Pepper Spray: Yea or Nay?

Discussion in 'Self Defense' started by SifuPhil, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Known by various names (Pepper Spray, Capsicum, OC, Mace (erroneously), Hillbilly Condiment), pepper spray or Oleoresin Capsicum has become popular in both the consumer and professional self-defense market. It causes the eyes to water and close, a feeling of tightness and heat upon the skin and difficulty breathing, rendering the assailant (theoretically) disabled.​
    There have been cases of people being sprayed with pepper spray and continuing their attack, however, so it isn't a 100% fool-proof solution to self-defense. Some sprays include dye to identify an attacker - a good idea in my opinion. Much of pepper spray's effectiveness depends upon the percentage of capsicum in the spray and the measure of the heat, or Scoville Heat Units, that the resin contains. Most pepper sprays range from 2-17% active ingredients and from 0.5 - 5.0 million SHU.​
    Do you carry pepper spray as a primary or secondary defense? Have you ever used it, or been sprayed with it?​
    Deborah likes this.
  2. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Do I carry it? No.

    Have I ever used it? No.

    Have I ever been sprayed with it? Yes.

    In the USMC you have to go into the "gas chamber" where CS gas is being pumped into the room and de-mask. Your squad cannot leave the room until everyone is standing at attention with their eyes open and can respond to the trainers (who all have masks) and it is not a pleasant experience. CS gas is also occasionally used in training to increase discomfort and disorientation as well as to train Marines to use and trust their gas masks.

    Also, a drunk girl with whom I was flirting at a bar several years ago (and who was flirting back) accidentally hit me with her pepper spray while goofing around. That wasn't such a bad experience tho because she decided to sleep with me afterwards as a way of saying "I'm sorry". A kind heart she had...

    ...Ah, memories...

    ...Where was I again? Oh yes...

    I actually think pepper spray, although not 100% effective, is far more reliable for most self defense scenarios than martial arts -- particularly for women. Does this mean it will always work? Of course not. But even if it doesn't, an assailant will be a hell of a lot easier to handle or get away from after getting sprayed than before.
  3. Aaron

    Aaron Shadow Warrior

    Cant legally carry it up here in canada.... stupid section of our criminal code...
    Havent been sprayed by it, dont think i would want too either. Still i think i would take pepper spray over being tazored.
  4. Aaron Hutto

    Aaron Hutto Master

    I have never been a fan of pepper spray or stun guns. I teach women's self defense and I have heard of many women who have sprayed an attacker with pepper spray but in the rush of the moment, shoot them center of mass which does nothing to the attack but the victim ends up getting some splash back in their eyes. I have also heard stories about women using stun guns on people, which works great until the attacker grabs the victim to stop from falling ...
  5. dmach

    dmach Martial Archivest

    Same for the Land Down Under. And I also agree with take pepper spray over a tazor any day.
    Deborah likes this.
  6. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    While this is certainly not definitive in terms of their reliability in a self-defense situation, my wife has worked as a crisis counselor at a rape treatment center and meets victims at the hospital during their exams and she works closely with the police and nurses. She has worked there for years. In none of the cases she has ever dealt with for years has she ever met a victim who used pepper spray that failed to deter an attacker.
    Aaron, SifuPhil, Blade Maker and 2 others like this.
  7. Colten Wilson

    Colten Wilson Disciple

    No I don't carry it it's to slow and fairly easy to deffend most of them don't have a wide spray patter they have more of a jet stream effect si if some one sees you pull some is easy to get out of the way or at lest cover your face the only place it is effective. I have been sprayed with my dad was in law enforcement for many years and cared OC spray alot stronger then your average pepper spray but one day my brother and I had a fight and he was very angery with me and took my dads oc and just before I got home from a bad day from school he covered my favorite pillow with it and I'm talking about the whole can covered. So when I got home I went stright for bed and fell on that pillow face frist and the seconed I took a breath it was flame on and normaly all it takes is a little bit of water and your fine but I had no idea what was going on luckely my mom had just goten home for her lunch break knew what was going on and threw my ass in the shower. Yeah after that the oc spray went in the safe with my dads gun
  8. Ed Bates

