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Discussion on the Merits of Pepper Spray

Discussion in 'Personal Security Devices & Self-Defense' started by Holliday, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but I get PMs/DMs/emails constantly about wasp spray for self-defense and this thread is almost always referenced - due to the global reach of EDCF.

    Although this myth has been debunked over and over again, it wasn't until the last year or so that we actually had video proof to show that it is simply doesn't work on humans. (Not to mention the whole violation of federal law thing.)

    Hopefully, these clips will help put this myth to bed once and for all.




     
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  2. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Wow! What about WD40 and a bic?
     
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  3. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    I'm a bit skeptical.... not about the wasp spray effectiveness thing - just that any anyone in their right mind would take that much of dose of either chemical directly in the face.... for $100.

    You can put a tiny shot into the palm of your hand and touch a smidgen in the corner of your eye/nose to understand the effectiveness (I have).
     
  4. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    I agree. Honestly, the first thing I thought when I originally saw the first video was the kind of liability waiver this guy must have had to sign.

    It is interesting that you bring up the testing the fluid in the corner of your eye thing. Whenever someone doubts the effectiveness of pepper spray, you know the "it doesn't work on everyone" or "some people are immune to it," blah, blah, blah-type of nonsense (usually it is the internet tough guys who have never even used it before), we propose a little test to see if they are ready to put their money where their mouth is. It is a 3 part test. Test one is to drop a little hot sauce in their eye.* Which is only roughly 2,500-5,000 SHU. (Even the worst pepper spray is around 2,000,000 SHU.)... Let's just say we never had anyone make it past step 1.

    *Don't be silly - Never do this.
     
  5. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Haha... What I did (think it was RedSabre Gel) was spray a shot at a tree just to see how it projects, then I went and sniffed it - nothing. Then touched a dab, rubbed it into my finger, and brought it right to my nose - still nothing (I recall trying this once with Mace and coughing badly).

    Dang this junk don't work.

    Then didn't wash my hands and sometime later rubbed my eye with the same finger. YEOWW.. I was like that guy in the video squirt water into my eye :).

    That's why I think he staged it... my test was just a tiny dried up smidgen, and he took a face full. Perhaps I'm a wimp, but he looked like he got off way too easy.
     
  6. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    ...and the tree was like ":censored: did I do, man?" :p
     
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  7. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Sabre will be happy to hear that, reppans. Gel was created for indoor environments and to not have an impact the respiratory system. :)
    Sabre is pushing the gels real hard now, too.

    I do think that he was actually sprayed with the wasp spray, but the falling down after being pepper sprayed struck me as Oscar worthy. I think he could have found the Benjamin. Not saying he wasn't in pain then, but the part at the hose was legit. That is something anyone whose taken a live hit can relate to. That fact that a pepper spray company put the first video out (which I commend them for) is exactly why I included the second. I was thrilled to see one done by someone not affiliated with a defense spray company.

    On a side note - I have to say that a flashlight thread is about the last place I thought the "wasp spray for SD" myth would show up, but here we are. I just went were the searches and emails took me.
     
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  8. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I didn't shoot him in the eye ;)
     
  9. HardToHandle

    HardToHandle Loaded Pockets

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    I have had three situations in my life where someone was nearly killed by a police officer when pepper spray was ineffective. As in a few seconds of being shot dead... People may have reasonable disagreement on tactics, but my experience is pepper spray is both (1)ineffective on some percentage of the population and (2) often difficult to deploy effectively.

    I have had the test Holliday prescribed. It works on me. It may not work on you.

    Relative to this thread, hitting a dog attacking you, family member or someone else, with pepper spray imay be difficult. If you carry pepper spray, which I often do, have more options in your mental toolkit.
     
  10. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    I have gone out of my way to avoid confronting your comments about OC on more than one occasion. You've repeatedly made comments about its ineffectiveness. Now, since you opened this can of worms, I hope you are prepared to defend your stance with facts, and not internet myths and hearsay.

    What brand of spray do you have experience with? And tell me what is the purpose of a defense spray? We will start there...
     
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  11. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    HardToHandle

    Just so we are clear. Please provide the brand, spray pattern, strength, etc. of the product(s) that you have experience with. Please also provide the same information regarding the spray that was used in the three incident you referenced above.

    We can also make this a separate thread were you provide all the factual, scientifically proven reasons to back up the statements that you've made in previous posts. We can make this a teaching moment. I look forward to your response.
     
  12. HardToHandle

    HardToHandle Loaded Pockets

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    My recall is at least two cases were 5.5% capsicum, Sabre brand. Those two cases were both Mark 3 steam canisters, replaced at least annually. In both cases, the cans were shaken and otherwise a clear, clean deployment.

    Let me make absolutely clear that I represent my experiences as my own, anecdotal experiences. I personally nearly suffered serious injuries in one case. In another case, a coworker came within a second of shooting someone dead. Both cases resulted in the sprayed people receiving medical attention, but only because of physical beating they recieved after OC spray was ineffective. By ineffective, both cases had bad guys fighting effectively for more than one minute after a successful deployment to their unprotected face. One case involved a well regarded instructor who happened to have been a past NCAA wrestler and was extremely adept at defensive tactics.

    Third case, I do not recall, but likely Sabre again. That case resulted in a good guy in the hospital with life altering shoulder injury, bad guy effectively uninjured. Again a clean deployment did not significantly hinder the bad guy from causing serious injury. I did not see this deployment in person, but was involved in less than one minute afterwards.

    My opinion, supported by my experience, is OC spray has distinctive disadvantages. My apologies if that does not conform to your opinion.
     
  13. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    HardToHandle
    Thanks for the info-now we have a baseline for some perspective. And sorry to hear about the struggles you experienced on the beat.
    The product you mentioned was an extremely weak formula. As former LE, you may or may not know that police general use the weakest OC formulations. That product was on par with a popular dog deterrent, SHU wise.

