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Need help on OC spray choice

Discussion in 'Personal Security Devices & Self-Defense' started by nitevision, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. nitevision

    nitevision Loaded Pockets

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    Hi all,
    I am currently looking into getting some OC spray to defend myself with and need some help reaching a decision.

    The primary purpose is to deter/stop an attacker for long enough for me to get away. It has to outrange an axe. (I am located in Germany so you can imagine what incident led me to this purchase)

    Here's what I have found on the Internet so far:
    Guardian Angel II (Marketed as Kimber Pepper Blaster II in America)
    For:
    Standoff range
    No self-incapacitation
    Compact(er) than large spray cans

    Against:
    2 shots, aiming under stress is difficult, can't hit face if attacker keeps head down

    Fox Labs spray
    For:
    Easier deployment under stress (cone spray)
    Continuous cloud can temporarily shut down a narrow hallway like in a train (cone spray)
    Aerosol deployment means easier to shut down attacker's breathing

    Against:
    Range. Stream or foam may rectify this but then aiming is needed.
    Risk of self-incapacitation. Again, stream or foam rectify this to some extent but the "aiming under stress" part is what gets me.

    Thoughts
    1. Listed Fox Labs because it is supposedly the most potent. First Defense products also considered. Edit: also have access to Sabre Red DPS.
    2. There is also something called DPS Black Label which combines OC and CS and is claimed to be even better due to the mix. Can't seem to find it for sale in the EU though.
    3. Gotta get some inert trainers with whatever I decide to go with.
    4. I might also need a "Plan B" device because I still have some doubts about the stopping power of pepper spray.
    5. Also, what size to get? The most accessible sizes are the 2oz (49ml) and 3oz (89ml) bottles.
    Any help especially from friends in the LE community is much appreciated!
     
    Last edited by nitevision, Jul 19, 2016
  2. Leemann

    Leemann Loaded Pockets

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    Even though I have a Gun need to replace my oc spray.

    The go to is Fox Labs
     
  3. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Wow. It's been quite a while since there's been an OC spray question on EDCF. It is nice to see.

    This question is right in my wheelhouse so I will break it all down for you. I have co-developed and "built" pepper spray for the ground up for EDCF, so I'll give it to you straight, minus the marketing hype. I also teach a specialized class in selection and use of pepper spray for SD.

    I am not as up on the OC spray laws in Germany as I used to be, but based on the products/brands you mentioned, Fox Labs conical spray would be your best bet. Not because it is the best or hottest OC spray (Fox labs is no where near the hottest on the market), but simply because it come in a cone pattern dispersion and NOT a stream (like the others you mentioned). Here's why:

    The soul purpose of OC/pepper spray, is to cause temporary loss of vision. That's it. Too many misconceptions circulate online to address them all here, but if you simply remember that it is designed to temporarily remove the vision of an adversary, that will go along way in knowing what to expect. Many (incorrectly) assume it is supposed to instantly incapacitate an individual, that is not the case. So why is the conical spray best for this? Target acquisition. It gives you the best chance to make contact with eyes. Furthermore, conical spray patterns are the only type that allow you to also target the lungs. This "dual purpose" can't be overstated. It is extremely difficult to hit a moving target in a tiny area like the eyes. The cone gives you the added advantage to affect the lungs, too. If a perp can't see and/or breath it will make it extremely difficult for them to continue to aggress. Like you mentioned, it can also be used for "area denial."

    Here is the skinny on the brands you listed:

    Pepper Blaster/Guardian Angel: Used to be a gel-based, but they are in the process of switching it over to a less viscous formula. I've long recommended against the use of gel formulations for civilian use.*

    DPS: The original formula is virtually identical to Fox's 5.3. This is no accident. It was developed and is sold by a (former) long time Fox distributor.

    Sabre: World leader in pepper spray, but do not produce many with a cone/fog pattern.

    Fox Labs: Contrary to the internet, it is NOT hottest on the market. But based on your list, it is what I would carry. Mean Green would be my first choice, then the 5.3. Both in the 2 oz. cone/fog units.*

    Definitely purchase the inert trainers and avoid any products with CS. CS will not work on someone under the influence, unlike OC spray. Stick with 100% OC formulations.

    * Unless you have a pre-existing lung condition. If that is the case, avoid conical spray patterns and go with a gel. Gels biggest weakness, the fact that it doesn't "run" and has zero effect on the lungs is exactly what you'd want if you had asthma, for example.


    Hope all of this helps, and please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
     
    nitevision, Gary Gross and Water-Rat like this.
  4. HardToHandle

    HardToHandle Loaded Pockets

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    I have both a Kimber and cans. My experience is based on working in law enforcement more than ten years ago and having seen OC as a less than optimal tool.

    The Kimber is gun like and as noted, is mainly suited to bipedal predators. The two shots is a limitation to me, but I purchased it to have maximum range. Based on the recent Jihadi incident and other train incidents, being able to get access to a bad guys face to incapitate them is a challenge.

    While I do not use Fox Labs, I do carry aerosol OC canisters. Primary aerosol use is for aggressive canines as I have seen numerous people fight through solid OC exposure, which a crazed Jihadi murderer would be likely to do. I recently added OC gel, which gains you another meter/four feet or so in range over pure spray which is a disappointing 3-4 meters in total range. I also do not like the aerosol sprays because even stream spray jets are often going to contaminate the user. I think the cone application in a sealed tube is just as likely to anticipate you as the aggressor.

    OC spray is better than nothing, but in North America we have a running joke that hikers that use OC spray for bear protection provides spicy meat for a hungry bear. In other words, it dissuades the less dedicated aggressor but will not stop a dedicated attacker.

    Pepper spray needs to be a first part of a dedicated defense - deploy and then move to the need element. Either run from the threat after OC or move to a much more hands on manner to end the threat. If I carry OC spray, than I will always have a knife and a dedicated striking element. You are dealing with a likely suicidal threat trying to kill you - responding in kind is the mostly likely manner to preserve your life.
     
  5. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    Nitevision, ignore this ^^^
    Like I said, there are many, many misconceptions regarding OC spray. Here is one of them. Severally studies by bear experts suggest that bear spray gives you the greatest chance for surviving bear encounters.
     
  6. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    A couple of videos that display the range of the cone spray, nicely. And remember that you do not need a direct hit with this type. Also, you can disregard the "law enforcement formula" silliness on the can. Generally speaking, LE carry a weaker formula than what civilians carry. For the simple reason that they have to deal with the decon. Weaker formula = shorter decon, by and large.



     
    Last edited by Holliday, Jul 20, 2016
    nitevision likes this.