrelevant.
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Old December 19, 1999, 08:55 PM   #10
Join Date: July 8, 1999
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Does anyone have mail order sources for Punch II sprays? I got mine a few years ago from Shomer-Tec, which isn't very convenient as they don't (didn't?) take credit cards.

Thanks again.
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Old December 21, 1999, 11:24 AM   #11
Join Date: November 24, 1999
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You'll find that most LE use streams as there is usually one officer fighting and one spraying. I might suggest that you carry OC on your weak hand side as there are folks out there who will be only slightly more than irritated when sprayed but most will forget about attacking you.
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Old December 25, 1999, 10:57 PM   #12
Art Eatman
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hollow point: You might want to check out the Site and browse through. The owner of the pepper-spray company was mauled by a grizzly, and thus has a real personal interest in his spray's effectiveness.

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