    Regarding OC sprays job: It's sole purpose is to inflame the mucosa and temporarily disrupt the pH balance of the eye. Anything else is a bonus. If someone is able to aggress after being sprayed with a clean, ocular saturation- then they are doing so blindly. If vision wasn't impaired - not enough OC entered the eye. Period. Assuming it was a reputable product-100% OC- No CS/CN.

    To bash OC spray whenever it is brought up and to pigeonhole all OC spray as 'ineffective' based on a 3 experiences with a weak product and unrealistic expectations of the the sprays capabilities, isn't a fair shake. When you say things like:

    Why carry it then? Why carry something you have little faith in? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that. Opinion is one thing, but when say things like this:

    All that does is further perpetuate myths. When the fact of the matter is that bear deterrent has a higher success rate than firearms against an attacking bear. Case studies abound.

    You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but factually incorrect statements, well, that is a different story.
     
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  14. McNasty

    McNasty Loaded Pockets

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    Though they both contain the same active ingredient — oleoresin capsicum, bear spraycontains a much lower concentration. A typical pepper spray used for self defense will have an oleoresin capsicum (OC) concentration of about 10% or higher. A typical bear spray has a oleoresin concentration of about 1 – 2 %.
     
  15. HardToHandle

    HardToHandle Loaded Pockets

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    To provide slightly more context, I have seen a failure rate of OC spray approaching 25% in my personal experience. In each of those cases, serious injuries resulted. Those cases were where there was a determined aggressor, the type of person who had a clear disregard for other humans. OC may be much more effective in compliant folks, but asking minimally trained people to apply a complicated set of targeting/delivery under stressful conditions strikes me as fool hardy.

    Additionally, the only successful use of OC spray against a dog that I have seen still resulted in a young girl with sufficient facial trauma to require an emergency plastic surgical consult. That means she was likely mentally and physically scarred for life. As I provided medical care on the scene, I believe she was lucky she did not lose her left eye. That directly informs my expectations of OC effectiveness against canines. Again, targeting an agitated dog moving at high speed with potential deadly intent with OC is again a chancey proposition.

    In the spirit of transparency, I have never MACEd a bear. I generally think discretion is the better part of valor, but have zero intent of courting trouble with 150-600lb. mammal protected solely with a chemical that I know has repeatedly failed on smaller mammals.

    I stand by my opinion driven by actual experience. No cases studies cited, only raw, real experience.
    Apologies for my defensiveness, but I have the courtesy to respect the statements of others as offered in good faith. Elaborate efforts to undermine reasonable assertions, in my case supported by some limited experience, does not seem to further the discussion.
     
  16. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Pepper spray numbers can be confusing. The 10% you are referring to is actually the percentage of oleoresin capsicum (OC). The EPA, the agency that oversees the production of bears spray, does not recognize the OC percentage as a true indication of the strength of a product. The EPA only recognize what is known as the major capsaicinoid content. The 1-2% you are referring to is the MC content not OC%. MC content is the most accurate measure of testing the strength of a product. This is done with HPLC testing.

    Think about it this way- what is a more ferocious mammal in terms of shear strength, speed, and power? Bear deterrent is the strongest OC spray on the market. Sans 1.
     
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  17. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    No apologies necessary and I am not trying to undermine your assertions. They simply aren't sound, is all. They fly in the face of case studies and mountains of data, over decades. Data which you chose not to accept or acknowledge. That is your prerogative. I asked simple questions. Why carry a product that you don't have faith in? Why carry something that you don't think will work and expect to fail? Honest questions.

    Do you really believe that the USPS would been using an OC based dog deterrent for 30 plus years, if it wasn't effective? Coming to those conclusions based on one incident is very shortsighted. I can point to dozens and dozens of cases where firearms "failed" to stop an aggressive human or animal. Does that mean firearms aren't effective? Do you draw those same conclusions based on a small sample size? (Rhetorical questions)

    You seem set in your ways, which is fine. I won't try to reason with you any further on the subject matter. Stay safe.
     
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  18. Ethos
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    He carries it because he has to and because that 75% is better than having to shoot 100% of the people he comes in contact with that are violent.

    I'm not trying to be combative, but I think its funny when people stand on case studies yet fail to take the word of people that say they have real world experience. To me he doesn't sound like someone who is just making up justifications. I'm not discounting what either of you are saying, but when you face danger every day, some option of less lethal is better than only having a lethal option when dealing with humans, especially as a PO.

    Personally I don't care what a case study says about bear spray, there is no way I'm taking a chance, I will carry a capable firearm and roll the dice or stay home. I've also heard bear bells and yelling "hey bear" while waiving your arms works too, but I'm not inclined to believe what the person who came back and saw no bear or a placid black bear and what he/she had to say. I will however heed the lesson learned from the one that tried those deterrents but did not return. The fact of the matter is that sometimes when you go fishing in bear waters, you catch a bear.

    I also will not be using a flashlight for a deterrent on dog or a bear.

    This is my opinion.
     
  19. McNasty

    McNasty Loaded Pockets

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    Whatever.. what exactly would you carry for bear? Also, dont think a black bear is any friendlier than a grizz. I spend the two weeks after Labor Day in Yellowstone area fishing and every guide carries spray. When riding into a back country camp the camp will have 12ga shotguns loaded with slugs alternated with #4 shot. No carries a hand gun or rifle. I would more afraid of walking aroud Chicago then bears or dogs.
     
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  20. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Why are you answering for him? He's a grown man and capable of speaking for himself.

    ...and you shouldn't assume who has or doesn't have real-world experience. Next time you jump into the fray, do your homework.