    Ed Bates Guest

    Do I carry it: No, with a spray i feel you need to take into consideration the direction and power of the wind.
    Have I ever used it: No.
    Have I ever been Sprayed with it: Yes a teacher of mine taught a women self defense class and i was the attack dummy i got sprayed and my ass kicked....Man those were long days. I also attempted to become a Marine. The gas chamber was one of my personal favorites! "What's your eleventh general order recruit Bates?" I got so much shit cause I didn't get it right the first time.
    Dpendleton, SifuPhil and Deborah like this.
  9. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    I am all for women carrying mace. I strongly recommend the Asp Palm Defender. Clip it to your key ring with a mini biner so that you can have it IN YOUR HAND when you're in an AV (area of vulnerability) such as unlocking your front door, walking to your car in a large parking lot, etc. The fire extinguisher sized maces, guns, etc are useless to you because typically when you realize you're in danger it's too late to dig in your purse for gear.
    One problem I encountered is if you just grab it mostly with your palm it may spin in your hand when you attempt ot use the thumb break safety (ironic since it's called palm defender;) ). Start with it in your fingers and roll into a fist to secure it properly (smaller hands may not have this problem). Effective use is listed as 3 feet, but in practice with inert trainers you can blast from 6-8 feet on someone closing on you and they flow right into range just fine. It can then be used as a hand load/kubotan if necessary.
    Blade Maker and Deborah like this.
  10. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    Ah, yes, those are good memories... the fun part is I was an instructor at Fleet Training Center in CBR (as one of the courses)... idiots wearing contacts after being told not to repeatedly... LOL... "Corpsman! ...over here, please."
    Pepper spray and CS are different. I think pepper sprays have gotten better through the years... but they didn't compare well to true CS/Tear gas back then.
    I do still agree that pepper spray could be used very effectively though.
  11. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    Just another tool in your arsenal, backed up by an immediate kick in an area that will do damage. I generally suggest that women use oven cleaner against an attacker though. Never know when you might have to help a neighbor clean their oven. They can be thoughtful and use one that smells better than the ones that do not ;-].

    As for Gas Mask Training, 1975 NTC San Diego, USN 1975 -1983. Combat Field Service Rep, 37th TFW and 49th FW 1986-1996, Weapons Quals, NBC training, Buddy Care, Combat Deployments.
    Blade Maker and Deborah like this.
  12. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    Mmmm, Aaron I personally would loooove to be tazored:eek:!! Wowzers...what a buzz......lots of smiles and respects xxxxXXxxx
  13. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    OMG Ed, I remember watching a documentary on the Gas Chamber. Holy sh** there was one guy who just switched off and sat there for an hour!!...respects my great martial friend xxxXXxxx
  14. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    Cool Pic is it you!! As for using pepper spray, for having it sprayed on me, yes:eek:!! And no, I donnot carry it All my love, respects and smiles my favourite verbal sparring partner xxxXXxxx
  15. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Haha! Perhaps under very controlled conditions it would be an "interesting" experience. I did powerline clearance for over seven years as a climber and manual crew foreman and I've been "tickled" quite a few times. It's not as fun as one might think. There's no fighting thru' it - the lightning locks you up pretty well.:confused:
    Deborah likes this.
  16. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    Heehee RJ I know as I am the original blonde bimbo and have stuck my fingers in light sockets,put knives in toasters and put my kettle in water when it was still switched on:eek:!! Sigh but hey-ho at least I make other people feel smarter!!.....respects and smiles, my martial friend xxxXXxxx
    RJ Clark likes this.
  17. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    i both carry and have used pepper spray, it works about 25% of the time to end an assult, which is not good. That is why i also carry a batton, the combination of the two works quite well. The most irritating part of using pepper spray is the wind, no matter how tight the stream of spray is, the wind can and frequently does blow the mist of the spray back onto the person using it. So my advise would be this: if you carry pepper spray you should be exposed to it so you aren't surprised when that happens & you should really only deploy it in doors where there is no wind.
  18. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    LOL no that's not me - I'm about as far from being a law enforcement type as you can get! It would be more likely that it was me taking that picture. :D

    I've known people that carry oven cleaner, wasp spray etc. instead of pepper spray, but you have to consider the legal and moral implications in using these substances - they aren't designed for spraying a human and will have possibly life-threatening, long-term effects that could land you in a world of trouble.

    Blade, I'm truly surprised at the 25% number - from what I've seen personally and read I would think it's at least 50%. And yes, the wind can be a factor but let's face it, unless you live in Chicago what are the odds of a big breeze coming up just as you're starting to spray? I suppose you could always use the foam version but that's not quite as effective.
    Aaron, RJ Clark and Deborah like this.
  19. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    Heehee, I know it ain't you cos you are soooo much better looking, Phil;) !! Cool tips on what to use, I like hairspray best as it hurts like hell:eek:!! I should know I have did it hunners.....lotsa love, respects, smiles and peace my fav verbal sparrin partner XXxxXX
    SifuPhil likes this.
  20. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Aw, thank you, dear! :)

    Yeah, I've had hairspray used on me when I was a bouncer (LOL), but only from the dancers that got mad at me.

    I had the stiffest beard and ponytail in 3 counties. :confused:

    At least it isn't as bad as oven cleaner. THAT stuff is bad enough on your hands I can only imagine what it would be like getting a face-full of Easy-Off.
    Dpendleton, Aaron and Deborah like this.

Share This Page